Posted on

Bad Blogger, Good intentions

Ok, I admit it. I’m not the ace at blogging that I’d like to be. I did have the best of intentions, you know, like “I’ll do a blog and write everyday”. Unfortunately intentions can’t type and neither can they magically create time. I’d like to say “I’ll do better”, but I know better. I will, at least, try.

I see my last post was the end of August. Good grief. No wonder people loose interest. My bad. Ok, done with that, now time to move on. September came, and went. And so did I. I’m typing this with my laptop sitting where it got its name…on my lap and I’m relaxing with my feet up and the afternoon breeze is blowing off the ocean keeping the condo nice and comfortable. It’s my last day in Puerto Vallarta and my paints are packed. Little wonder I finally found time to write. The past three weeks have been heavenly. Although days were hotter than I’m normally happy with, evening thunderstorms cooled us off most days. I took one week completely “off”. No painting, no teaching, just swimming and relaxing from the chaotic summer. It was easy. The first week we were at the Buganvilas Resort Sheraton and their pools are fabulous while their internet is lousy, which made it easy to “turn off” and get some much needed r&r.

We moved from the Sheraton to Casa de los Arcos, high on the mountain on the south side. If you know PV and have a map, it’s on Hortensias Street above Vista Grill. Lovely condo, 2 bedroom with full kitchen and great terrace/balcony. Inside/Outside living. Ahhh. The biggest downside is the fact that there is condo construction on either side of the building.and road construction to boot. Lots of noise and road mess. Fortunately for Susan and David, the owners, this too shall eventually pass! Check it out at www.casadelosarcos.com and if you decide to book please say I sent you!

In spite of the noise I was still productive and will come home with 7 new paintings. I did 8, but one is staying here. (read, smile). I’ll be putting images online shortly (as in within a week). And, yes, coming home reluctantly. I might try to stay longer but i miss my Grace (3 year old black lab).

I’ll get home just in time for the October fourth friday reception at the gallery. Since I’m the one with the new work, the featured Artist will be me. I’ll offer pre-framing specials on the works on paper so if you’re headed to Angel Fire, stop in and check it out! Or, better…go to www.angelfireartspace.com and sign up for my free email newsletter and you’ll get access to the specials where ever you are!

Till then, Saludos!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Holiday Weekend Arts Abound!

Breezes are blowing cooler and the turning of the Seasons is in the air. We’re headed for a great weekend up here where the air is clear and the elk will soon be calling. This Saturday, 10-4 wander between Centro Plaza and the Cove Arts Center to ogle (and buy) the wares of local and regional artists. Stop in the Gallery when you’re wandering the Cove and say hi. I’ll brew some coffee and put out some sweet treats.

While I’m here I’ll share my glee that the piece I donated to Music From Angel Fire for their auction brought a bidding frenzy and sold for $200 more than my retail price! YAY…for me and for MFAF! Boy did that put a smile on my face!

It won’t be long now before I’m headed back to Puerto Vallarta for some R&R, a class and some more tropical painting time. I’m taking plenty of paper and canvas so watch for the new work to be out sometime in November…just in time for the holidays.

Speaking of classes…if you haven’t ordered your DVD of “How to Paint a Poppy that POPS! NOW is the time. The production work is complete and they are ON THEIR WAY to my door. I only ordered 1000…..so get yours ordered first! Once I’ve sold half I’ll start on the next one. So, let me know what you’d like to see next. Here are some options: Introduction to Design and Composition, Exploring Color and Mixed Media, Learn to Draw, or maybe Hollyhocks, Sunflowers or Daisies in Watercolor? Post here with your preference or contact me through the website www.angelfireartspace.com, or coming soon, www.howtopaintflorals.com

Ready? Set? LET’S PAINT!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

I’m Back!

Wow. I can’t believe what a blur July was! Fabulous, though, if I do say so myself! Thanks to all the hard work by Texas Tech theatre students, my board members and all the volunteers who helped make this season of live theatre a success. As you may have guessed my long absence here was due to the manic days of AFMT and Angel Fire ArtsFest too. No execuse, just fact.

But here I am again, and my wheels are spinning like mad. Its been a long time coming, but now my video project is days away from fruition! The contract signed with a reproduction house, the website under construction and my VISA card cracking under the weight, but with high hopes for wild success! My gratitude to all the help and partnership of Turri Video Productions. The video will retail for $49 and will be available at my gallery (Angel Fire ArtSpace) and online. The official site will be www.howtopaintflorals.com but there will be links to get there from the primary site of www.angelfireartspace.com

In the meantime, I’ve been a painting train. I’ve fallen in love with Fredrix Watercolor Canvas and I just can’t stop! It’s the most fabulous painting surface I’ve encountered and I can’t imaging going back to paper, and framing and glass! I can put layers and layers and layers down and the canvas doesn’t care. It takes it and more. The layering creates that deep bold bright color that I love.

