Friday, March 30, 2012


Just a short note to say that I have updated the 150 Challenge blog to reflect painting numbered 139 - 150.
You may view HERE.
Starting April, I will be painting 2-3 paintings per day to be ready for the show on Friday, June 1.

Also, I have been working to update my official website,
which you may view HERE.
 I'm doing it myself and am making some headway. I want to make each painting available to view along with the purchase price as soon as they come available. I also want to get a more detailed list of my galleries and the paintings available at each of those. I'm also thinking about offering some workshops and will have details about those.

The Balloon Fiesta, in conjunction with the Santa Clara pueblo, has asked me to paint the Puye cliff dwellings out on location and I will be be working with a film crew on a video. Isn't that exciting? Check out their website HERE.

I am still working on finishing commissions and a few fundraising projects, and organizing the studio so I can start painting like wild in a couple of days. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Images of Madrid, New Mexico

 When they say a dog's life, they mean the life of THIS dog. He was just laying in the open entryway of a shop, enjoying the view.

 Colorful mailboxes along main street. We usually make our daytrips to Madrid during the week. This time, we went on Saturday and it was a little more crowded than usual. 

 I thought this wooden boot was so cute and colorful. It just fits in with the whole Madrid vibe. The girl at the general store told us that Madrid has no government. They pretty much make their own laws as a group. When they have any trouble, they have no police department, so they have to call in the State Highway Patrol. Interesting. Maybe that's why they have a reputation as an "outlaw" town. Or a hippy town. Either way, Madrid's pretty awesome.

 These two kids had been sitting on top of a car playing music. I don't know if they were asking for donations, but the music was pretty nice. Good job guys!

Oh my gosh, I have a thing for old cars. And trucks. In fact, on my bucket listof things I want is to have an old truck painted red or turquoise with one of my paintings and my website blazing across the side. What a fun marketing tool that would be!

This is one of the old coal mine shacks that have been turned into houses or little shops. The skull reminded me of Georgia O'Keefe and the lights reminded me of Madrid at Christmastime. For the first two weekends in December, they decorate the whole town and have horse carriage rides, all the shops are open and everyone has homemade goodies. I love the contrasting colors of this little house.

Man, I don't know what it was, but the motorcyclists were out in full force last Saturday. We saw a ton of bikers - young and old, men and women, on bikes of every make and model.
 It made me almost want to go buy a Harley.

We took a quick side trip over to Cerrillos and there's a museum there. We'd never been in so we decided to take a look. It is chock full on the outside of old mining machinery and parts. 

The guy running the museum was the most ornery and cranky shopkeeper I'd ever met. He told me it would cost me a dollar for every question I asked him. So I gave him $5 and told him I had a question for him and wanted to take his picture. He took the money and I asked him where he was from. He said Long Island. I said it figures. Then I took his picture. He wouldn't smile.
 Instead of giving me my change, he let us go into the museum. 
We saved two bucks, so I figured we got a bargain. 
Cerrillos is a mining town too, enot coal though, it's for turquoise and gold, so the museum and store there had tons of little turquoise gems, and all kinds of rocks and crystal you could buy. 
The museum itself was full of really old stuff, some cool and some really reepy.

I thought these amber colored bottles looked cool with a backdrop of the blue mountains. Those are the back side of the Sandia mountains you're seeing.

 This is a still. Yep, a real still. I guess back in the day, they had to make their own moonshine.

 This is supposed to be Native American people mining for turquoise. At least I think so. My cousin said they all looked like Cher, then we started laughing and couldn't stop.

 This is a bunch of motorcycles at Mary's bar in Cerrillos. Several movies have been filmed in this area. Some featuring John Wayne from back in the day and more recently "Young Guns" and Toby Keith's "Whiskey for your Horses."  

One of my fellow artisans has her own gallery there and she was telling us the story of how people say the local church had a tunnel going underground to the local house of prostitution across the street and how people would pretend they were going to church or confession, and slip into the tunnel, conduct their business, and then come out of the church, looking very holy. Hmmm. 

There were also a ton more saloons and prostitues than anything else. 
That mining must have been hard work.

This is an old and almost falling down church in Lamy. These were the only two stained glass windows in the whole place. I don't know if you can see it, but the one on the left has chicken wire covering it and there's a large whole on the upper left-hand side. Man, I sure wish someone would restore this church - it must have been a beauty in its day.

This is the train that runs from Santa Fe to Lamy. Maybe this is a spare engine, I don't know. We didn't actually see any trains running that day. But I still thought it was pretty special to see.

 Back to Madrid -this is a sign that gives directions and also let's you know about the weather. See the bone on the side? You look at the bone, then read the sign, and yay!, you know the weather. So if the bone is moving, you know it's windy. What could be more simple?

This was one smokin' hot machine.

