Wednesday, July 29, 2015


oil on canvas

This painting is done from an image taken when I was cruising 
down the main street of Taos, New Mexico, one late afternoon.

The fading light on the hollyhocks was beautiful.

I did quite a bit of using paint to cut into the flowers. 
My favorite part of the painting are the tiny bits of Old Holland's Violet Grey 
in the shadows of the largest flower.

This painting is included in my November show at Sumner and Dene Gallery,
You may view the completed paintings HERE.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

day trip adventures

 I wanted  to take a day trip last Sunday.
I've really been craving a trip up north for the longest time and Sunday 
seemed like the perfect day. 
I invited my friend Carol Hopper, who is also an artist.
Carol came over early and we stocked up with waters,
snacks, chairs, our cameras, and a little booklet called something like 
Day Trips in New Mexico

Our first stop was Chimayo and we forgot one thing,
on Sunday it's crowded up there!
Mass was going on so there was absolutely no parking available.
I didn't need to have church pics, 
but Carol hopped out and took a few.

 Art galleries were open, people were selling tamales and chile
and business was really cooking!
Except at Rancho de Chimayo - they closed from 11 - 11:30am
to do the breakfast/lunch changeover, so we missed out. 
We decided to keep going on and eat further up the road.

 We saw this cool old car in a driveway and I was
also attracted to the old Coca-Cola sign.
Are these things from the 1950's?

 We both fell in love with this pretty old gate!
Is this Robin's Egg Blue?
I HAVE to paint this!

 A pretty bright sunflower next to the coffee shop sign.
Love the old adobe wall.

 The old gift shop/store with my favorite old gas pump.
I've never noticed this Russian sage bush before.
Probably because I usually come in the fall or winter.

 My one and only photo of Chimayo taken through an old archway.
Everything is SO green right now.
It was really lush.
 A woman selling Indian bread.
I'm definitely painting her.
I love how relaxed she is.
And I think she's using a tablet. Progress....
 I take a pic of this old yellow truck with a broken windshield
every time I come up here.
The sun hit the crack in the windshield spot on today!

 This was up around Cundiyo and Truchas.
Beautiful stream.
 Old school way to dry clothes.
The way both of my grandmothers used to do it.

 Beautiful hollyhocks along the way.

 Look at that greenness!
I don't think I've ever seen fields and valleys in New Mexico this green.

 This is an old adobe near Truchas.
What attracted me were the shingles.
They were red and green and we saw the same color
 and pattern in several small villages - which makes me think 
that they ordered a big supply back in the day and
everyone got some.
Maybe there was a surplus.

 Thunderclouds in the distance.
This was in Truchas, where I would live if I truly wanted solitude.

 The wildflowers in Truchas were just gorgeous!
The pics don't do them justice,
you really had to be there.

 An old beaten down adobe.
I try to imagine what kind of family lived here
and what happened to them.....

 Mountains and clouds in the distance.
I believe the Milagro Beanfield War was filled here or in Las Trampas.
This scenery made me want to see the movie again.

 Old bell of some sort.
We thought maybe a school bell.

 Cool old house near Truchas.
This house is SO northern New Mexico with the pitched roof   
and the wrap-around porch.

 The valley around Truchas.
Some houses here are perched on the edge of a cliff.

 A mural on the way to Los Trampas.
Carol says, "You could paint this."
So could she, she's an artist too!

 Carol at the Look Out point near Truchas Peaks..

 Little houses.

 I took photos of several descansos.
I love painting them and they are sacred to me.

 More beautiful descansos.

 Oh man, we finally found food!
Let me tell you - I had read about the Sugar Nymph Bistro
in several magazines and I am so glad we found it in Penasco.
The green chile cheeseburger is to die for.
And the warm scones.....

Our last stop of the day - Dixon, New Mexico.
If you look closely, you can see Pedernal in the background,
which is all the way in Abiquiu.
We were only 23 miles from Taos at this point.

A wonderful day, and lots of images for reference.
Thanks Carol!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

9 about the iris

oil on panel
Please click on the image to enlarge

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love iris.
I spent my youth living next to my grandmother and playing 
in the iris beds was my favorite past time.

