Quick Draw Art in Taos

Richard Nichols was focused on his job when I passed by his location in the 10th annual Quick Draw Art event that benefits the Taos Center for the Arts. He has a studio over on Ledoux that you can reach through the Blumenschein courtyard.

Leigh Gusterson was making great progress on her painting here around 2:00 PM. This year there were about 40 artists, in a diversity of media, invited to participate. I understand this year’s Quick Draw was well attended and raised a good amount of money for the TCA. The work, begun at noon, is auctioned around 4:00 in the afternoon to the highest bidder.

Ed Sandoval was working on a larger canvas and I noticed his painting style was very active. I believe his painting turned out to sell for a nice high price, benefitting everyone.

Honestly by the time I arrived at the Quick Draw I had been taking my time through the Saturday Farm Market, the Taos Fall Arts Festival painting exhibit (lots to see there) and had looked up a friend selling wares at the Arts & Crafts festival at Kit Carson Park. I was running out of steam. Next year I will make this event more of a priority. I really would have appreciated the opportunity to put faces to the names of well-known Taos painters and other artists.

This photo taken at the farm market says it all about the time of year. Nature’s ability to come up with colors and forms for the humble squash seems infinite. My own garden is still producing tomatoes, zucchini and lemon cucumbers at the front of the house. The salad greens I keep fenced in the back are perking up at the cooler weather. And there are lots of last minute annuals in both locations trying to make some seeds before it’s too late. The birds are enjoying the sunflower seeds while they’re abundant.

This aging sunflower plant is my first photo of fall colors in the landscape around my home in Talpa. I’ve heard there are lower-elevation areas that have already had frosty nights, but so far not where I live above the Rio Chiquita River. I’ve checked the 10-day forecast for temperatures at night and it looks like our warm weather will continue on.

I just looked at the clock and it says 2:10 PM. Normally I’d be thinking I just have time to make it to Cafe Loka for an afternoon break, but sadly that business, my heart’s favorite, closed last Friday. I will really miss that place and I’m sure I’m in good company.

I am in love with this sign that greeted me on the way to the parking lot at the Hanuman Temple Sunday. Great wisdom, at least for a Sunday.

Gotta Love Cafe LOKA

Yes, you’ve gotta love Taos’ Cafe LOKA if you like an artful environment with great WiFi. Let’s face it Taos can get a little intense. Here you can forget about it for an hour or so. Their chai tea is great and they offer pots of interesting teas for a reasonable price. Besides the espresso coffee drinks, (it is a cafe) they serve breakfast and lunch. I sometimes wish they stayed open later than 3. I work at home and sometimes by the time I look at the clock to see if I have time to make it to LOKA I have missed my opportunity. Darn.

LOKA has a great outdoor patio in what’s actually a courtyard that includes a yoga studio and a hair salon. It’s one of those places that has a sense of place. Once you enter you feel you are in a place that has thought of what would feel good to a human and there you are. The owner is often around and his presence is quiet and thoughtful, somewhat like his cafe. And don’t miss the door to the restroom. It’s a work of contemporary art but in a Zen kind of way.

Another place I’ve found nearby is a little workspace/gallery called Pocket. It was opened this spring by Kristin and her friend, Clare. Kristin is one of the first people I met when visiting Taos to locate a rental home back in March. We met at an art opening and she gave me her card. I visited Pocket a few days later and when I saw the kind of art that she and Clare were doing I was entranced. Kristin will fearlessly paint a decorative design on a huge wall (as in the clothing store, Substance, just off the Plaza) or work with stencils. She also paints and can probably make anything in an artful way–see the egg chandelier, next photo.

I used to have a small business that relied entirely on stencils–a hand painted T-shirt company. Later I moved to Sonoma County, CA, and worked part time as a stencil-cutting specialist for a decorative arts company called Art for Architecture. The owner took me under her wing and often I would stay with her family when a job lasted several days.

I spied this beauty while driving along Maestas Rd. on a shortcut to Talpa from Canyon. I swear I have seen (and photographed) the same flower in Baja in late spring. As you can see (if you squint) the plant is a thistle of some kind so it would like an arid location and climate. Luckily for me and my camera this plant was growing right along the side of the road, making access possible, even easy. What a planet we live on!