Saving photos and images… Santa Fe memories keep inspiring new art in new ways

Judy with her bike, St. Francis Cathedral and moon, Santa Fe

I’m a collector. I save all kinds of images, especially my own photos from travels, and postcards from art museum shops of great paintings. (Don’t even talk to me about art books!) There’s such a special joy in rediscovering a photo I hoped to use as inspiration for a new painting. This one brings up not only painting ideas, but sweet memories of warm nights on the town in the City Different.

Hallway lights in the Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe, NM

My friend Judy and I made a quick tour of the Fonda Hotel this evening on the town. The hotel is full of special surprises. Artist Georgia O’Keefe was living there briefly when I relocated to Santa Fe in the mid 1980’s. She lived in Abiquiu, north of Santa Fe for many years, and visiting her home is a special treat if you can make the trip.

I loved this painting of the Lawrence Tree as soon as I saw it, by Georgia O’Keefe. The organic, twisting forms of the branches and stars breaking through the night sky create an image I can picture seeing myself, had I layed on the ground at the Lawrence Ranch to see it for myself. I did visit there a few years ago. Too bad it was daytime. I’d love to have seen all of those stars.

Lawrence Tree, 1929, Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe profile

Here’s one of my favorite photos of O’Keefe, from her later years, sun drenched and her beloved landscape in the background. It looks like the Ghost Ranch area behind her, with the cliffs that shelter the valley below. People who visit Northern New Mexico have one of two responses it seems. Mine was love.


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