May 19, 2009

A Year Later...

Well, here it is a year later and so much has happened. I really have ignored my blog for so long. It is time to get back to it. I never was good at keeping diaries as a kid and I guess this is too much like one.
In June of 2008 we decided to put our house up for sale. It sold in six days!! almost unheard of with the real estate market not being so good. Another artist had told me about a house in Paradise Hills for sale, so we went to look at it, and that's when we decided to put the house up for sale in Rio Rancho. By the end of July we had moved after living in the other house for 8 years. I now have a studio, about 12' x 16' and it is very nice. However, I still paint in the kitchen since it has a huge breakfast bar made of granite tiles. I can really spread out and it cleans up fast. One of these days I'll get my studio organized the way I want it and it will feel right there too. I tell ken that the Karma is just right in the kitchen. Maybe it is all the sunlight coming in.

My daughter and two grandkids had planned a trip for months and of course it fell right at the time we had to vacate the house. However, being the great people they were, they rallied around and helped, and we even managed a day trip to the Jemez mountains and Bandelier. The highlight of the Bandelier trip was coming down a path where a bunch of people stood around. As we got closer, we saw a huge diamondback rattlesnake coiled by the side of the path. And some idiot of course was teasing it and making it rattle. We did get a pic of it (well, Ken did. My hands were shaking so much my picture was all blurred). We nicknamed it the Evil Rattler (E.R. for short) and it has become a family joke. I am now painting an abstract of Bandelier, and guess what keeps appearing in the painting!? When I complete the painting (God knows when) I will post it on the blog.

In September of last year, I took a five-day workshop with Virginia Cobb up in Cerrillos where she has her studio. I stayed with my friend Linda Grace in Santa Fe, and we drove to Cerrillos every day. The Bandelier painting got its start there, although I didnt know then that was what it was going to be. Eight months later I am still working on it. Typically that's how I work. No hurries! I have lots of PIP's sitting around in my studio (Paintings in Progress).

In October we made a trip to Austin - one of the two business trips a year Ken takes with the National Gypsum Association. Austin is a nice town and we saw some friends from our time in the Air Force that we hadn't seen since the late '80's. Austin is a nice town and I enjoyed exploring while he was in meetings. One of the highlights was going to the Whole Foods headquarters for lunch. That is a big place!

It's now 2009 and I have had another visit from Shannon and the two grandkids, Leslie and Tanner. They are now 16 and almost 15 (June 29). They stayed five days this time. We took the Railrunner to Santa Fe and walked the Plaza and Canyon Road. Next day we went to the Jemez Mountains clear up to Fenton Lake and picnicked and hiked. I fell against a rock and hurt my leg and am still trying to get it healed after a week. On Sunday Tanner played golf with Ken for the first time in his life. He got a very bad blister on his hand and is now on antibiotics, but loved golf! He is thinking of going to a golf camp near where he lives (Papillion, Nebraska). We had a family dinner after that with my mom and brother. The rest of the time was spent in shopping and more hiking down in the Bosque. After they left it took me a week to recover. Not only was I exhausted, but I had a sort of empty nest syndrome. One day they were here, the next day gone! The house sure got quiet again! It was fun while it lasted. I don't get to see them that often. I guess I'll have to plan a trip to Nebraska.

The Railrunner route from Albuquerque to Santa Fe opened up in November, and I love it! I just took a workshop for 8 weeks, every Friday afternoon in Santa Fe. I rode the Rails toting all my painting gear. It was so much fun!! And the workshop was fun too. Darlene Olivia McElroy was the instructor and I learned new techniques to use with my acrylics. I'm wanting to do more mixed media kind of works and this is going to help, once I assimilate everything I learned.

My brother, Mark Culkin, has come to live with my mom and keeping her busy. He has started a window washing business. Recently he was a movie extra in a movie entitled, "Have you heard about the Morgans?" It was fun hearing about his adventures on location outside of Galisteo. It is not easy and they worked long hours, sometimes at night. Maybe this will be a new regular job for him. I hope so. New Mexico is becoming the new movie capitol offering incentive packages to get movie makers to come here. I have several friends who have been extras in movies. Two were in Lonesome Dove sequels as well as Wild Hogs in Madrid, NM. I hear they are making a sequel to Wild Hogs.

So I think that about brings my life up to date since May of last year. I am going to have to post a little more often than that. I am taking a sabbatical from watercolor and trying to get some things done after my mixed media workshop. Also working on improving some of my abstracts and getting ready to enter the Rio Grande Art Association exhibition. Since I am so new at acrylics I don't hold much hope of getting in. But you never know....