Saturday, March 25, 2023


WORD PAINTINGS # 130 (How I Came to New Mexico and learned about Art and Life) - A CAUTIONARY TALE!

Sometimes when we least expect it, Life Happens!!

Had a fall last September (I slid rather ungracefully to my bedroom floor) - was unable to raise myself up.  The EMTs arrived and were concerned that my oxygen levels were very low.  They put me in an ambulance and whisked me to the Emergency Room at Holy Cross Hospital. What happened next was Terrifying!!!!  The ER doctor asked what happened and I pointed to my right knee and said "I leg lifted 400 lbs....." - with that she left the room and didn't hear me add "25 years ago and my right knee gives way now and I fell this morning."  

She got on the phone with my son-in-law a retired brain surgeon. He and I hadn't had any contact for long time, so he didn't have a clue to my state of mind or physical condition. Together they, along with one of my helpers, decided that I needed to be transferred to the Psych Ward for evaluation.  The "brain" surgeon diagnosed me with delusions of grandeur!  Through some miracle, they reached my daughter Sarah in Germany - 3AM and she's in bed with Covid.  Finally she convinces the girl at the desk that she had seen me only ten days before and besides - she had my Power of Attorney!!! 

Why am I sharing this story?  Certainly not for entertainment! This is a cautionary tale to anyone of a certain age who hasn't done the work of making end of life choices. I know, I know - but if I had been sent for evaluation, my rise in blood pressure from the fear would have caused them to medicate me.  Once I was medicated I was just an 83 year old woman with delusions of grandeur.  I would have no more choices about anything. All my belongings - my easels, paints, brushes, precious things would be scattered to the winds. (Remember that scene in Zorba the Greek when the woman dies in the village her neighbors take all her things in minutes and empty her little house to the bones?) I would have been sent to some old people's orphanage and left there just staring at the gray walls just waiting for someone - anyone - to visit!!!  Do your homework!!! Don't wait for a medical crisis!!!

Thanks to Sarah, I had a stay of execution.  I had no injuries and was released from the hospital that evening....along with a new and very noisy companion in the form of a respirator and a very long hose that follows me all over the house 24/7.  It is an awkward ballet daily to avoid the loops and tangles, but am still able to get to the easel every day.  Still making plans for new work. As long as there is breath in my body I plan to keep moving - albeit just a little bit slower now!  (Read Amy B. Scher's amazing book This is How I Save My Life.)

Footnote: I finally realized that the smoke from the horrific Hermit's Peak Fire compromised my oxygen levels and it was hard for me to catch my breath.  Also experienced a "fogginess" - couldn't concentrate.  If you are of a certain age and lived through those unbearable days of heavy smoke anywhere near this fire - check with your doctor.  Have them check your oxygen capacity! My PA says that they have noticed more oldsters with some breathing difficulties. Finally take the time to appoint "your person in the world" - Trust them with your the Power of Attorney...put your End of Life Choices in writing.

Now I am going to have a cup of coffee and head back to my easel to paint another day! 

Best regards, Donna

PS - a few months before I fell, I purchased a Thrive Medical Alert system through Amazon. At first I hated wearing that medallion every day - but I was able to get the help I needed by just pressing  button!  When one gets to the ripe old age of 83 the word for the day is ADAPT!!! 



Tuesday, February 14, 2023


Studio #123 - DREAMKEEPER STUDY (Moonset 11/11/22 - Llano Quemado, N.M.) - 12"x12" Original Oil on Linen canvas, custom framed - free shipping -

WORD PAINTINGS #129 (How I Came to New Mexico and learned about Art and Life)....
4 February 2023  - Still dark at 5:45 AM . A very fat and bright full moon creating shadows on my bed covers. Communion! 
10 February 2023 - Pulled up my bedroom window shade this morning and a huge red fox streaked past - thinking he must be the partner of the sweet smaller fox that shows up regularly. Always a good sign - an omen - a definite thrill!  

13 February 2023 - Celebrating 23 years of online sales from my website with a new look!!!! More than 25 years ago I read about a man who had a "computer" and was earning his living from a mountaintop in Colorado!!! I had to wait a while, but my first website was created in 2000! What an innovation! Couldn't have done it without the expert help of my technical guru, Dan Frank Kuehn owner of a digital design business in Questa, N.M.! Would love to hear your comments...

 14 February 2023 - HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!


Saturday, January 21, 2023


WORD PAINTINGS #128 (How I Came to New Mexico and Larned about Art and Life) - 
 ON MY EASEL TODAY! Studio #123 -WORKS IN PROGRESS "DREAMKEEPER" - 12"x12" Oil Study for 30"x30" Original Oil. Early morning on Nov. 11, 2022 I lifted the bedroom window shade and saw this moonset over Tres Orejas. Just stood there for a long time and then I sat down to make some color notes, (will post to my Art Journal blog later) By accident few days later I found this poemby Langston Hughes.....

