July is Adobe Houses & Wild Horses


#180/365 Paintings

My first drawing was a horse at 4 years old. And then I drew horses exclusively until the age of 6 when I asked a ladybug to find my father a job–to relay the message to the powers that be. Then it was ladybugs for a year. The sight of a horse and I’m a jelly knee’d gawking 4 year old again. And adobe is my favorite style of house. The feeling of protection combined with the sculpturesque beauty of clay is something extraordinary.

While Vermont barns didn’t work out this month (darn)… houses & horses was in the queue for the fall. So it’s just been switched up. I haven’t lost hope that I can make it back East in the fall to create a handful of barn paintings against those famous fall colors.

July is adding up to be a very promising and privileged experience. I will study adobe house history and architecture from the Mill Valley Library this week. One of the oldest adobe structures in this area, built in 1836 is featured in the history room of the library. And then onto Sedona the second week, where I will meet with a renowned adobe house architect and learn all I can from him. After Sedona is Santa Fe to stay in my friend’s home near the plaza for the final 2 weeks of the month, photograph adobes, hang out with friends in summer dresses and hiking boots over margarita’s and soak it in. I have always loved and admired Georgia O’Keefe. I read her biography in college and wrote a few essays on her brazen and beautiful ways. It will be awesome to paint in the land she adored painted.

Throughout the month I will be painting horses from Tony Stromberg’s gorgeous photographs. This is a dream come true for me. I made contact with him in 2008 with that intention but was derailed by a job. Now I’m back to it. He is from the Bay Area and lives in Santa Fe. Robert Redford wrote a beautiful introduction for his book, “The Forgotten Horses.” “Tony Stromberg’s remarkable photographs express the beauty, grace, spirit and devotion that all horses embody.” ~ Robert Redford. Since I will not necessarily see wild horses running every day in Santa Fe, I’m grateful to Tony for doing this work for me. ; )

Overall, the project is getting very efficient. I am not scanning the paintings. I’m photographing them from my iPhone. I’ll have a lot of scanning to do at the end of August. The print store is closed as well (however, I am still posting the thumbnails on the page for pre-orders and gallery views). With everything becoming travel sized and a few road trips in the near future, I’m getting closer and closer to the subject matter. Less distractions. On the other hand, an artist without her studio is a bit out of sorts, with the challenges of grounding into the work without the usual routines, practices and reference points. This is a fascinating challenge for me. I imagine it will get even more so with more spontaneity abound in July.

On June 25, I was a guest on “Some Like it Hot” KSVY where I had a delightful talk with Diana Dawn about what it’s like to be halfway through the project. If you are interested, just click on the side bar of the website (the big icon of KSVY and me).

So, cheers to color and the wild plains of horses and light to come. Here are a couple of quotes that inspire me and maybe they will inspire you too.

“In their innocence and wisdom, in their connection to the earth and it’s most ancient rhythms, animals show us a way back to a home they have never left.” ~ Susan Chernak McElroy, from Tony Stromberg’s Horses.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe

“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way- things I had no words for.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe



You may also like

Leave a comment