New Mexico

A New Yorker in New Mexico: Seeing Red, A Photo Essay

The first time I ever saw red rocks was in 2006 when I traveled to Las Vegas and visited Red Rock Canyon. I was in Vegas to see the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton, commemorating the 40th anniversary.  Other than the Experience, I found Vegas to be largely tasteless and mind-numbing. Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam provided a relief from the smoke-filled overstimulated atmosphere. Red Rock Canyon really made an impression as did the areas outside of the city. It was the first time I had ever experienced the desert and the kind of silence and stillness it offers.

The following year, in 2007, was when I first visited New Mexico. I immediately fell in love! I can recall driving from the Albuquerque Sunport to my hotel in Bernalillo with my eye constantly being drawn to the Sandia Mountains (which still happens). On the third day of that trip, I explored the Jemez Mountain trail and it was here that I first saw New Mexican red rocks. They are nothing short of spectacular. The color is shockingly beautiful. On my third trip in 2018, I saw even more New Mexican red rocks, most notably on my drive to the Ghost Ranch. As I noted in my previous blog entry, the desert varies around the state. I found this to be also true, visually, of the New Mexican red rocks. I did a little research to find out why.

A disclaimer: I am an artist and not a scientist. However, I have a layperson’s interest in science and have done my best to preset reliable information in this blog entry. What I am doing here is trying to get answers to my own observations while presenting artistic photographs. Art and science can co-exist. If you don’t think so, please read this article on Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

Back to the New Mexican red rocks!

According to the Earth Science Club of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology the Earth is made mainly of rocks arranged in three concentric layers. The Earth’s crust contains the rocks we see at the surface. Most rocks are a collection of one or more minerals, but some contain noncrystalline inorganic material (like obsidian) or organic material (such as coal). The ultimate origin of all rocks in the Earth’s crust is the mantle (magma or lava), space (meteorites), or organisms such as plants and animals (organic matter).

According this publication by the NMT Earth Science Club, it notes that the red rocks I saw on the Jemez Trail / Route 4, are rhyolite, an igneous-volcanic type of rock. Interestingly, rhyolite will commonly scratch a knife or hammer. While the red rocks I saw around Abiquiú are sandstone a clastic sedimentary rock composed primarily of quartz grains that may be stained red, brown, pink, or yellow from iron oxides.

I love red rocks and seeing them on a grand scale is an experience I recommend.  I think, in part, I love New Mexican red rocks because they remind me of classic New York red bricks. I hope my pictures properly capture these gorgeous colors of nature.

Kitchen Mesa. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen from The Ghost Ranch.

Kitchen Mesa. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen from The Ghost Ranch.

Red Rocks on 84. Edwin Roman 2018.

Red Rocks on 84. Edwin Roman 2018.

Red Rock Portal. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen on Route 4 in Jemez, New Mexico.

Red Rock Portal. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen on Route 4 in Jemez, New Mexico.

Route 84 Red Rocks. Edwin Roman 2018.

Route 84 Red Rocks. Edwin Roman 2018.

Red and Green, Inspired by Peppers. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen along Route 4 in Jemez, New Mexico.

Red and Green, Inspired by Peppers. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen along Route 4 in Jemez, New Mexico.

Canon San Diego. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen along the Jemez Trail.

Canon San Diego. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen along the Jemez Trail.

The First Red Rocks of 2018. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen en route to the Ghost Ranch.

The First Red Rocks of 2018. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen en route to the Ghost Ranch.

Stopping for Red Rocks. Edwin Roman 2018. While driving to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico along US 84, I had to stop and capture this.

Stopping for Red Rocks. Edwin Roman 2018. While driving to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico along US 84, I had to stop and capture this.

Kitchen Mesa South. Edwin Roman 2018.

Kitchen Mesa South. Edwin Roman 2018.

Sandia Sunset. Edwin Roman 2018. Another example of red in New Mexico.

Sandia Sunset. Edwin Roman 2018. Another example of red in New Mexico.

Whenever I visit New Mexico, I always bring back red rocks. Each rock in my hand is from each trip to New Mexico. I keep several at home and in my office.

