Imagining the Land of Enchantment – an ARTscape

October 4, 2010

We have incredible landscapes here in New Mexico -dramatic, luminous, surreal and downright magical. Painters have known this for quite some time. Masters have gathered over the generations in Taos and Santa Fe to express their interpretations of this enchanting land.
With the thousands of visitors in Albuquerque this week sailing through the skies in their hot air balloons, driving to attractions and hiking the terrain, it seems important to acknowledge the many artists who take license to render this powerful landscape – even if in real life it needs no enhancement.
Upon arrival from the air we certainly look desolate. My first arrival was just that, a disbelief that I was in the same country if not on the same planet! It defied nature in my mind. Often referred to as “brown” once on the ground the colors of the landscape come alive punctuating the high desert terrain in a way that is like no other. It is a landscape – an Artscape. Each tree has identity – it has form, color, texture that is singularly noticed and appreciated in startling contrast to the anonymity of trees in the deeply wooded areas of much of the rest of the continent.
The evening mountains loom skyward turning bloody with color (Sangre de Cristos), watermelon crimson (Sandias), apple red (Manzanos) and this is just one frame! Sunsets challenge the most blazing versions experienced over exotic seas. Sunrise is awash with pastel tones and the drama of the formations of land astonish. The shadows of the tent rocks, mesas, and plateaus rising up from the valley floors – moving and tracking the brilliant sun through the day’s cycle – all seem to be from some imagined planet.
Yes, imagination that takes these spectacular scenes and makes them even more playful and animated through the eyes of the artists. As seen here, a detail from a large oil on canvas by the late Peggy Zuris – an Albuquerque treasure – who left us quietly like her soft spoken delivery which was in direct contrast to the loud celebration of color that she applied to her magnificent paintings.
So get out there and see the sights, climb the mountains, hike the trails and visit the galleries that showcase the artists, that capture these scenes, that with their imaginative creativity transform that which is already incredible into enchantingly mystical fantasies.


2 Responses to “Imagining the Land of Enchantment – an ARTscape”

  1. Stephanie Collins Says:


    Your writing skill is fantastic! I think I want to buy this painting. I will be in Alb. soon and will stop by.

    • pattisays Says:

      Stephanie – I am so new at this and so bad at this – don’t know if you got my earlier reply to this – thanks for reading the blog – it’s fun – the image of Peggy’s painting is a detail of the big one hanging over the front desk – in case you wondered that it didn’t look familiar!!! Looking forward to seeing you whenever you get up here!! Patti

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