Kathleen Elsey Painting Workshops

Kathleen Elsey | Painting Workshops | New Mexico Paintings

"The Morada with Taos Mountain"
Painted in the Kathleen Elsey Painting Workshop  
22" x 30" signed lower right by Kathleen Elsey, Santa Barbara, California artist

Kathleen Elsey Painting Workshop New Mexico Painting Morada with Taos Morada

For over 35 years I’ve been visiting New Mexico, in particular Santa Fe and Taos. I feel particularly drawn to the land here and I think I paint differently when I’m here. The colors are brighter, the air is purer, and so is my soul. The coyotes, the full moon, the desert inspire me. The Taos Morada was fascinating. The remoteness, the beautiful setting with Taos Mountain in the background and the sound of that quiet hot summer day denying Autumn’s entrance was mesmerizing.

Like most moradas, this one was found in an isolated area on the edge of the village. It was specifically built as a meeting house for Penitente worship. They are constructed according to the needs and wealth of the members and are often difficult to distinguish from other village buildings. Many have the look of a village chapel. Others look like a Kathleen Elsey Painting Hacienda Martinez New Mexico Painting Workshopvillage home. The plan could be a rectangle, or a more elaborate L, T or cross. The roof of this morada was flat with a wooden bell tower. The Taos Morada has small and unobtrusive doors and windows. The doors were low (causing one to bend in a prayerful position when entering). There is a rather large 8 foot cross on a small hill in front.

I wasn’t going to paint the obtrusive cross or the wooden tower, thinking them not befitting to the scene. But after reading more about the moradas of New Mexico, the cross may become part of my painting. This was the third day of my outdoor painting workshop in Taos and all workshop painters were inspired by the beauty and isolation of this bit of paradise. You might also like my painting of the La Hacienda de los Martinez.

© 2013 Kathleen Elsey