Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Been a Year -- New Paintings

Lost my sister in 2021 and almost lost my house to the biggest wildfire in New Mexico history in the summer of 2022. That impacts painting but I finally got back to it for the first studio tour in four years. And kept painting. Needed updates to these pages because there are also a lot of sales.


28 x 14 Mixed Media on Wrapped Canvas

Night Stampede
20 x 36 Mixed Media on Wrapped Canvas

Everyone kept asking for more horse paintings. And they kept selling. This one was a replacement if you will for Night Run. Thicke, my cat, added to the texture in the foreground by walking across wet paint. Canvas was lying on a table so I could pour the foreground. Sky is also poured. I considered painting out the paw prints but in the final decision left them in. Nothing about this painting went as planned.

Fall of Stars below was my first painting begun and completed after my return to the studio following the evacuation to Eagle Nest. A lot of time to think. The what if's should the house and studio and all my art be destroyed. No room in the Explorer after the cat and dog and orchids. Paintings were surrendered to the fates.

Fall of Stars
20 x 30 Mixed Media on Wrapped Canvas

Night seems to have prevailed in my paintings since the fire. New Maiden Moon was begun as a commission on the theme of a previous painting I sold.

New Maiden Moon
30 x 20 Mixed Media on Wrapped Canvas

After my absorption in the dark I decided to take a ride up to the top of the ridge on Forest Road 76. It had been closed during the fire because it was a line of defense. And had been widened from a one way winding dirt road road to allow fire fighting vehicles, and parked, which means thinning out the dead and dying and the highly flammable species to make 76 a permanent defense because there is much more that can burn. As a result all the smothered and hidden aspen groves were exposed. The Aspen Path is my celebration of that.

The Aspen Path 
28 x 14 Watercolor on Wrapped Canvas

There are a few I have missed in this recount of new paintings. I even missed making photographs of them. I promise to do better.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Two Years and Two Months

Charley's Hideaway

Just before the Governor shut out state down and declared the arts non-essential I had been given the honor of displaying my paintings in the Angel Fire Library. Of course in the two years of the pandemic I sold nothing. But I hung some of my work in the vrbo when I finished it a year ago.

Then came the Calf Canyon and Hermit's Peak Fire. And my evacuation to Eagle Nest. And all the questions about was I taking all my art with me? I have an Explorer but there was the dog and Thicke and their necessities. Then my various electronics and their accessories. And all the various backups. I had just gotten the Mac when the Windows 10 Acer failed. Fortunately I had the backup of that hard drive.

But today as I became aware I was going to participate in the Angel Fire Studio Tour, September 24 and 25, 2022 and I needed to submit photos for brochure and website, panic set in. Seemed there was a hole in my backups of work.

Music From Angel Fire Intermission Display

Yes, I had done paintings. Yes, I had taken photographs of them. But where were they? This morning I dug into the two cases all packed up from evacuation, and still packed, but out of the Explorer. But not far out of the escape capsule. Spoke seemed appropriately named. Memory pods lined up on the desk I proceeded to learn how to upload data to MyMac. And what all those little icons at the bottom of the screen but not yet needed meant. The blue and white smiley face to the far left proved helpful.

Soon half the day had passed but I seemed to have found all my art except for the End of Day Series. But luckily they were still in my possession. Not sold. I have managed to sell a goodly number of works in the last year. And fortunately I had photos of those.

But oddly I seem most attached to my End of Days series. The last two years and two months seems very much like the end of days. So after copying my photographic record to MyMac I proceeded to take photos of the End of Days. One of them will be going to the library soon as it will be replacing Venue of Ravens which is being sold. 

Venue of Ravens

Photography and jump drives and external hard drives are the only way to save your art from fires.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Three New Giclée Prints

Crown Grove

I decided to send off three photographs to a new printer I have found on line. They were having a sale and it seemed a good time to invest in inventory which could be sold during the holiday season.

