It started over four decades ago, on a family vacation to Mesa Verde National Park...more on that in a future post. For now it is enough to enjoy the rock art I found here five years ago.
Even though it was still fairly early in the morning I could feel the heat of the sun as I hiked the Rinconada Canyon Trail. There were only a few other visitors, so I pretty much had the place to myself. This is definitely not the place to be dragging disinterested family members...did I mention how hot it was?
Several years ago I bought a wonderful book, A Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols of the Greater Southwest. It is probably one of the most-used reference books in my Art History library. I have this book too... Imagine how excited I was to see up close and in person so many of the 'famous' petroglyphs I had studied for years in those books. Like visiting the VanGogh museum when I was in Amsterdam. Well, almost.
Deer, snakes, badgers, birds, stars, moons and suns abound, as well as some amazing anthropomorphic and zoomorphic characters. Part of the appeal is its enigmatic quality: we think we have some idea what these images are all about...but maybe not. Was is merely 'prehistoric graffiti'...or something more significant?
I incorporated petroglyphic imagery in my stitchery for many years, like this little 'quilt' I made in 1997. The primitive quality of petroglyphs suited the style of British appliqué artist Janet Bolton. I have coveted her talent for years.
I'm continuing my exploration of the Print module in Lightroom, as well as the image enhancing features, which in this case really clarified the petroglyphs and unified the tones of the various rocks.
And because I can't resist experimenting with Photoshop, I wanted to see what a light touch of texture would do for the layouts. It's not readily apparent in these 'busy' images, but it did add a bit of slightly grungy punch. I used Kim's kk_promenade (Multiply 60%) and her scratchedmagic 2 (Screen 35%)
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