sister and I spent a wonderful day in Santa Fe shopping, eating and
wandering through the art galleries this week. There was a bit of snow
on the ground still and everything was decorated for the Holiday
season. The light was beautiful, from the afternoon warm sun and
shadows thrown about on the ruddy adobe walls to the evening Christmas
lights shining in the trees on the plaza. We picked special gifts at
our favorite shops, saw wonderful art and discovered some great new
eateries (The Teahouse and Vinaigrette,
wonderful cozy places to stop in between shopping and walking!). I
love the holiday season and spending time with my sister, it was a
I've been neglecting my blog lately, so I thought I'd share what I've been up to this month. I've been very busy in the studio and doing lots of creating. I'm in high gear painting and very excited about my current work. I don't want to post much until it's done and now that we are getting into the holiday season I am nervous that it will take longer than I anticipated to complete the series. So I have locked myself away and have become very caught up in the art spirit, much to the annoyance of my family. Laundry? do we really need clean clothes every week? Dinner? Groceries? do we really need regular schedules and bills paid? Luckily my husband has been a dream and often picks up where I drift off, literally! I don't often ask for help--I'd rather run from sun-up to sun-down meeting the needs of others before my own, and I know how lucky I am to have such a great and understanding family.
Above you can see an example of my new studies, in between painting I've been trying to spend a little time every day getting back into my drawing practice. Lately that's been in the evenings before bed. Since I am a self-taught artist I have to be very disciplined to move forward with my skills and there are constant issues I feel I need to improve. Portrait study is something I've always wanted to master and I am starting to copy Bargue plates and really enjoying it! I love slowing down and being very methodical about my lines and angles. I tend to move so fast in life that I become impatient when it comes to drawing, this is teaching me to slow way down.
What else is new you ask? Well, my husband spent some time making a drying box for my oil paintings this month. I've had directions for the box for quite a while, which uses black lights. Apparently black lights give off a different type of UV ray, it is to imitate natural sunlight which greatly increases the rate of drying. Artists have been using the power of the sun to aid in drying for centuries, but I find these lights very gentle and they do not generate much heat. My paintings dry to the touch overnight. I predict this box will see much use over the winter.
One last note, I received an early Christmas present-- a great new drafting table where I will be working late many nights on drawing. I love it!
This past weekend the family drove to Abiquiu, NM for lunch and to see the breathtaking scenery. We drove through the heart of O'Keeffe country and it was like stepping into one of her paintings. I have always been a huge Georgia O'Keeffe fan because she is the first famous artist I took an interest in when I was young, her work just spoke to me. Her paintings are not hard to miss in New Mexico since images and prints plaster many businesses here. Even in my wedding photos I am standing in front of a wall of various O'Keeffe prints with my husband. She's everywhere! The first artwork I ever owned were a couple landscape prints of hers, that was before I ever knew I would become an artist myself. Today I am a fan of her life, how she came to New Mexico and lived in solitude in the middle of nowhere to produce her artwork. How she drove out to the desert in her truck to paint the mesas and hills from life, and her deep love of the country here.
~O'Keeffe's beloved Pedernal~
I thought I'd share a few of Georgia's landscapes along with some photos of the colorful hills and cliffs of Abiquiu. Portrait of an Artist, the biography of Georgia O'Keeffe, by Laura Lisle is the biography I read and really enjoyed. And if you'd like to see gorgeous photos of her house in Abiquiu please see the photos from July 1981 Architectural Digest Here.
above photo by Annie Leibovitz, hills behind Georgia O'Keeffe's home