The real plus with photography is it can be kept in the computer till time to sell. This is different than painting which requires an investment in materials before you even begin. So when money is short giclée prints are unrealized. Good for the photographer but difficult for the art buyer. They have a difficult time looking at a digital image on their computer and imagining it hanging on the wall.

And I have in the years of selling giclée canvas prints dealt with printers personally. Even sat at their side and approved changes they made before printing. And I have gotten the canvas or paper prints and done my own stretching, framing or matting. Prints on paper, matted and framed are very easy to do in house . . . or in studio and at times I have simply done a print and mailed it to the buyer for them to have framed. It is a big problem shipping a frame with glass. And expensive.

Stretched canvas art is lighter and easier to ship. But another side effect of having my photographs printed on canvas is the buyer (and the viewer) often sees them as paintings. They sell cheaper than paintings but obviously translate as "art" more than prints on paper under glass. And the price point is definitely attractive to the buyer. Businesses like Enchanted Circle Brewery in Angel Fire seek art on their walls. And it is easier for us artists to provide it if it is a canvas print.

Heading Home

It is going to be a good year to sell art. I say optimistically. Two years of galleries and studios being shut down has homeowners wanting art on their walls. Especially all the new home owners following the recent real estate boom. And it looks as if supply chain issues will not be a consideration with local artists. The items you buy from local artists will not be lost in a container which fell off a barge in the harbor.

And most of us switched to buying our supplies locally when the pandemic shut everything down in 2021. Whether printers will have issues with canvas and inks remains to be seen. It just seemed wise to have some of my images put on canvas to hang on walls even if the wall space is getting scarce. But I sold four paintings off my walls and two giclée's off the Brewery walls so it seemed a good time to invest.


Bench in Autumn 


And the really good news is these can be reprinted. Part of this exercise was to determine the turn around time required by my new professional printer.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Golden Days of Indian Summer

Standing out in a crowd

Some autumns are just better than others. This one was different. It looked like snow would come early but after a couple brief false starts it went away. Nights have been cold but the days warm. Windy and busy so I have had to sneak in my leaf peeping. But after years living here I have most of the most spectacular show offs memorized like the crown grove below. The weather conditions gave it more red and orange this year. 

Crown grove

But there were some surprises like when I got lost down an off road in Valley of the Utes. loved the layers of colors visible from the top of a hill.

Valley of the Utes 

The winds blew the high clouds around and in the photo below seemed to give this grove of aspen a halo or tiara.

But sometimes it isn't about a huge grove of color but the light within the grove. Autumn light in a New Mexico forest has a unique color and feel.

Bench in the shade of aspens

Gold on a familiar hillside

Monday, October 4, 2021

And There Is Life

Lonely Cloud and On the Edge

And the official studio tour was again cancelled. And it looked to be death to arts yet again. But we all did not go so easily into the dark. It becomes irritating to be deemed non-essential for another year. Music from Angel Fire decided to protest and continue its concerts. And give space to a select group of artists in their lobby. As one of the chosen I took paintings down from the wall to haul into the light.

It always feels a little artificial to chose which to show off. Which creation to sacrifice? Which to say, these I am most proud of? I had just finished Return of the Yei on the upper right. After a year I was relieved to have it off the easel. I sold the little shelf duo on the table at the exhibit. And at the South Loop Studio Tour I sold Rio Grande Rio in the upper left.

Exhibit at Music from Angel Fire Gallery 2021

The Enchanted Circle South Loop Studio tour was the rebellion born by artists talking at the MFAF Gallery Exhibits. It was a rag tag group of 14 artists started from three. We were scattered around in six studios with only two weeks to get it all together. Meetings held on Zoom. Grand ideas and no time and no budget. A couple hasty press releases and just promoting on social media sources. Not everyone knowing how to do that. Lots of work for possibly no business. But there was interest. And they found their way to our studios with no big fancy brochure and map. And so what if it was just locals. They bought art.

