In early October, I headed off for another New Mexico adventure – this time to the Silver City area where I have had many wonderful adventures in the past. Several of us (all artists) had been juried into the Black Range Plein Air Competition and were scheduled to stay at Bear Paw Ranch in Gila.
We left Wednesday morning heading West to Lordsburg, NM, then North up to Silver City where we had to have our painting canvases or papers stamped. We got to Bear Paw in the late afternoon and were delighted to see all the interesting objects and lovely views just waiting for us to paint. For the next two days, except for a trip into Silver City for lunch at Vicki’s, that’s just what we did, all around the ranch. Friday night we each chose our best two out of four paintings and framed them – pretty easy for those of us who did oils, not so easy for the pastel painters.
On Saturday morning, we loaded up our paintings and drove down to Deming to sign them in at the convention center where the exhibition was to be held over the weekend. I had emailed one of my RVing friends at LoW-Hi RV Park that I would be in town and Max stopped by to say hello to all of us and look at our work. He recommended Irma’s at 123 Silver Street for lunch and we are so glad he did – fantastic Mexican food. Don’t miss it if you’re ever in Deming.
The juror did her work and our group took almost all the prizes! She was generous with her time and stayed around to give individual critiques to each of us which was extremely helpful.
We headed north again and stopped in Pinos Altos to paint for the rest of the afternoon before crashing at Bear Paw. On Sunday morning we packed up all our gear, ate our lunch and went back to Deming and up into Spring Canyon – another couple hours of painting before picking up our paintings at 5:00 and starting back to Tucson. Had we stayed another day, we could have painted at City of Rocks State Park, one of my favorite spots for New Mexico adventures.
I've always loved New Mexico; this was a good experience, a first for me, and totally enjoyable. I’ll be joining the big plein air convention in the spring of 2016 right here in Tucson, so the more practice I get, the better!
I’ve been doing more plein air painting this year and had three I felt were worthy enough to enter into the Tucson Plein Air Painters annual show for judging – one of them won a second place ribbon which was a big thrill.
At the end of October I was part of Pima County’s annual Open Studio Tour weekend. A friend who does lovely watercolors joined me at my home studio and we had a wonderful and successful event. A lot of our friends came, plus new folks who had gone online and decided which studios they would visit and put us on their list. Many were artists, so there was great conversation about art the whole weekend. Such good energy!
In early August, during one of the monsoon storms, lightning hit in the Santa Catalinas and there was a fire. It showed up beautifully from my dining room window that night. Another storm doused it a day or two later – it was not a threat to any structures.
In the past few months I’ve visited several dealers to see what is available in small RVs as I am convinced there will be one in my not-so-distant future. I’ve found a model that will work beautifully and am eagerly anticipating future trips with Bijou. I foresee more New Mexico adventures.
It was a hot summer with plenty of rain, so we’re in good shape with water. I did a lot of reading as you can see…
The Liars Club - Mary Karr. How this author survived her
childhood is a mystery. But she survived and has written an amazing memoir:
gritty, painful, crazy and hilarious at times.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness - Susannah Cahalan.
Memoir. A young journalist experiences a swift descent into madness from a
debilitating disease and doctors race to discover the cause. Cutting edge
Cherry - Mary Karr. Memoir. After a traumatic childhood
comes this tale of a rebellious and tempestuous adolescence. Her language is
poetic and tough, her unsparing honesty in looking back on the years of sexual
awakening is delightful.
Hypnotizing Maria - Richard Bach. The story of a flight
instructor guiding a woman to safely land after her pilot husband loses
consciousness. Hypnosis or self hypnosis? A search for answers as to how our
beliefs determine our lives. Bach never disappoints.
Out of My Mind - Richard Bach. Bach puzzles over a needed design modification for his airplane. When the design appears, along with a brief glimpse of a woman, he takes off across time and space into the realm of imagination and discovers a parallel universe.
Someone - Alice McDermott. The touching and humorous recollections of a life in a Brooklyn neighborhood. Starting with a curious seven-year-old girl, wandering through the sexual awakening of her adolescence, motherhood, and finally old age. A delightful read.
Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream - Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra. Wonderful storytelling & an inspiring memoir of two brothers with medical educations in India, coming to America and taking two different paths in their medical careers. I've read and listened to Deepak for the past 10-15 years, but this is the back-story I never knew and it's fascinating.
Isaac's Storm: A Man, A Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History - Erik Larson. Galveston, TX, September 1900 - a tale of a monster hurricane, the early days of the U.S. Weather Bureau and a resident meteorologist who was a little too sure of himself. Amazing!
Eileen - Ottessa Moshfegh. Great reviews for this debut novel, but I found it pretty depressing to read and don't think I'll be standing in line for her next one.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo. OMG! - I love her method of touching each item, thanking it for the joy it has given, and letting it go - or keeping it - but mostly letting go, I think. I’ve worked through clothes, books and photo albums. Still have many drawers to go through. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this which was kind of surprising!
All Fall Down - Jennifer Weiner. Novel. The story of a woman's slide into addiction and her fight to find her way back.
In Process - non-fiction....
Infinite Possibilities - Mike Dooley.
Super Genes - Deepak Chopra, M.D. & Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.
RV Adventures in and around AZ and Northern NM