Every day, I start understanding Santa Fe a little bit better. This creative hotspot here in New Mexico. I understand why so many artists & creative people choose to live here. Right here. “I just had to come back.” – “We both decided to move here.” – “I finally feel like I have arrived …!” Everybody feels welcome here, inspired, and embraced by the invisible, creative energy that rules this place. Angel Wynn for instance, has moved here owning and curating one of the world’s largest photo collections of Native American peoples.! Julie Claire does her best in inspiring me to allow for great intuitive painting techniques to happen. Theo Helmstadter prefers teaching creative visitors “his” pottery art rather than teaching in a local school system. Sasha Linda Wasko, who helps me create my own digital photo book. And finally … Lisa de St. Croix, who besides having an exceptional name and just as exceptional life story, is simply very good at painting and creative photo journaling here in Santa Fe. Once more, “Creativelena” has definitely found the right spot here. …
Those who travel with open eyes and an open heart, will find what they are looking for in Santa Fe. The concentration of creative, open-minded & friendly people is simply mind-blowing.
“When I was your age, I was still busy buying a ranch”, Angel laughs today. “Now, I am happy that ranch is sold and I can focus on my life work, creative photography & photo encaustics.” I smile at Angel’s words, trying to imagine her with cowgirl boots on a ranch. She has, however, always had deep connections with Native American people. “I used to grow up in Canada and have always had an interest for Native American history, especially their people. This has helped me grow as a person and develop my art as a photographer.” Looking around her beautiful studio located on Santa Fe’s famous Canyon Road, we can see traces of America’s first people everywhere. To dive into the creative arts scene of Santa Fe, means tapping into a whole new body of spirit and energy. Be sure to bring time: I do really take my time here exploring the city and meeting the artists thanks to Santa Fe Creative Tourism.
And the magic continues. On this sunny morning here in Santa Fe – the local climate with more than 300 sunny days a year simply has to get to you! – Julie Claire beams with happiness and warmth, almost like the sun itself. She comes to meet me right at Hotel Santa Fe where I am staying, driving us out to her studio on Upper Canyon Road. It is just so quiet and peaceful here. Brilliant. My steps crunching in the fresh snow are the only sound I can hear. “Come on in”, Julie laughs. “Make yourself at home – I’ll start getting the kettle going!” Virtually all my creative workshops here in Santa Fe start like this: With a cup of tea / coffee and a life story. #ibinsoinspiriert (I am so inspired!), my recent hashtag attribution given to me by my friends back home in Austria, comes to mind! It is a wonderful feeling indeed to meet the locals during this creative exchange right inside their very comfort zone and talk all matters life, work, travel and inspiration.
Talking earlier about travel & inspiration: Sasha Linda Wasko is a truly exceptional artist in that she combines monotype printmaking with digital photography, inspired by no one less than her beautiful, noble horse Teddy. She offers to take me out into her countryside house south of Santa Fe, where she lives looking after both Teddy the horse and Shrek the goat! These animals really grow on me, and more so the love Sasha has as well as the inspiration she draws from them, expressed in the art she creates. We end up spending the entire afternoon out at her house, where she helps me get started on creating my own travel photo book! As night falls in this high mountain desert landscape, I watch the stars come out and “listen” to the silence surrounding us. Other than the occasional howling of coyotes, there is virtually no other sound whatsoever. Fascinating. I am mesmerized, and vow to come back here one day, now all inspired myself!
Last but not least, I want to tell you about Lisa de St. Croix and me joining one of her creative travel journal workshops. Lisa has grown up in South Africa and migrated to the United States, to New York City, when she was 18 years old. For many years now, she has been living in Santa Fe, feeling entirely happy here. Her creative studio is just like that of any other artist I visit, a part of her house, full of light & life as well as the very inspiration that revolves around the city of Santa Fe. Here, you really cannot help but start feeling creative yourself!
Looking for further inspiration on what to do & see in & around Santa Fe, New Mexico? Here is my hand-picked selection of creative foodie travel tips, as shown on this Flickr Photo Gallery:
Disclaimer: I have been invited by Santa Fe Creative Tourism to join Angel’s, Julie’s, Theo’s & Lisa’s creative workshops here in Santa Fe. All opinions are my own.