Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Having a great time over at the new site!

Wish you were here!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hi all!

Tonight's picture is on my new blog site: tarawheeler.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 3, 2008

"April Snowfall on Taos Mountain"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

We woke up this morning to snow!

Yeah, yeah, it snows up here. But we were pretty sure we'd missed it by moving in late March.

I was resigned to waiting until next fall to see it snow.

So, this morning, David and I watched the strange mist on the mountain as it roiled around and around and then came towards us and snow swirled through the air around our house for the better part of an hour.

It never made the ground, but it was amazing to watch.

I only wish I'd had my knitting; I could have crossed something else off my life-list (I have this fantasy of sitting before a roaring fire, knitting while watching it snow outside my window-- David and I have been trying to make this happen for years. So far, we've just missed it a dozen times).

"Magpie in Flight"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

This painting was all set to go up on the website yesterday, but we had a little technical difficulty out here at the Ranchito.

My digital camera and David's laptop were stolen from my Subaru at our local gym while David and I were inside working out.

The good and bad news was that the thief didn't break any windows to get into my car. We still don't know how he got in. :/

The good news was that the thief was caught minutes later, just up the street, and the Taos Police Department called us about 10:30 last night to confirm that they had our laptop and camera and that we could pick them up the next day once they'd been logged in and processed as evidence. :)

The bad news; my knitting (thirty dollars worth of German knitting needles and twenty dollars worth of superfine Australian Merino) is probably on the way to the Taos landfill. :(

I had been lugging the camera around in my car to catch some pictures of these magnificent magpies. I'm really loving these birds.

Now there's a thief I can live with.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"Wildly Cherry M&M's"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I did make it out to the Rio Grande Gorge today.

And it was too cold and blustery to paint. :(

I promise to get out there and paint ASAP.

Meanwhile, I had these just lying around. . .

Still one painting behind. . .

Monday, March 31, 2008

"Caribe Pepper"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Carribe Pepper II"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Well, I had all these plans to drive down into the Rio Grande Gorge today to paint, but my crazy dog, Dulce, jumped through a barbed wire fence and now, after an expensive trip to the vet, I'm home with her, painting peppers.

Maybe I'll get to the Gorge tomorrow.

I'm one painting behind. I hope to make it up tomorrow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Trying to Rain"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Cottonwoods to the Northeast"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Two more views of my backyard.

Tomorrow I go to the Rio Grande Gorge. If I can get three paintings done, I'll be all caught up.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Marisol II"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Today was my first session with the Taos Society of Portrait Artists.

The model for today was Marisol from Ecuador.

Lovely, exotic features. Gorgeous colors. Just a joy to work with.

For portrait painting, the model stays in one pose, with breaks every 45 minutes or so.

It was great. I can't wait for next week

Friday, March 28, 2008

"Hills Near Apoaca"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Hills Near Apoaca II"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Went out with Plein Air New Mexico this morning to paint near Dixon, which is South of Taos.

We ended up in a gorgeous canyon between Dixon and the even less wide-place-in-the-road called Apoaca.

Had a great time and met some really lovely people who I can't wait to paint with again.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to go paint with the Taos Portrait Group.

Might not be nekkid day, but might be an acceptable replacement.

Still very tired. I will catch up.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"View From My Kitchen Window"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"The Ravens' Aspens; Early Spring"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Hi all! Sorry I've been gone so long.

It's been a rough week.

I've finally got my studio all unpacked and gotten settled enough to actually *want* to paint.

The remains of this week are going to be very busy; I'm going to be out painting with Plein Air New Mexico tomorrow and hope to do some figurative stuff on Saturday.

Tonight's paintings are both from my own backyard. The first one is quite literally the view from where I'm currently sitting at my kitchen island. It's amazing.

The second one is from a stand of aspens just to the Northwest of us on a neighbor's property. For some reason, the local ravens love this stand of aspens and we hear them commenting loudly every time we go out back.

My husband and I have been referring to it as 'the Ravens' Aspens'.

I'll probably be painting this repeatedly as it leafs out.

Things are just about to start bud break here in Northern New Mexico.

I'm going to be a busy painter. And I promise to catch up with my paintings before the end of the month.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Red Bananas"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Red Banana; Peeled"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I noticed a lot of people lately painting bananas.

