Category Archives: Santa Fe

Friday Funday: Artist Date!

 

Friday is Funday in my art studio. I like to put aside all the “business” stuff and have a day to play and enjoy being an artist. Julia Cameron, who wrote the book, “The Artist’s Way”, which I read for the first time almost 20 years ago, recommends taking yourself on an “Artist date”. This is something you do to feed your inner artist. Whether it be going to an art supply store and browsing supplies, or going to an art gallery or museum and looking at art for inspiration. You can do what I do and play in your studio or wherever you make your art.

I forget about this a lot of the time but it’s a great idea! Not just for artists either! EVERYONE should have self dates to feed their creativity or their spirit. You can go it alone or with a friend. Museums and galleries always fuel my inspiration. There is nothing quite like seeing what other artists are doing to light a fire deep inside me to create something new. I recently made a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe with some out of town visitors. Georgia’s work has always had a way of making me want to go out into the desert and paint a landscape. Even though it’s been YEARS since I painted a landscape!

This week, I decided to stay in the studio and paint. This would seem like a normal day in the studio for me but for Friday Funday it’s all about being free and not trying to control what I’m painting. No judgements, no mistakes, just FUN!

8 x 10" oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, "Abstract flower".

Playing with paint today this 8 x 10″ oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, “Abstract flower”.

Today, as everyday, I started with a 20 minute meditation. I had another painting show itself to me today (see above). Before this week, it had been about a year since I had taken out the paints and brushes. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was looking for something new to do. My thinking was I needed to make art that was functional. Something that would be used and not just hung on a wall or stuck in a closet.

It started last summer with creating an adult coloring book. Interactive art! I hand drew 20 mandalas and published my own book. Now available in printed and pdf format in my Etsy shop.

After the coloring book I was reminded of how much I enjoy sewing and pulled my dusty old sewing machine out of the closet, and had it cleaned up and serviced so it would work again! I found Spoonflower.com and designed my own custom fabric using my art. I started making dolls and art pillows using my custom art fabric.

Now that I’ve totally taken a tangent from my original topic, I will come back around to say it’s all related! Art and creativity is all about play! It’s about going with the flow and creating whatever comes to mind. Why be pigeonholed by painting? Painters can create in other mediums too. The coloring book project forced me to pull out pencils and markers to make line drawings. The sewing project took me completely out of my normal creation zone and back to being a kid who made dolls for the State Fair. Not to mention creating custom fabric bringing out the graphic designer in me to create designs in photoshop.

What I’ve learned from the whole process is sometimes it’s important to do things differently. When we feel like we are in a rut, shake things up! Get out of your comfort zone. Instead of painting, try your hand at ceramics or sewing! I still have an urge to make pottery, but haven’t gotten that far just yet. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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Artist Interview

Pulling this one out of the archives. This is an interview video I did back in 2010 when we were still running Chroma Gallery. The first half of the video is about me and the second half is about Chroma. While Chroma still exists, it’s now studio spaces only, no more gallery. After a couple of years running a gallery, I decided that was NOT what I wanted to do. I’m an artist and will always be an artist. 🙂 Enjoy!

Paula's Blog

This video interview was part of a project we did here at Chroma Gallery starting in December. Reinhard Lorenz is the film maker who filmed and edited the work for us, so a big thanks to him for everything!

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The Experiment is Over

photo of a New Mexico mountain meadow

New Mexico mountain meadow, who says NM isn’t green?!

We spent 13 months without a car. It was a great experiment! I really enjoyed riding our city buses and walking everywhere. There were only two things we knew we would miss about not having a car, 1. day trips to the mountains to go hiking and, 2. having a way to haul things. Number 2 was taken care of by the generosity of our parents letting us borrow their cars once or twice a month. I believe we were able to get a hike in only 2 or 3 times during the year, and that was what made us finally break down and buy our truck. We still plan to use the public transit and walk as much as possible, but it sure is nice to be able to hop in our truck and take a trip to the mountains.

