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View Full Version : Ever been to Taos Pueblo?


tgsloth
12-18-2008, 07:19 PM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/12-18-2008/124239_Taos_Church.jpg


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Ever been to Taos Pueblo?
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 2.5 x 3.5 (aceo)
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
All artists should visit the Pueblo both for the natural beauty of the area and for the local arts scene. Anyway, within the Pueblo itself (controlled by the Pueblo tribe of Native Americans) stands one of the most beautiful churches in the country. My wife gave me another piece of handmade paper and it's aceo size (artistic license on the irregualar shape). My cunning idea was to let the ochre color of the paper stand for some of the church as it's an...ochre building.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I understand that forum members from Oz and places like Moldova have trouble getting over to Taos. Quit whining. You've got to go.

billmahler
12-19-2008, 01:58 AM
TG
I havent been there, but I've been near it. The textures and colors are evocative, but I don't get the feeling of the area from the painting.

tali
12-19-2008, 05:04 AM
Never been, would like to go. This would look great floated in a rustic frame. The black doesn't really work for me--it's so cold! (or is it just me that's cold?) Were it my painting, I would have used maybe burnt sienna in those areas--the color would contrast nicely with the bright blue.

gerardina
12-19-2008, 08:50 AM
nope, i haven't been there...thanks for showing us a slice :)

greensyster
12-19-2008, 11:29 PM
My cunning idea was to let the ochre color of the paper stand for some of the church as it's an...ochre building.

[B]MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I understand that forum members from Oz and places like Moldova have trouble getting over to Taos. Quit whining. You've got to go.

Fiendishly cunning idea and it worked - the heavy clunky peasant/native/whateverpoliticallycorrectwordtouse church is recreated in miniature on that fabulous wife's paper (as opposed to, although equally true, ' wife's fabulous paper') keeping the peasantry feeling. I recall that look to churches when I was in Mexico but didn't make it to Taos Pueblo. Still, once you have been to the Koln cathedral (where I understand G_d goes) ... well .... :) Anyway I love the existential concept of the painting material making part of the image - bravo!

atelier_m
12-19-2008, 11:42 PM
I like your painting, but would like to see a change in value or hue in the sky from top to bottom. It has very strong shapes.

I was in Taos and went to the pueblo but then didn't go in. I was told I would have to pay $25 to bring my camera in, $50 to bring my sketchbook and that I would not be allowed to photograph people unless I negotiated a separate fee with each one. That turned me off. I went back to Taos proper and spent the day in the galleries ... which were wonderful.

Mary :)

tgsloth
12-20-2008, 07:45 AM
Some comments back:

Talya, you're entirely correct (as usual) about the black (actually Payne's Gray). I was just lazy. This was kind of a five minute exercise and the paper really sucks up the paint such that it's not as easy to change the color selected. The dark ochre "arms" of the church are also too dark. Whaddayagonna do? I was just trying to catch the form and in that I think it's ok. I hope Bill doesn't read this as he's publically declared his condemnation of Payne's Gray.

Marie: I'm a cathedral fan and argue that God spends more time at Amiens as the sausages at Koln build up too much bad collesterol.

Mary: I know how you felt. My first visit was 1973 and the indians sought to collect $2 for a camera "permit". I didn't pay but had a pocket camera and surreptiously took a snap. Ah, the thrill of getting away with something. I was back with fabulous wife (was fabulous bachelor in 1973) in 1990 and no one bothered me about my camera so I took more pictures. Third visit came in 2001 and I started to think that the indians don't appear to be plutocrats and that it is, after all, annoying to have tourists running around in their home sans compensation so I paid $5 if memory served. Looks like prices soared since then. Took more pictures. I wasn't doing any painting/drawing at that time.

The way I feel about it now is that a photo license is defensible but the idea of charging artists (remember, many artists are "starving" as are many indians) seems nuts to me. Particularly charging more. I think, from the standpoint of tourist gestalt, it's cool to see folks drawing/painting. Not so cool to see them poking their lenses everywhere. And more outragious, in Santa Fe, you can't plunk down an easel to paint in the street without paying the city. Huh?

