Wednesday, July 29, 2009

OMG it is Wednesday Already - Poetry!

Sorry Poetry fans. I think my poetry of late has been of the visual kind. Pictures of flowers and clouds and sunsets and sunrises. No doubt soon it will all digest itself and produce a poem or two but for the moment I am all eyes! And camera lenses. So I am posting a favorite poet of mine: Rumi. And a poem new to me which appealed because of the risks I have been taking in mud holes and narrow four wheel roads.


Why cling to one life
till it is soiled and ragged?

The sun dies and dies
squandering a hundred lived
every instant

God has decreed life for you
and He will give
another and another and another


If you have a poem for the tour this week (I generally ad them through Thursday) leave me a comment here or on Facebook or in Profiles.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July in New Mexico

I was asked for more photos from Michael. And since I definitely had more photos I decided to put together a slide show of pictures taken over the four days my sister was here and we were off-roading in her Jeep.

July is the monsoon season in the New Mexico mountains. The combination of moisture rich winds coming up from the south and the heating of the New Mexico sun creates a situation where clouds always seem to be forming or burning off. As we climbed the ridge lines we could look down on clouds or out into the distance where a new set was forming. Hope Michael and all of you enjoy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Foto and story

My sister has been in town and we have been taking many trips around "the neighborhood" and lots of photographs. So this week there are a log of pictures to choose from for my Friday Foto. Frequent readers of my blogs will no doubt see some of the others in the weeks ahead. I chose the one below over some of flowers I really like because it is of "the neighborhood" as it were.

Storm over Eagle Nest Lake

Debbie and I found a crude road which climbed via switchbacks up to the summit of Green Mountain outside the town of Eagle Nest on the banks of the lake. Afternoon thunderstorms had chased us away from fishing on Cimarron River in the Palisades area of the state park. Reluctant to go home we threw gear in the car and set off on a bit of backroading.

After we rose above 9000 feet we noticed the storm which had been the end of fishing in the canyon had topped the mountains and moved into the Moreno Valley. It looks as if it was raining over my house in Black Lake when I took this photo. And when we finally went home to fix dinner my section of the land of enchantment had indeed been drenched with another rain.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Multi-blog Poetry Wednesday

I have also posted this on Yahoo Profiles this week and linked it into Facebook. Because of the bad news on Twitter I am ignoring posting a link on that site this week. I cannot guarantee how much longer I will post on Profiles. Blogger is daily becoming more and more my blog platform of choice. And Facebook my place to chatter with friends.

Pen Pals

Sitting here
Reading blogs
Sipping coffee
Awaiting dawn.

The world is up
My section not
Chats with New Zealand
Posts to friends in London
IM Australia.

Connected in the ether
Sitting here alone
Surrounded by slumbering pets
My keystrokes fly as digital beeps
Around the world
Between sips of coffee.

Pen pals
Gone cyberspace
Gone global
Morning coffee
With friends in blogland
Before dawn
We share
The World.

(c) J. Binford-Bell

Thought I would get my Poetry Wednesday post up before it was Wednesday somewhere in the world. If you have a poem you love or one you wrote you want to share leave a comment here or post your url on my page in Profiles or on Facebook. I will link you in for those taking the tour.

My So-Called Life with Mundane Things

Bev's Blog

On both your houses


Bee's Blog


Sunday, July 19, 2009

3 T's Trail Opens

It has been a long time coming but anything worth doing often takes more time and trouble than we want. Especially when dealing with government agencies. I don't remember exactly how long ago it was I attended a breakfast with the director of New Mexico Arts Council and listened to her rave about the Blue Ridge Art Trail. She was feeling out various local arts councils about their feelings.

At the time my now studio was going to be a greenhouse and sun porch. But I listened intently to the guidelines she said had been employed back east and the success it was experiencing and modified my plans to include the required separate entrance, etc. I enlarged the original plans to allow space to give lessons and host receptions as well as be a base for doing my art.

My studio is done. Eighteen galleries and studios have applied and been accepted with more clamoring to be considered next spring. The Website ( for 3T's Trail is open. My page is The brochures are printed and being distributed in four states plus all New Mexico tourist sites. I have my studio sign up and am today painting an open/shut sign to hang on the gate. And I have my first student coming tomorrow.