This series, The Choral Series, I just finished. I had the first two (The Chorus and The Trio) at ArtsFest…the final one, The Soloist, (not pictured yet) I finished today. All are watercolor on canvas, finished with an archival clear varnish. Maybe the next video will be how to paint watercolor on canvas! Actually, if there’s class you’d like to see in DVD, post a comment here and tell me what it is!

If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, do so at my gallery site (click the link above). Get notification of upcoming events and news, and even specials that are promoted only in the newsletter! This month, its the 4th Annual Music From Angel Fire Gallery Gala Reception on Thursday (not Friday) August 23. I’ll have tons of new work (Roy Brown is bringing a bunch of new pottery) and we’ll introduce our newest addition to the gallery, Taos artist, Tom Noble.
Make sure to mark your calendars to come!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Ready, set……

I know its been a while since I last posted….lets just say I’ve been otherwise occupied. It suddenly reached panic stage in my head that ArtsFest is just around the corner…and I had little or no new work. Working under a deadline seems to motivate me best….so now, I’m up to 10 and more in process, so while paper is drying and ideas are stewing, I’ll write a bit.

Spring finally did come…and lasted a day or two…now we’re full into summer complete with the afternoon monsoon season. Thunder crashes and lightning flashes and then it torrents for about 5 or 20 minutes, dropping the temp like a lead balloon from low 80s to the low 50s. Nonetheless we in Angel Fire are madly working to prepare for the July 4th holiday and then BOOM, it’s the opening of Angel Fire Mountain Theatre. July 5th is opening night with Daddy’s Dyin’, who’s got the will? Then on the 6th it’s Bullshot Crummond. Then, our philosophy of not competing (to the best of our ability) with other events, we’re dark until the 10th, while the Village of Angel Fire hosts their summer festival on the 7th and 8th. On the 10th we’ll open Catfish Moon and we’re off and running. That leads right in to the Premier Reception of the 26th Annual Angel Fire ArtsFest. The Premier (July 13, 6-9pm) is the best party in town (sans my gallery receptions!) and well worth the $20 ticket. Live music by Christoff Brownell and catered by the Roasted Clove it’s sure to be great night. Proceeds benefit the youth arts programs of the Arts Council. Good Fun, Food and good cause!

So, you can see…we’re racing to the start and won’t stop till we close theatre on the 28th. Woo! Yes, I’m clearly insane. Truly passionate for the Arts! You can read more about that on page 16 of the current issue of Enchantment Magazine, on stands now throughout the Enchanted Circle. And now, some EXCITING NEWS! My new VIDEO is complete and I hope to have the site up and running in a few weeks. HOW TO PAINT A POPPY THAT POPS is a my (first) one hour lesson in drawing and painting the poppy that you see here “Prima Dona”. I’m tre’ excited and can hardly wait to get it out there and for sale. Believe me, you’ll hear about it when its done!

If I don’t post again soon….you now know why! Oh, and ps…my gratitude to the Dell Customer Advocate who came to my rescue. Though the wheels of the giant turn slowly, my system is fully restored on this new laptop and the lemon is headed back tomorrow. Signing off for now..

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Transition in process and back online

Ok, so I’m virtually challenged, but doggedly determined. Despite previous prognostications (based on what Dell told me) I am writing this from the new Vista machine. One more upgrade left to purchase (Norton Ghost) and I’ll be almost fully restored (sans the Office that I’m waiting on) to pre disaster levels. Vista has its quirks, but I’m getting used to them and finding ways around them…more time spent not painting but lately such is life. And hopefully this is the last post you’ll hear about it.

I’m awaiting final word, but it looks like one of my paintings will be the cover for the new local chapter Home Builders Associations’ Parade of home publications. That will be very cool. Once they’ve published, I’ll put it online.

To be blunt, I despise how stressed and on the edge I’ve been of late. Paint. gotta paint. gotta paint.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

It’s official, Spring has sprung. To be sure, the aspen have sprouted their gloriously green leaves, adding light in the midst of the dark green of the pine forest covering the mountains. Another bright, sunny day….four or five in a row now. Not a cloud in the sky (at least till later today!).