Whenever I visit New Mexico, I always bring back red rocks. Each rock in my hand is from each trip to New Mexico. I keep several at home and in my office.

edwinroman.com

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A New Yorker in New Mexico: A Photo Essay

New Mexico. Those who know me well have heard me endlessly rave lovingly about this magical place. New Mexicans refer to their state as, “the land of enchantment” — and it is exactly that! It has culture, diverse landscapes, friendly people and excellent food. July 2018 marked my third visit, but it was my first trip with the intention to create. I have always been inspired by New Mexico and thought that I should properly incorporate it into my art. On this trip, I also discovered something else that fosters this inspiration.

On the evening I arrived in Santa Fe, I noticed a storm brewing in the distance. I watched this marvelous lightning show, with great awe, for about twenty minutes. Later, when I returned to my room, I received an alert via the Weather Channel app about a storm in Bernalillo, located fifty miles away. I couldn’t believe that I could see that very storm from such a distance. I then realized that this is the other way New Mexico inspires me: it expands my sight.

Growing up and living in New York City, in a way, has limited my sight. Yes, New York City is interesting (though becoming less so because of the rampant gentrification), but my eyes work in a very focused way. On the ground level, buildings (and even upstate with the trees) force your vision to work in a much narrower way. In New Mexico, my eyes have to adjust and go into the rarely used wide-angle mode. Before visiting New Mexico, I have never been able to see such distances on land before. I found that it is a great way to open your mind: via an expansion of the senses.

On this trip, I visited places like Taos, Abiquiú, Ponderosa, Cuba, Jemez, White Rock and Bernalillo. I found that the desert in Abiquiú is different from the desert in White Rock. I approached this creative trip taking inspiration from two websites I visit regularly: Wandering New York and New Mexico Nomad. Think of this blog entry as, “Edwin Wanders New Mexico!” I hope you enjoy these photos.

Blue Entryways. Edwin Roman, 2018.

Blue Entryways. Edwin Roman, 2018. As seen at Taos Pueblo.

Abiquiú Red Rocks, Edwin Roman 2018.

Abiquiú Red Rocks, Edwin Roman 2018.

Bandelier Cave Dwelling. Edwin Roman 2018.

Bandelier Cave Dwelling. Edwin Roman 2018.

Cliffside Cacti. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at Bandelier National Monument.

Cliffside Cacti. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at Bandelier National Monument.

Forever by Allan Houser. Photographed by Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe.

Forever by Allan Houser. Photographed by Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe.

Grazers. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in Taos Pueblo.

Grazers. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in Taos Pueblo.

The Ascent. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at the Bottom of the Sandia Peak Tram.

The Ascent. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at the Bottom of the Sandia Peak Tram.

Adobe Americana. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in the Taos Pueblo.

Adobe Americana. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in the Taos Pueblo.

Green and Red. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen along Route 4.

Green and Red. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen along Route 4.

San Geronimo Chapel. Edwin Roman 2018.

San Geronimo Chapel. Edwin Roman 2018.

San Geronimo Chapel Detail. Edwin Roman 2018.

San Geronimo Chapel Detail. Edwin Roman 2018.

Kokopelli Plays! Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in Santa Fe.

Kokopelli Plays! Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in Santa Fe.

A View of Taos Pueblo. Edwin Roman 2018.

A View of Taos Pueblo. Edwin Roman 2018.

Art of Life Gallery. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in Taos.

Art of Life Gallery. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in Taos.

Vintage Cars in Ponderosa. Edwin Roman 2018.

Vintage Cars in Ponderosa. Edwin Roman 2018.

On Washington and East Palace. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in Santa Fe.

On Washington and East Palace. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen in Santa Fe.

In the Distance on Route 550. Edwin Roman 2018

In the Distance on Route 550. Edwin Roman 2018

Climb into The Cave Dwelling. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at Bandelier National Monument.

Climb into The Cave Dwelling. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at Bandelier National Monument.

Santa Fe Windows. Edwin Roman 2018.

Santa Fe Windows. Edwin Roman 2018.

Ponderosa Color Splash. Edwin Roman 2018.

Ponderosa Color Splash. Edwin Roman 2018.

Hey, Buds Below! Up is Where to Grow! Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at Bandelier National Monument.

Hey, Buds Below! Up is Where to Grow! Edwin Roman 2018. As seen at Bandelier National Monument.

Sandia Sunset. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen from the top of the Sandia Mountains.

Sandia Sunset. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen from the top of the Sandia Mountains.

Adios. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen while leaving The Ghost Ranch.

Adios. Edwin Roman 2018. As seen while leaving The Ghost Ranch.

 

I will be posting more pictures in the coming weeks on my Flickr page.

 

edwinroman.com