Sun shining through the Aspens

Sun through the Aspens

We bought our “new” truck last week and spent the next few days fixing up a few things on it so we could go out on Tuesday to HIKE! I’m so happy that we did! We bought a 1987 Ford Bronco II, 4×4. On Tuesday, we took off north of Albuquerque to the San Pedro wilderness in the Santa Fe National Forest. We hiked a portion of the Continental Divide Trail, something we have been fantasizing about for months as we saved to buy our truck. The truck gets the same gas mileage as our old van, but the bonus is, we can go much further into the wilderness with 4 wheel drive!

photo of large aspen grove

We hiked at least a mile through a large Aspen grove, some of the trees were at least 80 years old, judging by the carvings on them from 1934!

On the way up the mountain, I was looking out at the forest and enjoying the scenery, trying not to pay much attention to the CRAZY 4 wheel drive road we were on, high up in the mountains with no guardrails! Luckily, my husband has lots of experience driving those types of roads. Still, it was better if I didn’t look ahead of us! Anyway, while I was watching the forest roll by, I could SWEAR I saw what could have possibly been a BIGFOOT! I so wish I would have had my camera out! What I saw, clear as day, was an upright, tall creature, yellowish brown colored, run through the trees to our right. By the time I asked my husband if he saw what I saw, it was gone. We were DEEP in the forest, on a 4 wheel drive road that had obviously not been traveled in a LONG time. We didn’t run into any people on our hike or anywhere on the 3 separate forest roads we drove on that day. If you have never been to the northern New Mexico wilderness, this is REMOTE country. FREAKED me out! To say the least!

photo of our pooped puppies

Juju and Raven at the end of the hike, Raven was pooped, but Osa was nowhere to be seen, she was having way too much fun chasing squirrels!

By the time we got to the trail head though, I had forgotten all about it. We were going HIKING! The dogs were THRILLED! We ended up going on a 4 hour hike through some of the most beautiful forests I have seen yet. There was at least a mile long Aspen grove with trees that had been carved by people (I hate it when people do that!) as far back as 1934! I love imagining the first people who walked through the forest, perhaps they marked the trees so they could find their way back the way they came.

photo of aaron and his truck

Aaron and his new “baby”, he even got to splash through some mud!

My husband was in heaven, driving his new 4×4 that switched very smoothly into 4 wheel drive and then back out again once we got off the mountain. What a wonderful day! Just the first of many to come!

photo of me with Juju at the end of the hike

Me with Juju at the end of the hike! I was standing on a tree stump, but Aaron cut off my feet in the photo!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Wow! Time has flown since my last post! I have been super busy with everything going on, but it’s all good stuff, so I’m happy. We are still showing the new studio space to prospective renters. We were down to only 2 spaces left but unfortunately, a couple people had to back out on us so now there are 4 spaces available again. If you are interested you’d better jump on it soon though, we are making the rounds at First Friday this week so I don’t expect there to be any spaces available after the weekend!

Lots of other exciting things happening as well! My husband will be appearing on television tonight on two different shows. They are both local cable access channel shows so unfortunately you have to be local to catch them. However, he does get a dvd of his appearance so I know he will be posting some video on his blog and youtube as soon as he can.

Also, it looks like a may have a position as curator for a local arts and entertainment venue. I don’t want to mention any names until I know for sure. I should be meeting with the current curators soon. I will keep you posted.

I am close to finishing the second of two large canvases I’ve been working on over the past few weeks. They are reserved for a gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe. Again, I don’t want to mention any names until I know for sure. I have taken some video of the first one and I’m waiting for my camera batteries to charge so I can upload and post it.

And in other news, I have several new needlepoint designs that will be released to the public at a trade show in Dallas next month. I have promised to save them for the show, so until then I can’t post photos here.

