Sunday, March 26, 2023

It's Quarter to Three or Along About Midnight

Barela Lane #1

Barela Lane #2

Quiet Steps

Twice in the past month we’ve eaten dinner with friends at the Taos Inn, once in Doc Martin’s and the other in the Adobe Bar. Neither meal was memory making but the company made the evening sparkle despite the gruel listed on the menu as a New Mexican Combination Platter.

Christmas Eve in Brentwood

Each was a snowy evening with flakes glistening like crystals beneath the streetlights and the night sounds hushed by the fluff. The thick air and soft blanket of wet snow created a wondrous and silent night. And since Peggy and I were the only people strolling to the adjacent parking lot it felt, well, like “it’s quarter to three, there’s no one in the place except you and me.”

Nightlights #1

Nightlights #2

Nightlights #3

In a handful of recent Instagram posts I took great license with the time of night. For example, I called one post “Along About Midnight” after Guitar Slim’s 1958 tune. It was really 7:30. Hey, what’s five hours among friends?

The scene struck a chord with us and so I found myself revisiting old nocturnes and contemplating making new ones. Maybe it’s a series to develop. We will see what I will see.

I even have a working title, Nightlights. Or maybe Nightlight singular.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Adobe and Snow Again

We woke up to 10 inches of wet snow on Friday. Peggy called me from the historic Martinez Hacienda where she had stopped to photograph on the way to the studio, basically telling me to get my lazy ass out of the house and capture the wonder of the grand hacienda in its cloak of dense snow. I told her, “I’ll get over there immediately.” I'm nothing if not obedient..

I fell into my routine of photographing the wooden wagon, the adobe walls and especially the canales with stalactites of ice slowly developing below. Canal, as you know, means channel in English, and canales are the plural of same. I always try to find a new angle and threw in some abstracts of the wagon and a handful that might belong in my Sketches of Winter series.

Severino Martín moved his family from Abiquiu just after Taos was founded in 1796. Los Martínes, later Los Martinez, settled on land two miles south of Taos and in 1804 built the northern-most Grand Hacienda in New Mexico. Soon Los Martinez owned five square miles abutting the Rio Pueblo and Severino became a powerhouse politico in Northern New Mexico. 

Los Immels live half a mile north of the Hacienda. Lucky us.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Forgotten Anniveraries and Other Parties

Happy Something or Other

Peggy Immel at ArtsThrive.


Fear not. The red dots appeared Saturday night.

When we woke up Sunday morning a week ago Peggy nudged me, “You’ll never guess what yesterday was.” I responded with a start, “Holy Crap! We forgot again. It was our anniversary. Our 56th. That’s really hard to do when we’re only 60.”

Then last week we had dinner with friends who are our age and have been married for 59 years. That’s even worse, er, more impressive.

The finished product.

Quick Draw artists at ArtsThrive.

56 years is so epic that the Albuquerque Museum hosted a three-day party to celebrate our accomplishment. It began with a collectors party Thursday night. That’s where the big spenders queue up to buy the art. That night Peggy was one of four artists demonstrating their wizardry. Each delivered a painting in a two-hour race called a “Quick Draw.” It’s a common though nerve wracking practice in plein air competitions throughout the land.

Saturday morning was an artist’s session where participants could meet each other. It was lightly attended but a good time to enjoy the wonderful art without the hordes. And finally, on Saturday night there was our anniversary party with 300 attendees. That was the most festive and when most of the sales happened.

ArtsThrive is a juried event so there are no guarantees that you’ll be invited. And sales are muy importante. If your work sells, you’ll be invited back. I have a hunch we sold enough for an encore.

Up top are basic here I am with my art shots mostly from the artist get-together Saturday morning plus one kissy face appropriate to the occasion. The rest are steps on Peggy’s path to an amazing painting in under two hours.

Sunday, March 05, 2023

Neck Snakes or Ties That Bind

Forty years of neckties.

Peggy and I have just participated in three events that are part of ArtsThrive, the annual art exhibition and sale that benefits the Albuquerque Museum. We returned to Taos this late afternoon and I have hundreds of photographs from the show to sort and process. So, I’m going to kick the ball down the field so I can show ArtsThrive in all its glory. It’s a handsome exhibition with stellar artwork and a team of caring managers and volunteers who run the event like a Swiss watch. Much more about the special event and more effusive praise will follow next week.

As a placeholder I’m offering some of the detritus left in the wake of my ongoing purge of my closet. I reckon I’ll be donating (I hope), consigning or trashing some 30 suits and sportscoats that are so large and so out of style that there is no reason beyond nostalgia to keep them. I am, sadly, a pale shadow of my former self and the once grand suitings drape me like a caftan.

Among the useless items are forty some odd ties that along with the big shoulders and wide lapels of the suits and coats must be put out of my misery.

If you're a 41 long or close to it new threads are yours for the taking.