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April 25, 2013 / pleinairman

Taos Plein Air Painting Retreat – Day 3

Mabel’s View, 9×12 oil

Mabel’s Gate, 9×12 oil

We had our best weather yet for our day at the Mabel Dodge Luhan house.  Although the morning started off at a crisp 19 degrees, it wasn’t long after sunrise before it got to freezing.  By the time we got to Mabel’s house, it was 32 – and in the strong sunshine, that felt like a fine summer’s day.

Mabel Dodge Luhan’s House

Mabel Dodge, a wealthy New York socialite and patron of the arts, got fed up with the city and moved to Taos in 1919.  She built a home here and began to invite her artistic friends out to visit.  Some of the people who visited were D.H. Lawrence, who painted pictures on the glass windows of the second story bathroom, Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Robinson Jeffers and Georgia O’Keeffe.  Georgia thought Mabel talked too much, so instead of staying in the main house with Mabel, she stayed across the way in a smaller home by herself.  Somewhere along the line, Mabel divorced her husband and married Tony Luhan, a Taos Indian.  Mabel died in 1962.

Where Georgia stayed

Today, the house is a spectacular conference center and inn with views of the Morada, which we visited yesterday, and the broad landscape of the Taos pueblo.  We were grateful for the opportunity to paint there; for a small fee, we were able to paint, use the restrooms and enjoy coffee and tea.



Robert, Linda, Nancy

Afterward, we headed back to Kit Carson Avenue for a meeting with painter Jerry Jordan.  One of our participants, Jim, liked Jordan’s work well enough to call his gallery, Parson Gallery of the West, to arrange a visit.  Jordan graced us with about an hour of his time to talk about his history, his painting approach and more.  As a young man, Jordan enjoyed the work of early Taos artists such as Walter Ufer and E. Martin Hennings and taught himself to paint by studying them.  Jordan is known across the US for his paintings of old Taos.

Jerry Jordan

Tomorrow, we may try to paint the Rio Grande Gorge.

Cold enough for a parka!

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