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!




Silver City in September part 1

We went to Silver City in the miata to attend their Red Dot Studio Tour.  It’s been a couple of weeks already, too much else to do to blog about it, but today’s a down time day, so I’m catching up!  Silver City, New Mexico is such an art filled town, it’s one of my favorite destinations.  I toured four studios and in one, was able to try deconstructed screen printing, and now I see what all the fuss is about!






So first on the trip we took the country route to Mesilla, NM and went through pecan orchards being irrigated.  By the time I realized I couldn’t capture the light and reflections and shadows of pre sunset glory, the magic moment was gone, but I did get some shots when we stopped the car.

We ate dinner at Zefiro’s artisan bakery/restaurant which is in the downtown pedestrian mall in Las Cruces, NM and took shots at dusk of the tiled walkway, bridal wreath vines starting to grow up canopy created with metal posts and rebar, SO cool, and white lights lining the walkway.


I thought this lamp by Vernonique de Jaegher was so cool!  she made handmade paper and molded around this beautiful branch and lit it from within.  I saw it at the The Common Thread,  store front for Southwest Women’s Fiber Arts Collective. 

While I was there there was a couple from Belgium traveling through following the brochure for the Fiber Arts Trail of New Mexico, and they were buying a handwoven rug to take back with them.

On Saturday I went to three studios on the Red Dot tour.  Two were combined, husband and wife of Moonstruck Art Studio.  Both artists are retired teachers and you can see their enthusiasm for teaching still comes through!  Bill Blakemore is the potter, and I didn’t have my camera out to take pictures, but I plan on going to the November Fiber Festival where he’ll be selling yarn pots (that guide and contain your yarn ball while knitting).  Hopefully I can attend Pat Bouchard’s workshop on japanese stab binding too.  She demonstrated another type of bookmaking that I really enjoyed.

In the afternoon I went to the Susan Szajer Studio  in her beautiful studio/home near Pinos Altos.  I’m in love with her studio, and her work is amazing.  I bought three pieces (gasp!) for family to give me for Christmas and my birthday, and loved every minute I was there.  She shares her knowledge freely, allowed us to try deconstructed screen printing and showed how the whole process worked.  If I had even a small room devoted to a studio, I might consider making my own fabric like this, but I’m staying firm to stick with the fabric I have that works in my small space….  at least for now!  <big grin>  I’ll show and tell the pieces after I’ve received them as gifts.  for now, you’ll have to wait!