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This has been a quiet Christmas day for me here in Fredericksburg. The beautiful Santa by Bethany Lowe makes a seasonal statement but I did not decorate the house as usual this Christmas. I am staying in and trying to make headway against a chest problem, not with my wonderful family because there is some flu there. The adorable little Yorkie puppy came from Santa to some of the great grands. What a face! He is six inches high! I am grateful for so many things and look forward to the coming year. There are paintings allover my breakfast table, and stacked down my hallway, and I cant wait to make more. e





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I had a short time in Taos in December but the cold forced me home sooner than I had planned. Just the same I set up to paint a bit in this sweet little condo on Kit Carson.










For some of us a visit to Taos is a pleasant vacation with new foods, new sights, lots of music and perhaps skiing. For a number of my artist friends it is an opportunity to paint the beautiful high desert scenery.  The light in that high clear air is exceptional and has been celebrated by artists for over one hundred years.
For some however, it is a deeper more meaningful time, a recognition of something like coming home to a place we have never been but have always belonged.  The locals understand this, and say the mountain claims some of us and as surely rejects others.  I am one who has fallen under the spell of the Mountain. The land at the base Taos Mountain resonates for me like no other place ever has. Several cultures have come together there and formed an amazing community.  I find so much in Taos to admire and support in any small way I can. 
 Healing so many of the world’s ills could start from this place.  Foremost perhaps is respect for the earth itself.  The pueblo people understand their existence here is drawn from Mother Earth and conservation and reuse of her resources should underpin all endeavors.  Water really is life, and Water must be wisely used and protected.  A large effort is made to have food locally grown and consumed.  Picuris pueblo has made the transition to solar electricity, Kit Carson Electric in Taos is committed to total solar by 2022.  Many homes in the area around Taos offer innovative solutions to living off the grid. 
Life is founded literally from the ground up. The adobe architectural style dates back over 1200 years, rising from the earth itself in response to the needs of the people.
Along with respect for the earth is respect for the diverse people of Taos, with acceptance for all who want to live in harmony.  Art and music and literature flourish here.  Time itself seems to be measured differently.  Local people say it is a hard place to live but they want to be here and no other place.  There is appalling poverty here as well as well as the charming lifestyle visible on the surface.  As I listen to recordings by Russell Means and other American Indian activists, I understand a fraction more of the abuse heaped on our indigenous peoples. 
Nothing I have said here touches on the profound spiritual impact I have experienced in Taos.  For that you must go and see for yourself. I have a Christian friend who says there is Fact and there is Faith and there is Mystery beyond our understanding.
I have chosen to give to Taos Feeds Taos and Heart of Taos. I invite others to consider joining me in this.   e
Forgive this duplicate Post, so many friends read the blog and not my FB page.  Wishing all of you a sweet Christmas.  My sweetheart has been gone 5 years this month, but still feels very close for me. e 
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Because I was not on the same computer and somehow my password was not enough, I have been locked away from blogging for many weeks.  My sweet time in Taos ended last week for now, and I have been struggling to put away the hundred things I took with me.

A good many paintings came home, 12 finished, two in progress, two left in a small show in Taos, and many in my mind yet to put on canvas.

I have photographs from the trip on my FB page if you care to look.  A few I will share here also.

Taos was almost an overload of sensations,  such incredible beauty at every turn, with the great golden trees 120 feet tall arching over the little streets in town to almost meet overhead on Liebert and Burch and Montoya and Los Pandos and more. Purple astors and yellow tipped chamisa grow wild, and over it all is that mystical mountain. I am surprised to find how passionately I miss the mountain. One is conscious of Taos mountain, in the parking lot at Walmart,  stopping at a traffic light,  coming out of the grocery store, it is ever present and for me,   impossible not to feel.  Taos Mountain changes color in the incredible light of that place,  sometimes in just a minute or two, confounding those who would photograph it or capture it in paint.   It is green with dark shadows, or with splashes of gold on the sides where the trees have taken color, or it is deep Copen blue with a sprinkling of snow on the top, or it is purple with swaths of apricot light from the evening's last sunlight in the opposite sky.  It is opalescent in the full Harvest Moon's light.

