New York, New York Part II

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I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but 5 days just aren’t enough for a city like New York and although I now spent 10 days in this amazing city I have decided I need to come back next year if finances allow. There is still so much to do…..

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This is a Graffiti sculpture along the High Line, very clever.

This time round Phil and I enjoyed spending time in the East Village, went to the Whitney and saw the Frank Stella Retrospective (amazing!!!), walked the High Line now covered in Autumn colours and stumbled into some amazing art galleries in Chelsea.

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Amazing Frank Stella artworks and some of them are huge!!!!

We saw some breathtaking art at Sotheby’s, went to the Print and Artist Book exhibition at The Tunnel in Chelsea, enjoyed some live music at the Bowery Electric and went to a play at the Gene Frankel Theatre in Bond Street.  We also caught up with family friends, old work friends from Phil and Billie, my landlady during my first stay in New York. What can I say, we felt right at home!  We also had a glass of wine at Grand Central Station, walked to Times Square, saw Ground Zero and enjoyed many Happy Hours drinking Margaritas!  Poor Phil I made him walk for hours!

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Amazing artworks in Chelsea galleries.

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The High Line – beautiful in Autumn at 25 degrees Celcius! How lucky were we walking around in T-Shirts in NY in November!

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That’s my man!

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One World Tower….and Ground Zero

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and did I mention I love all the Graffiti!

Again I re-discovered I am a city girl at heart and although I enjoyed my time in Las Cruces, I missed the buzz and noise and excitement of the big city. How will I cope in Bundy after this amazing trip???? I guess, work will keep me on my toes and I do have lots of plans for future artworks.

We are now in Chicago and this city is even more exciting than New York if that’s at all possible, but that’s something for my next blog.

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Chicago from the river 🙂

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Goodbye Las Cruces!

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It’s hard to believe but four weeks are over and it’s time for me to say Goodbye to Las Cruces.

Thanks again to everyone who made my stay a memorable one and to those who taught me new skills and gave me new ideas to take back home with me to Bundaberg. I wish you could all come with me, but who knows, one day your travels might take you to Queensland and you know where to find us!

My last day in Las Cruces was filled with activities, starting with a Sugar Skull workshop at Napolito’s Galeria.

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Phil is getting into the swing of things.

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Not bad for a first attempt. You have to work on those piping skills – Phil 🙂

Then I took Phil to the Market in Main Street, where we enjoyed the buzzing street life and were wondering why we don’t have that in Bundaberg – and we said our goodbyes to the girls at Mas Art.

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Unsettled Gallery was our next stop and thinking of it without Catherine the whole exchange wouldn’t have happened. A big thanks again to Catherine and Jenny in Bundaberg and of course RADF for the financial incentive 🙂

The afternoon we spent in Mesilla absorbing the atmosphere of the Day of the Dead Celebrations.

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and to finish it all off, we went to White Sands for sunset. All in all a great last day!

Tomorrow we are off to El Paso, Day 3 of the Day of the Dead and Monday on to the Big Apple! While I am writing my blog, Phil is packing our suitcases, what a great husband 🙂

Happy Halloween to you all!

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Today is the day…..

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Today is the day when my man arrives in New Mexico! Only a few hours to go and I am on my way to the airport to meet him. It has been 7 weeks! Far too long….

Yesterday I had the most amazing three hours with Ouida Touchon, a local printmaker. Ouida taught me Chine Colle which will take my collages in a whole new direction.

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But today is also the day when I officially end my Artist Residency.From now on I am a tourist enjoying the sights and arts in Las Cruces. Tomorrow I am making the rounds with Phil to say Goodbye to some special people I met, pick up my artwork I bought from Art Obscura, call into some galleries I missed and show Phil where I spent my time whilst in LC and where to get the best coffees and Margaritas.

Tonight our hosts Dick and Sherry invited us over for Dinner, tomorrow we might pop by the Postcard Exhibition at NMSU (and hopefully my donated artworks raise some money) and then it’s all about Dia de Los Muertos – the highlight of my stay in LC, oh, did I mention I went to Paul Taylor’s house and was blown away by his art collection and what an interesting man he is!

