Friday, September 10, 2010

Paintings of Kata Tjuta & Uluru

I paint when I travel in order to understand the landscape. These watercolors are a "way of knowing" for me, not intended as great paintings or even intended for frames. They tend to stay in my travel journal to remind me. Along the route to Kata Tjuta, I saw cracks in the red, red sand. Distant mountains sped by. I drew the ink sketches on the bus and painted later. I heard it was very distracting for the bus driver. Kata Tjuta, or the Olgas, did seem very male to me. Indeed, they do have exclusively male sites. If an Aboriginal woman had been with us, she would have covered her eyes rather than gaze on the forbidden sites. Uluru, the back side, sketched on site, in a big hurry as we walked to a water hole, the most beautiful waterhole I have ever seen. Balancing the pad of paper, the camera and the pace was a challenge...but I did not want to miss what the guide had to say. Our bus driver was our guide and his love and respect for the Aboriginal people was palpable. A more sympathetic guide could not be imagined. When I drew this one, I sighed and said,"Now I understand." I felt like the form and the meaning of the mountain had entered me, somehow.

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