Art and the Land of Enchantment

On my favorite “Painter’s Keys” newsletter by Robert Genn, I responded with more than a little enthusiasm  to his post about staying at the historic Mabel Dodge Luhan house in Taos.  **Yes!!** Cool spot!! Go there if  you love the history of places…I do.

I’ve been returning to New Mexico every year since I moved there to live in 1985 to pursue my painting and create freelance illustrations for New Mexico Magazine. Amazing year!

On my first trip, I was visiting my college friend Judy, who had settled there as an artist and ended up creating her lovely landmark clothing boutique “Judy’s” on Canyon Road amidst all the galleries. She started out by selling her cool hand painted clothing on the street, and it blossomed, thanks to her spirit and love of what she was doing! What a wonderful success story from the early “flower child” era. Judy made great use of her creative fashion gifts and love of the people of Santa Fe. On my first visit to see her, we walked Canyon Road and all along the Alameda, which is a beautiful, tree-lined street, the creek below. We visited Tesuque where her glass blowing friend Charlie still has his studio to this day. We even road our bikes out there and when we couldn’t go further after going all the way to Rancho Encantado we luckily hitched a ride with her friend Miguel who had a pickup truck and spotted us (looking tired, no doubt!)

After my visit in 1985, I returned home, packed up my things and  a month later I was one of the many artists who transplanted themselves in Santa Fe, because it is so special.
Like Mabel Dodge Luhan, the draw for creatives to the Land of
Enchantment is strong, but especially for painters the light is noticeably
different and appealing to those that love the full color spectrum and
its nuances. The art and social life is welcoming to painters, and
people are interesting. I meet people from many walks of life each
time I go to visit. The history and cultural richness is an added inspiration to art lovers.
Here’s a painting I made which was inspired by a trip to remote Arroyo Seco, near Taos New Mexico. I stayed on a family farm in their “Writer’s Cottage”. You can walk about 10 minutes to town and get coffee and breakfast. The lovely old church has been painted many times. My favorite is the northern New Mexico landscape which just feeds me to the depth of the soul. Not exaggerating here, just me saying. The road trip spirit has been calling me again.

Here’s the website of the “Writer’s Cottage”

Don’t jump over the fence to sketch, as they had buffalo there in the pasture last time I was there, and they are not like mild cows.


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