This past week my husband and I got away for a little relaxation and inspiration. Of course quilts were involved just a little . . . : )
We went to Taos NM. Years ago we used to visit 2 or 3 times a year when my husband's folks lived there but haven't been back since they left about 18 years ago. Taos hasn't changed much . . . still dusty, arty, very low key. . . just more traffic and more stop lights. Our main goal was to see as many galleries as we could for a some fine art inspiration. Seeing all the great landscape paintings makes both of us want to pick up a brush and start painting. I have an art background but painting is not my main area of expertise. I'm more the designer than the fine artist.
We also spent more time exploring little side streets and just driving around. Something we didn't get to do as much of when we had toddlers in tow. One thing that struck me this time was all the gates. Most homes are surrounded by a wall of some type and the streets are more like one lane alleys so everyone has a gate. They are so charming and expressive I couldn't resist taking several gate photos.
This was one of the first gates we came across and such a perfect spot to photograph my Square Dance quilt. Just what I had in mind. I brought a couple of other quilts along too, but never quite found the right spot with the right lighting at the right time. Oh well . . . another trip. We definitely won't wait so long to go back next time.
Taos and the southwest also have an abundance of old churches. The first church in my mosaic is San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos which was started in 1772 and finished in 1815. Artists like Georgia O'Keeffe and photographers like Ansel Adams found inspiration in this church and it's bulbous adobe buttresses. The second structure is the mission church on the reservation where Justin taught school many years ago.
In addition to Taos, we also visited the Jicarilla Apache reservation in Dulce NM to attend their annual fall harvest festival called Go-Jii-Ya. We got to see their traditional relay foot race between the two clans and then watched a powwow with traditional dancing and music. The drums are especially powerful heard in person and the dancing was fun to see. Many years ago Justin volunteered at the local mission church where he taught school, drove the bus and did just about anything else they needed. He has many fond memories of his time there including attending Go-Jii-Ya and took along a few photos of some of his former students in hopes of finding one or two. After showing the photos around to a few people, he was able to locate one of the students and talk with her. Wish I had pictures to share but photography is not allowed by outsiders.
Taos and northern New Mexico are beautiful and magical in their own special ways. If you ever get a chance to visit, I highly recommend it. Just be forewarned that the Chimisa blooms in the fall and both of us were extremely allergic to it. It's all those yellow plants in the photo below and believe me . . . it grows everywhere. We spent most afternoons sneezing.
Taos looks and sounds like a very interesting place (and hot too I presume). The first gate with your quilt is a perfect match. I couldn't help wondering if you asked permission of the home/gate owners.....just curious.ReplyDelete
We have been to Taos several times...always fun. There is a certain jewelry maker that I love to visit there. Your photos are so awesome...love the gates!ReplyDelete
oh what awesome photos! So glad you shared those. And the quilt is perfect at that gate! Lovely...ReplyDelete
I love your gate photos! Your post is full of some wonderful photos of all sorts of things. We love to visit Taos as it has some amazing sights.ReplyDelete
Your opening photo is a stunner--so perfect for that beautiful quilt. I also loved the photos of the other gates, and of the things you wrote. It sounds like a wonderful trip!ReplyDelete
What wonderful photos you took! It is an interesting place - I have never been that far west, but might have to add it to my bucket list of places to go. I love the arrangement and colors of your square dance quilt - beautiful!ReplyDelete
We visited Taos a couple years ago. It's just gorgeous and so laid back. Love the pictures of the gates!ReplyDelete
Looks like a lovely place to visit. Most times we sailed right through NM when heading to Phoenix to visit my in-laws. They are no longer there so no trips to the SW anymore.ReplyDelete
Glad you had a great trip. Love the photos!!ReplyDelete
Your quilt is so refreshing and pretty!ReplyDelete