Category Archives: photo

Turkey Creek, Gila National Forest

photo of turkey creek

Shadows play on the surface of the water

This past Sunday was mine and Aaron’s 21st wedding anniversary. We decided to pack a picnic lunch and head out to explore the Turkey Creek Hot Springs trail. Turkey Creek feeds in to the Gila River, or at least it must when there is more water. Either that, or the creek goes underground at some point. The creek bed is currently dry by the time it gets down to the river, but after a couple of creek crossings, the water was flowing quite well. Lots of deep pools for soaking feet!

hidden windmill

It took a while, but we finally spotted the windmill that marks the trail head!

On our way out past the windmill

On our way out past the windmill

The road in is not for the faint of heart! It is a 14 mile drive in from Hwy 180. At about mile 8 the pavement ends and a few miles later the road starts winding it’s way up and over a tall “hill” or what some people call a mountain. The road is narrow, bumpy and there are no guardrails. We drive roads like this all the time, but this is one of the more scary roads we’ve been on. The drop offs at the top are almost straight down! 4 wheel drive or AWD with high clearance definitely recommended!

photo of Turkey creek

Turkey Creek, so pretty!

All that said, the scary drive is well worth the end destination! Aaron’s mom asked why we drive roads like that if they are so scary? Because the reward on the other side is SO worth it! It’s not easy to find the trail head, even with a trail book of directions. There are lots of four wheel drive roads, more like a maze of roads surrounding the Gila River. We had to park a mile or so away from the trail head. Even though we drive an AWD Subaru, the river is quite deep in some spots, so we decided crossing in the car was not a good idea.

turkey creek

Who knew there could be such a beautiful desert oasis hidden in these desert mountains!

Crossing the river by foot is quite refreshing at this time of the year! It was 94 degrees the day we were out there and the cool water felt lovely. After four river crossings, we wandered around a bit, looking for the trail head. There is an old private homestead with a windmill hidden in the trees. This is where the trail begins. Unfortunately for us, after making our way through the maze of roads and backtracking to finally find the trail head, we didn’t have enough time or energy to make it all the way to the hot springs. According to our trail book, the springs are another 3 miles up from the windmill. We made it up about 2 of the 3 miles.

I love these tree trunks! Sycamore trees abound in this canyon!

I love these tree trunks! Sycamore trees abound in this canyon!

Now that we know where we’re going, we hope to make it all the way up to the hot springs next time. We weren’t too disappointed though, considering how hot it was! The cool water in the creek and river were refreshing and more than enough for this trek.

The rock cliffs tower hundreds of feet over the creek bed, though the trees cover most of them from view.

The rock cliffs tower hundreds of feet over the creek bed, though the trees cover most of them from view.

I’m planning on getting back to blogging twice a week. One blog will be about our latest hiking adventure and the other will be about my art. Subscribe to my blog above if you would like to be notified when I post a new blog. You may also want to go to my website and sign up for my email list to get more updates about my art and where our latest explorations have taken us!

Such a gorgeous landscape of rocks, trees and water!

Such a gorgeous landscape of rocks, trees and water!

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Gila Cliff Dwellings

Aaron and I at the entrance of the cliff dwellings

Aaron and I at the entrance of the cliff dwellings

I may have blogged about this before, but it must have been years ago! That’s how long it’s been since Aaron and I visited. I love being back in southwestern New Mexico. It’s a homecoming of sorts. Different town this time around. When I was a kid growing up in Las Cruces, we spent countless weekends and Summers camping, hiking and exploring the Gila National Forest.

Catching the first glimpse of the cave from the trail below

Catching the first glimpse of the cave from the trail below

We brought visiting family and friends here to see the beauty of this vast wilderness. The Gila Cliff Dwellings is one of the most visited spots in the Gila. The other being the Catwalk trail near Glenwood.

The cliff face near the dwellings

The cliff face near the dwellings

When we go hiking with our dogs, we usually stick to trails without other people around. This past Sunday, we left the dogs at home. Mainly because dogs aren’t allowed at the Cliff Dwellings. They do have kennels for the dogs though, just in case!

One of the ancient rock walls of the cliff dwellings with it's distinctive window shape

One of the ancient rock walls of the cliff dwellings with it’s distinctive window shape

The road out to the site is a twisting, turning mountain road with no center line. Though it’s paved, it is definitely a back country road!

The hiking trail up to the cliff dwellings crosses over a small stream several times before zig zagging up the hillside to the ruins. The heat of the sun gives way to the cool of the cave as you climb the wooden ladder into the dwellings that haven’t been occupied in close to a thousand years.

Looking out into the canyon from within the cliff dwellings

Looking out into the canyon from within the cliff dwellings

It’s easy to see why the ancient ones chose this place, up high on a cliff overlooking a mountain spring. A view of the canyon, a source of water, a shelter from the weather.

Looking back as we head down the exit path.

Looking back as we head down the exit path.

If you ever find yourself in Silver City, New Mexico, I highly recommend you take the drive up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. You won’t be sorry you did!

In Limbo…

Two of my painted guitars showing at the NMCCG March-May!

Two of my painted guitars showing at the NMCCG March-May!

