Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Picture-perfect.(Special Section)

Byline: Jane Mahoney For the Journal

Varied and breathtaking sights await visitors to "O'Keeffe country"

There isn't a bad view from Abiquiu," says Arlene Bader, a relative newcomer to the tiny northern New Mexico village best known as the longtime home and studio of artist Georgia O'Keeffe.

"Every way you look is a vista. People are in awe of the beauty here the colors, the mesas, the red earth and the rocks. Each season is beautiful in its own right."

Bader and her husband, Stan, discovered the pleasures of country life in Abiquiu in 1996, building not only a home for themselves, but also a second casita Las Parras de Abiquiu to run as a year-round bed and breakfast. A thriving, new three-acre vineyard, large organic vegetable garden, small orchard and access to the Rio Chama add to the idyllic scene, what Arlene Bader likens to "an agricultural, 1950s feel of New Mexico."

Abiquiu, about 20 miles northwest of Espanola on U.S. 84, draws visitors today who come to pay homage to the dramatic vistas and subjects immortalized on canvas by O'Keeffe, a pre-eminent modern artist of the 20th century who made Abiquiu her permanent residence in the 1940s.

Abiquiu's most famous resident remodeled a crumbling adobe in the village, where she lived until shortly before her death at age 98 in 1986.

'Hidden treasure'

Knowledgeable visitors to the area can identify many of the scenes painted by O'Keeffe the red and gray hills of nearby Ghost Ranch; the red and yellow cliffs of Kitchen Mesa; flat-topped Pedernal Peak and the unusual landscape of Plaza Blanca, or the White Place. …

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