The Journey Into Art: Abiquiu Skies

February 19, 2022  |  New Mexico
Abiquiu skies 2
Abiquiu skies 2

Abiquiu is in the expansive swath of northern New Mexico from the Santa Fe-Taos area all the way west to Farmington. It is an area of great openness, quiet, and solitude.

If it weren't for Georgia O'Keeffe, Abiquiu would be known only as a name with more vowels than consonants.

I spent five days wandering the area, exploring the land and O'Keeffe's legacy.

I noticed a consistent and remarkable closeness of the clouds to the land that I had not observed elsewhere. So I tried something new and focused on the clouds during several of my photo ops.

This generated two whimsical series of prints, one focused only on the clouds and this one on the relationship between the clouds and the staid, recognizable land.

Sometimes in the seriousness of deep experience and personal expression, one has to burst forth with a bit of silliness and amusement, even laughter.

Laughter is like rain in the desert.

I remember a story told about Salvador Dali, who purchased a canvas, framed it unpainted, and called it art. Perhaps that is the ultimate in silliness (even though he was trying to make a point).

I have come to see outbursts of silliness, jocularity, and frivolity as times of release from taking myself too seriously. Sometimes these outbursts grab me by surprise, and I regret their socially-inappropriate timing. But for these two series, I made an intentional return to the works, specifically with the idea of juxtaposing silliness in the skies with the seriousness of the land. Perhaps I should say fantastical in the skies and recognizable in the land. Those would be the more appropriate academic words. But I am not an academic.

Sometimes silliness contains the seed for creativity by putting together elements or ideas that would have otherwise been discarded as "too silly".

Before I started this journey into art I read the artist's owners manual. I don't remember being forbidden to be silly.

There is nothing serious about these prints, unless you consider silliness serious.

The entire series can be seen here.

Abiquiu skies 1
Abiquiu skies 1