Every year I return to Santa Fe to paint and teach painting workshops. As the time nears, I start thinking about all the things I love about my time in Santa Fe. I go there to paint so my first week is spent walking the streets and dirt roads looking for sights and inspiration, the hardest part being picking from all the ideas that crowd into my head. The early morning walks with my Golden Retrievers and watercolor sketchbook, as we reacquaint ourselves with the familiar sights and our old haunts.
Walking all through the dirt road neighborhoods, the Plaza in the morning as the vendors set up their blankets along the Palace of the Governors, the color in the clouds that scatter across the sky, everything soft and new burning into the intense rich sharp colors of Day. The concerts in the Plaza, the music at La Fonda and El Dorado, watching the dancers 2-step and salsa. The beautiful skies and the thunderheads building up for the afternoon rain, just in time for an afternoon siesta before a nice walk to dinner at El Piatti's, or La Casa Sena. Maybe a pizza at Roof Top Pizzeria or something cocktail fantastic at the Coyote Grill rooftop bar.
Weekend mornings taking a long walk down Canyon Road and seeing all the new art, having tea at the Tearoom before strolling back through the neighborhoods, wishful thinking window shopping. Sometimes a drive up to the grassy summer meadows at the ski area, and a walk through the forest before a long soak in a tub up at 10,000 Waves Spa. Everything is so beautiful and crisp from that vantage point. I am reminded of the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem "The Eagle";
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
As much as I love the summer, my favorite time of year in Santa Fe is September, when those days of warm clear skies give way to cozy fireplaces at night, a new chill in the air. After the summer crowds leave, Santa Fe becomes a rare treasure you have all to yourself to explore and enjoy. The blooming yellow chamisa, with the soft sage leaves, against the velvet soft purple Russian sage, against the terra cotta adobe orange, against the cobalt blue skies, is a stunning burst of eye candy.
I remember the first time I saw the aspens turning, I was standing outside Cloufouts bakery on Guadalupe, and looked up and saw a bright yellow patch on the mountain bloom before my eyes. In that moment I felt the summer sweeping past me and knew that soon I would have to leave.
But before I’ll have to leave again, I get to return. I'm teaching a workshop in Santa Fe this September, so I can introduce my students to that beautiful time of year, and I have to admit, so I can linger a little longer in Santa Fe past the summer crowds so the pinon fires, and roasting chilies can fill my senses with a perfect topping of autumn.
Cathy Carey Expressive Color, Impressionist Texture Workshop - Sept 12 - 16
5 day workshop in Watercolor, Acrylic and/or Oil
2011 Summer Dates:
Mon - Fri: August 8 - 12 - class full
Mon - Fri: September 12 - 16
all levels welcomewww.artstudiosandiego.com
copyright 2011 Cathy Carey all photos and paintings shown here