Monday, June 26, 2017

come away with me....

Onward to Questa

 I signed up to go to Questa to paint for
the "WILD RIVERS PLEIN AIR" event this past weekend.
So much fun, beautiful scenery,
but not without a few headaches!

Come along with me...
(and click on any images if you want to enlarge)

 I decided to leave at 4:30am to make it to
the Wild Rivers Recreation Area to see a demo by 
Taos artist Richard Alan Nichols.

What I didn't realize is 4:30am comes REALLY EARLY.
I left when it was dark and I was definitely
still a little sleepy.
But I perked up when I saw this beautiful sunrise!

 This is a little blurry but I was driving.
You can see the crescent moon on the right side
in the blue of the morning sky.

 The sun hit the morning clouds and WOW.
That orange/yellow is fantastic.
Can you see a painting here?

 Pinks on the left side of the road
A bunch of these images will become paintings.

 Another phenomenal view
That little slice of pink/red at the bottom of the landscape
against the darkness of the hills...

 The sun finally hit the hills as I was coming through Velarde.
The little village was still asleep.

 Coming though the Taos pass, 
the river is running right alongside the highway

 The Rio Grande Gorge,
misty and ethereal.
I wish I would've sat there and waited until the morning
light hit and taken 100 pictures!

Another view

 Coming into Taos, I had to get a morning
 pic of the old church.
Can you see the pigeons sitting on top?

 On my way to Questa,
I passed by Arroyo Hondo.
I have actually painted this scene several times.
Beautiful and lush at this time of year.

 I made it to the demo by Taos artist Richard Alan Nichols just in time!
This is a beautiful scene at Sheep's Crossing 
at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area.
I ended up coming back to paint this scene 
for one of my show paintings at Ocho Gallery.

 Richard explaining about his process,
materials, and his way of seeing the scene.

 A beautiful start!
He says he completes 75 to 85 percent on scene
and finishes the rest in the studio.

 After the demo was over, I headed to the village of Questa.
These beautiful fields were along the way.

This is St. Therese Church right in the middle of Questa.
You can't see it from the road, which is kind of nice.
I believe this church has a beautiful story.
I heard it was in danger of being torn down
 and the community rallied around, saved it, and restored it.
I'm going to do more research.

 A sweet little old building and cross near the church

 Now I am back in Taos, ready to check into my room at a local hotel.

Okay, to make a long story short, the hotel was BAD.

 Not going to name names, but it shouldn't be on
any online booking's website.
I ended up staying at a wonderful bed and breakfast 
in Arroyo Seco.

 An old truck sitting in a yard in Taos.

Hollyhocks in the middle of town.

 Horses seemed to be in threes this trip!

 My favorite old truck in Seco.

 Hollyhocks by the wheel

Shops in Arroyo Seco and Taos mountain in the background.

 Taos mountain is beautiful any time!

 Sun, shadow, and clouds

Beautiful formations


 I love this pic of a red-winged blackbird
hanging out in the dried cattails in Arroyo Seco.

 Passing by Taos mountain
with the sunlight sitting the hills

 My favorite church in Arroyo Seco

 Surprised a little cottontail

 The old truck in Seco from a different angle.

 Another horse trio
Back on my way to Questa to paint.

 My little sweet Easy L box set up and ready to go!

 On the way back, I drove a little down the Arroyo Hondo road.
A duet of horses this time!

 The Hondo River winding through the little village
I wish I could stay here and paint all day!

 Here another trio...

 Clouds over the mountains

 A stand of thistles
I remember these walking through these when I was little.

 The sunset from my B&B

 An old house in Questa
I'm going to paint eventually.

 A rusty old truck sitting in a Questa field

 I dropped off my paintings in Questa early Saturday morning
at Ocho Gallery and headed back to Taos.

I checked out of my bed and breakfast
(I missed their delicious homemade breakfast every morning
because I left before it was served) and headed home.

These are the things I learned for next time:

~I will rent a house 
so I don't waste so much gas going
back and forth (24 miles each way)
~I will stay in Questa so I can scout out all of the locations.
It took me a LONG time to nail down my painting spots
and I'm sure I missed some good ones.
~I will bring someone with me who likes to paint,
or sit and read, take pics, is easygoing, 
and loves beautiful scenery
I love my quiet alone time, but it was almost too much.
~I will thoroughly check out any place I rent beforehand, and read reviews!
~I will arrive the night before so I can have adequate sleep
~I will organize my gear just a little better
to be more efficient.
~I will pack grapes and more fruit

I'm already looking forward to next year!

Here are my two finished paintings:

9x12" oil

8x10" oil

I really appreciate these paintings because 
I had to work for them.
Like pulling teeth, actually!

I hope you enjoy my little adventure through Questa.


  1. Dee, I feel like you did have company on that trip. You took so many lovely photos and put it together so well, I feel like I had a little adventure as well. You will have to paint some of those scenes. I admire you for getting out and painting plein air. Wonderful!! Thank you for sharing with us.

  2. This travelogue is absolutely wonderful. I loved joining you on your trip vicariously. And thanks for the tips. And I like your paintings also.

  3. I love every painting you do but "Gone But Not Forgotten" is something special. I enjoyed this post so much. The photos were wonderful and the trip sounded like heaven to me. I complained to my husband that this was exactly what I am missing out on by living so far away. But for a little while I could enjoy it through your eyes and description. Thank you very much for that. Cara

  4. Thank you for this wonderful sharing of the workshop experience!

  5. You're welcome guys, sorry it took so long for me to post this comment!