I’ve been painting and it’s had the usual effect of calming and focusing me. Which I’m sure is good news for Dell, since the saga that I thought was over, continues. I received the “new identical configuration” I was promised only to discover that it was not identical. Indeed, it came loaded with Vista, not XP Pro, and noticeably missing the software I ordered pre installed on the troublesome machine…and paid for. Yet more calls. Yet more “I’ll check on that and call you back”….yeah right. Not so much. I haven’t even taken the machine out of the box…the packing slip told the whole story. Vista, no Office. Since then I’ve discovered that there is only one program I have that will run under Vista. I can’t even begin to load it because nothing I have (save the quicken 2007 I just upgraded to) will work. I’m supposed to have this machine back to them within 7 days from the day I received the new one (two days ago). I have to upgrade 1/2 a dozen packages before I can even begin restoring data…and who knows how I’ll do that since my Ghost backups won’t be readable unless I upgrade that too….a program I bought in early December…buy it again in June. Sigh. Already up to $400 which would have been much higher had Corel not worked with me and honored the loyal customer I have been (which is great since three of the most expensive packages I have come from Corel…..thank you, Corel). The biggy will be Quickbooks. ouch. Almost $1000 total that I did not intend to spend this year. Not to mention my time. I’ve lost countless hours in rebooting, restoring, reinstalling and on the phone with Dell for so many hours at a time I broke down and bought a headset to save my neck. I’ll have to find some other way to do my email, because my email client won’t run on Vista and they don’t have a new version out yet. I’m beyond the anger and frustration. I just want a reliable machine. I don’t want to see another blue screen…ever (though that’s unlikely).

While I wait for the call that is unlikely to come, I’m going back to painting. I’ll move on while Dell ponders whether or not they are going to get me the copy of Office, and how they are going to help me through the transition that they arbitrarily forced me into. I have enough on my plate as summer approaches and all the activities and events of Angel Fire Mountain Theatre and the Arts Council loom, demanding my attention.

As I finish new works, you won’t see them here till after ArtsFest
This is the first time in several years that I have participated as an exhibitor. It’s alot to manage, between the gallery, and the Mountain Theatre, but I’m gonna go for it, so I’ll keep the work out of the public eye till then. While on the subject, if you haven’t picked up a copy of Enchantment yet, do so. They published a very nice article about the arts and my role in it. Page 16. I’m honored.

Better get to it…Ciao.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Looking Up

Another glorious spring day at 8500 feet…and perhaps the inordinately early monsoons have given up for a while. And, after many hours and a phone growing from ear, Dell is finally doing the right thing and sending me a new laptop. My fingers are crossed that the interminable blue screens will be left just a fleeting memory, and I can reliably get on to major website renovations and the development of new ones. Speaking of that, I got a full preview of the upcoming Video project “How to Paint Poppies That Pop!” and wow am I excited! Just over an hour in length it’s a full lesson from the what materials to buy to the drawing through the painting of one of those poppin’ poppies I’m known for. I have high hopes for this and once I’m satisfied with sales we’ll do another. I was lucky to find a wonderful videographer, Michael Turri of Turri Productions to help put together a profession video. I have a whole series brewing in my head!

If reviews from my “in person” students is any indication it should go well. (Click here to go to my classes page to see what some of them had to say.)

So…when will it be out? I’m hoping by early July. Believe me, if you read this blog, or get my newsletter, you’ll know when its available and how to get it. OR…..order early and get yours as soon as they come out! The DVD is only $49.99 (introductory price). Click here to order yours now!

Between now and then don’t miss the next Fourth Friday Reception at the Gallery. This Friday, May 25, 5pm – 9pm we’ll be featuring the new works of local favorite Ms. Jacqui Binford-Bell. All whimsy you’ve seen in her masks are now in her new works in water media. Here’s one to wet your appetite. This is called “Trail to Arsenic Springs”. Don’t you just love the color and design of this? I do. And there are many more that you’ll be able to see front and center on Friday night.

Can’t make it? Let me know right away and I’ll do my best to get a selection on-line.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Woes, Foes and Thunder

Well, it’s been two long weeks since my last post. And for good reason, I might add. No laziness is not to blame, but sheer PC h***. After a gazillion blue screens, two “reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows” (Dell’s answer to blue screen issues that they can’t figure out) and countless hours of phone calls with Dell’s tech support in the Philippines (when I should have been painting, or keeping up with book keeping and blogs) , they (Dell) are sending me a replacement laptop. Whew, that was a long sentence! Sorry! They are to send me a machine “exactly” like mine, which makes me a little nervous. Will it experience the same problems? Since, none of the myriad of tech support I spoke to could figure out the source of the problem, can I trust that I have a “lemon” and a new one will perform reliably? Hmmm. At least I won’t have to move to Vista!

Ok, enough tech rambling. Thunder is rolling and Grace (my black lab) is pacing and barking trying desperately to defend the house (and me, of course.) I won’t type long since power failure is likely and who knows if I’ll be successful getting back online if it does. Anyway, look forward to the next Fourth Friday reception. I’ll be featuring the new works of Jacqui Binford Bell. The Gallery looks great….I repainted and refinished the floor and it looks great, if I do say so myself!

