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,
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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