Sunday, June 28, 2009

the Pedernal Art Tour


Last weekend was the Pedernal Art Tour, a sort of Open Studio tour, where we got to visit with many artists and view their work.

Cerro Pedernal is the imposing landmark in this area, visible for miles in every direction. We are fortunate to have a view right outside our window, but I'm particularly fond of this shot which shows Pedernal from the opposite side.

I took this shot
at the end
of the Pedernal Arts Tour.
Remember to Click to Enlarge
to see the majesty of Pedernal

You can't spend much time in this area without seeing hundreds of representations of Pedernal. Paintings, drawings, photographs, pottery, it seems to inspire everyone for miles around.

Local weavers are also fond of incorporating it into their work. I've gotten somewhat used to the weavings, as most represent the mountain against a blue sky with several shades of mountains and water in the foreground.

Then, during the Arts Tour, we visited the Saldana Weaving Shop, which features the creations of Santana Salazar. Her work is astounding. Out of politeness, I didn't ask her age, but I've heard she is in her eighties, and her years of experience lend something extra to her work. When I saw this pillow, I knew that this was the view of Pedernal that I wanted to carry with me.

I realize the shot is kind of blown out, but I wanted you to see it against her other weavings, rather than in it's new home, which is on my couch!

I love that the rising moon is included in the shot, and the oranges speak so perfectly of the New Mexico skies. I also like the subtle addition of the Native American symbols towards the top of the sky. This is just an astounding piece of art and one I feel fortunate to have found.

Here, I took a short detour from photographing art to shoot other scenes that caught my eye during the day.

I took several shots of this cat,
but I liked this one the best.

After a short New Mexico shower,
the flowers were so bright and clean,
with just a few drops clinging here and there.

It was a wonderful day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Best of Show


As I mentioned in a previous post, we recently went to the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo for their Feast Day celebrating Saint John the Baptist.

The afternoon involved lots of dancing, great food and many booths, featuring arts and crafts. I have to admit I was just a tad disappointed with many of the booths, some of them filled with the regular flea market stuff you see everywhere.

But there were some hidden gems and I think I discovered the best of show.

In the midst of the rows, I came across these . . .

As always,
click to enlarge
and see the detail of these exquisite figures.

I just fell in love with these. Their simplicity immediately drew me and as I wandered the Feast, they stayed on my mind and continued to draw me back.

These are created by a beautiful lady named Dinah Baca, who handcrafts each one. We spoke for quite a while, and I was enchanted as she told me the stories behind each figure. They are all inspired by various stories that have been passed down through the years, and I'm just afraid that my pictures don't really do her work justice.

She works in clay and explained the whole process to me. It was a wonderful experience hearing the steps she takes through her creative process, and even though I now know the technique, the art still astounds me.

She works in several sizes

But it was this one that stole my heart.

She has promised to send me the whole written story of this figure, and when she does, I'll share it here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ABC Wednesday-W


It's ABC Wednesday  again, W this time. 

We took a drive over to the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo for their Feast Day honoring John the Baptist.

I have MANY pictures to share, but for now, one will have to do.

I caught this dancer with both feet off the ground and decided that my post would be called

Walking on Air

We had a marvelous time, and if you're interested, come back in a few days for lots more pictures.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ABC Wednesday - V


Just a quick ABC Wednesday this week.

The letter is V and this photo was taken at Valley of Fires outside of Carrizozo, New Mexico.

Valley of Fires is a forty five mile stretch of lava that has extruded up from the earth only some fifteen hundred years ago, making it one of the youngest and largest lava flows of its' type. In places, the lava is up to to one hundred fifty feet thick.

While this photo doesn't show the lava beds, it was taken while we were staying at the BLM campground located in the middle of the flow.

As always, you can click to enlarge for a more detailed image.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Few Photos


Hopefully, these will speak for themselves.

Lovely Columbines

the Piedre Lumbra Museum

As you can see,
I've been playing
in Photoshop again

Remember to click
for a larger version!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ABC Wednesday-U


ABC Wednesday again, the letter U this time . . .

We had an unusually long storm last night, wonderful for us and the earth, not so great for our tent campers, although none of them are complaining.

I'm just happy to be snuggled warm and dry in Cholula Red!