I am excited. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Friday Fotos and story

Stage one uniting current bush to pond

When I first moved to my land here I saw it as pasture for my llamas and horse. Improvements had to do with fencing and grass seeding to improve the pasture. Lawn was in my opinion unrealized pasture. When due to time constraints I got rid of the livestock I had more grass than I could handle and I had to get a riding mower to keep it trimmed. I look at that move as the beginning of the end. I went from that to raised gardens for growing lettuce and veggies and now my flower bed.

Up to now the flower beds had been things that came with the house and were merely added to her kept up and as I blogged earlier this year I lost control of a few. I am not sure why I decided to do this new free form flower and herb garden. It began as an idea to link several things together and minimize the problem of mowing around each. Now there is one large feature to mow around.

Adding more plants and beginning to enlarge around pond.

Weeding around the back of the pond

I added the little pond the year I started the studio. I figured while they built I would make a rock garden water feature in my yard. But the studio ended up being my project and the pond got abandoned. In spite of landscape cloth laid under the dirt I got weeds. I pulled them up and laid more cloth and then more dirt.

It is not done yet (who knows when a garden is ever done) but I am further than I thought I would be. I am surprised I have not given up on it. The garden will wrap around the little pond and end in a rock garden with or without fountain/waterfall. The pan figure is a butterfly bath. There are round rocks in the bottom of the dish and just enough water that the butterflies can land on the rocks and suck water. I added new plants this week including lemon balm, sweet herb, tarragon, straw flower, painted daisy, and a low spreading ivy edge as well as three different thyme.

I need quite a few more rocks to edge the bed and the pond with. The wagon in the picture is my rock transport. I have plenty of rocks up along the drive area. I am like this little ant making trip after trip. When I can afford to build my deck on to the studio it will overlook this garden. Maybe that is why I am doing this or maybe it is just that my mother's craze for gardening has finally entrapped me in my old age.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Another Multi-Blog Poetry Wednesday

I believe my poem for today is a repost but when I went through my word files looking for it to save myself the retyping I was unable to find it. So maybe it was one I wrote and never posted. It seemed so very appropriate for today because many of my fellow bloggers have written of late in prose and poetry of stopping to reassess the direction their lives are taking or reflect on their lives.

The Path

I am not sure
Where I was heading
What direction I had chosen
It seemed more about
Just keeping on
One foot before the other.

I have not stopped
Of late to check the distance
Or the path I had chosen
It has been a while it seems
Since there has been a fork
A choice to make.

I have not questioned
The path I walk
Or the direction it was heading
Or where I wanted to head
It was not always clear or easy
Just a way to go.

I never considered
Turn back or pausing for too long
If asked I might have said
It just seemed the way to go
Though to what destination
I could not have answered.

I never considered
Stopping as an option
It was a journey
Never questioned
Toward a goal
Ill defined.

So imagine finding
The path you are on
Is going where you want
And where that is
Is closer
Than you had

(c) J. Binford-Bell December 2008

My dear friend Bev, and superior poet, rejoins us this week after a long absence. Let us all welcome her back.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Art Fairs are such interesting things

I just finished participating in the 28th Artsfest here in Angel Fire. I was a vendor and I was also a member of the Moreno Valley Arts Council that puts on this show annually. We do it with a lot of volunteer help and more energy then we always think we have. It came off well again this year but we still don't think we have it just right so we are going to be meeting to discuss some new ideas that arose.

Art fairs for the participant are very different beasts than they are for the visitor. An interesting chemistry occurs that is probably not that different than what can be found at temporary shelters or tent cities or army base camps. Most of us know each other from other temporary "camps" and those that are new have generally been at enough other "camps" to know the ground rules. Setting up in your little 10 by 10 foot space, moving your walls and displays and wares in though less openings than would be nice, reading through a packet of information some important and some not, all while fighting off fatigue of just getting there creates a lot of interesting problems and survival depends on a lot of good will.

Like all neighborhood, temporary and permanent there is always the bad neighbor. We had one. We won't have her next year. The board has some power there; it is our football field and we get to say who plays. We get to direct a lot of things but attendance is always rather totally out of our hands. And last minute cancellations of artists. We always sweat that part. I am happy to report attendance was us. Sales were good for a depressed economy. And generally we all enjoyed the experience. That includes vendors, board members and attendees.

But there is always a series of events or happenings everyone finds interesting to gossip about if not at this fair then at fairs and receptions down the road. My "tale to dine out on" is about the picture in this blog. Falling Leaves was painted a couple years ago and was displayed at fairs and venues for a while. When it didn't sell it went up on the studio walls and got left there for a year or two. I had frantically painted four new paintings for this fair but did not have enough art to fill the booth and so Falling Leaves got a return engagement. It was the most talked about piece I displayed this weekend.