I love their regal beauty, their softness,
their smell, their hardiness, and how easy they are to grow.
This is my impressionistic version of an iris bed.
Click on the link below for purchase information.

Oh, and to see painting #49 "FAR AWAY' 
for my upcoming show at Sumner and Dene, please click HERE.

To inquire about this painting,
please contact Sumner and Dene Gallery HERE.

Friday, July 24, 2015

meditation woes


I am a person who meditates.

I've been meditating on and off for forty years. 
I can't believe I just said that - FORTY years!

Anyway, back in 1975, my boyfriend (now my husband) and I
went to a TM class, which stands for Transendental Meditation.

 The people giving the workshop at the local bank
seemed to be full of light and enlightenment.
They were happy and talked about all of the benefits of meditation;
how good it could make you feel, etc.

Just one thing - you had to have your own personal mantra
which is a sanskrit word picked just for you.
That's the word you are supposed to say or think while you are meditating.
They claimed that this word would be only for you and was your special word.
They seemed to imply that you couldn't meditate without that word.

Now, the only downside that I could see to this process
is that it cost MONEY to get that word.
Yep, you have to pay to get a made up word.

And back in 1975, we were young,
renting an apartment, and buying groceries was a big deal.
We didn't have x amount of dollars to pay for meditation. 

SO, I made up my own word.
Actually, I didn't even make it up.
It's already a word!
 I can't tell you what it is because then I would lose my enlightenment status.

Fast forward to 2015:
I still use the same word.
I've tried using other words but they just don't feel right. 

I haven't meditated for over three months.
The reasons? 
Lots of things; work, grandbabies, other things to do, etc.

But I really needed to get back to it, so I started this morning.

For those of you who have never meditated, I am going
to give you a crash course.
I'm going to show you how I meditate.
If you choose to follow this path - well, that's up to you.

Here goes.....
I wake up this morning and am still in my bathrobe.
I sit down in a comfy leather recliner in the corner of the living room.
I put a certain couch pillow behind my back to make me sit up straighter 
 but still be comfortable. It has to be THAT couch pillow.
Mo other pillow will do.
I set my meditation app on my phone for 35 minutes.
I start the timer and it has a nice "gong" ring sound to it.

I adjust my body, my hair, my feet, and start to concentrate on
my breathing. Just a little bit. In and out.
Then I notice a sound - tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
I realize that i have not removed the wall clock from the kitchen that
ticks like a TIME BOMB when I am trying to be silent.

I remove it, put it in the laundry room,
 and return to my chair and reset the timer.
The I realize something else.
I  started the laundry earlier, and man, is that washer LOUD.
I get up, stop the laundry, sit back down, and restart the timer.

Then, I see Bella, our needy little Lab, laying near the patio doors,
staring in at me, because she has not been fed her BREAKFAST.
Well, neither have I honey, so you're going to have to wait.

I set the timer again, and while I am breathing out,
I can feel a loose hair tickling my nose.
I try to blow it off my face without opening my eyes,
but it's not going anywhere.
I open my eyes. move all of my hair away from my face.
I readjust myself and set the timer. Again.

I start to notice my breathing, nice and slow.
I start thinking my word in my mind.
Over and over, softly. Relaxing.
My word is two syllables, so I think the first syllable on breathing in, and
the second one on breathing out.

Then thoughts begin to flood in - 
I have to get this painting done for this show.
I have to get ready for acupuncture as soon as I'm done.
I want to organize my closet this afternoon
Did I pay that bill?

Okay, I will admit this happens often, 
especially when you first start your meditation practice.
And it's okay to think all of those thoughts.
Just think them and then go back to your word.
Wet the tip of your finger and put it right between your eyes.
The wetness hits the air and cools you off right in that spot.
This actually helps you focus. 

So, that's basically it.
You just think your word, breathe, thoughts flood in,
think them, thoughts flood out, breathe....
And, soon, if you're consistent
 (no matter how hard that is - maybe 5-20 minutes is all you can handle),

You may realize that you hear sounds around you
but you are totally at peace and calm.
Your body feels like a living, breathing system of smoothly working parts.
Your beathe comes without effort and thought.
You are doing it!

