I lumber from bed
in my wild orange box cabin
five days moving forward
each moment toward commencement morning
making my waking here fruitful.
This one, the sky box,
will eventually house the workers
whose spaceships touch down here,
buses don’t run out here
to Iveson Ranch
with its glorious sunsets and its crunching mix of souls
and its ancient Indian remnants on the ridges
the hoo doos.
First I had to kill the rust who were grazing here.
for two days loudly I did that
Early afternoon the rains came in
so either I napped or I drew.
It was the blue that got me started.
Bright patches would shine through and I knew
that color would scream to be obscured.
And deep greys were important to me too
because rain clouds here are a treasured gift
from the hoo doos?
But without the pinks
none of this picture would hold any hope
and it was the sky’s change from moment to moment
that this picture was all about.
These days, the daily grind here is more about entertainment,
the biggest desolate desert party in the world,
and instead of hunting mule deer into the canyon for the tribe’s dinner
these tribesman celebrate the burning of a giant wooden effigy.
Those working at the ranch were either using air chisels
to mend windmills or cookin’ stew
for the off roader party
about to roll thru for the weekend
couples in campers
no more deer hunting.
Journal from my 6 days at Iveson Ranch
Day 1: Grinding steel all day. This box has some cancerous rust to get rid of. Whatever.
But tonight we watched a show, The Voice, because these guys have gotten into it. That’s fun. The rooting for your favorite, it pulls you in. This kid blew me away. His skill was astounding. He sang Stevie’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and I love Stevie, but this kid BROUGHT it. He had it. He just did. Confidence, poise. But goofy looking and even that, he made work. Talent, ya know.
So I did these black & white drawings and watching this show is what pushed the drawings. Talent; it’s all a practice. If I want to be good at something–if I am good at something, I practice.
I’m wanting to write about sleeping. I just woke up an our ago. It’s a rain day. My first night I stayed in the guest room up at the house but last night I moved to my new home for this week, the orange container cabin. It’s many fruity colors actually; yeah, maybe I should call it “the fruity cabin”. It wasn’t warm but last night was damn cold. No heat source here other than me. 2 sleeping bags was a good idea.
This unit is painted indescribable colors: grey/lavender, orange, pale yellow, silver-brown. So yeah, I guess they are describable. See the pictures of it?
But when I stepped out to pee in the morning a cat meowed behind me and when I turned to see him, he was stretching his “good morning” at me. He was in the compartment on the side of a neighboring empty camper where the battery was to be stored. It’s just the right size for a ranch cat to crash in and my guess was that this is a regular spot of his. I hadn’t known he slept there last night, I woulda’ invited him in.
We find our place in life, the rancher man was telling me last night after steak dinner. That’s Eddie. He said we don’t always find it right off the bat and we might have to switch gears but there’s a place for us all.
It’s still not raining this morning but grey skies impede me. I’m almost hoping for some drops so I can continue hibernation without shame. Instead, though, I’ll move back to grinding for the second day. Hard disk or wire wheel?–we’ll see. Hell, maybe I’ll end up pulling some paint out today after all.
I can’t get away from this book this morning though. Cowboy poetry and paintings. Our resident Scottsman cowboy (Eddie) highly recommended it. He lives this life fully, having lived many other lives fully already.
I do understand why… this kind of life. It’s a certain culture to belong to–those that would appreciate the solitude of cow pokin’ or whatever they call it. Ranch life, even a modern ranch with its motor repairs and backhoes, it is a special existence. Nature simply fills up life more.
It’s strange to think that rust is a life form. It eats.
Anyway, we’re sitting in what was once the river bed. I like how rivers move through the centuries and you can tell where they might have been a couple hundred years back. The canyon still drains through here even though a ranch or two upstream diverting water.
The deer were run up through here. In close quarters, the Pauites would hunt those deer and feed their families. The water is great here. This spot is a pocket of life & life feeds on life. We don’t like to think about it like that these days but that’s part of our problem, being so detached from the natural processes.
The Indians had the solution to having limited numbers of hunters in the form of what we call the hoo doos. These “hoo doos” stand in formations made of dark rocks on ridge tops overhead, lining the valley and canyon floors around here. When running animals between ridges the hoo doos served as stand-ins to guard from above so the deer or whatever animal it was didn’t get away. They were fooled. It was very systematic and apparently successful, proven by how many of these are left meticulously standing today.
I painted the hoo doos on the last unit. That one’s going to be Eddie’s home, once the craftsmen finish the inside for him. Its a landscape all the way around and I think it looks pretty damn good–effective.. buoyant colors. This oil enamel technique of mine is dialing in.
These cabins actually are very temperature efficient. The steel is very thick and then they’re insulated in here. Drywalled and trimmed nicely. This unit has 2 beds, bunks, and a nice huge shelf/table. My dad actually helped with this one last year in the fall.. maybe it was summer.
I’ve got to get artists out here. This ranch can room 15 comfortably. This place is exactly right for creative making. My surroundings have engulfed me–it’s official.
When I come back from painting all day, I’m still wearing “painter eyes” and everything is being scrutinized closely of color. The form of my surroundings becomes delineated and I render edges to everything. Nothing is lost; this is not a lament. I would say that reality becomes questioned. What am I really looking at? Does the paper I’m writing on tonight really have yellow, grey and tan mottling to it?
There are prevalent batches of color staining my arm, mostly shades of blue/grey. My calves are sore. My back cries. This bed is plenty soft. I’m gonna’ end this writing abruptly and catch some Z’s now.
The following are some random notations I don’t feel like editing into their proper placement:
at one point, explaining, I pointed Eddie up to the clouds and said “Not like those–too easy.” My technique grows more streamlined with each piece but at times pure poetry was to pull me through.
The horses watched from start to completion. Who knows, maybe they crtiqued me with my impressionisms.
Every time I find myself rendering a painted sky I muse that once a year the two will match. As above so below.
The clouds and I both conjure up poetry. When there is nothing our motivation is to render poofs of something. We find ourselves with rhythm and alliteration to abbreviate the scene. The form of the score adheres where pattern & repetition presents in present tense. Precipitation, drama in quarantined sections rendered to push eastward or westward in Z’s and V’s.
Everybody’s ecstatic about this finished unit. It feels good to hear them say I’ve outdone myself.