Ars Longa Vita Brevis: IAPS Convention, New Mexico and some other places

IMG_4627 We head east to The Land of Enchantment, a.k.a. New Mexico. After we cross the border, we begin to see an abundance of the Zia Sun, above. (In the long distant past wee Meredith lived in NM and went to Zia Elementary. Zia this, Zia that, but it was super cool that the sun was our mascot). We are headed to the I.A.P.S convention in Albuquerque. IMG_4941 I am the ” back seat drawer”. I brought pen and ink, gouache and pastels and use them all…c’est la vie. Sometimes you just have to go for it and not care too much about le finished product. Also called, “mixed media”. .IMG_4933   IMG_4380 The view from back here is mostly car. IMG_4932 We stop at some of the, dare I say, quirky rest stops of New Mexico, and have our lunch break at Caballo State Park, just north of Truth or Consequences, a.k.a. T ‘r C. The scenes here are full of texture of a literary sort. Reading required.IMG_4340 IMG_4360 2 I know rattlesnake bites can be awful but how about just , “Be Aware…” so we aren’t instantly freaked out? IMG_4361 And then maybe more people would hit the “yes” button. Hello? This rest stop is toast. Why do I care about this? I do not know. Too many directives perhaps. We arrive in downtown Albuquerque to witness a typical southwest urban sunset IMG_4392 and scoot over to the juried show to catch a few artworks. Here is the tiniest selection of my faves…it is a spectacular show, walls overflowing with pastel opulence.


Diane Rappisi


Fred Somers

IMG_4568   Translation: “Art is long, life is short”, so get busy and make a masterpiece already.


I especially enjoyed Vilas Tonape’s artist’s statement because it reflects an essential creative playfulness and imagination. And his work is compelling. But, who doesn’t love museum glass?


Vilas Tonape

And here is one very nice example of a still life with a simple color harmony.


M. Tippetz

Next morning it is adios Albuquerque and up the Turquoise Trail and High Road to Taos, passing through Madrid on the way. You can pick up a dog here, like lunch. Beware the impulse puppy! IMG_4583 On to colorful Santa Fe. IMG_4589 Georgia O’Keefe’s pastels at the O’Keefe museum. IMG_4584 …a roadside cemetery… IMG_4930 complete with motorcycle headstones. IMG_4406 Las Trampas. IMG_4410 IMG_4929 Arriving in Taos, it’s time for green chile! Here perhaps? IMG_4482 Coming back after a jaunt around the scenic loop which services ski country, conspicuously parked, the perfect artmobile set up complete with turquoise trim! IMG_4475IMG_4498 Heading south once again to cross the Rio Grande Gorge and beautiful backcountry. (I hope you aren’t counting the days..could be two or three so far.) How many greens, oh pastelist? IMG_4497 After a long soak at Ojo Calientes hot springs (yes, your eyes will get hot if you stay in long enough?) IMG_4931 I overnight at the local roadhouse type motel. It is very, very picturesque, always suspicious, but, out in the middle of virtual nowhere, you take what you can get, nest pas? IMG_4522   IMG_4523 I’m not sure if I’m supposed to hang out in this bar, with that bear. But, oh, what a drawing! Too bad I am not nerd enough to actually draw during happy hour. Next time, or maybe I should drink more… IMG_4505 Here we have real cow fur on the toilet seat, I really don’t know what to think. IMG_4509 Back down to Albuquerque in time for some pastel shopping and IAPS wrap up. And then on home with my traveling companieras, Mikaela and Susan. We head south toward Las Cruces and take a turn west near Truth or Consequences to see the Black Range and Gila Wilderness. IMG_4644 IMG_4670 In historic Hillsboro we stop for lunch and respite. IMG_4675 This is one happening hangout. I think the whole town must be here (not pictured).   IMG_4684     IMG_4676 Mikaela and Susan peruse le menu, deeply. IMG_4678 IMG_4680 Man, those would be fun to draw. All those laces… IMG_4745 We overnight in Silver City and have dinner at the Greasy Frog…oh, I mean Little Toad. IMG_4743 Silver City is such an Art Town! Makes you feel warm and fuzzy almost. We walk around. It is Sunday night so nothing is open, but it’s a fine warm evening and the sun is slow to set. IMG_4728 Hello, what’s this? Resist, woman. Mikaela in the wall art. IMG_4731 We rise early and head up to Pinos Altos for some quick sketching, then back down for coffee at the Jumping Cactus and then, homeward. IMG_4758 Wait! Can’t forget Le Harley Davidson, they are everywhere here…an intimidating subject but fabulous for drawing! But, then, you have to be quick, or else… IMG_4761 Pinos Altos Opera House. New Mexico has the most amazing Opera, not here of course, but it’s world class in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. IMG_4782 There are an abundance of chihuahuas in this town, a veritable chihuahuaville…I wonder what Jack is doing right now? And Pepe? IMG_4803 IMG_4928 Locals and, surprise, their chihuahua. IMG_4798 Coffee back in Silver City. IMG_4820   IMG_4815 watch out for the iced mocha Coffeehouse dog, “retrograde”, (as in brain cells are in retrograde or Mars or…?) Argh, I know, I will pay for that remark. Good sweet dog. IMG_4822 Speaking of which, I am delighted to find, upon return to Tucson, the boys have been busy. Making new contacts as usual and, behold Jacques! At the easel. He just needed a little time to himself and voila! Chien Artistique. Plus, he has the perfect perturbed yet vulnerable artistic persona, as you can see… IMG_4827 More on Jacks fabulous art to come. IMG_4939 Art is in the Heart!  Many thanks to traveling companions and hotel companions and IAPS companions for making this a wonderful prelude to a summer full of art. Adios. P.S. Here is the full text in Latin and English of the post heading, Ars Longa, Vita Brevis: Vita brevis, ars longa, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, ludicium difficile. -Hippocrates Life is short, and art is long, opportunity fleeting, experience perilous, and decision difficult.

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