A Journey to the Desert

There are places I go when I need to refill my cup. Places that feed me, reignite my creative energy; places that create movement in the deep well of creation. I often find myself in the desert in these times when I need to be recharged. As one can see, I’ve written about this arid space before. It continues to feed me.

There’s something about the stark quality of the environment — the salient boundary between earth and sky. I love the intensity of it… the palette alone is such an immense source of inspiration. Those oranges, roses, terracottas. Those reds. Color that is so intense and saturated that one can nearly see it through closed lids.

Everything in the desert feels as if it was amplified. A rain storm is a violent eruption of water upon land that has been yearning for moisture. Heat that whorls and creates visual distortions in the air hovering above the ground, playing with the boundary between what is real and what is unseen. The way rock and sand heat up during the day only to let it all go at night, creating an unbelievable swing of temperature. At first, upon arrival in a desert landscape, one notes how arid and devoid of life it is. But after you spend a bit of time, nearly everything is teeming with an echo of movement; quiet and snakelike and hidden in pools of shadow.

The outdoor places that I visit often find their way into my work. The spaciousness. The way I am able to get away from the hum of traffic and neverending noise, to be met with starry skies and pristine air. I’m ready to see where this time takes me. Its echoes will undoubtedly carry through on and off of the canvas.

While I have been professionally practicing art for close to 20 years, I feel I am always still learning about the process. I find myself amid these cyclical patterns… a time when I take in all that feeds me followed by a time when I must let things go onto a prepared surface. I can fight it all that I want, but it is that near-tidal swell and flow that always is central to my process. 

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