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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Arivaca Grasslands


Arivaca Grasslands
Oil on black canvas, 10x10, $125

A few years ago, at a show in South Carolina, I met a couple - Patti and Miguel - who liked my paintings very much and bought a couple of them. I warmed to these two right away, and as we talked, we found that our paths had crossed in a remarkable number of ways. 

One of them is that Patti's father and stepmother live in Arivaca, Arizona, very close to Tubac, where my father and stepmother live. I was invited to lunch in Arivaca and I went and had a great time. 

Arivaca is a fascinating little place that, according to my dad, and a story in the Arizona Daily Star, Arivaca "has been a haven for miners, ranchers, hippies, smugglers, addicts and retirees." It's a small, dusty town with little to brag about, and yet, I find myself charmed by it. Around Arivaca are hills, mountains, grasslands and rivers that are usually dry. Cows and horses wander about, crossing and recrossing the Arivaca Road. Ranches dot the landscape. In town, there are adobe and wooden houses, trailers and mobile homes and a couple off-the-grid hunting cabins. A working ranch helps troubled boys straighten out their lives. 

The place has touched me somehow with its roughness, its rebel history, its eccentric citizens. I enjoyed my visit, and my time stopping to paint on the Arivaca Road. 

***
WHILE I WAS in Tubac, I met Karen Pomeroy, who runs Equine Voices, a rescue operation for horses and mules. Equine Voices is in Green Valley, just up the road from Tubac. 

Karen has a tremendous operation in Equine Voices. The organization houses 61 animals on 15 acres. They rescue horses and donkeys from abuse, neglect and abandonment situations, and have a focus on adopting mares whose urine has been used to make premarin, a hormone-replacement drug. The urine is only useful when the mare is pregnant, so these horses are impregnated again and again and again over the course of their lifetimes. 

Animals are adopted out regularly from Equine Voices, and sponsorships, donations and volunteers are actively solicited. It's a really great program, and I hope you'll take some time to look over the website

I'm going to work with Karen on some ways to raise money and awareness, so you'll be hearing a lot more about Equine Voices in the future! 

Dad and I visited Equine Voice together, Here's Dad with Gulliver, the mascot for the operation. There are quite a number of big draft horses there, along with donkeys, including this fresh guy, below. When we approached him, he was rolling in the dirt. 

This gal was about to give birth. I was hoping it would happen while we were there, but it didn't! I'd love to see a baby donkey. 

***
Dog of the Day
Well, nuts or not nuts, we're adopting two more dogs. That will make six, for all of you who are counting. These two are catahoula leopard dogs, or at least their mother was. She was killed by a car when the puppies were 10 days old. Three of the six pups died. The other three ended up in the capable hands of our friend Christine Stark. We were going to take just the blue-eyed one, but the little dark-eyed one worked his way into our hearts - and the two will probably be better together than they ever would be apart. 

***
A Final Thought

"Every good painter paints what he is."

- Jackson Pollock

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Winding Road

 Winding Road
Oil on black canvas, 10x10, $125

I'm on my way home now, heading east, and it's a wonderful and slightly sad feeling, both at the same time. I will miss this land of mountains and deserts, red rocks, sun-washed earth. I will miss the soft colors of the desert, the strange and beautiful cactus and desert plants. I already miss Dad and Paula, and the warm little town of Tubac. But I miss home, and Peter, even more.

Again, as I head east, I realize how much I love driving, and just being on the road. There is a deep simplicity to it, especially when I'll be on one road for so very long. My choices are few - keep driving or stop. Need gas or no. Pass or don't pass. I like that. More than anything, though, I love watching the landscape, soaking it in, seeing it change, mile by mile, bit by bit.

Now, I'm in Holbrook, Arizona, and the mountains are behind me. I'm in a place of yellow grass and red rocks and an unbroken horizon. It's subtle and beautiful, and the sky is huge.


***
Scenes from the Road

Above, the sky over Tubac one evening. Below, 
a road near my dad's house, one morning.  
]

After the show, I had some nice sales, including "Looking Ahead,"
which looks so great in this couple's house! 

***
Dog of the Day

 This guy herded me along, on my way back to Dad and Paula's one evening...

***
A Final Thought

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
- Edgar Degas

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Looking for a Treat

Looking for a Treat
Oil on canvas, 10x10, sold

Though I am healing, my knee injury is keeping me from painting, as I can't stand or sit and rise as I do when I am painting outdoors. So when I get home, I'll be making a few more Arizona Byways paintings from photographs, in the studio. 

