This painting “Red Iron Bridge” was painted in 2018. It is a scene looking from the modern bridge on the highway looking away to the old bridge crossing over the Gila River. It is mostly private land, with beautiful cows grazing along side the meandering river.
There are plants growing over some of the railings and maybe a skunk or two living underneath the bridge. There are frogs and other living things.
Most of the bridge is intact. No driving is allowed on it anymore, so it is a pleasant walk back in there.
Most of the trees are cottonwood in a semi- desert terrain. It’s beautiful to see a natural flowing river.
I have to compliment the cowboys and ranchers in the region. They have a tremendous respect for the animals and the land.
Well, that is my contribution for “Word Prompt of the Month” encouraged by WordPress. I am grateful for a little inspiration.
It was a cold and snowy morning, the only snow we had this year. My husband went out to give Jack a snack on the rocks out front. Jack is wild, but comfortable enough to stay close, yet behind the big rock. I loved this scene, I loved the peace of it, and the friendship of a man and a raven.
Jack comes to visit every day. He likes things that most of us don’t, so he gets food scraps and other tidbits. Every once in a while, for special occasions, he gets an egg. That is a very special occasion. The rest of the time, Jack is a mighty hunter, taking care of himself.
The tall rock he is standing behind is his very special perch, from which he surveys the small valley that is his territory. No one else gets to sit on that rock for long.
In the foreground are snow covered trimmed lavender bushes, where cottontails sometimes hide when Jack shows up.
Every day I walk for health, for prayer, for enjoyment. I get to see the seasons change, the insects, the Creation and Power of our God. As an artist, I get to see abstract form, and color variations within the days and times of days. I have to admit that my lot has been cast in pleasant places. I am grateful.
The warmth of the afternoon light, the longer shadows and the sense of a day closing it’s eyes is restful, and I am pleased to retire with the setting sun. Somedays we know, in spite of the battles in the world, that all is well in the world, in my soul.
Usually the colors are not so warm, but this day, with the sun and sky as they were, the weeds and grasses at the stage they were – and some had red red stems, and maybe warmth in my attitude, there were few subtle grey-yellows, and still enough green in mesquites, and trees that must have a water supply. A small building is handily placed and distant enough that I didn’t worry what kind of building it might be.
There are more mesquite present, but unnecessary to the work and almost distracting, unimportant to what the scene was speaking.
Once again, I painted over a used canvas, and there are strokes that vary with the landscape strokes, yet add a pleasant sense of motion… air.
The Gila is a meandering river in it’s natural course, as beautiful as a river can be. It is one of the last free flowing rivers in the western U.S., originating in the Mogollon Mountains of the Gila Wilderness. It is over 600 miles long, a tributary of the Colorado River, flowing through New Mexico and Arizona.
This view of the Gila River is off the Turkey Creek Road, outside the town of Gila, and is my eighth painting of the river.
I began painting this last fall, then abandoning it at middle stages. Recently, it appealed to me again and I worked it, enjoying the distance, the direction of the river.
When the mountains are snow-peaked in the early spring and the yellow bladderpods bloom, this spot on a hilltop reminds me of the high-meadow in the Alps where, in the film, the family was escaping Austria. I can hear Julie Andrews singing when I am approaching the place from below. After the mountain snowmelt, the yellow wildflowers remain for a time, then fade away.
Sometimes I give Jack a snack, and he is encouraged by that small kindness to, on occasion, anticipate my pathway as I walk. He fluffs his feathers, croaking sweet love sounds. He perches in familiar spots, this weathered mesquite stump being a favored perch. Jack is a smart bird, willingly giving us space enough to make sure we are not overly frightened by his closeness. Yet he allows enough nearness when he poses and flexes his muscles for his next photoshoot, but most of the time he taps his large bill on his perch as an indication that he really is ready to get his treat.
Jack has a noble heart, loyal to his mate, “Honker”, and perfectly raven in all of his ways. We are a member of Jack’s murder, we love that he shares his territory with us.