Saturday, May 21, 2011
I couldn't post yesterday for lack of connection, and was probably too overstimulated to write anyway. And where am I? Well, on Thursday, during a soak in an outdoor pool in T or C overlooking the Rio Grande, I struck up a conversation with a woman who, as it unfolded, was driving up to Santa Fe for the weekend (for her son's college graduation) and offered to take me along. Not only that, but there would be somewhere for me to stay for free. And, she was planning to stop at Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O' Keeffe lived and painted for many years, on Monday. Road trip! I would miss a few days of studio time, but I'd get to see some new places, take photos to work from, and bring my watercolors and drawing pad. On the road north, I mentioned Cerrillos, an old western turquoise mining town 20 miles outside of Santa Fe, where a Beacon friend of mine had suggested I go. So we drove there, strolled around the small, dusty town and visited the Casa Grande turquoise mining museum and trading post. The museum was full of excavated old objects (score!) including hundreds of glass bottles, typewriters, signs and relics from a couple of movies that were filmed there (Young Guns in '88- full of fine-looking actors, long before they started running amok) and cases of rocks, gems and minerals. I introduced myself, wandered around happily and bought a shard of real Cerrillos turquoise, valuable because the area is not much mined anymore. Another highlight was the gallery/studio of an artist (Tom Morin) who creates attractive desert-like landscapes and nature abstractions from used sanding belts veneered onto wood armatures. Who'd think?
The former 'ghost town' of Madrid was nearby, full of shops and more old things, so we stopped there too. Throughout the whole journey I could barely tear my eyes away from the scenery, and the sky was an appropriately turquoise blue, studded with puffy clouds. After arriving in Santa Fe we dropped into the NM History Museum, free admission Fri nights. It was a quick visit, just enough to begin to comprehend the overwhelming history of this state and its people over the past two centuries. Naturally, much of it was as sobering as it was thrilling. Another show was "Ranch Women of New Mexico", a selection of photographs of extremely kick-ass women.
Today, I'm walking around Santa Fe, after seeking out wifi in exchange for a massive green chile burrito. I already bought my within-budget cowboy boots in a T or C secondhand store, but I suspect the bead/rock shops here may tempt me. There are galleries, of course, to race through. One has an exhibition by a Beacon-based artist, Lee Price, so I will certainly visit (hometown pride, plus she is a superior painter).
A few days before this traveling opportunity arose, another super thing happened- I found out that I received the NYFA grant I'd applied for last month! It was a small Strategic Opportunity Stipend I'd requested for my Better Farm residency next month. It's the first grant I've applied for, and maybe it'll help me obtain future ones. It certainly put a spring in my step.