1210 views by 13 July 2014
This pen and ink sketch happens to be one of my personal favorites. I brings up memories of the beautiful day I went hiking into the eastern side of the Dragoon Mountains in southern Arizona. Into a canyon called Cochise’s Stronghold.
It’s called this because Cochise, the famous and fierce Apache Indian leader, would ‘hole-up’ in this narrow mouthed canyon and the Army patrols chasing him were in too much danger to enter there. Also Cochise was one of the few Indian warriors that insisted on 24 hour sentries to warn of any impending attack.
So back to the hike and sketch. Only a mile or so up a winding trial I stopped for breath and water. I stepped off the trail and spotted this rock. I just had to clamber down and onto it, because of the ‘mortar hole’ pounded into it. Such holes are from the Indians who made them to grind beans or other food stuffs.
I squatted and then sat cross legged right behind the mortar hole. The trees above me, along the trail, would dapple this location with shade most of the day. The view to the northeast was amazing in that one could see for miles out across the desert, and a hundred plus years ago would allow anyone paying attention to see the dust and movement of anyone approaching the mouth of this canyon. Further, the shorter view was right down, over the tree tops, and into the very opening of the canyon.
So a sentry posted here could see anyone approaching and entering the canyon. At the same time they could pound a sack of mesquite beans into flour for the tortillas of the evening meal… what I’d call proof of indigenous ability to multi-task!
To actually draw this sketch I could only find an uncomfortable purchase. Then I had to experiment to find a way to represent the sea of live oak trees and leaves. Scribbling in tight circles worked best. Somehow the whole experience and sense of ‘being there’ with the Indian lookout’s endless tasks made a great impression… and inspired this sketch in my Canson sketch book.
In 2013 I’m busy in Photoshop taking my favorite art and making adjustments to load as the various Red Bubble products available. I’m enjoying these new presentations and hope you do, too! ;-)))