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  • Writer's pictureMarcy LaBella


Updated: Jan 17, 2019

The Padernal - Abiquiu, New Mexico

Driving into Abiquiu, New Mexico last summer with distant views of the Padernal - often painted by Georgia O'Keefe - I almost couldn't believe I was actually in this amazing and beautifully rugged landscape. I had just spent a few days in Sante Fe at a funky B&B with other travelers and hanging out with an old and dear friend who lives in town. I am already in deep love with New Mexico, the land, the people and art everywhere.

I was about to spend 5 days doing plein air painting with a group of strangers in O'Keefe country - I long time dream for a teaching artist and huge Georgia O'Keefe admirer. Our group was small and intimate and led by Annie O'Brien Gonzales - a local Sante Fe artist, workshop teacher and book author. Annie is a wonderful down to earth person and perfect guide. Our group bonded so quickly it was as if we always knew each other. Annie is a fabulous teacher and gracious host and so knowledgeable about the area and all things O'Keefe Having been a docent at both Ghost Ranch and the O’Keefe Museum.

Ruins of the Santa Rosa Church, Abiquiu, New Mexico

Being able to visit this area has been a long time dream, but I had only put Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch, O'Keefe's remote backcountry ranch where she created much of her late work, to my vision board the year before. I love using visual aids, and vision boards for intention setting and manifestation. It helps me as a visual thinker to set goals and work towards them in a more non-linear way. It amazes me still to see things unfold and happen when they are put down on the board and then come into reality - it's just magical!

Here are some highlights...

Views from La Plaza Blanca - the White Place

Miss O'Keefe's House, innner courtyard in Abiquiu Village

Ghost Ranch, My painting Group at Chiminy Rock with an image of O'Keefe's Painting

I ended this trip with more time in Santa Fe, a visit to the O'Keefe Museum and a short day at the Cirillos Donkey Races where I met a fabulous mammoth donkey Named Rupert. I left New Mexico knowing I would return soon and am planning another painting adventure this coming summer 2019.



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