Fresh Off the Easel - "Lunchtime"

"Lunchtime", original oil painting (7"x5" on linen panel) by Elizabeth (Betty) Moore

The long dusty hike to the South Rim of the Rio Grande last summer was followed by an excursion to Taos for lunch at a restaurant favored by the locals. My two sisters and a family friend had waited patiently for me to take numerous photos along the trail. Luckily, we arrived just in time to make our late lunch reservation.

While the group headed inside for shade and a seat, I grabbed my camera and walked quickly in the opposite direction to inquire about the little burro I spotted as we pulled into the parking lot.

Munching contently on fresh grass, the burro ignored me as I bounded up to inspect the bags of beans tied to a very old wooden saddle. "What's his name?", I politely inquired. "Beans,"  said his handler. "No, I don't want to buy any beans. I just want to know his name and ask if it's ok to take his picture."

"Beans," they responded with a smile. "Oh." I took one photo and headed inside.

The restaurant was quite busy. Laughter and animated conversation filled the air. The adobe walls were lined with colorful artwork and photographs. Upon closer inspection, I discovered a few B/W images of the nearby historic church San Francisco de Asis by the legendary Ansel Adams. I learned that we were seated at the table often used by Adams and his artist friend Georgia O'Keeffe. I was thrilled as we had just visited the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe and Ghost Ranch at Abiquiu the day before.

We shared entrees to sample as many bountiful, spicy dishes as possible. I was stuffed. Then someone suggested ordering desert. Seriously? Not surprising, everyone ordered their own sopapilla. The freshly made pastry was served with lots of warm honey. There were no leftovers.

This painting, "Lunchtime" (10"x8", oil on linen board), brings back wonderful memories of that trip into the Land of Enchantment. I hope you will join me for a Virtual Gallery Auction at the end of July to view the painting in a beautiful gold leaf plein air frame.