I’ve been busy with other activities but finally found time for creative pursuits. You may have seen some on Facebook, but here are the latest…
Before the holidays I had the opportunity to spend the better part of the day wandering J. Paul Taylor’s historic home and collection in Mesilla, destined as the next New Mexico State Monument. (Adrienne was fortunate to get the house tour on her last visit.) Paul and the curator allowed me to take numerous photos for a painting commission for mutual friends, and for the benefit of the monument’s foundation.
(Couldn’t resist this self-portrait, reflected in his collection. Sorry, but I don’t remember the name of the painting’s artist.)
I was also inspired to gather more intimate photos, which I gave to Paul as a surprise for Christmas, in the form of two boxed sets of my photo-cards – 40 different cards each about the house and the collection. He and the family were genuinely thrilled with the result and convinced me to try to enter the set into an upcoming museum show, jointly between the University of Texas-El Paso and the Las Cruces Museum of Art. I’ve granted full rights to the Friends of the Taylor Family Monument (FTFM), for their future benefit. Coincidentally, Cynthia Garrett, FTFM President, has their collection on display in the Museum of Art, so we’ve both been doing the collector’s mind-meld over lunch at my home.
A few weeks ago, I completed a major watercolor painting, which I’ve been working on since Sept 2013. It is titled “The Birth of Boulders (Fillmore Falls)” 15.5″ W x 23″ H (40 x 60 cm), on Arches cold press 300 gsm paper. The scene is of the mostly dry rock face of Fillmore Falls, in the Dripping Springs area of the newly-designated Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The trail up the canyon to the falls starts about 20 minutes drive from my home in Las Cruces. I noted the erotic element in the landscape, emphasized by the title. This painting has been submitted to the museum exhibition as well.
I also just finished this mixed-media painting in time for the museum exhibition deadline. It is of the first sunlight hitting a shed near Mesilla, NM. Titled: “Every Boy Needs a Shed (Mesilla)”. Produced with acrylic, gold leaf, gauche, and watercolor on paper. 21″ W x 13″ H (53 x 33 cm). (Tip of the hat to sister artists Susan Hanssen and Nancy Frost Begin, who demo and exhibit locally, for inspiring me to do something new.) While at first glance it may seem a traditional bucolic scene, try to spot the five creepy coyotes in the tree forms. If you’re visiting my Facebook page of late, you’ll see many other artsy-fartsy photos I’ve posted from my backroads wanderings in the south valley. Can’t wait to show Adrienne and Mariles some fantastic rural scenes when they arrive.
While on a roll painting these last few weeks, I decided I’d create something quick to meet another deadline for the spring member’s show of the NM Watercolor Society-Southern Chapter. Normally their shows have so many restrictions and criteria that I don’t bother, but I wanted to try out this idea anyway. The painting contains a deliberate optical illusion, easy to miss at first when used to see poles against our wide horizons. I’d noticed driving on I-10 from El Paso to Las Cruces that a series of power poles would appear to mirror and align with the shape of the distant Robledos Mountains. I took some artistic license to accentuate the effect in this painting.
Titled: “Robledos Poles” 8 x 10″ (20 x 25 cm) If accepted, it will be at the “Mesilla Valley Magic” exhibition at Main Street Gallery/Big Picture from April 30 – May 30.
So I’m all caught up again. It seems each recent work has a hidden message and play on the eyes. It’s been fun being creative again. But the weather has improved, so the next few weeks will be spent moving tons of rock and gravel around the yard.