Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

How I Came to New Mexico and learned about Art and Life



Seven days in the hospital and finally I was told I could go home.  Said goodbye to all the wonderful nurses and aides on the Trauma Ward.  Wheelchair to the parking lot and reintroduced to brilliant sunshine – clouds, fresh air.  A friend drove the shortest route back to Taos.  To my great surprise, I was alive!!!! The nurses told me I was strong – recovery would take  a full six months – but I was otherwise quite healthy.

The landscape revived me.  Several deep, deep breaths, a few quiet tears and my heart was back in my body!  As we neared the Colorado/New Mexico border, the landscape opened to miles and miles of fields and tall mountains.  Just past Walsenburg to the left of the highway loomed Spanish Peaks!!!    Patches of snow still clung to the side of the mountains….dark clouds hovered over the top of the them like a  crown!  “Spanish Peaks. The Spanish Peaks are a
pair of prominent mountains located in southwestern Huerfano County,
Colorado. The Ute Indians named them Huajatolla (pronounced
Wa-ha-toy-a), meaning “two breasts” or “breasts of the Earth”.  I felt Mother Earth – the feminine – so strongly as we drove past.  When I researched the history, I was not surprised!

So many changes! Mountain Home Health nurses visited three times a week. Made new women friends.  Felicia, Jenny, Keely; as in the hospital, I was in the arms of angels!  Felicia kept telling me that I was strong and that God had saved me for a purpose.  God and I had not been on friendly terms since the death of my son – I had lost my faith and the magic of believing and trusting the ground beneath my feet.

These past six years have been tumultuous. Arriving back home to this little house on Victor Court there was a feeling of peace that I hadn’t felt for a very long time.  The early evening sun glowed on my two easels, the paintings on the walls welcomed me as old friends.  Many posts ago I wrote “Just tell God your plans and He laughs!”  The 12th of May was quite an amazing day – my whole life changed again in a matter of hours.  Felicia and Megs, her nurse in training, visited for the last time to have me sign discharge papers – they brought lunch.  We had some great laughs and  even better hugs.

Right after the nurses left the phone rang and I was informed this little nest of mine was being sold – my fourth move in six years.  During that phone call there was a beep – another call.  Gabe Abrums from Chimayo Trading in Ranchos de Taos Plaza and asked if I could do some oils of Ranchos de Taos – my answer was “yes”!    In the meantime my new 30″x40″ RAIN OF GOLD (see above) was completed last week and sits on my big easel as it dries – it is a winner!  Gabe will pick it up on Monday  as soon as it is varnished and signed.

Next day I went on Craig’s list, there were two houses for rent .  One house sits above the Ranchos Valley  (there are no accidents) – all I have to do is walk to the end of the driveway – summer, spring or fall and there are fields just waiting to be painted!

My friends Dan and Doug were here today.  Dan fixed the computer – iCloud blackmailed me into buying 2 more Terrabytes of computer storage space for $9.99 a month.  Doug packed 14 boxes from my studio workroom – frames and canvases.  I packed up the brushes and some packets of flower seeds – am told it is okay for me to have a garden in this new place – now I can watch things grow and watch sunset clouds float by…..stay tuned.  As long as there is breath in your body, keep moving! That Big Easel in the Sky will have to wait.