Category Archives: moving

NM Cancer Center Gallery for a Cause

"Ecstatic", 20x20" oil on canvas, one of the two brand new paintings I did for the NMCCG show

“Ecstatic”, 20×20″ oil on canvas, one of the two brand new paintings I did for the NMCCG show

I’m baaack! My work is basically done for the upcoming show at the NM Cancer Center Gallery for a Cause. I still have to paint a few sides and put hanging wires on the backs. Hanging day is Saturday, February 24th, which is under 2 weeks away! I’m really excited about this show. I’m showing with some great Albuquerque artists and I’m so humbled to be included in a show titled “Movers and Shakers: Works by artists who teach, lead and inspire”. I’m extremely grateful to be included in this truly great group of artists! The show opens with a reception during March First Friday Artscrawl, March 2nd, 5:30-8:30pm. The show is at the NM Cancer Center near Paseo del Norte and I-25.

"Believe", 30x30" oil on canvas, one of the "reworked" paintings for the NMCCG show

“Believe”, 30×30″ oil on canvas, one of the “reworked” paintings for the NMCCG show

I ended up finishing five paintings on canvas for the NMCCG show, three were “reworked” older paintings I never did like. UNTIL I reworked them! Thanks to a critique from the curator, it turned out they were never quite finished in the first place. Now that they are finished, I’m really pleased! I also painted two completely new canvases. I’m deliberately getting into the layering and letting earlier layers show through. It’s exciting to see the evolution of my work. I feel like my style is seriously taking shape over the past year.

"Eternal Love", 30x30" oil on canvas, one of the reworked paintings for the NMCCG show.

“Eternal Love”, 30×30″ oil on canvas, one of the reworked paintings for the NMCCG show.

Even more exciting to me, is that I get to show my guitar and record paintings in this show! Though I didn’t get my final guitar painted in time for this show, I will have two others hanging. Below is the guitar I’m currently working on. Hoping to have it finished in the next week or so.

Guitar painting in progress, acrylics on wood

Guitar painting in progress, acrylics on wood

Hoping is the key word in that last sentence. I’m not going to have a ton of time for painting over the next month because, we sold our house! Our closing is set for March 13th. We are getting close to making an offer on our next house and I promise to share all the details once that is done and accepted. Either way, we have to move out of our house of 17 years by the 13th, which leaves us just over 3 weeks. Luckily, we packed most of our stuff before we put it up for sale. We have very little left to pack, just the last few boxes of things we use daily, and a few pieces of art (give or take 100!).

"Cosmic Love", 20x20" oil on canvas, one of the two brand new paintings for the NMCCG show.

“Cosmic Love”, 20×20″ oil on canvas, one of the two brand new paintings for the NMCCG show.

My goal is to get the show hung and finish up a few projects before we have to pack and move. Hopefully, there will only be a few days with everything in storage before we can move into our new house. Either way, we are taking a short vacation during the lag time! I would love to be moved in and working in my new studio by April, but we shall see!

 

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Happy New Year, 2018!

Feeding my youngest grandson, Danny, named after my dad!

Feeding my youngest grandson, Danny! He is named after my dad. ❤

A fresh new start! I love the New Year, it always gives me that feeling of renewal. A chance to hit the restart button. This year, the new start is personal. We are busy working on getting our house ready to sell. It goes on the market next Monday and we are having a moving sale this weekend. Time to get rid of the old, deep clean, pack up cherished belongings and get ready to move to our dream home! We aren’t sharing where that will be just yet. We have an idea, but we are saving the surprise for once the house is sold and we are on our way! Met with our real estate agent on Tuesday and found out it is now a seller’s market, so I guess our one year wait was worth it. All the street construction is done near our house, FINALLY! Fingers crossed it sells quickly!

Once the cleaning and packing is done, I will get back to my studio and working on my art for the new year. I have another mural coming up in the next month or so, waiting for the tile guy to finish his work before I can start on mine. This one will be down south in Las Cruces, and it will be an interior mural. It will also be my largest mural to date! I’m painting all 4 walls in a pretty large bedroom. Can’t wait!

