It was before dusk just south of Santa Fe. I always carry my camera at that time of day. Ordinary things can become extraordinary in that low and fading light. I was hunting for the extraordinary. So anyway, I’m walking up toward an adobe house in this out-of-the-way place when I see a buffalo skull under the eave of the portal and against the adobe wall. The light was not extraordinary, but it was ethereal. I took so many shots of the skull – but, the fleeting light and the speed of the camera resulted in the effect in this piece in particular. The warmth and cools of the grays. The monochromatic feel and the subtle tonal changes just kill me. I love it. I was inspired to do a series of elk and indigenous animal skulls afterwards, but nothing has been quite as moving as this Spirit Skull. The final work is very much how it came out of the camera. I add a few touches with pencil and wax, but am very careful not to take away from the inherent simple beauty of this piece.
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