Inspiration in Santa Fe
I spent last weekend in Santa Fe, NM attending the Studio Art Quilt Associates annual conference, and came home with my brain bursting full of new ideas and inspiration!
First the conference. On Friday I took several workshops on topics like being a professional artist, social media, and entering the teaching circuit, plus I met or reconnected with studio art quilters from all over the country, and I saw an amazing exhibit of art quilts at the New Mexico State Capitol put on by the SAQA region in the state. Since I work in relative isolation in my studio, it was a treat to spend time with other creative people for three days.
On Saturday I was on my own for an art inspiration day. First stop was
the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in downtown Santa Fe. Georgia O’Keefe is one of my favorite painters. Her use of color and shape, and the simplicity of her designs, are simply mesmerizing. I studied O’Keefe and her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, when I was getting my art history degree in college, so I’m fairly familiar with her work. The current exhibit at the museum is called “Georgia O’Keefe and the Faraway: Nature and Image,” and it focuses on the artist’s relationship with the natural landscape around her home near Santa Fe. The image at right, “Part of the Cliff” was one of my favorites, perhaps because it wasn’t one I had seen before.
Next was a visit to the Museum of International Folk Art, which had a lovely exhibit of Amish quilts. I never get tired of seeing these timeless designs, with their strong saturated colors and beautiful quilting motifs. I’m sure that tradition is one of my primary influences in my own work.
I spent the afternoon wandering around the galleries on Canyon
Road–where there is everything from contemporary paintings to whimsical sculpture to woven rugs. Even the buildings are artistic, with great colors and style. At right is the outdoor sculpture garden at the Jane Sauer Gallery–a wonderful combination of warm adobe walls and bright purple trim! And that’s just the outside. Inside SAQA member Judith Content was giving a talk about her work hanging on the gallery walls, beautiful serene pieces made of dyed silk evocative of landscapes.
It was a beautiful spring day, sunny but not too hot–a great day to get inspired!
There were other networking opportunities and presentations at the conference, including a great talk by Santa Fe artist Geoffrey Gorman, who creates animals out of found materials, on Saturday night. Sunday was the trip home, which was fairly uneventful except for one mad dash through the Denver airport to make my connection to Dulles!
Back at home, I’m working on a couple of commissions and getting ready for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival coming up May 18-19 at the Reston Town Center in Reston, VA. Not too far away from home this time! I’ll be in Booth 107 and I’d love to see you if you have a chance to stop by!
Thanks for reading!