I also have a show coming up in March at the NM Cancer Center Gallery, so I have a lot of painting on canvas to do to get ready for that.

My two youngest sons with their sons

My two youngest sons with their sons ❤

I hope y’all had a lovely holiday season! I was blessed to be able to finally see my second grandson again last Sunday. Took several photos and was able to hold and feed him. He is looking more like his daddy now. I bought them matching outfits for Christmas. I sure hope they will get the chance to be close cousins. ❤ ❤ ❤

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.

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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! 🙂

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!

Week One

Would it be obvious to say it’s been an eventful week? We pulled out of Albuquerque last Thursday in the late afternoon. It didn’t take long for our first incident…

photo of our dogs in the RV

The dogs were ready to hit the road!

Just after we passed the first Belen exit, which is about 20 miles south of ABQ, the RV started sputtering and then stalled. We pulled over to the side of the road and I struggled not to have a complete meltdown! I fought back the tears, how could this be happening? All this time we had waited to leave town and we hadn’t even made it out of the area yet. As usual, Aaron stayed cool and calm, as he took the engine cover off and started looking at the engine. I suggested Aaron text Chris, the mechanic we had bought the RV from, since he had told us to call him if we had any issues. He responded very quickly and proceeded to ask Aaron questions and then told him that it sounded like the choke was sticking or a float within the carburetor was sticking. He suggested trying to start it with the gas held to the floor and sure enough, it started right back up! Back on the road after a few minutes, we didn’t have any issues after that. The RV runs quite well as a matter of fact. Our conclusion was the carburetor was clogged after sitting in our driveway for over a month.

New Mexico sunset photo

Sunset shot on the way south from Albuquerque

In Las Cruces Thursday evening, we parked the RV in my brother’s driveway. He has one of those great big driveways, especially made for RV parking. How convenient!

Go burger sign

Biggest, best burritos in Las Cruces!

Friday was my birthday! I always take the day off on my birthday, so Friday morning we got up and decided to take a walk to one of our favorite burrito joints in Cruces, Go Burger. That’s one of the nice things about visiting Las Cruces, you don’t really NEED a car. As long as it isn’t the middle of the Summer! This time of year however, the weather was a perfect 78 degrees. We initially thought the walk would take us an hour, but we arrived within 25 minutes and had our yummy chile relleno burritos in another 10 minutes. If you are ever in Las Cruces, I highly recommend eating at Go Burger, they have lots of great Mexican food, but the burritos, with their 12″(at least!) homemade tortillas, are the BOMB! Funny, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a burger there!

chile relleno burrito

Go Burger chile relleno burrito, YUM!

Our trips to Las Cruces usually revolve around food and eating out. The Mexican food is quite different even from southern to northern New Mexico. Having grown up in the south, we like it best! On regular trips to LC we eat as much Mexican as we can, but this trip even more so! Since we are getting ready to leave the state, we are getting our fill of our favorite food from home. Now, I know, I know, you can get Mexican food all over the country these days, but nothing is quite like Southern New Mexico style. The chile is grown locally and is famous for being the best in the world!

That evening my brother and his wife took us out to dinner to celebrate my birthday. We drove out to Old Mesilla, just outside of LC, and ate at La Posta. This restaurant has been around for a LONG time, it opened in 1939, it’s the place you take tourists when they visit. It’s an old historic building built in the 1840s. The food is good, but the atmosphere of the old adobe walls, lots of small rooms connected in a maze, with live parrots in a huge cage in the entrance is what makes La Posta such a magical place to visit. Of course, I didn’t take any photos this time! 😦 I promise to be better about that, still getting used to the idea that I promised to share our adventures!)

outlet and plug halloween costume photo

Aaron and I in our costumes, I was an electrical outlet and Aaron was the plug. I was actually surprised by how many times we had to explain our costume!