Painting with a fine group three mornings a week the entire time I was there enriched my experience past telling.  The East Studio Art League is led by artist Richard Alan Nichols in the historic studio of Ernest Blumenschein, one of the more prominent artists to work in Taos.  Rich Nichols' work can be seen in Parson's Gallery on the web.  Of course I enjoyed it first hand while there.  I soon felt at home  and wrapped in the love of this group of caring people sharing meaningful time and experiences.  Outside of my painting group, I met other warm and wonderful people also.  Taos has been a haven for alternate lifestyle advocates (Does anyone still say hippies?) since the 60's,  so I felt at home in that regard too.   There is music on various corners, much of it at Farmer's market on the Plaza Saturday morning.  People dance where and when they feel like it.  Wonderful big dogs go everywhere with their significant people.   Art is everywhere in dozens of galleries and open studios.  I pray that I can go again, and am grateful I could make the trip this time.  e
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     Some of my Taos paintings are offered here as well as others. I am grateful for any and all sales and encouragement  as a painter. Thank you for looking. Comments are welcome. 

I understand that my customer base is early American antique oriented and enjoys most my still lifes with pewter and redware and fruit.    Three of these sold while I was gone.   I will make more as I love them too, thank you for patience.    If you do not see anything to please you, by all means watch along for others later.  Thank you, as always.


All are unframed unless noted otherwise, to send easier.  Prices are modest for these unframed paintings and include mailing.  They will look nice in wide gold frames, or black with a gold line in the center.  Dick Blick art supplies sends suitable wide frames.  Information at the end of this post. New customers for Blick can look for a coupon on the web and use that coupon code for a discount.  



To purchase a painting here, please pay by paypal to joneill816@austin.rr.com     State which painting you are buying. First paid first served.          I will acknowledge your purchase and send your tracking number.  Small ones go priority mail.    Email with any questions.    


Adobe House with Chamisa, 12 by 16 oil on panel, $250.  Colors of the sage are rich to paint.  Postage included on all. 


"Millicent's Road Home" oil on panel, 11 x 14  $150.  This one is nice in a black or other dark frame with a gold line inside.  The light snowfall was beautiful that day, I was there with my brother.


Taos Mountain with Cottonwoods,  6 x 8 oil on panel  $85.  I will get it signed.

"Pueblo Ponies"    11 x 14  oil on panel   $245.

"Bright Pony"  below,  oil on panel,  12 by 9 nicely framed as pictured. 18 by 16 overall dimensions.
$335 includes frame and shipping. 




"Aspens"  8 x 6   oil on panel  $105.

"Taos Mountain with Cattle"  9 x 12 oil on panel  $175


"Taos Mountain with Early Snow"  8 x 10 oil on panel,  $145


 There will be more on this post from time to time, thank you for looking.  e

https://www.dickblick.com/categories/framing/  Dick Blick framing to order on line   (all)

https://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-concerto-wood-frames/  black crackle with gold liner, I recommend these.

https://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-simplon-plein-air-frames-with-liners/ 
gold crackle with black,  I recommend these frames.


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This title because the defeated Taosenos  took refuge in God's house.  The crosses tell us that is where they are now, in God's house. The entry with a cross over the gate tells us the way to enter God's house is by the cross.  Men, women and children lie buried there. The vibrations in this plot of earth are almost palpable.  This is the mission site in Taos Pueblo where over 150 people were burned alive and blown apart by canons as the US army took over Taos in 1846/47.  That ended the resistance but not the suffering of the indigenous people.

I was painting the church ruins this week and my brother sent a photo of our mother in 1953 standing beside the slowly melting tower of old San Geronimo. I had never known of this picture and was quite amazed to see  it!    Deja vu.  The bell tower was a little taller then.   A newer mission by this name was erected nearby in 1850.  e








My mother as a young woman.

There is more to read and a picture of the ruins today at  
 https://www.nps.gov/subjects/travelspanishmissions/san-geronimo-de-taos.htm 

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This title because the defeated Taosenos  took refuge in God's house.  The crosses tell us that is where they are now, in God's house. The entry with a cross over the gate tells us the way to enter God's house is by the cross.  Men women and children lie buried there and the vibrations in this plot of earth are almost palpable.  This is the mission site in Taos Pueblo where over 150 people were burned alive and blown apart by canons as the US army took over Taos in 1846/47.  That ended the resistance but not the suffering of the indigenous people.

