Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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

Word Paintings #110 – MONSOON


MONSOON – (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) – 6″x8″ Original Oil-Available 

a man in the wrong atmosphere and nothing will function as it should.
He will seem unhealthy in
every part. Put him back into his proper
element and everything will blossom and look healthy.”

15 July 2021 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) –  6:30 AM – Up with the sun this morning. It must have rained all night.  This is definitely a real monsoon season! What a blessing!  Opened my bedroom window – the birds are singing their happy songs – the morning air is fresh and sweet.  This must be Heaven!

Celebrating two years in this house on the Llano.  More rain yesterday afternoon.   Looked out my studio window and saw an image just perfect for a painting. Photographed a wooden structure across the field – dark and wet against a hazy blue sky over the foothills.  A shock of yellow-white weeds in front of the building.  Going to sketch a small study today – paint it while the image is fresh in my mind.  Thinking back through all my years in New Mexico, so many paintings just from looking out my windows – the front yard in Tesuque. Twenty-three seasons from the kitchen window (view toward the Pecos Wilderness) at the house on Santistevan Lane in Taos. I still miss that window!  My private world!  Now the wide open spaces of Llano Quemado – mountains, clouds, sunsets…. 

Have spent many afternoons this summer photographing the monsoon clouds building over Taos Mountain.  So grateful for this time and place.  Yes, I am in my “proper element”.  Now what?  Paintings of clouds?  Yes, maybe.

All of my new work has been consigned to Chimayo Trading del Norte,  just down the road from me in Ranchos de Taos Plaza next to the old church, San Francisco de Asis.  My studio walls are bare!

Took a short break after completing “Rio Chiquito” (photo below).  Back at the easel. Working on smaller paintings.  Some are studies for larger canvases.  Think often of the old man who gave me his wooden box filled with paints and brushes when I was about eight years old.  Wonder if he knows that his precious gift has sustained me for 74 years!  (Blog post: My Old Artist)

Time to begin again.  My last four paintings are the first in a new series – The Spirit of Place.  How else can I begin to express the depth of my gratitude – the unhappy accident that led to this long journey so many years ago?  Yes, another New Beginning…forever the Optimist!!!

Back to the easel – my daily practice.  This house is peaceful and quiet.  A good place to work. New palette with gobs of juicy color! How can I resist?  Blank canvases, empty frames all over the studio – it is off to work!!

RIO CHIQUITO (Ojo Sarco, New Mexico) – NEW! 40″x30″ Original

 Oil on Belgian Linen, framed – available at Chimayo Trading del Norte,
 Ranchos de Taos Plaza, New Mexico.