Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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



THANKSGIVING DAY – 28 November 2019 – Llano Quemado, New Mexico

Up at 6AM – Out to the kitchen to make my coffee….silence. Snowstorm during the night – about two inches on the ground.  A soft light creeping over the foothills towards Pecos.  Nothing moving – complete stillness – a moment in time when the pendulum stops before it turns in another direction.

Warm and cozy – still tucked in.  Gathering energy to begin my day.  Setting up a new palette this morning – another New Beginning!  Adapting, adjusting to all the changes this year.  This new home/studio continues to inspire…

What is an “ordinary day”? Two weeks ago every day was spent gessoing canvases in preparation for the winter work.  Last week I gathered source material together.   Front and center is a 40″x30″ painting of Hunter’s Moon – the view from the front portal in the middle of October. Have painted it in my head so many times since that evening that I almost know all the color mixtures by heart – know how to lay in the underpainting.  It is almost organic – have mixed the glazes in my imagination and know how they might work over the first layer of paint.  The well prepared blank canvas now sets on the big easel, just waiting….

In between the larger canvas work, I need to gesso more of those small Italian linen panels for Small Paintings 2020.  Such a joyful experiment this year! In an effort to recover from my surgery and the surprise move to this new place, I began these “studies” to bring back my muscle memory – reconnect all the working parts – my heart, eyes, hand coordination.  Had no idea how important these would be to bringing me back to life.  They became my daily routine – the return to my ordinariness.  Ten little underpaintingsjust waiting to be completed. Hallelujah!

Where is all this going?  Making some big changes which will allow greater freedom in the making and selling of my work.  A new sense of excitement is building….

In the meantime am enjoying the snow/cloudy view from my bedroom window.  Waking up – it is so good to be alive!   My Art Gods are all around me again….welcome back, Guys – thanks for your patience!!! Let’s start all over one more time….