I went for a walk before breakfast today and stopped alongside a branch of the stream that runs through the ranch:
The stream is an offshoot of the Yampa River, which apparently carries quite a sediment load from up higher in the mountains.
The Yampa River is a free-flowing river, such that it changes its course when it floods, sometimes quite dramatically. This movement of the river bed allows for the generation of new forests and wetlands, some right here on the Carpenter Ranch.
I was thinking about how the flooding river changing course could be a metaphor for life, how sometimes we are forced, or allowed, to alter our plans or activities based on incoming influences beyond our control. Sometimes these changes are welcome, other times they feel like an imposition. In the second case we might do well to look for what new possibilities or opportunities arise, as the new wetlands can be fertile ground for new growth.
Today I tried to abate my morning anxiety by going for a walk along the creek before I even had breakfast. It helped, but I still had a sense of desperation and had to use a lot of energy to contain all my negative feelings. At the same time I made a huge effort to reach out and connect with the positive elements in the environment here. I joined my two fellow artists for an hour of weeding the garden around our little house after breakfast, and that collective physical exertion definitely helped my mood. Weeding, the process of editing plants on the land, is already a major theme of my experience here. I also went for a run with one of the other artists along the river under the cliffs, and we had a pleasant conversation and got to know one another a little bit better.
I don't care too much for this drawing. I was trying to capture the feeling of looking up at some amazing cliffs high above the river, and how they have been sculpted over time by the water, but I didn't get it right. Oh well, that's why I call this a process exercise, right?
I like the detail better - it looks more like some of the abstract paintings I like by other artists.