Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mesa Verde -- August 1, 2010, First Day of August

Last year we visited Mesa Verde in the spring. It was the second time, I have gone to that ancient place of wonder. I think I have always been interested in these early people, how they lived and all the mystery the surrounds them.

The construction of their villages is so beautiful, even in ruin. But why was it necessary for them to hide their homes into the walls of canyons. It was a difficult way to live. Why were they afraid? Recently I have been reading House of Rain, by Craig Childs, and he talks about the dark side of some of the artifacts found at Chaco, maybe these things were at the bottom of their fear. He suggests, it had to do with their religion and sacrifice.

Their pictrographs are found everywhere in the desert of the southwest. And I always wonder what they are and what they are all about. Were they talking about the news? Were they talking about the things that they saw in the sky? Were they leaving messages when they went away? Were they etching in their memory, or their history? Or perhaps they were hunting rituals? Was it a form of magic?... Or was it an early form of blogging?

For me it is like an open air gallery. With beautiful drawings on rock walls, and can often be found anywhere. One must stay alert. For several years, before I moved to the Southwest. I used them in my work. I would come to the Southwest and tramp the desert in search of these drawings, make sketches and take them back to my studio and rearrange them to create compositions for paintings. And always they are full of mystery.

As an artist, I marvel at how they were able to draw, by pecking into rock, such beautiful and graceful drawings, though the reason to do this difficult thing, has been lost to us. Like the contemporary art today, we do not need to know the meaning, to see the beauty.


  1. what beauty...

    so happy to see you at farmhouse...

    and happy to follow


  2. I've been to Mesa Verde once. It was a spiritual journey for me to the desert... and such a magical place.

  3. Fascinating - I never knew of these mysterious ancient people.

  4. You provide a vivid snapshot of this historic site. Very interesting!

  5. So many of the pictographs resemble our alphabet! I suppose this is just a coincidence. (Thank you for following me!)

  6. Great photograph...I've been there and was so impressed by these ruins. We come and go here and leave behind remnants of our lives. A simple trip to an antique store offers wonders of lives lived.

  7. love these,
    remarkable shots.

    hope that you enjoy one or two,
    Happy August!

    thanks for commenting on my magpie tale.


    please visit this link,
    she accepted my award and passed on,
    you shall do it in your own blog...

    thanks for the honesty and feedback..
    No sorry,
    you can still post the award in your blog,
    imitate the friend above,

    post the award image you choose,
    mention who give it to you,
    mention 7 things about yourself in your blog,
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    relax and
    I am doing this to make sure you know exactly how to do it.

  10. Great pictures! I've wanted to go there for quite some time--are you able to go into the ruins? It looks like a very dry Machu Picchu.

  11. This is a wonderful post, Annell. Our wish to communicate is so integral to us as human beings, isn't it? And even when the 'language' is new or foreign to us, a sense of mystery and magic, our common nature and shared impulses comes through. I'm not sure how important is for us to 'know' - perhaps it's the 'not knowing' that keeps us engaged in the deeper, universal conversations?

    Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments there. It's a pleasure to meet you and to discover your work and New Mexico world. I have responded to your messages over on Icelines, too... and an e-note will come your way soon. Take care.

    Warmly, Claire

  12. This is my third time here to see the pics so I had better tell you I think they are amazing. A little like Australian Aboriginal art, just as old but fortunately, because much of their art was visited constantly, and the stories retold regularly, we have living interpreters for most of it. Annell, you do have an interesting life!