February Pregnant Pause

 

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Here in Taos we’re feeling winter’s weather softening. Yes, there’s still the occasional snowfall, but a couple of days in a row in the high 40s can melt that down to the mud that you run into everywhere now. I’ve especially noticed an influx of birds tweeting around my house and I swear there’ve been a couple of recent raven conventions in big trees in the hood. It’s still a little early to find signs of budding and greening which make for nice photos. I’ve done here what I can to show you some unexpected beauty for this time of year, the pregnant pause between winter and spring.

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I discovered this nest-looking arrangement on a walk around the property a couple of days ago. Now that I look at it again I see the grey rock in the “nest” looks like an egg.

Last weekend marked the half-way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. So that can only mean we are officially gaining momentum toward that start of a new yearly cycle.

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Now this photo has no snow but gives focus to the beautiful shapes and textures of winter leaves, including some that never got the memo about their seasonal demise. I wish I could name the plant these soft furry leaves are from. Feels so familiar to me. This was taken alongside the pond at the Overland Complex. I pass by it often on my way to the Ancient Rituals Apothecary (I call it the Tea Shop) between the Envision Gallery and the sushi restaurant.

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I took a couple more photos there. These lovely leaves could be from day lilies I suppose. I was attracted to their color, helped by the angle of the late afternoon light.

Yes, the light here in Taos can be a topic. I don’t claim to understand it scientifically but I sure do experience it. It can transform the ordinary into the magical before your eyes. Not that we haven’t all had these kinds of experiences, say watching a sunset on a Pacific Ocean beach and allowing ourselves to be absorbed into the transformation. Here, that potential for  color therapy will enter your everyday environment and remind you that you live within a greater magical mystery.

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I found this cattail still in the process of releasing its seeds into the pond’s environment. I would have thought this seeding phase would have been complete, but it looked very much a happening thing.

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Remember the bright yellow chamisa bushes flowering in fall? This is what one head looks like at this time of year. I see the bones of a pattern of bursting star shapes enhanced by the warm light of the setting sun.

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And this last photo was taken in the orchard under one of the many apple trees in the same waning light of day’s end.

May we all know we ARE THE LOVE WE SEEK on Valentine’s Day.

May Flowers Taos

Hello Irises! These were the first of the season I’d seen! The photo was taken at the Overland Complex on Saturday. The owner of Ancient Rituals Medicine (I call it the Tea Shop) dreamed up this celebration in front of her store and named it the “Taos Medicine Wheel Gathering,” the 1st annual. There was a DJ for music, a woman on stilts in an amazing dress and another woman with hoops inspiring the young ones. And a newly built medicine wheel. The weather was perfect.

Now that I’m writing this I realize I should have anticipated I’d want to use this photo and get the names of these talented and generous women performers. My apologies.

That said, I want to share my thoughts about the observable fact that seemingly spontaneous events like this happen here in Taos. April, the creator of this event, is a young woman of vision and passion about how life could be closer to our dream, our sense of what is possible. Certainly she is not alone in this but for some reason she caught   my attention when I first met her.

Could have been a great day and a beautiful setting for an Easter party or a Maypole Ritual. These young girls looked the part.

So continuing here with my thoughts about the event and April’s visionary sense…the prevalence of people like her moving to Taos in the past several years is notable. On May first I had my “2 years in Taos” anniversary. A lot of the people I’ve befriended here belong to that 2-year wave. This includes April, who moved herself and her then 1 year-old son, and her Oregon business here. I’ll mention her mom also decided to move here. Sweet.

The scene would not be complete without a lilac bush in peak flowering. What a magical and inspiring moment in the yearly cycle!

On her flyer for the event April welcomes “all healers in Taos and the surrounding community” to “come recognize and be recognized” and for “people of the community to join and celebrate healing and health.” Through her Ayurvedic practice April offers an alternative to western medicine. Her positive presence enriches Taos and she is a great role model for young woman. I look forward to introducing my “soon to be age 13” granddaughter to her.