Another tourist spot, Egypt, charges camera fees everywhere but is absolutely charmed if you start to draw. They get it right.

Corby
12-20-2008, 10:26 AM
I have been there, (there are relatively few USA places I have not) I was not of an age then however to take note of all the niceties that would please me now. I agree about the color on this small work...but am somewhat aghast that Tali admits to possibly using Burnt Sienna! :evil: and I agree with Bill about Paynes Gray. I feel that saving 'mud' and using it instead is far better.:evil:
(AISI)

tgsloth
12-21-2008, 01:37 PM
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS:

While putting this puppy up on ebay, I checked my provenences and photo album. Oops. This is St Francis of Assisi church (still just as beautiful) in the village (Rancho de Taos), not in the Pueblo. My bad. The church in the Pueblo is St. Jerome. Still beautiful but less so. And the rip-off which greeted Mary is not supported by claims on the Indians' website. They claim a reasonable $5 camera fee (what I remember paying) and no charge for sketching unless you identify yourself as a commercial photographer or artist. I think of my art career as belonging to the category of Non Profit Organizations. Hardly "commercial". Perhaps Mary visited during the time when Rod Blagojevich was Mayor (before he moved to Illinois).

Still a great spot.

Here's the site link: http://taospueblo.com/visiting.php

atelier_m
12-21-2008, 01:50 PM
Those were the prices quoted me and in fact were printed in a handout for artist's given me. I do know that it was the week of an annual celebration in honor of a saint and the pueblo was hugely crowded. Perhaps something special was in effect or the policies have changed. This was some year's ago.

I was very disappointed about the extra charge for a sketchbook and did not go in because of it. I had a discussion with my husband similar to your reaction as to why a sketchbook would cost more than a camera. There was a $100 charge to use a video camera.

If the policies have changed, I am glad. But my recollections are correct. Perhaps the difference is in the "commercial" artist designation. A commercial artist is someone who has sold a painting. If they asked me if I planned to sell my work, I would have answered in the affirmative. Perhaps my difficulty arose because I gave an honest answer to the question.

Mary

tgsloth
12-21-2008, 04:27 PM
Definitely a rip off. Unless we've got a forum member who lives around there (actually, we ought to, it's quite an art hotbed), we won't know if the website's wrong or it was, as Mary suggests, a special occasion with special pricing.

atelier_m
12-21-2008, 05:32 PM
Definitely a rip off. Unless we've got a forum member who lives around there (actually, we ought to, it's quite an art hotbed), we won't know if the website's wrong or it was, as Mary suggests, a special occasion with special pricing.

I think it's the professional versus personal painter. If a professional artist is going to make money from it, they want a piece of the pie. The problem is that as a sketcher and plein air artist, I have no idea if my day's work will result in a piece of artwork or not, or if it will ever sell.

It is similar to the problem happening with artist's models. At one time you paid them for their time and the work was yours. More and more, they want a piece of what you may eventually earn. They charge more if you want to take a photograph. Around here a model gets $25 an hour, but if you want to take photos they charge $200 to $300 an hour. Or they charge anything from $5 to $15 for every shot you take. For that rate, they will sign a release. It has become a real problem, especially in class. Some students would like to take a photo of the pose from the spot they were painting, so they can finish the painting. I feel that is reasonable. The way I have been solving this is to simply not book a model who won't let each artist take a single photo of their view. The student may use the photo to paint from, but not sell or display the photo, only the painting.

So, to an extent I understand the situation at Taos. They feel they are professional models. But, if you're there just to sketch because sketching is what you do ... ? Are you going to hand $20 to every person you look at?

I had this problem in Greece. Every historic site had a $25 to $75 charge to use your camera or video. I began to wish there was a universal fee, $500 or something, that I could have paid when I entered the country that all of the tourist areas would then get a cut of. There are places we went to that I have no photos of, because I didn't want to pay the fee.

