Saturday, November 9, 2013

An Open Gate To Opportunity

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So do you go in a gate that is left ajar? Do you NOT go in? I mean it wasn’t closed, or barred. There was a gate; it was open. But it is hunting season, and who knows who left it open. The owner, or the hunters?
I gathered up my nerve (OK, so this isn’t out of character to those of you who know me) and drove on in, right up to the house. Then a kindly lady in her housecoat came up out of her house with a friendly “May I help you?” Which is how I met a very nice friendly lady who let me paint on her property in Hillsboro, New Mexico. As early as it was, Patty was even excited that we (my friend Gay and I) were there to paint her arroyo. She drove by twice to take a peek. And she said she liked the colors we were using. They are not as vibrant as New England in the fall, but they are pretty, very gold and even orange. The dried grasses go from pink-tinged to russet in their depths. So it runs a pretty good competition to many places in the states. But Patty did warn us not to go too far from the road as it is still hunting season here, and there were hunters on her property who had asked to use it too. I guess she feels they can tell a cow from a deer. But could they tell a painter??? I thought it best to not test their discernment skills. We stayed close to the driveway.
My friend Gay Painting in the arroyo - Hillsboro, NM
We painted in the arroyo, with running water, serenaded by the mooing cows that were in the river bed. They stayed on their part, we stayed on ours. We never even got a visit from them. Apparently we were not so very interesting as the grasses on the banks. And that was fine by both of us. It’s one thing to fend off wild burros, snakes and skunks. But a bovine intent on tasting terre vert outweighs me by a few pounds, so I was glad they were in a Greta Garbo frame of mind.
Hillsboro Arroyo - Block In
Oil on board.
 This oil painting is a 10x10 on board. I tried a new format, square. It’s also a bit smaller than my usual size, and so it’s cheaper. Real cheap if I don’t have to frame it. “Hillsboro Arroyo” was actually fun to paint because the river bed was so rock-strewn, that we were constantly losing our balance, which made us look like painting drunks. I did some funny two steps out there! And that wasn’t even around the cow presents.

Hillsboro Arroyo
Oil on board finished
Favorite Quote: unknown
"Step by step, a path,
Stroke by stroke, a painting"

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