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!
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!
Posted in Aaron Lewis, anniversary, blogging, creativity, goals, gratitude, heart, hiking, inspiration, Living in the Land of Enchantment, love, mountains, my story, New Mexico, New Mexico true, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photography, photos, random things about me, Silver City, spring, Traveling New Mexico
Tagged Aaron Lewis, anniversary, blogging, creativity, four wheel drive, four wheeling, Gila National Forest, goals, gratitude, heart, hiking, hot springs, inspiration, Living in the Land of Enchantment, love, mountains, my story, New Mexico, New Mexico true, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photography, photos, random things about me, silver city, spring, Traveling New Mexico, Turkey Creek
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
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
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
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
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.
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!
Posted in blogging, camping, exercise, gratitude, hiking, inspiration, Living in the Land of Enchantment, mountains, my story, New Mexico, New Mexico true, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photography, photos, random things about me, Silver City, travel, Traveling New Mexico, trip
Tagged blogging, camping, day trips from Silver City, dogs, entertainment, exercise, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Gila National Forest, gratitude, hiking, inspiration, life, lifestyle, Living in the Land of Enchantment, mountains, my story, New Mexico, New Mexico true, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photography, photos, random things about me, silver city, things to do in New Mexico, travel, Traveling New Mexico, trip
It has been far too long since I’ve posted a blog! I’ve spent the past few months packing, moving, waiting, waiting and waiting some more! We moved into our new house at the beginning of April, we’ve been here about three weeks now. It took a couple of weeks to get our belongings out of storage, unpacked and set up at the new house. I did get one day of painting in last week, and then I got sick. Or should I say the cold I had from a couple weeks ago turned into an ear infection with complications. The infection moved into my neck and I’m feeling lousy. Taking antibiotics, so hopefully I will feel well soon.
I woke up this morning, ready to get back to work, but not quite there yet. After my morning routine of exercise, breakfast and shower, I had to lie down again. Ear/neck infection has turned into a massive migraine in the back of my neck.
Not that I’m complaining, just sharing what I’ve been up to for the past week or so.
I’m very grateful to finally be moved in to our new house! Aaron started his new teaching job today. Hopefully, I will feel well tomorrow, so I can get back to work in the studio. I absolutely love my new studio, lots of south facing light, much more space than my last studio and the view! Is. absolutely. Amazing! It’s a dream come true to be sure!
Posted in art, art space, artists, blogging, creativity, dream, gratitude, healing, I'd Rather be in the Studio, moving, my story, New Mexico, new studio, Paula Manning-Lewis, studio
Tagged art, artist's life, artists, blogging, creativity, dreams, gratitude, healing, I'd Rather be in the Studio, life, my story, New Mexico, New Mexico artist, Paula Manning-Lewis, random things about me, studio
“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”, 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”, 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
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”, 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!
Posted in abstract, accomplishments, acrylics, albuquerque, art, art business, art opening, art show, Art show for a cause, artist self promotion, artists, Artscrawl, blogging, canvas, copyright, creativity, design, dreams, First Friday, gallery, gallery opening, gallery show, goals, gratitude, guitar, healing, inspiration, large canvas, large painting, love, marketing, moving, my story, New Mexico, new painting, new paintings, new work, new work in progress, oils, opening, original, original oil paintings, Originals, painted guitar, painted instruments, painted vinyl, Painter, painting, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, photo, photos, portfolio, progress, promotion, random things about me, record, records, recycled, recycling, show, shows, spiral abstract series, spiral art, studio, studios, travel, trip, vinyl
Tagged abstracts, accomplishments, acrylics, albuquerque, art, art opening art business, art show, Art show for a cause, artist self promotion, artists, Artscrawl, blogging, canvas, copyright, creativity, design, dreams, First Friday, gallery, gallery opening, gallery show, goals, gratitude, guitar, healing, inspiration, large canvas, large painting, love, marketing, moving, my story, New Mexico, new painting, new painting in progress, new paintings, new work, new work in progress, oils, opening, original, original oil paintings, Originals, painted guitar, painted instruments, painted vinyl, Painter, painting, paintings, Paula Manning-Lewis, peace, photo, photos, portfolio, progress, promotion, random things about me, record, records, recycled, recycling, show, shows, spiral abstract series, spiral art, spirals, studio, studios, travel, trip, vinyl
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 ❤
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. ❤ ❤ ❤
Posted in artists, baby, baby clothes, blogging, canvas, dad, dream, dreams, family, goals, gratitude, heart, Holidays, inspiration, kids, love, Love pass it on, moving, mural, mural project, my story, New Year, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, People Who Inspire Me, photos, random things about me
Tagged artist's life, artists, baby, baby clothes, blogging, canvas, changes, dad, dream, dreams, family, goals, grandma, grandsons, gratitude, heart, holidays, inspiration, kids, life, love, Love pass it on, moving, mural, mural project, my story, new year, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, People Who Inspire Me, photos, random things about me
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.
