Monday, April 29, 2013


Did you ever just need to get away for the day?
Well, I needed it. Badly. So.....

I signed up for a luncheon and two-studio tour last Saturday in Santa Fe 
with a wonderful group of women from the New Mexico chapter of 
the National Museum of Women in the Arts, which is housed in Washington, DC.
It is the only museum in the world solely dedicated to women in the arts.

Before I show you photos of my trip, though, 
I wanted to show you this painting I just finished.

This is "DEFINITION" a 24x30" framed piece that is my donation to this year's 
Legacy Art Event, which is happening in a couple of weeks.
It is a painting of one of my favorite places, the Rio Chama
near Abiquiu and it's also my fav time of year, autumn.
Hopefully someone will fall in love with it at the live auction, and make 
some money for scholarship students. 

So I haven't gone ON a day trip in a while, especially alone, 
 mostly because of car troubles that have been resolved.
I'm happy because I was about to go crazy! The mechanic finally figured out what was wrong, 
after we paid A LOT of money, so he didn't charge us for what was actually wrong with it - a
sensor of some sort.
But to get back to my story, the photos you are going to see below 
are of two artists and their studios.
And boy, were they different. And fascinating!  

 This is the studio of Ligia Bouton. 
So large, bright, and open. I loved it!
The crate you see on the far left is a large installation piece titled 
"Six Photographs of People I Don't Know: Photograph 5, The Bouquet."  
I will show you the piece displayed in an exhibition tomorrow.

The pigs on the wall are handmade and being readied for an
exhibition - they are called "Understudy for the Animal Farm."
Each pig is comprised of two pillowcases handcut and sewn by the artist.
These heads are also masks and may be worn.
She is making a series of thirty.

 This is a view of a large pinon tree out of the studio window.
I got distracted.

 Closer view of the pigs.

 Two large garage doors - I want these!

 Ligia demonstrating how the pig heads work.

 They are actually soft and cuddly.

 My favorite pig

 A view of a passing cloud out the studio window.
Man, those clouds keep calling me.....

From there, we moved to the studio of NM artist Carol Anthony.

Carol paints with oil sticks in a cross-hatch technique 
and then uses her fingers to manipulate her medium.
Her house was so unique and beautiful.
Every door was old and beautiful and had a story attached to it.
}There was art everywhere - Carol's, pieces her friends had given her, 
and the art of her twin sister, who passed away several years ago.

 This is the living room.
It was so warm and cozy,
I wanted to snuggle down and take a nap or read a book....

 The house is straw bale construction and it has a very solid adobe-like feel.
This is her dining room and through the archway is her studio.

 Another view of the dining room - don't you just love the kiva fireplace?
I kind of felt like I had stepped back in time.

 This is a view outside the front yard of another house nicknamed "The Cloister."

 A snapshot of a lone cloud passing by....
I think I am a cloud freak.

 A view of one of the houses on the property.

 A small thatch-roofed meditation room.

 Straw bales are surprisingly soft to sit on.

 A massage room.....

 An old outhouse.
This is so unique - notice the handle made of old wood.

 An adobe wall with chamisa that is still in the dormant stage, no green blooms yet.

I had a wonderful time and wish my studio was as unique as this one. Lovely.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Gearing Up for a Challenge


To me, cleaning my studio is like cleaning and clearing my mind.
Getting ready to start something new and fresh.

Here are a few photos of my studio in the throes of messiness:

 Things are kind of a disaster in the studio right now - I just got a big order of paints in, 
you can see them on the counter, some boxes are opened, some are not. 
There are papers everywhere, boxes on the floor, my photos are unorganized.
I'm not looking forward to this.

No, that's a lie.
I am looking forward to this.
Because once it's done, I will be able to just sit and focus
and think about the upcoming 145 day Challenge.
What subjects am I going to paint?
What day trips do I want to take?
Are people going to be interested?
What kind of yummy food am I going to serve for the meal
at the end of the Challenge?
Hmm, that will take some heavy-duty thinking....

 A close up of my new oil paints - Gamblin of course. 
The only kind I use except for Old Holland's Violet Grey and Winsor Newton's Permanent Rose.
You can also see the containers of Gamsol, Gamblin's odorless mineral spirits.
Couldn't live without that stuff.
And on the floor, is my small carry tray thingy filled with
all of my plein air supplies.
When I'm ready to go, I just grab it, a chair, an umbrella,
and I can be off.

 This is a shot of my ornaments in baskets on the floor that I keep saying 
I'm going to paint and never seem to actually find the time to do. 
Maybe one of these days.

You can also see the small easels I use for daily painting 
(I have three of those and eight other easels).
Then, there are the boxes of Wipees I use to clean EVERYTHING, the purple latex gloves, 
and the Kleenix (although any brand will do) that I use for wiping my brushes when painting. 
And the mess of paper I always have laying about.

 Aah, better.
The panels are organized, the brushes are laid out.
The two large red canvases are going to be skyscapes for an
upcoming show at Weems Uptown gallery.
My roll-around cart of photos for subjects is basically straight.

