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Thread: Night Passage (The Journada del Muerto)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Easton, PA
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    Night Passage (The Journada del Muerto)

    During the Spanish Colonial period, "The Journey of the Dead Man" was a 100 mile stretch of trail that ran across a blazing desert from Old Mexico north into New Mexico. It was one of the principle routes used by the Conquistadors as they explored the northern lands in the hopes of finding another rich civilization like the those found in Central and South America. The traverse got its name from the death from dehydration of an early traveler. Marches across this expanse often took place at night to avoid the brutal sun.

    In 1945 the area was still so isolated from civilization that it became the spot for the Trinity test of the first Atomic Bomb.

    The idea of a "Journada del Muerto" prompted me to place this Mexican-style "Day of the Dead" skeleton on a journey through the nighttime desert. If the colors seem a bit darker than my usual, it is because I started with a black background for this, and the pallet knife blends picked up the underlining shade along the way.
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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    May 2009
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    Derby England
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    Very scary ,very impresive, the black canvas gives it the real feel.I think its great.Best wishess Jo x.

  4. #4
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    That is a eye opener.

  5. #5
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    Love the way the colour is used in this piece. Gives it wonderful atmosphere and the central figure is truely frightening, emphasised by the burst of colour its painted in. Great job Al
    I always enjoy reading the background inspiration, so thanks for including that information too
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

  6. #6
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    Thanks Sandra, Jo, EB and Juz for your comments! Al

  7. #7
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    Dec 2009
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    Huntsville, On., Canada
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    wonderful, and the use of the black b/g very much suits the painting and the colours

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Rome (Italy)
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    One of Your most brilliant and masterful artpieces, dear Al!
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
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    Definitely catches the feel of the calavera style. This is one of my favorites!
    The only problem with humor is that no one takes it seriously.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    22,372
    I'm glad this one came back. I saw it the other day as I was fanning through the posts very quickly.

    I love this. I think it's one of your most successful in this direction. It represented to me your using the intense colors with more in an assigned, purposeful way, that went more into the story telling, the spacial arena of picture making. It's more complex too which gives me a feeling of wanting to wander through the picture more.

    I think a way that comes to mind to compare your earlier paintings to this is that this is less posterized. I think of ACDC's signature hooky opening in Back in Black compared with once they get more frantic, less rigidly carved and blocky movement later in the song. I mean that signature opening is a real classic one will never forget. So it clearly has its place. But they build on it. So I think both your directions have their place, and may compliment each other really really well. Hope that makes sense.

    I mean this guy just blazes with intensity. Your strategic use of color really made that happen.

    Anyway, for all that, this is wonderful. I really like it.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

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