Bring me all of your dreams
You dreamer
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud cloth
away from the too rough fingers
Of the world
In my imagination that full moon picked up my night dreams as it sailed over my house, taking them all around the world....just imagine!


Sunday, November 27, 2022


WORD PAINTINGS #127 (How I Came to New Mexico and Learned about Art and Life) - WINTER WORK 

27 November 2022 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) - A Perfect New Beginning!!! Wakened to huge fluffy snowflakes at 7Am. a veritable whiteout!  Now 10:30AM - the grey clouds are clearing and all the pretty white stuff is melting.

Starting out with some small works - call them my Five Finger exercises.  Working on several at a time, underpainting, glazing, final brushstrokes.  When one is underpainted, it dries for about a week before I put on the glazes.  The highlights - final brushstrokes go on last. A lengthy process - no different than my larger canvases. Every time there are two or three that stand out and the end result is a major painting - all finished and framed.  

Winter is my favorite time to work.  Life is quiet.  I start preparing in early September - a habit I formed when I lived on the horse ranch in Truchas in 1982! My annual ritual ever since!  Art supplies have all been replenished, including new frames just waiting for finished work. All my devices are charged in case of any outage. The pantry is full. A new palette of fresh juicy oil paints - how good does it get?   Let the fun begin!  

Hug an artist today! 

Best regards to all, Donna

Four new paintings now available at my Collector's Online Gallery....ENJOY!

ROMERO ROAD, (Tesuque, N.M.) - 10"x8" Oil



RIVER ROAD (Ojo Sarco, N.M.) - 8"z10" Oil

                                       SPRING THAW (Trujillo Road - Llano Quemado) 10"x8" Oil

Sunday, October 23, 2022


20 October 2022 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico)- The father of my three children died yesterday.  These past few weeks have been very strange.  His dying was very long and protracted. Painful. Daily updates from one of our twin daughters. We had been divorced for over 52 years. Memories of our nine years together and how that time affected all our lives (not always pleasantly) through the years.  His shadow always lurking in the background affecting my relationships with my children. Catholic guilt over the divorce. Great sadness over his prolonged weeks of pain and suffering. A profound sense of loss.  All those memories of years ago faded and at the end sent a message to him that I cared.  Endings always lead to New Beginnings! __________________________________________________________ 


 21 October 2022 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) -Each Day a New Beginning...

On my easel today - some small works. I call them five finger exercises.  Some of these studies go on to become larger paintings.   The larger canvas is one I have had in mind for several years - "Don Eusavio's Long Winter Night".



Tuesday, August 9, 2022


6 August 2022 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) - So often life is a balancing act!  It falls to pieces but miracle after miracle the missing pieces show up and we get to sort them out one by one - leaving behind those that no longer fit.  This is such an interesting time to be alive!!  

After all the extremely crunchy dry and smoke-filled days the monsoon arrived in full force.  Bright white lightning and great booming thunder claps.  Sleepwalking is no longer an option.  Wake up to Mother Nature - this is no time to be caught napping.  See the brilliant flash over the mountains - count - one thousand one, one thousand two and when you finally hear the thunderclap, it announces the distance of the storm.  Shut it all down - hold your breath - here comes the storm!  We would be less than grateful to complain about it now - we are in a God moment. Watch the morning clouds form and build over the mountains. Mid afternoon the skies darken and the drama begins - thrillingly beautiful! Boom!!! Wake up! It is an adventure to be alive! Early evening and the rain stops - some distant rainbows, glorious sunsets - Breathless!

Lightning strike so close to the house three weeks ago just moments after I shut down my big computer.  My hair sizzled and my beeper beeped. Blew out the internet to all my devices! Complete silence!!! Next day called large corporate phone company and answered questions from a robot for about half an hour. He - it - discerned it was a problem not easy to solve, so I was referred to a recorded voice urging me to stay on the line. After ninety impatient  minutes I felt stupid and quit the game....the corporation game of putting you on hold forever and ever!

Prior to the Big Boom I watched a documentary on David Hockney.  Excited by his imagination and invention - the development of his work - his life changes. Especially the stories of he and his best friend going to Italy to see operas - and how opera inspires him.  Tears - remembrances of times past when I would paint (and sometimes sing along very badly) to my operas....Puccini, Verdi, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, Pavarotti, Price.   

