Taos 2008

Highway 

This is why I love New Mexico. A long ribbon of road, huge skies, and wide open spaces.

 

Hwyside 

My road trip to Taos for Sas Colby's summer workshop is a five hour drive which means I do not have to approach the airport, brave security or put my seat and tray table in a locked and upright position. I can just hit the road with my iPod and a bag of chips. Yee haw! These first 3 shots I took by just holding my camera up to the window, with surprisingly good results. This is for professionals only, don't try this at home. Only do this when your 15 year old (leaning to drive) is NOT in the car with you.

 

Hwymnt 

Entering Taos from the north you begin to see Taos mountain, sacred to the Tewa indians that still inhabit the Taos pueblo. It's calm majesty inspired us. We stayed the week at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, nestled under cottonwoods down a dirt road. If you are interested in local Taos history you may like reading, Edge of Taos Desert, by Mabel herself. It describes how she came to Taos in 1919, what inspired her, how she settled and met and married Tony Luhan (a Tewa indian) who built the house for her. She created a kind of salon (like she had in New York and Florence) and many notable artists like Georgia O'Keefe and DH Lawrence came and stayed with her.

 

Skystudio 

This is the studio building and courtyard we worked in all week. Sas calls it The Studio in the Sky. And it certainly is. The central stuido is flanked by bedrooms, 2 floors, on either side. It's very convenient and the thick adobe walls kept our rooms cool when the studio got hot in the afternoon.

 

Silouhette 

Our first morning we spent some time with scissors and black construction paper, abstracting and then abstracting again.

 

Gravestone 

Without Mabel, be wouldn't have been there. Her love of beauty, courage and sense of adventure were with us all week. We made an evening pilgrimage to her grave nearby.

 

Hollyhocks 

These reaching hollyhocks caught my eye on an early morning walk to the Morada.

 Gate 

Beautiful gates are everywhere we walked in Taos.

 

Shadowalley 

My compatriots walked ahead, their long shadows playing on the dark asphalt.

 

Colorgrave 

A roadside grave, just steps away from a little hispanic cemetery.

 

Graveyard 

The flag was somehow caught on the cross, making it stand at attention. Interesting visual metaphor.

 

Mnts 

Looking towards Taos mountain in the early morning. The light playing so beautifully over pueblo land.

 

Morada 

This Morada, while owned now by the University of New Mexico, is still used by a lay Catholic organization unique to New Mexico and southern Colorado – The Penitente Brotherhood or La Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno. The moradas are the buildings in which the Brothers meet and pray.

 

Blkcross 

The black cross looking north towards it's white companion, on a strip of land (offered by the pueblo) for the re-enactment of the stations of the cross.

 

Rockcross 

A rock cross on the way. 

 
Treeshadow 

A tree's shadow playing on the morning grass.

   Blackhands 

Another class assignment with charcoal, matte medium and amber shellac. This piece got folded and made into a book.

 

Classcharcoal 

Some other charcoal drawing assignments.

 

Bluegate 

A classic New Mexico moment. Hollyhocks and a red pepper ristra framing a blue gate.

 

Kitchengate 

As I am putting this post together, I realize how often I shot shadows. This little scene is right outside the kitchen. I love the way the shadows play and the lines from the gate and ladder break the space.

 

Wkprogress 

This is a piece I worked on that I will blog about next. It involves a whole day's assignment.

 

Milkweed 

A milkweed "star" – it smelled heavenly.

 

Garlic 

A garlic bloom about to burst, pointing it's way.

 

Pods 

These little seed pod beauties begged to be photographed, not to be outdone by the milkweed.

 

Sidealley 

An adobe lined lane, just on the edge of the Mabel Dodge Luhan house.

 

Woodpattern 

Beetles killed this pine, but left their labyrinthine pattern for me to enjoy.

 

Ravensky 

One morning at breakfast I looked up to catch a raven circling this lapis sky.
 

Fmshadow 

 Shadow of moi.

 

Grassshadow 

Yet another feathery grass shadow.

The light in New Mexico is very special, playing in a unique and breathtaking way.

Up next – more of the work we did in the workshop.

6 Responses to Taos 2008

  1. Donna says:

    Very cool! Lucky you! I am looking forward to seeing more of what you did in Taos. 🙂

  2. stephanie says:

    Fran,
    Beautiful! You captured Taos so perfectly. I want to PRINT with those seed pods. The shadows tell the story…

    I am soooo looking forward to seeing your work in person! I love the charcoal drawings and your cut paper.

    x…x
    steph

    AND love that Taos blue!

  3. Seth says:

    Extraordinary! Thanks for the travelogue. The open vistas are transfixing. Love the gates and doors and shadows. Cannot wait to see the piece you will be blogging about next. It is really intriguing.

  4. Gwen Delmore says:

    all really beautiful, I am looking forward to the next installment!

  5. Lisa Hoffman says:

    Ahhhh. I feel like I’ve just inhaled the pinion scented air…heard the whispers of the wind through the pines….
    How can we resist our Beautiful neighbor to the south, New Mexico?
    Beautiful photos. I feel like I was riding along in your pocket.

    Your work looks intense and amazing….
    circling the computer and waiting for the next installment….

  6. Lynne says:

    i love these photos, fran…

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