Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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


25 April 2021 – Llano Quemado, New Mexico – Sitting in front of a blank canvas waiting to make that first brushstroke is exciting-much like opening the first page of a much anticipated book – it is a mystery, a surprise and you never know how it will end ……unless you begin!  Real life is a mystery to me. It has taken many twists and turns and in many ways I’ve come full circle.  Reading Ursula le Guin’s book No Time to Spare – she takes the reality of the end of life head on.  Me? I’ve decided to make another visit to my favorite place – The Dreamtime.  That self-induced hypnosis from whence most of my work is created.  I can hide and disappear into the paint and canvas – my own little world..

27 April 2021 – Some people might call a very still and quiet time – a time out – laziness.  Have done three small studies since Cielo Azul was completed.  Instead cleaned closets, did taxes and a hundred small jobs that hopefully will keep my life in order.  All the while I’ve been gathering material for the new work.  Varnishing and signing the small paintings today; they will be framed tomorrow.  Blocking in a 40″x30″ autumn painting – the Rio Fernando near Ojo Sarco.   Gessoing about ten blank canvases.  Preparation.  Truthfully this time of “doing stuff” is the most fruitful.  Working with my sources, I can visualize each finished canvas.  This is the Dreamtime – that hazy headspace where all the paintings begin.

2 May 2021 – Climbed out of my hidey-hole today – a severe case of pandemic procrastination. Wrote to my daughter Sarah that creative work block is the artistic drought and sometimes all you can do is wait for rain!  Almost convinced myself that it was time to quit – think it is the tail end of a panic attack. The second vaccine shot I took activated a lot of pain – lasted for a couple of  weeks – slowed me down in a big way.  A lot of rest time helped me to put things in perspective – what can I say – I LOVE TO PAINT!  The gesso is all mixed up for the bare canvases – my intentions to do them last week was brave and courageous of me.  A reality check – I got the taxes done, did loads of laundry and housework.  Adjusting to my slower pace….back at the easel with great joy this afternoon!  Sorted the material for four new paintings.  Feeling good!

(Llano Quemado, N.M.) –
aluminum can (not plastic!) – I use Jerry’s Gesso (Artarama), acrylic
Payne’s Grey and water – not too thck and not to thin.  It usually takes
two coats for a good ground. I like a medium grey.  Apply second coat
only after the first is completely dry.  A good start today!!!!


FIVE FINGER EXERCISES – Three new studies (now available at my Online Gallery/Store)


SAN JOSE DE GRACIA (Las Trampas, NM) New 8″x10″


THE LITTLE PINK HOUSE, (Ranchitos Road, Taos NM) NEW 8″X8″

PASSING STORM (Llano Quemado, N.M.) – New 10″x8″