Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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


Llano Quemado Studio this morning – finished paintings and works in progress.

3 July 2020 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) – Up at 4AM today – thinking, thinking, thinking- bad case of monkey-mind.  Turned on Morning Joe – he is such a bloviator! Switched him off after five minutes.  Tried to go back to sleep…nope…fixed a cup of coffee as the sun rose over the foothills toward the Pecos Wilderness.  The neighborhood rooster crowed his little chicken heart out for over an hour.  Just another day in Paradise! 

Relaxed my social distancing a bit last month – short visits with some friends and family.  Helpers came back in – overwhelmed by trying to keep up the house.  No time at the easels!!
Watching TV thirsty for any good news. Downward spiral every day!  We are living an apocalyptic nightmare and no Knight in Shining Armor is showing up to save us.  The election is almost a joke due to gerrymandering, faulty voting machines and Russian interference.  Our very stable genius behaves more like a humorless Mafia godfather than a world leader.  No word from him about the Russians paying the Taliban to kill American military.  More than 500,000 new cases of the virus a day.  Oh, and don’t forget the huge cloud of sand and dust blowing into the U.S. from the Sahara – all the way up to Wisconsin!

New Mexico is surging in new Covid cases in the last few days.  Deciding to go back into serious isolation again until things stabilize or flatten.  Time to hunker down.  

Perhaps I am having an out of body experience, but a few days ago I decided to just be grateful and as cheerful as one can be under the circumstances.  The uncertainty of this time could turn me into a non-functioning robot! Attitude is everything!  Celebrating one-year anniversary in this new studio.  Not only has this house sheltered me, it is truly an inspiration – sunsets, storm clouds, heart stopping birdsongs and neighborhood coyotes.  Twelve new small paintings almost completed.  Planning to put them up for sale this weekend. Will finish “First Snow” next week.  Blank canvases all over the studio – one more order of oil paints from Jerry’s Artarama.  Sketches and photos for a new body of work.  Listening to One Step Away from Paradise – the true story of a Lama’s search for Shangri-la after the Chinese invasion of Tibet.  A good story will keep me at the easel every day.

Have held back in writing this blog.  Some parts of my story aren’t pretty.  Life is not a fairy tale!  Recently saw a documentary on Netflix about Polish Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski.  She is an inspiration!!!! Her story of courage and determination is a must see.  Unvarnished truths need to be told and shared.  Stories of survival can keep us moving and give hope to those still struggling.  I was encouraged to be more honest and open after listening to Sonia.  Also recalling AA speaker Angie Dill from L.A.  Her grit and honesty sustained me on my path to 35 years of sobriety.  Fair warning: The truth isn’t always pretty.  Some people in my life do not fare well.  If we had all behaved better there would be no story.  Planning to be as fair as possible to everyone without holding back.  Becoming whole is a profound secret…. sometimes secrets need to be shared.