In the car (as a passenger) between Jerome and Flagstaff, AZ, I started to fall in and out of sleep. In my head the colored images of the art galleries mixed with the endless desert and red rock formations from earlier in the day.
At one point as I was falling asleep an image sprang into my head followed by the sight of a raven and the feeling of a loving presence in the seat next to me. I have to paint that when I get home, I thought. It was a sort of road that sprang up out of the yellow ground into an endless colored sky.
I tried to keep the image in my head long enough to take mental notes of the important details and come up with a plan to recreate it. Images like that tend to disappear almost as fast as they come in. I remembered the bold colors, clean line, and that the road went all the way through the sky. Even though it didn't make sense that part was important.
I would try to conjure up the image randomly throughout the rest of the trip to make sure I still knew it. It seemed too simple, so I kept trying to add details. I wanted to add some plants on the desert floor and some clouds in the sky but then it got too convoluted and became a different image entirely.
That night I had a dream with 2 messages. One message was related to the image, the other was related to something else. The relevant message was this:
Simplicity. Purity over complexity.
I tried to keep that message in the forefront of my mind while I painted this when I got home. It wasn't easy. I like to over-complicated things. Can it even be real art if it's this simple?
But the point wasn't to make something that impressed anyone or passed as "real art". The point was that there was an image that wanted to be created and accepted as it was.
Don't force things to be what they aren't, the voiceless voice said, let it be what it is. It's simple, but simple is still beautiful. It's enough. Everything is enough, you don't have to force it, just let it be.
So, that's where this painting came from. Even though it's super simple, I really like it. It doesn't have to be anything else to impress anyone. It just is and that is enough.