First night, our preview event party, a woman comes back to it four times. Husband comes with her and he low-balls me on an offer to buy. Low enough I find it rather insulting. I counter. He counters with another really low bid. I finally get less than nice and tell him my final price and that it must be cash. No credit cards. Saturday he doesn't show. Sunday in the final couple hours him and his wife are back. Some art fair goers think they can pick up bargains in the last minutes and truth be told you can but nothing as cheap as he wants to make them.

As he makes his way to my booth I toss around my options. He gives me an offer again less than the price on the painting or even my "discounted" offer. I looked him calmly in the eye and told him I was sorry but it was sold. It wasn't but I decided I just didn't want him to own it even if the cash money would have been nice. Even if he had met my asking price to be frank.

Today Falling Leaves will go back up on the studio walls. Maybe some of the other people interested in this piece will call. They took cards. But at least it is not hanging on this @#@$##'s walls. I have no control over who buys my art from a gallery but I do at a fair or in my studio. I think I like that power.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday's Foto

I am going to be very busy this weekend with the arts fair and I am not sure if I will blog much but I thought I would start the weekend off with a picture from my archives.

This is one of the hundreds of pictures I took on my sister's and my roadtrip to Lake Powell. And it is probably the origin of my people in the canyons paintings. The huge and glum looking sentry to the right of the Escalante Canyon opening was not the first I had seen on the trip (and no I was not drinking or smoking) but it was one of the most obvious. He reminds me of an Egyptian priest or one of the temple guards of some ancient Ming dynasty. But the magical quality of the flooded canyons of southern Utah made me see him as a god or goddess of these enchanted lands. And it made me wonder how many others were watching our lonely passage down Lake Powell in a houseboat. Or was it the Queen's barge?

So this stone guardian was the beginning of my visionary approach to paintings of canyons.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another Multi-Blog Poetry Wednesday

Well, I have been busy. Too busy to sit and write poetry or even flip through old journals to find one for this Wednesday. So I thought I would relay on the Poem Hunter again. This one is rather dark so I thought I would post a pretty picture first.

A Meeting With Despair

AS evening shaped I found me on a moor
Which sight could scarce sustain:
The black lean land, of featureless contour,
Was like a tract in pain.

"This scene, like my own life," I said, "is one
Where many glooms abide;
Toned by its fortune to a deadly dun--
Lightless on every side.

I glanced aloft and halted, pleasure-caught
To see the contrast there:
The ray-lit clouds gleamed glory; and I thought,
"There's solace everywhere!"

Then bitter self-reproaches as I stood
I dealt me silently
As one perverse--misrepresenting Good
In graceless mutiny.

Against the horizon's dim-descernèd wheel
A form rose, strange of mould:
That he was hideous, hopeless, I could feel
Rather than could behold.

"'Tis a dead spot, where even the light lies spent
To darkness!" croaked the Thing.
"Not if you look aloft!" said I, intent
On my new reasoning.

"Yea--but await awhile!" he cried. "Ho-ho!--
Look now aloft and see!"
I looked. There, too, sat night: Heaven's radiant show
Had gone. Then chuckled he.

Thomas Hardy

More poems from Thomas Hardy

Dangerous Meredith has her poem up already.

joins us today after long absence. Everyone welcome her back.

Nicholas V on Intelliblog

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sunrise on the Acequia

There is this area between Hondo and Arroyo Seco where the sides of the valley are steep and the homes are built up on the edges. The ancestral land in the area is divided among the sons in strips called spaghetti farms. Instead of just quartering a piece of acreage they divide it so every piece of land has access to the acequia - or irrigation ditch- and the road. Some of these spaghetti farms are so thin that even a double wide trailer will not fit so homes are stacked up on the road edge.

That area was inspiration of this painting. It was an interesting challenge in perspective. When I found myself getting to academic about it I forced myself to go for a more "primative" approach. Just as long as the houses did not look as if they were falling off the edge, I told myself, and then laughed because I sometimes feel when driving along the high road over the Hondo Valley that the houses will tobble down to the valley below were the sheep and cows graze.

This vertical Hill and Dale painting was a nice departure. I enjoyed to process of being confused with it from time to time. From that confusion comes progress and innovation in our work.