Monday, December 25, 2017

Grateful End of Year Thoughts

Michael and I had a very busy year which was very happy with the exception of losing our best friend Saba after 17 years on April 10th.  Michael and I are still in the depths of our grief for her, but are rebuilding our habits in our new home in Ramah, NM and also printing out some of the over 1500 photographs of her life we documented which were all happy times!  There are several feral cats living on our property which I am now feeding so I am not entirely without "pets".  We have a pact, I feed them, and they keep the mice and pack rats away!

I have taken lots of photos this year, but done far fewer kaleidoscopes and seem to be moving back into quilting and incorporating cold wax medium into paintings along with photographs.  Michael and I are experimenting together in his studio which is great fun.  Come visit us at the new location of Pumphouse Studio Gallery or take a workshop with Michael through his new Paint the Southwest mentorship program or a regular workshop.

We just got back from Santa Fe where we saw several interesting artists work.  It was an interesting trip as I fell and passed out right at the end of Canyon Road on some loose gravel.  I was paying too much attention to the art and not enough to the ground.  After warning my 87 year old dad to be careful not to fall when walking, he had some advice for me!

Michael and I had memorable trips to Zion and Capitol Reef National Parks and Chiricahua National Monument.  We also paid Tucson and Sedona a visit in the Fall while Michael taught workshops.  I did not get to Bear's Ears National Monument which I had hoped to before it was reduced in size and scope.  We also had a wonderful week in the early fall in Nova Scotia and, of course, a nice Spring of 2017 in Sedona, Arizona before the move in April and a wonderful summer in Lubec, Maine and Campobello Island, NB.

We feel grateful that all of our parents are alive and quite healthy for their ages as they enter and surpass the beginning of their 9th decades.  They are our models for dealing with the aches and pains of being an elder.  Both our dads stubbornly do a lot of gardening despite balance and strength issues, while our mothers drive and do the household chores and even volunteer at various non profits.  We hope we are so lucky, but we do both have some good old age genes going back centuries.  I am still going quite a bit of genealogy and learning much about the world's history in the process.

Happy Holiday Season to All

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Moving towards retirement without a pension, but with a plan...

Since Michael Chesley Johnson and I will only get minimal social security and have no other "pensions", I have been working a plan to have some type of income coming in for our "remaining years" which in both our cases due to family genetics is likely to be well into our 90's.

I have been working the plan which is to move to a CHEAP fully paid for house in a beautiful place(done) and sell all other real estate investments with long term owner financing.  I am happy to say that we have one house sale to go and one piece of land remaining and I am working diligently on finding the right buyer for those as well!  This will take the pressure off Michael to make a full-time living as an artist and allow us to do some budget travel!  We hope a used truck camper is in our future...

In the meantime, Michael teaches weekly and I maintain houses and deal with the minutiae of daily life among the self-employed!  Michael is still writing articles and doing a lot of painting, but his focus lately has been more to challenge himself rather than to make a painting to sell and I love the results.  I even commissioned him to paint something which had personal meaning and he did a great job!

We have closed both galleries to concentrate more on online sales and reduce the time just hanging out in case someone came by to be more productive.  We are open by appointment wherever we are at the moment.   Follow Michael's blog to know where we are...  Plein Air Painterman's Blog.

Fog and Green
Since May it seems that we have had lots of fog and rain and also lots of green growth!

Fog and Boat

Once we get a few miles under our feet in recreational travel, we will get a new herding rescue dog probably in Fall 2018 when we are back in New Mexico.  We miss Saba every day.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fog and Rhodora Blooms on Campobello Island

The daffodils and tulips and forsythia have passed and now we have copious apple blossoms, horse chestnut candles, and rhodora blooming.  Next up will be lilacs and finally lupines in mid June to complete our Spring bloom here on the Island.  The Eagle Hill Bog is abounding in beautiful blooms right now just calling for photographs made into kaleidoscopes.

Rhodora Colors

Bird in Spruce

Cotton Grass Splendor

Spruce in Fog

Moss and Sticks

Life will be very busy for a few more months with gardening as a diversion.  

We hope to slow down when we get settled in a new location this Fall.  The new location is near an old location for us which we are excited about returning to after 15 plus years.  Hint is the state's name has Mexico in it, but it is one of the 50!  We left a different area of the state around 11 years ago and although we cannot afford to be near the "city different" which is an art capital of the US as well as a governmental capital, we will be in a beautiful area with lots of native americans living nearby.  I expect to be grocery shopping in a native american pueblo as that will be the closest grocery store by many miles.  Multiculturalism at its finest is found in this state and tolerance is part of the culture.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Show at Sedona Arts Center

To end our season here in Sedona, we are part of a show which we are hanging on March 22nd, 2017.  It will run through April 4th in the Special Exhibition Gallery at the Sedona Arts Center.  This is the Gallery in the original Apple Barn Building below Main Street where the Pottery Workshop, Larger Classroom and Arts Center Administrative Offices are located.  Open Daily 10-5.  We will be there for 4 shifts and the other artist will also be manning the Gallery for 3-4 shifts during the period.  It is called the Spring Celebration of the Renegade Artists at the Sedona Arts Center.  I am sharing a wall with Michael Chesley Johnson and I picked out the 9 pieces I will showing today.  Prices $100-200 so an affordable gift for yourself or others.  These are metal prints or framed prints on paper.

My largest one is called "Monumental Valley", 24" by 24" with 9 kaleidoscopes on a hand painted board.   It is based on a recent trip with the Sedona Camera Club to Monument Valley on the Arizona/Utah state line.

Come and Visit Us at the Show

To celebrate the first official day of Spring tomorrow, here are some recent photos taken of my lilac bush in Arizona.  I get a kick out of the fact that 2 months from now, the lilacs will be blooming in Downeast Maine and the Canadian Maritimes so we get to enjoy two Springs!

We are heading to Zion National Park in mid April to lead a painting retreat and then will begin the trek east to Lubec, Maine and Campobello Island, New Brunswick.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The New Year and my Kickstarter Campaign

If you have been enjoying my kaleidoscopes for a while, please consider supporting my kickstarter campaign.  It is only until the end of January and is part of the larger Make 100 Program.

 Artists need patrons and patrons need the artists to create art...

I will be creating lots of new kaleidoscopic images for this project.  Stay tuned.  If you are not familiar with kickstarter, it is an all or nothing crowd funding campaign.  In other words, if I do not meet my $500 minimum funding level, the project does not get funded so help me achieve my goal please!

Roots of a tree on Beaver Creek