"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thinking of Santa Fe...

El Greco's Toledo really reminds me of Santa Fe. Driving up into the mountains and coming upon the city - this was my impression - even though in reality I was looking down at the city - or just a few buildings. Otherwise the city was enshrouded in clouds, as I had written awhile back, which created the illusion that the city towered into the clouds, since it seemed the mountain tops poked through the fog as well. Why didn't I try to photograph it? So that I could paint it. In my mind, I continue to imagine it looks like Toledo. I drove by Toledo years ago, and the Spanish city does look like the painting, although the day was crisp and clear, and very sunny - not at all as nostalgic as El Greco's composition.

Searching for photos, I came upon this painting by Beverly Decker, entitled "Sunlit Hills" which happens to be a view of Santa Fe. This comes close to my impression, although I was in New Mexico in February, and there was snow cover. I think I must have been having a mystical experience as I drove. New Mexico is very spiritual and enchanting you know.


  1. I love El Greco's work. I first became aware of his art a number of years ago when one of his paintings inspired the work of a well known composer.

    I like the painting you posted of Beverly Decker. Both Toledo and Sunlit Hills remind me of one of the greatest opening lines from a short story in all of literature. Poe's Fall of the House of Usher: "DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher."

  2. Spiritual & mystical...book me a ticket please!

  3. I love El Greco, but am not sold on Beverly Decker.

    I've always wanted to visit NM. Almost went there one year for their hot air balloon festival.

  4. I grew up with an inexpensive copy of El Grecos Toledo in our family room. It was the frequent setting of all my scary dreams as a child. I look at it now and think that its beautiful and romantic.


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