Village Life - Page 7

The first oil painting I did was a landscape of Ranchos Church in Taos, New
Mexico. I had only seen it from photographs at the time. I must have been
about 19. Later, I ended up marrying a Taos Pueblo woman and moved to that
northern village and opened a small gallery and artists studio on the plaza of that
very same church, sometime in the early nineties. My view from the window
opened out onto that plaza and I would watch them plaster the adobe church
each spring, sometimes lending a hand. I often reflect on how we manifest our
worlds and find exactly where we are meant to be.
These Mythic Lands is a selections of recent paintings that describe a
journey of memories and inspirations. There is a place in each painting that is
tied to my relationship to my ancestral lands. Often these places are part of a
rich cultural tradition and are the same places that so many artists have painted
before me, all of us responding to the majesty of something mysterious, a force
that beckons us to capture the spiritual essence of the land itself.
I remember one summer in Taos, where I floated down the Rio Grande
gorge, in some makeshift rafts with friends. The day was beautiful and the sky
was a deep blue, speckled with black crows and speedy swallows. There were
cranes, beavers and fish jumping all around us. Late in the afternoon, the skies
turned a tumultuous grey and it began to rain hard. We had to hike out of that
gorge, up tall and dark cliffs to safety. The thunder clouds echoed throughout
the now cold canyon and when I climbed to the top, I looked around me over
miles of aromatic celadon sage brush and knew I would remember that moment


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