Bristlecone Pine Trees, Nevada
These are sketches that I made in a grove of bristlecone pine trees in Great Basin National Park, Nevada. These still-alive trees are probably about 3,000 years old. The bristlecone trees are thought to be the world’s oldest (non-clonal) living things, with some surviving up to nearly 5,000 years. They grow in rocky, inhospitable high-altitude terrain.
In 2010 John and I went to the mountain village of Xilitla in Mexico to visit Las Pozas, an extraordinary sculpture installation built mid 20th Century in a vast jungle/garden by English surrealist Edward James and local Yaqui artist Plutarco Gastelum. We wandered around the site all day, climbing spiral staircases and strange towers, ducking under arches and into courtyards of vegetative forms both concrete-constructed and natural. At the pond/waterfall section, I painted a few watercolor sketches.
Gaurs in Kerala
The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is in Kerala, southern India, on the border of Tamil Nadu. With an indigenous forest guide, I was able to see the gaurs, rare enormous wild oxen there (including a "white gaur.") Two sketches of them are here. My 2004 report, with a watercolor illustration, on the domesticated relative of the gaur, "Mithuns Sacrificed to Greed: The Forest Ox of Burma's Chins" is at www.projectmaje.org/mithuns and my 217 essay “Beasts of the Northern Mountains” is all about the mithuns, with numerous photos.