The Call of Santa Fe

By Noah Desmond

“Land Song”

Morning frost on the ground. The silver blue sky swoops over a subtle choreography of desert colors: tan, terra cotta, turquoise, and sevres green. The smell of pinon in the air from a nearby adobe. Santa Fe-Land of Enchantment! A place artists from far and wide come to paint and sculpt this sacred land.
I’ve been coming to Santa Fe since college-it’s been a gentle siren call for healing and rejuvenation. A place I like to go to replant the artist way back into my bones. Walking in the footsteps of legendary artists like Nicholi Fechin, Georgia O’keefe, and DH Lawrence. DH Lawrence’s advice of “living my life so that my nights are not full of regrets” is one reason why I am out here right now.
One of my favorite activities is to walk Caynon Road. It’s over 100 years old and holds more than 100 art galleries. A half mile of ancient adobe buildings and homes. It is a true fairyland for the artist sensibility. And when the snow falls covering those round adobe walls along the winding brick road, it feels like I’m home again, and the urge to paint simmers to a boil. The perfect backdrop to any creative pursuit!
But the reason I’m out here now is to study at the Tony Ryder Atelier. Tony is one of the masters of the classical tradition. And in case you don’t know an Atelier is a French word for “workshop” or “studio,” where the principal master teaches his/her craft to students.
It is dedicated to the contemporary classical study of drawing and painting from life. Its lineage reaches back to Michelangelo, Raphael, Correggio and Titian! Its mission is to train the eye and discover what nature is really capable of showing us, through constant visual comparison to the live figure, and the constant critical search for natural organizing principles. It is 6 hours a day of rigorous looking, and what I believe to be the best way an inspiring artist can earn his/her chops!
I have been here a month now and see improvement every single day. Granted I’m primarily known for my landscape paintings but I think studying the figure will crossover to my studio work. It will only make it stronger and give it greater depth. This is my hope and my goal.
I encourage anyone who has not been to Santa Fe to plan a visit. It’s a place that has helped nurture my artistic growth and furthered my life education. Following the call of Santa Fe has given me a purpose in my craft and a place to render my very best artist self.


noah desmond

Inspired by nature, Noah has an impressionistic style that borders the edge of abstraction. He creates landscapes and florals with bold colors and a sense of movement that draw you deep into the work. His energetic compositions are rendered with vibrant color, vitality, and spontaneity. Visit for more information. 

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