Category Archives: 2013

Getting my groove back!

True Love acrylic on 12" vinyl

“True Love”, acrylic paint markers on 12″ vinyl record, SOLD!

It’s been months since I’ve spent any significant amount of time painting. I’ve been busy, with traveling, singing, getting my prints into galleries and life in general. This weekend the urge was so strong to paint, that I brought some supplies home with me and painted while we watched football all day and evening on Sunday. The photos I’m sharing today are the result. These are all acrylic paint markers on vinyl. They are all available for sale. Contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing one or more of them. Thank you so much for your continued support of my creative life!

twistin' acrylic painting on 7" vinyl

“Twistin’ “, acrylic paint markers on 7” vinyl 45 record, available for $45

To Win Your Love acrylic on 7" 45 vinyl

“To Win Your Love”, acrylic paint markers on 7″ vinyl 45 record, available for $45

Strange acrylic on 7" vinyl 45 record

“Strange”, acrylic paint markers on 7″ vinyl 45 record, available for $45

Advertisements

Lessons Learned

photo of the stage at Fiddler's Dream coffee house

The stage at Fiddler’s Dream Coffee House

Last night we made it home from our second trip out in the RV. We went back to Arizona again. This time starting off in Phoenix where we had a Sunlight show at Fiddler’s Dream coffee house. Then heading to Tucson the next day where we had a gig at Delectables restaurant.

Aaron and I, Sunlight, before our show

Aaron and I (Sunlight), before hopping on stage for our show

Fiddler’s Dream is just that, a dream venue! The audience is actually listening and not just there to eat and visit with each other. We had a really wonderful response there, it was lovely. We will definitely go back on our next trip to Phoenix! Before we left Phoenix, we spent the late morning/early afternoon at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. They had an exhibit of Chihuly glass sculptures all throughout the gardens.

Chihuly glass sculpture

Chihuly glass sculpture at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens

Though it was a bit chilly, it was a lovely sunny day to be there. We met a friend there and also had a nice lunch in the patio cafe where the quail were so tame they came right up to us and practically ate out of our hands. I have never seen so many quail in one place and NEVER so tame!

Chihuly glass sculpture in the gardens

Chihuly glass sculpture in the gardens

tame quail in the patio cafe at the botanical gardens

tame quail in the patio cafe at the botanical gardens

quail at the botanical gardens

quail at the botanical gardens

There was also a lone squirrel in the mix that did, in fact, come up to me and take a piece of bread from my hand. He even posed for several photos!

squirrel that ate out of my hands!

squirrel that ate out of my hands!

Delectables was another lovely venue. It was a restaurant/bar and though the audience wasn’t there just for the music (we played for an art opening), they were friendly and welcoming. The owner, Donna, was sweet and invited us to come back anytime we were in Tucson.

more Chihuly glass

more Chihuly glass

The third day, we were supposed to be on our way to Bisbee to play a show at the Grand Hotel Saloon, but our RV had other plans. It started the night before on our way back to the RV park from our gig at Delectables. The night had gone really well, the crowd enjoyed our music and we enjoyed the crowd. That is, until we pulled onto the freeway and the RV started shaking and rocking back and forth. Aaron immediately pulled over because we thought we had blown out a tire. He got out, walked around to look at all the tires and got back in saying they were all still fine. So, we fired the engine back up and got back on the road and everything seemed fine.

Huge Chihuly glass sculpture

Huge Chihuly glass sculpture

The next morning we headed back out on the road with the intention of making a couple of stops for a new air filter and dish soap before we hit the road towards Bisbee for our show at 4pm that afternoon. This time we were exiting the interstate when the shaking and rocking started. This was enough for us to stop in the parking lot in front of the auto parts store and check the tires and underside of the RV once again, this time in the light of day. There was evidence of something being off with the suspension, so we ended up calling the roadside assistance number for a tow truck. Incidentally, we had JUST purchased the roadside assistance before leaving on this trip. Thank goodness!

RV hooked up to the tow truck

Hooked up to the tow truck, finally, after a 3-4 hour wait!

