“Mirage” by Joella Jean Mahoney
Museum Quality Paintings
Landscape Paintings Gallery:
Comments on select paintings from Joella Jean Mahoney:
There is a place along the Paria River where the orange sand from high above the canyon wall rains down right into the celadon green river. Seeing this dry desert sand and rock juxtaposed with water is typical of the contrasts in this harsh environment.
Often there is only a lavender or silver or purple line that separates the dryness of the sand or bedrock from the water. The strata pattern of a sandstone wall is reflected in the shallow stream. It reflects a chevron pattern like a directional sign: rush on to the next adventure.
The Paria Canyon would be impossible to hike through in the summer if it were not for the springs along the way that refresh and replenish both the hiker and the stream.
As we waded under alcoves with hanging gardens of Maiden Hair fern and yellow and vermillion Monkey Flower, the cascading trill of the Canyon Wren fluttered down upon us like ribbons of joy. We were in the Wren’s living room.
“Renewal” uses the imagery of spring flooding in a narrow canyon as metaphor for my own continuing energy searching for new adventure. This on-going rush of directional movement seems to be increasing in velocity with the passing years, not diminishing.
Springtime in the Southwest is exquisite. Its softness is in contrast to the harsh extremes of both winter and summer. The spring snowmelt runoff sweeps away the previous seasons’ detritus along creak sides. Birdsong begins at 4:30 AM. The sun rises more and more northerly over the high lava rim. The new moon with her earthshine and Venus with her huge glitter put on a light show in the infinity of the aqua Western sky. Everywhere there is clarity and freshness.