A very round, very zen, concrete sphere. I want this is my yard. 
Would anyone like to go pick it up and deliver it to me? I'll trade a painting.....
All in all, we had a wonderful day in Madrid, and can't wait to go back!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


 Painting for Balloon Fiesta Coffee Mug

Thursday, March 22, 2012

a first peek at the Balloon Fiesta Poster

I am almost finished with the poster!
I have finished painting and added the lines. Today I taped off the painting in sections to go over the linework again - to make sure that all lines are connected with no breaks and nothing is out of place. I'd forgotten how tedious this process is!
If you look closely at the linework above, you will notice that some lines aren't completely connected and some are a little wobbly and not clean.
If all goes well, tomorrow I will varnish the painting and then I'm done. 
look for an update tomorrow.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A peek at the painting for the 2012 Balloon Poster
I will start adding the lines today.
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Five New 150 Challenge paintings

I haven't titled them yet, but wanted to let you see them right away.

This is a vase of poppies from an old photograph 

 This is a view of the stream and Pedernal
at the little village of Canones, New Mexico, near Abiquiu Lake.

This is from a pretty horrible blurry photo I snapped while driving along these fields - somewhere near Abiquiu or Jemez. 
I'll post it sometime this week so you could see what I was dealing with!

I always paint a painting with this subject matter for my 150 shows. I like it to call it the "golden spot" or something like that. It reminds me of just a little slice of New Mexico paradise.

This was an old house perched on a hill headed towards Ghost Ranch. The house itself was a dull grey-blue, but it contrasted so much with the mountains that I felt I had to change it. The beautiful golden tree was also a bright green, which didn't fit in with my plan!

I should have these posted into the 150 Challenge blog tonight. To view the show so far, click HERE.

Monday, March 05, 2012

New Mexico Cancer Center Show








Well as you can see, I've been busy. 
These are all paintings for the upcoming show at the NM Cancer Center. 
I love doing these shows because 40% of the proceeds goes to help cancer patients.
The show opens near the end of this month and painting drop-offs are this weekend. 
For painting purchase information, you may contact me by email.
I am also still working on my Chimayo with a moon and hollyhocks, the Ballon Fiesta poster and an 8x10" for the coffee mug.
I will be in the studio through non-stop through November.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Evolution of 2012 Balloon Poster


 I've been working on the canvas for the 2012 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Poster and I thought I would share my progress with you. 
The theme for the fiesta this year is "Blaze a Trail." I really wanted to convey the sense of wide open space in the landscape of my wonderful state. I also liked the idea of beautiful balloons taking off from fiesta park (which is in the north valley and of course, has sunflowers) and traveling over hills and valleys, rivers and fields, to end up somewhere over the horizon. What you see above is my original sketch. They said it was just a little busy and balloons don't fly sideways - a little too whimsical. I still like it. 


This is my revised sketch, which I love. The balloons are flying straight, and I have toned down the landscape to basics.

Okay, there's an interesting story to go along with this canvas. This is not my original. I sketched the original, reworked it and just wasn't happy with it. 
I couldn't get the depth of field and perspective I wanted in the background freehand. I didn't want to destroy the sketch I made on that canvas because I want to paint it someday as a landscape without balloons. So I went and purchased another canvas. And I tried to think of a solution. In the end, I did! I ended up going to the wonderful elementary school down the street. They were nice enough to let me borrow an empty classroom, use a projector and project my image straight onto my canvas. I lost some of the foreground flowers and had to do a bit of reworking near the bottom while I had the projector on - moving it just slightly, then jacking up the back of the projector with paper to get it to hit the bottom of the canvas. Profuse thanks to Annette at Alameda Elementary School.

This is my sketch on canvas, toned with lighter colors than I normally use. My normal is red and burnt sienna. This time I added yellow ochre to the mix. I want the undercoat be bright since it's going to be in acrylic with linework.
I also sneaked in a roadrunner in the right-hand corner under the sunflower. Can you see him? Every balloon poster that I've seen has a roadrunner somewhere in the painting because it's our state bird. Now comes the hard part - actually painting the darn thing. Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Trip to Taos

We went to Taos a couple of days ago to look at a piece of property and I got a couple of nice photos I thought I'd share with you. This one I snapped along the highway. The foreground was a blur of something (guardrails?) but it reminded me of trees or water and I loved the way the sunlight hit the hills and the blue of the mountains in the background.

This was the sunset driving on the relief route that you hit before you get to Santa Fe. It's a way to bypass the city and saves you about five minutes. I don't usually like to take it because I LIKE seeing the town of Santa Fe and everything that goes along with that. But then I would've missed the unobstructed view of this, so I can't complain.

We stayed at my brother-in-law's house and spent the night in their kiva. A kiva is a round room like the one you see here. The walls are curved and there are two king-sized beds for guests. I slept pretty darn good. The light coming through the open area on the right wakes you up REAL early.

Okay, you guys have seen me paint this scene before. This is the valley of Valdez and the last time I shot photos here, those grey trees were the most magnificent yellow and gold. During the dead of winter, it's still a stunning image. If you keep following the trees, you go straight to Taos Ski Valley.

Another view of Valdez. Why are those trees still that golden color?
Look at the color in winter foliage!
I see greys, blues, rusts, golds, reds, purples, and several shades of green.

These were two sheds, one of them on the property we looked at. The property was nice - it just wasn't THE property. I'm still holding out for my little old adobe fixer-upper. But don't you think this will make a nice painting?

Oh, for those of you following my personal blog, please click HERE.