It's the age of copyright and licensing. I was shocked when you said Santa Fe charges artists to set up their easel on the street. We aren't Hollywood production companies, afterall, with a $200,000,000 budget. Some of the national parks have a disclaimer that says you cannot sell a photo of the park without paying the park a fee. I'm not sure what they have to say about selling a painting.

Sorry to use your thread to thrash this out. I guess go to Taos as a tourist, pay your $5 and never sell a painting that is a recognizable portrait. Or maybe they have realized that attracting artists is a good thing. Take your pad of release forms with you, though.

Mary :o

PS Re the paper, if you have more to use. If you put a sizing of some sort on it, would it be less absorbent?

Use Her Name
12-21-2008, 06:10 PM
There are plenty of churches in that style that do not charge money to sketch or what-ever, whether you sell it or not. That is rediculous. A public building is not copyrightable-- So I'd say they would be the ones breaking the law.

tgsloth
12-21-2008, 08:06 PM
Mary, I'm sure the paper could be sealed with various materials although that might change its charm. I'm just fooling around with it. It think, ultimately, if I were to work on some larger pieces (my wife makes them big too) there are two methods of attack which are at 180 degrees. The first is watercolor washes which would promiscuously spread through the paper in possibly cool ways. The second is impasto acrylic such that the paint dabs would rise up with the paper bumps. And then, both techniques could be employed on the same artwork.

Use/her. The argument is that the Pueblo is not a "public building" but is a sovereign Native American reservation. And so they charge admission. The Pueblo's church (not the one I painted) forbids all photography inside and I've seen a lot of churches that don't allow photography around the world. It's considered an issue of respect for possible worshippers. And our own United States of America charges us to get into National Parks.

atelier_m
12-21-2008, 08:26 PM
Mary, I'm sure the paper could be sealed with various materials although that might change its charm. I'm just fooling around with it. It think, ultimately, if I were to work on some larger pieces (my wife makes them big too) there are two methods of attack which are at 180 degrees. The first is watercolor washes which would promiscuously spread through the paper in possibly cool ways. The second is impasto acrylic such that the paint dabs would rise up with the paper bumps. And then, both techniques could be employed on the same artwork.

Ah, I didn't realize your wife made the paper. That is a fun thing to do. I'll have to think about it, but there is a way to internally size the paper. And, dissolve a Tums in the paper pulp to reduce it's acidity and make it more archival.

Have fun,
Mary

RedTerra
12-21-2008, 08:45 PM
I really like this work! The black doesn't bother me. The composition is strong and the paper gives it an authentic texture. It reminds me of a relic or religious icon; especially since the small size means it could be held in one hand. If I owned it I wouldn't frame it, since I would want to be able to hold it. I think it is delightful and inspirational.
RedTerra

tali
12-22-2008, 02:11 AM
but am somewhat aghast that Tali admits to possibly using Burnt Sienna! and I agree with Bill about Paynes Gray. I feel that saving 'mud' and using it instead is far better.


Yes, yes, I've been known to be lazy and use that pigment, but mostly I'll mix the equivalent from my bright primaries. I must confess that lately I have decided that burnt sienna may have some merit after all and isn’t nearly as dull as I originally thought. I only have it because it was a “required” supply for a workshop and I ended up using very little of it.

As to Mary's and TGsloth's financial discussion, I couldn't be more shocked! I trade out with my models, and they are perfectly happy to get a print for modeling. I've never heard of paying to photograph a building, though I understand and respect Church's rights to restrict photographs indoors as respect for the sacredness of the place. It's anything for a buck these days! What a shame.

bpc
12-30-2008, 11:04 PM
Hi tg...my wife insists you have painted on a stone and not on paper...her name is Tracy..do you want to set the record straight with her.

tgsloth
12-30-2008, 11:48 PM
(A) I could refer her to my ebay buyer who might be induced to submit said painting to a testing lab re substrate molecular structure but
(B) Women are always right so this would be pointless. Stone it is! If you don't believe (B), check with my wife, (C) for confirmation.