|"Sneffels Range Summer" Colored Pencil|
Last summer, we attended a Saturday evening service at the altar of one of the world's finest cathedrals. Located in southwest Colorado, the Sneffels Mountains are a divine sub-range of the scenic San Juans. This chain of volcanic peaks may be one of the most beautiful landscapes in the west and probably my favorite place on the planet.
This country of blues and greens is an oasis before the vast sea of desert that extends into the void. A magnificent mesa of brush-covered hills tumbles south until it crashes into a wall of steep rock while a patch of dark piñon is blended into the soft, red dirt. Below, a meadow of hay is enclosed by a row of crooked cottonwoods.
The heavenly divide emerges out of a soft, blue sky like a dream as the evening light permeates the purple peaks, creating a broken gradient from orange to violet. The clear, dry air evokes a transcendent luminosity that can be found nowhere else on earth so a palette of pastel hues is absolutely required.
Reminiscent of stained glass windows adorning a Gothic church, the scene is composed with areas of flat color. A form of ancient architecture, the Baroque skyscrapers were constructed by the Master Builder eons ago. Here, the wilderness is a welcoming place of worship. After a perfect day breaking bread with nature the mass has ended. Go in peace to love and serve.