So, of course, I had to go out and find the weirdest version I could.

These are Guatemalan Reds.

And they went bad too fast for me to try one, so I can't tell you how they taste. :(

Sorry about all the starts and stops; we're packing for the move to Taos.

I promise to keep up my picture count; you just might get it in twos and threes for a while.

Monday, March 17, 2008

"The Black Draped Harp"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Years ago, I used to play the Irish harp.

St. Patrick's Day was my least favorite day of the year. I've never seen him as a Irish hero.

St. Patrick was a Welsh slave, brought to Ireland in chains.

His curses toppled the Hill of Tara, at the time, the Irish seat of power, culture and knowledge.

He drove the snakes from Ireland (read; pagans) and instituted the religion of the White Christ.

And that set off a thousand years of civil war.

Every year, on St. Patrick's Day, I would drape my harp in black and not play it.

Everyone please lift your glasses to St. Patrick.

Having a holiday dedicated to drinking, song and merriment would probably have pissed him off no end.

I will not be joining you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"My Peeps"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Love Peeps"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I warned y'all I might get around to painting Peeps.

It's finally come.

If you're not familiar with Peeps, go to your local grocery store and look at the Easter display.

Trust me, you'll see them.

They're horribly addictive little marshmallow candies that are the opposite end of the spectrum from circus peanuts in that they're light and fluffy and usually coated in granular sugar.


Friday, March 14, 2008

"Weird Little Carrot"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Bunch of Weird Little Carrots"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

These are from last week's major raid on the produce section of HEB Central Market.

They're just about to go bad; they've been in my fridge since then.

I went to paint the bunch first.

I was setting up, looked away for a second and my dog, Dulce, walked by, casually snagged the entire bunch and went to her bed with them.

Thankfully, I noticed the theft before she'd done much damage.

She did manage to pull the single most interesting carrot out of the bunch, so I ended up painting that first.

The whole bunch reminds me of a rat king somehow. . .

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"El Chupacabra"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I realized I'd been so caught up in those weird new colors for my still lifes that I'd gone and neglected the weird stuff.

Here's El Chupacabra for ya.

This is directly from the *original* description from March of 1995 in Puerto Rico where the beast is described as being:

"Covered by fine grey fur with darker spots."

And the famous spikes down the the back:

"Phosphorescent bright colored spine- like appendages that run over the body from head to the end of the back. The spines colors change constantly from red to blue to yellow, to green to orange to violet."

If something like this is sucking your goats dry; you need to be watching your goats a little closer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Blushing Pear"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I've been packing and cleaning all day and I can't get the colors on this to come out right in this scan.

Trust me, it's got a lot more red and the darks are a lot less dark.

I hate my camera set up right now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Six Nekkid Jelly Babies"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Still smarting over the loss of the Dougherty Arts Center and nekkid day.

So, here are my very own six, count 'em, six, nekkid models.

And I ate them all up afterward. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Asparagus Spears"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

More odd colors from HEB Central Market.

I just love that salmon pink against the yellow-green.

Can't stand to eat asparagus though.

My Mom, Dad and Husband had this for dinner last week after I brought it home.

I got the leftovers to paint.

When I was a kid I used to catch fish for my parents and siblings to eat.

I'd eat hot dogs.

I loved catching fish. Just couldn't stand the taste.

Guess this is more of the same.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Spike II"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Well, it's been a very unhappy 48 hours here without Spike.

My Husband and I put up fliers, notified vets and shelters and pissed off most of our neighbors with our almost constant calling.

I just couldn't settle down to paint.

Finally I said 'what the hell' and decided to paint Spike. The whole time I was praying that my cat would come home.

Call it sympathetic magic. Call it wishful thinking. Call it divine intervention.

My Husband came home from making a midnight order at his shop and told me he thought he'd heard Spike outside. We walked the block calling for her. Nothing.

When we got back to the house (both of us near tears) she galloped up to meet us.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Pepino Melon"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

This started out as a fairly straightforward study of a weird Ecuadorian pepino melon I found at Central Market, on a collection of some of the new color drapes my Mother helped me pick out.

Then it got all dark and angsty.

You see, my cat, Spike, has gone missing.

