Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bandelier National Monument

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor
This was a highlight of the trip. We visited Bandelier National Monument, in Frijoles Canyon in the Jemez Mountains, about 55 miles from Santa Fe. It is the home of ancient cliff dwelling Pueblo Indians. A million or so years ago, volcanoes in the area spewed out lava that eventually formed canyons of porous rock, and leaving big "bubbles" . The rock was hard, but one could dig into it with some effort. More than 10,000 years ago, native people inhabited these "bubbles" and enlarged and smoothed out the walls and ceilings. We were able to climb into a couple of the dwellings on rough ladders. Some people also lived in a village on the canyon floor. The buildings in this painting were built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corp and now serve as offices, gift shop, and visitor center for the National Park Service

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fountain in Taos

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor

After we left Taos Pueblo Reservation, we spent a little while in the town of Taos. We visited the home of mountain man Kit Carson. Frank was particularly excited because he had just read a book about Carson in August, "Blood and Thunder". Then we sat in the Taos Plaza for a while later found another resting spot beside this fountain. We read that the altitude of the area (over 7500 feet) means the air has 30% less oxygen, and makes one tire easily when not accustomed to it, so we rested often, and drank lots of water.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Desert Flowers

5.5"x8" sketchbook, ink and watercolor
These desert flowers...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Taos Pueblo

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor
We spent Tuesday, Sept. 30 at Taos Pueblo, NM at the Fiesta of San Geronimo. This is the most important feast day at Taos Pueblo Reservation. There were lots of visitors and lots of native vendors set up in tents selling jewelry, silver items, textiles and lots of pottery from Taos Pueblo as well as pueblos from throughout the region. We enjoyed huge Indian tacos on "fry bread" and a delicious cherry folded fruit pie. There was no place to sit, so we sat on the ground to eat.
About 10 or 12 "Sacred Clowns" were running through the crowds throughout the afternoon. We were amazed that they snatched little kids from their parents and ran carrying them to the river (stream) to sprinkle, splash or even dunk them in the water! Later a pole climbing event was scheduled, but we missed that. We did see the pole with various packages and items tied at the top, including a whole, slain sheep!
I was most fascinated with the architecture of the pueblo - adobe buildings stacked sometimes as high as 3 or4 stories. We were not allowed to take photos or even sketch, so I sketched this later that evening from my memory of the day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Indian Vendors, Palace of Governors, Santa Fe

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor

The Palace of Governors is a monumental adobe structure that housed the residence and offices of governors (Spanish colonial, Mexican, American territorial and State of New Mexico) from its construction ca. 1609 until it became the state history museum in 1909. Native American vendors line the portico daily selling authentic Indian-made jewelry, pottery and textiles. During the Pueblo Revolt in 1680 the Spanish were expelled from the area and this building was inhabited by the Pueblo Indians for 13 years, before they were conquered by the Spaniards. The Palace of the Governors Museum chronicles the history of Santa Fe, as well as New Mexico and the region. This adobe structure was designated a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1960 and an American Treasure in 1999. This sketch was done while I sat in the Santa Fe Plaza facing the Palace.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Santa Fe River

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor
Frank and I were amazed that is little stream is actually the Santa Fe River! Most landscapes we saw in New Mexico was brown/yellow/clay colored, except areas that were adjacent to rivers and streams, which were lush and green. The Santa Fe river runs right through the city of Santa Fe. This river enabled the settlement of this city starting in 1610 by the Spanish. The City of Santa Fe has been designated as the oldest capital city in the United States.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tower, New Mexico Museum of Art

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor

The New Mexico Museum of Art was built in 1917 in the traditional adobe style. I thought I'd try my hand at a Georgia O'Keeffe style image. (...more like "Carolina O'Keeffe!") This view is from the inner courtyard at the museum. Just about everything I saw in Santa Fe was artistically inspirational to me - I wanted to paint everything!!! Now wonder Georgia O"Keeffe moved to New Mexico and never left!! Here is a link to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum if you'd like to check her out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

San Francisco Street

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor

I sketched this while sitting in Santa Fe Plaza in the heart of downtown. Most buildings in Santa Fe are made of adobe, the beautiful clay-colored walls. There are oodles of shops, restaurants, and art galleries galore! And the clothes and jewelry stores! WOW!! Most days, I sketched for a little while wherever we were, and took photos so I could paint later that evening back at the Inn. We had lunch at a French Patisserie on this street at the left side of this sketch. It was so good (and the prices so reasonable), that we went back a second day! The French bread sandwiches were yummy...and the pastries!!! Ooo-LaLa!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Las Palomas Path

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor
This is another sketch at Las Palomas Bed and Breakfast Inn. I found Las Palomas on Travelocity! The inn has about 53 rooms. We did not want at " cookie cutter" hotel, but rather we wanted to be immersed in "Santa Fe Style". Breakfast every morning was included, and was wonderful! Blueberry or strawberry waffles, crepes, cappucino, cut fruit, bagels, muffins, juices, coffee, latte, expresso...yummy!!
The Travelocity package also included a car rental for the week. We flew into Albuquerque, and drove to Santa Fe, about 65 miles away. We spent a week at Las Palomas, then drove back to Albuquerque, where we spent 2 days in a Hyatt hotel.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Las Palomas, Santa Fe

5.5"x8" sketchbook, Ink and Watercolor
Well, we're back!! Frank and I flew in from New Mexico last night. What a trip!!! I managed to sketch and paint in my "Travelogue" every day during our trip. I'm proud of myself for that! I'll be posting these images over the next several weeks in this blog.
This is a view of our room at Las Palomas, a charming bed and breakfast inn in downtown Santa Fe. In fact, we were only three blocks from the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, and walking distance to Santa Fe Plaza. If you're ever in Santa Fe, I highly recommend staying at Las Palomas.

Monday, October 6, 2008

House Cleaners

12"x16", painted on Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper
With my trusty digital camera, I happened upon these guys at work recently on Charleston's East Side. I painted this while staying with my mom on Sullivan's Island SC as she recovered from her fall. She has drastically improved!
As you read this, I should be on a plane on my way back to Charleston from Santa Fe, NM. Frank and I have been gone since September 27. I have made these last few posts in advance and scheduled them to be delivered while we were gone! Cool, Hunh!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Charleston Good Food Co

12"x16", Arches Cold Pressed Paper
This is another in my "Charleston Street Scenes" series. Great News! I recently found out that I will be featured artist in the Saul Alexander Gallery of the Charleston County Public Library for the month of February! This and other Street Scenes will be on exhibit!