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I must admit, this artist residency was quite an eye opener for me. I didn’t quite know what to expect when I first applied and would I do it again? Yes, but probably approach it differently. I learnt heaps about myself, had my ups and downs but then I met all those amazing people who made it all worthwhile.  I will take some amazing experiences home with me which will definitely influence my future artworks, so stay tuned 🙂

The next two weeks will be all about Phil. It’s his well deserved holiday after running the shop 7 weeks without me but I think he knows now what I actually do, not “just floating around” as he likes to describe it. I think we’ll appreciate each other more after this trip. Having said that….I know there’s a Frank Stella exhibition at the Whitney Museum just opening, and there’s more to see at the MET and there’s the Chicago Institute of Art,…. and lots of coffee shops, etc for Phil haha.

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In the spirit of Halloween….

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and this little guy is totally oblivious to it all 🙂

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My Artist Residency is far from over…..

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Our exhibition might be closed but my artist residency is still going strong and I decided to bore you with my adventures (including NY, Chicago and Las Vegas) until I get home on 15th November and I am sure you do want to see Phil in his Elvis jumper all over the US! After that I might start my own blog (which is already set up) or just use facebook or email. I do hope we’ll keep in touch!

Since my last blog I have been quite busy. I already had a sneek peak of the Postcard Show at NMSU, met with the talented (and I mean super genius talented) Bob Diven, met Jo Rango at our Lync Session which unfortunately didn’t happen, but then ended up even better with Jaqulin, Jo , Virginia, Catherine and me chatting for about two hours, got an insight in local American politics thanks to Dick and Sherry who took me to the Progressive Voters Alliance meeting where I shook hands with Mayor Ken, went to Mesilla where I explored San Albino cemetery, went to the movies twice (great what you can do when on holiday, make spur of the moment decisions – Bridge of Spies & The Martian), had my last stint at Mas Art, had dinner with Raul and Tauna where I met the lovely Sherry Carter and spent three hours drawing with Jean this morning. Phew….that’s quite a lot in a few days if I say so myself and I was concerned of being lonely! Ha, not a chance.

I am still on the look out for murals and while doing that other interesting subjects pop up in front of my camera.

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San Albino cemetery in Mesilla was well worth a visit!

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I have taken so many photos ….they’ll all get put to good use!

During the last few days I came up with a plan what I am going to work on when I come home to Bundy and I can’t wait to start. First of all, I will find myself a mentor and I do already know who I am going to approach. Let’s see if this will all work out.

But first of all, only 3 days to go until Phil gets here. There’s so much I want to show him and then we’ll immerse ourselves into the Day of the Dead celebrations. The highlight of my time here? Not sure yet, honestly, there are too many!

I donated my two paintings from our exhibition to the Art Department at NMSU and they will go into a silent auction during the postcard exhibition. I hope they will raise some needed money for the Art Department. Fingers crossed.

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Found that cow sculpture on my way to the cemetery in Mesilla.

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Did some drawing with Jean this morning and loved it. Jean has got the most amazings props including lots of rabbits.

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I do want a dog or two 🙂

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Halloween is only a week away……Booooh

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Roadrunner, Roadrunner

Yesterday on my morning walk to get the newspaper I finally encountered my first roadrunner. It took a bit of stalking but I got that little guy doing what he does best – crossing the road very quickly.

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Originally I planned for a quite Sunday, but then I ended up being out and about for 5 hours. First stop cemetery. I am still in awe when I walked along the graves – all these colourful decorations and trinkets on each grave. Some are really well looked after and others seem to be neglected in a good way. From an artist point of view, they would make great still lifes to paint and I might just do that when I get back. German cemeteries seem to be very regimented whereas here it’s all about expressing the lifes of the deceased. I can’t wait when everything is decorated for the Day of the Dead in two weeks time. It was quite difficult to find a sort of walk way along the graves and in the end I followed the tracks of the gravedigger. The last thing I wanted was walking on somebody’s grave.

