Oil on canvas, 10x20
I'm home again, in wonderful Wachapreague, and I could only be happier if winter were truly gone. I managed to miss nearly all of it, but since I got home late Friday, it's been sleeting, snowing and freezing-raining, all at about 33 degrees. Lovely!
But no matter. I'm here with Peter, and the dogs and cats, here with my friends and neighbors, and with my studio and our pretty little house, here in our quiet little town, and all that has warmed me like springtime. And I had a great trip! I went from here to the Pacific Ocean and back, painted a lot, did three shows and got into a nice gallery in Tubac, Arizona, where my dad and stepmother live. The best part of the trip was spending time with them. It was great.
Mostly, I was amazed and awed by how huge and spectacular our country is. I really had no idea that the Grand Canyon would take my breath away, that Monument Valley would call to everything in my soul, or that the mountains and plains and prairies would sparkle with such beauty and power and fragility, somehow all at once.
All across the country, I met lovely and fascinating people. They talked to me, told me their stories, shared their lives with me, and I was touched and honored. I met a Navajo sign painter in Utah, who stopped and talked and showed me portraits he'd painted of John Wayne. I met another Navajo who fell in love with my dog paintings and confided in me about how much he wanted a husky dog, though the Navajo culture kept him from buying one. If he finds one, though, he will welcome it with open arms.
I met Juanita and Bill Williams, both artists, from Norman, Oklahoma, and we became fast friends during the show in Albuquerque. I met a woman who makes paintings on feathers, a couple who makes jewelry from deer antlers they find in the woods, and another woman who lines the crevices in mesquite with turquoise chips, or river stones, then uses the wood to make tables and chairs and countertops.
My friends Cynthia and Kevin came out from Connecticut, with their dogs George and Zack. Cynthia, who is a fabulous jeweler, did the show in Tubac (she and I were in booths right next to each other, which was a blessing) and we had a wonderful time checking out the area together.
Throughout the trip, lovely people bought paintings from me, showed me their amazing art, let me pet their dogs, gave me delicious food, revived my spirit with smiles and laughter, and happily shared their days with me.
So it truly was a fabulous trip, and an amazing experience. It was too long, though - and so the next one, wherever it is, and whenever it is, will be shorter. But my guess is, it will be no less fun, and no less full of adventure and discovery, and joy in the people and the landscapes of this great country.
My painting in the landscape
Here's the river in Abiquiu, NM, near where Georgia O'Keeffe lived and painted. Aren't the colors wonderful? It looked like a sunset, right there on the ground.
These mountains were on the way out, near Animas, NM.
The show in Indio, CA - which was a bust for me - took place in the Polo Grounds, spectacularly planted and kept up. And every morning, I saw people riding polo ponies!
Sonoita, Arizona, near where my dad and Paula live, is one of my favorite places to paint.
I got so tired of looking at myself with graying hair that I dyed it the color that it was when I was a kid.
There were dinosaurs all over the place out west. This grouping is outside of Santa Fe, NM.
Catherine Lenoci, a sponsor for the trip and a longtime follower of this blog, visited Monument Valley not so long after I did, and took this beautiful photo.
Dog of the Day