My blog post was bumped yesterday for a Valentine’s Day trip to the Peak of the Sandia mountains. It was cold, cloudy and snowy up there, but it was beautiful! If you’ve never been to Albuquerque, the Sandias are the mountains directly to the east of the city. It takes about 30 minutes to drive up to the peak. One of the biggest reasons we love Albuquerque! Usually, you can see the city from the peak, but yesterday everything was covered with clouds.
My Valentine! ❤
This week I’m getting ready for my monthly open studio event. Every month, I open my studio to the public, along with some of the other artists here at Chroma Studios. It’s a great time to get a behind the scenes look at the where I work and what I do everyday. You might even get a great deal on one of my paintings! I have prints available too.
Looking into my studio from the Reception area
The address is 1606 Central Ave SE, ste. 201, Albuquerque, NM. We occupy the whole upstairs of the building. It’s a really cool space with the high windows in the front. I have recently moved back into studio #1, the room I started in 9 years ago when we first opened Chroma Studios. It truly is the prime studio space. I sometimes feel guilty about taking it back, but I think after 8 years, it’s my turn again! 😉
Looking up at my studio window from the front sidewalk
The high windows are on either side of my studio, with one looking out onto Central Ave. and the other one looking into the reception area.
My studio windows
Just a little tease of the artwork I have available for sale! Come by the Open Studios this Saturday to see more! See you there! 🙂
The reception area outside my studio
Posted in albuquerque, albuquerque snow, art, art opening, art show, art space, art studios, artist self promotion, artists, canvas, chroma, Chroma studios, creativity, dreams, flowers, framed art, goals, gratitude, heart, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, Living in the Land of Enchantment, love, marketing, mountains, New Mexico, new work, oils, open studio, open studios, opening, Originals, painted guitar, painted instruments, painting, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, photos, promotion, sale, Sandias, show, snow, snow in New Mexico, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studio, Studio Clearance Sale, studios, Traveling New Mexico, Valentine's day, winter
Tagged albuquerque, Albuquerque art scene, Albuquerque artists, albuquerque snow, art, art opening, art show, art space, art studios, artist self promotion, artists, canvas, chroma, Chroma studios, creativity, dreams, entertainment, flowers, framed art, goals, gratitude, heart, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, Living in the Land of Enchantment, love, marketing, mountains, New Mexico, new work, oils, open studio, open studios, opening, Originals, painted guitar, painted instruments, painting, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, photos, promotion, sale, Sandias, show, snow, snow in New Mexico, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studio, Studio Clearance Sale, studios, Traveling New Mexico, Valentine's day, winter
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
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! 😉 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 canvas 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! 🙂 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! 🙂
Posted in Aaron Lewis, abstract, accomplishments, albuquerque, Arizona, art, artist self promotion, artists, birthday, canvas, clearance, creativity, dreams, etsy, Etsy shop, flowers, goals, gratitude, guitar, house concert, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, large canvas, large painting, music, my story, new painting, new work, new work in progress, oils, original, original oil paintings, painting, painting video, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, Phoenix, photo, progress, promotion, sale, Sandias, shows, spiral abstract series, spiral art, Studio Clearance Sale, Sunlight, trip, Tucson, video, video blog
Tagged Aaron Lewis, abstract, abstract art, abstract oil painting, accomplishments, albuquerque, Arizona, art, artist self promotion, artist's life, artists, Austin, birthday, canvas, Carousel Lounge, clearance art sale, clearance sale, creativity, dreams, etsy, etsy shop, flowers, goals, gratitude, guitar, house concert, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, large canvas, large painting, Life is Good, live music, live shows, music, my story, new painting, new work, new work in progress, oil painting, oils, original, original oil painting, painting, painting in progress, painting video, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, Phoenix, photo, progress, promotion, sale, Sandia Tramway, Sandias, shows, spiral, spiral abstract series, spiral art, Studio Clearance Sale, Sunlight, travel, trip, Tucson, video, video blog
Sandia Mountains with cloud cover
I’ve been struggling with my life as an artist lately. Having been an artist professionally for over 25 years now, some days are just hard. I had this vision where I would be as an artist by this point in my life. It doesn’t really match up with my reality at the moment. Being an artist is a constant struggle interwoven with moments of inspiration and good days.
Yesterday was a cloudy day in New Mexico, today, more of the same. I’m a desert rat, meaning I love the sun! Cloudy days are great, at first, but then the grey emotions set in and I’m a wreck. It’s the reason I paint bright, happy, joy filled paintings. I NEED the sun in my life.
