Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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


(Llano Quemado, New Mexico) – Yesterday the United States reached a
turning point of over 200,000 deaths from the Corona virus.  It was
191,000 when I wrote the following blog post on the 9th.   In light of
all the losses this year – jobs, incomes, fires, hurricanes and all the
ever-emerging human tragedies at this time, I am discontinuing my
“memoir”.  I want to bring life into the present tense.  Have always
believed that art heals and brings us to a better place.  My plan is to
share the virtual painting lessons I will send to my granddaughter with
the fond hope they can transmit some bright colors from this little corner of the world.  This blog will be
open to all questions and comments about my painting methods, some of
which are not traditional, but personal adaptations from many, many
years at the easel.  Hope you enjoy this transition.  Stay healthy!  DC

“FROM THE OVERLOOK” 20″x20″ Original Oil on Belgian Linen – Online Gallery/Store


9/9/2020 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) – Howling winds last night, welcome drenching rain and this morning – Snow on Taos Mountain!  It’s cold – lazy low lying clouds floating around the lower mountains in front of my kitchen window.  A very grey day – so rare and beautiful – a silent peace.  

Have fallen into the abyss – the isolation due to the pandemic, the election that could turn on a dime and we would be cast into more darkness and corruption.  Truth be told I am trying to hold my own in an increasingly crazy world.  Have lost my sense of discipline and am starting to give in to the temptation to stay in my pajamas all day! 

 Oh, Donna – Wake Up!!! Slap me silly!  Celebrating my 81st birthday has been a shock to my system. TIME – tick tock, tick tock….This morning’s death toll from the pandemic is close to 191,000….and a doctor predicted that number could rise to 200 or 300 thousand before we see a vaccine!  There is no road map on how to navigate old age or the spectre of a deadly virus and the sudden rise of facism.  Dammit!! It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  I didn’t count on arthritis either!

Take heart -Taos Mountain is right there  – her ancient peaks are covered in angel clouds and new snow. That beauty   inspires – sunrises, sunsets – comfort and strength.  Truth be told winter hibernation is my happiest time of the year!  Snuggle in – get warm and cozy.  Order my art supplies, put a pot of soup on the stove, work all day/every day and emerge in the spring to welcome another New Beginning.

Where do I begin?  First of all an attitude adjustment!!  Count my blessings.  Went out to the studio this morning – my large painting now on the big easel “First Snow” is almost completed.  20 blank canvases staring back at me – Paint Me! Paint Me!  Made a birthday pact with myself to complete 30 new paintings in the coming year.  Shipped “Hunter’s Moon” to its new home in Massachusetts.   Due to recent corrective surgery, I can see without glasses for the first time in 30 years!  Cocooned for the winter.  I can’t stop the virus, nor can I control how the election turns out.  The only way out of my pajama existence is to perk up and PAINT!   Purpose and meaning….

Give myself a haircut, take a good long shower and make a double batch of Italian spaghetti sauce.  Set up a new palette – finish First Snow.  Light a candle to my Art Gods – thank them for all my good years at the easel – ask them to walk me through the next 30 paintings.  A lot of hard work; do it joyfully….be grateful.

Stay healthy out there!  Herd immunity is pie in the sky BS – wear your mask and keep a safe distance.  Looking forward to a time when we can see our friends’ faces and give each other some great big bear hugs!  Stay tuned!