I moved to Santa Fe seven years ago, beset by circumstances that prompted a hasty departure.
I did not bring much as I was expecting a truck to follow me and deliver essential possessions, like clothing and kitchenware.
I was mistaken. I got a phone call just outside Springfield informing me that my boxes had been “taken off the truck” and that they did not know when the delivery would take place. (In fact, the truck would not arrive for more than a month).
As I was speeding along I-55, I had to choose my direction. Return to Chicago? But there was not even a bed for me. Run forward to create a new life in New Mexico, uncertain and alone, to a town where I knew not a soul? Forward I went.
I had a place to live in Santa Fe, I knew; unfurnished but bright. I had a key, I had a cooler, and I had the clothes on my back.
The house had windows and let a lot of light in – that is why I chose it, and I designated one of the rooms to be my new studio, even though my easel and supplies were in some unknown Midwestern warehouse with the rest of my boxes.
I did have my scissors and glue, and continued to do art work, while I was settling into the new place.
Although the home suited my needs in many ways, it did not have a view. Yes, in Santa Fe, with blue skies and mountains in five directions, and I could see none of it.
My yard was enclosed with a tall fence, painted chocolate brown; and the yard…tall tough and gnarly weeds grew everywhere the stony hard-baked gritty dirt allowed.
So I pulled weeds, enriched the soil, and started my garden, creating an oasis of peace and fruitfulness.
So seven years later, my home is surrounded by healthy xeric-appropriate trees and shrubs and flowers. I delight in the garden – it provides a respite and a gathering place for friends.
But one area that I puzzled about was the long stretch of brown fence abutting a sidewalk along the house – a gangway, we called it in Chicago. Not much space to plant, and exposed to shadeless heat all day.
One day the tenants north of the fence decided to brighten their side by planting old-fashioned sunflowers. When they moved, the owner, not fond of things natural, cut down the flowers. The next year, one plant volunteered; last year there were three – this year they are abundant.
And for the first time since arriving here, I have beautiful flowers outside my bedroom window.
I may have to trim them back at the end of the season, but for now, they are a celebration of serendipity – you never know when, or where, beauty is going to emerge.
Recently, I had a request for prints of one of my most popular images, coincidentally the one I was working on when I first arrived in Santa Fe. The picture, Loosen Your Soul, is available as a large poster, a journal, and greeting cards, (individually and as a set of five). As of this week, giclee prints of the image are being produced in two sizes, using archival ink on fine art paper. They may be purchased through me directly, on this site (click here for Contact Form) or at the Sunday Market.
I am going to sit in my garden, glass of chilled vino in hand, and contemplate the next collage.
When you come to town, give me a call - we will sit in the garden!
Love and Peace,
Dragon Season in Santa Fe!
Drakes and dragons of all sizes and colors have descended upon our city. Sharp-eyed visitors will spot the slithery winged serpents in unexpected places. They are on street corners, in shops, and lurking from rooftops. Draped over the façade of a gallery and glaring menacingly at the cathedral across the street, this metal sculpture intimidates locals and tourists. And why have dragons invaded ...?
Celebration! Dragon aficionados are welcomed at the Jean Cocteau Cinema. As in previous years, the theater is showing all of last season’s episodes as a lead up to the new Game of Thrones season premiere on Sunday. Some of us are willing to take on the Iron Throne! I have been a fan of dragons for decades. I created a series of monoprints of the fabulous beasts years before I discovered the wonders of collage.
My dragon in collage (pictured above) was created more recently. I had been thinking of the dragons described in Tolkein's stories, as well as George R.R. Martin's Westros versions. I have my own take on the beasts, somewhat drawing upon the ones I had created as monoprints, decades ago. I found the medium of collage suited to the depiction of shiny scales - the jewel-encrusted torso was fun and challenging.
The original collage is now in a private collection, but I have produced a series of giclee prints, and they hot off the press. They are signed and numbered, printed with archival inks on fine art paper, the image is 8” x 12” on a 11” x 15” page, ready for matting or framing ($50). The dragon is also available as a 5” x 7” greeting card, singly ($4.25) or as a set or 5 ($20); each is blank inside and comes with an appropriate envelope.
In honor of Dragon Season, I am offering all Dragon products at 20% off the pre-tax price. I will be at the Sunday Market with the prints, but I will honor online orders until midnight on Sunday, when all good critters should be abed, even dragons!
Click here to find the Contact Form to order a Dragon Print or any other product.
Meanwhile, I have been working on new autumnal collages. This one was inspired by a storm seen on the road from Albuquerque. In Santa Fe, we are still waiting for our monsoon storms – they usually start around July 1; dark clouds pile up every afternoon threatening to pour, but not a drop falls. Hmmm... maybe I will have to call on the Daenerys Stormborn to provoke the rains to fall.
I have to get back to the easel now and complete some pictures before Sunday (I admit I have been distracted!)
I have no fear of the rain, nor dragons, or even cats. I have sat on the Iron Throne and survived!
I will enjoy the Dragon Season in Santa Fe, and I hope you do too, wherever you are. When you fly into town, give me a call and we will share old tales beside the fire.
Love and Peace
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.