Most often, my inspiration comes from my morning meditation. I start every day with meditation, it helps me stay in a positive frame of mind, helps me keep my inner peace. Before I meditate, I usually read something inspirational. Currently, I’m reading the book
Simple Abundance, A Day Book of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It has a different entry for every day of the year. It was a gift from a dear family friend. I highly recommend it!
Cactus in bloom on the West Mesa
On days like today, when my emotions are raw, I need more than a sitting meditation in my studio. I need to get out of the city and reconnect with Mother Earth. My husband, Aaron, was sweet enough to notice what I needed and we took a drive out to the West Mesa for a short walk at the volcanoes. It was a bit chilly and windy, but it was so nice to be under the great expanse of New Mexico sky with the rain clouds looming overhead. The clouds are so much more beautiful when you are outside than when you are sitting in your office with grey light filtering in from the grey sky.
As we were walking back to the car, Aaron and I were talking about our art and music careers and what’s next. It’s the theme of the day. It was the question I meditated on this morning in my studio. Joyfully, the answer came to me on that short walk with the cool New Mexico breeze blowing through my hair.
It’s time to start over. Wipe the slate clean, heck, throw the slate away and start with a new slate! I am going to go silent online for a while. I have a plan, or at least the inspiration for the start of a plan. Being online, with my blog/website, facebook page, twitter profile, Etsy shop, etc etc, puts so much pressure on me to always produce something new. Blog everyday. Post to my feeds. Sell my art. Create more art. Repeat. I am going to take some time off from my online life. I’m going to reinvent myself as an artist. I’m going to make a plan. I’m going to execute that plan. In my studio. With no online presence. I’m going to take a class. Paint new paintings. Build a new website.
When it’s all done, and I have an idea of where I’m going next. When all the work is done, the new website is up, etc. I will be back. I will make a huge splash all at once! I will know exactly where I’m headed, or at least have a much better idea of my plan to get there. I won’t stress myself out getting there. It’s time for the caterpillar to go into it’s cocoon. The Butterfly will see you on the other side!
Aaron and I during our walk at the Volcanoes
Posted in albuquerque, art, art story, artists, creativity, dreams, goals, gratitude, hiking, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, Living in the Land of Enchantment, love, my story, New Mexico, new work in progress, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, People Who Inspire Me, photography, photos, progress, random things about me, Sandias, studio
Tagged albuquerque, art, art story, artist website, artist's life, artists, blog posts, butterfly, cactus, caterpillar, clouds, creativity, desert rat, dreams, facebook fan page, goals, gratitude, hiking, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inner peace, inspiration, landscape photography, life, Living in the Land of Enchantment, love, meditation, my story, New Mexico, New Mexico artist, new work in progress, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, People Who Inspire Me, photography, photos, progress, rain clouds, reality, Sandias, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance, struggles, struggles of an artist, studio, studio time, sun, Sunlight, twitter, volcanoes, west mesa
There are so many places to see and things to do around here, it’s really hard to pick just one to write about! This week, I decided to write about 10 (make that 11) things to do in the area. Technically, it’s more than ten, as I fit more than one into each number. Next time someone tells you there is nothing to do in Albuquerque, direct them to this post! 🙂
Ride the Rail Runner from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.
The ride alone is worth the trip as it takes you through the lovely New Mexico landscape. The tickets will only cost you $16 round trip! There are many stops along the route to start and if you take the train to the end of the line, you end up in the Santa Fe Railyard which is only a few short blocks away from the Plaza. The Railyard also has galleries and the famous Tomasita’s restaurant.
This May will be the Tram’s 50th anniversary, and though I have lived in NM most of my life, I STILL have not ridden the Tram up the mountain. It’s just one of those tourist things locals rarely do. One day very soon, I plan on it! I have heard from MANY sources that it’s something one MUST do. I guess I prefer hiking up the mountain to riding up! UPDATE, Oct. 2016: I finally rode the Tram! It was awesome!
Speaking of hiking, the Sandia mountains just East of Albuquerque have many, many miles of hiking trails! It can take a full day to hike to the peak, where the tram takes only 15 minutes. I have hiked to the South Crest several times and LOVE it! Please, make sure you go prepared. Water, jacket, hat. Many people have had to be rescued from these mountains because they don’t realize how quickly weather can change in NM. The weather can be warm and sunny in town and cold and rainy at the top of the peak.
