Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Off The Grid Travels-Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu,NM

I thought the call from my sister in the Twin Cities area (MN) was an April Fools' Day joke. She happily reported the temperature was 81 degrees. And that was higher than Santa Fe at 71 degrees. This is the real truth. Hard to believe-huh?

Rams head, White Hollyhocks, Little Hills (1936)
Oriental Poppies (1928)
Part Three Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch
Georgia O'Keeffe is one of the masters of the 20th century art. She worked at a time when few women were accepted by the art world. Her giant paintings of flowers and images of the Southwest were revolutionary and broke new ground. She was the first woman to have a solo show at the renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York and her relationship with famed photographer Alfred Stieglitz and her life in  New Mexico are legendary.  

O'Keeffe first came to the Abiquiu Ghost Ranch in 1934. She came as a guest and stayed for a month. O’Keeffe instantly fell in love with the southwestern scenery. "As soon as I saw it, I knew I must have it," exclaimed Georgia O’Keeffe of the adobe house at Ghost Ranch.
In 1949 O’Keeffe moved to New Mexico permanently, spending most of her time at her Ghost Ranch home but she also purchased another home 15 miles away in Albiquiu. She also built a studio there. Tours are offered several times a week to one of the homes. The closest we got to one of the homes was from the back.
It was at this home she renovated a stable and  buggy house at the edge of her property to create a separate space for  a bedroom and a studio away from the main part of the house. 
 This photo came form Georgia O' Keeffe museum. Here she is opening the curtain in her studio to a picture window that was 16 feet long. She had it installed for letting in lots of natural light and a better view of the Chama River Valley. It was here she set up her easel. 
These tools and supplies used by O'Keeffe over a 60 year career are part of a collection at the museum in Santa Fe.  
Some of O'Keeffe's most celebrated works were inspired by the buttes and mesas in Abiquiu region. I was in awe and mesmerized by same landscape that inspired O'Keeffe on the way to nearby Ghost Ranch.

Our destination Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch. 
It seemed simple...hike a few miles to reach it. 
Bella was eager and led the way. But the 2 miles became more strenuous than we anticipated with twists, turns, switchbacks and a lot of uphill climbing. Short of our destination we were forced to quit when the path became quite narrow and too steep for us with Bella so my daughter was the only one to make it to the top but we still had lots of breathtaking views. 


Perhaps you can now see why Georgia O'Keeffe fell in love with this Southwest landscape place which was an inspiration for her art.

O'Keeffe loved to cook and has a published a cookbook with her favorite recipes. She had a huge garden and grew a lot of fruits, vegetables and herbs. 
She certainly was a fascinating woman. There is much to say about Georgia O'Keeffe's life.  

1 comment:

  1. Yes, with your beautiful photos, it's easy to understand why Georgia loved this land. It was interesting learning the story behind the artist.

    And, yes, the weather in MN yesterday was incredible.