Category Archives: cold

Let’s get this ball rolling!

Aaron and I standing in front of my art at the Common Ground Gallery in Silver City. The art show has been extended for the whole month of October!

Aaron and I standing in front of my art at the Common Ground Gallery in Silver City. The art show has been extended for the whole month of October!

I had a great time in Colorado last week, though it was cold and rainy the entire time I was there. I am so glad I went to the Artist Mastermind Workshop, it was worth every penny! I am loaded up with goals and a new planner, ready to take on the Holiday season.

Me with my art at the gallery show in Silver City

Me with my art at the gallery show in Silver City

I have so much work to get done in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be putting together my 2019 calendar today. It will be available to purchase sometime next week. I have a new portfolio of paintings to release by October 25th. Everyone on my email list will get a preview of the new collection by the end of this week. I’m also giving away one of the originals from the collection to one lucky person on my email list. Sign up for my list on my website to be automatically entered.

So many cool rock formations in the Gila National forest!

So many cool rock formations in the Gila National forest!

I won’t be painting this week with all the business stuff I have to accomplish. I will share some of my favorite photos instead. I’ve been thinking about putting my favorite photographs on my website. I’ve always loved taking photos and there is so much material for excellent photos around here!

Our new truck in it's happy place, Gila National Forest!

Our new truck in it’s happy place, Gila National Forest!

I’m working at the house as much as possible this week. We are experiencing an early cold front in southern New Mexico and my studio is not yet insulated. Luckily, I have a wood burning stove, but it takes hours to warm up the whole space. At least the sun is out today, it’s supposed to be back in the 60s by the weekend.

One of my favorite wild flowers, purple Asters

One of my favorite wild flowers, purple Asters

I’m so grateful for everything in my life! If someone had told me I’d be here at the end of my forties, I would not have believed it. Thank you so very much for your interest in my art and my blog! I appreciate each and every one of you! Life is good. ❤️

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Happy New Year!

Aaron and I at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Aaron and I at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your Holidays. I really did enjoy all the time spent with my family in 2016. We also had a really fun and successful mini-tour to Arizona with our music. Sunlight performed in Phoenix, Tucson and Ajo, AZ and we were very grateful for the turnout and CD sales!

Margaritas in Mexico!

Margaritas in Mexico!

While in southern Arizona, we visited the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It was awesome to see all the huge cacti! Saguaros and Organ Pipe Cactus were everywhere. We took a short hike, but it was quite cold while we were there. Of course, it warmed up into the 70s on the day we left.

Serenaded by Mariachis

Serenaded by Mariachis

We made a very quick trip down to Mexico for dinner one of the days we were visiting in Ajo. It was supposed to be a full day trip, but my sweetie woke up sick that day and ended up sleeping until 3 in the afternoon. Once he got up, we decided to go for it and drove down to Puerto Penasco for a wonderful dinner by the sea! The food was great, even if the weather was COLD and windy. Our waiter was awesome and brought us our own personal heater. We practiced our Espanol with him and he practiced his English with us. Other than the trucks of soldiers riding around with automatic weapons, nothing was out of the ordinary. I guess the soldiers were there to protect the tourists. Like I said, nothing out of the ordinary!

Javelina helping himself to some grub in the garbage

Javelina helping himself to some grub in the garbage

I saw my first live Javelina while we were in Ajo! Apparently, they are regular visitors to the dumpster there. I only got one photo of one of them, but at night we were surrounded in our car by a herd/pack? of them! It was quite interesting, like watching a nature show in person! haha!

Our dear, sweet Raven. May she RIP :(

Our dear, sweet Raven. May she RIP 😦

We arrived home in Albuquerque just in time for Christmas and spent several great days hanging out with our kids, siblings and parents. Only one day was a sad day, as we had to have one of our fur babies put down at the end of the year. She was old and sick, but Raven will be greatly missed! She was a great dog. ❤

Cannabis coloring page, will be available in The Chronicle sometime this week!

Cannabis coloring page, will be available in The Chronicle sometime this week!

The last week of the year I was asked to create a coloring page for a new local quarterly paper. The Chronicle is New Mexico’s Cannabis Magazine. I created a Cannabis Mandala coloring page for the first issue of 2017. It was quick and fun, check out their website for more information.

Living in the “Land of Enchantment”

Clouds, Trees and meadow in the San Pedro Wilderness Area

Before the snow, one of the many beautiful meadows in the San Pedro Wilderness Area

Ah, Spring in New Mexico! So many varieties of weather available to chose from! Rain, wind, sun, snow! If you’ve never been to New Mexico, you may not realize that our state is more than JUST a desert! We have mountains and meadows, rivers and lakes, snow topped tundras and then there are the deserts. There is a reason the state motto is “The Land of Enchantment”.

hiking trail covered in logs in the San Pedro Wilderness Area

The trail is covered with logs to give you some traction when the water is flowing and/or standing

There is currently a storm front moving through the state that has dumped snow in the northern part of the state while down south, they are getting highs in the 70s and 80s! New Mexico is a VERY diverse state. Diverse in our landscapes, diverse in our people. Is it any wonder why I love it here!?

tall Aspen tree in the San Pedro Wilderness Area

There are Aspen groves alongside Evergreen trees, very TALL trees!

