Thursday, July 25, 2013

Earthship-Carson, NM

I got to stay in an amazing Earthship with an inspirational woman named Elisabeth!  She is 74 years old, leads two different hiking groups each week, a book club and skis every day she has the time in winter.  She lives by herself in an Earthship house she began building in 1993 and was completed in 2005.  She used to live in Los Angeles, California and retired to the tiny town of Carson, New Mexico (about 30 minutes from Taos and only 10 minutes from the gorgeous Rio Grande Gorge).   Elisabeth was so sweet, even inviting me on her hikes, to dinner with her friends and educating me on the area.

out back...this part of the Earthship only has one layer of adobe on it so you can see the shape of the recycled tire insulation.

view from inside the house

Elisabeth and her two dogs, Mollie and Charlie, on our hike down into the Gorge (Vista Verde trail)

view of the Gorge

Josephine found some mushrooms!

view from day two hike

Shiva found a stream (we had to cross about 8 of these)

some fellow hikers from the group.

It was humid that day (for New Mexico anyway)...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Albuquerque...Way Cool!

So Albuquerque is super cool!  Santa Fe is beautiful, don't get me wrong and driving up through Taos is breathtaking.  However, I think I might prefer the more spread out Albuquerque and mountain views there.  Maybe I just needed a change of scenery.  Either way, this whole state is beautiful!  Old Town in Albuquerque was fun, but very much like the plaza area in Santa Fe.  I would say Old Town Albuquerque is more reminiscent of the typical western look.  I really enjoyed strolling up and down Central Avenue in the Nob Hill district.  Also, best thrift stores ever here on Menaul Blvd. NE (Thrift Town and Pink Rhino)!

Church in Old Town

Neuzz mural on patio of Marble favorite brew here was the Wildflower Wheat (No I didn't try the Heisenburg because it doesn't come out until late August)

Street art on Central Avenue (Nob Hill)...

View of mountains from Nob Hill area (picture doesn't do it justice)

Funky dinosaur sculptures in front of space age looking house on Monte Vista Boulevard

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bandelier National Monument

Christina didn't have to leave town until late the night we checked out from our hotel in Santa Fe.  I was going to Albuquerque that evening anyway, so she cancelled her shuttle and joined me for one last day of New Mexican adventures!  We drove north towards Los Alamos to visit Bandelier National Monument.

Here is a quote from their website explaining a little about the history of Bandelier:
"Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years.  Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities."

It was breathtaking to say the least.  We hiked along the main loop trail and climbed into some of the cliff dwellings.  Then we hiked up a more zig zag path where we kept climbing higher and higher.  The higher we got, the more spectacular the views were!
Christina climbing up into one of the cliff dwellings

the view from inside...

Looking down...

If you look closely you will see petroglyph carvings

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Folk Art Projects and Visiting Artists

On our last day for the CRIZMAC Folk Art Workshop we had two visiting artists from Mexico and spent time finishing up our own art creations.  Augustine, a wood carver from Oaxaca, Mexico as well as Cilau a Huichol yarn painter came and share their stories and art with us.

Augustine explained that he uses soft wood that is still green to make to carve.  He begins with a machete and uses smaller kitchen knives and awls to add fine details.  After they are finished he dries them in the sun, fills in with resin, sands and paints.  He began learning this tradition from his family at the age of 12.  Now, the entire tradition is a family affair with his 9 year old daughter doing the sanding and his wife helping with the painting.

Praying mantis on bicycle...

Augustine demonstrating how he carves into soft wood using a standard kitchen knife while his translator looks on and translates for us

Cilau, the Huichol yarn painter explained how each of the mandala looking shapes in the center of the Huichol artworks represent portals.  During the art making process he will get into a meditative trance where he feels the images and art comes to him.  Now that he has become a world traveler and has participated in many art exhibitions and markets he sometimes creates his artwork while being more aware of his surroundings so he can demonstrate his technique to onlookers.  He pointed out how these pieces are less detailed and vibrant than those he dose when he is able to meditate and work alone.  He uses very thing yarn and uses a pointed tool or feather to push pieces into beeswax.  Often you can see bees as subjects in the artwork as a sort of thanks for offering the materials.

Me holding one of Cilau's beautiful and intricate yarn paintings

Peyote Mistico (a piece done by his father Mariano)

My completed folk art memory quilt square

Christina's retablo (a love themed one focusing on her and David's relationship)

Trina's retablo from the front...

Trina's retablo from the back...hers was an homage to the folk art market and exhibiting countries/artists

My completed art studio for Frida Kahlo

Ojo Caliente

Four of us ventured up to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs and Spa on Sunday.  It was so peaceful up there.  There are several natural hot spring baths (Iron, Arsenic, and Soda Water) as well as a mud bath area.  The mud was my favorite and I really enjoyed the iron hot pool when you first walk in.  At the end of our visit I got back into the hot iron pool and it started to rain.  The cool drops in juxtaposition with the hot pool was surreal and amazing!
The Iron Pool

Relaxing in a hammock in front of the large arsenic pool

Getting ready to "mud up"

Christina, Missy, and I baking in the sun...