And my heart is all yellow and purple and feels like it wants to burst (in a bad way).

Tomorrow I have to put up missing posters.

I might have to paint Spike a few more times to get me through this. . .

Friday, March 7, 2008

"Three Tangelos"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

David's been at the fruit section again.

These tangeloes were such an amazing shade of orange and they looked so good against the blue. . . And then he ate them.

I'm afraid it's been a very good week in the produce section, so there's more fruit and veg to come.

The good news is that my Mother has been color sorting for me (she's a professional color consultant) and there's some very interesting color combinations in store.

She pointed out some combos I would never have dreamed of.

You'll have to tell me what you think.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Black Calla Lilies"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Wouldn't Georgia O'Keeffe have just loved 'black' calla lilies?

Back when she was painting her lilies (and she was known as 'the lady of the lilies'), the white ones were the only ones available and then for only part of the year. She would spend a week sequestered with them when they finally arrived, waiting for the perfect moment to capture their beauty.

We're spoiled now, and can now get them all year round in an amazing range of colors.

The dark purple of these 'black' ones has been pestering me for some time. I'm glad I finally got around to painting some.

It won't be the last time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I needed to paint this before it totally ripened into mush, but it's kinda how I feel after yesterday's debacle with what passes for 'the voting process' in this country.


I think I'm going to swear off news until January '09.

And I'm definitely swearing off politics.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"The Lovers"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Well, the first nekkid day with no nekkid day.

I'm still pretty bummed.

So I painted some weird, taupe colored pears.

Two more weeks before the move.

I have a vague idea what to try next week. . .

Might be even weirder than usual, so stay tuned!

Monday, March 3, 2008

"Jersey Devil"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I haven't done anything monster-wise for a few days and decided to go ahead and take a stab at another of my faves, the Jersey Devil.

This beastie first roamed through Eastern Pensylvania and Southern New Jersey around the turn of the last century.

It was described by several people as a 'Jabberwock' with long, thin wings, short legs; the fronts shorter than the hinds, and either cloven hooved or shod like a horse. It left bewildering trails of tracks in the snow that went through fences and went on for miles and miles.

Several people describe it's dog-like head and it barked at one woman.

It emitted a squalking whistle at another couple.

Whatever it was, it wasn't like anything else.

And it certainly wasn't any half-nekkid Neanderthal like they claimed on the X-Files.

Hmmmphp. Mulder would know better than that.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

"The Hat"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

The first official movie trailer for the new 'Indiana Jones' movie hit the internet today.

All Harrison Ford has to do is pick up that hat and people lose their minds.

This trailer's no exception, it's got a shot of the hat on the ground and it's Indy who picks it up and puts it on.

So here's the hat.

Just waiting.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Yellow Plums"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I saw these at Whole Foods yesterday and had a WTF moment.

I had to have them. They're the weirdest looking things.

Yellow gold hearts.

Then to make things even weirder; tonight David and I were watching Babylon 5, an episode called 'Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi', and the mad Emperor Cartagia had one in his hand.

If coincidences are just coincidences, then why do they seem so contrived?

Friday, February 29, 2008

3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Happy Leap Day everyone!

I tried to find a picture of a leaping hare that I liked, but couldn't and then remembered; frogs leap too. . .

This is a red-eyed tree frog.

They're tiny little multicolored jewels, almost the whole spectrum in one frog.

I should do a whole frog series. . .

Thursday, February 28, 2008

3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

David's been to the store again buying more berries.

I borrowed this one for a little while, but it too succumbed to it's inevitable fate. . .

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Guardian I"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Guardian II"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Sorry I didn't post yesterday.

Yesterday was a horrible day.

Yesterday's dentist was much better than last week's, but horrible things were done in the name of fixing the previous badness.

Thankfully, I don't remember much of it. And I had a designated driver.

So, I got home yesterday afternoon and had totally missed Nekkid day.

Then I read my email and found out that oil paints are no longer welcome at the Dougherty Art Center's live model sketch sessions, so not only did I miss Nekkid day; there will be no more Nekkid days, period.

As I said; Yesterday was a very bad day.

So today I painted two guardians from my school days.

I used to paint and draw these guys on all my stuff to keep the bad people out.

Worked tolerably well too.

Maybe I should get tattoos of them. . .

