Friday, October 31, 2014


Gather ye source material while ye may!!!  A quick sunset trip through the hiways and byways of Tesuque Village and Rio en Medio last evening - 10/30/14.......

Thursday, October 30, 2014


PREPARING MY PAINT SURFACE (Canvas, untempered masonite panels, birch panels, Italian Gessoed panels) - All my paint surfaces are prepared with two to three coats of toned gesso.  What I like about the gessoing is that it fills up the interstices of the canvas and the toned ground softens the final layers of paint.  (Toned Ground:  Renaissance painters used a "grisaille - or a sketch in various shades of grey).  I also don't have to worry about covering all those darned white spaces at the edges of trees, buildings, etc.  I mix a large amount in an old coffee can, apply with a regular "trim" paint brush and tone many canvases of different sizes at one time.  Gesso "days" can easily turn into a "gesso week" - but once this is finished,  I am free to think of the painting, rather than the preparation.  Recipe:  Liquitex gesso (amount depends on how many canvases you want to cover) - small jar(s) of Liquitex Payne's Grey (mix to desired tone) - small amount of water to loosen gesso (I don't want it to leave brush marks once it is applied).  Apply in a loose fashion and try to have the canvas positioned in the same direction as the final painting.    10/30/14 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HOW I PAINT - FIELD WORK - Photography

FIELD WORK - Photography -- Years ago I painted plein air when I could.  Had three small children at home and worked a full time job!  Would get together with friends and pack my paints to have some wonderful autumn afternoons painting in Madrid and Golden, N.M.  Then some kind soul gifted me with a Canon camera with a zoom lens.  That camera became so familiar it was an extension of my arm for years and years.  Recently gave it to my son who just happens to be a very talented photographer.  Then -- TaDah! - along came digital cameras, the computer and Photoshop and everything changed!  Back in the day it was shameful for an artist to admit that they used photography.  I read a life changing book by Van Deren Coke from UNM, The Painter and the Photograph (some copies used and new are still available from Amazon).  Realized that the camera was an essential TOOL for me to use.  Made a pact with myself to know this place that inspired me so deeply - and then it would be possible for me to FEEL what I painted.  10/29/14 

Monday, October 27, 2014


HOW I PAINT - FIELD WORK:  CHOOSING MY SUBJECT MATTER.  Before leaving Chicago for Santa Fe, N.M. 48 years ago, I was able to be one of thousands who lined up at the Art Institute for the major Andrew Wyeth retrospective.  After waiting in lines that stretched almost to Lake Michigan, we were only given seconds to view each painting.  This exhibit had a powerful effect on me in that I realized Wyeth focused on what he knew best - his own love of place where his spirit was completely "at home".  After visits to Mexico and Guatemala, it took me a while before I came to know "my place".  This knowing settled in slowly once I came to know and love northern New Mexico - especially my sometimes home, Truchas, and the surrounding villages.  Authenticity is important to me - I paint what I know - and especially the places I love best. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CHIMAYO, N.M. - Oct. 18, 2014

FROM THE TOP OF THE HILL - CHIMAYO, N.M. - Starting some sketches today - organizing paints, setting up a new palette.... life is good!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


ON THE ROAD with the Dollie Sisters yesterday (Jan McDowell and Jolene Allen) - Almost 250 new pics! The trees are at their glorious peak all over the north country - Truchas, Chimayo, Dixon - heavy frosts are late this year. Canvases are gessoed in many different sizes - making a list and ordering the paints tomorrow. One or two more trips to my favorite places and then it is time to settle in for my winter work! What an amazing day!