Soon - maybe your blood pressure becomes lower.
Maybe you don't lose your temper as much.
Maybe you are more aware of the beauty of life that goes on around you.
I think I could easily meditate for an hour, maybe two, if I wanted to.
But life gets in the way and I will settle for 35 minutes a day.
Or ten minutes a day.
And some days - not at all. I just can't get to it.

But whether I do or I don't,
I need to remember to live in the moment, be present,
and tomorrow is another day. 

Happy Meditating!

P.S. There are many books on how to start a meditation 
practice at your local bookstore or places like



Thursday, July 23, 2015

100 Figures

Okay, I have painted maybe five figures in my painting lifetime.
They scare me.
I mean, really scare me.

I am starting to paint landscapes for my upcoming November show
 and I was thinking about my daily paintings.

I don't want to paint daily little landscapes
 AND bigger "Painting the North landscapes" for the next three months.
I will be "landscape crazy."

What can I do that is different?
For the viewer and for me?

So I came up with an idea.
I am going to paint LITTLE FACES AND FIGURES daily on 
6x6 and 6x8 panels up until the opening of my show.
I have tons of reference material to work from.
I will just pull one out of the pile and get to work.

Who knows, maybe I will fall in love with figures - who knows?
I'm pretty sure I will learn something!

Follow along if you dare....

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

new blog and first painting

oil on canvas

My first painting for my upcoming solo show at Sumner and Dene Gallery!
I am working on gallery wrap canvas for this show - all sizes.

I also have a new blog to keep track of all of the paintings and I hope you check it out.
To view: CLICK HERE.

I hope everyone is having a great summer.
I have a new granddaughter and lots of work to keep me busy!

7 cloudburst

oil on panel

Clouds and sunsets are SO hard.
Hard to get right.
I can meander around on a sunset painting all day
and nothing feels right.

And then, sometimes, it seems like no effort at all
and a painting just comes together and the result is magical.

This is one of those paintings.
 Available at Sumner and Dene Gallery.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

6 summer sunset

oil on panel

I spent yesterday playing with color and texture.
This is a summer sunset on the backside 
of the Sandia mountains. 
Love color!

Available at Sumner and Dene Gallery.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

5 waterway

oil on panel

I am still experimenting with my palette knife.
This is a view of a marshlike area with the sun shining on the land.


Saturday, July 04, 2015

4 "SOFT"

oil on panel

I wish you could see this painting in person and see the texture.
It's so buttery and thick.

Every so often I have to paint a still life, usually a bouquet of flowers.
It's in my DNA, these flowers.

I think it's harder to paint with a knife because you can never be done - 
you just keep buttering paint over paint!

The ARCHITECTURE SHOW at Sumner and Dene was great last night.
I sold several paintings and saw some friends I hadn't seen for a while.
The show runs for a month, so if you have time, go down and check it out.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

3 woodland iris

oil on panel

I'm not going to lie, this was a hard painting for me.
Sometimes using a knife is just hard!

It's so much easier to use a brush to "smoosh" 
the colors together and blend them on canvas.
With a knife, you have to pick up paint in just the right way,
lay it down and leave it there. Less room for play.
If you start trying to mix things around, colors get muddy fast.

I do love the way this painting turned out.
I wanted to convey the softness of th eiris with the
hardness of the post behind it.
The background is mostly loose gravel and rocks and a few iris leaves.


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

2 daily painting

oil on panel
 Please click on the image to enlarge

I am so happy to be painting daily studies again!

For one thing, they get me motivated to paint, 
which gets me into the studio early.
 They also help me avoid procrastination (which I have loads of).

This is a view of the Algodones plateau from the high mesas of Placitas.
I was painting back on the old Placitas Loop Road, the sky was full
of clouds and I must have shot a million photos.

To purchase, please click on the Paypal button below.

Also, please come to visit me this Friday, July 3, at
Sumner and Dene Gallery downtown for the Architecture Show!
The Artist Reception is from 5-8pm.
I have ten paintings in the show and there will be work by some of 
Sumner and Dene's stellar artists.

517 Central Avenue NW, 505-842-1400.
See you then!