Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sometimes You Just Gotta Take a DayTrip

Sometimes You Just Gotta Take a Day Trip

I am one of the world's greatest procrastinators. 
Other artists will tell me, "Oh, you're so prolific," and I really feel anything but. 

Right now my schedule is so full that I lay awake thinking about all the things I have to do and want to do. 
This is my list right now:

~ finish Balloon Poster
~ finish smaller balloon painting for Balloon Fiesta coffee mugs
~finish Chimayo with Moon painting
~create seven paintings for upcoming NM Cancer Center Show "Color Wonders"
~create a large piece as an installation for New Day, a wonderful facility for youth and families 
~start working on April Weems Show, Flowers and Still Life
~create 143 paintings for my 150 CHALLENGE Show that opens June 1 (biggie)
~try to throw a few daily paintings into the schedule
~paint an 8x10 commission of sunflowers
~finish up painting commissions for my friend and collector (about 8)
~finish a long-awaited painting of Mariachis for my brother (he's probably given up by now)
~write an article about the 150 Challenge for a national art magazine
~paint a painting for my sister-in-law for being nice enough to create wedding invitations for my daughter (she got married almost two years ago)
~create ten little paintings on cards as part of the Women and Creativity for the National Hispanic Cultural Center (I paint ten cards, mail them in, and I get ten different ones back - all from different artists)
~paint a birdhouse for a fundraiser - and I'm ashamed to say that I can't remember the cause

And that's only through April

Now you know why I have to just pack up and leave for the day sometimes. I come back energized and inspired and ready to take on the world. Well, at least the art world. 

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chimayo Day Trip

My cousin Goldie and I had to get away for a day trip yesterday. It was refreshing and we had so much fun. This is a colorful mask sitting on the counter at the general store in Tesuque, NM, right outside of Santa Fe. It's one of our favorite stops for burritos and they also have a great restaurant.

 This was a beautiful peace sign on someone's gate made out of willow. The gate was made out of latillas and is called coyote fencing - my guess is it keeps out the coyotes.

 This is called a Shepherd's fireplace, I believe. It was blazing away at El Rancho de Chimayo, the restaurant where we ate lunch. The adobe bench on top was where the shepherd made his bed so he could keep warm. I ate the best Shrimp Enchiladas!

Beautiful Chimayo. They don't usually have flowers on the cross but I think they made the church look even prettier than usual. We decided we're coming up one afternoon and staying until it gets dark so we can see how the light changes on the church and on the hills.

 This was on the way out of Chimayo. Aren't those outcroppings and plateaus beautiful? The mountains in the back were snow-capped.

 This is coming into a little village on the way to Truchas. I love how close to the street the adobe houses are.

 What horse wouldn't want to graze here, even if it is the middle of winter? These fields are glorious to paint.

A cross alongside the little narrow road in Truchas. I don't know if someone passed away here, but it's a nice memorial.

 This may be one of my favorite photos from the trip. It's a photo of the little houses that sit along the ridge with the snow-capped peaks in the background. This will be a 150 CHALLENGE painting, for sure!

We ran into snow! This is on the high road to Taos and was beautiful. It was so bright here that we had a hard time looking without sunglasses.

This is also a nice image. You can see the front of my car and I didn't want to crop it out so you could feel like you were there with me and seeing what I was seeing. A little further up from here there's a stream running on the left side of the road. i finally had to turn around because it got so slushy. Awesome trip and lots of images for studio paintings. I hope you enjoyed a little slice of New Mexico!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Other Things

 To understand these photos, you have to understand my oldest daughter. She is in acupuncture college, lives at home, and is organized. When I say organized I mean "ORGANIZED."
She likes things tidy, neat, and clean. Which is a good thing for me because she keeps the house running so I can paint. But it's also a bad thing. I think she inherited this from my mother, who used to spend a whole day just washing all of the plastic flowers we had in our house. Honestly, the overly-clean thing skipped a gene. Mine. I mean I like things clean and not to be cluttered, but I also like collections. I like antique shops, thrift stores, and finding treasures. It's also ironic that almost every cool treasure I bring home, my daughter loves and immediately whisks it away to her room, where it will live for a time until she reorganizes her room again, then it will come back to me.

Anyway, to get on with my story - we are thinking of remodeling our kitchen. We found some really good deals on Food Network cookware at Khol's and also on pretty stoneware dishes. So, my daughter says we don't have room to put the new stuff in until we get some old stuff OUT. And she wants to help me. Imagine. So yesterday, I'm getting ready to paint, and we decide we must do this cleaning thing - NOW. I get a chair, sit down in the kitchen and she starts going through each cabinet, one by one, asking me if we need this and we need that. She brings empty boxes in from the garage to put the stuff in and when I say, "Okay, that can go," she murmurs, "Thank God" under her breath. Anyway, to make a long story short, we have NINE boxes of kitchen stuff to go to the thrift store. Then she washed out every cabinet and organized the dishes and cookware. Yay. It's just amazing how much stuff I had accumulated after 35 years of marriage. Now I can cook. Bummer.

