Brief, intermittent rains cross the valley this morning. The slight moisture mixes with downed leaves to create a pungent leafy smell. Fall has draped the desert. There are not many trees here that change. Mostly, at this altitude, it is evergreens: junipers and piñons. The transplants who have settled here have brought in a few deciduous ones, though. It seems everyone is from somewhere else and has a need to carry along a few memories of once lived lives. Eastern trees and green lawns dot the West as a testament to this.
The two aspens out back are turning yellow. The locust, too. They are small trees, somewhat stunted, but they provide just enough of a visual change for the season to sink into one's bones. Leaves turning seems important for the soul. And the morning chill naturally pulls us inward.
Fall is no doubt a season for the senses. Probably the reason so many tout it as their favorite. It's the respite from summer's heat and the forewarner to winter's cold. It's a little stopping off place, a chance to reflect. It's a break.
Three incredibly orange pumpkins sit on the back porch and watch.
There's a painting hanging on the south wall of the studio that I painted eighteen years ago, or so. It was the first thing I hung when I moved into the studio. On the easel today is a painting I'm working on of the very same subject.
Much has changed, in that time, but much has not. The model for the painting from eighteen years ago and the painting today is still beautiful and I'm still struggling, pushing paint around. Back then she was starting first grade, now she's working on her Master's degree.
Back then, I was a trying to be a realist. My brushstrokes were all cautious and tight. Leave no visible mark was my creed. No telltale sign that I was even there. Now days, I find, I paint in fits and starts. Kind of choppy. And I welcome when the paint runs and splatters with a mind of its own. Seems somehow more real. More like life.
Same subject. Same painter. Different eyes.
Pat Greenwell is an artist. A painter and sometimes poet, he has been searching the New Mexico desert for several years now, looking for lost possibilities and probable intentions.
"...mostly stream-of-consciousness stuff, you know...