Landscape Totems

From Orion Magazine:

Scott WITH A NATION still exhibiting symptoms of post-traumatic stress over 9/11, the global ecosphere in a toxic tailspin, and witless leaders fear-mongering while the Earth burns, to what or whom can the imagination turn for succor and defense? For sixty-eight-year-old Sam Scott, a Santa Fe painter who has spent a lifetime offering visual praise to the landscapes of North Vietnam, Southern France, and especially his home turf of Arizona and New Mexico, the only commensurate answer has lain in new incarnations born of those selfsame ecologies.

And so Scott has found himself summoning forth a company of chthonic megacreatures that might prove equal to this planetary challenge. Their gestation first took form as 10 x 7–inch pencil and watercolor sketches that astonished Scott himself with their insistent presence. Over time, these somehow mournful homunculi swelled into a veritable troupe of Earth protectors—huge entities that seemed like walking landscapes in their own right, their bodies composites of the very mesas, rain clouds, sunbursts, sheer cliffs, green growths, lightning strikes, tree stumps, rivers, and canyons for which it was their charge to suffer but also to safeguard.

More here.