Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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



Llano Quemado, New Mexico – 8/16/19 – My synapses are firing again!!! It has been such a long time since I felt connected to my easel.  It is almost human – stares at me accusingly if I am not working, laughs at my avoidance routines, makes me feel guilty for taking a nap when I should be painting!!

Moving to this new house makes all the difference – I can feel the FLOW!!! CREATIVITY!!!  Watching the monsoon clouds build all around me every afternoon is opening my heart.  Time stopped for me when my son died five years ago and the grief took its toll.  Living in two houses where I was unable to see clouds, no changing skies; every sunset was blocked from view – there  was little color.   Perhaps I needed that containment – a closed in place to hold my grief….a time to look inward.

It is wild, but I know I dreamed this house into being. WAKE UP!  feel the earth around me.  Made the initial sketch on the 48″x36″ canvas now on my big studio easel.  Reviving my old habit of posting progress notes to my Art Journal –


Time to open up and share – give it all I got!!  This painting is called Don Gregorio’s Winter Field – the view across from my little adobe studio in Truchas so long ago.  Did a small 10″x8″ sketch of it last year – and the image became real to me again demanding a larger canvas – more space – meditation on a winter’s morning.  Some places will stay in my heart forever.

Now that my big easel has had its wounds from the moving van healed, it is ready to go to work again, and so am I!  Dancing with my easel will begin every morning – do the laundry, pay the bills, do the dishes, make some phone calls. PAINT! –  dance, dance, dance.  Oh, Donna!  Just sit down – that easel is not a rack, it is your oldest friend – there is an adventure in that blank canvas and just DO IT!!!  At the end of the day, like a health nut doing a thousand push ups, relief; a sense of accomplishment….hard won achievement.

Eyes Wide Open….