I woke up to gray skies and drops of crystal clear water on all the windows. Then I noticed that the rain didn't discourage out hummingbirds in the least.

I just love our window feeders. They allow us to see the birds up really close and the photo opportunities are endless.

This is my favorite shot of the morning which I'm calling

Under the Weather
The hummingbirds continue to fascinate and amaze.

As always,
this looks much better
if you click the photo and enlarge it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ghost Ranch (again)


I'm afraid that many of my posts from Ghost Ranch will just be a lot of photos. I'm so taken with the light here, I can't seem to stop shooting.

Then I look around and realize that everyone is shooting the exact same pictures.

Other photographers stand in the same locations I do.

I look in the gift shop and see postcards and prints of the same subjects I'm shooting.

I look online and see shots that are so superior to mine, why do I bother?

I wish I could understand why I feel compelled to take pictures . . .

I guess it's to remind me of my own experiences of these places.

Whatever the reason, here are a few more shots. Remember to click on the umages, these black and whites in particular look better at a higher resolution.

As you probably know, the skull is the symbol of Ghost Ranch. In days gone by, there was no marker on the road. If you knew the secret, you turned at the unmarked gate with the animal skull. These were frequently stolen, so different skulls were used. When Georgia O'Keeffe painted a cow skull (although some say it is an ox, I can't quite be sure), this became the official logo for Ghost Ranch.

I'm sure this isn't the original skull, but I love the symmetry. It hangs in front of Ghost House (which I'm sure I'll get around to telling you about at some point).

Since I'm posting on Sunday Morning, I thought I'd include this shot I took inside the chapel. The windows face Pedernal, a striking landmark that is visible from most of Ghost Ranch.

Pedernal has a rich history, sacred to the Native Americans and beloved by Georgia O'Keeffe, who included it in many of her paintings.

This shot was taken
along the path
we walk every day to the dining hall.

New Mexico skies, what can I say?

My one color entry for today. I've been so immersed in black and white, I was sort of shocked when I looked at this shot. This is SOOC (straight out of the camera) except for sizing. I was going to transfer it to black and white, but the blue was so vivid I decided to keep it.

Again, these skies.
In the bottom of the shot,
you can see the skull hanging under the eaves.

A final shot.
I got up at 5AM and took this
just as the sun was brightening the sky.

As always,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the Tour-ABC Wednesday

We continue to be amazed at our good fortune to be able to spend time here at Ghost Ranch. This truly seems to be a unique place, with new vistas, people and experiences around every corner.

You probably already know that Ghost Ranch is where Georgia O'Keeffe spent much of her time painting. She loved the area around Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch in particular.

I can certainly see why.

In 2005, there was an exhibition of her paintings accompanied by photographs of the actual locations. Titled Georgia O'Keeffe and New Mexico: a Sense of Place, the exhibition was such a success that Ghost Ranch now offers a tour following the same path. Yesterday, we went on the tour and what a wonderful day we had.

So for this ABC Wednesday, I'm showing my photographs from the Georgia O'Keeffe Tour.

Her paintings are so very rich in color, as is the landscape around us, yet somehow, I want to see these images in black and white. I look at the photos in color. They are vibrant and rich and alive. But when I see them in black and white, they seem to speak to me on another level, so I'm just going to go with it.

On our way to the tour,
we saw this lone hiker
silhouetted against the sky.

Getting away from the main compound,
we begin to see the country as she saw it.

O'Keeffe painted these rocks several times.
She particularly liked these "arrowheads".
They are are part of the cliffs
in the preceding shot.

Please remember that you can
click on any image.
They look much better
when seen in a larger size.

These mounds are very similar
to the Painted Desert

These trees catch my eye
every time.

There's a herd of wild burros
here on the Ranch.

They came out to greet us,
probably hoping for a handout.

They were out of luck
in that department,
but that didn't stop them
from following us.

I took this shot from the back of the bus.

It's my favorite of the day.

The huge clouds of the New Mexico skies
cast the most amazing patterns on the land.
It looked like someone had
masked out part of the landscape.

This is known as Gerald's tree,
named by Georgia O'Keeffe.
She painted it several times.

Everyone who sees it photographs it,
so I almost didn't.

But then I gave in

One final shot of Chimney Rock.
Doesn't it look like it's smoking?

A perfect day.