Friday, June 15, 2012

Do You Know The Way to Santa Fe?

June 15, 2012

   Had a great northern New Mexico breakfast at the Mabel Dodge Luhan house yesterday morning. The resident Mexican cook whipped up a spicy green chile egg concoction that was pretty amazing. Met two sisters (I know, this is a trend) who were there to finish a book, and of course i enjoyed talking with them about good books and good art.

   Speaking of good art, one of the surprises on this trip was discovering that one of my art heroes, Robert Henri, is actually the son of a gunfighter. When we were on the way to Iowa last week and crossing Nebraska, I noticed a small sign in a cornfield that said, "Robert Henri Museum next exit". I thought this can't be the same Robert Henri who studied in Paris and established his own art school. My son quickly Googled it on his phone and sure enough, it's the same guy. Not only is Cozad, Nebraska Robert Henri's hometown, but his father, founded the town, got into a gunfight, killed a guy, fled and everyone in the family changed their names (his real name is Robert Henry Cozad). I had never heard the pronunciation of Henri and wondered if it was French, as in On-rye, but the locals pronounce it as Hen-rye. I'm going to do this as a Classic Gunfight. I'm noodling titles: "Impressions of a Gunfighter" (Robert painted a famous portrait of his father), or, "Son of A Gunfighter" or simply "Son of a Gun."

Took off from Taos and went over the mountain through Truchas and Rancho de Chamayo and on into Santa Fe. Stopped at Due West Art Gallery to talk about our upcoming Arizona-New Mexico Centennial Art Show on August 11. Going to be big. Did an interview with a local magazine, had lunch across the street. Had the green chile posole ($6.49). Was going to try the famous Coyote Grill, or cafe, but they had a menu posted on the street and too many of the prices were in the threes, as in, $36.

Came the back way through Bernalillo into Albuquerque. I'm here for the Western Writers of America Conference.

"Art is in the eye of the beholder with the gun."

—Old Cozad Saying