Moonscape. QP


Moonscape 1.

Full moon on Christmas Eve Luminaries/ Farolito Walk, off Canyon Road.

My favorite photo of Santa Fe captures Canyon Road’s Christmas Eve Farolito Walk. Taken on the small streets off Canyon Road I just happened to cut through. The first Christmas I lived in Santa Fe, the moon was also full on Christmas Eve. (Don’t get me or locals started on explaining luminaries vs farolitos... big controversy. All beautiful.) I painted this scene for the full moon/ moonscape. It turned out awkward and not about the moon. I regretted not composing it horizontally. So I made a second attempt for moonscape...

Moonscape 2.

Moon over my neighborhood.

Gone are the days of my night photography and capturing the moon. The tripods, timers and light meters long since put away. It’s just my phone. The moon escapes. Any semblance of the realm of moon surprises me. Still I try. One turned out while standing in my front drive one evening when a special moon was rising. (I don’t recall which moon - there are so many these days.) The dark shadowy trees, cloudy sky, and just catching adobe windows glowing below.

The painting reminds me of Charles Burchfield and his watercolors of nature. My grandmother had a small, dark winter Burchfield that hung among the family portraits. On her coffee table, a book of Burchfield’s nature paintings dwarfed by da Vinci and Michelangelo volumes.

I like the storybook feel of the watercolor painting.

About: Moon poem by Uncle Joe McGovern aka Little Joe

My mother’s older brother, my Uncle Joe, was the oldest of seven children. (My mother’s only other brother is her twin who is a few minutes younger.) Uncle Joe died a young man of 31 when I was a baby from a congenital heart defect easily repaired these days. He was released from military service when the defect was first discovered. By all accounts he was brilliant, intellectual, adventurer, and artist. He started a radio station at 14. He was a writer, a musician, and a man of the world. He was not coal miner (like his father) nor a farmer. He visited Cuba where he wrote magazine articles, plays, and short stories. Post-humorously, my grandmother self published a book of his poems. Perhaps sanitized. “Poems of Little Joe” is a family treasure of which I have many. Recently, I rediscovered one of his hand written poems about the moon. (Years ago there was a closet in my grandfather’s house filled to the brim with Little Joe’s rejection letters and unpublished manuscripts.)

A poem by Joseph Edward McGovern:

I Walked Away From The Moon [Baritone]

The orbits of the heavens were spinning

And I carried my burdens within.

I walked away from the moon

that creature which had

stolen my love

Giving her ideas that were untrue.

I walked away from the moon

that creature which rose as

though from a grave

Filtering light through clouds

and causing my love to doubt.

I walked away with a song,

And wisdom but reminded

me of a wrong.

I walked away and and looked

back at the moon

And discovered my life is

not my own, only death,

And live is the song I sing

till when

the earth is weary of me.

Little Joe


2 paintings. Moonscapes 1,2

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