Every morning I walk along the dirt roads near my house at the edge of Joshua Tree National Park. I walk at sunrise and rarely see another person, and only occasionally see animals or birds. Yet their presence is everywhere evident. Tracks stretch out ahead of me – layers of vehicular markings going in the same direction, intersected by animal and bird tracks going all over the place.
As I walk along the same route each day I begin to see the tracks as palimpsests – layers of human and animal experience in tenuous coexistence. As I later draw them, I learn to distinguish cottontail from jackrabbit; road runner from quail; lizard from snake. This in turn helps me notice more details on my walks. My walking deepens my experience of drawing; my drawing deepens my experience of walking.
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