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"Artmaking is not about how smart you are but rather about visualizing what you feel"

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Linda's Art Blog

This blog is for discussions on Art and Design in support of students, artists, and buyers of Art. It is a way to have some fun with my home studio and on-line students and anyone interested in Art History and current events. Comment on this blog as an opportunity to share recent shows and events and thoughts about your own art process.
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Tuesday
Jun122018

Land of Enchantment

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.” Georgia O’Keeffe

 

O'Keeffe

Cynthia and I just spent 5 days in Abiquiu, New Mexico in the high desert. Our friends and hosts Susannah and Todd shared the history and painting locations and hiking trails they learned in 32 years of trips to the area. The geology and culture and history are even richer than one expects from the exquisite paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, who made the area hers.

Our dear friends, Sue and Cathy joined us at Casita La Chuparosa and for all the rich activities of the trip. The Casita was magical with too many hummingbirds to count, alpacas, donkeys and Buster, the horse. Jeff, the owner, made perfect choices in furnishings and amenities to create just the right comfort for us when we returned to rest from hiking, painting, reading, and photographing this dramatic desert scenery.

The first day we went to the Monastery, Christ of the Desert. The road was open but the camping along the Chama River is closed for fire danger. 2018 campers are very careless and the rangers are finding many smoldering campfires to put out. A large fire near Taos and one in Durango are ongoing.

We painted below the Dam, Abiquiu Lake, on the Chama. Beauty in every direction.

The second day, we painted at Echo Amphitheater. Sue and Cynthia enjoyed the flat rocks at the lake and easy walks. The afternoon was spent at the tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu House. There is a terrific education and Visitor Center next door to the Abiquiu Inn. Our tour guide was author, Barbara Heming (Death Wins the Crown). Her presentation was excellent with all the details woven into a easy to follow narrative. We were struck by the conscious aesthetic of rich simplicity — good furniture, good food, amazing views. This Tour is a must and requires reservations ahead of your trip. I loved that I learned so many new things about the area and Georgia. I have been reading about O’Keeffe since 1976, and I was stunned at how much I learned on the trip.

 

The third day, was a full day at Ghost Ranch. Although Georgia’s Ghost Ranch house is not open to the public, The ranch’s views and history will fill you up. As before Todd and Susannah found shade and 360 degree views for the painters. The hikers went up a trail to the top of the world and looked down on chimney rock. We all met back at the cafeteria  for lunch. Nothing is slick here. All is adobe and historic. gorgeous as the paintings of O’Keefe. We saw the art center, the first casita Georgia demanded to take for her first  summer, the Archuleta’s home and hanging tree, and the Archeology Paleontology Museum. Read more about the Archuletas and Ghost Ranch before Georgia.

Our final evening was spent around a table at the Abiquiu Inn eating delicious food with a special young man, Kyle, as our waiter. The Inn has a gift shop and Gallery and a sculpture garden to wander. See more.

It was difficult to leave on Saturday because the hummingbirds and tranquility were filling us up. Crackers to Donkeys and carrots to Buster and away we went. We can’t wait to go back.  Jeff is selling the business so if you have the energy to run a Casita…check it out. La Chuparosa.

We took a beautiful route home through Chama and crossed into Colorado into the most beautiful Rio Grande Forest. A wonderful New Mexico trip and our Colorado backyard was a delight to come home to. Count me in a constant state of gratitude. 

 

Wednesday
Oct112017

Chipeta Rising Celebration

The Chipeta Rising Celebration was organized to honor the renaming of Chipeta Mountain in the Sawatch Range on Sun., Oct 8, and Mon., Oct. 9, in Salida and surrounding areas. Free historic, public events will paid tribute to Ute culture with a Unity Walk, reconciliation and rededication presentations and ceremonies, performances, a mountain rededication ceremony and memorial summit climb.

Cynthia and I joined Mark Monroe, Jimmy Sellars, Wayne Iverson, and Licia Iverson in Salida for this special celebration, on October 8. Photographer extraordinaire,Maarten Havercamp from Amsterdam rode to Salida with us on October 7. His company made the trip even richer.