I’ve also got several new artists and lots of new work in a very moderate price range. All that new work is not yet on-line but once I have a reliable machine I’ll get back to work on the web site. In the mean time, if you’re in the area, come see for yourself!

Better go for now. More later. Ciao!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Reflections

What a Spring this has been. I’m sure you can see its been a couple weeks since my last post. Spring is generally seen as the coming forth, and new life rising from the frozen death of winter. This Spring has been, for me and my (extended) family, a new level of understanding of new life.

March 12, 2007, my Dad, Richard Crabb, passed from this life, in death defeating the foes that he grappled with. Only 68 years old, the legacy he left us is only now coming into view. I used to think all I inherited from my Dad were issues that I considered I would be better off without. It is only in his death that I have come to see there is a richness and indeed what many consider positive aspects of who I am, that are mine, from my Dad. I’m thankful to those who have shared with me, how they saw my Dad, how my Dad impacted them. You knew him in ways that I never did. How bittersweet it is to know those things…why could I not know it while he lived? Such is the nature of Spring, perhaps. The flowers that will bloom after the heavy snows and harsh winds of Winter will fill this valley with color we have not seen in years. Is it that the harshest Winter brings forth the brightest life that awakens in Spring?

My Dad’s death was not to be the end of it. April 25th, my Uncle, Dr. Francis Wall, joined my Dad on the other side. So fitting, yet so ironic. A giant chasm existed between the two men for decades. Though some level of reconciliation had happened in recent years, it is profound to me that little more than a month separated them in the final reconciliation. I’ve no doubt the passing of the two of them will bear fruit in the lives of their children, me, my sisters, and my cousins. It is a perspective that humbles me, and compels me…not a moment to spare in really loving those we are connected to, be them family by birth, or by choice.

I’ll be honest here, really putting myself out there for those I love, is not something I’ve been good at. Letting them in, really in, something foreign to me. May I learn to do that. To participate in relationship rather than to simply be there. Now, I think I’ll hit “publish” before I change my mind at being so frank. Besides. the washing machine is calling.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
Posted on

Looking up & Forward

Ever have one of those days when everything seems to be against you? The wind blows the car door shut on your leg. You trip over your shadow and the mail you just collected from 5 different boxes goes flying. Once safely esconsed at your desk, you find that the latest blue screen crash made more of a mess than you thought and you can’t open Quickbooks. Nor can you open Corel Draw. In the middle of typing, no words appear, because the batteries in the wireless keyboard have died.

Such has been my day. Beaten? Well, bruised, but not defeated. But I’m too stubborn to give up now. Though these April days are quiet (save the wind), and our locals who sought respite in the warm breezes of destinations further south are just trickling in, I am busy working on preparations for the chaos of summer. Specifically, laying the groundwork for the big events of July.

Progress on the advance work for the Moreno Valley Arts Council’s 26th Annual ArtsFest is nearly complete. The Premier Reception on July 13, will be catered by The Roasted Clove, and Christoff Brownell will make you want to tapp your toes as you wander the booth’s of this year’s juried fine artists from around the southwest. For more info about the Arts Council or ArtsFest, please visit www.morenovalleyarts.org

The big job is getting everything ready for Angel Fire Mountain Theatre. This year the Resort cleaned out the ski school for us (YAY!) since hauling skis, boots and snow boards out and upstairs nearly was the death of me last spring! Ads are placed, housing to arrange, volunteers to coordinate, and on and on and on. We have a great line up shows this season (our 11th) opening on July 5th. Please go to www.angelfiretheatre.org for details.

Then theres the “sprucing up” of the gallery. New Artists, new art. I’ve been rearranging, and though I won’t likely get the floor repainted, it will sparkle when the next Fourth Friday Reception opens at the Angel Fire ArtSpace. If you’re in town, head for the gallery at 5:30 on the 27th for tasty treats, fine art and fun. Did you know that we have literally 100s of items under $100? And I just signed artist number 31! (Yes, I’m out of my mind).

Word is that my video is progressing and ready for a first pass approval next Thursday. I’m really excited about this…it was way fun filming it. Right up my alley, you know. Two disciplines that I love…painting and performing! It makes me smile to think about it.

I just finished another painting on canvas…watercolor. Another Poppy. I couldn’t resist. There’s just something about how they “put it all out there” when they bloom. Here’s a photo of it. I love painting on the canvas. It’s way more versatile than traditional paper…and I’ll finish it with a coat of acrylic varnish to protect it so it can actuall be hung with out a frame. It’s painted around all the edges.

It’s time to close the gallery for the day. Closed, but you can always visit the online gallery. www.angelfireartspace.com Happy painting!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM