Archive for the ‘New Mexico’ Category

’14 NM Live: Adios, vamos a estar siempre aquí

July 10, 2014

DSC_0302Our first stop in Chimayó was at the Centinela Studio, where we met Irvin Trujillo, master weaver.

Irvin and his wife Lisa, who is also a master weaver, had samples of their beautiful work up and explained the history and traditions of Latino weaving traditions in New Mexico. It is interesting to remember that it was all New Spain, before it was anything. Mexico later, then finally with the Mexican-American War, what we know as New Mexico was annexed from Mexico. The sheep came from Spain, some of the manufactured dyes from Germany, then yarn even from Pennsylvania. Some of the traditions of the Navaho weaving designs merged with designs traced back to Moorish Spain.



DSC_0322    DSC_0315


We would later leave for Ortega’s Weaving Shop, and find Mr. Ortega (I am not sure if it was Robert or David) that we spoke to. He, like Irvin Trujillo, had started weaving as a boy of 10 years old.


DSC_0373Workroom and showroom at Ortega’s.

The Santuario de Chimayó is a sacred place, as it has sands there believed to restore health. The people go there with much reverence. I have been there before and it is not a place to take lightly. This day was sparse attendance, the weather was beautiful.



DSC_0387We might have misses a few divas.


DSC_0448On the grounds of El Santuario de Chimayó.

DSC_0464On the road, again.

DSC_0474And now to end our journey as one, we gathered at the Rancho de Chimayó

Rancho de Chimayó is a place that is world renowned. You couldn’t have asked for a classier setting in this sacred country? What kind of effect will this place have upon our divas?

DSC_0484Ask Bridget.

DSC_0506Ask the grand ladies from Tucson.

DSC_0527Ask the Annapolis trio.


Now the food is going to come. It looks beautiful. And how did our darling divas do?





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DSC_0643Next comes many gifts from Stevie, Nancy and Bill.


DSC_0630From orange poppies, gift certificates, sculptures and. . .


DSC_0681. . .finally, for our 14-trip veteran, Maggie, a special and personal gift.

DSC_0757The ride back always gives us different insights.

DSC_0721No matter where we go, we will always be here.









’14 New Mex Live: How the West was One

July 9, 2014

DSC_0559 - CopyCatch the corner window of Georgia O’Keeffe’s bedroom, that is the closest you are going to get to shooting it!

A little time at Ghost Ranch, just a visit, not the tour. I heard the young lady say it was $450 a night for single person. A few nights there I could go to Europe. We also genuflected at the Georgia O’Keeffe Abiquiu house, it is good to go, but quite overprotected. The shot above was done from a bus going about 45 miles an hour with a closeup lens (love the workman, never saw him)! There are no cameras, phones, bags, nothing allowed. The tour is pretty good, and the guide was real on the ball. It is wonderful to weave sense out of what she did, by how she lived.


DSC_0601My unofficial official of the group, remember no photoshop here.







DSC_0857    DSC_0866At Abiquiu.





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Today the weather went from bright to cloudy to bright to rain. Life is full of postcards.


DSC_0165Bill Palmer’sTV Killers at the bandstand.













’14 New Mex Live: The Hill and beyond

July 7, 2014

DSC_0689The Hill will be hopping next weekend. The International Folk Market will be coming to town.

When art people refer to The Hill in Santa Fe, they are meaning Museum Hill, which sits neatly on the top of a residential section which overlooks old beautiful, green mountains. Museum Hill contains 4 museums, count them folks! I got to be in all four today. We went as part of our studies, but the festiveness of what will come next weeks already creeps in. That is nothing bad.

DSC_0682After a few unsuccessful tries other years, the Museum is open again!