A couple of small details to complete and I am ready for hanging my art at the New Mexico Cancer Center Gallery this Saturday.

We’ve had home inspections taking up our time and thoughts the past couple of days and I am so ready to be done with the  whole selling/buying process! In the meantime, we have 2 1/2 weeks left before closing on our house on March 13th. At which point, we will hopefully have our RV ready to live in while we wait the extra two weeks for the closing on our new house.

Until then, most of my studio is packed and in limbo, waiting to get to the new studio. I so look forward to getting back to my regular studio routine and I cannot wait to share photos with you all!

I’m working on staying positive and relaxed, but anyone who knows me personally, knows this is very difficult for me during stressful times. Just another lesson from the Universe I guess! My patience and positive outlook have definitely been put to the test the last 3 weeks. May the next few weeks pass quickly and smoothly!

 

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!

 

Four Seasons Mandala

"Four Seasons", work in progress, 20 x 20" oil on canvas

“Four Seasons”, work in progress, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas

Finished up the background on my most recent painting. “Four Seasons” is getting close! I already have one collector interested in this one, and it’s not even finished yet! I love it when that happens! 🙂

I’m really enjoying the process on this one. At first, I was trying to line up all the lines at the corners of every section. Then I realized how difficult that would be, so I just let it flow. Always a better option!

The blue section represents winter, above that is the Summer section, to the right is the Spring section and the left is Autumn. I used color temperatures and symbols to represent the different seasons.

As we transition from Autumn to Winter, color helps me stay upbeat and happy. I’ll admit, I don’t like the winter, but I’ve been working on finding things I like about the cold weather. May as well make the best of things, right?

Things I like about Winter; Hot coffee, tea or cocoa, homemade hot soups, wearing my knee high boots, sweaters, cuddling under blankets with my sweetie while watching netflix, seeing snow on the mountain while being in the sun in the valley, covering up my middle aged, flabby body with winter clothes, aaaaaand that’s what I’ve got for now. Still working on my list! My favorite thing about Winter? Traveling to warm places for vacation from the cold! lol!

My 2018 calendars are almost ready! They will be available for purchase VERY soon! Stay tuned!

Back to Canvas

It’s been quite a while since I’ve painted on canvas! I’ve painted several murals and a bunch of vinyl records over the past few months. I guess it’s about time.

"Four Seasons", 20 x 20" oil on canvas, work in progress

“Four Seasons”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, work in progress

This new painting in progress is a special project for the latest Sunlight CD cover art. Aaron (my hubby and music partner), had the inspiration for it. Every once in a while he has a great idea! 😉 😉 The title of the album is “Shuffle” and the painting is based on the four seasons. I guess it’s a play on our Sunlight tag line, “Sunlight shines on it all”, and the fact that the sun shines through all four seasons.

This is a new concept for me as I’ve never really painted a mandala in sections like this. I’m having a difficult time keeping it round. Usually, my freehand form of painting is easy to keep round, but with the different sections, not so much. Good news is, this is just the background of the painting. Not exactly sure where it’s going. The muse guides me and tells me what’s next. I just follow the silent cues. The finished painting hasn’t quite revealed itself to me, just yet. Follow me on Instagram if you want to continue seeing the progress.

Speaking of Sunlight, we have just released our first single (Pale Moonlight), from the new CD, which should be released in full at the beginning of 2018. We are really excited about this album as we played with a drummer and bass player. The first CD was mainly acoustic, with guitar and ukelele. We had one song we added drums to, and after that one song, we decided to record the entire 2nd CD with a full band. Plus, I played uke on this one! Have a listen and let me know what you think? Thanks!

Call Me Grammy, Again!

grammy and grandson

Me with my second grandson, born Nov. 16th at 5:29am, weighing in at 8 lbs even. Named after his late great-grandpa, my dad. ❤ I love him so very much!

The day I posted my last blog post I got the call I’ve been waiting for. My son called to let me know his girlfriend was in labor! The baby was on his way! The very next morning, my second grandson was born, but taken to NICU right away. His birth was very fast and he was having trouble breathing. Needless to say, I haven’t been in my studio much over the last few days. He is doing great now and should be leaving the hospital sometime today. He was a healthy 8lbs even. I’m so touched they decided to name him after my dad!

"Four Seasons of the Sun", 20 x 20" oil on canvas, work in progress.

“Four Seasons of the Sun”, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas, work in progress.

Today I started that next painting I was talking about in my last blog. “Four Seasons of the Sun” will be the cover image for the Sunlight CD my husband and I are currently finishing up. It’s been a couple of years in the making, hoping to have it released at the beginning of 2018. So far, the background is what you see, more to come, stay tuned!

I’m excited to announce that I will have not one but TWO calendars available in December! My publisher and I decided to create one for my early, Paula Beck images, and the other will include my later, spiral abstract series. Sign up for my email list if you would like to be informed when they are available for purchase. There will be a limited printing so I don’t expect them to last long.

Last but not least, I’m currently in the middle of my 2017 Black Friday sale! Go to my online art shop and use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY30 at checkout to save 30% on everything on the site! Sale ends Saturday at Midnight!