Fall leaves means time to leave….

Fall leaves means time to leave….

These last few weeks mother nature has been showing off its her fantastic color palette in northern New Mexico. Not wanting to be indoors another minute, I took a Sunday drive up to an artists studio tour near Penasco (outside of Taos). This brought me to the truly magical rural landscape that artist Leigh Gusterson calls home. Inspired by with its green layered sections of grass and trees and a little stream, she houses 4 lazy dogs, a few meandering chickens, and her new "Art Yurt" . She really has found her niche. A pleine aire painter, who spends most of her time outside at this land she eventually bought ,because she loved to paint here.

This Art Yurt is the only one I have ever seen. It has a solid wooden floor, and reminds me in some way of my teepee days many years ago as its almost circular shape , makes you go around and come around all at once. Leigh uses her space as a working studio, showing space for her artwork, and relaxed visiting area. It has no phone or internet and has a warm peaceful presence.

I have been learning about the infamous Mabel Dodge Lujan from her biography that easily could have been titled "Tony". It focuses on her journey to Taos in the 30's from New York City, her searching restless spirit she brought along, and that found and settled for a then very primitive, harsh but also starkly beautiful and tricultural and historic environment of Taos, NM. But even more importantly about her relationship to her teacher, mentor and soul mate Tony Lujan.


Truchas,NM was a surprise, bringing with it a slight breeze, tiny precursor of strong winter winds to follow. The dramatic colorful views are from the edge of the high ridge on which this village rests, and where cows are unable to graze. Houses made old adobes and some new solar modern are sprinkled along the edge, becoming art studios, studio homes ,or small shared galleries. It had been many years since I'd been here, so I was glad to see the happiness and prosperity of its numerous artists. This tiny little community would still remain a quiet hidden place except for advertisements in Santa Fe and publications, and has its annual studio tour every fall.


Northern New Mexico still has those kind of roads that ask to be meandered around. Historic old churches in villages and towns surrounded by farmlands and ranches dressed in colorful harvest array, create picture postcards snapshots. Wood is piled high in yards of those who went out and got their wood this earlier this summer. And already in the early evening the smell of piñon burning settles my mind that the summer really is over and next weeks rain could be just as easily an early snow.

A few days ago a small sojourn up to the crisp cool mountains just above Santa Fe, have confirmed my feeling that the vast array of yellows and golds and even the tiny showing of red leaves, are making their final appearance, as they quake and fall softly to the ground. We even lit our own beehive fireplace the other night. It really takes the chill off (or at least thats our excuse ) the ancient smells of a good fire relaxes the senses, giving me a pause for reflection of time passing.

Arizona on the other hand, who's seasons seem to go from hot to hotter to monsoon(rain maybe?) and then hot again to finally warm and even cooler… hardly changes its costumed scenery at all. Although, if you live there long enough when it rains, the late summer land will seen greener and lush, in a desert kind of way compared to its stark summer counterpart. The night blooming cereus in my backyard occasionally sends a sweet scent off its scrawny cactus frame, through lovely white plumes that show ( and smell ) themselves secretively around midnight to dawn once in a blue moon during the summer season.Every place has its beauty, I guess you just have to look for it.

I'll be returning to Tucson in a few weeks. Sarah has done a terrific job of holding down the fort this year. I'm looking forward to renewing relationships with my family and friends seeing returning and new art lovers, and watching while our next season unfolds. We have some new exciting artists coming to join us, and some fun events planned. I am grateful for the talents and abilities of these artists that we are able to share through my gallery. And, It's simply amazing grace to think we are beginning our 21st season in business !

As I say goodbye to the hauntingly familiar smell of the sagebrush , while filling up my ice chest with green chile, I remind myself again of how grateful I am of this time and space. I have made some great new friends and neighbors here, rested and renewed my spirit in this place in time that truly is enchanting.
A time clock of gorgeous leaves dressed for their season telling me its time for me to leave…