I was lucky enough to finally get into the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. It is small, and seems to be emerging. It was in between a change in collections. Oh, yeah, no photos, boo hoo! Although you were allowed a few outside. The collection is devoted to understanding the role the Spanish, and in particular, the colonial Spanish rancho community made in helping to shape New Mexico. Examples of paintings, retablos, bultos, iron and tinwork, furniture, weaving are all represented. There is even a neat little house outside, which while not native to the area, is an example of a Mexican colonial house.


DSC_0661    DSC_0659


Two other museums, further down the road, were a little more busy. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is devoted to the study of native peoples, often by showing their art and artifacts and their culture. It sits directly across the Museum of International Folk Art. They were having a show on turquoise and its importance to pueblo culture. There were other photographic portraits as well of Indians beginning post-Civil War.


DSC_0707     DSC_0794

DSC_0694   DSC_0860Directly above (right) you can see the adire cloth designed by the artist who is part of the Between Two Worlds show.

Brasil & Arte Popular (Brazil and Folk Art) is a great show of several, in that it captures through folk art how diverse the Brazilian people are and how much has been poured into their culture. There are over 300 examples of their art, represented by the museum collection. They were also having a great opening for Between Two Worlds, which included haute cuisine. So imagine, you are going to visit a great museum, and unexpectedly they feed you, and what is the fare? Indian appetizers, African entrees, Japanese sushi and barbeque, El Salvadorian burrito and drink, and lots of pastry. Is this a great city, or what?




Our visit on the Hill ended with at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian which was initially the brainchild of Mary Cabot Wheelwright to preserve Navaho culture. Most of the work eventually was returned to the pueblo, and the Museum is still evolving into a museum of the American Indian.

DSC_0894A street procession to honor the Madonna.

DSC_0970Great display is what it’s all about. As ‘Nando says, it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look.

’14 New Mex Live: Another day, other divas

July 6, 2014

 DSC_0584Food and fun, are enfolded in serious discusssion about the diva of divas, Georgia O’Keefe.

Months ago, I set up for this Crizmac workshop called Desert Divas. No, it does not sound as bad, as that sounds. It is really just a revolving group of art ed people (and others) who meet out in Santa Fe, which is a pretty good place to explore art. O’Keefe, Maria Martinez, Pablita Velarde and Roxanne Swentzell all crop up as influential women artists out of this part of the west. Many are native. They become the foundation for this study, which is both feminist and post-modernist.

The other night while in the New Mexico History Museum, I found a show called Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World, which beautifully displays Spanish colonial art from places like Cuzco* and Mexico. This art gave impetus to formal religious art in the New World, as well as becoming a curiosity to young Latino artists, who are rediscovering it form in their recent work. The last section of the show is devoted to those young artists, and I was pleased to see the work of Marion Martínez, who was at Ghost Ranch Santa Fe, years ago with Nancy Walkup.

DSC_0518Mary Ann hides behind her circuit board angel as Marion looks on. (Sorry the better shot, never made it, the card wasn’t in the camera!)

DSC_0502Linda’s piece becomes an interesting broach.

We were all pleased to see her again today with her circuit boards and computer parts, making real that non-art material which has a real aesthetic can through artists be rediscovered and transformed into beautiful works. This became our workshop. While talking to her, I realized the debt I owed her, as the broken toy project, another recycling project done several years ago, was based upon the foundation she had given me.

DSC_0526Bill shoots one of our divas, displaying her circuit board creation.

DSC_0537  DSC_0539The reconstructed studio of Pablita Velarde, at her studio (left). Note the grinding stone where she produced color from natural pigment (right).

As Nancy told us, Santa Fe is unique in that there are two museums devoted to women artists. One is the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The other is Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts. We went there to see the works of three generations of women, and we did to an extent. Pablita Velarde, Pablita’s daughter Helen Hardin and Pablita’s granddaughter Margarete Bagshaw. Margarete was there, shocking to see in person, as I have admired in videos. She introduced to us a lovely young woman who was having an opening right at that time. This talented young woman is named Kathleen Wall, showing her multimedia work called, Harvesting Tradition. Please visit and support this museum if you can, they are doing a great job, but lack the funding other museums possess.

