Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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



Llano Quemado, N.M. – 13 March 2020…..Taking stock today – going to give in and self-quarantine for two months.  A lot of work to do – many changes.  Above image is my new 40″x40″ painting of Truchas – “First Snow”.  The frame has been delivered just waiting for me to complete this canvas.  Another instance of “just holding the brush” – the piece seems to have a mind of its own and truly is painting itself.  Love it when this happens!

World news is scary – sense we are beyond “freefall” as a country and now on the edge of total collapse.  The Senate has recessed for the weekend – criminal lack of response to the pandemic.  Reading Li Edelkoort’s posts – she believes this global crisis will cause us to reassess our value systems – create simple but more meaningful lives. Amazing twist on what most believe is total disaster.  Panic reigns.  Grocery store shelves are empty – people are hoarding toilet paper and fighting in the aisles over canned goods!!

Am reminded of another time when this happened – that huge Chicago snowstorm of 1967 – the world seemed to stop for about ten days until all the streets were plowed and the grocery stores stocked their shelves.  That weekend milk and bread sold from the back of semis stranded on the highways for $10 each!  My twins were three weeks old, their brother 18 months….no formula, no food in the house. Their father was stranded at work.  An angel next door took a sled and bought formula for the babies. We survived then – we will again!

Started to buy into the panic.  My daughter was headed for Germany yesterday – her baggage checked in – she cancelled her trip just before she was to board the plane.  Had spent two tense days trying to talk her out of the trip – what do mothers know???  Go ahead, ignore me.  Big sighs of relief when she called that she stayed in New York.  

Thinking of the devastation this crisis will cause in so many lives.  It isn’t just the virus, many will never recover from the cancellations and closures.  Not only illness to consider, but financial collapse for many.  A global recession is predicted. Futile to blame our fearless leader – we have been on this slide for more than thirty years…greed is not good and now we are paying the price!  Middle income and poor families will suffer the most. Imagining bread lines and soup kitchens popping up all over in an attempt to feed hungry people who no longer have jobs.

Have been an introvert for most of my life.
Telling an artist to keep a “social distance” is a no-brainer and an unexpected gift from the Art Gods.  However, there are millions of moms who have no idea how they will feed a hungry family, or how they will keep their jobs if they have to stay home with their children while schools are closed.  Caregivers, restaurant workers, nurses, doctors – all at great risk.  Politics and elections fade in importance – we are at the mercy of three very old men who promise to change America for the better. Honestly, I don’t believe them.  What I do believe is that our country will never be the same as it was.  The result of  total CHAOS is CHANGE!!!!  Perhaps we can start with greater kindness, compassion and understanding toward our fellow travelers — one small planet, one people, please!  We can do better, be better…..