Thursday, October 6, 2011

El Rito Studio Tour and learning to let go a little bit...

Saturday morning Emily and I headed over to El Rito, NM, a small town 15 miles north of Abiquiu and about the same distance west of Ojo Caliente.  I lived in this little town for about 3 years and was excited to return and see some of the old friends there.  Sara and Sierra were happy to tour us around El Rito for their annual studio tour.

My best buds Sierra and Sara outside Julie Wagner's studio

A young artist's work at the El Rito Public Library where they also have an event called "Death by Chocolate".  I think it speaks for itself. (Thank you to the person who made a batch of gluten free brownies!  I increased my donation at that point!)

The gang with the Leer es Poder sign outside the library.

I used to live virtually next door to Martins grocery.  It closed its doors a few years ago and I miss walking through the dusty aisles marveling that you can get potted meat ALL over northern New Mexico.

We visited a friend and artist from my days of living in El Rito, Julie Claire.  Julie and I talked a little about her intuitive painting workshops which she does through her coaching business, Full Bloom Coaching in both Santa Fe and El Rito.  I have been intrigued by her process for years and hope to take one of her classes one day soon.  I think Julie can teach me to loosen up and let go of some of the things that inhibit my design process.  Tapestry is such a rigid medium in so many ways.  Once the design is finished, I pretty much don't deviate from the cartoon after I start weaving.  Yes, there are occasionally small changes I make as I go along--shifting a color or changing some highlights.  But the process to that point which includes a trip to Santa Fe to have a cartoon enlarged by a blueprint shop not to mention the days of dyeing to come up with the exact colors for the piece mean that I am unlikely to deviate from the design once it goes to the loom.  And weaving a tapestry can take months... following your pattern.  This process seems to lend itself to rigidity of the mind... and I would like to loosen things up a little bit.

In Julie's workshops as I understand it, you start with one large surface and start painting--and you keep painting on that surface.  Layers of pictures happen and you have to be willing to let the one you were working on go and let it change into something else.  And isn't that how life works anyway?


  1. I loved, Martin's, also, and am sorry to hear they have closed. I sure hope El Farolito is still open! (Clearly I have not visited in some years...a beautiful fall drive.)

  2. Oh yes, Farolitos is definitely still open. It is the same as it used to be--heavily varnished picnic tables inside and so close together that if the person sitting at the next table is on the same side of the table, you can use each other for back rests. The food is still awesome though and the same family is still running it. It is worth the drive to El Rito.

  3. Thanks for the good news! I took a class up there one semester, many years ago, and have very fond memories of lunch there.


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