Spring In Taos 2011

It's that time of year when Colorado painters fly south,
-something like Spring Break without the bikinis.
Sue McCullough, David Montgomery and myself headed to New Mexico to meet up with the PAAC (Plein Air Artists Of Colorado) for a 4 day paint out in and around Taos,
New Mexico.
This year Sue and I hooked up with Peg Immel, Taos painter and friend, to explore strange new venues, seek out new vistas, to boldly go where no painters have gone....
sorry, I got a little carried away.
On Wednesday morning we found Peg on LeDoux, the little nook of a street, near the plaza, and home to the Harwood and Blumenschein Galleries. My crazy piece is a view into the courtyard looking directly at the studio/gallery of Sheila O'Malley.
That evening we met up at the San Geronimo Inn for dinner and all-artist gathering.
This event brings together artists from all over the country and it is a treat see again, painters that, over the years have become friends.

Thursday morning we took the river road to the village of Pilar. The photo shows the sketch and start of my painting looking down over the Pilar church. Peg painted near me by the water tower where we had a great view of the valley and the Rio Grand River.
In the afternoon we painted along the river. Here, Sue is holding on for dear life. I had already wrapped up because wind gusts nearly dumped my easel.
Dave Montgomery had been chasing blooms all week so on Friday morning we met in a Taos apple orchard along with Wes Hyde, and Taos artists Ken Daggett and Kemper Coley.
Here is my piece and a shot of Kemper with my painting in the foreground. Click on any of the images to see them larger.
Of course, great painting days are punctuated with evenings around a friendly table; Thank you Peg and Steve, for your wonderful hospitality - and for introducing us to the best beer - I think - ever.

Afternoon at Kevin's

Sounds like I know him - alas -
I don't, but on Friday the PAAC painters were invited to paint at Escondido, the home of Kevin Macpherson.
It was pretty cool. Although he was out of the country, Wanda, his wife gave us a tour of his studio and also his home and art collection;
- Way cool.
At the top is his palette and easel and below Peg gives it a good once over.
I know one thing - I have to stop being so tidy in my studio - it is soo much more 'artsy' to leave paint and tubes lying all over.

In the afternoon we painted in and around "the Pond" that Kevin made famous in his book. It really is a beautiful spot. Below, Sue and Peg paint close to the water.

The High Road '11

Saturday we went south out of Taos along the high road. It was an all-church day and we started at Ojo Sarco with beautiful views of the snow capped mountains. We found spots to paint that looked down on the church from across the road but this horse, though behind a flimsy fence was not too happy with our presence. He would run up and down the field occasionally leaning over to whinny at us. At one point the horse actually got his 2 front legs over the pipe gate almost knocking it over. I found it very hard to concentrate on my painting and Sue finally gave that horse a very stern warning. He listened and stopped bothering us. He went over to bother Peg.
Anxious to finish up before he escaped, we headed to Penasco to the Sugar Nymphs Cafe for some caffeinated inspiration, and a bathroom. It was good on both counts and we followed the road to LLano San Juan.
Sue and I have traveled these roads before but having Peg as navigator and 'cruise director' made all the difference.
In the afternoon we painted the church at Llano San Juan; very picturesque and with safe places to park and stand with easels.
After finishing there we turned north toward Taos and drove by the Placitas church but could not stop to do more than take photos.
Next time. . . . . .

It was a great day and in the evening we joined the PAAC group at the San Geronimo for food and painting stories.
Saturday night we drove back up to Colorado.
I am still sifting through my work, but paintings aside, I think this was our best Taos paint out yet.