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started march 2007
|About the Blogger
I'm a retired, Middle School art teacher from Kansas who decided to move to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have maintained a web site called taospaint.com for several years. Frani (my beautiful wife of 43 years) and I have two sons and six grandkids. Three came as a set (triplets). We also have three great-grand kids, all boys. Frani makes quilts and I paint watercolors.
Being retired, I have time to do stuff I enjoy. I'm a docent at the Albuquerque Museum. My team gives tours for school children twice each month. I'm also active in the New Mexico Watercolor Society. From time to time I do workshops for art teachers at state or national conferences. I have created web sites for the New Mexico Art Education Association and for an author in Colorado Springs named M J Brett.
If my writings get political from time to time - it can't be helped. I was born a Liberal Democrat. Frani and I believe strongly in "Unions" and have always been members of organized labor - be it UAW, NEA or CWA. I consider myself a Populist and support John Edwards for President. Besides ending "Bush's Damn War", Education, Health Care and Ending Poverty should be our top priorities.
Since 1985, I've been driving from Kansas to Taos, New Mexico to paint watercolors. I still attend the Adams State Watercolor Workshop at the Sagebrush Inn, in Taos, every June. Ken and Louise Blair are the greatest Inn Keepers. They treat us like royalty. Frani is sure I go there just for the food, she's probably right.
Frani and I decided to go up to Colorado's Ski Country for a week. We don't ski but we love good music. We heard that Del McCoury and the Boys were performing at a place called the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek. Three days later the Arlo Guthrie Family would be at the same venue. We have been following Arlo's music for 40 years so our trip was a no brainier. The trip also gave me a chance to visit my cousin Margaret Jean and her husband Eric in Colorado Springs. I used the visit to teach my cousin how to maintain and update the web site I created for her. She writes Historical Novels under the name of M J Brett. She is working on her fourth novel now.
Beaver Creek (3/23 - 3/3/26):
We loved the mountains and the snow, but Beaver Creek was a cultural shocker. People used to talk about the better half. Beaver Creek is an example of how the upper 1 % of Americans live. Now I know what all those Bush tax cuts were spent on. These second homes run from 3 to 18 million dollars. We stayed just outside Beaver Creek in a town called Avon. We were in a Comfort Inn.
As we visited the shops and galleries we realized we were never meant to spend our money there. So, between concerts, we toured other towns. Glenwood Springs, west of Avon on I-70 was more our type of shopping. It is an older community that reminded us of a college town like Lawrence, Kansas. Frani found a quilting shop to buy patterns at, and we both came away with rocks from a rock shop. From Glenwood Springs we drove on to Aspen. My mountain pic above was shot on our drive to Aspen. Of course shopping in Aspen is similar to New York's Fifth Avenue.
On another day we drove East from Avon, along I-70 toward Breckenridge to the town of Frisco. Like Glenwood Springs, Frisco is a delightful little village full of neat, "affordable" shops. We enjoyed our shopping here, picking up presents for next Christmas.
| The first night we heard Del McCoury. Bluegrass music at it's very best.
Five well dressed men in tailored suits and ties playing the
mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass and guitar with no electric cords
attached. The only amplification was from three mikes on stage.
Acoustic music at it's very best. That was Friday night.
On Monday we were treated to the Arlo Guthrie Family Tour.
Arlo's son Abe plays the keyboard while his daughter Sara Lee and
her husband Johnny Irion play guitar and sing. Arlo's stories
were great as usual, but now Sarah Lee
tells stories as well. It was puzzling to see this well healed
audience applauding songs about "Union Maids" and all that "Peace and
Love" stuff. The couple next to us ask if we lived in "the
valley". We said yes - the north valley in Albuquerque. Her
program had an ad for a enormous cranberry "Chiluly Chandelier" in a gallery at Beaver Creek.
I said we always purchased our Chiluly at "Tuesday Mornings".
She was totally perplexed because she had no idea what "Tuesday
Mornings" was. The joke was totally lost. But the music was
On the way back to New Mexico, we stopped in Denver to check out the changes to the (DAM) Denver Art Museum. They opened the new addition last fall, but I had yet to see the new wing.
| They let you take photos there, so I shot pics of the shadows cast by the various sculptures I found. I put a page of shadow pics on my web site. The DAM has always been a great museum to visit. Now it's even more so.
| On the way to and from Colorado, we made sure we stopped to eat breakfast at the Brown Hotel in Springer,
New Mexico. Good food is a reason to travel and the Brown Hotel is a
great place to have breakfast. Frani gets a "Grinder" (Sausage and Cheese
on a bed of eggs scrambled with green chili all between toasted buns). I
settled for a Breakfast Buritto with bacon, smothered in green chili
sauce of course.
It's good to be home again. I went to pick up my two watercolors at Albuquerque's Little Theater only to find one was sold. Normally that's good news, but not thinking it would sell - I had entered it into a juried exhibition. Of course it's a very tough competition so perhaps I'll be lucky and get rejected. Someone said I could paint another just like it, but with watercolor that's tough. The same happy accidents may not happen again.
| This is my first attempt at writing
a Blog. We will just have to see how it goes. What's fun is
placing all the little hot links within the text. If you read it
this far, let me know what you think. Contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Back to Painting (3/29):
Now that we are home I'm painting again. Actually I'm working on 5 watercolors at the same time. I jump from one to the next as portions dry and to prevent me from over working any one painting. I started all of them two weeks ago as part of a demonstration I was doing for the New Mexico Watercolor Society. One of the paintings is of Tess (one of the famous triplets) on the beach at Santa Monica.
| If you notice the ragged torn masking tape on the edges, that's for a reason. I got the idea from Russ Ball
who did our demo a month earlier. When the watercolor is finished
and I remove the tape - the edges should leave the appearance of a
deckled edge around the painting. At least that's the plan.
Tonight is the opening of MasterWorks of New Mexico. It's a top notch juried exhibit of not just watercolors, but also acrylics, oils, pastels and also miniatures. I was fortunate to get two of my watercolors in the exhibit this year. The exhibition is always top quality work.
| Tomorrow (Saturday) I paint with a group at the La Mesa Church. We have an artist from Espanola (Jan Hart)
coming to teach for three Saturdays. We get together every
Saturday morning to paint and critique each others work. We also
have a group exhibition at the Arts Alliance in April to showcase our best work.
|Jan Hart Workshop (3/31):
Today was the first day of Jan Hart's watercolor workshop for our Saturday morning painting group. After 35 years of painting, perhaps now I'll learn something about using color. Jan has a comfortable teaching style and knows how to explain about the need to know about the various qualities of pigments: permanent, staining, opaque, transparent, etc. She suggested we check out a web site I was aware of but had not spent enough time reading. It's called "HandPrint", and is the quintessential place to learn about color. Jan will be back two more Saturdays and I'm prepared to learn a lot.
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