Earlier this month Anna and I took a trip down to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Even though the trip was planned out very well, the decision to go to Santa Fe was kind of a spontaneous one. I was turning 40 you see, and Anna wanted to take me on a trip for my birthday. We didn’t want to go too far and New Mexico seemed like a really good choice. I’d heard a bit about the art community down there over the years, but I guess the main reason I wanted to go down was for the history (Santa Fe was settled in 1609), and to see some architecture. And there was plenty of both. But the way that community supports and embraces the arts was truly a refreshing sight, and everybody we met was very friendly and supportive.
There is a whole lot of beautiful work being produced in Santa Fe right now, and I may write more on some of that work in upcoming posts. But first, I want to write about the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. We visited the museum right when we woke up on our first day in Santa Fe. As a matter of fact, the house we stayed in was right downtown, only a few blocks away from the museum.
I began researching the artwork and life of Georgia O’Keefe when I was a teenager, and over the years have read a couple of biographies about her. She is a very interesting person, and I have always been drawn to her paintings. I have seen quite a bit of her work as I’ve made my way through galleries and museums in different cities. The way she takes the harshness out of nature and life in her paintings can be a nice thing to see, and the opportunity to see a whole museum dedicated to her work was too good to pass up.
When Georgia was in her 50s, after her husband Alfred Stieglitz died, O’Keefe moved to New Mexico. I think the bulk of what we saw was painted in the surrounding areas, because of all the beautiful desert scenes. There were some nice pieces from earlier in her career, including one of her New York city-scapes. I love her city-scapes, and they always take me by surprise, so that alone brought a big smile to my face.
But that wasn’t my favorite. My favorite painting had to be the image at the very top of this post, called Cottonwood Tree in Spring. It was incredible to look at, and I stood in front of it staring. The way that the white branches played in and out of the green foliage was fascinating to me. I’m not sure that the small size of the internet image does it justice but, Holy Cow! What a beautiful painting! Another painting that I truly enjoyed was Autumn Trees – The Maple, to the right. The shapes in this painting are amazing. Anna’s favorite is shown at the top and to the right of this post, called Horse Skull with White Rose. I actually reproduced this painting in Sculpey as a small pendant for Valentine’s Day, and I love to see Anna wear it. It helps bring back all the good memories of our time spent in Santa Fe.