20x24 Resin coated
Ten miles down Kelbaker Road from the 40, deep in the Mojave desert are the Kelso Dunes. The Kelso Dunes cover 45 square miles and rise 650 feet above the desert floor. What do you do with such a big pile of sand? Climb it, and pray to live through the experience.
The first time we ever saw it was from the car - we often took drives through Cema Dome to see the Joshua Trees. For me, the farther out I can get into the silence of the desert the better. I immediately thought of some movie I saw as a kid, going to the theater for the first time with just my sister. All I know is it was based in the desert with sand dunes like that and they had to walk a lot.
I miss it sometimes, the heat that’s so hot in the desert you can taste it, feel it on your eyelids. We returned in April. I’ve never done a three-mile hike uphill in deep sand but it was one for the books. The last half mile or so we had to crawl on our hands and knees. There were many times where I wanted to turn back. Eventually, we got up there, and standing on a 650-foot high sand dune looking out at the clarity of the Mojave desert below is something I will always carry with me.
This painting is a portrait of the simplicity and sense of clarity I felt at the top of that sand dune overlooking the Mojave Desert. Lots of people say there is nothing out there that deep in the desert -but to me, that’s where I can feel everything without having to see. The pulse of life radiates and sparkles as uninterrupted truth. Illuminated in the brightness of silence and standing tall, tall tall.