This is one of the largest petroglyph sites in Northern America. Volcanic rocks were carved by Native Americans and Spanish settlers up to 700 years ago, leaving behind interesting designs and symbols for us to ponder over. Another cool place to visit, related to the petroglyphs, are the volcanoes on the west mesa overlooking Albuquerque.
Albuquerque has an awesome botanical garden with an indoor aquarium. The gardens are attached to the city zoo by a cool little open air train line that you ride between the two with out having to get in your car and drive. Also, while riding the train between the zoo and gardens, you will pass by Tingley Beach which is a series of three ponds, man made for fishing and remote control boats. In the summer months they have paddle boats you can rent for $10 an hour to paddle around the big pond in. The kids will also enjoy feeding the ducks and geese that call the ponds and river area home. The gardens are my favorite part, they have several different gardens, including a rose garden, Japanese garden and a farm with barn animals and New Mexico homestead. Great place to take the kiddos!
While you are down near the Bio Park, right next door in fact, is the Central Ave. entrance to the Bosque bike and walking trail. The Bosque is the area of trees and open space that surrounds the Rio Grande River.
See a Play.
Albuquerque has MANY theatres, over 35 to be more specific! We can boast that we have the most live performance theatres per capita than any other city in the country. Just about ANY weekend in Albuquerque, you can find a show you might be interested in. The Albuquerque Theatre Guild website is a great place to start your search for that perfect play!
Albuquerque has a great variety of museums for everyone in the family! There is the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Explora, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the Maxwell Museum of Anthopology, the Unser Racing Museum and several more can be found HERE. I’ve linked to all their websites so you can learn more about each one you may have an interest in.
Antique/Thrift Store shopping.
Albuquerque has large variety of Antique shops and Thrift stores. Most are concentrated on Central Ave between Carlisle and San Mateo or on Menaul Ave. between Carlisle and San Mateo, but there are others all over town. You can find some really great deals on a variety of stuff. I could write a post about all the awesome thrift stores in this city. I have spent many hours sifting through the many shops.
This is another attraction I’ve never experienced, but I personally know one of the tour guides and KNOW it’s worth it! Yet another thing I plan to do someday. The Old Town of Albuquerque is VERY old! Over 300 years! There are rumored to be many ghosts living in the back alleys and old adobe buildings.
I hope you will get in touch and come visit me in my studio when you are in the area. I don’t hold retail hours, but I am always happy to open up the studio for out of town guests! You don’t have to buy anything, but I’m always pleased to send an Albuquerque memento home with a fan. 🙂
Posted in albuquerque, Chroma studios, galleries, hiking, inspiration, kids, Living in the Land of Enchantment, mountains, New Mexico, open studio, Paula Manning-Lewis, planning, promotion, random things about me, Sandias, Traveling New Mexico, trip, vacation
Tagged 10 things to do in Albuquerque, Adobe buildings, albuquerque, Albuquerque art museum, Albuquerque theatre guild, Anthropology, Antique shops, Antiques, Aquarium, art museum, artist's life, arts, bike ride, Bio Park, Bosque Trail, Botanical gardens, Chroma studios, galleries, Ghost tours of Old Town, hiking, inspiration, kids, Living in the Land of Enchantment, mountains, museums, Native Americans, Natural history and science museum, New Mexico, New Mexico artist, Old Town Albuquerque, open studio, Paula Manning-Lewis, Petroglyphs National Monument, planning, plays, promotion, Rail Runner, Sandia mountains, Sandia Peak Tramway, Santa Fe, South Crest, Spanish Settlers, theatre, Thrift stores, Tomasita's, Traveling New Mexico, trip, Unser Racing museum, vacation, vacation planning, volcanoes, Zoo
At the top of south crest looking at north crest
Finally the spring is here! Hubby and I enjoyed a great hike to the top of the Sandia mountains on Sunday. This is only the second time we’ve made it to the top! (Actually, we made it to the top of the south crest, north crest is still a ways further!) It was four hours to the top and 2 1/2 hours back down. The weather was perfect, except for a little sprinkle of rain in the last half hour. I took a video of the 360 degree view from the top, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to transfer the video to youtube yet. Help, anyone?? Until I get it figured out, I’m posting a still photo from the top looking north. There is still a good 3 feet of snow at the top in spots!
Unfolding (click to buy)
Also, today I finished this daily journal painting. It was inspired by a blossom on one of my hubby’s cactus. Very cool flower! Once again, an 8 x 8″ H2O oils on recycled handmade canvas board.