Wednesday, October 30, 2013


HALLOWEEN...already here.
Can you believe that October is practically gone?
I can't - the days are flying by way too fast.

I'm not carving a pumpkin this year.

I have carved a pumpkin every year since I can remember.
My husband said, "Don't do it this year. Next Halloween we will have a new
granddaughter and we will be starting everything all over."
And he's right.

I guess as a grandparent, I will experience everything through Sawyer's eyes again.
How fun that will be!
But I did splurge for the two big bags of candy that included Tootsie Rolls and Dots.
Some things never change....


This is a very strange year.
I took a whole year off from doing any physical shows.
I was just plain tired out....
No 150 Challenge show at Weems Old Town.
No Balloon Fiesta.
No Weems Artfest.

Those artists who travel all year doing show after show after show?
I admire them, I really do.
But I wonder when they have time to paint. And relax. And think.

I am in my thinking stage right now!

These are the questions I am asking myself:

Do I want to do shows in 2014?
Do I want to do another 150 Challenge?
Do I want to do Weems Artfest?
Do I want to paint small daily paintings to sell online?
Do I want to do a big important show I've had on the backburner 
for years called 'THE WOMEN OF WILLARD?
Do I want to do a Weems show with really large paintings?
Do I want to start a women's art group in Albuquerque?
Do I want to offer workshops and classes?
Do I want to collaborate with other women artists?
Do I want to find a gallery in Santa Fe and Taos?
Do I want to drive all over NM and paint plein air?

The answer is YES!

To all of these questions.
But I also have to have the time to enjoy my new granddaughter.
Have dates with my husband.
Work on losing weight and fixing my knees.
Enjoy good books and movies.
Do some non-art related traveling.
And just enjoy life without being constantly 
tired and under deadlines.

A bit of balance is in order, my friends.

So, I will be planning and thinking and working
to figure out a way to have it ALL.

Wish me luck!

What would you like to see me do in 2014?
And if you're an artist, how do you plan out your year?
I would love to hear from you.....

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Taste of Taos


Hi guys - 
Every year about this time, my family all heads to Taos, New Mexico
for an annual memorial hike to honor my nephew, Carlos, who
passed away 14 years ago on October 29.

The hike is really strenuous and not all of us can make it.
Some of those who make it say that they're NEVER doing it again.
Yet, the next year they are back, ready to go again.

There were thirteen this year and they left the house at about 11am,
lost phone service, ran into snow, 
and didn't get back down to the bottom of the trail until dark.
We even drove to the trailhead to look for them.

All was well, they had a great time, and we had a feast waiting for them
after they showered and cleaned up.
Enchiladas (two kinds), rice, tamales, sopaipillas, pastelitas.

It was so nice to see family and just hang out.

While they were hiking, I met some of my family at Michael's Kitchen,
the best place to eat in Taos (yum, and Orlando's). 

After that, I started at one end of town and went all the way to the ski valley - 
just driving and taking photos.

Here are some of my favs:

 I love coming around the curve and seeing that flat mesa and the Rio Grande Gorge.

 This is my brother-in-law Dennis and this is his place up in Arroyo Seco.
Now do you understand why I love to go there?
It is so beautiful....

 My husband and daughter leaving for the hike.
I'm sure he's giving me some kind of instructions with that pointing finger.
Probably telling me to be careful when I'm out driving around...

 This is a different angle of the old Taos church.
Everyone always sees it from the back or the front.
This is the side - and if you look closely at the pilaster, you can see the straw mixed with mud.

This is a beautiful view.
I don't know how to describe the location.
If you turn left at the old church and take the back way around Blueberry Hill,
you will run into this beautiful flat land.

 Two horses grazing - can you see a painting here?

 I went to a little bookstore called Hooked On Books and this funky old truck was
at the gas station next door. This is my dream car. Or truck.

 The red chile ristas abound in Taos.
This is a mercantile that has TONS of merchandise.
I think a lot of it is from Mexico.

 The snow covered mountains of Taos

 Driving into Arroyo Seco

 The beautiul old church in Arroyo Seco.

 This is the road that leads to the hike trailhead.
Gorgeous! There is still some green of the aspens on top of El Salto.

 Fall colors....

 The old cemetary behind Arroyo Seco main street.

 Arroyo Seco in all of its glory.

 Famous Taos Cow ice cream

 My favorite old truck - always a pleasure to see.

 The valley of Valdez.
The aspens wind their way down into the valley heading up to the ski area.

