Posts Tagged ‘southwest’

“Yes, the wind came up–” Mrs. Sharpe began. She paused. “And changed us all,” Petra said softly.” ― Blue Balliett, The Calder Game

Eyes Wide Shut, graphite on paper, A4 (8x10)

Eyes Wide Shut, graphite on paper, A4 (8×10)2015 —

The story Continues….

In my 3 decades as a professional artist, I learned that no one survives on talent alone. It takes sponsors with connections, galleries with connections, and other artist willing to bring you along with them up the ladder, and most importantly it’s all about timing.

I knew nothing of these things in those early days as I was wrapped in the warmth, comfort and magic of the great grandfather mountains of Santa Fe, my illusions were undauntable, my addictions intense; because for me it was all about the paint. I jumped into that rich emulsifying pool of art and swam with the sharks never realizing that what I was painting was unique and would give way to a lifetime of exploration, adventures and more failures and rewards than I could even imagine.

Those first years I rode the western wind which allowed me to define what I would paint giving me my women in robes who took center stage and brought much acclaim as I participated in multiple shows dealing with women in art. My landscapes of Stairs and Awnings brought my first exclusive contact with a gallery. Everything clicked; I was in the right place at the right time with the right stuff. I became a member of a very small group of 5 artists called the Multi-Cultural Artist Group and we painted large murals on the sides of many buildings in Santa Fe. The one on the old Records and Archives Building on Guadalupe St is now considered a local landmark. In addition I was elected to the Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Society of Artists. I began teaching on the side to mostly young and talented teens. My reputation was growing, and it was quietly said I had created a new genre.

Five years in Santa Fe and then we moved to Tijeras, New Mexico. By then I was represented by 2 galleries in Florida, one in Houston and a third small gallery in Albuquerque. My work was too different to be considered “New Mexican” and I rarely sold within the state. Aside from the galleries, I was getting into multiple competitions nationwide taking many awards.

Twelve years later as my work was continually growing and evolving with the times, the west wind changed course bringing a warm southernly breeze that entered the window one cold Thanksgiving and a seed was planted. It was watered by my love for the woman who was my aunt but whom I thought of as a mother, one who came to me and begged a favor.

When I could not say no, another path opened, this one darker. In my Pollyannaness, I did not know at that time it would require every ounce of my heart and soul, every fiber of my being in order to accomplish was was set before me, and to survive the battle to come. My husband would latter say that my whole life was leading up to this point, and was preparing me for the final confrontation with Capitán.

I would not pick up a paintbrush or a pencil for the next five years.

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” – Steve Martin


Beach Chair, oil on canvas, 77×102 cm (30×40)


This past Friday a storm was moving in as I headed back home from checking the mail. The heavy, dark and ominous clouds were moving off to the northeast as small ice pellets hit the windshield. The sun was still shining to the south so I knew the storm had side-skirted my house in the valley.

As I rounded a curve in the dirt road heading toward the first cattle guard, the inside of the truck suddenly lit up with an intensely bright diffused light making me come to a full stop. I looked to my right and the sun was shinning, I turned to my left ……. my heart skipped a beat and I think I stopped breathing.  There before my eyes almost close enough to touch was the most magnificent double rainbow I had ever seen. I was bathed in this reflected celestial light and I just broke into unexplainable joyous giggles.

Never before had I experienced anything so magnificent. It felt like my whole being was flying, beyond exhilaration, awash in something truly magical. I reluctantly continued my journey home, a smile permanently fixed to my face, keeping my eye on the rainbow in the rear view mirror until I descended the last ridge and it disappeared from view.

That exhilaration stayed with me until the next day and then I crashed, falling off an emotional cliff, tumbling down to the bottom of a deep lake where I found a cracked mirror. In that mirror I saw a reflection of myself and my deepest fears. For a brief time anxiety reigned, until once again I found balance.

Whew! What a ride!

This awareness thing is quite an experience.  It has been an interesting week.

I finally have a job….….WhooHoo! … Williams Sonoma. Abet it is only until February but I am truly grateful.  Was suppose to start last week but corporate has delayed schedule making and I was feeling a bit apprehensive as I turned down two other offers of seasonal work. Then on rainbow Friday,  as it will forever be known, I received an e-mail saying my work (see painting above) will be one of three that will be used to promote the exhibit at the Coral Springs Museum of Art in Coral Springs, Florida, happening December 4th, that was special indeed.

Yesterday, being back in balance, I finished another painting I had been working on to add to my “Houses” series. I also ordered swiss clips so I could start framing the Women and Fish drawings for the show in February. Too expensive to have them  really framed so mounting them in Plexiglass is the best alternative. Today I crated and shipped my painting off to Florida; now the deck is clear,  I stand ready to go to work, if I can get a schedule!!!!

Had a dream once, a very long time ago, where I was in the forest and there was a shaft of liquid light. There were shadow people everywhere and disembodied voices told me to go stand in the light and make a wish. In the dream, I walked into the light and felt drenched in the most glorious feeling of joy and peace.  Then I awoke, holding onto the knowledge that something truly magic had transpired and I was changed.

Sitting in my truck bathed in the light of the rainbow was just like that dream……..just a little bit of magic to let you know, nothing is what it seems.