Long story short, after a 3-4 hour wait (it was a Sunday after all), we got towed to the mechanic’s yard and ended up spending the night there while waiting for our new tires to be ordered and delivered Monday morning. By Monday afternoon, we were back on the road thinking we had taken care of all the RV issues. We had already planned on going home that day anyway. To our dismay, we found ourselves stopped on the side of the road again, this time because we were losing power and backfiring. After some consultation with friends and family on facebook we bought some fuel cleaner and that seemed to help enough to get us to Las Cruces (halfway point) for the night.

Aaron and I at the botanical gardens

Aaron and I at the botanical gardens

Needless to say, we have learned a thing or two on our first couple of RV trips! Due to monetary concerns, we have been forced to come home until at least the end of February. Here’s a short list of our lessons learned;

1. Roadside assistance membership is a MUST!

2. Three dogs is way too much for a small motor home! Any motor home really, they need a yard to run in and I HATE cleaning up dog poop in those little plastic bags! Gross!

3. Towing a car behind your motor home may be a pain, but having a car when you get to your destination is priceless. Bikes are fine, but when you get a flat tire in a small town, you’re stuck with a flat tire until you get to a place that has a bike shop. Also, driving a motor home to a gig can be difficult when it comes time to find a parking space!

4. Though it is nice to travel around in a motor home and have your home always with you, it’s also nice to have a home to go back to when the trip is over. Since we rented out all the rooms in our house with plans to live full time in our RV, we had to sleep on our mattress on the floor of our living room when we got home last night because it was WAY too cold to sleep out in the RV!

Sidetracked…

We decided while in Bisbee that it would be a good decision to make a side trip back to Albuquerque for a few weeks. Lots of factors came into this decision but really, we just wanted to be home for the holidays! I thought it would be nice to be out and on our own, but when it came down to it, I just wanted to be with the family for the Holidays. Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday, being all about gratitude and food! πŸ™‚ Personally, I like to be thankful everyday of the year, but there is something wonderful about a day set aside for that purpose.

One of the reasons we came back to Albuquerque is because our harmonica player for Sunlight is here. We had planned to take him with us on our next trip, mainly because Sunlight just isn’t the same without Ray! His harp and percussion just fills out the music so well. Unfortunately, for Ray and us, he was hit by a car a couple of weekends ago! He suffered a shattered knee and femur and will be laid up for months recovering after two surgeries to repair his knee and ligaments. We have our fingers crossed that he will be able to join us by February when we hope to head back to Arizona again.

In the meantime, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are taking another trip to our neighboring state. We have booked a few shows for Sunlight this weekend in Phoenix, Tucson and Bisbee. The timing couldn’t be more perfect seeing as there is a cold front coming into Albuquerque the day we are leaving. Unfortunately, the same cold front is moving through Arizona too, but their cold temps are similar to warm temps in Albuquerque!

Since my last blog post we have ordered and received download cards for our first Sunlight album! We will have the cards available at our shows this weekend and the album is also available for download on CD Baby. Please let us know in an email or comment if you are interested in a physical CD of our first album. We do plan to have some made but want to wait to see what the demand is before we decide how many to have made.

While in Arizona, I am taking more prints to the latest gallery to represent my work. 55 Main Gallery in Bisbee. Turns out the venue Sunlight is playing at in Bisbee on Sunday is right next door to the gallery. The Grand Hotel Saloon is where you can find us this Sunday from 4-7pm.

Friday evening we are playing in Phoenix at Fiddler’s Dream coffee house. We are sharing the bill there and will be onstage from 8:50-9:35pm.

Saturday evening we are playing an art opening at a restaurant in Tucson. Delectables is on 4th Ave. We play from 7-10pm.

If you live in any of these areas, it sure would be great to see/meet you! πŸ™‚

This will be a short trip to Arizona, returning next Monday or Tuesday. In January, we are planning a trip to southern Texas. I am really excited about it, I have never really visited that area of the state. We plan to go to San Antonio, Austin and possibly Dallas/Fort Worth. We have heard so many great things about Austin, it’s going to be fun to finally go there!

