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MN Women's Press-Oct 09

 

 

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Entries in Santa Fe (5)

Saturday
Jan072012

My final thoughts on Santa Fe

My trip to Santa Fe was inspiring on many fronts. I definitely hope to return for another visit. And in my dream world, I imagine living there...for many reasons...

Santa Fe is an incredible city for an artist. Did you know it ranks #3 in the United States for art sales-- behind only New York City and Los Angeles. There are a great many galleries selling a wide variety of work, including a lot of abstract work. That was very powerful to me as an abstract painter. It's wonderful being somewhere where it feels like your own work would fit right in. It makes it feel so much more possible.

Santa Fe is a wonderful city for walking. I walked more the week I was in Santa Fe than I have in a long time. It felt wonderful.

It is a city with a rich artistic history. There is something very powerful about knowing that some pretty influential artists paved the way before you.

The sky. I love how open the Southwest sky feels.

The landscape in general. The colors. The dry heat.

Love. Love. Love.

 

 

Alas, my dream move isn't likely to happen anytime soon. But in the meantime, I hope to keep a little bit of that Southwest fantasy alive...by remembering what it was like to walk through all those galleries, see all that art up on the walls...and imagine... that someday it could be my work up on the walls.

 

 

Friday
Jan062012

Museum hopping in Santa Fe

Alongside the amazing number of galleries in Santa Fe, is an equally amazing number of museums. I was not able to visit them all, but I certainly enjoyed the ones I visited. And I want to go back to visit the ones I missed! 

Top of my list to visit was the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. It is located on the edge of the downtown Plaza area, less than a 10-minute walk from where we stayed.

I have seen some Georgia O'Keefe paintings at other museums and even got to take in an O'Keefe exhibit at the Mpls Institute of Arts a few years back. It is certainly inspiring to see her work in person. Some paintings are smaller than you might imagine when you only see them in a book. All are striking; vibrant and in a way, personal. At the entrance of the museum they showed a few short films about O'Keefe that included interviews with her. Her voice echoed in my ears as I walked through the galleries looking at her work. Being in New Mexico, surrounded by the land that so often inspired her--it was easy to imagine her standing before her canvas, painting.  I felt a little like I was in heaven while I was there.

It was interesting to see a range of her work, from very early sketches to paintings completed late in her career.  I especially enjoyed seeing some very early watercolors that I've never seen--at least not in person.

If I ever get the chance to visit Santa Fe again, I will definitely return to this museum. Oh, and a heads-up tip for you: your museum admission is good for the entire day--so make a day of it! Start your visit in the morning, then enjoy some lunch (and maybe some shopping) on the Plaza, and come back to take it all in again. I could have spent all day here--and I did return for a second peek the day of my visit. I've heard that they do rotate the work on exhibit ...so you can certainly return on a later trip and see different work. In fact, the museum will be closed January 16th-26th for exhibition changeover. I will be back! (I admit to dreaming of having the job of the museum gallery guards...how bad could that job be?)

I was equally impressed by a visit to the New Mexico Museum of Art, which houses an incredible permament collection featuring the work of several artists that lived/work in New Mexico in the same time period as O'Keefe. It also has plenty of room for several special exhibits, which change out frequently. At the time of our visit, the museum also had on display the work of printmaker Gustave Baumann, who at one time worked from a studio in the basement of the museum! His work was incredible and worth the museum admission alone. (And yes, I did daydream about having a job in this museum as well! I mean, my job at the Science Museum should payoff some way!)

Both these museums were located in the downtown Plaza area, just a 10 minute walk from where we stayed.

The third museum that I visited during our trip was the Museum of International Folk Art. It is located on Museum Hill, just a short drive from where we stayed. Museum Hill is home to four museums, making it well worth a visit. In fact, if you plan ahead and are interested in visiting multiple museums there are different museum passes (and discounts) available to you.

For this visit, we stuck with the Folk Art museum ... a wise decision since there was plenty to keep us interested for several hours. An added bonus--you are allowed to take pictures in the exhibit spaces! So I will leave you with a few pics from my visit to the Museum of International Folk Art--

 

 

 

 

Although you might not be able to make a trip to Santa Fe, you can click on the links to the museums and visit the museum galleries online. Not as good, but still good!

Up next: Santa Fe Wrap-up!

Sunday
Jan012012

The Plaza

  Just a short walk from the place where we were staying (pictured above) was Santa Fe's downtown Plaza area--a mix of galleries, museums and shopping.

