Category Archives: Phoenix

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.

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Birthday Week!

Tuesday was my birthday, not saying how old I am! Let’s just say I’m not a Spring chicken anymore! Not a winter chicken either, but somewhere in between. They say age is just a number and I live by that mantra! I’m enjoying my life more now than at any other time in my life. I haven’t spent much time in the studio this week, we went for a ride on the Sandia Tramway on Tuesday evening and have been sleeping in everyday. It IS my week after all!

Current work in progress, 24 x 30" oil on canvas

Current work in progress, 24 x 30″ oil on canvas

I have done a bit more painting on my current work in progress. This is a larger canvas than I’ve been painting lately. A friend gave me the canvas and so I figured I may as well put it to good use (Thanks Stephanie!). This one is an 24 x 30″ oil on canvas. (Darn it! I just cut my finger on the tape measure!) It’s getting very close to completion!

I’m working on updating my portfolio and this means I have several older paintings to clear out of my studio. Check out my Etsy shop for some really great sale prices on some great art! πŸ˜‰ I will be adding more paintings in the coming days and weeks.

Today I will start my next painting video! I’m working on a series of 12 x 12″ oils on canvasΒ  that will be made into a video series. Each painting will be named after a song on our Sunlight CD, Life is Good. The corresponding song will provide the background music for the video as well. I hope you will check back in with my blog, or better yet, subscribe so you can get an email when I post the next video!

Speaking of Sunlight, we have jumped back into playing live shows again after a 2 year hiatus for recording. This weekend we are playing a house concert at our own house in Albuquerque. Our friend, Alison Reynolds, is coming up from Las Cruces to play a set and some songs with Sunlight! On November 12th we are playing in Austin, Texas at the Carousel Lounge! Our first gig in Austin, so exciting! In December, we are traveling to Arizona and have shows in both Phoenix and Tucson. Click the “live shows” link above to see where and when we are playing next! πŸ™‚ Our next local show is December 14th in Rio Rancho. We hope to finish our 2nd album of original music by the beginning of 2017! Stay tuned for more and thank you for visiting my blog! πŸ™‚

“After Funk”

It happens every time. Inspiration. Flurry of activity. Everything done and posted and blogged about. Funk. I call it the “After Funk”, after I’ve worn myself out with inspiration and feeding my muse with creativity, I get into this “funk”.

What’s next?

Should I go back to painting?

Should I make more dolls?

Should I, should I, should I? I have lots of things on my “to do” list, but I’m not sure what to do next.

I spent the morning cleaning up my sewing mess. Pins scattered, threads hanging out EVERYWHERE! Every flat surface covered with remnants and disorder.

There is a roll of primed canvas in the corner calling out my name. I HAD to have it when I found it for $6 at that flea market in Phoenix. Now it sits, sending guilt my way.

Remember me? Remember all the paintings you were going to make?

Then I get sucked back in to Facebook and lose days. NOT THIS TIME!

Time to meditate, take it easy on myself, get all that “work” done. Tax forms to the accountant, listing digital prints in my Etsy shop. Doctor appointment and walking the dogs in the afternoon.

Eventually, my muse will say, “OK, it’s time to get back to being inspired!” Or, work until inspiration comes. It always comes. πŸ™‚

Best Laid Plans…

Every time I get back into the swing of a routine, my life comes along and sweeps me up into it’s flow. I am grateful for my life which is far from boring! It seems like I JUST posted that last blog and now here it is over a month later.

love touches the heart finished oil painting

“Love touches the heart”, 18 x 18″ oil on canvas, SOLD

Lots of things going on in my life these days. As I mentioned in my last post, I just returned from a short tour with my group, Sunlight. We played three shows in Arizona and a couple in Las Cruces and Wednesday of this week we are playing again here in Albuquerque. Music has always been a huge part of my life, but now, being a performer, it has taken on a whole new meaning. I am coming up on my 2 year anniversary as a singer. Who knew it could be this much fun!?

oil painting in progress

“Generous, kind, hearts, shine”, 18 x 18″ oil on canvas, work in progress

Still working on my “Words” series, in fact, since my last post, I finished the painting I was working on (and sold it!) and started two more. One is an addition to the Words series, and the other is a new guitar painting.

guitar painting in progress

“Love knows no gender”, acrylic on wood guitar, work in progress

The guitar painting is inspired by the recent popular issue of marriage equality. I don’t like to be political here on my blog, but I have to admit that I support gay marriage! The ONE necessary ingredient for a successful marriage? LOVE! Hence the name for my latest guitar painting, “Love knows no gender”. πŸ™‚

“Desert Textures”

It’s finally done! πŸ™‚ I cannot even remember how long ago I first conceived of the idea of this series of photographs. It’s been months for sure. There are 14 images so far all together, with more on the way.

