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Published: August 15th 2015
My husband fell in love with another woman today – her name is Santa Fe. I expected it to happen, I wanted it to happen, but I didn’t realize how hard he would fall. A one or maybe two day stay became a three, close to four day stay. In that time we didn’t cover a small part of the total of Santa Fe. Day one was shortened by our messing around in a store in Albuquerque – let’s just say that a WalMart at the intersection of two interstates is an experience to behold. It must have covered four acres and had more stuff that we don’t need than I could ever imagine.
The best part of the day was the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. A small, gem of a museum devoted to Ms. O’Keefe and her art. The minute we stepped into the museum, a giant thunderstorm hit. Skylights were lit by lightening, the museum silence was shattered by thunder that was so close the ground shook. It was spectacular. The museum has added some of the Stieglitz photos of O’Keefe. These are particularly intimate and loving portraits that speak the artistry of a leading genius of zone photography. There are other photos by O’Keefe hanging nearby, each done by an exceptional photographer. None have the emotional impact of the Stieglitz photos. It seems to me that when Stieglitz showed the photographs in New York without O’Keefe’s permission, this triggered a breakdown for O’Keefe. I will have to re-read the megalith biography of her from the 90’s and see if my memory has the right connections.
The other addition to the O’Keefe that was deeply touching – her paint box and color samples. Even such a master used the basic tools that I have lying on my art table. It opened my heart to her and I don’t know why. It is one thing to admire her work at the macro view and to move in to see the deliberate and perfect brush strokes. Seeing her paint box, the brushes worn from use, the palate knives covered in old paint layers and then the color samples with her mixing notes. It was like meeting her in person.
The other highlight of the day was one of the best old fashioneds I have ever tasted. As you, dear reader, may know, I am on the 2015 World Tour of Old Fashioneds. The one they make at the Old House in Santa Fe is killer. It didn’t matter which bourbon they used, they were all great. I sampled 2 per evening for 3 nights. That’s giving it a fair shot I think…
We stayed in the El Dorado Hotel near the plaza which afforded us the freedom to be on foot or not. Lovely hotel, nice staff. Be prepared because they function on New Mexico time and that means a bit slow. The speed in New Mexico makes Tucson look frenetic. For those of you who have been to Tucson you know that frenetic is not usually a word associated with our lovely old pueblo.
Have I mentioned the sky? I have no words for the sky in New Mexico. The further north, the truer the blue. We are away from major city centers that pollute the day and night sky. So many artists try to express this sky and there are so many aspects to express. I am so inspired to begin working on canvas again – leave some of the other art pursuits behind.
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