Stay tuned for next week’s post, all about our trip and shows in Arizona! πŸ™‚

Support Living Artists! Please! :)

We’ve all heard the myth of the starving artist, but I’m here to say it’s just that, a myth! Artists can and DO make a living with their creativity. I am living proof of that. However, that said, we could still use a bit of support now and then! I hate to toot my own horn but we are getting close to that most wonderful time of the year and mama needs a new pair of shoes! LITERALLY! After all the hiking and walking we did during our recent travels, my shoes have holes in the soles!

What better way to say, I love you, than with something handmade! I ask you to support small businesses and creative people this Holiday season. Don’t give your hard earned money to the big box stores! PLEASE! Keep it local and when you can’t do that, support LIVING artists! We are all local to somewhere! πŸ™‚

I have a few artist friends that would probably appreciate the support so close to the holidays. Here is a list of some of my favorites and of course, there is also MY ETSY SHOP, with lots of colorful prints and paintings!

Cari Pier, of Sea Dream Art, makes lovely paintings and prints of her inspiring art. She is not only a great friend but her work inspires me to keep going! πŸ™‚

Elayne Russell, of MoonGipies, makes all kinds of whimsical recycled items and is a great photographer. She is another wonderful friend of mine!

William Reichard, is a fresh, new author with a brand new work of fiction for the bookworm on your list! You can find his book, This Album Full of Angles on Amazon.com in both kindle and paperback. Will is another friend and inspiration with his positive attitude and love for the written word.

Susan See, of Susan See Photography, has a great eye and I just adore her photography! She has inspired me recently with a move from Albuquerque to the midwest.

Last but definitely not least, my husband, guitarist extraordinaire, Aaron Lewis! He has several CDs of beautiful guitar music available and you can find him on iTunes and CDBaby.

Bisbee, Arizona Then Home Again

photo of sunrise in Bisbee, Az

Bisbee sunrise

After the inspiring time spent at Chiricahua National Monument, we took a short drive over to Bisbee, Arizona. This small town is only a few miles away from the Mexican border.

photo of Aaron and Paula suited up to go into the Queen mine

Aaron and I suited up for our tour of the Queen mine

Bisbee was once the largest mining town between St. Louis and San Francisco! In it’s heyday the town had over 25,000 inhabitants. I forget the exact number but I believe there was 30 billion pounds of copper mined out of the hills and underground tunnels beneath Bisbee.

photo of fence post

Interesting fence post on a residence in Bisbee

The elevation is 5,300 feet so even though it’s located in southern Arizona, it wasn’t quite as warm as other southern towns in the state. In fact, after only a few days, a cold front blew in and we had wind, a bit of rain and lots of clouds.

photo of Main street in Bisbee, AZ

Main street, Bisbee, AZ

Bisbee High School

Bisbee High School

We took a tour of the Queen Mine which just happened to be just down the hill from the Queen Mine RV Park. It was an interesting and educational tour, even if it was a bit freaky being underground in the man made tunnels.

photo of the train ride into the mine

Riding the train into the mine

We stayed for a week and had plenty of time to explore around the town. Bisbee has some interesting architecture. It was quite a wealthy town when built back at the end of the 19th century.

shitter or sanitary car inside the mine

Sanitary or “shitter” car down in the mine

Aaron sitting on the shitter car

Aaron found this to be the perfect photo op! Sitting on the shit car! πŸ™‚

boss' quadricycle in the mine

Boss’ quadricycle. This was how the mine foreman got around in the mine’s 2,500 miles of tunnels!

I located a gallery, 55 Main Gallery, that is now representing my art prints. I once sold my Paula Beck prints in the same space! I didn’t realize it was the same place until showing Aaron around the gallery. I found one of my old print racks, designed and custom built by myself with my stepdad’s help back in the early 1990s.The gallery had since been sold to a new owner, but apparently, the print rack came with the space and is still being used to display prints! 55 Main gallery has been in that location for 20 years now. My how the time flies by!

Copper Queen hotel

The Copper Queen hotel is at least a hundred years old and possibly haunted. We ate lunch at the restaurant there and enjoyed some live music in the saloon.

We got plenty of exercise while we were there as the town is made up of nothing but hills and stairs! Unfortunately, my bike tire popped while we were in the Chiricahuas and there is no bike shop in Bisbee. So, we walked everywhere and road the town bus a couple of times in order to get our groceries from the only store about 5 miles away from the RV park we stayed in.

stairs in Bisbee

Bisbee is famous for it’s stairs! They even have a race called the 1000 stairs race.

more stairs!

more stairs!