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…and then there are the bits and pieces which the wind blew off the graves and they got caught in the fence…

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My stroll took the best part of an hour in the glaring midday heat without hat or sun protection (as I always do), so I decided to make my way to Mesilla for some lunch and the Mariachi concert.

Every Sunday from 3-5pm two Mariachi bands are playing at Mesilla plaza. It’s a free concert and so much fun. The first band was from Las Cruces and played more ballad type of songs, whereas the second one from El Paso knew how to entertain the crowd, especially when you have the token gay guy in the band 🙂

This was so much fun and two hours went by very quickly. I might just go back to Mesilla next week for another dose of Mariachi tunes. It’s a great way to absorb Mexican culture.

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….don’t you love his fashion sense – perfect colour coordiation 🙂

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Today I plan and will have a quite day…just going out to get a newspaper and a coffee!

So much to do, so little time…

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I can’t believe a whole week has gone by since my last blog, I think me and Adrienne are the only ones blogging now and I’m not sure who’s reading it, so I am treating it as my personal diary.

Next Saturday our Wide Bay High Desert exhibition closes its doors to the public, the end of something amazing I was very fortunate to be a part of. I met some amazing artists who have generously shared their art and visions with us and I have soaked up as much as I could and there are still some more studio visits to look forward to.

In the meantime Adrienne and Murray have left Las Cruces and are enjoying their holiday. I do miss Adrienne. We had a great time together and I especially enjoyed working with her in our studio. However, since her departure I have relocated my “studio” into our living quarters as it’s more like I would normally work if I was at home.

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During my first two weeks I had my ups and downs settling in and sometimes it was hard being “the other artist” from Australia and my confidence took a beating, oh the joys of being an artist.

But now, having to organise everything myself and be proactive I feel that I’m back to being myself again.

I picked up my little black car from El Paso on Wednesday and with the help of my GPS and that lovely lady who talks to me when I disobey directions I found my way back home to Las Cruces. That was the confidence boost I needed.

What else have I been up to? I went to the Fountain Theatre in Mesilla to watch a German movie and ended up sitting next to a gentleman from Berlin of all places.

Virginia took the time to meet me at the Holy Cross Retreat and showed me her 12 Stations of the Cross which are amazing.

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At the Branigan Cultural Centre I went to an exhibition called “More than just Sugar Skulls” – beautiful!

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Last night I went to the Rio Grande Theatre to watch “Marilee and Baby Lamb”, a play by Mark Medoff about the last 6 years in the life of Marylin Monroe based on interviews with Lena, her seamstress.

Today I was working at Mas Art again, meandered through the farmers market and met Ray Van de AA at his studio. I really do like his artworks.

In between all that I’ve been discovering some of the “Murals of Las Cruces”.

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When I popped into Unsettled Gallery on the way home I had the great pleasure to meet Paul Taylor and his son and daughter in law. Paul is 95 years old and something of a legend here in Las Cruces and apparently has a huge art collection. He invited Catherine and me for a visit, so that will hopefully happen next week. I can’t wait as I have heard so much about him already.

Tomorrow I thought I might take it easy, but there are already a few things I would like to do, for example, I want to go back to the cemetery I discovered the other day and in the afternoon there is the Mesilla Mariachi Sunday ….there’s so much to do and there’s inspiration around every corner.

…. and did I mention that I went to White Sands, too 🙂

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El Paso here I come

Well, I don’t know if this needs to go on anybody’s bucket list, but it certainly was on mine – to travel on a Greyhound.  And yesterday, finally, I ticked this one off.

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I took the Greyhound to El Paso and back. Each way it’s only a one hour ride, which meant if it had been really horrible, I only had to endure it for an hour at a time. But it wasn’t, it was rather exciting.

The day in El Paso was fabulous and went by far too quickly. It was the third day of “Chalk the Block” in the Arts District, with chalk drawing all over the place – on walls, pavement, cars, everywhere. The actual drawing part was on Saturday, but there was still enough to see. Stall holders selling their wares, food trucks, three stages, dance performers, yarn bombing and everyone was walking around with chalk in their hands, just in case.

