Santa Fe

In Santa Fe I worked on large canvases, often going out on location to make small sketches that I took back to the studio and made into paintings too big for the average house. That's the way we worked: big. I sketched in Taos, on the Aspen ski run, along the Santa Fe River, and at Rancho de Chimayo.

Santuario de Chimayo is a famous church erected by the natives under the supervision of the French Padres in the year 1813. Built entirely without nails it can be said to stand upright by miraculous intervention. Pilgrims travel to the little church every Easter, some of them suffering great great hardship along the way.

There are some compelling reasons to make the pilgrimage to the little church.

The Dirt

If your mind and heart are in the right place, you scoop up holy dirt from El Pozito, the sacred room off the chapel. The dirt is periodically blessed to make sure it retains its potency. Around the hole crutches and other artificial devices hang as powerful testimony to the curing powers within. An American Lourdes. The light is low in the little room next to the altar where there are burning candles, artificial flowers, and a dank and musty odor. Outside, the sun shines a bright New Mexico sun.

My friends look on with some embarrassment as I fill a little pouch with the holy dirt . To this day I carry it with me when I go to Las Vegas. I haven't hit it big yet, but you never know. I keep the dirt near me just in case.

Now we will go inside the studio.

wading ladyCome with me.