Saturday we spent time visiting friends in the afternoon, before my brother took us with him to a Halloween party. His band, Flat Blak, played and Aaron and I even played a few songs with my brother on drums and another friend, Larry, on keyboards. We spent the day driving around town searching for a costume for Aaron and ended up finding a couple costume that was so perfect and funny! I was an electrical outlet and Aaron was the plug! My brother and his wife had matching costumes too, my brother was the dude from Duck Hunter and his wife was an army girl. As usual when partying with my brother, we were up until 4:30 Sunday morning! Needless to say, we didn’t do much other than watch football on Sunday.

Duck Hunter and Army girl halloween costumes

My brother, Travis, and his wife, Charlene

There is still more to share but I don’t want to make this post too long. I will finish up on Thursday. Subscribe to my blog if you want to receive notice of my next post. I had planned to post a new blog every Tuesday, but a week is a long time and a lot to share, so I’m thinking of changing that to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Depending of course on how much we have to share or how busy we are. My next post will take you through Monday to Wednesday of this week. Hopefully, next week’s post will include photos of some new paintings or at least progress on a new painting. It is quite an adjustment to work while traveling, though it is nice to have our “home office” with us while we are on the road. We are currently planning to leave Las Cruces on Friday/Saturday and head to Silver City, NM and the Gila National Forest and Wilderness Area. Stay tuned…..

3, 2, 1….

photo of our view of Albuquerque from our neighborhood park

Our favorite view of Albuquerque, from our neighborhood park, Pat Hurley Park.

The countdown is almost over! In two days we will be pulling out of Albuquerque in our vintage Travelmate motor home and embarking on our latest adventure!

The past month has gone by so slowly, yet here we are, about to leave. We had a huge list of things we had to take care of before we could leave for a long absence. There were home repairs and improvements that had to be done so we could rent our house. We had to move all of our belongings that didn’t fit in the RV into storage. There was painting to be done at Chroma Studios. We had chickens to find a new home for. Our two male dogs had to be neutered! Plus, a bunch of other things here and there that popped up.

We do, in fact, still own a business here in Albuquerque. Chroma Studios is still here and going strong. Luckily, for us, it doesn’t take a lot of time to run and our youngest son is looking for experience with managing a business. He is currently enrolled at our local community college, majoring in business. What better way to learn about business than to manage one? He will take care of day to day operations, though we will still oversee everything from afar.

photo of my new painting area in RV

My new space for painting, yes, it’s the table in our RV!

Because we have spent the last month working on preparations for our adventure, we have had to put our music and art businesses on the back burner for the most part. I am so excited to get back to being creative again! It is the one thing that keeps me sane! Let’s just say this past month has been pretty crazy! We did get a few opportunities here and there to be creative, but now, we will be spending ALL our time on our creative endeavors.

I have a new art project to get moving on, we have new songs to write and learn, and of course, I will be blogging regularly about our latest adventures in travel!

Our first stop is a personal one, we will head south on I-25 to Las Cruces, New Mexico to visit with my brother and his wife for about a week before we go west to Arizona. There may also be a stopover in the Gila National Forest for a bit of decompression time, ie peace and quiet away from everything!

My plan/goal is to post a new blog every Tuesday, possibly Thursdays too. If you aren’t already subscribed to my blog, now would be a great time to do so! Stay tuned for more about our adventure! 🙂

The Big Adventure!

I’m not sure if I have talked about our big upcoming adventure here on the blog before. I guess now is a good time for it, seeing as we are only about 2 weeks from heading out!

If you have read my story, you know that I was a very young mom. I started having my sons at the age of 16. Being thrust into motherhood at such a young age had it’s pitfalls, but I prefer to look on the bright side of things. Though life was tough when I was in my late teens and twenties, the good side of that equation is the fact that now my sons are grown and I am still in my early forties!

My husband and I have been dreaming and planning for the eventual empty nest for years. Now that it’s here, we are ready and raring to go! Our youngest son actually graduated from high school just over 2 years ago. We decided to give him a couple of years before we left town.

Here we are now, a motor home sitting in our driveway, all of our belongings packed into storage or the RV, the house is almost completely ready for our tenants and we will be hitting the road in just under 2 weeks if all goes as planned. We still have quite a to do list to accomplish before we can go, but we are getting there!