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Interactive installation by the American Institute of Architects

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Close up under the installation.

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It was a beautiful day (rather hot actually), so the first thing I did, was walking to the “Bridge” which connects Texas with Mexico. I couldn’t get too close, but the amount of traffic on that bridge was amazing. It actually felt even on the Texan side like being in Mexico. I think I didn’t hear anybody speak English! The shops on the way to the border were a kitsch collectors dream. I was in heaven 🙂

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cars queuing to get into El Paso

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plastic flowers and more plastic flowers

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One for every bum

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I also had the chance to visit the El Paso Art Museum. I saw an exhibition called “Amplified Abstraction”, Hal Marcus’ “Lyric Modern”, “The Immaculate Conception” and their permanent collection ranging from religious tableaus to Renaissance pieces and more modern paintings. On loan from the Guggenheim I could have a closer look at Marc Chagall’s Green Violinist.

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After that I wandered through the side streets, found amazing graffiti, derelict houses, just great things to photograph.

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Close up of one of the boarded up windows

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another close up

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view into one of the side streets

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Looks just like a face to me 🙂

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Bin Art

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close up of the world :-0

At 2pm I went to the El Paso Art Association to attend a demo by Erin Galvez on surface treatment. I had a long chat with her and s allowed to visit her studio.

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Erin with her artwork in the middle

At 5pm my Greyhound took me back to Las Cruces, Dave picked me up and we were greeted by a lovely dinner cooked by Adrienne and joined Dick and Sherry on their terrace overlooking the Organ Mountains. What a great way to end a fantastic day.

Haven’t you Hurd the Aliens have landed

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Friday was another day of discovery and mind blowing art. We were lucky enough that an artist friend of Adrienne’s, Quida Touchon, drove us all the way from Las Cruces to Roswell and back. A 12 hour road trip, most of it in the rain! But I had great company in the back 🙂

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Our first stop was the Hurd Museum. I had heard about the artist Andrew Wyatt but not so much about the rest of the Wyatt/Hurd family and no wonder, their art is very traditional. After a quick glance over the artworks I was off to the nearby church and graveyard – much more to my liking 🙂

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The most interesting “artwork” on display!

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Unfortunately, every church I tried to get into was locked. Shouldn’t they be open?

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Reminded me so much of the iconic displays in my dad’s village in Bavaria.

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Our next stop was “Roswell” and you can’t  do anything else but smile when you see all the alien kitsch. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for the UFO Museum but that was good because we had more time at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. What a gem! The artworks were absolutely amazing especially the ones from the 60s and 70s. I wouldn’t have thought you’d find anything like of that caliber in Roswell of all places!

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This art work is made out of puzzle pieces…I can see myself doing that!

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close up

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Rethinking collage cut outs….

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Close up of painted paper cut outs…

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50ies Happy World

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close up – Pink Flamingos!

But so you know, we do do some work here as well. On Saturday morning we demonstrated “Oz Art at Mas Art”, the local art shop in the Main Street. It looks very much like Art Plus, but I am glad to say we have a muuuuuch bigger product range of art supplies.

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Our host Karen with one of her customers. Look at her boots – want, want, want! I’ll be back their next Saturday morning – this time on my own as Adrienne will have left LC by then. It will be very quiet in da house 😦

Walking the Streets

As the temperature has dropped remarkably since my arrival, I decided to walk to the studio yesterday and a walk is always a good opportunity to take some photographs. I wouldn’t want to do the walk every day as it does take one hour but there’s a good coffee at Becks at the end of it to look forward to!

On my walk I came across this cemetery full of colourful plastic flower decorations. Unfortunately, the gate was locked, but I managed to take some good shots through the fence. I guess this will be even more colourful during the Day of the Dead celebrations at the end of the month. I can’t wait and the best part, Phil will be here to experience it with me. I do miss my man! Right next to this cemetery was the old abandoned one. For some reason this had much more atmosphere than the new one – a typical graveyard with broken headstones and crosses. At night probably quite spooky.

