Saturday, June 2, 2012

Taos, Taos Pueblo and O'Keeffe Country

My New Mexico journey continues with photos and journal pages from Taos.  It's beautiful here with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the open spaces.
1. Sangre de Cristo Mountains  2. Dragonfly Cafe  3. Bells outside gallery
4. Virgin de Guadalupe   5. Porcelain poppies  6. Mabel Dodge Luhan House
7. Barbara Latham illustration  8. E L Blumanschein Home  9. Iris- Ingar Jirby Gallery

One of my trip highlights included Taos Pueblo.  We had a guided tour.  It's the oldest continuously inhabited  Pueblo community in the US. The structures are believed to be over 1000 years old.  It's home to the Red Willow People.  In Santa Fe, we heard Robert Mirabel, a Taos Pueblo artist, play his flute. His blog- Red Willow Voices - wonderfully describes his culture and Pueblo history.


Taos journal pocket full of postcards and other ephemera.

After our visit to Taos, we returned to Santa Fe.  The last day of our trip, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum opened its doors to a Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration Exhibit entitled Georgia O'Keeffe and the Faraway: Nature and Image.   The exhibit shows how the New Mexican landscape influenced her art and life with a combination of photographs, her sketches, her paintings, her art supplies and camping equipment.  She loved the outdoors.  She said, "When I got to New Mexico that was mine.  As soon as I saw it that was my country.  It fitted to me exactly."

In her lifetime, she created over 2000 pieces. She became an early pioneer in abstract expressionism with her geometric and organic forms.  She did not paint en plein air.  She worked in her studio and painted from her simple sketches or photographs.  She was very meticulous about her painting techniques.  She made hundreds of color swatches- 150+ greens, 25 whites, etc. -writing in detail the color mix on each one.  She also trimmed her brushes to get different edges when applying paint.  Her paintings demonstrate her rich use of color and value contrast.

I like this quote about color that she said in 1977,  "The meaning of a word to me is not as exact as the meaning of a color.  Colors and shapes make a more definite statement than words.  I am often amazed at the spoken and written word telling me what I have painted."
1. Black Hollyhock and Blue Larkspur  2.Back of Marie's No. 4  3. Bella Donna
4. Near Alcalde   5. Canyon Country, white & brown cliffs  6. Ghost Ranch Landscape
7. Black Place III  8. Black Place, grey & pink  9. Red Hills & white flower

She painted Black Hollyhock, Blue Larkspur in 1929 on her first trip to New Mexico after seeing the flowers in Mabel Dodge Luhan's garden.  O'Keeffe and my grandmother were from the same generation and both lived to be 98 years old.  It amazes me how both of them lived and all of the changes that they saw in their lifetime.

 I also had the opportunity to see Illuminating the Word: The Saint John's Bible exhibit at the Museum of  New Mexico History.  Studying calligraphy has given me a whole new appreciation for this project to create the first written Bible in over 500 years.  The size of the Bible at 2x3', the illuminated pages, and the work of the scribes impressed me.  The process of making the vellum pages, the quills used to write the words and how the layout was computer generated first for text and illumination placement is incredible.
1. Creation, Covenant, Shekinah, Kingdom  2. Creation  3. Genesis 1
 4. Homoioteleuton or scribe error  5. Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the Highest  6. Daniel
7. Isaiah Messianic Predictions  8. Matthew Genealogy of Jesus  9. Wisdom Woman

I came home so inspired by all of these experiences and wanted to share some of my photos.  You may wonder how I created the photograph montages.  I have wanted to make a montage of my photos for some time for this blog.  I learned this Photoshop montage process from Jane Davies.  I bought her tutorial HERE on her Collage Journeys blog.  It's easy to follow and I'm pleased with the results.

2 comments:

Gwen said...

I really enjoyed seeing your images of Taos and reading more about your trip. It brought back so many memories of my trip to New Mexico!

Thanks for linking to the tutorial on photo montage, too! I downloaded it!

Luanne said...

Paula,
Your post of your trip just inspires me even more to go to SF and Taos. I loved the montages, too. Thank you for sharing, and I can't wait to see your travel journal.