Abundance: A Memory

HIGH WATER IS AN EXCITING TIME around here. The rivers transform into something that even folks who aren’t usually captivated by moving water take pause and space out at the marvel. It’s particularly interesting in the desert country: think about walking across open desert with honest-to-gawd tumbleweeds blowing across your view upon naked shimmering stone for miles down down down toward the corridor. You ski down sand dunes, filling your shoes. You discern a deep tone and feel an atmospheric rumble. You turn one final corner and the place yells at you in waves - waves ten feet high and crashing. The speed with which a large log rides the current contrasts sharply with the slow tumbling weed, the casually coasting vulture, your sun baked brain.

I acquired the source material used for this piece several years ago during spring runoff on the Moab Daily section of the Colorado River. But the absence of a decent runoff this year (2018) is what motivated me to create the painting. Not having high water makes the rest of the year feel off with a sense of dread over the mistakes we’ve made along the way.

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Pastel and found campfire charcoal on watercolor paper

Artwork dimensions: 28" wide x 14" high

 High water at the Bradfield Bridge put-in on the Dolores River (May, 2017) — ©  Matthew Vogt Photography

High water at the Bradfield Bridge put-in on the Dolores River (May, 2017) — © Matthew Vogt Photography