Stolen Hours Picture

Stolen Hours
30 x 24"
acrylic on canvas
Signs of Life Gallery, Lawrence, KS

In the piece, titled Stolen Hours, the hourglass holds dual symbolism. In Colorado, Alfonso and I visited Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. There, I learned that the dunes, glowing like satin at the base of the snow-covered mountain, are the tallest sand dunes in North America. Colorado is home of the some of the tallest mountains, but sand dunes? That Monday was spent, climbing to the top of a six hundred and fifty foot dune. The air was cool, but the sand burned bare feet. Once at the top, the full scale of this natural wonder was apparent.

The sand from the Great Sand dunes is naturally recycled, and researchers believe that little to no new sand is brought into the dunes each year. Part of this is due to a rare current in the runoff water from surrounding mountains. A surge flow, which it is called appears only two places in the world and here it carries the blowing sand back to the dunes. For this reason, the dunes are illustrated within the hourglass. The sand is contained and reused; yet always changing.

We stayed in Denver longer than any other city, and I was able to complete two paintings there (Utah and Colorado). This made time a special factor in Colorado. Also, heading east, it seems as if the hours are stolen, with the crossover from different time zones. The cell phone changes automatically, and before we know it. An hour is gone. When returning west, those hours will be given back, but only to be taken away again. A thief is out there, but the only found is the Pica pica.

Black-billed magpies, or Pica pica, are unique and colorful birds. Their strong contrasts look as if the tips of their feathers have dipped into white paint. Rich bodies glisten blue reflections as they quickly fly past. Despite the beauty of these Western birds, they have commonly been a symbol of ill omen in mythology. They are known as thieves, plundering the nests of songbirds, taking eggs and chicks. Also, a popular rhyme speaks of their loud calls: One is sorrow, two is mirth, three a wedding, four a birth, five Heaven, six Hell, and seven the devil's own soul. Or another version: One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.

For many, they think Colorado = Rocky Mountains. I now think, Colorado = magpies and sand dunes. Oh, and Elk, too! But don't take my opinion for it.
Continue Reading: Places