Haven't been able to listen to my operas since my son died seven years enormous blank space just waiting for me to be filled with my music again.  Inspired by Hockney I spent days searching for my absolute favorite - Leontyne Price singing arias from Verdi and Puccini. Each time I looked through my music I lost hope of finding that recording.  Ironically the lightning strike, through a series of strange circumstances, killed service to all my devices...laptop, iPad, TV and stereo for ten whole days!!!!  Complete silence - only my easel, paints and the spectacular monsoon clouds which formed every afternoon!

Imagined what it was like for the contemplative monk Thomas Merton isolating in his little cabin to pray and write.  No praying or writing but silent days at the easel - pure concentration! No distractions! A physical and emotional break from the "real world" fed to me daily through pundits and politicians.  Earthshaking realization brought on by the Great Silence - I don't have to listen or attach my attention to their words as before!  Ten days to detox from all the noise. After a while I began to feel My Real World return to me. Days of imagination and quiet joy.

Yes, one morning I found the light blue CD cover with Leontyne's beautiful face.  I found it!  Thanks to David Hockney a small piece of my life has been returned!  Still hesitating to listen - just look at the CD cover and remember all those those days when the house was filled with music. Time for me to open my heart and listen to the beauty of those glorious voices again!

The wonderful fellows at Taos Net set me up again through their internet service.  Cancelling Century Link internet which was part of a bundle....beware of bundles!

Gratefully my intense reliance of TV News hasn't returned.  Being "well Informed" about things I cannot change is now an option and not a necessity.  Silence is totally underrated.  This is my real world....DC


DISTANT THUNDER (Ranchitos Road - Taos, New Mexico) - 24"x36" Work in Progress (Underpainting) Color notes are posted to my Art Journal -  Projected completion: 8/10/22

NEW from my easel ..... Online Gallery.



Tuesday, July 5, 2022


WORD PAINTINGS #124 (How I Came to New Mexico and Learned About Life and Art) -RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, RAIN - BLESSED RAIN!!!

3 July 2022 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) - Sunday morning silence - not even the birds are singing!  Truth is we are all exhausted from the heavy drama of this time since the fires began in April.  Fell asleep to the sounds of a gentle, steady rain last night - the sweet smells of grass and earth.  Everything just feels softer, better....more hopeful.  There is a definite harshness in the high desert without moisture.  High winds and sand storms added to the disquiet of every living thing.  Even the neighborhood dogs are silent this morning. Am picturing them all curled up in a shady spot on some cool morning grass.  It feels like being in church!  The fields that were a crispy brown just a week ago are now a brilliant green.  Yesterday the suburban sounds of lawnmowers seemed no longer a nuisance, but instead a sign of great relief that the monsoon is finally here! 

So much has happened this year - pandemic still with us, the invasion of Ukraine,  the devastating fires and, of course, the ongoing 24/7 Trumpathon. 

Many shifts and changes in my little life as well.  My two favorite words are "adapt" and "adjust".  At the soon to be age of 83 it is time for a fearless and thorough inventory of life and my time left on this planet.  One big surprise was my departure from Chimayo Trading.  Many, many stories of my life with galleries, consignments, agents, negotiations - endless striving.  Sometimes change is pressed upon me - I resist until there is no other option than to walk away - relationships, marriages, business arrangements.  It is never any one thing - I wait until there is a huge pile up and the decisions are made for me. Now what?

So, here I am - this beautiful Sunday morning.  Heading to my easel to set up a fresh new palette.....big globs of juicy colors and the delicious smells of linseed oil and turpentine!  My addiction!  The new work "Late Winter Storm" (another precious Truchas memory) will hopefully find its way to completion this afternoon.  Fascination with my family tree on Ancestry is leading me in a whole new direction - my unknown  history - Polish, German, Russian. Mysteries and Surprises - some dating back to the 1500s!  Found an old book "Poland" by James Michener on Audible - 30 listening hours.  Wow! That means 30 working hours at the easel!  Off to set up my paints!


"More than Doers, we are Deciders. Once our decision becomes clear, the Universe supports and empowers our actions." The Book of Runes


4 July 2022 Independence Day!!!  Happy Birthday America! Happy New Day to Me! A day of decision-making. Slow to get up - wonderful storm last night - winds, loud banging claps of thunder - hail against my windows.  Some heart-pounding minutes - and then the peaceful sounds of a gentle rain and the glorious smell of wet puddley earth!  Grateful.

Worked today to complete Late Winter Storm - new 24"x30".  Here it is - another Truchas memory!  Enjoy! DC


WORD PAINTINGS # 130 (How I Came to New Mexico and learned about Art and Life) - A CAUTIONARY TALE! Sometimes when we least expect it, Life ...