I was painting the church ruins this week and my brother sent a photo of our mother in 1953 standing beside the slowly melting tower of old San Jeronimo. I had never known of this picture and was quite amazed to see  it!    The bell tower was a little taller then.   A newer mission by this name was erected nearby in 1850.  e






My mother as a young woman.

There is more to read and a picture of the ruins today at  
 https://www.nps.gov/subjects/travelspanishmissions/san-geronimo-de-taos.htm 

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Taos, New Mexico is one of the most spiritual places I have ever visited.  Many people agree with me on that.  There is raw and striking beauty with incredible light in the thin cool clear air.  As our young people say today, awesome.  Taos has been an important artist colony for a hundred years or so. Taos mountain dominates the landscape with many moods in differing light and differing seasons.

The history  of the pueblo people who have lived at the base of that mountain for over 1000 years continuously is a story of endurance as well as assimilation and change.  It also has dark and tragic passages as I have come to understand.   The beautiful adobe mission churches have witnessed so much as they offer both comfort and strength to the people there.  At one terrible point the principal church for the pueblo was destroyed and burned with over a hundred people seeking sanctuary  inside.   A crumbling portion of the adobe bell tower remains, surrounded by crosses.  The Alamo and Gettysburg have some of this same feeling to me.

But all of that story was unknown to me when I visited  Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos with my brother in November of 1991. The focus of the nine day trip was the study of Native American Jewelry  and a bit more broadly, enjoying other crafts like weaving and pottery making.  Chale showed me the museums and the missions and we visited some of the local craftspeople in several small villages and bought Cerrillos turquoise from the hands that had cut and cleaned and polished them.   We visited Acoma and a number of communities.  I proudly wore my own jewelry and was thrilled to have a stranger stop me on the plaza in Santa Fe to ask where I got my Isleta Cross Necklace.  I made it in that style and signed it was my reply.

 Since my first piece of silver with turquoise was purchased for me by my aunt Maurice when I was 15, I have loved this jewelry which is so natural for women of the southwest to wear.  In 1990 or 91,  I purchased a Navajo bracelet from a dear friend,  Eula.    I expressed a desire for a good collection of it to Jackie, and when he replied "Lets make some ourselves."  I was stunned but thrilled.    We signed up for a 6 session local silver smithing class which taught basic silver work focused on modern styling.  That was enough!  We were off to a fun adventure with our new craft as I studied all I could find to read on the Native American jewelry, liking particularly the Navajo work and also the earlier crosses of the fur trade.   I greatly enjoyed a book called "Heart of the Dragon Fly".  This book tells how the double barred cross of  St Stephen worn by the early Spaniards reminded the native Indians of their own symbol for water, a dragon fly  with its four wings. So the Indians quickly adopted the dragon fly cross and the Spaniards were pleased they had made so many converts.

Jack and I ordered a full array of tools and silver from Gallop NM, and found a supply of good  turquoise in Fredericksburg from a woman whose late husband once worked in the oil business in New Mexico and Arizona and had been a lapidary in his spare time.  With all of this,  I happily pounded and stamped and soldered, and Jack liked to work with old silver coins which he was very good with.  We bought dimes from the 1930's and Jack made wonderful dime beads.  Some of our work was sold to close friends and a little of it belongs to family members but I have over half of it to wear myself still. 

So this explains my interest in viewing the great collections of jewelry in New Mexico. Recently I have been painting from photographs taken on that  trip as well as photos shared by an artist friend there.   New Mexico photos in this post are some my brother has of our trip.















  That mountain still calls me, I may have to go back.

Other posts on this blog showing some jewelry are:
Friday, January 6, 2012
Friday, September 5, 2014
More but  I cannot find at present. A lot of repetition here.   e




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Like most of my artist friends I paint some landscapes. Many of us paint in plein air and that is a great sport. Some efforts we leave as is and some we use as studies for larger studio paintings.  I am not good at it but I enjoy it and have a foolish amount of gear for outdoor painting.  I have slightly better luck making a start on a painting on site to get the color and mood right then finishing it later in the studio.  Coastal New England is my favorite place to paint and I am far from there!  My Cape Ann landscape paintings are a journal of a very happy time. 

