The Royal Road

Artistic Images of El Camino Real
Poetry by John Macker     Woodblocks by Leon Loughridge

Published 2016
Book Release at
Gerald Peters Gallery, NM
Edition of 30 books
Sold Out

The sketches I gathered along the Royal Road are mementos of my encounters with history. My moments of discovery, wonderment and revelation are probably similar to moments of discovery for someone a year or even a century before me. Standing out there in the Jornada del Muerto, with yucca waving in the heat, it is easy to imagine history trudging by. A vagrant cow becomes a vision of oxen pulling a laden wooden carreta attended by folk I’ll never know. Or, overlooking the Rio Grande River Valley as some herons lazily fly over-head brings visions of an ancient byway and the innumerable seasonal passages made over the ages.
These sketches are visions of ghosts. The landscape imposes itself upon anyone walking the trail depressions and the horizon takes on a new importance, when I realize that the rocky outcrop in the distance was their only guidepost to water. A sketch of that distant landmark conjures visions of history, of some weary soul rejoicing that the prospect of water is in sight.
These sketches attempt to weave together contemporary and historic impressions into an artistic rendering of the trail. These are my memories and mementos, which I have brought back to the studio and developed into woodblocks; my impression of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.