Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Perfectly Santa Fe Day

Today was storybook, perfect, iconic: Santa Fe.

I took an early morning walk to La Fonda for breakfast. It is the most beautiful hotel! A glass atrium with colored, painted panes surrounds the dining room. Everywhere is artwork. 

I passed the art market and took pictures of the Indian Contemporary Museum, which was closed :(

I went to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, which is always spectacular. They now have her painting kit on display, I loved seeing her paints, her brushes...
And she cut the bristles on a diagonal to get a fine point, that surprised me!

In the afternoon I made my way again to Canyon Road to visit the rest of the galleries. Saw some spectacular work, juicy bold paintings and fun sculpture. The iris and poppies are so impressive too!
Had a couple good conversations with gallery owners who both asked to see my work.

All around town, I just love the graphic shadows and arched entryways... and the clouds! All the iconic images of Santa Fe thrill me.

Tomorrow I visit a town on the Tourquoise Trail to paint!!! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Workin' It

I have been everywhere it seems today.

Started with an early morning walk (and some jogging!) down to the Railroad District,
through the farmers market and the art market. Saw two cool mobile studios, one used magnets to attach her work to the outside of her van-studio.

After a delicious breakfast at the always amazing Tia Sophia's I headed over to Canyon Road.

I wanted to see what was showing in the galleries and if my work (large studio paintings as well as Plein Air paintings) would be a good fit. Anyone who has been to Canyon Road can tell you that you can't see all the galleries in one day! Just too many and you would be an art zombie by the end. 

I tackled half today. Not bad. A lot of galleries are really specific about what they show: contemporary sculpture, cowboy western paintings, Russian clowns or brightly colored pueblo scenes. Something for everyone.

Two galleries interested me very much and I spent most of the day talking with the gallery owners, sharing my work, talking about my Residency... I learned a lot! AND it went very well!

Took a hike close to sunset up a hill in town with terrific views. In a few weeks the PAPNM (Plein Air Painters of New Mexico) have a jurried painting festival here and one of their scheduled painting locations is a sunset paint out on this Cross of the Martyrs Hill. So I wanted to check it out. Oh the clouds! Spectacular! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

How I love thee Santa Fe

After much packing and cleaning and farewelling this morning, I made the 3.5 hour drive up to Santa Fe. 

Big clouds, red cliffs, the bluest of skies and sweetly perfumed blossomed trees, Santa Fe I love you! 

Nice to have a couple days to just acclimate to being around people! Driving in traffic! Having galleries and restaurants and choices galore! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

End of Chapter One

First I have to start with this: it's 9:40 pm and it is 91*    IT WAS SO HOT TODAY!

I worked in the studio all day, repainting a few of the Plein air pieces.
 The studio has a huge window, maybe 5x5 facing south. Another of these faces North. Makes for good light but also makes for an oven.

Who knows what I did today, I think I was delirious from the heat.

Today was my last day at the Residency site. I'll have to check but I think I have 15 paintings, I am thrilled with that number.

Next up is Chapter Two:  painting in Santa Fe, meeting gallery owners, having my work reviewed... I'm looking forward to this!

I'm also, as I sit here with sweat pouring off of me, REALLY looking forward to higher altitude and LOWER TEMPERATURES!!!

I will absolutely recommend they put air conditioners in the residency cottages and studio. I can't figure out why the don't already. 

Had my last soak at Paloma Hot Springs tonight and did the foot soak exfoliant pit too.
Kinda bizarre, the 'pools' are lined with sand and rocks so you just move your feet around in the hot water! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Every thing about today was different:

- Went for a walk this morning with 2 of the other Artists.

- The other Artists and I met the Residency Assistant at the local cafe for coffee and shop-talk.

- We then all went to visit some of the local shops and galleries (which up until today had been closed every time I went by!)

- I worked in the studio for about 5 hours. Touched up a couple of my Plein air pieces, which I never do and I loved it. Felt great to be in the studio and motivates me to get more studio time when I return home.

- Went with the Site Manager (?) of the Residence to his studio for a tour...
Which happens to be where I've been  stalking this vintage Chevy truck and Airstream. He has some cool paintings that he attaches real bird skulls to the canvas/supports. There are a lot of movie props and cool old junk everywhere. Ahh but that truck/trailer combo! Love it! 

- Highlight! Found out a roadside motel I've been eyeballing to paint, which is called the Dude Motel... Is owned by... THE DUDE. My favorite! My crush! JEFF BRIDGES. Yeah, awesome. 

- Joined some of the girls here for dinner out. Tried a yummy place called Latitude 33.

- Capped the day off with a hot soak, tonight was a 109* pool. It was crazy hot. I'll be sweating for hours!