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Andean Flamingos Mating Dance"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I saw this video reposted on one of the boards and was just obsessed with it today.

It's from an old episode of Nature called "Andes: The Dragon's Back".

There's this washed out desert landscape with a body of dead water in the middle ground. On top of this water, these masses of pink birds tango back and forth.

So, you should be listening to a tango, preferably one with pan flute, while you look at this picture.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Circus Peanuts"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Love 'em or hate 'em, here they are.

I love 'em. Have since I was a very little girl.

The time between Valentines Day and Easter seems to be the season for sweets.

Everybody seems to be painting candies and cakes and things.

I didn't see anyone painting circus peanuts, so I think I may have an exclusive.

I might try painting a 'peep' in a week or two. :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

You knew it was only a matter of time before I got around to Nessie. . .

I've actually been out on Loch Ness hunting for the beastie.

I did a huge amount of hiking and hitchhiking (which I'd never done before and haven't had to do since) to get out to Loch Ness from Inverness.

A delightful old man in an MG convertable gave me a ride to Urquhart Castle (the ruins in the background of this picture).

He asked me if I knew what the locals though of the famous 'Surgeon Photograph' of the monster.

I said 'no'.

His eyes twinkled and he said: 'ah, lassie, they say the monster was just raisin' his kilt for the photographer.'

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Red Plum"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I don't think I've mastered plums yet.

Need to paint more.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Illegal Alien"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I'm almost back to what passes for normal.

More dental work next week, though. :(

Buckle up folks; could be a rough week in Adventures in Art.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Bad Dentist"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I've been reading up on abstract art lately and wondering if I could maybe go a little more abstract.

I haven't really been able to wrap my head around it until today's really, really bad dentist appointment.

Then I couldn't paint anything else but rage.

Mostly better now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Nekkid day!

And my 50th daily painting! Three hundred and fifteen left to go!

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Tri-colored Habanero"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I've been having trouble finding good habanero peppers to paint. They're way out of season.

Whole Foods got some in today and they were kinda off; a lot of rotten ones in the box.

Then I found this one and the colors were so amazing I just had to have it.

So, here's the first of the habanero peppers in the tiny format.

I'm afraid there's more to come as I just love the little buggers.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Knight Rider"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Tonight NBC ran the new and improved 'Knight Rider'.

I actually kinda liked it.

First off, I was a huge fan of the original.

Let me qualify and quantify that; I was a huge fan of the car, K.I.T.T.

I agreed totally with the lead mechanic, Bonnie, when she'd turn K.I.T.T. and Michael loose for the week and would state that the only thing wrong with the car was the nut behind the wheel.

K.I.T.T.'s now a Ford Mustang and can change color. Nanotechnology. And he's a wiz at surfing the net. I'm OK with all this.

He didn't refer to anything in his past; here's hoping they let him.

And we did see the old Michael Knight at the end. He's the dad of the new Mike. He came in, gave his blessing and took off. Again, very OK with this.

I'll be watching and hoping this continues to be better than the original.

Not sure about Val Kilmer as the new voice of K.I.T.T. though.

I miss William Daniels' metallic purr.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Albuquerque Sunset"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Gorgeous sunset as we drove into Albuquerque this evening.

I've had crap lights to take pictures of my pictures this week.

Those hills are actually a dull green. . .

Ah well, back to Austin and the semi-decent lighting setup, which I now have a plan of how to improve.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"St. Francis Church"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Since I gave y'all a two-fer the day before yesterday, and since yesterday was valentines day, I'm afraid I didn't paint yesterday.

I almost didn't get to paint today.

We found a house to rent in Ranchos de Taos.

This is my new neighbor.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Bagolitos; Early Evening"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

"Bagolitos at Twilight"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

Today's my birthday and to celebrate, I bring you a two-fer.

This is the view out my second story B&B window in Arroyo Seco.

Those little rectangular things in the foreground are what we call 'luminarias' in Texas; paper bags with a little sand and a candle that line driveways and the rooftops of ranch style houses during the Holidays in places where people don't get a lot of snow.

Here in New Mexico, they're called 'farolitos' and the mass produced plastic bag version (usually used where people do get snow) are referred to as 'bagolitos'.

And a luminaria is a bonfire ouside your front door.