Going going gone…

Sorry I’ve been “gone”  from my blog recently, but I have a very good excuse.  I was on a murder jury for nine days, my first jury experience, and it was eye opening, hard, and I’m glad I had the experience.  It certainly messed with my schedule though!  I planned on spending many studio hours reinforcing skills I learned at the three days workshop in the end of March, but that didn’t happen!  I did spend my free time at lunches sketching outside in our redone downtown park, and also read Jan Hart’s fabulous color book during down times.


I found out when my piece Gone But Not Forgotten: Globe Mills will be auctioned.  It will be this Saturday, April 22nd, from 6-6:30.  You can see the piece and others that will be auctioned that evening at this KCOC TV page.  Bidding starts at $140.   This is my second time to participate in the auction and I hope that it sells well! You can read about the auction process details here.

This beautiful historic building was torn down early last year to make new highways.  I hate when that happens.



Contemplation. 16″ x 20″ framed. $250.


I also found out that my piece Contemplation was accepted into the New Mexico Watercolor Society’s spring show in Albuquerque!  The show opening is May 6th from 1-4 at the Expo-NM fairgrounds and is free and open to the public.  In previous years I’ve attended and it is a LOVELY show!  well worth attending if you are in town.  It runs through May 28th and is open Thursdays-Sunday 10-4 pm.

Please share my blog post with anyone you think may be interested in either piece or in following my art progress! and thank you for leaving a comment…



Breaking through — day 12

Breaking through was painted from a photo I took of the Rio Grande around Bernalillo area at a time the weather seemed to be changing.  I painted it wet in wet as long as I could, and yadded details onto dry paper later. Hope you like it! Please leave a comment and thx for stopping by. 

Chile Trio 30 in 30 days 22-24

I ran across fresh chiles in the produce aisle last week and carefully picked out colorful ones with interesting shapes.  In the back of my mind was the NM Watercolor Spring Show in Las Cruces whose theme is New Mexico food.

I placed them on a white board and lit them strongly with a small lamp perched on a tissue box to get a neat angle.


Chile Trio photo

Once happy with the arrangement I did several sketches, one small in my book, another more life size, 9 x 12, and used paint to put in the shadows an indicate which areas were kind of fuzzy rather than sharp edged.


Chile Trio sketch

Then the fun began because I put in various colors of yellow and blue trying to get some of the shadows that form the shapes.  Some of the pigments bled bigger than I expected, oh the joys of watercolor!, and I forgot to snap a photo after just the first stage.  This one is actually after I went in on top and started the middle chile.


Chile Trio stage 1

On the next day I went in with bold colors and let them mingle together and had fun with portraying the shapes. I used a cool and warm orange on top of the yellows, and actually used the Cascade Green from Daniel Smith because it was squeezed on my palette and it blended well.  Not sure I would have chosen it if it weren’t just “there”.


Chile Trio stage 2

And then the next day I put in more details and the shadows, some of which have beautiful blending of colors. I realized that I was working from the actual chiles in addition to the photo and in the mix, got my shadows mixed up, and also I was reacting to where the colors had formed on my paper.  Just a huge fun bunch of color that I think turned out kinda cool.


Chile Trio stage 3

There is more to be done, or perhaps a new one to paint, but for now, I’m relieved that I’ve gotten time to make this post!  I’ve been busy choosing paintings to print, learning how to cut matboard, and getting an inventory to perhaps to a small indoor sale in October and take some to the gallery.  The next step after that is to set up an online store on my site.  always something more to do!!

Hope you enjoyed my Chile Trio.  I’d love to hear from you.  Thanks for stopping by!



New Mexico Wines

"New Mexico Wine" Watercolor  by Rachel Murphree

“New Mexico Wine” Watercolor. 10″ x 14″. Click on image to view larger.

I am calling this finished, after working on it today at group.  I never would have thought I could paint glass and reflections, but it’s really great what a slew of classes and consistent practice will do.  This was from a class taught by Penny Simpson, and I’m so glad that I was able to take it because it pushed me to try something new and difficult, even though I was half frozen with fright after getting down the black background, and looking at attacking the glass.

My favorite part is the cork for some reason…

Thanks for checking in with me.  Glad to have you visit!

Oh yes, and the artist that said paintings have an adolescent stage is Jan Hart.  Her work is wonderful if you haven’t seen it…

Birthday trip: painting, chocolate and more…

Bare branches against blue NM sky

Winter tree against blue sky in sketchbook. Click on image to view larger.


The other week my DH and I went overnight to Silver City, NM which happened to be holding their chocolate fantasia event — 31 chocolatiers made their specialties and there was a treasure hunt through art galleries, antique stores, restaurants and the like. Such fun!

I got in some outdoor painting (plein air) for the first time and it really made the day memorable.

Yes, the sky really was this blue, if not even bluer!  lovely winter New Mexico sky.  The tree was made again with the credit card technique, and done in a small watercolor sketchbook. The paper isn’t nearly the quality of buying good watercolor paper by the sheet, but it’ll do, pig, it’ll do!

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Artsy patio door at the Copper Quail Gallery, Silver City, NM.  Click on image to view larger.


This is my favorite art gallery in Silver City, NM. The Copper Quail Gallery has a great collection of jewelry, woven clothing, paintings, photographs, woodworking, metal working. The artists take turn in the store and are really friendly and open to talk about their work.

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Interesting, artsy way to recycle glass bottles and keep the birds from resting on the wall. Copper Quail Gallery, Silver City, NM


Sketch while a passenger, with watercolor wash later. The beautiful rust colored cliffs at Hurley, NM.  Click on image to view larger.

photo of peach roses

Peach roses earlier in the week. You will see these in a painting I’m sure some day!



I came home inspired and ready to paint, draw, excited about the coming artsy year!




Miata Mountain Trip

Sun just coming upWe left El Paso at 6:20 AM with the top down, enjoying the morning coolness of the desert.  We came over Mt. Franklin to see this gorgeous view of the sun just coming up.  And as we went down the mountain, it got better and better! Sunrise

And that was the start of a whirlwind day that included breakfast in Alamogordo, up the mountain to Cloudcroft NM and little hikes to see this vista of White Sands National Monument in the Tularosa Basin below:

White Sands vistaAnd then on to Sunspot, one of the National Solar Observatory locations in the US.  Neat little museum, informative, if sometimes over my head, not being a physicist.  When the girls get older, we’ll visit again with them.  Outside the museum were neat art pieces that I was drawn to.  The Armilary sphere (read about it) Armillary sphere (Time teller)

and a public art piece by Pedro Romero Sedeño.

Sunspot public artThe day then turned really rainy and blowy, so it was top down then top up several times on our trip over to Ruidoso.  Fun roads to drive with the miata.  Had coffee at Sacred Grounds and enjoyed a viewing of the original La Cage aux Folles in their media room before we headed back.  I did a bunch of work on my knitted shawlette while watching, about 98% done!  Drove by this cool sculpture of a roadrunner beside the road in Alamogordo. Roadrunner sculptureDriving past White Sands I took some more shots from the car.  See the sand dunes in the foreground. Sunset over White Sands

The moon rising ahead of us

Moon risingand buttermilk evening skies taken straight up over the car

Evening skies

Then on to Thai food in Cruces  and back home.   A really fun reconnect trip with my husband!