On our drive from Mountainair to Taos we noticed how quickly the terrain changed from flat desert- like vistas of sage and short scrubby trees, to mountains and "real" trees. It looks like all those photographs we see of Colorado and for good reason. We are close to being IN Colorado! The roads became serpentine and I appreciated the sturdy guardrails. In this photograph you can see the Rio Grande to the left. By the time the Rio Grande reaches our part of the state it is a lazy, slow-moving brown river. I was surprised at the blue, the white water, and the intensity of its flow here! We climbed steadily until we reached Taos. The temperature was colder than when we left home and the air had the same crisp, cleanness that we sometimes take for granted in Mountainair.
We continued on through Taos to the tiny hamlet of Arroyo Seco ("dry creek"). This is a photograph of the quintessential coffeehouse which is located in about the middle of Arroyo Seco. As I stood in the street in front of the coffeehouse I took these photographs looking down the street and then up the street. These show you just about all of Arroyo Seco! You do have to drive quite slowly through "town" as there is a very big and very old tree in the middle of the road. The town is busy all year long with tourists from all over the world, but in the winter is filled with mostly young people, all of whom ski and snowboard. It looked a lot like a college town.
Then ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::drum roll::::::::::::::::::::::::: the most wonderful thing happened. We walked into a new gallery and folk art place called Firenza Gallery that has been open about a week. As we walked through the door I almost stopped breathing. It was like walking into a box of crayons! The colors! They are incredible! The hand painted pillows were the first visual that literally held me back with their explosion of colors! I Was Speechless.
The gallery owners, Tom and Jill Shank, are working hard to bring the exterior of the gallery up to the standard of the wonderful artworks inside. This photograph shows a talented artisan named Armando who is repairing and painting and building displays. Tom and Jill loved my hand painted bags and here you can see all of them on "my" shelf . I had taken along two issues of Altered Couture showing the feature articles of my clothing and they now would like to carry my altered vests! I had taken my painted vest along to wear but left it for them to sell! As soon as they have a hanging rack in place I will get more vests to them. Hummmm..maybe another trip North? It was a grand adventure! And now, today, I can start painting more large pieces of fabric...my favorite part!