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

Rio Grande Gorge–February?

This is the spot where the Rio Pueblo flows into the Rio Grande. All that water flowing down from the Taos Pueblo’s sacred Blue Lake, and through the pueblo, for who knows how long, ends up here. All the little creeks and rivers that accept and channel the melting mountain snow (many divided into acequia ditches), join the Rio Pueblo and become part of this convergence. This place, the certain geography of this concept somehow captures my imagination. So this past Saturday I took a friend new to Taos along the path that dead-ends here allowing our view.

 Along the path I looked for visual interest in the desert monotony of a dry winter. I’m no cactus expert so can’t offer a name, but this one appears to be reacting to the exposure to sun and cold with a lovely purple skin color.

Here’s how to find this trail. From Hwy. 68 out of Taos take a right turn at Pilar and proceed along the river until you get to the bridge (several miles). You can either park along the road on the right just after you cross the bridge or you can park in the lot just before the bridge and enjoy the walk over it. Finding the path is easy.

This interesting rock formation is one of the sites along the path. My friend seemed to know what type it is but all I recall is the word, “black,” which is pretty obvious. She got closer to photograph it herself. As you can tell we were not dressed in the down jackets that we left in the car. It was probably in the high 40s/low 50s and mostly sunny.

As I type this several days later it has been snowing on and off (lightly) for two days. We took advantage of the warm weather when it was available. This winter we are being lulled into the belief that these warm days will be back soon. Hope it’s true.


I mentioned a few blogs back that there was an unexplored “other” old truck on the property of the Overland Complex in El Prado. This is one of the shots of it I took last week.

I like this complex of businesses for several reasons. It includes Envision Gallery, an admirable gallery where I have a couple of paintings now, and the Tea Shop (Ancient Rituals Apothecary), where I hung 5 paintings last Friday, one of my favorite stores in Taos. Plus the complex has a scenic location next to the Taos Pueblo, thus a good spot from which to take those mountain photos in all seasons and weather conditions.

And not that far away this photo was taken on the grounds of the Taos Pueblo farm market which has been providing greenhouse-grown produce for the public this winter. They are generally open on Wednesdays and Fridays, but the Wednesday I was there they were closed for some reason. This agricultural complex has sprung up in the past several years and shows everyone that growing food in winter can be done with the right equipment and determination. Kudos to the Pueblo for leading the way!

I have decided to be available for astrology readings at OptiMysm Wednesdays from 2 – 5 PM. On the 22nd, though, I’ll be at Ojo celebrating my 70th birthday.

Look for a new Owl Woman card where my cards are sold in Taos.

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