oil on linen
24 x 24
“I often paint in Mesa Verde and prefer the more remote location of Wetherill Mesa. Here you can feel the spiritual solitude of the land. “Renewal” was painted on Wetherill Mesa. The mare and foal in this painting are among the last wild horses that will roam in Mesa Verde. Horses grazed the mesa tops long before it was a National Park. It is possible some of today’s Park horses carry the blood of Mustangs dating back to the Spanish Conquest, but most are thought to be “Feral” horses once belonging to neighboring Utes, Navajos and ranchers.
The livestock of the Utes and Navajos eke out a meager existence in the sparsely vegetated desert stretching out below Mesa Verde. Horses and burros such as those in “Renewal” and “Desert Paints” get through the boundary fences and climb the steep canyon trails to find food. They sometimes trample fragile archeological sites and compete with native animals for the most scarce of all resources – water. They are no longer welcome in Mesa Verde National Park.”
– Veryl Goodnight
Text from “Maynard Dixon’s AMERICAN WEST” by Mark Sublette March 2019