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Colour and more colour

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desolate

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desolate with a heavy sky…

In the studio some work did get done or started before we headed home scared by the weather report of a looming thunderstorm which then decided to move somewhere else. The cloud formations were pretty spectacular though.

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In the afternoon we visited Greg Decker’s studio. Great work (reminded me of Masaccio and Redon) but most impressive was his painting palette! Over coffee at the Spirited Wings Café he shared some of his arty secrets with us which was great. You always take something away from it.

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This palette is an artwork in itself.

After a quick dinner at home we were off to the movies at the Fountain Theatre in Mesilla. I can highly recommend Woody Allan’s new movie “The Irrational Man” and the theatre itself was spectacular.

And something else to look forward to. On Sunday I am off to El Paso to the Chalk the Block event. Pop up Murals, interactive art installations, sidewalk chalk art comps, bands,…with international artists and while I am there I’ll check out the local art museum, too. And I’ll be travelling there on a Greyhound. I always wanted to do that, now it’s the time and this trip is short enough in case it’s horrible 🙂 So watch this space.

http://www.chalktheblock.com

Chihuahuas and Mickey Mouse Ears

Day 6 in Las Cruces…

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“Grandpa’s Garden”

… and it feels I have been here forever! Since my arrival nearly a week ago it has been go go go. Our apartment and studio are amazing with lots of space and room to live and work in. I have met amazing artists and I was privileged to be invited to see their work and studios. I had moments when I was so overwhelmed by their talent (and I want to say genius) that I felt quite insignificant (then Adrienne tells me to snap out of it). I especially love Joshua Rose’s work. He does the most amazing collage works.

Las Cruces is a wide spread town with lots of Adobe buildings, malls, typical American, but then you turn around and look at these amazing mountains which change colour by the minute!

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I also fell in love with Mesilla and its village atmosphere and beautiful buildings, great Margaritas and fantastic coffees. I must admit, I do miss the coffee culture of New York! As you have seen loads of pics from Adrienne already, I’ll post the things I am seeing:-)

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I am so desperately want these boots, but unfortunately I haven’t got $600 US!!

It was quite hot when I arrived but with a fair bit of rain and hail! it has cooled down now.

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First there was the rain….

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which then turned into hail and our rental has lots of dents now 😦 but we are insured, so all good!

Still walking around with my camera taking loads of pics of Mickey Mouse ears and other cacti, found some great wall art and religious icons and the front yards and houses turn slowly into graveyards for Halloween. I let Adrienne blog about the amazing Halloween house we discovered down the road.

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Definitely need yo go shopping here!

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They do look like Micky Mouse ears!

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In the last few days we have been wined and dined a lot, but also spent some time in the studio.

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These are all still works in progress. I was very lucky that my fellow artists have collected supplied me with magazines, newspapers, stamps!!!, etc…

Adrienne gave a fantastic and inspiring talk at the university yesterday. We had 15 people attending which was apparently quite good for a lunchtime lecture and everyone who was there enjoyed it a lot. I was asked if I wanted to do one, too but after seeing how good Adrienne was I had to decline. There is no way I can pull that one off as good as Adrienne.

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Who needs a laptop when you can draw your slides?

Tonight we went to a poetry reading by Glen Sorestad from Canada in one of the local artist/poets homes. It was my first poetry reading and I did enjoy it. We had a good crowd of at least 30 people of all ages.

As long as Adrienne is still here we have a car, so we will venture out in the next few days.  After that I have to put my walking boots on and make sure my fridge is well stocked up before she leaves 🙂

I started writing this blog at 9pm and now it’s an hour later and I am off to bed. Tomorrow I plan to walk to the studio (at least an hour), do some work, walk Diego Don’s dog and in the afternoon another studio visit. Let me tell you, it’s hard being on an artist in residence, I definitely need a bigger brain to take everything in, but I guess I can adapt as I have another 3 weeks to look forward to 🙂

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See ya x