 These are my pots and pans. Bean pot, fudge pot, crockpot, and new cookware.

 Oh my goodness, this is so neat! These are my new dishes.They are not white, kind of creamy and they have a Tuscany feel. I ate lunch on one for lunch yesterday, but felt like I was at some swanky place eating gourmet food. I didn't want to get it dirty.

Oh, I forgot to mention, my husband said I needed to start getting the tax stuff ready. This is probably my least favorite thing to do in the whole world. See that plastic bag? That's my record-keeping system. Wow, to see it in a photo really drives home the fact that I need to get my paperwork organized. Maybe I should let me oldest daughter have a go at my studio? 
Oh, Hell no. Sometimes a woman just has to have her mess, you know.
I get it done, it just takes longer. 
You should see my mailing list boxes.  One time a collector of mine came to one of my shows and said she would actually come over to my house and help me address postcards because she felt sorry for me because I hand write all of them instead of using a computer label system. How sad. Well, there is some good news - my youngest daughter has offered to come over and organize my mailing list. For $7 an hour. Smart girl.

I found these cool bags at Michael's last night. I've bought several things over the last couple of years to try to organize my plein air materials for painting out on location. The problem I've found is that everything has a lid and buckles that I have to open up to get to my painting supplies. And most of the things are so big and bulky that I end up never wanting to use them again. I found these cool bags for $5 each and they have a big open area in the middle and side pockets big enough to hold large tubes of paint.I will have one for my tissues, wipees, gloves, etc., another for paints, mineral spirits, and the like, and one to tuck small panels into for easy grabbing. The last one, hmmm, probably snacks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


A group of women artists
"Creating Over-the-top Monumental and Downright Ridiculous Exhibitions"

I have an idea. 

I've been thinking for a long time about organizing a group of women artists who are fearless. I don't think of myself as fearless but I love to be challenged.

 I live in this beautiful place, New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. 
I see our natural landscape and lives in trouble and I'm looking for a group of New Mexico women artists who care about our environment, our state, 
and want to help in some way.

Natural and pristine areas in New Mexico are vanishing. 
Traditions and customs are disappearing. 
Homelessness is a big issue. Children are hungry.
I have been blessed and want to give back in some way.
I have no clear plan as of yet, just a desire.

I see a group of core women who care about the environment, about New Mexico, about our people, and want to do their creative part to change our world just a little bit.

I see brainstorming, finding causes and curating exciting exhibitions.
 I see us working with environmental groups, different cities, and worthy organizations in need that could benefit from our creative help. 
I see myself hanging out and creating art with a group of like-minded women 
for good causes. 
I think the possibilities are endless!

I'm in no hurry. 
I would like to have our first actual planning meeting in January of 2013.

~ you're an artist who wants to be fearless
~ you want to do something for the community and the state  
~ you're interested in the arts
~ you have ideas and skills to share
~ you want to be of service to others by using your talents 
~ you want to help the environment and the people who live in New Mexico
~ you want to bond with a group of creative women like yourself

Email: dshadowtail@aol.com

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chimayo with moon and hollyhocks

Here is my loose sketch of the Chimayo with a moon and hollyhocks.  
I made a choice not to be too structured in my sketching. 
I find that blocking off and trying to copy the original exactly takes away a lot of the mysterious and whimsical quality of my paintings.
 Tomorrow I plan on blocking in the darks, hitting the highlights, and blocking in basic shapes. 
I have a feeling it may go faster than what I anticipated - I'm already itching to lay down color!

Friday, February 17, 2012

This is the first sketch for the 36x36" commission for Santuario de Chimayo with a moon and hollyhocks. I had my framer custom stretch the canvas and it is absolutely beautiful. I wish I could afford to work with him on all of them, but they're too expensive.
I'm going to document the progress of the painting here, so my client can watch as the piece is created. The canvas is already toned and just waiting to be sketched. I'm also going to document the process of creating the balloon fiesta poster here, and that sketch is already created, it just has to be placed on the canvas.


I just finished it and it's not photographed in the best light but I think it looks kind of whimsical and pretty cool. Makes me want to take a trip to Ghost Ranch.
I'll photograph it tomorrow in natural light.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Casa Esperanza fundraiser

 This is my inspiration photo for my 30x40" painting for Casa Esperanza's upcoming fundraiser event called "ART FOR HOPE." This was a beautiful day at Ghost Ranch and the colors were stunning. I'm actually incorporating chamisa from another photo into the foreground. Same day, same scene, just a different angle.