Rio Grande Rio

Tres Amigos

And since that magical weekend the movement seems to have continued. I have rehung paintings and rearranged and then gotten a call to hold this one or that one to be picked up this week from the studio or the Shuter Library of Angel Fire where an exhibit of my paintings have been hiding out through the pandemic.

Return of the Yei
16 x 30 Mixed Media on Artists Canvas

The activity has inspired me to paint again. In case you missed it I was debating not painting again. I figured Return of the Yei would be my last painting. Wild Goose Witchery creations also did well at the rogue studio tour. But to have it look like an active art studio I had begun another big canvas to sit on the easel. And doing a couple 5x5's for the Shuter Library fund raiser I ordered more paints and some new brushes.

Diptych of 5x5's
Mixed media on artist canvas


Monday, March 22, 2021

Paintings Returned to the Studio

Lonely Cloud
30 x 18 Watercolor on artists canvas

 For those of you which have followed this developing drama of the lost painting I am happy to report it has been found. And the mystery solved. Just before the shut down last year a visitor had called about buying this painting. Evidently at that time the facilities manager then (there was a whole series of temporary ones) had taken it down and put in a safe place for her to come back and buy it. Covid-19 interrupted a lot of things.

Window to the Past
20 x 19 Mixed Media on artists canvas

And normal routines were no longer normal. I had photographic giclee prints on canvas locked away at two businesses which were shut down, paintings at the library which was also closed, and at the airport which wasn't. But I was one of those told to stay home and stay safe. I ventured out only to get groceries or to pick up mail. I lost track of what art was where.

Home on the Fat Grass
20 x 30 Mixed Media on Canvas

And with our governor deciding art was non-essential I had doubts about moving forward with the studio and arts at all. So did it matter if the inventory was up to date or correct.

Over the Edge
20 x 30 Watercolor on canvas

On the Edge
30 x 18 Watercolor on Artists Canvas

For a few years I had been called back to my on the edge series of impending doom. Premonition of the pandemic? Or just my dark side coming out?

Purple Sage
19 x 36 Mixed Media on Artists Canvas

 Who knows but for some reason it was those paintings which were missed on my airport records. Those which I thought were boxed up in storage in the box room until I went there to search for Lonely Cloud and found all the boxes empty. Now they are all home and hung on the walls of the studio or my living room or designated to be hung in the new VRBO guest house.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Sometimes the Message is Mixed

Big Blue

 I donated the above small painting to the Shuter Library fund raiser. And it sold big. I am thrilled and a bit overwhelmed. Just before our state was totally shut down I had the opportunity to hang a lot of my paintings at the library. It is a wonderful venue in a town which no longer has art galleries. We once had three. Then suddenly the places my art and photography could be seen closed. Even my studio was closed. Only the county airport was open.

The library is now open again. I need to go there to fill the space where Big Blue was hung. And I have to go tomorrow to the Airport and remove my paintings there. They are remodeling the terminal where art hung. Win one, lose one. I have forgotten what paintings are hanging there. Have not a clue what I am going to do with them. Some I can hang in the AirBnB. Most will be boxed and stored. 

Night Run
18 x 24 Mixed media on canvas

I forget what is there. This one for sure. I love this one. Something else will have to come down in the studio so it can go up. 

Homage and Portal
Both watercolor on canvas 14 x 46
$1200 each

I lost the individual photos of the above two works of watercolor hanging at the Airport. That was the great computer debacle of 2010. And I have lost the painting below Lonely Cloud. I thought it was at the airport. Someone saw it there and wanted to buy it. Didn't. My inventory says it is at my studio. Cannot find it. That is the trouble on hanging your art in every available spot.

I have the sketch and I have the photograph. I could try it again. But I am not good at copying and it will no doubt be different. There is always the hope it would be better.

Other Side of Tomorrow
20 x 16 watercolor on canvas

And per my inventory that is all I have to pick up tomorrow. Just four paintings. Clearly my inventory needs some work. And my photo files of my work. In the last transfer to a new computer Carbonite deleted some of the titles.