Tag Archives: heart

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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Doing laundry…

12×12″ oil on canvas. One of the paintings I’ve been working on this week.

3:33pm on a Friday and I’m sitting at the laundromat washing bedding and clothes. I’ve lived without a washer and dryer before. Long, long ago when a week’s laundry consisted of 15-20 loads of mostly baby and kids clothing! Gratefully, these days, it’s only three loads because it’s time to wash the comforter. I can sit here quietly watching the washers spin without any children screaming because their brother just ran over their fingers with the rolling laundry cart they were told not to play in. Some days I miss those days, but definitely not while sitting at the laundromat!

12×12″oil on canvas. Another work in progress from this week.

It’s not hard to believe it’s already June, with the move and everything that has changed in my life over these past 6 months. We are still waiting to close on our new house but the end is getting close! I’m settling back into a painting routine and the rust is gone. My creativity has been flowing! I haven’t finished much, but I’ve been in a painting frenzy. Life is great!

Inspiring Surroundings

work in progress 12 x 12

#7 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

It’s been a great week for art! I’ve painted every day this week! Yay! Starting to work the rust out and the ideas are flowing. My new surroundings are inspiring as hell! I look out the windows of my new studio and it still feels like a dream. It IS a dream, a living, breathing, dream! Grateful. Thankful. Blessed.

work in progress 12 x 12

#6 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’m feeling the love, so why not paint a few hearts? I’m digging the idea and what’s coming out of it. I have seven paintings in various stages of progress. A couple may already be done, not sure yet. The hearts are the most recent.

work in progress 12 x 12

#5 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

The photos in this post are in order from most recent to least recent.

work in progress 12 x 12" oil painting on canvas

#4 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’m playing with the paints, trying out new things.  My goal is to play, not get attached to any outcome, just let it flow. These are sketches in paint. Idea generators. Inspiration.

work in progress 12 x 12" oil painting on canvas

#3 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I can feel my inspiration pushing me to evolve my style into something different. I guess it’s always evolving from painting to painting. This feels bigger.

work in progress 12 x 12" oil painting on canvas

#2 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

I’ve already started putting more layers of paint on the canvas. Creating more depth, more mystery. Transparent layers showing a hint of what lies behind.

work in progress 12 x 12" oil painting on canvas

#1 work in progress 12 x 12″ oil painting on canvas

More progress photos and posts to come! Thank you for visiting my blog! 🙂

 

One of those weeks

Detail of one of my works in progress, one of my

Detail of one of my works in progress, one of my “reworked” paintings

It’s been one of those weeks where I’m having a hard time motivating myself. Family issues, bad news, hormones, trips to the dentist… Some days I wish I had a cocoon I could hide inside.

Another work in progress, this is the smallest of the paintings I'm working on, 12 x 12" oil on canvas

Another work in progress, this is the smallest of the paintings I’m working on, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas

I’ve been slowly but surely getting ready for my next art show in March. I have about 2-3 more weeks to get finished up with 6 paintings. They are in differing stages of completion. I’m very grateful I’m going to be able to include my guitar paintings and record paintings because I don’t think I would have had 15-20 paintings done in time without them. Of course I’m also excited that I get to show my recycled art for a change. They aren’t always welcomed in a fine art setting. Luckily for me, the curator of this show is open to different things!

20 x 20" oil on canvas, work in progress

20 x 20″ oil on canvas, work in progress

 

Happy New Year, 2018!

Feeding my youngest grandson, Danny, named after my dad!

Feeding my youngest grandson, Danny! He is named after my dad. ❤

A fresh new start! I love the New Year, it always gives me that feeling of renewal. A chance to hit the restart button. This year, the new start is personal. We are busy working on getting our house ready to sell. It goes on the market next Monday and we are having a moving sale this weekend. Time to get rid of the old, deep clean, pack up cherished belongings and get ready to move to our dream home! We aren’t sharing where that will be just yet. We have an idea, but we are saving the surprise for once the house is sold and we are on our way! Met with our real estate agent on Tuesday and found out it is now a seller’s market, so I guess our one year wait was worth it. All the street construction is done near our house, FINALLY! Fingers crossed it sells quickly!

Once the cleaning and packing is done, I will get back to my studio and working on my art for the new year. I have another mural coming up in the next month or so, waiting for the tile guy to finish his work before I can start on mine. This one will be down south in Las Cruces, and it will be an interior mural. It will also be my largest mural to date! I’m painting all 4 walls in a pretty large bedroom. Can’t wait!

I also have a show coming up in March at the NM Cancer Center Gallery, so I have a lot of painting on canvas to do to get ready for that.

