Sensing the Splendor of Georgia O’Keeffe

canyon rock

Plein Air Watercolor of Canyon Rock, Ghost Ranch

Mountains are giant, restful, absorbent. You can heave your spirit into a mountain and the mountain will keep it, folded . . . the mountains are home.

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

I sensed the mountains calling out to me last week, and blogged that I was going to respond. Two days after the blog, I was in Taos, New Mexico, for the first time. The Goji-Berry Farm outside Taos provided a wonderful place to stay.  The cabin available was built in the 1880’s and the English artist Dorothy Brett resided there. The cabin next door was the one occupied by Georgia O’Keeffe at one time.  I felt a genuine stirring deep within, realizing I was visiting this area ninety years after Georgia O’Keefee first arrived.

The watercolor above I painted en plein air at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, O’Keeffe’s residence wonderfully preserved. The hike up the ridge was a steep one, and the icy mountain winds made the thirty-nine-degree day feel worse than it actually was. I managed to find a spot behind a large bush that partially shielded me from the blasts, and worked on this 10 x 8″ watercolor for about forty-five minutes.

As I worked, I understood Georgia’s sentiment that she felt she had come home at last. There was an intimacy I felt as I gazed into the facades of the ring of mountains around Ghost Ranch, and the huge sky filled me with a depth of wonder I could never capture in words.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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2 Responses to “Sensing the Splendor of Georgia O’Keeffe”

  1. Jay Haeske Says:

    That must have been a wonderful experience for you, thanks for sharing. Haven’t been to Ghost Ranch myself yet though I’ve been to Abiquiu, but will definitely make that a place to visit the next time I’m in NM. As for Taos, love it as well, especially Taos Pueblo, it’s a spiritual place.

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      Spiritual is the right word indeed. I plan to return to Ghost Ranch in July. I have ached to see that place ever since I departed it. Last weekend I went to Cloudcroft, NM and really loved that environment as well. The clarity of light in NM is really enchanting to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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