I've never felt the desire to live in the desert, but each time I reach a time of transition in my life I seem to end up visiting there. There is something about the dry, barren terrain that sort of cleanses my soul. The dry hot winds sweep it clean, and I am ready for a new beginning.
My trip to Taos and Santa Fe was just such an experience. If there was a theme to this trip it was Georgia O'Keefe. I visited Ghost Ranch where I was able to see many of the sites where she painted and also the house she first rented then bought there.
I also had the opportunity to visit her house in Abiquiu, NM. It took Georgia 10 plus years to purchase this house from the Catholic Church there. She wanted it for the surrounding gardens where she could grow her own fruits and vegetables. Once she did buy it she remodeled it into a beautiful adobe home and studio. Here I realized that Georgia felt much the same about her surroundings as I feel about my home studio and garden. It was her "place of peace." I was listening to NPR and the interview of an author as I was driving last week. I cannot recall who the author was nor what he had written, but his words stuck with me. He said, "Creativity flows out of silence and solitude." I find that for me this is certainly true. It is in the silence and solitude of a peaceful interior that creativity blossoms and grows until it must be poured out.
I have always enjoyed Georgia O'Keefe's art, but it was not until I saw it in person at a retrospective at the Chicago Art Institute that I truly related to the spirituality of it. On this trip I also visited the O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, my second time. This time the show was "Abstractions," which I found especially inspiring.