Friday, August 8

A Book About Art in Santa Fe and Taos

Moon Over Mountain
Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 16 in/51 x 41 cm
Copyright 2008

The 2008 Summer Olympics open today in Beijing! I understand the number 8 is the luckiest number in China. Since today's date is all 8's (08-08-08), good luck to all athletes from around the world. Since Orbisplanis has received viewers from almost all the continents, I would appreciate hearing from our viewers about the blog or anything else related to the subject of art.

Orbisplanis Weekly Poll Results 08-08-08

Thanks for voting! The ballots are tallied and 100 percent of voters chose Landscapes as their favorite subject to draw or paint (of the choices provided). Probably not statistically significant since the universe (of voters) was small. This week’s poll asks you to select your favorite ‘famous’ painting from our list, so please join in.

In the Art Library

This is the second installment of In the Library, where every Friday I review a book or other source about art. I changed the name slightly by adding the word Art to the name of this feature (and assume there's no need to explain :-).

Rather than reviewing a how-to or overview book this week, I thought we’d go with something a little more on the art side.

The book is Santa Fe Art by Simone Ellis. You can think of it as a Coffee Table book because it’s big dimensionally speaking, measuring 10.5 x 14 in/27 x 36 cm, so I hope there’s room there on your coffee table for it.

Not being informed on Ms. Ellis, I did Google research, and found she is or was the arts columnist for the Missoula (MT) Independent newspaper as well as the author this book. Another link reported she’s a graduate of San Francisco Art Institute and was the former art critic for the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper (I see the connection). She also wrote and produced documentaries for Pacifica News and National Public Radio, interesting.

There’s a lot to look at in the book’s 112 pages. In addition to an informative Introduction and list of paintings (color plates), it’s divided into sections on early Taos art, los cinco pintores and early Santa Fe art, a span of art from Georgia O’Keeffe to abstract art to the present, and contemporary art in Santa Fe and Taos.

This is an eye-catching book as the cover shows part of a painting called Pueblo at Taos by Victor Higgins painted with what you think of as Southwest or New Mexico colors. One nice thing about it being a large format book, even if it hangs off your coffee table, is that all the art included almost fills each page, so you get the impact of each piece. And did I mention every piece of art is in color, and they’re beautiful?

There’s more to it than just good-looking art. Each section is well written and provides a brief but thorough discussion of the artists, who were either native to New Mexico or migrated there. It tells what it must have been like in the early days of the Santa Fe and Taos art colonies up to the recent past (it was published in 2004).

Another thing I like about this book is that it includes a lot of artists of whom I was not aware. In doing so, it provides a lot of food for thought and further research if you like Southwest art, which I do. Of course, there’s O’Keeffe, but you may not know the work of Victor Higgins, Luis Jimenez, or Juane Quick-To-See Smith, for example, just three of the many fine artists whose work is included.

So, look for Santa Fe Art by Simone Ellis and enlighten yourself.

In the Studio

I finished Moon Over Mountain, my acrylic I’ve been going on about this week, and used it as the graphic for today’s blog. The finishing touches included a big full moon, of course, which I forgot to mention last blog. It’s 20 x 16 in/51 x 41 cm.

Now it’s back to my ‘idea’ literature in my "studio," such as it is, to scan for my next project. With the blog this week all about oil pastels, I might just try another one. We’ll see.

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1 comment:

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