Sunday started with a welcome luncheon to gather Roland McCook, Chipeta’s great great grandson and other family members, tribal members and government officials. Roland  gave the blessing in his own language. Thanks to Licia for this well-planned event.

After lunch we joined, the Unity Walk from Alpine Park to the Steam Plant Event Center. Chipeta’s descendants led the way. I was honored to speak for a time with Tony Small, vice chairman of the Uncompahgre Tribe. Chipeta’s family came from the Reservation in Utah. They are as beautiful and gentle as she was. Tony carried the portrait that I painted. It was gifted to Roland, his uncle and former Ute Chairman. I was touched to know he liked it. Tony is the great great great grandson of Chipeta.

At the Steam Plant on the Arkansas River, Wayne showed us on the topographique map the change of peak… 2,000 plus feet of altitude added. Now Chipeta’s peak is equal in height to Ouray’s peak. Both can be seen from Salida. The renaming petition went through government channel’s to honor Chipeta and her equal place in the history of Colorado. Chipeta is the only Ute to be inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

We listened to Ute leaders, from Colorado and from Utah. We listened to the Governor’s liaison. We heard from Roland McCook, and he introduced Chipeta’s family and other Ute tribe members. We heard a proclamation from Chafee County Commissioners. We heard from Art Goodtimes of Telluride. We were treated to drumming and dancing. Dancers included Lisa, 3 greats, Cody, 4 greats, Brianna, 4 greats…and other tribal members and family. The dancing was beautiful. Non-indians were invited to dance. Many did, but I felt too self-conscious…Roland said I would regret sitting out…I do.

Cynthia and I left Salida at 4:00pm to beat the first snowfall in Louisville. Our hearts remain full, and we welcome all of the information we received. It gives us hope for healing and reconciliation. Roland is available for education and blessings if your Colorado community wants to know more about the "original people of Colorado". Two golden nuggets: one is “Listen” and ask your elected officials to listen. Two is that Utes make do with what they have..and maybe so could we. The government continues to take land from the Utes. Ask our government leaders to honor treaties and respect Native American rights. Heal the past by doing the right thing now

Here are some wonderful photos thanks to Maarten Havercamp, Mark Monroe, and Cynthia Bargman. Also read more at Chipeta Mountain Project and Chipeta on Wikipedia. Also read Marked Men by Joseph Hutchison.

  

  


Tuesday
Oct112016

Chipeta, Ute Peacemaker and Leader

Some years back, a Meeker, Colorado client had inquired if I might paint a Ute Indian. In researching the history of the Utes, I read all I could find about Chipeta. My interest was heightened when I taught a workshop in Ridgway, Colorado and visited the Ute museum in Montrose. Chipeta and her brother Robert McCook are buried there. You can see Ute influences in the rock art and the people in my work (referencing "Connection to Ancestors" paintings.

Last Spring while preparing for the Sellars Project Space exhibition, NINE Colorado Artists, I made a painting of Chipeta, historic leader of the Utes. Wayne Iverson, Salida community activist, had begun a petition to move the name Chipeta Mountain, from a lower sub peak to the true 13,472-foot summit of the mountain. The Chipeta Mountain website will give you more information. If you agree, please sign the petition.

In support of Wayne’s petition, and to be in community with wonderful friends and colleagues in Salida, I donated the painting to be used to promote the renaming, in any form that Wayne and Jimmy Sellars thought useful. 

So here comes the part that touches me.  On October 8, 2016, Wayne was able to gift the painting to a great great grandson of Chipeta at a reconciliation ceremony in San Miguel County. You can read more about the event on the Facebook Page Indigenous Peoples Day-San Miguel County. I am so grateful and feel honored that the gift was received by an ancestor of this incredible woman and peaceful leader of the Utes.

Chipeta

McCook

Ute Elders

 

Thursday
Sep082016

Day 3 headed home from Taos

The next morning, we packed up the car and headed up to the Dunn Shops for gift shopping and to try to find Anne Brenner. We had tracked Anne down to her office behind her business Taos Rockers.