Many people have misconceptions about exactly what we are up to, so I figured I would get into a bit more detail here on the blog. Traveling is something we have always wanted to do. We are NOT vacationing or even semi-retired though. We are going to be working while we travel. One of the things we couldn’t do when the kids were younger and still in school, was to tour the country with Aaron’s music. My husband, Aaron Lewis, has been a musician for 25 years. He put his career somewhat on hold all these years. Any musician will tell you that the only way to get your name out there and build a fan base is to tour, regularly. We have made a few trips here and there, but now we are putting our whole hearts into it! Now that Aaron and I are also performing as a duo, we have even more reason to tour.

Another thing we plan to spread around the country is my art work. When I first started out as an artist, over 20 years ago, we would travel around and sell my prints at various shops, galleries, etc. This was before the internet made selling art a bit easier. Even with the internet however, it’s still better to get out in person, visit the galleries I would like to place my art with and connect in person, face to face.

The most important aspect of this adventure is getting out in the world, meeting with fans and friends face to face! We look forward to meeting lots of wonderful people out there on the road, making new lasting friendships and memories we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We are taking our music and art with us and will continue to create new art and music as we go. Stay tuned for updates; blog posts, videos and pictures of our travels.

Living My Life Backwards

Aaron and Paula hiking in the Cibola forest

My husband Aaron and I during our most recent hike in the Cibola National forest, NM

I have always done things backwards. When I was 16 I gave birth to my first son, THEN I got married when he was 4 months old. Divorced by age 25, I found the love of my life when I was 26. Graduated college at the age of 30. Raised all three of my sons by the age of 42. Now at almost 43, I’m living the life of a 20 something! Playing music and making art, no worries in the world. Traveling, taking risks, life is good.

I have often heard people say “youth is wasted on the young”. I agree! When I was in my 20s I was so serious about everything. There was no time for fun and games! Now that I’m in my 40s, my body doesn’t always agree with the active life I lead. If only I could have appreciated my young body instead of being so self condemning. Looking back it’s always easy to see your mistakes and misperceptions. Do you think that will stop me? Heck NO!

A few years ago at one of my art shows, I met an 80 something woman who was such an inspiration. She told me how her “kids” were disgusted with her for acting like she was in her 20s. She was enjoying her golden years, taking trips around the world by herself, but her kids were worried for her safety. I mentioned something about “growing old gracefully” and she corrected me by saying, “I have no intention of growing old gracefully, my goal is to grow young disgracefully”.

Her statement has stuck with me all these years. That is exactly my intention! I plan on using up this body completely, and enjoying every minute of it! I have had many senior citizen friends throughout my life. I LOVE old people! They aren’t afraid of what other people think about them. They do what they want, when they want, and how they want. They have so many great stories to tell. The healthy ones stay active, live life to it’s fullest! It’s the key to a long, happy life, staying active.

My dad never made it to his senior years, he died the day before his 65th birthday. I plan to live way past that, but you never really know when it will be your time to go! My dad was another role model for this way of life. To celebrate his 50th birthday, he went skydiving! Not long after that, he cashed in his retirement fund, bought an RV and traveled around the country for 2 years until the money ran out. Looking back, I’m so happy he did that! He eventually went back to teaching, but he never got to enjoy his actual retirement because he died 2 months before he was set to retire.

view from the top, aspens changing color

View from the top of the mountain, looking across to the opposite peak where the Aspens are changing colors

That’s why my husband and I are working on a plan to put our belongings into storage, buy an RV, and travel around the country, playing music and selling art as we go. We may even backpack across Europe, after we hike the Continental Divide Trail (3,100 miles long!) LIVING LIFE TO IT’S FULLEST! EVERYDAY! THAT is what life is all about. Stepping out of the comfort zone of a boring, everyday life and doing the things you have always dreamed of doing. NOW, before it’s too late. Life is too short to spend it saying “someday”. NOW is the only time you ever really have.