Black Mesa painting: Georgia O’Keefe and Abiquiu New Mexico

Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico – Out Back of Mary`s II by Georgia O’Keefe, 1939

I’m feeling a little nostalgic tonight, longing to return to one of my favorite places on earth, Northern New Mexico. I lived there for one year, in 1985 to 1986, the same year Georgia O’Keefe passed away. She lived in her Abiquiu home until the last couple of years when she moved to Santa Fe, where I was living at the time. I was swept up in my own discovery of my new home and painting, with only a small understanding of O’Keefe’s work. A few years ago I made the trip to Abiquiu and called to see if I could sneak in to the tour of her home there, knowing advance reservations were always booked. Since I was a single person, they worked me in, and seeing her home, garden and studio was so memorable. I also went over to Ghost Ranch to trek around and see the landscapes she so often painted. If you go, take the time to hike into the box canyon where they say outlaws loved to hide out. The scenes are marvelous, bring a camera or sketchbook.

Abiquiu sketchbook scene, watercolor, KGTaylor

I made this little color sketch after I visited a nature center near town. It was charming, with a meandering path outside the museum area, with geological explanations of why the hills and mountains look the way they do, the way Georgia saw them. I soaked it all in, like the crazed fan I am of this amazing countryside north of Santa Fe.

Trying to explain my love of this place would take too many words for blog-land. Have you ever traveled to a place, fell in love with it and moved there a month later? That’s what I did. Not only did I regret it, I kept returning year after year.

There is a reason artist colonies spring up in unique places like Taos, Santa Fe, and Carmel, California. If you are the kind of artist who can be not just intrigued, but captivated by nature, I will bet you have a favorite place of your own.

Why not share? I’d love to hear it.

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4 Responses to “Black Mesa painting: Georgia O’Keefe and Abiquiu New Mexico”

  1. Sherry Galey Says:

    I’ve long been inspired and moved by Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings. For many years I was surrounded by her prints. I desperately want to see her museum and the part of the world where she painted. And I know I will get there. Your water colour is just lovely.


  2. nsturgill Says:

    Abiquiu and northern New Mexico are incredible places. Looking out over the Sangre de Christo mountains from the Sante Fe Opera House is another awe inspiring scene. O’keefe is also awe inspiring!


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