Anne and her mother, Barbara Brenner, were friends of my mothers. I wanted to just stop in and tip my hat . The Brenners are granddaughter and great granddaughter of Oscar E. Berninghaus of the Taos Society of Artists. You can read about how essential the work of the descendants of the founders has been to the celebration of Taos as an arts community. Barbara Brenner was a founding member of the Taos Arts Festival in the 70’s. Read more in the Taos News.

I mentioned in an earlier blog to always start your visit at Ranchos Church and Two Graces Gallery. Well we ended ours there. Where I always enjoy hearing what’s up from Robert Cafazzo, and he helped us choose the books that we brought home to keep our trip alive. Robert’s paintings and the paintings and drawings of Holly Seivers are great to see. The historic items he sells are a must see. We were looking for quick food, so he sent us to KoKo’s. Perfect. Then we headed to Sierra Vista Cemetery to visit my parents.  Next trip we plan for Taos Sheepskin Company and Taos Pueblo, and a coffee with the Brenners. We headed off across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

We did a good job coming off the Salida Reception and soaking up the Taos history. I always leave Taos with a plan to return. Thanks to all the special people who make the visits special.

Thursday
Sep082016

Mabel Dodge Luhan at the Harwood Museum

After learning all we could at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site we ran down Bent Street to have a quick lunch at the Deli. It was hard to pass by Ortenstone/DeLattre Gallery where we bought a wonderful piece 3 years ago. We were on a mission. After all, the trip was planned to see the Mabel Dodge Luhan Exhibition at the Harwood Museum, and we were scheduled to leave the next morning.  Just as we arrived at the Harwood, the rain started. Always good to have rain in New Mexico.

“Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West is a traveling exhibition organized by the Harwood Museum of Art of the University of New Mexico that focuses on the life and times of one of the early 20th century’s most significant, yet under-recognized cultural figures: Mabel Dodge Luhan (1879–1962). 

Luhan brought modern art to northern New Mexico, putting Taos on the national and international maps of the avant-garde and creating a “Paris West” in the American Southwest. From 1918–1947, Luhan influenced legions of European and American “movers and shakers” to find in northern New Mexico’s physical and cultural landscapes new aesthetic, social, and cultural perspectives on modern life.

This exhibition will be the first to explore the impact Mabel Dodge Luhan had on the art, writings and activism of the 20th century American Modernism. D.H. Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, John Marin, John Collier, Marsden Hartley, Paul Strand and Andrew Dasburg—among scores of other luminaries—were summoned to Taos by Mabel and subsequently found, in the remote high desert, intellectual and spiritual inspiration for their work. The work of these artists will be presented in relation to Pueblo and Hispano artists to examine the cultural exchange that formed a unique ‘Southwest Modernism’.”

It was wonderful to see the paintings and to understand the adventurous life of Mabel Dodge Luhan. I learned more about all the players…D.H. Lawrence and Frieda, Dorothy Brett. We have a new understanding of how New Mexico became an international arts community. Now I have knowledge of the Taos Society of Artists, the Taos Modernists, and the Taos Seven that were active in the 70’s and 80’s and on.

We went back to Casita Pepper to dry off and drink coffee from Old World Coffee. Then we had a date to meet Kay and Tom Decker at the Taos Inn for drinks. Kay and Tom ran 2 successful galleries in Taos, Magic Mountain and Creative Expressions. Tom was a driving force behind the Taos Art Institute. The Deckers have been active community members in Taos since 1979. They add much to the texture of Taos. As our small world would have it, Kay and Tom are Aunt and Uncle to our neighbors …Karen, Gary, Lucy and Mimi Huitt. Since Kay and Tom have been in Taos since 1979, they knew my mother while she was Director of the Chamber of Commerce.

Cynthia and I thoroughly enjoyed our rich conversation with the Deckers. I loved hearing stories of the wild Taos of the 70’s and 80’s, and about current issues of concern to Taos. Also, it is so encouraging to hearof their success and what they know about selling art. They are both smart, creative, and humble.  What a great couple, who are living their dream. We look forward to continuing the conversation next trip. 

Then a soak in the hot tub and soup, and wondering, as we fell asleep, if we should have booked 4 nights.