My two youngest sons with their sons

My two youngest sons with their sons ❤

I hope y’all had a lovely holiday season! I was blessed to be able to finally see my second grandson again last Sunday. Took several photos and was able to hold and feed him. He is looking more like his daddy now. I bought them matching outfits for Christmas. I sure hope they will get the chance to be close cousins. ❤ ❤ ❤

Self Portrait for Veterans Day

Work in progress, self portrait painting for November Veteran's day show, 20 x 20

Work in progress, self portrait painting for November Veteran’s day show, 20 x 20″ oil on canvas

Last week I posted about my latest inspiration in this post. I worked on a couple of self portrait sketches last week and decided that I would, in fact, change the painting I’m working on for the Veteran’s Day show, into a self portrait. My second sketch came out much more satisfactory than the first.

Second self portrait sketch, good to go!

Second self portrait sketch, good to go!

It has literally been over a decade since I painted a portrait in oils or drawn in pencil for that matter. I stopped because painting portrait commissions was very stressful. Getting a likeness is one thing, but it’s impossible to make a portrait that matches what someone “thinks” they look like. Though I stopped taking portrait commissions, I have always enjoyed painting portraits. Self portraits are not as stressful for obvious reasons. I KNOW what I look like and what I “think” I look like, and there is absolutely no pressure there.

Today, I blocked out the silhouette in the foreground of my latest spiral abstract painting. The background will continue on as intended. The idea behind this self portrait is specifically about my time as a soldier in the US Army and how it changed my perception from childhood to adulthood. My once eager, patriotic mind was twisted and turned more cynical once my time was served. I became an advocate for peace and love, after being sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier and after seeing families torn apart because of war. I became even more peace minded after seeing my son’s generation of soldiers come home in pieces, physically and mentally, after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The spirals of red, blue and yellow surrounded by stars and eventually, stripes, is a representation of the flag after the twisting and turning. I use yellow instead of white to represent the staining of young hearts, forever changed by war. These torn souls will never know the innocence of childhood again. It’s not my usual happy go lucky inspiration, but it’s real. It’s my truth.

What are you so angry about?

I usually like to keep my posts about the art, but I recently had an epiphany and felt the need to share. I have been angry most of my adult life. Not that I ran around angry all the time, but it was always there, boiling just beneath the surface. I always blamed it on other people and their behavior. My ex, my family, people in traffic, etc, etc.

Since 2007, I’ve been on a search for inner peace. It’s been a long decade of reading tons of self help books, learning to meditate daily, creating art from my soul and self care. I’ve lost several friends along the way. Mainly because they weren’t comfortable with my changes and the fact that I was now standing up for myself. They didn’t like the “healthy” Paula.

I once had a shaman tell me that some people are like rocks in a backpack. Sometimes on the trail of life, we have to empty the rocks out of our backpack so we can lighten our load and be happy. Let’s just say my backpack was HEAVY with rocks. Not just people, but situations, memories and regrets. However, even after I dropped the rocks on the side of the trail, the anger was still there.

It’s been a long road and I finally feel like I’m moving on to the next decade of my life. The epiphany happened recently, after watching a video on facebook, of all places! Here’s the link: I highly recommend you WATCH this video!
https://www.facebook.com/comedien.voix.doublage/videos/10206832718043784/?hc_ref=OTHER&pnref=story

After I watched it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s so crazy obvious to me now! I have been angry at my 15 year old self for DECADES! I have been mad at myself for all the stupid choices I made, for not just saying NO to that 17 year old boy who got me pregnant. First of all, NO to sex, and then later, NO to marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, everything that happened in my life HAD to happen. If not, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That said, I’ve been carrying this anger around all this time. All the resentment for how my life “could’ve” been or “should’ve” been.

It is what it is.

How can I still be angry at that young girl who was just looking for love and attention? I can’t. The fire has been extinguished. The anger is now sadness. Not a depressed sadness, but a melancholy sadness for all the anger I inflicted on my family and friends and everyone around me.

BUT, it’s OK! I finally GET IT! Now I move on to forgiveness. I have often wondered why, after forgiving literally EVERYONE who ever did me wrong, why was I STILL angry? It’s time to forgive myself. It’s time to tell that 15 year old girl that still lives within me, you’re ok, you’re loved, you’re FORGIVEN.

I will leave you with a work in progress, “The Best of Everything”.

"The Best of Everything", acrylic on 12" vinyl record, work in progress

“The Best of Everything”, acrylic on 12″ vinyl record, work in progress