Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two Santa Fe's

Even though we're still in Santa Fe I decided to dig back through my collection a little and see if I had neglected anything. Found this shot from our time in Turners Falls, MA, and decided to work with it. Turners is one of many mill towns along the Connecticut river. We took a liking to it, especially to the people there. But we had left all of our belongings back in Arizona, including the jeep, and we needed to come back and deal with all that.

So now we find ourselves in Santa Fe, having decided to come here for specific reasons-- low unemployment (in theory, though the employment is very seasonal and about 78% of the money here comes from tourism in the Summer months primarily). We also came here because it's not Arizona. Of late that State has been gaining national recognition for far right wing politics, bigotry and paranoia. But most of all Sheryl and I came to New Mexico for the art market of Santa Fe; the second largest in the US, despite being a rather small city of about 70,000 souls.

But there are two Santa Fe's, at least. The art market is a small grouping of galleries along Canyon road, The Plaza, and to a lesser extent the Railway District. All that is very nice and fairly upscale and touristy-- not so slick and polished as Carmel, but for sure a destination for the art buyer or the art tourist. The rest of the city sprawls all over the place, is not terribly pretty, and seems to have nothing to do with the "art core" of the place. Besides the money from tourism the rest of the place is sustained by government jobs, as this is the State capitol. As far as countryside, views etc, most of the place feels closed in upon itself. The topography is "high and dry". If you like sunny weather, there's a ton of it. If you like lakes and streams, there are none. None. Dry river beds full of sand. I adjusted pretty easily to the 7000 feet altitude, but I think we expected some kind of magic here, and we aren't particularly experiencing that in "The and of Enchantment". Maybe that's our fault, and maybe that's OK too. We've been learning a lot and the people here are pretty marvelous, just as they have been everywhere we go.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beacon, Santa Fe

People come to Santa Fe for a lot of reasons, most are just visiting. In fact, tourism supports about 78% of the local economy, give or take. . . it's an interesting small city. I'm taking pictures to illustrate some of what I see and some of what I think about.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vertical Obstructions

You can see this much better if you click on it to enlarge. I got intrigued by the fact that most of Santa Fe includes all kinds of obstructions to the fantastic views all around the city. I decided to go ahead and include some of them into the composition.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sway the Jury

Saw these striking trees looming above the courthouse here in Santa Fe and took a few shots. It reminded me of a jury of peers being swayed by a convincing argument, and the sky appeared to be involved also.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Work, titled "Small World"

Today's work titled "Small World". This was shot a short walk from where we're currently staying Santa Fe. I was struck by the small oasis of land populated by a lone Teepee, within city limits and with the enchroachment of other structures nearby. I'm frequently confronted by history and the joining of cultures here; sometimes harmonious, sometimes not, always interesting.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Still in Santa Fe

 The above is a detail crop of a much, much larger image that I did titled "Winter Promise, Madrid" and while I do a fair amount of editing my photos I rarely "paint" to the degree I've done here. Really I have not seriously painted since I was a teenager. But I am getting inspired to paint, draw or sculpt from my exposure to all the wonderful art around us here. Below is the wider view;
Winter Promise, Madrid by Paul Hood
Winter Promise, Madrid by Paul Hood

This is a very large old cottonwood tree on Canyon Road which is the original art gallery district here in Santa Fe. This district began as just a row of houses where artists lived and began putting out their own artwork for sale on the street. It's a bit more developed now as professional galleries, the rent has consequently been driven up and few artists can afford to live right on the row and sell their own work. I was inspired to produce this image of what has to be the oldest tree in the area, but I added in a red root structure spreading across and obliterating the road. The roots appearing as rivulets of red paint, or blood, or flame depending on how you see it.

Pilgrimage, Santa Fe by Paul Hood
Pilgrimage, Santa Fe by Paul Hood

And in this shot I was lucky enough to have somebody walk into frame while i was shooting. He's way in the background but it makes for a more interesting shot.