Quick Draw Painting

Once a year a Taos community art organization (TCA) puts on a benefit for itself called a Quick Draw. They invite some “in demand” Taos artists to donate their work by creating a painting in a couple of hours, and under the view of the public, to be auctioned off at the end of the day. This is Ed Sandoval, a popular local artist, working in the photo above. He is fun to watch as he is dramatic and expressive in his gestures. He paints like everyone’s unrealistic concept of how it’s done.

Jane Chandler, in contrast works in a quiet and self-contained manner, or did while I was watching. Here she’s executing a pastel drawing on a panel of some type that she had previously textured with brush strokes. As you can see she is working from a photo which she has attached to the top of her easel. There were about a dozen artists working in the courtyard of the Stables Gallery this year on a perfect-weather Saturday in late September.

On the same day and in the adjacent Kit Carson Park you could see this turtle drum I designed and painted on a 12″ drum for Sweet Medicine Drums, who had a booth set up in the weekend arts and crafts fair.

Some of you will recall the artful fabric piece I chose to photograph (out of all the great art) at the Arte de Descartes show a few blogs back? Well, Melissa Larson, the organizer of that event forwarded my blog to the artist, Susan Faeder, who lives in Pennsylvania (yes), and Susan emailed me to acknowledge me for featuring her. So I’ve now had the privilege of exchanging several emails with her and the fun of hopping around on her website. I’ve even seen a photo of her on her site and learned that once a year she takes groups of quilters on a field trip to Japan (yes). I am so excited and impressed to connect with her, at least so far as cyberspace allows. If you love Japanese fabrics she is for you! Oh and the photo above is of fairly recent work.

Meanwhile out in the natural world (in which I so gratefully live) I’ve noticed a new and charming transformation in the trees and bushes. The leaves are JUST starting to turn. I took a little walk-with-camera the other day so I could share with you this sometimes subtle color contrast with the still-dominant green.

Just today a fan of my blog was heard praising it to a friend saying that it feels like I really get around, judging from my photos. I thought that was funny because I’m such a homebody and don’t adventure around as much as I could, if only I would. I try not to make that a “should” which would make this blog a job and I want it always to be the joy it still is after a year and counting. Take these leaf photos. All I have to do is go on a little walk-about on the property where I live and I can always find natural beauty to photograph.

So remind me I said that when I complain about the barking dogs in the neighborhood or the gas-guzzling drive into town. These photos tell the story of what attracted me to this casita in Talpa in the first place. I remember reading, before I moved to Taos, that it’s important now (more than ever) to live in a natural environment that you can really love, because that attitude of notice and appreciation toward it is valuable now for the energetic balancing of Earth Herself.

And last, but not least, my beautiful corn plants. I feel, when I study them, I am peering into one of life’s great mysteries. Today I learned that each thread of silk you see there represents one kernel of corn waiting to be pollenated. By the way I am growing the type that makes small ears of multicolored corn. You could say it’s more of an art project than a food crop.

Lemon cucumbers at the farm market.

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.