Posts Tagged ‘Taos Pueblo’

Taos and Santa Fe

May 24, 2009

Taos Pueblo 1 small

Lizbet and I went travelling for a week (not counting the three days on either end that I needed to get there.

We stayed in a hotel in Taos, New Mexico and we rented a car to explore the countryside. It’s marvelous  new scape for me to absorb.  We both took our watercolours with us but we were so busy going places we wanted to see before we left that we never stopped to paint.

We spent a morning at Taos Pueblo – a world heritage site.  You can find quite a good explanation and a few good pictures of it on Wikipedia.

When we bought our entry fee, they charged us an additional five dollars per camera for the right to take pictures for personal use. They forbid publishing of them, so in respect of that, I won”t post my pictures of Taos Pueblo. I must say though, it’s a stunning place to visit.

Taos is in nosebleed country. My sister who lives on the top of Red Mountain at 5000 feet from sea level spent the first two days recovering from altitude sickness. Taos is approximately 7000 feet up.  I, who live at sea level, felt no effect whatsoever from the altitude.  Well, maybe, a little shortness of breath and a few threats of nosebleed.

The weather was hot, hot, and sunny but with a bit of breeze. The skies are a perfect blue until late afternoon when clouds take a stroll across the sky then dissolve.  At the Pueblo – the earliest multilevel structure continuously inhabited in North America – the warm grey adobe colour scintillates against the cerulean heaven.

When we got back to the hotel, after dinner, my sister retired early. I need much less sleep than she does, so I was up late with my palette of colours and I took out a big brush and painted this painting, above, trying to work from memory. I was happy, not only with the colours but with the impression of the pueblo construction.

Here’s the second one I did:

Taos Pueblo 2 small

Outside our hotel window there were birch trees with brilliantly white bark. With the sun coming through the leaves in the morning, there were such beautiful overlays of the new green leaves. It’s spring there, in the mountains. During the week we were there, the flowers in the gardens started to bloom one after the other in quick succession. It’s the heat. It brings them out much earlier than here in Canada where the succession is drawn over a two month period, not just a week.

So in the morning, before Lizbet was up, I took time to draw a section of the birch tree, trying to capture the light, the beautiful shadows and the overlay of the new green leaves.  It’s a very graceful tree. It shimmers in the late afternoon breeze. It glows with the morning sun and the afternoon sun. It was quite captivating.

Here is my version of it. I must say, I missed the precision of the shadows on the trunk, but I’m nevertheless not unhappy with the result.

Taos Birch tree small

So, there it is. My production whilst on holiday. More about the holiday later.