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.

Tipis and Temples in Taos

I know, it looks like Mongolia, but it’s Taos, in one of her many faces. Take a turn off Medio on Mondragon and enjoy the bumpy dirt road (no speed bumps necessary). I was there for a presentation offered by two ambassadors from Peru, who represent the Kipatsi Indigenous Work Group. I believe the event was hosted by Vista Paz Taos. Nyna Matsiak invited me and the above photo is her family’s home.

This was taken inside the tipi where we gathered. These lovely gentlemen are Asheninka Mino and Emilio Salvatierra. They are presently living in Albuquerque but come up to Taos at intervals at the invite of Vista Paz Taos. There were about a dozen locals attending. There was a translator on hand, who works with Kipatsi, to help with the conversation. Oddly, I found when they spoke Spanish I could almost understand what they were saying. Possibly they slowed down their natural speech rhythm for this purpose? I was very touched by the effect it had on me and found their very presence inspiring.

Of course, they have goals similar to all of us, survival of our chosen or inherited homelands and into the future sustainable living close to land that is free of rape and pillage by the profit machine.

I took this shot as I was departing around 8 PM. No doubt you’ll hear more about the adventures of Nyna and her farm off the grid and the Kipatsi work group, not to mention the interesting goings on at Vista Paz Taos.

I also attended lunch last Sunday at the Hanuman Temple in Taos, an exotic place if you’ve never been there. They serve their lunches starting at 1 PM every Sunday as part of their spiritual practice and the outdoor serving area is entirely free of any hint of collecting money. They do have a little store near the kitchen area. This was my second time and, like the first, there were lots of people eating and socializing. The food is Indian style, warm and spicy and delicately delicious.

Ganesha holds a place of honor at the entrance to the compound from the parking lot. This is the season for local marigolds and are a popular flower both in the Hindu culture and in Mexico. I have a few plants but they have yet to flower. I had a marigold conversation on Saturday with Tara, who is one of the gardeners on the Hanuman Temple property. She was offering them for sale at the farm market last Saturday and said they always try to grow a lot of them so they can use them at the temple and sell them, but it’s hard to get them to bloom early where they are located, a giant step down from Taos proper on a little road off Valverde.

So as a newbie gardener in Taos I’m taking note. Start your marigolds in a greenhouse if you have one, or indoors, early. That would probably be along with your heirloom tomatoes of Siberian descent! Yes, my tomatoes are still producing but I’ll admit this past week they have slowed down a touch (due to lack of Siberian heritage?). Their feet are still staying cosy inside their “walls of water’ but the tops will be vulnerable come the first cold night. We won’t even mention the touchingly beautiful morning glories I have climbing up everything in sight now. They will be the first to go in the cold. Ah, life and death in the garden.

August Splendor in Taos Farm Market

Seems everyone agrees dailias took the prize as queens of the market last Saturday. But flowers were abundant everywhere you looked, making for high splendor and a giddy feeling of joy. Even the vegetables looked brighter and were often displayed so beautifully you felt they were flowers too.

Case in point, this cascade of carrots. This came from a display on the far side as you enter the market run by two young men. They seem to be in the spirit of vegetables as the stuff of art. I can’t say I’ve asked, or know, where all these growers call home but I had a conversation with a young man who is farming in Las Trampas on an acreage that has asequia water. This is his first year there and he is planning to continue. Las Trampas is about 45 minutes from Taos on the High Road, and is famous for it’s beautiful adobe church built in the 1800s.

The photo above shows one of the two young men I liked for their artful displays of produce. Another place I’ve noticed farmers are from is Dixon, south of Taos down the 68, Dixon has a notably lower elevation which probably helps lengthen the growing season. I made a detour off 68 to see Dixon a couple of weeks ago for the first time. I was with some visiting sisters and we were making the loop around the High Road through Espanola and back up to Taos. I could see why people like it there. It felt sheltered and fertile and very quiet. Artists and farmers seem attracted to it.

No blog about the Taos Farm Market would be complete without mentioning Jeff and his partner, whose charm and reliability are only matched by their offerings. When I got there Saturday they had already sold all the tomatoes they brought, 32 pounds I think it was. They have a one-acre place where they live and garden intensively called Talpa Gardens. Their place is on the acequia and talking to Jeff I got the impression he knows how special his water is. They often sell out early so my advice is to be prudent and shop there first and “get it while you can.” Saturday I passed them by in my enthusiasm for taking photos and stopping for a short session with Bonnie, the palm reader. I later regretted my careless attitude. By the way, the reading with Bonnie was amazing! She’s there every Saturday. Take advantage.