I walked to the Plaza several days. The walk there was always a delight--with the mix of adobe architecture and sculpture everywhere.

 

Santa Fe was decked out for the holidays, making it even more beautiful.

 

 Part of what I enjoyed about Santa Fe was that it was a great city for walking. I found out I was much more willing to walk when I was going from gallery to gallery.

And I was in Santa Fe long enough to find my favorite resting spot--this downtown Starbucks that featured original art on the walls. (Why can't they all do that?) What was so great about this vacation was having a very relaxed scheduled that really only included window shopping, gallery surfing, and coffee breaks. This vacation scored an A+ in all those categories.

 If only I had the $$ to come home with those boots and the matching bag!

Next up: Santa Fe's Museums

Thursday
Dec292011

Gallery surfing on Canyon Road

On my first full day in Santa Fe, I headed to Canyon Road for a little gallery surfing. Well, make that a lot of gallery surfing! Canyon Road is  a half mile strip of galleries located a short distance from the downtown Plaza area. Part of the charm of the Canyon Road galleries is that they are housed in old adobe houses, some dating back to 1750. They retain much of their original charm.

Here I am standing outside the Jane Sauer Gallery, where we saw an exhibit of incredible figures/art dolls created by Charla Khanna (along with alot of other amazing work). I fell in love with the work of abstract painter, Krista Harris (working in acrylics!)

   

I enjoyed a beautiful winter day, walking from gallery to gallery. There was a wide variety of work, from landscapes to Southwestern art to contemporary abstract. Of course, you cannot take photos inside the galleries, so I have no photos to share...but I was able to leave with a stack of artist postcards and gallery guides to help me remember artists I enjoyed.

What was very inspiring and motivating to me as an artist was seeing the amount of abstract work exhibited in the galleries--much more than I typically see in St. Paul/Minneapolis. I wanted to go right to the studio and start painting!

But instead, I spent the day walking from gallery to gallery, soaking up all that inspiration like a sponge and hopefully storing it for another day.

There was even a little sculpture park, featuring several Buddhas, including this one:

Fortunately, a few short days later, I was able to make another trip to Canyon Road. It had snowed a few inches overnight (they closed the schools!), but to this Minnesotan it was a beautiful day!

I set out from our room, walking to the Plaza and then eventually making my way to Canyon Road. It was a beautiful walk and a beautiful day for taking pictures!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 Next up: a trip to the Plaza!

 

Wednesday
Dec282011

Leavin' on a Jet Plane...

 

 Nearly 3 weeks ago I was taking off on a long-awaited trip to Santa Fe. This trip was a dream shared and made possible by my good friend, J. Why Santa Fe? Because New Mexico was Georgia O'Keefe's adopted home and it is an artist's haven. Truly.

I had the best intentions to come right home and start writing about my trip...but as often happens with "best intentions", life took over. I was thrown right into final holiday preparations.

So with the holiday past, I thought I would take a few days to write about my trip and share a few photos. I am also planning to create a little trip journal with watercolor sketches...I hope to share that as I work on it.

So back to the trip, which began December 9th:

To start with, I love flying. This was only the fourth trip in my lifetime (50+ years) that involved flying. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that, but life hasn't presented me with many opportunities or the $$ to travel on a regular basis. So every time I get to fly, I am giddy with excitement. Like a kid in a toy store with unlimited $$ to spend. I don't think flying will ever get "old" for me. It is an adventure. A thrill. I love take-off--feeling the plane leave the earth. And once we are in the air, I can't take my head out of the window. (This is why I always want a window seat and always want to fly during the day).

This time I decided to take some pictures while up in the air:

I fell in love with these circles!

When I look down at the ground and witness the changing geography from the air, I see paintings. Since it was winter, the ground below was predominantly shades of gray and white. I would love to see this landscape changes in the summer!

 I do believe these images will be involved in paintings someday!

 

The landscape changed as we approached the Southwest. We were almost ready to land in Albuquerque!

 I will write about my week in Santa Fe in upcoming posts, but I'll wrap this one up with images from the trip home:

 

Goodbye Southwest!

 Our trip home was later in the day and it was dark as we landed. But I got some great shots flying through the clouds and of the sunset we were flying away from--

 

 

 

 I took about 50 pics as we flew...which made me feel like a bit of a dork...but in retrospect, I wish I had taken more. Who knows when I will fly again?

Up next: Discovery of Canyon Road Galleries