Sunday, July 5, 2009

More from the travel journal

This is one side of the calendar page I made for my travel journal. I got this idea from my friend Paula, who always puts a calendar page in her travel journals. I made the page in advance, and then added a few words about each day, and some bit of ephemera collected that day. I really liked doing it, and it will be a regular feature of my travel journals from now on!
This is another sketch I made sitting in the Plaza in Santa Fe. I drew the sketch and then painted it later. I realized as I was scanning it that the tree looks like it might be dead, it was actually all leafed out, but I am not that proficient with watercolor, and couldn't figure out how to add the leaves without blocking out the buildings! You can see my sketch lines for leaves in the background!

I really loved the Peerless Watercolors for traveling. I can thank my friend, Paula, for that suggestion, also!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Of Blue Sky and Adobe

One of the things I loved best about New Mexico was the intense blue sky. This effect was partly because of the altitude, over 7000 feet in Santa Fe, and pretty high in the other places we went. Another thing I really loved was all of the adobe! The color was incredible, and the outline of the adobe buildings against the blue sky made it even more beautiful.

I was in love with all of the old adobe churches! They were beautiful on the inside, too, but cameras weren't allowed. The church above is in Chimayo, a tiny town about 30 minutes from Santa Fe.
This church is in the tiny town of Trampas, on the High Road to Taos.
This is the church at the Taos pueblo. It is very small inside, but absolutely beautiful. There is a wonderful painted scene behind the altar with Mary in a dress that looks like a wedding dress.
If you are a fan of Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams, you will probably recognize this one, it is the famous church at Rancho de Taos. This is the back end of the church, and it is what you see as you drive by on the main road to Taos from Santa Fe. It is just as beautiful as all of the many paintings and photographs indicate.

We arrived in Taos just a few days after the entire church had been re-mudded. It is a big celebration, and there was an article in the paper about it. Many of the other adobe churches we saw had straw visible in the structure, but this one did not.
The church from the front. It was a beautiful and serene spot. Most of the churches we saw were dedicated to either St. Francis (because Franciscans built them) or to Our Lady of Guadalupe. We laughed about how we had been in more churches in a week than we had been in about 5 years!

The color of the adobe against the blue sky made me think of the land rising up to meet the sky. I found a wonderful quote in the main guidebook we used,

From the earth I was made,
And the earth shall feed me,
The earth has sustained me,
And in the end, I shall be earth also.

From Fodor's Compass American Guides Santa Fe, written by Lawrence Cheek. The quote is from an "ancient New Mexican hymn". The guide book was tremendous, by the way, I would highly recommend it, if you plan a trip to Santa Fe.