Saturday, May 7, 2011
Each day has been warmer than the last, with yesterday reaching 90 degrees. An excellent day to float lazily down the Rio Grande. After painting for a couple of hours, I met the others (Monika, the artist who runs Starry Night, and Susan, the other resident here, who is a writer) and we set off on a rubber boat down the river, with a stocked cooler in its own little tube floating behind, and the gentle current easing us along. Dutifully slathered with sunscreen, leaning back into the breeze drinking- what else?- Tecate with lime, we occasionally paddled to keep ourselves on course, with two short drops to lend a bit of excitement to the journey. Along one bank, modest houses, trailers and decks. On the other, salt cedars drooping over the water, and beyond, mountainous desert dotted with scrubby green. Two hours or so later, we were met by the congenial guy who'd rented us the raft and would drive us back to the car.
Although I was pretty mellowed by the sun (uh, and the beer) I wanted to finish up the 2 paintings I was working on, so I rode back to the studio in the late afternoon's hazy light with a gallon of water hooked on my thumb. Most of the stores and galleries were open. In fact, nearly every business is also a gallery- as in, cafe/gallery, bookstore/gallery, and, in the case of the store I screeched to a halt in front of, gift shop/gallery/ice cream counter. "Ice cream?" I asked doubtfully, peering in the dark windows. "In the back," said a grizzled man in a cowboy hat, beckoning me in. Sure enough, past the handmade jewelry and various southwestern items, there was the ice cream bar. I ate my scoop of butter pecan sitting at a gorgeous wooden table while looking at dozens of paintings on the walls, and chatting with the cowboy. As I left, he was sitting up on a bench outside, eating a cone and gazing off into the sunset. I couldn't resist. "May I take your picture?" I said politely. He agreed.
Clearly I haven't yet mastered how to arrange or caption the photos, hence the random appearance, but no matter. The blue truck is just the finished painting I began the other day. The colors of NM are already permeating my palette, if I was in NY the background would have been my favored murky white. Hello to cobalt green, cadmium orange, vivid pink!