There is a lonely grave just west of Datil, New Mexico and I look for it every time I travel through that country. It's off to the south side of the road and appears to be a family plot with a tall, proud headstone.
Last night I was studying a Maynard Dixon painting and got the inspiration to paint a New Mexico landscape with a lone grave:
The actual gravestone is more ornate with tall columns, but I wanted to emulate the old fashioned headstones, I have seen and sketched at the Quemado cemetery, which is also in the same area. May do a big painting of this for the Billy show in October. To me it speaks to the temporary nature of people on the desert. First we are dwarfed by it, and then we are swallowed by it (that's why the grave is tilting, on its way to being reclaimed by the earth). Anyway, I'm over thinking it (what else is new?), but I think it has a fitting aesthetic I want to portray.
This is one of ten sketches I did yesterday (43 to go). And, so I thought it might be the right time to start recapping all of things I have learned from this experiment.
Lessons Learned On My Quest to Do 10,000 Bad Drawings
• Like most Boomers I grew up on Walt Disney animation and one particular segment from the Wonderful World of Disney on ABC really made an impression on me. An animated paint brush sweeps across the TV screen, and as it moves, it leaves behind dripping paint that magically creates a lush lagoon with palm trees and vegetation perfectly rendered in a couple seconds. I remember actually trying to do this after seeing it (I think this was when I was in the sixth grade). It didn't work (especially with a pencil). But, somehow, all these years later, I am still infected with the idea that if I ever got good enough at drawing I would be able to simulate this magic. Kind of naive and stupid, on my part, but there you have it. My long journey has forced me to face the reality of the situation. Drawing is hard work and you have to fight to get something halfway decent.
"You will never become a popular painter. You are too much of an individual for that."