After a month on the road, we learned a LOT! We have since decided to return to Albuquerque for a few weeks to regroup and figure some things out. We have a Sunlight show booked in Phoenix for December 6th at the Fiddler’s Dream coffee house. We hope to book a few more gigs before then as well. This adventure is FAR from over, I can promise you that! πŸ™‚

Chiricahua National Monument

Panorama shot taken from the top of Inspiration point. This spot was a 4 mile hike into the monument. Definitely, an inspiration! We ate lunch here, it was wonderful!

Panorama shot taken from the top of Inspiration point. This spot was a 4 mile hike into the monument. Definitely, an inspiration! Click on photo to see larger version.

We pulled out of Silver City, NM on November 7th and headed straight for Chiricahua National Monument just past the NM/AZ border. Another of those amazing desert mountain ranges that seemingly pops right up out of the middle of the desolate desert southwest.

In the Heart of the Rocks trail, so many huge, gorgeous rock formations!

In the Heart of the Rocks trail, so many huge, gorgeous rock formations!

Using my iphone maps as a guide, we ended up driving our RV down a scary dirt road. We have since bought an atlas in book form. No more trusting the iphone map app! It’s not necessarily that the dirt road was so bad, but we happened down said road at the least opportune time of day.

drivingdirtroad

The beginning of the dirt road we took

The sun was in that spot where it shines right into your eyes as you drive towards the horizon. The road was a bit twisty and of course we had never been on it before so we had no idea what to expect. Luckily, the dirt road only lasted 11 miles, but it was the most nerve wracking 11 miles! It seemed to go on forever!

Aaron throwing a stick for the dogs on one of our many walks down to the Silver Spur meadow

Aaron throwing a stick for the dogs on one of our many walks down to the Silver Spur meadow

Of course it didn’t and we eventually ended up in a beautiful mountain canyon campground. The Chiricahuas are known for their awe inspiring rock formations. They resemble crowds of people, sentinels watching over the canyons like ancestors of the Apache natives that once called this place home.

Taken on our first hike, back lit tree at the spot we ate our lunch

Taken on our first hike, back lit tree at the spot we ate our lunch

These mountains were the last stronghold of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. Geronimo was a member of this tribe and he fought hard to hold his homelands as long as he could. Though the story of the last Apache war is a sad one with the tribe eventually being put on a reservation like all the other Native Americans of this land.

There were numerous balanced rocks like this one all over the place.

There were numerous balanced rocks like this one all over the place.

Luckily for us all, the homesteaders that took their place loved the place so much that they saw to it that it was preserved for future generations. They were instrumental in seeing the Chiricahua National Monument and National Forest designated for the benefit of us now.

Faraway ranch is where the homesteaders settled and built their ranch in the late 1800s. The Riggs ended up being instrumental in getting Chiricahua designated as a National monument.

Faraway ranch is where the homesteaders settled and built their ranch in the late 1800s. The Riggs ended up being instrumental in getting Chiricahua designated as a National monument.

One of my more artistic shots taken at Faraway Ranch

One of my more artistic shots taken at Faraway Ranch

The landscape is reminiscent of the area around Silver City, the Gila Wilderness and National Forest. Deep canyons surrounded by tall rock formations and trees. Sadly, in 2011, this area was devastated by a man made forest fire. Much of the trees are now only charred skeletons, though there are still places where the fire didn’t reach and the shade of the tall trees is a relief from the heat of the sun.

This grouping automatically struck me as a family, daddy, mama and baby rock. :)

This grouping automatically struck me as a family, daddy, mama and baby rock. πŸ™‚

The weather here is absolutely gorgeous this time of year. The temperatures ranged from the upper 30s lower 40s to the mid 70s while we were there. We spend two days hiking, a 6 mile hike the first day and a 10 mile hike the second day. We encountered a rattle snake on our second day, though we didn’t see him, we heard his warning rattle clearly coming from a pile of rocks on the side of the trail. Unfortunately, for our doggies, there was only one meadow trail leading to the old homestead where dogs were allowed. So we added on another 6 miles of walks with the dogs to make up for the fact that they had to spend hours at a time in the RV while we were out hiking.

