Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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



“The images of peace are ephemeral. The language of peace is
subtle. The reasons for peace, the definitions of peace, the very idea
of peace have to be invented, and invented again.

Children, everybody, here’s what to do during war: In a time of
destruction, create something. A poem. A parade. A community. A school. A
vow. A moral principle. One peaceful moment.”

—From THE FIFTH BOOK OF PEACE, Maxine Hong Kingston

14 February 2021 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) – Still in bed with a great cup of coffee – looking out the window at all the whiteness of an overnight winter storm – flocks of birds in formation – this is Wonderland!  Taking a break from all my “busyness” – the paintings, my housework and politics.  Trying my best to come to terms with reality….the good, bad and the very ugly.  

Spent all day yesterday potting and repotting houseplants.  Since I am no longer physically able to keep a garden, I decided to make a green space in my dining room.  Found this amazing nursery online and went nuts buying plants and pots.  Worked all day in total silence – no TV, no music – just the quiet anticipation of being surrounded by green things growing all around the house. 

Yesterday I ignored the vote on Impeachment.  Most of the past four or five years I’ve spent my energy wishing all the threats and darkness would vanish and there would be Peace on Earth!  As if!!!!  Disneyland! A dream is a wish your heart makes.Corporate media is a moneymaking proposition – it thrives on Conflict!! Yesterday I made the big decision to take my energy back….I potted plants and watched heartthrob Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice. This morning the beauty of a winter storm.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can!

My Reality….Had my first Moderna shot on Friday.  First time out of the house in a long, long time.  Will get the second shot in a month. Continuing my “lockdown”. So familiar – a welcome lifestyle  for a working artist.  On my easel is a new 40″x40″ landscape titled Cielo Azul.  Rarely a canvas seems to paint itself from conception to the last brush stroke.  This doesn’t happen often.  When it does it feels like automatic writing – stream of consciousness.  Painting will be completed this coming week!  I am always amazed!  Today is laundry day – change the sheets and  pot some Christmas cacti…easy does it.

“More than doers, we are deciders.  Once our decision is clear, the Universe supports and empowers our actions” – The Book of Runes

Taking my life back one day at a time.  Have been caught up in the land of TV News too long and have been diminished by its ugliness. Feel abused by all the bickering and name-calling – the violence.  The view from my window this morning reminds me of the beauty of just living a quiet life with purpose.  It is time to return to my “real” life.  Keep it simple – make some paintings – water the plants – be grateful. It is snowing again – do not disturb the silence!  It is a choice to opt out – restore emotional balance – find joy!

We are all born and someday we’ll all die. Most likely to some degree alone.

What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is
what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our
aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a
dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing?

If I lived in Bosnia or Rwanda or who knows where else, needless
death wouldn’t be a distant symbol to me, it wouldn’t be a metaphor, it
would be a reality.

And I have no right to this metaphor. But I use it to console
myself. To give a fraction of meaning to something enormous and

This realization. This realization that I will live my life in this world where I have privileges.

I can’t cool boiling waters in Russia. I can’t be Picasso. I can’t be Jesus. I can’t save the planet single-handedly.

I can wash dishes. (Words of Rachel Corrie on leaving her home in Olympia, Washington.)