Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gringo excursion

Normally I don't like to go to artists' studio tours. This might be selfish of me, since I am an artist after all- but I find it awkward sometimes to walk into someone's studio and not see anything of interest, and then I feel obligated to talk to the person and say nice things that I don't really feel. I want all people who make stuff to feel good about what they make, and well, especially here in this neck of the woods, where there are scads of people following their bliss and taking ceramics and printmaking and book arts and glass blowing and on and on, there is just a lot of not very good stuff out there. So I don't go on studio tours except when asked specifically, as I was yesterday, by my friend Lisa (seen in photo.)

We went up to Pecos, about 20 minutes north of Santa Fe, a small town, very cute, surrounded by lovely landscape. The ride up there was beautiful as you go into forested hilly country and then into a valley. Lisa has a painter friend named Richard Sober who lives there, so we went there first. He had a lot of small landscape oils on masonite all around the studio, which was his large garage and which made me wish I had more room in mine. But then, he's in Pecos. Which, by the way, is pronounced PEH-kohs. Not PAY-kohs. If you pronounce it the second way, you are obviously a gringo to be sneered at. I liked Richard's little paintings. They reminded me of how I used to paint when I was doing landscapes. I ended up buying a small gouache that was framed, and I can't believe I spent the money because God knows I need every cent to try to finish furnishing this house, but I felt like it was a "pay it forward" kind of thing because I did sell one piece in the NY show at McKenzie Fine Art.

We went to one other studio but it was kind of -eh- so we went to lunch. We drove into what I suppose you'd call the center of town. There was a general store and a restaurant, Frankie's Casanova. There was no traffic light. It was a four way stop. Now, back when I went to Marfa, Texas in 2000, it was a really small town, but they had one traffic light. Probably more now. I'm anxious to go back there.

We ate an enchilada casserole at the waiter's suggestion. We split it and it was delish, just enough and very fresh tasting. They were closing soon (it was about 1:30) so we scooted out to check out the general store for tzotchkes espanol, but the store had groceries and liquor and useful things. There were two young girls having a little bake sale in the portico in front. We chatted with them a little. Lisa said it must be nice to live somewhere that is so pretty, and the girls had blank expressions of mild tolerance. We bought a delicious coconut chocolate square for one dollar and wished we had more.