As I write this, I've already left Tubac. I have work to do at home, and more than anything, I miss my husband, our dogs, our house, our town. But I miss Tubac, now! Miss my dad and Paula, the pace of life, the sun-washed desert, the beautiful mountains, the sense of open space and possibility. 

Goodbye, Tubac! 

***
HERE ARE SOME more scenes from the show

Above, that's not a REAL pig she's
carrying, but a piece of metal yard art. Funny!

Below, longtime readers of this blog with recognize
Ted Archembault, who has visited me at
Arizona shows for years. Ted is a cool guy.
This year, he was wearing an outfit
celebrating Valentine's Day. 

This is some of Brenda Peo's art. I met her
online, and then we met in person at the Tuba
Art Festival last year. She had a good outing 
the Tubac area, you can see her work in person during

The Border Patrol Checkpoint outside of Tubac. 

 ***
Dog of the Day
 This dog was enjoying the warm February sunshine last week in Tubac. 

***
A Final Thought

"In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine." 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson








Saturday, February 20, 2016

Time Stands Still

Time Stands Still

Sorry for the delay! The show here in Tubac lasted for five days, and it's always hard, if not impossible, to post during a show. Then I got a terrible, stupidity-inducing head cold. THEN I fell down a step and twisted my knee so badly I couldn't put weight on it.                                                                                       I've been lolling around, knee elevated, for days on end, and finally, this morning, I was able to gimp around a little bit without leaning on furniture or a cane.                                                                                                   So I am still in Tubac, at Dad and Paula's house, and there's a lot to be said for an enforced vacation and a long stretch with D&P. Yet I am eager to get home, to see Peter and the wolves (dogs), my friends in Wachapreague (Hi, Pat! Hi, Carol!) and to start painting again. But first I have to be able to walk to the van, and then to get up in it. 

The show was pretty good! I saw lots of people I know, met many new folks, sold a few paintings and had fun. My friend Cynthia Battista (she's an amazing jeweler - click here to check her stuff out at her Old Stone Studio page) was right beside me, and new friend Brenda Peo (see her wonderful animal paintings and more, by clicking here) was right up the road from us, as was photographer Rick Sprain (check out his stunning images by clicking here). Last year, Rick was right beside Cynthia and me, and we missed him this year, as he was around the corner. 

No telling whether I'll be back to Tubac next year, as there are big goings-on set to take place in the winter of 2017. I'll tell you more soon... 

***
Scenes from the Road


Here's Dad and Paula's house in Tubac, where I'm currently resting my poor hurt knee. 

Saw some cool cars at a car show in Tubac! 

The gem show in Tucson has all sorts of stuff - yes, gems and minerals and fossils, like the giant ammonite below, which must have been 18 inches across. There's also just cool stuff, like fabric, key rings, drones and scarves, above.


***
Dog of the Day

He was in Tubac, and he was Not Happy that I was daring 
to walk past in the road, stare at him and yes, laugh a little. 




Friday, February 12, 2016

Patagonia Tightrope

Patagonia Tightrope
Oil on black canvas, 10x10, $125
sold

The Tubac Art Festival is up and running, and has been good to me so far. I've made my booth fee - always the first hurdle - and my big paintings are finding lots of love. No buyers yet for the big ones, but it takes time to decide on something that large. 
 This year, I'm bringing some 10x10s, a couple mid-range paintings, and three or four really big ones. This is a somewhat scary booth arrangement - I'm unprotected, in a way, focusing on the big stuff, without the cushion of a series of $250-$400 paintings in the booth.

But many of my originals are still less expensive than prints that other people are selling, and my big pieces are way less expensive than other people's, or than what you could buy at that size in a gallery.

Patience and courage are my watchwords this year. I've seen others operate successfully this way, and I'm betting and hoping that I can, too. I'll keep you all appraised of my progress! 

Happy buyers with a Pony Express painting

***
Scenes from Tubac




Above left, a woman carries a metal pig. I thought it was a real pig at first! Above right, the evening sky on the road to Tucson on Wednesday evening. 

***
Dog of the Day


It's Tucker! He visited the Tubac show late in the day on Thursday, and he was a great dog, interested in everything and everyone. 

***
A Final Thought

"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery."

- Francis Bacon

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bright Side of the Street

Bright Side of the Street
Oil on black canvas, 10x10, $125

In every artist's life, I think, there's a handful of days that are just about perfect. Days when the art just comes - easily, swiftly, and without hesitation or question. Sunday was one of those days, and I rejoiced and was grateful, and I painted all day. 