I'm just waiting for 132 panels to come in and
145 custom ordered antique silver speckle plein air frames.

My car is ready, I will be on the road soon.

 Paints are all organized and set up from light to dark.

 One more view of my clean studio.
Sometime during the Challenge, I'm going to paint it a beautiful grey-green.

This is my ever-faithful cd cabinet.
It doesn't close all the way, so I have a hair tie looped around the two knobs.
The cabinet is packed with cds inside.
I don't think I will ever have a shortage of music.
Also, my Wolf Kahn calender for inspiration.
I think I'm almost ready.....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

only 15 days left until my new Challenge begins....May 9, 2013


Guess what? I am doing another Challenge!
This one is new and different.....

I have really really REALLY missed my plein air painting - 
going on day trips, photographing, screeching my car to a halt, jumping out,
and painting what's right in front of me.

I also promised my family I wouldn't do any physical shows in 2013.
Doing three large shows back to back last year was killer.

But I always want to do something that connects 
me with my love for the New Mexico landscape and 
brings me closer to my clients (and friends).
It also has to challenge me at the same time.

And one of my goals this year was to help animals. So...

I am doing a 145 day Challenge -
145 paintings in 145 days and all will be $145 each
You won't have to wait until the end of the Challenge to get your painting this time!

This Challenge will include all of my "themes" and some new subjects.

And at the end of the Challenge,
I am having a wonderful dinner at my north valley home, 
complete with New Mexican food, great music, and even a painting demonstration!
There will also be a large painting giveaway at the end of our meal.

The dinner is $49 per person and a portion of the proceeds
will go to New Mexico Dogs Deserve Better, a very worthwhile group that rescues
and cares for animals that are chained, or abused. 

So come on out and join us under the cottonwoods, enjoy some great food, 
and help out a great animal charity at the same time!

Here is your personal invite - 
I have also sent out over 850 postcards.

I hope you will watch the process of the creation of 145 paintings.
May you find one (or more) that speak to you.
I also hope you will join me for dinner!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Checking In


This is a sketch I'm working on for an upcoming 22x28" commission.
This finished painting will have a home in the Luna Mansion
a beautiful old historical restaurant in Los Lunas, New Mexico.

The sketch is taken from four different photographs and is a composite 
of what the client has asked for: 
cottonwoods, a walking trail where she walks every day, an acequia ditch filled with water, 
fields (her family comes from a long generation of farmers), 
and a view of what they call the Los Lunas Hill.
This painting will be 22x28", and I can't wait to get started.

In other news, I am anxiously awaiting the finished postcards
for my new challenge.
More on that later....but it starts on May 9 and ends on September 30!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013



This painting is a nice warm up for the upcoming Weems Gallery group show 
coming up in May titled, "SKIES."
This show is going to be a blast because the theme of skies can mean a lot of things.
I have a ton of fantastic photos of sunsets, rainstorms, 
big puffy clouds and scenes like the one you see above.

I am itching to get out and paint and photograph all over the state. 
You can bet that I'll be looking for clouds.
I actually have a little time now to go and explore.
My car is in good working order (knock on wood) which is great.
 My camera is broken but I have a little Sony back up. 
I don't really like it, it's way too thin and I can't even feel it when I'm turning it on. 
But it will do in a pinch.
I also have my plein air gear primed and ready to go.

By the way, I have something very big coming up starting on May 9. More on that later.... 

If you are interested in the painting above, please email me at
Have a great week!

Friday, April 12, 2013

"ILLUMINTATA II" working process


I've been working madly on my large paintings for the Weems flower show.
I chose four large chunky canvases and started creating.
This is canvas number two.

I always start by toning the canvas in a very thin wash of orange/red.
Then I move to what I call, "making marks."
I sketch a very loose sketch of where I want to put in the main flowers and stems.
Then I start loading thin color on the brush and placing the main shapes.


I've worked a while and have the canvas covered.
Looking at it, I can see that I don't like the sky so dark and I am 
unhappy with the dark green in the upper right corner.
This is spring - it needs to be brighter!


This is the finished painting.
It's been painted black around the sides (in acrylic) and varnished.
The painting is actually laying flat on my easel and I photographed it at a weird angle.
As you can see, I've lightened a lot of the color,
gotten rid of the dark green in the corner and added my sky color further down into the painting.

It is now at the gallery for the opening tomorrow of the Weems show, 

I dropped my paintings off in a hurry yesterday, 
but I took a peek and the show is going to be fantastic!  

"ILLUMINATA II" is 30x30" on a 3" deep canvas and is $2100.
Contact Weems at 505-293-6133 for details.
They are located at Montgomery and Louisiana NE.

Happy weekend!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Book Sale - today and tomorrow only!



Today and tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, 
April 6 and 7, from 10am - 2pm,  
I will be having a sale on all of my books on art, gardening, and self-help.
Before they go off to the used book stores.

I have eight boxes on drawing, painting, oils, acrylics, marketing, 
and the business of being an artist.
I have books on organic gardening, composting, etc.

All books are 50 cents to $4.

If you want to come by and say hi and take a look,
please email me at for directions!!