Big Bend in January
Big Bend is a national park covering 801,000 acres along the border with Mexico. The Rio Grande cut three canyons through the rugged mountains, and river trips are available when water is adequate. Because of the remote locale, the park only receives about 350,000 visitors per year. The park is part of the Chihuahuan desert system, and unique florae are found in this area. I have camped many days in the park studying the plants in and around the park and in Mexico. The most beautiful time is the spring when the cacti and other desert plants are blooming; however, the winter is excellent for hiking and solitude. The closest towns of Alpine and Marfa provide access to the park and to Fort Davis, the McDonald Observatory and viewing for the Marfa lights. The latter has long been the destination of UFO enthusiasts. The Chinati Foundation in Marfa provides interesting contemporary art of Donald Judd, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin and others at a renovated army air force base.
The painting Big-Bend in January is my impression of the rugged mountain peaks just prior to sunrise. The sky has begun to brighten, but the desert and mountain peaks are still indistinct except for the outline against the sky. A herd of javalinas has just wandered by the tent as I sit outdoors drinking my first cup of coffee.
12" x 16" Acrylic on Canvas