Monday, June 27, 2011

06.27.2011 ~ dreaming of rain

wrapping myself in rain to protect myself from the fire
— 12 x 12 inches — mixed media
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2011

The only bloom that's growing around here these days is the bloom of smoke rising from our land. It's been a terribly tense spring and summer here in the Southwest, as the sun beats down and the wind sucks dry any semblance of moisture. Seems that if you trod too heavily or stare at a piece of parched grass or wood too hard, it will burst into flames. Dirt roads and river beds have turned to fine powder. What vegetation there is beside the roads is the brown death color of deepest winter, now turned pale with a fine layer of gritty dust. The plains are white with dead grass.

Neighbors two houses up from mine lost their home a few weeks ago to flames — a paint rag ignited in a garbage can beside the house, despite their handling and disposing of the rags properly. The foothills below my house ignited last month due to overheated car brakes. As I write this, ash is sifting from the sky. 10,000 acres of our beautiful Santa Fe National Forest near the Santa Fe Ski basin has been engulfed in flames. A new fire near Los Alamos started yesterday afternoon and has already consumed over 4,000 acres of forest. The colossal, erupting plume of smoke last evening was nothing short of biblical.

With the threat of fire so close to home, my thoughts are consumed by the parched land, my time spent working in trying to reduce the fuel load around the house: trimming branches, pulling dry weeds, moving firewood away. Doing what I can to create a "defensible space."

Last week I drove up to Cimarron as I like to do each June, to spend a few days photographing the land in and around Philmont, the Ranch where I worked years ago, and which is the subject of so many of my traditional landscape paintings. But the land was so withered and dry, and the sky so barren of clouds, that I hardly brought out my camera at all.

The anxiety of fire seems to be everywhere.
Worry presses, as it has now for weeks.
I released some of that worry early this morning, as I dreamed of wrapping myself in cooling, quenching rain.

Below, a few details:

Thursday, June 09, 2011

06.09.2011 ~ you're invited!

Thrilled and honored to have my painting "I Return to the River Where Once..." chosen to grace front and center the announcement for the Mining the Unconscious: And Exhibit of Art Inspired by Cark Jung's Red Book. The show opens next Friday, June 17th, at the Santa Fe Community Art Gallery, with a reception from 5:00 - 7:00. The show will be on display through August 21, 2011. Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 06, 2011

06.06.2011 ~ kind of blue

kind of blue
— 11.25 x 9 inches — mixed media on panel
— copyright 2011 dawn chandler

A piece that developed over many years, finally deemed finished. How can it have developed over many years? Because it started first as a small collage of about 3 x 4 inches, that was complete in its own right and framed. Eventually I took it out of its frame, decided to recycle it, and glued more stuff to it. At some point it got glued onto a panel, yet more collage elements were adhered, paint was applied here and there, fragments of photos, jolts of color, and then one day — Voila! —I felt satisfied that it was complete.

There's little that's recognizable in this, but to me, all those rectangular shapes weaving in and out of depth and clarity are like passageways — pockets of emotion....

sights and sounds and smells.....



Below, some details: