Sunday, August 19, 2012

Crestone, Colorado

White Eagle

In exchange for a place to live for a month I painted the two large (35' x 13' each) murals for a hotel in Crestone.  Although I've painted for movies in Los Angeles and spent a summer as lead painter for summerstock theater at the Pocono Playhouse, back east, this is my first mural.  I worked on it for one to two hours a day for three weeks to complete.  The heat was intense so I was only able to work very early in the mornings.  I did pre-paintings first so I knew that everyone would like what they were getting, then painted them.   Had a great time painting and learned that it's something I really enjoy doing.  I also got a few other jobs from the experience.

Above is a book cover I carved for Michelle's birthday present from her husband Jim.  It's 12 inches square and carved out of mahogany.  Michelle is going to use the book for her family tree, as well as photos and stories left to her by her great aunt.  Michelle and Jim own the Shambala Restaurant in Crestone

Alice stopped by one morning while I was painting and asked me if I would paint a mural for her in her living room.  It's just a small one, over a window, but it was fun.  Alice's house is an art piece in itself.  She has made every place in it special.

Above are my attempts to catch one of the many hummingbirds that inhabit my new place.  I'm now living in a trailer out in the country surrounded by wild, but tame bunnies and chipmunks.  I saw my first antelope herd here and when I saw them I sang Home Home on the Range to them and a couple raised their heads and looked.   Below are photos shot while out walking in the desert.  I forgot to mention that Crestone is at 7,500 to 8,000 feet altitude - high desert - and it took me a couple of weeks to get used to it.  It was exhausting at first.  The skies here are amazing.  Brilliant colors and cloud formations.

Okay, here's a weird story.  Below, the man on the right, Bubs (his nickname), is from India and goes back there every year to visit.  We talked one evening and I mentioned to him that I'd never died my hair and he told me that in India the spiritual teachers claim that ascended people who have cleared out their chakras don't have grey or white hair.  I looked online and found out that what he said is true (but are they right?) and also learned that in medicine it means that I have healthy organs.  Who knows?  But it really made me feel hopeful.

Below are the Great Sand Dunes which I shot from the local area called the Baca

Below is the Freebox, one of the coolest things I've seen in town.  It's where everyone dumps off stuff they no longer want and picks up anything they see that they want.  One day I was wishing I had a blender so I could make my potato soup and when I walked into the Freebox, there it was.  Someone I met built his house with two free saws he got from the Freebox.  I've heard lots of stories like this.  I forgot to bring my summer clothes with my and have now acquired a great collection of T-shirts and other clothes.  It's also the best library in town.  I've picked up some great spiritual books here.

I spent my first month renting a room with Willie and his animals.  Apollo, one of his horses occasionally walks inside to visit.  Here's Willy taking him outside again.  I left Willy's to paint the mural.

Above, one of Willy's sculptures.  As you can see, he's a welder.   Below, I was invited to a friend's house for a potluck and these moths were hanging around us.  I thought they were hummingbirds, but they're moths.

Crestone is a big spiritual place with over 30 monasteries, ashrams, churches, etc. nestled in the mountains.  Below is a local ashram, who's name I can't remember, where they have full moon and new moon ceremonies every two weeks or so.  I've gone a couple of times and really enjoyed the ritual and the chanting .

The sky around here is amazing.  This was my first rainbow here.

I've met two Peter Coyote's since I've been here.  Below is the actor Peter Coyote who is also a Zen priest, standing with Roshi Baker at the Zen Mountain Center in the mountains over Crestone.  I took this photo during a ceremony I went to when they installed the new Roshi, Roshi Dan.  Below that photo is a picture of  Peter Koyote, a local truck driver, with his dog Angel.  I met him because I'd seen a video he'd made for Youtube so when I recognized him in town I went up and said hello.

Below is Arizona, of course, on my way to Crestone from L.A.

I spent three weeks visiting Janice, my sister, in Hermosa Beach, California.  Below is a photo I shot from her television of Janice when she went to a city council meeting (she's wearing the glasses) and below that at one the 5k races she loves to run.

I spent a couple of weeks visiting my friends Fran and Patti.  I'd just come from Mt.s Shasta where it was still winter and very grey and cold, so when I saw all the flowers and sunshine I went crazy and shot lots of photos.  Here are two.

This was my birthday present to Fran.  It was a very strange unusual peice of wood I found in the desert, that I painted.  Fran likes weir4d strange art so I knew she'd like it.

Fran's hand with a buddy she picked up in her garden.


At 10:53 AM , Blogger Fran Wincek said...

Great to see the places you live in and visit!! I LOVE your eye!!


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