We also traveled to the Golden Dawn Gallery which features the work of Pablita, Helen and Margarete. There are some beautiful scarves that Margarete has for sale, aside from beautiful paintings and prints. It is wonderful to see Pablita’s work up close and personal, where you can see mica mixed into her pigment. Helen is represented with wonderful painting, but absolutely pristine copper engravings and etchings.

DSC_0559  DSC_0551Helen Cordero (left) and the Maria Martinez (right) family group are all represented at Andrea Fisher.

A romp through the Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery gallery should be mandatory for anyone serious about art. This gallery has some of the finest pottery in the city. Many fine examples of pueblo pottery are represented, including Maria Martinez and Helen Codero.

DSC_0597It was a shame that a great meal was ruined with lousy service at the Thunderbird.

For the second time in a row, and the last, not staying with the Plaza Cafe was a big mistake. We went upstairs to the Thunderbird and got some great food and drinks, but a mouthful of bad service. When eight of us asked for separate checks they gave us a song and dance, then charged a 20% service fee for a “large” party. So much for a place which offers a bigger wine list than a menu.

DSC_0618In the Five & Dime General Store is one way to end a night, divas all.



*One wonders why the Catedral del Cusco is full of blank walls, were these paintings extracted from them?









’14 New Mex Live: Happy 4th

July 5, 2014

DSC_0329Plenty went on in the Plaza this July 4th, besides what we were doing. Santa Fe seemed even more festive than last year.

Today was a beautiful day, cool air and sunshine. The Plaza by noon was stuffed with so many people you moved along carefully, not to bump into each other as people danced, listened to music and took pictures. There were kids around with folks and even more festive than last year, although by 7 at night it was all gone. No fireworks, that happens somewhere else, but the Girls on Stilts will do enough boom boom for the day.

DSC_0166The Girls on Stilts did more than stop traffic. . .

DSC_0310. . .they almost smothered the Pancake Man. . .

DSC_0351. . .who ran off posing for pictures.

DSC_0325No, this is not one of the winners of the car show.

The car show had even more cars than I have ever seen. And you know everyone was there for the pancakes being sponsored by the Rotary Club Pancakes On The Plaza, which always look great, the pancakes. The girls on stilts were the best, and there were two different music groups playing, but unfortunately neither can I find via Google. Santa Fe always seems to be filled with music. One was a 14 year old, with enough charm to fill a million bracelets.



DSC_0400The fourteen year old that sang and danced like a pro.

DSC_0353The pancakes looked great, too.

With the Crizmac group in the afternoon, it was off to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which had on a new show Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawai’i Pictures, which was well done as always. All museums, as well as the streets, had plenty of people on the move.

DSC_0443Does anyone ever talk about O’Keeffe’s photos? (Sorry no photoshop on the road.)

DSC_0464Andy cutting up in front of the Chicago painting.

Tonight was free night at the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Governor’s Palace right there on the square, so you know that is where I was going to be. Local Color: Judy Chicago in New Mexico 1984–2014 was so well put together, especially the paintings. There was two other photos shows upstairs and Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony, which featured Bellows, Henri and even a Hopper watercolor, as well as the usual suspects who put Santa Fe on the artmap. There was even a little Georgia O’Keeffe from the Orlando Museum of Art on loan.

DSC_0460I shot this by the O’Keeffe Museum, that’s about as fireworks as it gets.

’14 New Mex Live: The Returning

July 5, 2014

DSC_0108We begin again, in another great restaurant, Andiamo, in another great year.

This is a great start if you come to Santa Fe. You may get a meal, you don’t much care for the price, but this is one place where it is hard to get a bad meal. But, remember, this is a place where some people talk goofily about things like ambiance. But the whole place is ambiance from the beauty of those mountains, to the color, to the skies. Returning here, now has become familiar and happy. Away from the east, the eastern nervousness both in physiological and human climate. There is something both vacationy and cerebral.


