Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm in Michigan now, for a few weeks. It's quite cold, grey and rainy, but it feels cozy. I'm working on 3 oil paintings and one watercolor, moving between them all. In front of my easel sits a pine cone (Ok, and a big rock from Ghost Ranch..and a little one) from, guess where?

Last Friday, my daughter and I took a rode trip to Colorado last Friday, from Albuquerque. As we were driving up in the hills just out of Taos, we saw a sign that said, "D.H. Lawrence Ranch". I slammed on the brakes. I had just been reading a book about Georgia O'Keeffe's works, and as her piece, "The Lawrence Tree" is one of my favorites, I was studying the map on how to get to the Lawrence Ranch and lamenting that I didn't have enough time to get up to the Taos area before leaving New Mexico for Michigan.

Well, son of a gun if we didn't see the ranch up there in the hills. A long, 5 mile journey on a dirt road brought us to the ranch, now owned my my daughters college, UNM. There wasn't much up there-I'm sure we didn't see all that we were supposed to see. The ranch is now used for conferences, etc.
Weirdly, there were 2 dogs on the roof. I know. Interesting.I found the tree, plaque and all, which promised the actual bench that D.H. Lawrence sat on to write each day and that Georgia O'Keeffe had lain on, looking up into this tree, day and night until she said, that of course, there was nothing else to do but paint it. The bench, sadly, was gone. But the tree was still standing proudly. I picked up a pine cone from the ground beneath it and now it's here, sitting in front of my easel, today. Which makes me happy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here's a terrible shot of a wonderful New Mexico favorite candy... a Peanut Patty! I'm sitting here eating this one, as I write. Let's call it "artistic inspiration". That sounds good.

This patty was made in Clovis, New Mexico, right near the small town of Dora, where my Mother great up and went to high school. My Mom makes a mean peanut patty...better than these, and these are good.

One of my favorite stories about Mom is when all of us kids were in our teens and she made a big batch of Peanut Patties one evening. She went to bed and the next day, woke up to find them ALL gone. She was so mad! Then she realized how much her stomach hurt.....and it slowly dawned on her that she'd gotten up during the night and without even being aware of it, ate the whole platter of candy. Good times. We still laugh about that.

In any case, I have nothing much to say about art today, except for this:
It annoys me that I just bought 2 kinds of turpentine-less turpentine and I now find I can't fly with it. Argh. It's tough living between three states. I have to have 3 sets of clothes in 3 different states, and lug my art supplies all over the country. So now it turns out that I need 3 terpenoids in three different states. I cannot wait until my husband finally retires.
I guess I do have one more item. My Gallery, Boundless Gallery has at last released a wonderful application so that I can feature my work on my Facebook account as well. Love that!

Have to go serve my husband some vanilla ice cream with homemade jalapeno jelly on top--which I made with my very own hands. This is the first jelly I've made without my Mom standing behind me guiding me every step of the way. I feel so grown-up at 50, to have made my first Jam. The fact that it's amazingly good makes it all the more exciting.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I'm laying gesso on multiple pieces of canvas on my back patio while I keep an eye on the rain as it comes and goes, in drizzles, throughout the afternoon. That's Santa Fe, or the Santa Fe mountains, in the background, across the fence. Can you even see them? Hmm....well, they're there. After this, 7 more pieces of canvas to go and then I'm done.

I'm moving into oil painting this year, which should prove to be quite exciting. Much more forgiving than watercolor, greater depth of color over acrylics, in my opinion. I'm quite excited and have a ton of supplies sitting here on the couch beside me. I just want to roll in them, they're so rich.

And just to show what a huge geek I am, here's my latest acquisition.
Now I have three different cups in three different states, two from Ghost Ranch and one from the Georgia O'Keeffe museum. I will kill if someone touches my cups. People look alarmed when I tell them that..they should.

Ghost Ranch Retreat

I had the best week ever. I mean, EVER. I got to go to my beloved Ghost Ranch in Northern New Mexico, where Georgia O'Keffee lived and painted for decades. I took thousands of pictures, read in the library till all hours of the night, sketched, planned out paintings and my life, and had a generally amazing time. Here are just a couple of the beautiful scenes I saw at Ghost Ranch.I go to Ghost Ranch every chance that I can, thankfully it's just 1 hour 50 minutes from my home here in Albuquerque, but this time I stayed for a 3 day retreat, all alone! It was the single best thing that I've done for myself as an artist and I intend to go back for a week long retreat at least once a year, from now on.

I got amazing news when I returned home, that Ghost Ranch would like to use my photos in their marketing material. If you have a hero or heroine, and a place that you love beyond reason, you can understand my happiness at even being asked. I love Georgia O'Keeffe and her work, I cherish Ghost Ranch..every tree, every particle of sand. It's a magical, spiritual place and you can't go for any period of time and remained unchanged as a person. I do hope we can work it out together. Not much else would make me happier, than to participate in Ghost Ranch in any way whatsoever.

While I was at Ghost Ranch, I took a FAR AWAY shot of Georgia's house under the cliffs. It's not a good picture at all, but boy, it means the world to me. I love it. This house is not owned by Ghost Ranch, it's owned by a private business or something. They don't do tours here, unfortunately.

I still haven't taken the tour of Georgia's Abiquiu house and studio. I'm planning on it for next spring--I wasn't able to do it this time. I understand that you aren't allowed to take any pictures at all. I don't imagine that's changed, though, of course, I hope that it has.I know, this is another awful picture. I was taking it on the fly as I drove by in my pickup. This is Georgia's house in Abiquiu on the short cliff overlooking highway 84, across from Bode's general store, where she shopped and where I shopped while at Ghost Ranch. There's pretty much nothing in Abiquiu even now; same buildings: beautiful adobe church, post office, Bode's and some houses.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm bored with just talking about my painting. I live in the most beautiful state ever and I take thousands of photos, so I'd like to share some of those, and occasionally, what I'm up to.

It's September, I turned 50, had my 28th anniversary, and I'm back in my beloved home in Albuquerque for the entire month. My husband and I took a week to drive down, and visited Canyonlands in Moab, Utah and Arches, also in Moab. I took about a thousand pics there, so some will pop up here and there. Not all of the photos you see will be, specifically in Albuquerque, but they'll all be from the Southwest.

I'm taking a few weeks break from painting to vacation and visit friends and family and to play, play, play...taking scads of photos to use as material for painting this fall and winter.