Fredericksburg is known for its vineyards and wineries and also for its art scene.   This past weekend there were four artists demonstrations to watch, I made it to two of them and treasure these opportunities. John Hanna has been a favorite painter of mine for the thirty six years I have been privileged to know him and enjoy his work. He painted for my art club, Die Kunstler which I translate as "the painters" in German.  On Saturday Sara Winters painted at Whistle Pik Gallery. She is a gifted artist with two lively little boys doing serious painting while a young wife and mother.  See Sara and two of her paintings in the gallery below.



 
But I am swimming against the tide a while and painting still life instead of landscapes. Here are two of mine below:
 
This one is set up on a little oriental rug fragment from Jeanie.

The redware pitcher was probably made in New Hampshire from the color of the glaze.

Wild flowers are magnificent this year and my favorites are the fire wheels or indian blankets.  Finding vintage frames for these pieces is a challenge, but it helps them blend in with other things in the house. I am on a search for these!  e
 
 
 
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I remember many times in the past  calling my collector friends and asking "What are you doing?"  Sometimes the answer would be "Playing" which we both understood  meant arranging and rearranging interesting old items to make pleasing vignettes of our antiques.   Now that play has circled back again in my life in a different guise: arranging interesting things to paint and make a nice composition. 
Sometimes I am rolling apples or onions around on a kitchen table to catch the light from the window just so.

Lately I have borrowed little ship models from friends.  Here is a sweet example:

What adorable little lures! I have a small painting laid out with these swimming by the little schooner.

Finished are two paintings of another ship model.

Glare on both of these photos makes the very dark backgrounds look much lighter. The one above is on indigo while the one below is a rich chocolate.

The beautiful frames are from Andy Ybarra.

A buy on eBay brought me this adorable ship in a bottle, not old, an advertising piece for a rum company in the 1990's. This is the schooner Bluenose out of Nova Scotia.  A well known older hooked rug pattern of the Bluenose is one of my all time favorites.


This popular pattern was made in a number of sizes,  Sandy has a large lovely old one hooked to a glory!
Nautical hooked rugs are among my favorite things. 

The bonnets from friend Jean's collection shown below date mid 19th century. A painting of these may be titled "Conversation'. 

You can see I am having a good time these days.    I have lately been offered very nice representation for my paintings on Main Street in Fredericksburg, and am honored.    It is a town full of art and people who appreciate it. At present I am surely painting for enjoyment, but on the other hand these paintings are stacking up down the hall on the floor and some of them will have to go somewhere!     Not sure just how to move on this yet. My little ones are easy to sell and send and are not stacking up.  When I have more of them I can offer them on this site.  Some of the larger ones will have to go in a gallery soon.  Shipping them would be a bear.    edyth


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Some years ago I decided to hook a copy of an antique rug picturing a whaling scene.  Barb Carroll printed it for her pattern collection called "honoring the past" and sent me a pattern as a sweet gift.    She named her pattern "Moby Dick" even though the old rug had a gray whale and not a white one like Moby.  You can order the pattern from Katie now.


Many of us have hooked rugs for years and years, and often we work our rugs in the company of like minded others.  Large workshop groups and smaller less formal gatherings over time have given me a circle I think of as "my rug hooking friend"s.  So friendship is woven into the hooked rugs I live with.   We exchange wools, and ways to bind rugs and color suggestions, but only occasionally do we really work on one another's rugs.  My new rug is one that several friends have worked on.  I began it and felt I would not finish it due to the weight on my hands.  Trisha took it home and worked one of the sailing vessels and more. I added more and more, enjoying the striated background and whale the most, till the rug was barely over half done and there it has sat unfinished for years in a huge basket along with  beautiful wools planned for it.  Last year Debbie came along and offered to complete it for me!  Now she has returned it, having a seamless blend with my original hooking, and binding and finishing the rug superbly!    This six foot long beautiful textile is glorious on the long dining table Jack built for us years ago.  Thank you Debbie, my feelings are beyond words.  warmly, e






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