Super nice day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Overlook and Underview

My morning painting location was nestled in a residential neighborhood that overlooks the town and has a great view of the mountains. I saw a Roadrunner dart by and a few rabbits zigzag while I painted.

It was early when I was up there, trying to beat the heat (unsuccessfully.) The morning is when the mountains are pretty much all in this beautiful blue shadow, the sun hasn't touched them yet. There was a water tower as well but I decided to take it out ;) 

My OpenBoxM easel aka Pochade was wobbly the past 2 days and so I went in search of a hardware store for a hex wrench to tighten the head on my tripod... Thought I'd seen an Ace Hardware somewhere but sadly couldn't find it and ended up at Walmart. They had a Hex kit for 1.97! Awesome! and I tightened the bit and all is well.

This afternoon I drove back to the lake and to Elephant Rock Island, I found a small road called Dead End Road, seriously, and followed it down to the back side view, an Underview to the Rock I've enjoyed painting so much. 

I loved the boxy houseboats floating around the island and decided to add them in for size comparison... But I'll have to look at this piece again tomorrow, I'm not sure I like the boats after all. Or maybe I need more? 4 isn't a good number anyway...
About halfway through working on this piece my eyes were watering like crazy. That happens to me when I paint around lakes or rivers I've noticed... Happened in France, Ireland and at home too. Wonder what the commonality is?

Went out to dinner with another artist (green chile burgers, yum) and then we each had a soak in the hotsprings, a wonderful way to end a day! Tonight's water was 109* Here's my somewhat sterile room.

Came back to the Residency compound and we joined another artist for a little star gazing. The moon is at half and is so bright with a good orangey penumbra, lots of stars and even some shooting stars. NOW that's a wonderful way to end a very good day.

Monday, May 25, 2015


As it was Memorial Day I thought it was a good morning to visit the New Mexico Veterans Memorial which is just up the hill. If I'd thought more clearly about it I would have realized that there would be a lot of visitors as well as some kind of ceremony... which there was.

It's a great facility/park. There is a walking path with stations, each holds a large plaque type sign about a U.S. Involved war. Spanish, Civil, Revolution, WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam for example. Each plaque described the build up, key players or key initiatives, and treaty or resolution. It also displayed how many died and how any were wounded. I found it very moving. It's too easy to forget so much of our history. Fighting Mexico for California and Arizona. Fighting for independence from the British. Fighting ourselves, North and South. 

Families and veterans gathered at the park this morning, laying wreaths, remembering those lost, honoring those who have served. I'm so happy I was there today.

I drove down the hill into town and saw a really striking light pattern across an old church. The roof was corrugated metal and very reflective, it bounced up a stripe of light across the front of the building that was really unique, so I set up to paint.

Met some interesting locals who stopped by to see what I was doing, they were very sweet. But overall it was really quiet around town. 

Tonight I invited another resident to share some wine I brought from home; it was really nice to relax and talk art, careers, family, process, goals etc. with another artist. 

Topped off this day with a HOT soak! I got a 108* tub... And it was goooood!

So much to be grateful for, today I thought about it all. Kudos universe, I feel your love. Thank you.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Beautifully lost on back roads

Went out to see some Ghost Towns this morning, a long winding road out to Winston and Chloride. Saw lots of old buildings from the Silver rush days and even saw a famous "hanging tree."

Not a whole lot to see but interesting history, pretty 'deliverance' out there so I didn't linger. 

I'd read that there was a town called Monticello that had some vineyards and a winery and looking at my map I saw I could go back the way I came OR continue on Hwy 52 which does become a dirt road and turn off on 142 to Monticello. Did that. Never found the turn off. Drove an hour on that dirt road and finally, FINALLY, came a junction that made me realize I was waaaaaay past the road I'd been looking for! No use turning back so I kept going! The topography was stunning and I saw a few herds of some kind of deer or antelope.

I saw these huge satellites, tons of them, I'd come to the VLA: Very Large Array. The dishes gather invisible light, radio waves, that come from space.
They are able to learn about star birth, Galaxy growth, black holes... and photograph them with radio waves! Amazing.

Finally came to a T and a paved road which led me to a sweet small artsy town called Magdalena. Pulled into a Bear Mountain gallery/cafe and met the owner who used to live in Oakland! She made me a latte and told me about an art exhibit that was coming down today that I should go see.

GREAT gallery space, beautiful luminous and organic oil paintings over vinyl. (Artist:Mery Godigna Collet) Such a find!

I was now way north up near Socorro. I visited a co-op gallery and had a LENGTHY chat with one of the artists, a sweet older woman and terrific pastel artist named Skeeter. How awesome is that name?!

Made it back to Truth or Consequences and settled into a painting spot I found the other day. Love this arched gate, very Santa Fe.

Wrapped up the mega day with a hot spring soak at Palomas. Ahhhhh