I’m so happy to be back in the studio! I had a lovely Holiday break, time with family, lots of snow and thankfully, some serious peace and quiet. I’m rested and ready to get back to work.
I haven’t had the chance to paint just yet, so no progress pics to share. I figured it would be a good time to share some of my photos from the snow storm that hit just AFTER Christmas.
It was probably a good thing it snowed two days after Christmas, or our kids wouldn’t have been able to get home to Albuquerque! We were so happy to have all three of our sons, one DIL and one grandson down to visit for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We had a great time playing “Cards against Humanity”, Jenga and “Speak Out”, a hilarious game everyone should play at least once! I haven’t laughed that hard in years!
We had planned on hiking everyday during our vacation, but the weather had other plans. We did take a couple of hikes in the snow, but once it started to melt, the hiking trails were way too muddy! While we enjoyed hanging around the house and watching movies and reading, the dogs were less than overjoyed.
Once the roads cleared up, (the mountain pass highway from I-25 to our house was closed for days!) we made a trip to Las Cruces and then to Cloudcroft to visit more family. I’m happy to report my art will soon be showing at a new Bakery/Coffee shop/Gallery in downtown Cloudcroft, Eight the Cake.
Summer break is officially over now. Aaron went back to work yesterday. We had company visiting, so I’m starting back today. I haven’t painted on canvas since June, but I did paint the house! We spent Aaron’s Summer break working on the house and exploring our new home. We hiked many miles and found some really beautiful areas. Mountain streams, lava flows, old dead trees, and an abundance of birds and wildlife. I probably took a couple hundred photos! We are settled in now and enjoying our new home to it’s fullest. I’m grateful to be living the dream!
Dusty hiking in Spring Canyon
I keep going back and forth about keeping my studio here at home or finding a place in town (Silver City) to rent. After searching town and making a few calls, it seems there isn’t much available and what is available is a bit overpriced. For now, I’ve decided to keep my studio at home.
On the scaffolding, painting the back side of the house
With all the hiking trails in the area, I’ve decided to start blogging about our hikes on a regular basis. My goal is to blog 2 times per week. One will be about hiking the Gila and the other will be my art update for the week. Fingers crossed I can accomplish this goal! Our internet connection is spotty out here, so it will depend on how reliable it is on the days I blog.
View from atop the Black Range Crest Trail, this trail goes through a forest fire area from the Silver fire in 2013
Hiking is a walking meditation for me. There is nothing more calming or inspiring. My footsteps and breathing create a rhythm that takes me to another plane of perception. The trick is keeping that perception after the hike is over. Most of the time, it leaves as soon as I hop back in the car after a hike. My wish is to get to a point where I can keep that feeling while sitting here in my studio.
On the trail
During our hikes I have been thinking a lot about writing. Words flow to me during my hiking meditations and I would love to get this flow down into words. That is what I’m working on. As a visual artist, words can be difficult. Putting what I see into words is not an easy task.
Another view from the Black Range Crest Trail
That said, the urge to write is becoming stronger than my aversion to writing.
I don’t know that what I have to write/say is important to the world in general, but it’s important to me and perhaps someone else will get something from it too.
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!
It took a while, but we finally spotted the windmill that marks the trail head!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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!
I’ve really enjoyed the month of October this year! My birthday is the 25th, and in the past I’ve only ever celebrated my birthday. This year, I decided to change that and celebrate my birth MONTH.
I’m feeling especially blessed this year as I was able to paint TWO murals during the month! I’m really excited about painting murals, it is so much fun to paint large and murals fit the bill, not to mention, I don’t have to store large paintings when I’m done. They live where they are painted! I think the best part is that they are living with people who truly appreciate and love them!
I took extra time off this month too. I enjoyed hikes with my family, time with my grandson and of course my sweetie, a baby shower for my 2nd grandson, dinners out, the Frida Kahlo photograph exhibit at the UNM Art Museum, time in Las Cruces with my brother and sister-in-law and much more! It’s been a great month and I am very grateful.
I apologize for the lack of blog posts, but I was so busy with murals and other stuff, the blog practically slipped my mind all month!
Oh, and there was the jaw pain! I’ve been in pain for most of the month. I finally broke down and went to the dentist last week and found out I have to get my one, final, wisdom tooth pulled on Nov. 7th. After a round of antibiotics and steroids, the pain is mostly gone, but the pressure is building and I cannot wait to get this tooth out of my head!
This weekend is my 30th High School reunion! I cannot believe it’s been that long already, but I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone! Aaron and I will be playing some Sunlight music for my classmates at the Saturday evening dinner.
Coming up on November 11th, is the “Face-Palm Patriots”, Veterans Art Show I’m participating in at the KD Neeley gallery in Downtown Albuquerque. This show will benefit the local organization, Heroes Walk Among Us. This is the show I’ve been working on the Self-portrait for. I’m just about finished with it, I have to take it to the gallery tomorrow! I’m pretty pleased with the outcome, considering it’s my first portrait in over 12 years!
Self Portrait for the upcoming “Face-Palm Patriots” Veteran art show at the KD Neeley gallery in downtown Albuquerque.
