Santa Fe Day 6

Canyon Road

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Day 6 was jam packed! The plan for the day was to visit Canyon Road and its 100+ galleries, meet artist Alexandra Eldridge at her studio, then her husband and artist Rick Stevens at his studio, and finally have dinner with Peter’s old friend Terry and his wife Jill.

Canyon Road is world-renowned for its high quality galleries. According to the Visit Santa Fe website there are over 100 galleries on just a mile of road! Our goal was to see Robert Striffolino’s work along with Alexandra Eldridge and Rick Stevens. Overall the quality surpassed anything I had seen up until that point. I was really keen on seeing Owen Contemporary, Nuart Gallery, and Hunter Kirkland Contemporary.

We visited other galleries, but hardly made a dent. There was a lot of information and visual stimuli to take in. I don’t remember the other galleries we went into, but I know I was impressed by the work. Peter had the luxury of visiting this part of town with Robert and Connie while I was in the workshop. Time was limited on this day, so I hardly saw the extent of what Canyon Road has to offer. What I did see blew my mind away though. I’m not sure that you could take in Canyon Road in one day. I guess it depends on your preferred aesthetic. For me, as strictly a spectator vs a buyer, I took it all in like one would at a museum. I was moved and impressed in so many ways, inspired to pursue a variety of mediums.

We had lunch at the Tea House, enjoying a calming hot cup of tea on this beautiful day. We bought some Tulsi Mango Peach to take back to Florida. I wish I could have spent more time on taking in this side of town. One week in Santa Fe really isn’t enough time, especially when your partner has so many connections in town! Next stop was Alex and Rick’s studio.

Back story here: Peter’s sister is close friends with Alex. Peter also happened to be a big fan of the art of Rick Stevens who happened to be her husband. Peter asked Nina if we could coordinate a studio visit with them and they graciously agreed. First stop was Alex’s studio.

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Alex embodies the definition of high energy. Her studio was filled with works, mostly large scale, all in varying degrees of completion from fresh starts to ready to sell. There were many books of varying subjects and age, from psychology to tarot cards, for inspiration, along with ephemera galore. It felt like a wonderfully inspiring place to create. Her photo based paintings were her main focus at that time. She uses vintage photographs as her starting point adding animal heads and attributes to human bodies. The results are surreal and introspective, where norms are questioned or completely nonexistent. I encourage you to visit her website and read some of the press releases, particularly this one, which details her process. There is much more to her art than what I have laid out here. The psychology of it all was most appealing to me.

We wrapped up our visit with Alex, and took a selfie outside to commemorate our time together. It wasn’t easy taking a selfie with two tall people, but we made it work. She then led the way to Rick’s warehouse studio, our next stop on the studio tour train.

I would say Rick embodied almost the opposite energy of Alex, where she was high speed, Rick was very zen-like and quiet. I could see how they might balance each other out making for a delightful partnership. Rick’s medium is oil and pastels. The oil pastels he had laid out looked buttery and delicious, rich in color, soft in texture. I was drooling at the sight. His work often features trees in surreal landscapes. There is an ethereal glow to his work and a richness in color from the oil pastels. His works are primarily large format, as is his easel to accommodate such large canvases. It was all quite impressive, especially to see the work in progress in person. We thanked them both for taking the time to meet with us and entertain our questions and comments. It was a wonderful experience to meet so many talented artists on this trip, and so unexpected.

We made our way back to the casita to regroup, enjoying the end of a windy, sunny, whirlwind kind of day. I could feel the altitude and overstimulation. We then headed over to Peter’s childhood friend Terry Fernandez and his wife Jill’s home for dinner. Believe it or not we had Italian food take out this time! I never would have thought my trip to New Mexico would have so much Italian laced in. We had a Portuguese wine, which I was completely unfamiliar with. Everything was delicious. Lots of conversation reminiscing on old times and new times. Terry sports a classic handlebar mustache which has afforded him opportunities as an extra in various shows, including the most recent The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix. We thanked Terry & Jill for their hospitality and went back to the casita for some much needed rest.

I didn’t take too many photos on Day 6. I was visually overloaded from all the art, needing to take it in and process. Plus there really wasn’t that much time to stop and shoot every two feet. I did take some images though, focusing on trees and architecture. I love the cottonwoods and aspens. The softness of the earthy adobes against the blueness of sky. The organic nature of coyote fences. I even saw a couple of birds, a house sparrow and a peacock of all things, which was screaming quite loudly behind someone’s fence. Overall it was a wonderful day, but I was left wanting some time and introspection to really process everything I took in. I suppose that is why I have waxed on and on here for day 6. It seems that I’m finally getting that processing time, even if it is a year later.

Below are a few galleries highlighting a selection of images taken on Canyon Road. I hope you enjoy the work and I sincerely hope you enjoyed the story I’ve laid before you. Santa Fe was deeply impactful for me on so many levels and it is a thrill to share that with you. As always I welcome your feedback, questions, and commentary below. Thank you for following along!

Trees

Buildings and Fences

Birds

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