20 March 2016

Islix Pinaleño

If you climb to a high elevation in the Southwest, besides the long unobstructed views, the flow of water over the landscape is pretty apparent. Arroyos (usually dry intermittent streams) fan out over the valleys like winding organic veins on their way downstream. This creates a beautiful fluvial fractalesque design. Multiple millennia of erosion. In this piece, I really wanted to express that texture.

Down here, mountains/mountain ranges are called "Sky Islands" (so... Islix). This is a section of the Pineleño range in southeast Arizona. Every biom from alpine to desert can be experienced hiking from top to bottom. They produce a lot of precipitation which races down into the valleys and that's when the infamous flash floods happen. Although, being the desert, they are usually dry and if you're hiking, you're most likely hiking in an arroyo.

Etching, 1987
It's funny that in my mid forties I'm doing work that most resembles work I did 27yrs ago in art school. I did a lot of etching back then, loved the black line, was fascinated with ruled lines, map markers and vaguely science-like notations. I've always liked that bird silhouette you find in bird identification books. I went through the flat files and found the last time I used that. Sometimes I wonder why I moved away from this work. I sold nearly every etching I made but thought that large scale abstracts were where it's at. Looking back, I can see how pure those etchings were. Truly my own. Well, it takes a long time to find yourself. The work I do now is truly my own.






2 comments:

Catalina Shadows Studio said...

I agree completely! The patterns formed by the rivers in the mountains look like fractals etched into the topography - always fascinating to me as well.
Great artwork!

Tom Baumgartner said...

Thanks!