Santa Fe

Ken and I spent three days in Santa Fe.  We ate great Mexican and Salvadoran food.  We perused the main art museum near the plaza and saw some O’Keefe and Marsden to name a few.

We visited the Encaustic Museum which blew our minds.  Just think painting with a blow torch.  We walked Canyon Row and browsed gallery after gallery to view the commercial contemporary art scene.  We visited bookstores.  Mostly we talked about life and art-painting,photography and theater-and spent our time watching the skies.  Ken had chosen to rent an apartment in a home in the hills outside of Santa Fe.


The view was unbelievable and when storms came through, even better.





I documented a 24 hour cycle through a bouquet of flowers I picked on a morning walk.

And speaking of those morning walks….I got to explore a few miles of that scrub bush and cactus terrain each morning.



I’d walk dry river beds and be amazed at the few flowers that tenaciously took root.  I love this kind of vegetation.  It’s such austere beauty.





Santa Fe, thank you.  Until next time.



THREE DAYS in Colorado Springs part one…

Colorado Springs means family, my dear friend Ruth and glorious walks.  One walk I always take is in Cheyenne Canyon to “THE ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I.”  I have come to this mighty outcrop to pray many times over the years, especially when those I love were ill and dying.  I literally lay my hands on the stone in the cave here and take a few moments to breathe, listen, and lay out my supplications. There is a natural occurring face in this rock which can’t be seen well at this angle.


I also usually hike in the Stratton Open Space.  I got to do this at sunrise one morning.  I saw deer and dog walkers.  And of course, the sun.

Another hike in the open space had me under dramatic and moody skies.  I love love love this area for its vistas of sky and mountains.

I had some glorious time with friends and family in the Springs. My cousin Judy lives in Minnesota and coincidentally, just happened to be on a vacation in Colorado with her husband Art.   It’s been years since I’ve seen her.  Here she is with my brother Ken, my Dad and myself.


There are upcoming  life shifts occurring in the lives of those I love out here.  I was grateful to learn and discuss how these may play out.  These conversations happened in a kitchen, on a back deck, a front porch and often over a delicious meal.  It’s very different than in a phone call.  I loved the opportunity of being in real time and space at this particular time on their journeys.

I also got to paint.  I’ve never used gouache before and so I tried it out usually with my morning coffee.


Brother Ken and I got to spend the fourth of July with my Dad at a barbecue.  Then we headed out of town to Santa Fe.



Goodbye Hays.  Hello open road.  Hello small towns punctuating the endless fields.  Hello Oakley.

IMG_0612I  found Annie  packing a weapon….


….and a girl out for a sunday morning ride.


I crossed over into Colorado and drove and drove.

I finally arrived at the end of this part of the journey.  I pulled up to my brother Ken’s house. In glorious Colorado.



First leg: 2125 miles.



It took two and a half hours to drive to Kansas City from Springfield, MO.  Being an Easterner, I find myself marveling at the space between cities out here.  New York City is  only an hour and half away from Philly on a good day.

My destination was the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.  IT WAS FABULOUS!  Outside I was greeted by this shuttlecock sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen.  Apparently there are four around the grounds.  These are the largest shuttlecocks in the world according to Atlas Obscura.


Inside, galleries surrounded a courtyard.

So many beautiful works of art to engage with….I’ll post a few that caught my attention.

The figure on the left was painted and exhibited in a Paris Salon in 1905 by Kees van Dongen.  A shocked critic labelled van Dongen and like painters such as Matisse– “Les Fauves” which translates to “the wild beasts.” Thus the movement of painting was named Fauvism.

The one on the right, The Record Player,  was painted in 1939 by german painter, Karl Hofer.  Two years prior, Hitler called modern painters degenerates. Hofer’s paintings were taken; he lost his teaching job and was told he could no longer paint.  But this painting shows, he painted anyway.

Two American artists painted the above in the 1950’s. Richard Diebenkorn (left) mixes realism with abstraction finding striking light in Interior with a Book.  Yasuo Kuniyoshi (right) titled his painting, My Fate is in Your Hands.  I love his color, shapes and fantasy.

After visiting the museum, I drove 270 miles west to Hays, Kansas.  I stopped at Salina to walk their main drag.  The temperature was in the high 90’s so not too many folk were out.  I stopped for handmade ice cream to cool me off.

Mostly I enjoyed the change of the landscape as I drove.  Subtle.  Farms of various kinds for miles.  Prairie and undulating hills changed to windfarms and small oil pumps.  Then flat flat flat and big open sky.


Finally, the hotel.  Time to stop this motion for the night.




Alley Spring is located just west of Eminence, MO. It was named after John Alley who was a miller.  A very picturesque mill sits poised next to another beautiful spring.  Again, the water’s color amazed me.  The beauty …well….take a look.






After this splendor, I drove the two hours to Springfield, got myself some barbecue at Smokin’ Bob’s and found a hotel room for the night.


On an early walk in the Giant City State Park, I noticed that the storm had knocked down many branches but not these spiders’ webs.

I also found this amazing stick bug as I packed the car.  I couldn’t get enough of his angular shape caught up in the reflections of the trees.


I decided that today I was heading to Springfield, Missouri.  I let google maps direct me in the most efficient way until appetite and word-of-mouth directed me elsewhere.  My first stop was for breakfast in Dexter, MO.



Through YELP, I got myself to the Corner Stop Cafe in town to take-out their well-reputed chicken salad sandwich.  A great conversation ensued with a woman who worked there, possibly managed the place. She and another patron recommended I see the Big Spring near Van Buren, part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.  So sure, why not? I drove there and Ok, the photos I am posting here were not filtered in anyway.  The water truly was these outstanding shades of greens and blues because they are churned out with great force from a limestone bluff..  This is one of the biggest springs in the world.


A ranger there recommended I head up to Alley Springs and well, sure-why not? I did and , well, that will be the next blog post……




I drove southwest today, skirting St. Louis, Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and bourbon distilleries.  I was headed to Paducah.  I really don’t know why.  I just like the sound of the name?  I learned that it sits on the convergence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, making it historically an important city for industry, energy, river transport.  It was occupied by Union forces in the Civil War.  Now its old town is a bit forlorn, but the brick quarter is being brought back to life with galleries and shops–something old is becoming new again.

I made the National Quilt Museum my first stop.

I am not a quilter but WOW, now I wish I was.  The exhibited quilts blew my mind and there were many of them.  The vision, skill, detail, heart in these works of art moved me deeply.  I wasn’t expecting to be in the presence of such masterpieces in Paducah, Kentucky.  I felt revitalized after visiting here.  I wish I could share images of them with you but photography was not permitted.  Just go some time if you get the chance and be aware of the YEARS that fingers worked to make those fabric stories.

I roamed the streets in the steamy afternoon heat.  I tasted my first rolled ice cream.


A mural of Paducah’s history lined the waterfront and invited me into this city’s past.

I wanted to camp for the night and had a place in mind about 45 minutes further west but a woman who owned an antique shop in town told me to go into Southern Illinois to Makanda to the Giant City State Park.  It was maybe an hour or so northwest so sure, why not?  Upon arriving at the campground, I paid for my site when the manager said that the bathhouse was also a safe house.  Excuse me?  And then he said his son called from Carbondale saying they were having a storm and it was heading towards Makanda.  It was sunny, hard to believe it was going to rain but projected 70 mile hour winds changed my mind and I rented a cabin in the campground instead.  I’m soooooooooo glad I did.  A severe storm did hit us, huge winds, lightening, rain, knocking out power for much of the night.  I watched it from the safety of my cabin and then fell asleep as it passed on East.