I created a poster that features twelve of the close up images. The Desert Textures series is just the first of several Textures series I have planned. The next grouping is “Sky Textures”.

heart flower painting in progress

Current “Words” series painting, still a work in progress

I’m still working on the “Words” painting series alongside this photography series. I have the next painting on my table now, progress photo above.

Photography has always been a favorite side project of mine. I majored in Photojournalism my first year in college and learned how to develop my own film, black and white of course.

I have always said the only reason I didn’t become a professional photographer is because I never seem to have my camera with me when the perfect shot comes my way. I decided last year to change that and bought my first iPhone. I found the Instagram app and that inspired me to start my textures series.

My other current side project is “Sunlight”, a music group I sing in with my husband, Guitar Aaron and our friend, Ray. I guess it’s true what they say about creatives, our attention span is short! I like to think of it as multitasking! There are just so many creative projects to accomplish, and it’s all so much fun! πŸ™‚

Sunlight is going on a short regional tour in March! We will play venues in Phoenix, Tucson, and Bisbee, AZ as well as Albuquerque and Las Cruces NM.

Singing has always been a dream of mine, since I was a wee one. It’s a project we started about 1 1/2 years ago and it has been nothing but a great time! I’m living proof that you are never too old to follow your heart and live your dreams! πŸ™‚

“Words”

oil painting on canvas and wood

“Touch the Soul, Touch the Heart”, 12 1/2 x 12 1/2″ oil on canvas and wood, SOLD

2014 has been a great year so far! I had planned on continuing my weekly blog posts, but my computer had a different plan. I love my iMac but it’s getting a bit old (6 years this October). I decided to take it in for a checkup and we found out that the hard drive was fried. Long story short, I had to have a new hard drive installed and then had to buy a new external cd drive (the old drive hasn’t worked for years, but I had to get a new one to reinstall my software on the new hard drive). Needless to say, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a working computer. It took a few days for our computer guy to retrieve my files from the old HD, luckily I didn’t lose any files! Then I had to wait for the cd drive to be shipped before I could reinstall, yadda yadda yadda!

oil painting on canvas board

“Love Yourself”, 8 x 8″ oil on canvas board, SOLD

Today I have my fully functioning computer back! Thank goodness it cost me under $250! Much better than the $1,500 it would have cost for a new computer!

In the meantime, I have been a painting machine! Not only did I complete 8 new paintings last month, I sold 5 of them before they were complete!

I’m working on a couple of new series currently. One is called “Words” and it’s a collaboration with a good friend or mine. We first met because he was a long time friend of my dad’s. Since my dad’s death in 2008 we’ve kept in touch and last year he came for an extended visit here in Albuquerque.

He recently retired and has been writing poetry. We discussed this long before his visit and I expressed interest in collaborating on a book of poetry with my art for illustrations. This is where the “Words” series began.

Honestly, I cannot remember how long we talked about it before I FINALLY got to work on some new art work specifically for this project. At first, I had thought I would use older pieces that fit his themes, but as I thought about it more I decided it would be much better if I included some of the words from his poems/quotes into my paintings.

Last month I painted 5 paintings for this series, two have my words in them not his, so they aren’t really part of the collaboration but I am including them in the series anyway. I don’t currently have my friend’s permission to post his quotes but I will share the paintings that were inspired by them. Remember, the words in the paintings are just a few key words from the actual quotes/poems.

original acrylic painting on vinyl record

“Fool of Love”, acrylic paint markers on 12″ vinyl record, SOLD

The second series I’m working on is a continuation of my recycled vinyl series. These new paintings are a bit different however. In the past, my record paintings have all had a spiral in the middle section. These are “In the Flow” records and don’t have the spiral in the middle.

original acrylic painting on vinyl record

“Moonlight”, acrylic paint markers on 12″ vinyl record, SOLD

The titles for these paintings are located on the label of the record and I have circled the title on the record and then the painting has evolved organically from the label, sometimes incorporating a design or element from the label itself in the finished painting. I’m really loving this series and apparently so are others as I’ve already sold 3 of them!

original acrylic painting on vinyl record

“Phoenix”, acrylic paint markers on 12″ vinyl record, SOLD

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!