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!
Posted in 2018 calendar, abstract, accomplishments, art, art business, artist self promotion, artists, baby, blogging, canvas, copyright, creativity, dad, family, gratitude, holiday special, Holidays, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, kids, love, mandalas, marketing, music, new painting, new paintings, new work, new work in progress, oils, online art gallery, original, original oil paintings, Originals, Painter, painting, paintings, Paula Beck prints, Paula Manning-Lewis, photo, photography, photos, prints, progress, promotion, random things about me, sale, spiral abstract series, spiral art, Sunlight
Tagged 2018 calendar, abstract, accomplishments, art, art business, artist self promotion, artists, babies, baby, Black Friday Art sale, blogging, canvas, CD, copyright, creativity, dad, family, grandma, grandson, gratitude, holiday special, holidays, I'd Rather be in the Studio, inspiration, kids, love, mandalas, marketing, music, new painting, new paintings, new work, new work in progress, oils, online art gallery, original, original oil paintings, Originals, Painter, painting, paintings, Paula Beck calendar, Paula Beck prints, Paula Manning-Lewis, Paula Manning-Lewis calendar, photo, photography, photos, prints, progress, promotion, random things about me, sale, spiral abstract series, spiral art, Sunlight
Back to my studio today after working all weekend and taking Mon/Tues off instead. Attempted working on my self portrait, deadline is coming up soon.
So much hate, fear , disaster, death, anger, murder etc in the world. I am a highly sensitive person. I feel the emotions of the collective consciousness all around me.
We are all in despair.
Why are humans such a hateful race? I’m so directionless right now. I don’t know what to do, or say. It’s just depressing.
I have tried for years to spread love with my art. Painting the feelings of love the only way I know how. It’s what I know, what I can do now.
I am conscious of the way I treat other people. I smile at everyone I pass on the street.
I don’t understand why people are so quick to defend their right to own guns, when their is so much death and despair all around them. Defending a piece of paper written almost 200 years ago. Do those people want to be happy too?
Random thoughts going through my mind today. I can’t make sense of anything, so why try? I’m not personally depressed, but I can feel the heavy weight of sadness blanketing the planet.
Mother Earth is sad too. No, she’s angry. She’s tired of the abuse, tired of the sadness. She knows the cause of her pain, it’s US. HUMANS.
It’s very difficult for me to continue as an artist at times like this. I feel like nothing I do contributes to the betterment of society. Painting is more than therapeutic for me, but how does it help others? My hope is that people look at my work and FEEL THE LOVE.
I don’t know what else to do.
Posted in art, artists, blogging, creativity, goals, grief, healing, Life goes on, love, Love pass it on, my story, Paula Manning-Lewis, random things about me, studio
Tagged art, artists, blogging, creativity, despair, fear, goals, grief, healing, Life goes on, love, Love pass it on, Mother Earth, my story, Paula Manning-Lewis, random things about me, random thoughts, sadness, studio