This spring, as my community was on “lock down,” and we began to practice social distancing, the earth awoke in a splendor of color and new growth.  Without the distractions of daily life, a greater awareness of the incredible beauty of my environment blossomed.  The need to express this beauty resulted in the painting, Colorado Songlines, inspired by Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Paintings.  Like all native peoples, the Australian Aboriginals have great reverence for the Earth.  I was drawn to the grid-like symmetry of their Dreamtime paintings, which are a visual manifestation of the ritual migratory walk-about, called “Songlines.”  Each Songline describes the ceremonial path one follows.  As one walks, one sings the Songline way, recounting landmarks, ancestor deeds, and the oral history of one’s unique tribe.  If a Songline is a set of verbal directions, then a Dreamtime painting can be called the map.

My painting is inspired by these ideas.  I made modifications to the process and the Dreamtime compositions  to create a painting uniquely my own.  Water is the lifeblood of my landscape, as I live on a high desert mesa, surrounded by mountains which capture snowfall and channel the melt water to thirsty lands below.  A network of canals and arroyos flow through adobe hills to nurture the fields stitched into a patchwork of farmland and wild lands.  I exaggerated the scale of the canals to reflect their importance to the landscape.  The rings in the adobe hills convey the contour lines of the landscape, just as one find on a topo map.  Colorado Songlines offered for purchase: mounted on foam core and matted- ready for your 12″ x 15″ frame.  $175  You can purchase this painting or commission a Dreamtime painting of your special place; (Dreamtime paintings available in a wide range of sizes.)    Use this link to purchase: Dreamtime Painting

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2 replies on “Aboriginal Inspiration for Earth Day

    1. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and feedback. I enjoyed the process so much and look forward to making more paintings of my special places- the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the Uncompahgre Plateau near the Dominguez headwaters, the West Fork of the Gunnison, and of course Querétaro and the monarch butterfly reserve at Sanctuario Rosario.

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