Abiquiu, New Mexico: Oct 2010

In October 2010, I attended "Return to Color - The Poetic Landscape," a watercolor workshop in New Mexico led by the very talented and kind artist Meredith Nemirov, whom I met at the Vermont Studio Center. Meredith based her workshop at the Abiquiu Ghost Ranch, a small dude ranch about 80 miles North of Santa Fe. Abiquiu is famous for her colorful and commanding landscape, which was immortalized by artist Georgia O'Keefe, who began painting there in the 1920's.

We were a group of ladies who loved to paint. We had a fun week, critiques with wine and cheese. At the end of the week, we visited Georgia O'Keefe's house and the O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe. It had been a while since I had painted from life. Thank you, my new friends who supported me throughout the journey, and to Meredith. You helped make painting from life fun again!

The following are the works from the week. Due to the large number of pieces, I have split the week into 2 blog entries. The first and second days feature accordion books, which I made in Vermont in anticipation of Meredith's workshop.





Day 1: Black and White
The first day, we painted at the Ghost Ranch. To get us used to the climate and the landscape, Meredith had us paint in black and white. This was done on an accordion book.

single page: 6" x 7.5" landscape: 6" x 15"
total book: 6" x 10' (feet)
watercolor on paper
New Mexico, October 2010
















Day 2: Color and the Pedernal
The second day, we wandered out into the desert to paint Georgia O'Keefe's favorite Pedernal and the colored rocks. A forest ranger explained the different color layers, formed by ancient oceans and volcanoes.

Some of these were done in the accordion book (dimensions follow); the others are labeled accordingly.


Accordion Book: 6" x 10' (feet)
Watercolor on paper
New Mexico, October 2010



The Pedernal
6" x 15" (accordion book)
watercolor on paper



Pedernal and Gulch
15" x 9" watercolor on paper



Pedernal Triptych
6" x 22.5" (accordion book)
watercolor on paper




Chimney Rocks
15" x 9" watercolor on paper




Spider Hills
6" x 22.5" (accordion book)
watercolor on paper
Ominous Clouds
6" x 15" (accordion book)
watercolor on paper


Mountains that Move
6" x 7.5" (accordion book)
watercolor on paper



Desert Tree
6" x 15" (accordion book)
watercolor on paper



Vertical Rock Formation 1
15" x 9" watercolor on paper



Vertical Rock Formation 2
15" x 9" watercolor on paper



Burros! (these guys are very friendly)
6" x 22.5" (accordion book)
watercolor on paper

color accordion book!


Day 3: White Place
The third day, we went to the White Place, which Georgia O'Keefe also painted. Now it is owned by the Dar al Islam Mosque. White rocks are harder to paint than you might think!



Stalagmite-Rock
10" x 5.5" watercolor on paper



Penis-Rock
6" x 7" watercolor on paper



White Rocks
5.5" x10" watercolor on paper
White Phallus
6" x 4" watercolor on paper



White Cliffs
10" x 5.5" watercolor on paper
White Mosque in the Hills
5.5" x 10" watercolor on paper



White Mosque
5.5" x 10" watercolor on paper



Dusty Trail
15" x 9" watercolor on paper


Day 4: Poetry and Memory
This was a short painting day, as a few of us left early to visit Georgia O'Keefe's house in Abiquiu. Local painter Gregroy Botts visited us on the field and he later gave us a tour of his studio. It was a rare treat.


Green Shadows
7.5" x 5.5"
watercolor on paper


Red Hill
8" x 10.5" watercolor on paper




Day 5: The Color of Water
The last day of the workshop, we painted by the Chama River. After a week in the desert, I forgot how much I missed water! Vermont has plenty of rivers and waterfalls, which we visited frequently in the summer. Today was a breakthrough day, as I realized I could paint any landscape anywhere.


Shadow Rock
8.5 x 7" watercolor on paper
Collection of Mary Taylor



Chama River 1
13" x 9" watercolor on paper



Chama River 2
8.5" x 7.5" watercolor on paper
Chama River 3
8.5" x 6.5" watercolor on paper
Chama River 4
8.5" x 7" watercolor on paper
Chama River 5 (sketch)
8.5" x 6.5" watercolor on paper




Day 6: Santa Fe
After the workshop, a few of us gathered in Santa Fe to visit the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, which featured materials that Georgia used to paint in New Mexico. A few days later, we met to paint the landscape on the outskirts of Santa Fe. It was lots of fun--a week's worth of hard work paid off--and we finished off with good Mexican food at El Parasol!


Red Rocks Santa Fe
6.5" x 9.5" watercolor on paper



Rain Fall with Yellow Poplars on the Hills
6.5" x 16.5" watercolor on paper



Storm over the Hills
6.5" x 16.5" watercolor on paper



Yellow Poplars
6.5" x 9.5"


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