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When a Painting Flows

There are those euphoric times when a painting flows, when a painter slips into the “zone”, a freedom from everything except losing oneself in the work. It’s a space outside of time, a place where creation manifests. There really is no thought. It is spirit, it is instinct, it is transcendental, it is joyous. It doesn’t happen for me all the time, and it had been a long time. Working on this painting of an old iron bridge crossing the Gila River was a gift. There is no struggle when a painting flows.

It was in the summer before the monsoons fill the river. The Gila meanders through it’s valleys most of the year. During monsoon season, the rain waters rush to fill and cover the span of the washes – racing, not meandering. Before monsoons, it is a peaceful, lazy, wandering little river, sometimes not deep enough to float a kayak in.

The river runs through public land, as well as ranch lands. The cattle really keep it nice as they stir up the ground a little bit, causing new growth and… fertilizer. The ranchers are very good about rotational grazing which preserves the growth on the land, actually improving growing conditions. Cows to me are quite poetic, making a place like home.

The iron bridge speaks of a time that is past. It is no longer used for driving on, but very pleasant for walking. There is such beauty here, serenity, a place that is separate from all the hurry and agonies of the world. A place where one can remember God, and spend time with Him. Euphoria where the river flows. Euphoria when a painting flows.



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