I’m excited to share that I am getting ready to paint another mural! This one will be out of town, I’m going to Las Cruces (my hometown) to paint a mural for my brother and his wife. Needless to say, I will be filming another time lapse video for this one, so stay tuned. I’m going to paint this one the weekend of October 7th. Below is the design sketch. The drawing isn’t to scale as I don’t have the exact measurements of the wall just yet. If you live in Las Cruces, you will be able to drive by to see it as this one is being painted on a wall in their driveway. I will share the address once I’m down there working on it. I’d love to have you stop by for a visit and you can watch me paint if you want. 🙂
This weekend I am showing some of my art at the Healing Winds Psychic Fair! I will be there for sure all day Sunday, 10-6, at The Source, 1111 Carlisle Blvd SE. I will mainly have prints with a few originals available. My prints make great gifts! Prices start at $15! Come by and say hi! It should be a fun and enlightening time!
This is the last week of my show at the Sierra Club office here in Albuquerque. I pick up my work on Thursday afternoon. You can see the pieces from the show on my website.
This past week has been a rough one. It started out on a high note on Tuesday with negotiations for a contract with a management company that wants to represent my art and publish my Paula Beck Prints book. I’m still negotiating, but that had to be put on hold Wednesday afternoon.
An uncle of Aaron’s was in a horrific motorcycle accident and we got the call around 2:00 Wednesday. You may have heard about it on the local news. A truck was going the wrong way down I-25 and hit him head on. The doctors didn’t think he would make it past Wednesday night, but he did. He’s a fighter and he’s still fighting everyday to stay alive. Needless to say, we have dropped everything this past week to be at the hospital with him and other family members. It’s times like this that put everything into perspective. Life is so precious and we take it for granted so often. I’ve had these moments in life before and I always say I will never take another day of my life for granted.
Not always easy when you get back into the swing of everyday life. Let this serve as a reminder, hug your loved ones every chance you get and never let a day go by without telling them you love them. There is so much pettiness and unnecessary drama in our day to day lives, I’m guilty of it too. I’m still a work in progress, but I will work everyday to not sweat the small stuff. As they say, it’s ALL small stuff.
I’m still finding it hard to concentrate on anything I need to work on or get done, but I had to try today. I’m trying my best to be a strong shoulder of support for my husband and his family, after all, they are my family too. Please send prayers and positive energy for healing. It’s going to be a long road to recovery, and we are just taking it one day at a time for now.
Varnished, whole and ready to show! “Burning up for your love”, acrylic on solid Fender body, Available “as is” for $1,000. Price will go up once all the parts are added.
My solo show at the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club opens this Friday, 6-8pm. Tomorrow morning the show will be hung and ready to go! Today I took the guitar and neck to the guitar shop for connection. I’m excited about finishing up my first playable art guitar! It will be shown this month, as is, but after the August show comes down this guitar will get all it’s pick ups, tuning pegs and knobs, wiring, etc. Then it will be ready to be PLAYED! Until then, I had Aaron model the guitar for me, he’s a natural! 😉
My guitar playing husband modeling the new guitar for me! 😉
We went camping last week, in case you were wondering why there were no blog posts. We spent a few days with my brother and sister in law at the lake. They just got their boat up and running for the first time in YEARS, so we had to take it out for a test run! I had forgotten how much I love to swim! It was hotter than hell, but the water was PERFECT!
Me with (l to r), my brother Travis, Aaron and our SIL, Charlene.
After 3 days at the lake, I came home to a request from a local architect friend of ours. His firm, Design Group, is building a playhouse for Parade of Playhouses, an auction gala to benefit local non profit, NM Appleseed. His request was for my contribution to their playhouse project, in the form of painting a set of wooden gears that will be on the wall of the playhouse. The theme of the house is Dr. Suess. I was given the gears, a color scheme and the theme and this is what I ended up with. I am always happy to contribute my art work to good causes and NM Appleseed is a good one. From their website, “Focusing on issues like hunger, education and homelessness, New Mexico Appleseed’s goal is to make systemic change that yields permanent or long term improvement for the poor and under served.”
I am in full show prep mode now for my show at the Sierra Club offices in Albuquerque during August. This show will be recycled art only! My latest guitar along with 8 recycled vinyl record paintings. Here is the latest time lapse video for the vinyl painting, “Happy”. The original music is by my husband, Aaron Lewis. Enjoy and feel free to share! Thanks!
I married the love of my life! This Saturday is our 20th anniversary. It has flown by, I still cannot believe all the life we have lived together. I am so grateful to have found my soulmate during this lifetime! June is a crazy month for us, yesterday was Aaron’s birthday (Father’s day coming up soon!), so we took it somewhat easy and spent some time with our grandson in the afternoon. He was in a happy mood, so it was a blast. It’s so much fun being a grandparent! What is it they say? If I had known it would be this much fun, I would have done this part first! lol. Aaron and Ben took a little nap together yesterday and I was able to snap my new favorite photo of the two of them.
Aaron and Benny napping
I started on the mural last Friday and have had a few days to work on it so far. Of course the weather decided to be nice and HOT this week! Luckily for me, the homeowners have an Ez-up canopy they put up for shade and lots of ice cold lemonade. Sandy and Jeff have been really great during the whole process, thanks guys! This photo was taken this morning before I started painting again. The green sections have been started since I took this one. I’m filming a time lapse of the whole process, I will share it once it’s complete. I’m so excited about getting this finished up! It’s coming out even better than I had hoped. The texture of the stucco adds a cool dimension to the painting, though it does make it MUCH more difficult to paint. Lots of drip spots to touch up once I’m done. It’s been so freeing to paint this big, I think I’m hooked, murals only from now on! Just kidding of course, but I wouldn’t mind it so much. 😉