Thursday, January 16, 2014

Windows and Doors in Santa Fe

Last May I had the chance to go on an art department field trip with a group of students and faculty from the illustration, photography, and studio art areas.  We drove in a convoy of giant vans down to Arizona and New Mexico to visit a bunch of both scenic area and art galleries to get inspiration.  The goal of the trip was for each person to create a book or zine based on the things they saw on the trip.  We did a lot of sketching and photographing of the landscapes and the people we saw.

We also did a lot of driving in the vans.  A LOT.  I was almost six months pregnant at the time, and I was so sick for approximately 75% of the trip...
 Good times.  It was a very neat experience though.  We went to Canyon DeChelly in northern Arizona, where there are ruins of ancient cliff dwellings.  So cool! and I forgot my camera.  The hike down into the canyon itself is amazing and beautiful. The trail is half carved into the side of the red-rock cliff and half sculpted by the river as the canyon was formed.

From there we traveled to Santa Fe to explore the town and visit a lot of art galleries on (I forget the name of the street), specifically one where one of the faculty, Joe Ostraff, was opening a show with some of his work.  It was very cool, lots of paintings and sculpture, a lot of southwestern-themed stuff obviously, but not entirely.  I scoured some of the galleries for all the free postcards I could find.  One of my favorite places had a big garden of wind sculptures and fountains outside that were lovely all moving in the breeze.

I found myself taking lots of pictures of doors and window frames, because in Santa Fe EVERYTHING is made of orange stucco and then everyone paints their windows and doors blue or turquoise, because they look great together, and I guess I liked it too.  Eventually I decided to focus on that in my exploration, and that's what I ended up painting when we got back.  We also took a day trip to some other towns and to an old, old church in the middle of nowhere called El Santuario De Chimayo.  The church has a basin of red dirt that supposedly has miraculous healing properties, and people come from all over to visit and take a bit of the dirt.  It was a very cool place.  And on the way home we went to Goblin Valley.

When we got back I worked on a series of small gouache paintings to be put into a book for the show.  It took a while, between working, moving to Boston, and having a baby, so I was glad to get them done before the show went up!  I was delighted to be working in gouache again after all my senior year had been painting with oils (or digital).  

Now my little book is up in Gallery 303 in the Fine Arts Center at BYU!  There are lots of other book projects from some other trips too, and they are very cool.  It was neat to see what each person focused on as they made their own project.  It was a great trip.  I am also proud of myself for having multiple paintings in a show 3 months after having a baby.

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