Watching the weather report this morning, reminded me of a hike Aaron and I took a few years back. It was our anniversary, June 10th, and we decided it was time to head up to one of our favorite hiking spots. It is a summer only trail, as there is usually plenty of snow in the winter. Unless, of course, you have snow shoes! I’ve never been much of a snow lover myself, but NM also has some great skiing areas. The San Pedro Wilderness area is part of the Santa Fe National Forest. A bit west of the Jemez mountains, just east of Cuba, NM and about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Albuquerque. It is almost always wet up there, but that year? We got snowed on! It wasn’t a heavy snow, but wet, and it stuck pretty well to the green grass.

Lake Gregario in the San Pedro Wilderness Area

One side of Lake Gregario, such a beautiful sight!

Let’s just say we didn’t make it very far that day. We were not prepared for snow and so we turned around and headed back down the mountain, after we sat and enjoyed our lunch in the falling snow! San Pedro Wilderness is a wonderful place! The trees are tall and there is a lake for fishing as well. The trail we usually hike is called the “Las Vacas” trail, which is Spanish for “the cows”. You have to be careful not to step where the cows have been, it can be pretty messy! At least there is a stream to clean off your shoes, just in case!

Osa sneaking up on ducks at the lake in the San Pedro Wilderness Area

Osa THINKS she is sneaking up on the ducks, but they aren’t fooled!

Our dog, Osa, LOVES this wilderness! So many smells and places to explore. One of the best things about this trail is there are rarely any people on it past the lake which is about 3/4 mile up from the trail head. Osa loves this because she gets to run free without her leash!

Snow at the top of the mountains in the San Pedro Wilderness Area of New Mexico

And then there was SNOW! Yes! Snow in June in New Mexico

This forest is quite literally a rain forest. Ferns grow here and boy, the bugs are pretty bad! We have hiked to the top of the trail, the ridge that follows the tops of the mountains, and it almost always has at least an inch of standing water. It’s too bad we can’t transfer that moisture to other parts of the state at times. It’s green and lush and the meadows are gorgeous! Wildflowers abound in the late Spring and early Summer. It’s a great place for camping, just make sure you take your rain gear and a waterproof tent!

Snow on the ground in the San Pedro Wilderness Area

And MORE snow!

Last Summer, we took a backpacking trip on this trail and ended up coming home after one night because our brand new backpacking tent leaked like a sieve and we were drenched! Even so, we have several happy memories of the place. Looking forward to the day when we can head back up there, I guess it will have to wait a bit longer for the snow to melt all the way. 😉

The Rio de las Vacas or River of the Cows in the San Pedro Wilderness Area

The Rio de las Vacas or River of the Cows

Step two, Facebook Detox

My religion is nature. That’s what arouses those feelings of wonder and mysticism and gratitude in me.
~Oliver Sacks

The logical next step in my quest for ending my addiction to Facebook is detox. I need to get it completely OUT of my system. The best way I know of to stay off the internet and specifically, Facebook, is to get away from any and all wifi networks or modems. This is not an easy thing to do! Thankfully I live in a state with LOTS of empty space and very little LTE signal! My favorite way to get grounded and get away from it all is to go camping!

aaronpaulabernie

Aaron and I with little Bernie while hiking

We headed out Monday around noon and drove a couple hours south and west of Albuquerque to a lovely secluded campsite in the Cibola National Forest. There was a slight signal (3G), but it wasn’t enough to get online. Trust me, I TRIED! (I told you I am addicted!) Just enough signal to get a text message, but not quite enough for facebook, thank goodness!

thewholegang

The whole gang on the hiking trail, Left to right, my brother, Travis, his wife, Charlene, me and Aaron with little Bernie down on the trail

I won’t lie to you and say I haven’t been on facebook since our return to civilization, but  once you break that cycle of obsession, it’s much easier to stay off.

There is nothing better for the soul than a trip to the wilderness and a nice 6 mile hike to detox all of that nasty technology out of your system. Yummy ribs cooked over a campfire, time with loved ones, talking face to face, roasting a few marshmallows, sleeping on the ground. It will cure whatever ails you! Now, if I can keep going with my recovery and STAY off Facebook! I think I can, I think I can! 😉

viewshot

That VIEW was spectacular!

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! 🙂 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! 🙂

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! 🙂

YAY Spring!

The past couple of days have been so amazing! Temps in the high 60s, sunshine! Finally coming out of that “last days of winter” funk! Being reminded of why I love living in central New Mexico. We have 4 seasons that pretty much stick to the days on the calendar. Winters are usually pretty mild and short with plenty of sunny, warm days thrown in. So, needless to say, I have spent the last couple of days outside as much as possible! Walking the dogs, hanging out in the back with the chickens, riding the bus/walking around town running errands. So, though it’s been fun, it’s time to get back in the studio and get some work done.

I found out on Monday that my bid was accepted for a mural project. The mural is for a church preschool and will be my first mural ever! I’m so excited, cannot wait to get started on it! Below is a rough sketch of the idea. The preschool is called “Lambs of Grace” and hence the lambs in the meadow. Work will begin on the mural as soon as it’s warm enough to paint outside, so hopefully very soon!

colored pencil sketch lamb mural

Preliminary sketches for Lambs of Grace mural

Today began another weekly art auction, as always starting bid is $9.99. In celebration of Spring, this week’s painting is one that I painted during a cold front at the beginning of December, “Cold Blows In”.

original oil painting on canvas board flower cold

"Cold Blows In", 8 x 8" oil on canvas board, $9.99 starting bid