 This is my blank canvas. My goal when I start a painting is to always get the white of the canvas covered as quickly as possible! There's nothing more intimidating to me than a big white blank empty space. So I used a toned ground of burnt sienna and red acrylic in a thin wash. Then I did a loose sketch in paint. I played with the shapes, not really doing anything in great detail. The hoo doos of the hills will be my greatest challenge, I don't want to over work them and I'd like to keep everything sort of abstract and full of texture. We'll see...

 first pass of the sketch

completed sketch
This painting will be framed in my antique golden crackle floater frame. Hope it brings a good chunk for Casa Esperanza - they are absolutely fantastic and do so much good for so many people. This will be my 10th year and I'm the only artist to participate in this event since the very beginning.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New work for Weems upcoming Saturday show opening.
This is a view of the Algodones Plateau and surrounding bosque. I was near The Sandias and shot this photo looking west. I don't know if you can tell, but a rainstorm was getting ready to happen.
Well, lots to do today! It's Valentine's Day and I've already got my husband's card and goodies, so it's a work day for me. I have to varnish the black around the sides of each show painting, I have to add hooks and wire to each one, create an inventory list, load them up and take them over to Weems gallery. 
Then I'm coming home and I have two new beautiful canvases to start work on - a 36x36" commission of Santuario de Chimayo with a moon and hollyhocks, and a 30x24" Balloon Fiesta painting. I'm going to show the process (and progress) for each one of those creations, so I hope you'll watch.  Have a great Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

 This is my original loose sketch and the beginning of blocking in the darks in my 24x24" painting for the Weems show that opens this weekend, RIO GRANDE, BOSQUE, and SANDIAS." This is a view of the back side of the Sandias mountains from the village of Placitas. It's on gallery wrap canvas and painted black around the sides.

If you are interested in this painting, please contact  Weems Gallery after Wednesday - I'll be delivering them all over the next couple of days.
Oh, and I have just started up my personal blog again called 
"whatever - let's get healthy!" To check it out, please go to: deewhatever.blogspot.com

Sunday, February 12, 2012

For those of you, like me,  who want to do something about your health and your weight, please feel free to follow along with me as I change my eating habits, my exercise, and my life. Click on this link and then sign up in the appropriate box to follow this blog. Let's do it now! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Five new paintings for upcoming Weems show






Hi all - 
Here are five new paintings for the upcoming Weems show titled, "RIO GRANDE, BOSUQE, AND THE SANDIAS." They are untitled as of right now and are all on gallery wrap canvas painted black around the sides and unframed. I am working on seven more and hope to have a total of twelve ready when the show opens. I believe the opening date is February 21st. Stay tuned and I will have pricing information soon.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Black and white work completed today. Also, if you'd like to see the two newest 150 CHALLENGE paintings, please click HERE.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Daily Painting "ABIQUIU FIELDS"

This is my daily painting entry for today. It's a loosely painted rather abstract autumn field near the beautiful village of Abiquiu. I love the way the colors came together. I actually liked it so much that I painted a 150 CHALLENGE painting very similar to it, which you can see below. I also worked on two black and white commissions today and finished those. I will post them tomorrow. I'm waiting for two custom stretched canvases to be ready from the framer this week and as soon as I get those I will be starting on a 36x36" Chimayo with a moon and a 30x24 Balloon Fiesta painting for the poster. I also have ten small paintings due for the Weems upcoming show "RIO GRANDE, BOSQUE, AND SANDIAS. I son't think I'll see the light of day for a while.
Purchase information for "ABIQUIU FIELDS" is available by clicking on the Paypal button below.

Which one do you like better? 150 is one the left, daily is on the right.

Buy this painting on PayPal Price: $75.00 plus $10.00 s/h Or, send me an email

Thursday, February 02, 2012


I have been chosen as the poster artist for the 2012 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! Yay!
To learn more about the fiesta, click HERE. I will have more details later...I'm very excited!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

"ASPENS ON THE RIDGE" a daily painting


Well, it has been a pretty productive day today. 
I painted a daily painting, and a 150 CHALLENGE painting. I painted using the same photograph for both and came up two similar but slightly different works. They were each started with just a loose paint sketch of the shape of the tree trunks. The rest was pure fun - just putting little color notes where I saw them and using the largest brush possible. 
You may see the 150 CHALLENGE painting HERE.
 If you are interested in purchasing the painting above, please click on the Paypal button below for purchasing information.

Buy this painting on PayPal Price: $75.00 plus $10.00 s/h Or, send me an email