Isn’t life grand?



“I have dined with kings and danced with paupers.” Anonymous

Woman with Fish and Dog
oil on canvas, 112×92 cm (44×36)

In my late twenties I was convinced that there would be no social security by the time I was ready to retire. However, at the time, that did not matter too much as I was also convinced I would be dead by the time I was 35.

Never shy about entering an open door, when I graduated from college I hit the world like a windstorm. I finally settled down a bit in my late 20’s, got married, made use of my education and became an artist; but by then I had already been more places, done more things, had more adventures than most people do in a lifetime.  Nothing was planned. No thinking ahead. Just seeing life as a never-ending adventure, riding whatever wave came my way. When I think about it, I must have gone through time warps to manage fitting so much into so little time.

I am not bragging, just stating facts; and telling you this because of my new continuing awareness. Realizing I am where I am today because of that lifestyle. Spent so much time teetering on the edge of  the cliff, I think I may have spouted permanent roots. So now I am wondering, if I haven’t died already by accident or fault of another, or some earthly disaster, or physical malady, then I am still around for a purpose.  And if part of this purpose is understanding everything or seeing everything with such clarity……..does that mean when there is nothing left to see or learn or do – I will die?

Mind you, I have no fear of death; it would be like moving on to the next adventure. Well we can’t live forever, although I would not mind giving it a try for one or two centuries. I would also like being rich for a few years.  I would like the opportunity to do something really good with a great deal of money. Maybe that is why I am poor!  Hahaha! Anyway, my mind tends to play scenarios with itself as I find new ways to amuse my days.

Last week I received a most marvelous letter from the President of the National Association of Women Artists in New York.  A very old and prestigious organization of which I am proud to be a long-standing member. In the letter, she complimented me on my work, said some pretty wonderful things and added that the organization was honored to have me as a member.  Whew! Took my breath away for a moment, made me feel very fortunate, very humbled, very honored. Never before have I received such a letter.

On another front, the food pantry asked me to come back!  One of their employees lives close to me and has offered to give me a ride into town twice a week and back home again.  Next week I can do something constructive again, even if it is just as a volunteer!  Went into town earlier this week and submitted my application to a few high-end retail stores and a bakery complimenting my existing on-line applications.  With the holiday season coming around, something even temporary, may come into being.  I am hopeful

The new painting above: Woman with Fish and Dog, is a recycled canvas…. I have 6 more that can be painted over without causing me too much agony.  This one is definitely a melding of the fish drawings and Works in Blue. Felt a need to paint one of my women again, even though the market for such work died a slow death with the recession.

I am also working on a new painting for my ongoing Houses series, which I have hopes of one day, before I die, actually having a show with the complete works all together!

The Balloon Fiesta is over, all the tourist have gone home and with them the cold snap.  Indian Summer has settled into the high mountains. The air crisp, dry and clean, the sky an intense blue, the nights cold.  The days seem to quietly flow one into another here as I work in my studio, or sit at the computer with nowhere to go and less to do. I find in my heart, I am dining with kings and dancing with paupers!

Not too shabby…..








“If I could turn back the years, if I could see though my fears, if I could write the story’s end…..”  old Irish Lament

oil on canvas, 30x40

So easy to sink into a black hole, to lose confidence in one self, then to bounce back again only to drop down that rabbit hole again.  If I could write the story’s end.  Makes one wonder if we could do that, would there be a middle or would we jump from point A to part C and never look back.

Just when I thought everything was hunky-dory even with all the schedule changes and bullying by the new manager, everything got progressively worse in a short time and with no choices or remedies available, I quit the bakery. There were cheers by one and tears by others.

Twice in a year, never has this happened to me before! Looks horrible on a resume!  It was definitely a sign that I had no business doing what I was doing… what was I suppose to be doing?  As icing on the proverbial cake, my wonderful one woman show was now going to be a two-person show as the gallery moves to smaller quarters.  So, after much self degradation, silent suffering, yelling and screaming, I went into my studio and painted Houses of Moon Mesa. (above)

Ooooooo…I said, that was fun, been wanting to continue that series. I felt better. Then the phone rang and my world changed.

I was offered a potential opportunity. Never to shirk a challenge, I leaped into the fray and have been busy making edible flowers for cakes. Creating a sample display of what I could accomplish to show a potential buyer.  Oh, how wonderful is this, I asked myself.

Then there was other good news, my painting “On the Edge of Time” had been accepted into a major exhibition in New Jersey….how marvelous is that? I did a little jig. The first time in over 4 years.  Perhaps this is a sign, a sign that I had to go out and learn, learn, learn so I could do and perhaps teach.

I have a little time before I need to start worrying about doing my part for the family finances, so I will do the most I can now and throw it out to universe and see what happens…..a little leap of faith.

Night turns into day, rabbit holes into puddles.  I do not think I want to write the story’s end.   Second chances are rare gifts, they are not to be squandered, my fondant flowers are blooming. Must finish 2 more of my Works in Blue series even if all do not get shown.  New painting ideas are forming, my muse is laughing. There is not enough time in one day!

Thank you, I say to the universe,  it is a good beginning, I may stumble a bit more, but onward to point B.