 My son-in-law Ben, being as daring as usual.

 Just a place I happened by on my drive.

 Snow at Taos Ski Valley

 Beautiful light

So many colors in once scene.
I have painting inspiration to last me through the winter.

I am finishing up my chair for the Presbyterian Ear Institute
and will post it when it's is varnished and ready for delivery.
Then I'm starting my donation for Weems Artfest.
Even though I am not participating this year, I still wanted to paint a 30x30" 
Elena Gallegos Sunset to auction off for charity.
After that, a 37x37" commission of trees.

Then we'll see what's next.

It's often hard to decide what direction to take as an artist when you
are making plans for the coming year.
Do I do what is expected of me or do I take on some projects I 
have really been thinking about and have intrigued my passion?
And I will have a new granddaughter in a few weeks!
I need to do some thinking and planning.

I ended up taking all of my paintings to Weems Gallery Uptown,
so if you're interested in any of the available paintings,
please call Weems at 505-293-6133.

Here's to the upcoming holidays - 
Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Is Here

 My painting Challenge is over and I am feeling fine.
Rested up and ready for another adventure.

In the meantime, autumn has arrived here in the Land of Enchantment.

 This tree was bright green only a few days ago.

 I love this photo. It's a little branch off of the cottonwood tree, 
a dried bean off of the locust tree,
river rock and gravel, and a few tiny leaves sprinkled throughout.
It looks like a puzzle, it looks like a painting, and
Mother Nature just does it so well.

 I don't know what this tree is, but it has major thorns and 
all of these berries will be eaten by birds and the residue thrown to the ground.

 The "thorny-berry" tree against my other autumn trees.

 This is my swan.
He's made of wood and was found in the mountains years ago.
I painted him brown but all the color came off with the weather.
He likes it better natural anyway.

 The mint is still going strong.

 I love this plant.
I think it's called plumbago, but not 100% sure.
It blooms purple thoroughout the summer, then turns a pinkish red in the fall.
I love flowers that look pretty all season.

 This is Virginia Creeper that has creeped where it's not supposed to!
It's supposed to be creeping on fences and looking beautiful and has sneaked into
the flower bed, along with wild grass and little elms that need to be removed.
Go away, creeper!

 Crysanthemums - I hope that's how it's spelled.
Love these colors.

And now...on to art

 The chair I'm painting for the Presbyterian Ear Institute.
They are having a fundraiser in November at Los Poblanos and 
asked me to paint this lovely little chair, which will be auctioned off.

This is the chair with my standard toning color, red and burnt sienna.
The seat of the chair will look like a Taos Gorge painting.

 The sides will have pretty flowers.

 The back of the chair rungs will have three different birds.

 The front of the chair rungs will be a sunrise, sunset, and moonrise.

 Beginning stages....block in of major shapes.

 Starting to take on a colorful stance...or should I say sit?

 Another side view

 Detail of back chair rungs...

One last look at fall colors.
Man, I love this time of year.

Here's to a Happy Fall,
pumpkins, red chile, Halloween, aspen trees,
Thanksgiving, fudge, family, and love.

Friday, October 04, 2013

A Look Back - Commissions

Since I am working on commissions for the next couple of weeks,
I wanted to show you a few I have painted in the past.

Commissions are a great source of pleasure. And also anxiety.

I usually know exactly what the client wants, but always wonder
if I can pull it off - some paintings just have that "spark" 
that was created when I'm in the zone, and it's often hard to duplicate.

I've never a painting returned, so I guess I'm doing okay.
I know that looking at old work is inspiring....

 Sunflowers in progress....

 For the Luna Mansion

 This is old school - the lady I sold it to emailed me and accused me 
of creating on the computer - she said it didn't look like a real painting. But she kept it!

a large floral from several years ago

 Tryptich from Ohio - you know who you are...

old school -  the local Frontier restaurant

 a large painting for my best friend's daughter's Christmas present
from her husband - her wedding bouquet

 an old school work in progress -part of a tryptich for a medical center

 a vase of sunflowers drying...

 working on a painting of the Sandia mountains

 sunflower bouquet with a cross

 typical New Mexico sunset

 old school blanket flowers

 working on a large poppy painting

 I love this one - stream in the canyon

 large floral

 sepia toned dahlia

 El Salto peak in Taos

 Santuario de Chimayo with a moon - in progress

beautiful gathering of sunflowers

Any other artists have thoughts about doing commission work?