The best news for me is that I’m finally feeling better after suffering through a bout with the flu for the past 3 weeks! It was the strangest sickness I’ve ever had. There is definitely a new strain going around this year! It seems just about everyone I know has had it and some of them have suffered for over 3 months! So, I count myself lucky to be feeling better after only 3 weeks! I just pray I don’t relapse!

It’s a beautiful life!

So much going on right now, I barely have time to breathe! Figured I’d write a quick post to let you all know what’s up. Several deals in the works, can’t really say much until I know more, but stay tuned and I will keep you posted.

I’m working on my largest canvas to date, a 48 x 48″ oil painting, a new spiral abstract flower.

I have a couple of Canyon Road galleries in Santa Fe interested in seeing more of my larger work which is why I’m busy painting more!

Preparing to move in to my new studio (again, I know, I’ve only been in this studio for 1 1/2 months!) at the beginning of March. Much nicer place(heat and air conditioning!) with a gallery too!

Spring is coming! I love this time of year! I’ll post more news soon, I promise!

Gallery show at The House of Lyndon


So, the gallery show was fantastic! There was a good turnout of people and I had some great conversations with many different people. The gallery owner, Lyndon Tsosie, is such a friendly guy! It was great to finally meet him in person and see his work. He makes these amazing jeweled and silver boxes and is an internationally known artist. Google his name to see some examples of his work. One regret is that I forgot to get a picture with him!

Great turnout!

There was an article in the local paper, and one of the people that came in said they had heard about it on the radio. I have never felt so special and pampered as an artist! The gallery put us up in a hotel, where we enjoyed soaking in the hot tub after the opening. Lyndon believes that his artists should be treated well! I wish more gallery owners felt this way, but I guess it helps that he is an artist himself and knows what it feels like.

Aaron playing in the front window!

Oh, and my husband played guitar for the opening too. It was such an honor to be included in this show as the other artists involved all have amazing work! The only unfortunate thing is that I didn’t make a sale, but there were several people interested in my work, so perhaps I will have a sale sometime this month. Plus, we were invited back to show again in August. The best thing is that for a small town, Gallup had a great turnout for their artscrawl! I have had openings here in Albuquerque (compare populations; Gallup, 50,000 to Albq., 500,000) where the only people that showed up were the artists and their families!

My mom and her husband, Tom (forgot to get a photo of my dad, but thanks for being there dad!)

I was so nervous about this show last week, as it was the first time I’ve shown my new body of work. I received a LOT of positive feedback! So, I guess the best part of this show is that my confidence in my new work has grown by leaps and bounds! Next goal….. a gallery in Santa Fe!

Talking about the art

Procrastination

So, once again, procrastination has snuck up on me and I have less than two weeks to finish everything up for the March gallery show in Gallup. I don’t have a lot to get done, but I’m stressing just the same. I’m excited about this show, but at the same time a little aprehensive. This is the first gallery show I’ve had in years! Mainly because I have been in a transistion period in my art. I didn’t want to show my new abstracts before I was ready. Now that I’ve been showing them online and getting positive feedback, I think I’m ready to officially introduce my new style in the gallery world!

One of my goals this year is to get back into a gallery in Santa Fe. I used to sell my prints in a gallery on the Plaza many years ago when I was still Paula Beck. Now that I have my new body of work, I’m ready to get back into Santa Fe. Things have changed since the 90s when I last sold there, rents have gone up, galleries have moved away from the plaza to open up on Canyon Road. I’ve grown as an artist too and I don’t feel as intimidated by the Santa Fe galleries as I once was. So, that is another thing I have to finish this week, my catalog of works. Can’t remember if I’ve written about this here before, but I’m creating a cd rom of my new works. Things sure have changed since I started out and everyone wanted slides!!

So, if I’m not around much in the next couple weeks, you now know why!! I will try to post some photos of the show too, once it is hung. The opening is on March 10th, so if anyone is in Gallup, NM, please come by and see it in person! 🙂