DSC_0081Beautiful, huh?


DSC_0306This is one of the most beautiful places to see this time of year. There is rain off somewhere as you can see here.

DSC_0294As I was coming from Albuquerque, I notice they depend even more on color than Santa Fe.




Whadda summer!

August 11, 2013

DSC_0347Summertime Chi

airbourne to scotland2Airbourne to Glasgow

from the busFrom the bus from Toas

airbourne blue skyNear Charlotte

roxanne swentzells houseInside Roxanne Swentzell’s Tower Gallery

met outsideOutside the Met Museum NYC

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate ConceptionInside Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, DC

millenium parkInside Millenium Park

bandInside the Plaza, Santa Fe

kel 1At the wonderful Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Live from Santa Fe: boo-hoo and bye. . .

July 10, 2013

DSC_0158The New Mexican Museum of Art

Tomorrow is a day of rushing off, tying loose ends and waiting for passage through security. By the time I walk back in to the unbearable humidity of home, it will be about one pm and my mind will be elsewhere. I will be looking for other adventures and settling back into the southeast coast way of life: shopping malls, parking lots, flat but lush vegetation and no building older than 20 years.

DSC_0156The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, unpretentious in setting, complex inside as she was.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, like the New Mexican Museum of Art, and the Museum of International Folk Art, have all loosened policies on photographing, so that becomes real interesting. The new show at the Museum is about her art and architecture. There is that great shot Ansel Adams did of her laughing, many paintings that were not photographed as they were part of other collections. But what you could shoot, well, that was great if you wanted to. As usual, I did.

DSC_0147O’Keeffe’s Black Place, Grey and Pink reaffirms her terrific design and color ability.

Boo-hoo! One goes back to one’s life after New Mexico, but not quite the same. Even 39 years ago, with black and white photos, I knew the colors I saw would never be quite the same as other desert. I must be a freak for red oxide. It is just like the fact that the white light, I saw in places like Miami, just two years earlier, Florida would never quite appear the same to me. Both places have color in shadows something you might never see in other places. O’Keeffe got it so right. 

DSC_0109 DSC_0080DSC_0101Ooh la lah!

We had lunch at Tomasita’s, as usual the food and service is great. The hominy with green chiles make your mouth sing.

DSC_0234We missed the fun at the Bandstand having gone walking looking for the old gelato place.



DSC_0246Various views of La Fonda.

La Fonda on the Plaza is the landmark hotel diagonally across the Plaza near the marker that tells you it is the end of the Santa Fe Trail. My friends used to like to go up to the roof and drink. Today, we only visited the lounge for dessert. I have passed it dozens of times, this was the first chance I had to go in and see it up close.

DSC_0192Even in its simplicity, I will miss it.

‘Round Santa Fe: Tumbleweed, etc.

July 9, 2013

DSC_0931From the speeding bus along 68.

So we start fresh, boarding at 7:30 for parts north. Being in Santa Fe is one thing, but beauty north of it is incredible. I have been north to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch, but not to Taos. This one deserves a blog (eventually), both for its beauty in the Pueblo, but certain politics, that made it happen and make it work today. It has been a little overcast, and some rain. Yes, there was actually rain in Santa Fe today, and the Shorty’s house rainwater was captured in a giant pail and a galvanized tub!

Remember these images are raw, and eventually will be photoshopped and corrected.

DSC_0850Most of the gang, outside Taos proper at the Shorty Home. More to come on this one.

We have been working with Pollen Shorty this week. She was kind enough to invite us to her parents, model and potter Bernadette Track and sculptor Robert Shorty, for an open pit firing. So not only did we get great beans, fried bread and cinnamon buns, cooked by Bernadette herself, but we saw recognized artists in their community, and the world as well. Her grandma is a great soul as well, and someone whose work we see her work in books. Later, when the shots are not raw.

DSC_0768This is how it’s done.

