I'm lucky to live where I live! Especially in this, the loveliest spring I've experienced in 37 years in NM. Although we have not enjoyed much rain this spring, it has been unusally cool, with mild winds; rather than the usual "hair dryer" weather of spring in the Southwest. Even with little rain, flora are budding out and blooming long. I ran at 10,000 feet yesterday, along a nameless stream, and took these photographs. There were elk nearby, but they did not consent to be photographed.
My newest work is the series Horizontal Brothers; John Muir’s words for non-human animals.
I grew up with wildlife. Throughout my childhood, people brought wounded and orphaned animals to my mother. Under her care, many got better. A recovering fighting cock lived in our kitchen, a raccoon on the back porch. A starling rode on my mother’s shoulder. Rabbits were everywhere, including my bedroom. A young red-tailed hawk found floating in a barrel of dirty motor oil returned each year with a mate.
A new crop of fledgling birds and kit rabbits were either raised and released or ceremoniously buried behind our barn each spring. The mortician's boy presided over these solemn affairs, in his father's enormous suit and tie.
It was just a matter of time before wildlife became the primary subject of my paintings. I have an affinity for old, tough wildlife as well as the young and vulnerable; survivors with scars, torn ears, three legs, one eye. Animals that recall my mother’s patients and ourselves near the inevitable end of life.
I work from a strong sense of place, painting the wildlife that lives around me in the Southwestern wilderness.