I headed toward Patagonia and Sonoita, two of my favorite places to paint, and on the way, found spot after spot, view after view that captured my eye and my heart. I found places to pull safely off the road. Places where I could move the van to block the wind and the sun. And I painted with a sureness and joy that welled up from the deepest places in me, the places that are the most true. 

This was the first of five paintings I made on Sunday. They were all small pieces, 10x10, and at the end of the day, I was happy and exhausted. 

My painting in the landscape

***
ON SATURDAY, A FRIEND and collector of my art came for a visit in Tubac. We walked all over town, looked into many stores, talked art and life and had a nice day. She brought Batty with her, and we were lucky to find lots of dog-friendly people and shops. 

***
Dog of the Day 
It was great to meet Batty, and spend some time with her, 
so it only seems fitting to name her Dog of the Day! 

***
A Final Thought

"In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine." 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 8, 2016

Back to Tumacacori - and into Sweet Poppy

Back to Tumacacori
Oil on canvas, 10x10
 and become a sponsor of the Arizona Byways Painting Trip! 

My painting in the landscape
I love this little painting, the abstract quality of it, the memory of cubism, the tumble of colors and shapes - and the way the sun and shadow still work, even with all that's going on here.

I've been pushing the abstraction a little bit more, and am finding I like it.

What do you think?


***

I'm happy to report that I have a new outlet in Tubac. It's not solely a gallery, but is a wonderful store that sells furniture, fun things for the home, art and handmade, artful items. The store is called Sweet Poppy, and I'm delighted to be a part of it. 
The story begins with my stepmother, Paula, telling me over the phone a couple weeks ago that she'd bought a chair that I would love. And she was right. It's upholstered in five or six different, fun fabrics, and has an ottoman to match. Paula got the chair at Sweet Poppy, and insisted that I needed to go there, and that my paintings would do great there. So after I licked my gallery-rejection wounds for a day or two, I went over and checked out the store. 
I loved it right off. It's filled to the brim with stuff, and the stuff is bright and colorful and cheerful and happy. My kind of stuff! Marsha, who owns the shop, is as cheerful and bright as her store - it truly reflects her personality, which I'm sure is one of the reasons it's prospering. 

She loved my paintings, and they fit right in. Don't they look great? 

If you're in Tubac, Sweet Poppy is over a little footbridge at 19 Tubac Road, on the path to Shelby's Bistro. It's a wonderful shop, with much to look at and buy. Anyone would have fun there! 

The footbridge to Sweet Poppy



 Here's Marsha

***
Dog of the Day 
Met this cute little bichony guy as I was heading out the other day. He's a rescue, and is now living a pampered, adored, be-sweatered life in Tubac. 

***
A Final Thought
"Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant. There is no such thing. 
Making your unknown known is the important thing."

- Georgia O'Keeffe



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Facing East - and The Presidio


 Facing East
Oil on black canvas, 10x10, $125
In the evenings here in Tubac, the setting sun lights the Santa Rita mountains with an amazing pink glow. Sometimes it's tinged with turquoise, sometimes it shimmers with gold - nearly every night, it's a reminder of the astonishing beauty of this world in which we live. 


Here's my painting in the landscape. I did move the house (photo to the left) over in front of the mountains (photo on the right)...





                                              ***
HERE IN TUBAC, people volunteer for all sorts of things. My dad has been the president of the board of the Center of the Arts, then was a greeter there for years. My stepmother has put together the Center's big fundraising auction, an activity that can pretty much swallow you whole.

This year, my dad is going to be a docent at the Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac. A few days ago, I watched a YouTube video about the Presidio, and the next day, visited with Dad. It's a truly


remarkable place, rich with history and full of really interesting art and artifacts.

The Presidio was built in the early 1700s, as a place of protection for the Spanish settlers who lived in Tubac. The fort and the town were abandoned, destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries. There's nothing visible remaining of the actual Presidio above ground, though an underground excavation gives a glimpse into the structure and history of the building.

At the site, in addition to the excavation, there is an old school house, a 1940s home, a series of pretty amazing paintings, a museum, and a whole lot of maps.

Highlights for me included learning that Arizona's first paper was printed in Tubac, and seeing the many baskets, weapons and pieces of pottery found on the site.





***
Dog of the Day
Here's George, looking a little grumpy. And there's Kevin, too!

***
A Final Thought
"What moves me of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough." 

- Eugene Delacroix