DSC_0664Taos doorway

DSC_0754Needs a little less light.

We were lucky enough to go to the Taos pueblo in between. This is another interesting turn in events. The skies went from a little cloudy to that sharp light that produces hard angular shadows. This another one to blog later.

DSC_0968The arresting image of Roxanne Swentzell’s Remote Woman.

DSC_0999Roxanne Swentzell’s Tower, both studio and gallery, is an interesting series of spaces with inteactions of light, texture and materials which enhance her work.

DSC_0063As well as the sculpture garden on the outside.

Roxanne Swentzell’s Tower Gallery was built by her and family from self-made adobe brick and adobe plaster stucco. It is on 84/285 in Pojoaque. It is an interesting structure, considering casinos down the road, and commercial buildings. The place is beautiful with it’s beautiful adobe walls and beamed ceilings. The display is contemporary and interesting. She could teach a lesson to the big boys on how to display sculpture! The cut out windows remind me of Wright. Anyone interesting in original art in New Mexico, needs to know who she is!

DSC_0231Simon Balkey at the close of the set

A long and interesting day, we wind up at the bandstand for part of one performance Simon Balkey & The Honky Tonk Crew (above) and a second terrific one by James “Slim” Hand, and a great band behind him (below). I’m not one for country, but at least if I do it, I love that traditional sound, and a great male voice to go with it.


It is always fun firing pieces, although out of 6, 2 disappeared and 1 was broken apart, but fixable. As we were using micaceous clay and going with a pit firing which led to some reduction, some of the pieces took on an odd patina. One with some smoke, I liked a lot because it didn’t get ridiculously black. This trip made me realize some of the things I love about here, and some of the things I miss about home, Florida.

Live Santa Fe: “think twice, another day in. . .”

July 8, 2013

DSC_0818Allan Houser’s Dineh in front of the Wheelwright needs no words

Museum Hill is a beautiful setting. It was a great idea to take four museums, three of which are of high quality and put them up on a plateau. It is a great setting for the upcoming Folk Art Festival, which I will miss, and just great for everyday events. I love the setting and they were getting ready for the festival. This year expect blue and green (below), as last year we remember those red lanterns.


DSC_0384The police are also on Museum Hill, getting ready for traffic control.

It is a shame that of three museums, I cannot count The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, as of 4 years that I have been here it has never been open to the public! Someone in the Wheelwright said they close on Saturday and Sunday—duh? But of the other three, only the Museum of International Folk Art allows you to photograph. We cannot say what the closed museum does.

This policy is understandable for the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. That is because some of the objects have a more religious purpose and are not taken as much as aesthetic, but as part of many pueblo’s ritual context. It is a shame there is not some kind of a boundary, so certain things for informational purposes could be recorded. But as it is, we must respect their beliefs, it is more than enough that we are able to see them, within some historical context to understand.

DSC_0763They did however do a small sculpture garden! Again, Houser.

DSC_0896Aren’t we a studious bunch at the Wheelwright?

I plan to blog at least two at a later date, but for now it was just a great day. We had a docent at both the Indian and the Wheelwright. Both were interesting and up to par. Because this is American art, and recently coming into a broader context, the aid of a docent, which I don’t think you often need, is the opposite here. Unless you have time to research many of the art forms in the Southwest are specific and hold other contextual approaches as well. The International Folk Art (below) is another story, since it too has its own context. But of the three, the most enjoyable, especially for kids.


DSC_0103Mark White Fine Art

DSC_0087I was surprised to see horses along Canyon Drive

DSC_0146Buy your own doorway to India at Seret and Sons

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.DSC_0150 DSC_0159Other street sights




We ate at the Thunderbird, the food was fine, the waiter was great. Getting seated was another matter with the hostess too much like the Tech guy on Saturday Night Live.

DSC_0594The balloon man spent some time up in the bar in the Thunderbird, he looks like he was helping the local economy.