Kissing Rocks formation

Kissing Rocks formation

I took 280 photographs during our stay! Everywhere I looked was another rock formation or beautiful vista, textures galore and birds, birds, birds. The hardest part about putting this blog post together was picking just a few photos from the pack.

Balanced rock formation

Balanced rock formation

There were no hookups at the campground, so we had to leave after only 3 days because our ice had all melted and honestly, after 22 miles of hiking, we were ready for a shower and a cold beer!

I call this one Ancestors. The entire time we were hiking through the monument it felt as if we were being watched by the Apache ancestors who once inhabited the area.

I call this one Ancestors. The entire time we were hiking through the monument it felt as if we were being watched by the Apache ancestors who once inhabited the area.

We are now parked in the Queen Mine RV Park in Bisbee, AZ until Monday. On Thursday I will blog about our stay, so far, in this cool little former mining town that sits a mile high in the hills just 5 miles north of the Mexican border.

One last grouping of rock formations. It was so hard to pick just a few photos for this blog post!

One last grouping of rock formations. It was so hard to pick just a few photos for this blog post!

See you later New Mexico!

photo of Silver City Lizard mural

This Silver City mural greeted us as we entered downtown

We’ve been in Silver City, New Mexico for the past three days. We love this little town, but it’s time to move on. This morning we woke up to the freezing cold! Arizona, here we come!

photo of horse mural

Another mural in Silver City.

Silver City began as a mining town over a hundred years ago, hence the name. As a matter of fact, many of the small towns in the Southwest started out as mining towns. In the past decade or more it has become a wonderful artist community. Everyone we encountered was very friendly. Silver City is also the home of Western New Mexico University. I highly recommend visiting if you ever get the chance.

photo of the outside of the Silver City museum

Silver City Museum

The first morning here we walked over to downtown Silver City. My goal was to find an art gallery for my prints, but Tuesdays everything is closed. We wandered around town, browsing thrift stores and ended up checking out the Silver City Museum, which is housed in one of the towns old historic homes.

RV set up at Silver City RV park

Our RV set up at the Silver City RV park, just outside of downtown.

We had a lovely visit with an artist friend and her husband. She made us a yummy dinner of green chile enchiladas with beans and Tecate beer. Our last New Mexican food until we return next Spring.

view from the upper floor window of the museum

View from the upper floor window of the museum

We rode our newly tuned up bikes to her house, it was only 4.5 miles, but the hills! The hills were a killer! Luckily for us, they have a truck and gave us a ride home since it was after dark and VERY cold outside.

20131107-152956.jpg

Aaron and I with Hosana Eilert, the owner of Wild West Weaving

Wednesday morning I went back to town, on my bike this time, to visit the art galleries. I started with a couple of galleries that had been suggested by friends in Las Cruces and also by my local artist friend. The second gallery I went into was Wild West Weaving. Hosana was a lovely lady and very friendly. She represents my friend, Dayna Griego’s, glass art. We got to talking and I told her about my needlepoint designs. This piqued her interest enough that she is going to represent my prints AND fine art needlepoint canvases.

Wednesday evening we had a delicious dinner at the Adobe Springs Cafe. The cafe is in what used to be the office of an old motel. The food was absolutely fabulous! I had a chipotle peach grilled chicken which was like nothing I have ever tasted, spicy, sweet and just plain yummy! Aaron had fried catfish which is a pretty common dish around these parts.

This morning I stopped back at Wild West Weaving and dropped off a bunch of prints for the gallery and got the contract signed. I now have my art represented in a gallery in Silver City! Wild West Weaving is located at 211 Texas in downtown. We took a photo with Hosana, the owner, but for some reason wordpress isn’t cooperating with me on getting it posted here. Hosana not only sells her weaving in the gallery but teaches classes on weaving, dying yarn and setting up looms for weaving. Stop by and see her if you are in town and tell her I sent you! πŸ™‚

This will be my last post for a week, possibly shorter, as we are headed to the Chiricahua National Monument in southern Arizona for some camping and hiking. I will have lots of photos to share once we get to Bisbee. Stay tuned!