Here’s a shot of the windowed front of the Tea Shop reflecting the grassy area where the event took place. The Envision Gallery next door uses the area to display their wind sculptures, which are visible from the road.

This is a detail of one of the many paintings in the Envision Gallery by Mieshiel. Last fall some of my own work was accepted into the gallery and over time I have become acquainted with Mieshiel and his work and have become an ardent fan of both and and, really, the gallery in general.

So it’s been my good fortune to have found a heart-full place here in the Overland Complex Complex where the Tea Shop and Envision Gallery sit side-by-side. When I started this blog in June of 2010 I saw it a way to share with others my own discoveries of treasures here in Taos, especially the people doing things that inspire and excite me. This post is all about that.

Next weekend is the opening of the Saturday Farmer’s Market!

April

Tis The Season in Taos

You can’t go far these days without bumping into “the season.” I found these utterly charming hand carved and painted wood angels in Country Furnishings of Taos, one of the stores carrying my cards these days. They were dressing up for the holidays the week before Thanksgiving. Of course being myself in the business of making and selling my art and crafts I have nothing but a positive spin on this flurry of fresh beauty changing hands.

My main focus these days has been my participation in the TaosFolk.Com show now in full swing at the Stables Gallery until the day before Christmas. A small cadre of four women are in charge of this ambitious and innovative alternative to the typical holiday crafts show that involves each artist setting up a “booth” in some dreary large space. Here the setting itself is half the delight. Meg Greenwood, an interior designer, is in charge of the aesthetics and she knows how to work magic. This year the look is contemporary. There is no greenery in sight, but it feels like you have entered a place of beauty and interestingness.

I found this tiny dress to be an outstanding example of unexpected interestingness. The small items on the left are also by the same fabric artist. I regret that I was moving too fast to make notes about who made what as I was taking photos but I’m assuming you will or have already gone there yourself. One of the “rules” of the Taos Folk show is that all crafts have a retail price under $100.

This is a backside view of my area in the show, with a hanging card rack visible just to the right of center. The table to the right of that is someone else’s space. As you can see adding height by using boxes is integral to this year’s contemporary style.

One last Taos Folk photo shows the table where choices are finalized and free gift wrapping is generously and lovingly provided. I was allowed in this show last year on the Monday after Thanksgiving (3 days after it opened) and was generously offered a small card table in the back room. Being new in town I had joined the town’s annual Christmas crafts fair held in the style of individual booth spaces in large ballrooms. I had to create my own “space” and be there on site for three long days. Needless to say I was grateful to be allowed to transfer my unsold items to the Taos Folk show and pretty much walk away. Last year’s show was so popular that this time around they had a jury process to select artists, 40 I believe. Each artist has a photo and a bio on the TaosFolk.Com site.

Here’s a look at my encaustic tree ornaments in the painting step of the process. After the images are printed on rice paper and glued they are overpainted with oils. Once dry there is a final thin coating of encaustic medium to give durability and, as a bonus, a great smell similar to our local pinon pine.

A few days before Thanksgiving I decided to explore a gallery that has been on my mind. It was located north of Taos, a direction I rarely go since I live to the south. The gallery, Envision, is part of a complex of stores just south of the Waldorf School. I had driven by it many times and always wanted to stop there but was caught up in some purposeful bee-line for a different destination. The gallery has a large outdoor display of wind driven outdoor sculpture which you see from the road.

Instead of visiting Envision Gallery (closed) I entered its neighbor store, the Medicine House & Tea Shop, as you see painted on the glass in my photo which also reflects the outdoor sculpture. This is an experience I would recommend to all of my friends. I met April Dunbar, one of the two owners. She is an Ayervedic practitioner who can use tongue diagnosis to recommend the herbal tea appropriate for your healing. Yes, you show her your tongue. Needless to say I was eager for personal health analysis as always.

I am really starting to get it that Taos has nooks and crannies of interestingness that will never end. I’m so happy with my joyful job of sharing my discoveries with others.

Tin ornament from Taos Folk