Joshua Tree, Arizona and New Mexico Pt. 2

My time spent in the Southwest was so photo-worthy that I had to split my trip into two posts. You can see the first post here. At this point, I was in full-on relax mode and all the hectic feelings from the end of the year had basically disappeared. On the road, I thumb through the road atlas, imagining that we will stop at all these magical places, including Sedona, White Sands and various other places. Of course, we didn't have the time for these things, but there's always next time.

 New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment

New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment

The welcome sign at the border of New Mexico says it all. The vast landscapes and mesas are breathtaking and so different from the California landscapes I'm used to. You may be wondering why I'm skipping Arizona. We sped through to get to our destination to meet friends in New Mexico. Later in this post, I'll have a couple shots of Flagstaff on the way back. 

 The gal I came to see, Anabella Piñon. 

The gal I came to see, Anabella Piñon. 

Anabella Piñon is one of my favorite artists. She makes art for the pure love of it and is one of the most enigmatic and generous people you will ever meet. This is her reflection in her parent's kitchen, bright and colorful, like the whole Piñon family. You can see Bella's art here. I know one of her goals this year is to make more art so I'm really excited to see what she does. She is always the main reason I'm in New Mexico. Bella lives in California, near me, but her family is out here. 

 The Piñon "ranch" in New Mexico. You can't tell from this photo, but this house is on a lot next to railroad tracks, not on 10 acres as it looks.

The Piñon "ranch" in New Mexico. You can't tell from this photo, but this house is on a lot next to railroad tracks, not on 10 acres as it looks.

 Bella's dad's space, filled with music equipment and lots of random things. We spent a solid night drumming and sketching.

Bella's dad's space, filled with music equipment and lots of random things. We spent a solid night drumming and sketching.

 This photo captures Bella so well: beautiful, patterned, happy and natural. 

This photo captures Bella so well: beautiful, patterned, happy and natural. 

 We all rode horses on the 13 acre ranch in Contreras.

We all rode horses on the 13 acre ranch in Contreras.

 How beautiful is this view? Bella's brother-in-law carves these beautiful crosses from found glass bottles.

How beautiful is this view? Bella's brother-in-law carves these beautiful crosses from found glass bottles.

 A beautiful door at the ranch, also painted by Bella's brother-in-law.

A beautiful door at the ranch, also painted by Bella's brother-in-law.

  Muñeco

Muñeco

 Ocho

Ocho

 Dinner time for the horses

Dinner time for the horses

 The view from my horse, Ignacio and Muñeco in Contreras. I could easily spend a month here.

The view from my horse, Ignacio and Muñeco in Contreras. I could easily spend a month here.

 A neighboring ranch. I love the sign with the Zia symbol and horses.

A neighboring ranch. I love the sign with the Zia symbol and horses.

 We ended the year right with this spread on New Year's Eve morning.

We ended the year right with this spread on New Year's Eve morning.

 I'm not posting photos from the party, but it was so fun! Blanca, Bella's sister, made it a memorable one and I led a yoga session post-cleanup the next morning. They sure are cozy on that one blanket!

I'm not posting photos from the party, but it was so fun! Blanca, Bella's sister, made it a memorable one and I led a yoga session post-cleanup the next morning. They sure are cozy on that one blanket!

 Flagstaff, AZ. Flagstaff is a great town. It's obvious that they value the environment, health and nature here. I'd like to check it out longer next time.

Flagstaff, AZ. Flagstaff is a great town. It's obvious that they value the environment, health and nature here. I'd like to check it out longer next time.

 The sunset as we left Flagstaff was gorgeous. A great way to end the trip with snow on the side of the roads and a crescent moon just above the mountains. 

The sunset as we left Flagstaff was gorgeous. A great way to end the trip with snow on the side of the roads and a crescent moon just above the mountains. 

And that concludes the second part of my Southwest trip. It was much needed after feeling spent by the end of the year. I think the colors, patterns and openness of the landscape will influence my art for awhile. 

Now, I'm off to Miami for some more sunshine.