Wednesday, May 22, 2019

San Miguel Mission - Santa Fe, NM

"There is nothing like the silence of thick adobe walls.
The noise of the world cannot enter.
And clay and stucco absorb all thought."

I LOVE adobe buildings and on my final day in Santa Fe I stumbled upon a wonderful old adobe church downtown.  Earlier in the day I was listening to my phone give me directions to the botanical garden and as I drove by the church I noticed how interesting the architecture was.  I had the thought that I would try to return later if I had time.  At the end of a long day of sight-seeing I had about forty-five minutes left and decided to try and find it.  Luckily I found it pretty quickly and even luckier found a close parking spot.

The entrance to the church is through a little shop on the side of the building where they sell religious items and I asked the woman at the desk about the church.  She said it was the oldest church in the United States and that in her opinion it was one of the quaintest and coziest of the churches in Santa Fe.  It had been built by the Tlaxcalan Indians in the early 1600s.  I wasn't sure I had time to go inside but she said it was only a dollar to enter so I decided to have a peak and was so happy I did.

The interior of the church was GORGEOUS!  I loved the wooden beams of the ceiling and the church was indeed quite cozy.  I sat down for a few minutes and had the thought that "there is nothing like the silence of thick adobe walls.  The noise of the world cannot enter.  And clay and stucco absorb all thought."  It just feels good to be in a building built from clay and wood.

The carved detail of the ceiling beams was lovely.

And the altar was painted a pleasing color of green.  

Near the entrance of the church there is a large bell which you can ring with a rubber mallet.  Attached to the bell stand were hundreds of milagros.  Each one holds the prayers of those who placed them.

“No todos los milagros son inmediatos, algunos suceden lentamente.” ― Luis Davila

(Not all miracles are immediate, some happen slowly.) 

Below you can see a couple of historical photos of the outside of the church.  It is interesting to see how it changed through the years.

The day before I visited the church I stopped by the "Railyards."  Someone had mentioned there was an artisan market there.  I thought the train below was so fun and quirky with its red and yellow roadrunner.

While at the market I came across the booth of Blossom Merz.  He makes watercolors by grinding New Mexican stones and soils.  I was so intrigued by using paints that were literally from the land.  The sketch of the church was done with a combination of his stone paint and my Arteza watercolor pencils (the blue and the bright green were from my Cotman travel set).  The colors of my new "Arroyo Palette" were perfect for painting adobe, stone and brick. If you are interested in purchasing watercolors from Blossom please visit his website here.

“What's in a color?
Why, love of course!” 
― Anthony T.Hincks