Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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



STUDIO #1322 – CENTINELAS DE ORO (Rio Grande at Pilar, New Mexico) NEW! 30″X40″ Original Oil 

13 April 2022 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) – Opened my window last night to hear the coyotes way down by the river.  The winds started up early this morning and they are Fierce!  Some gusts make the house shake.  Answered emails – called Dan Kuehn and made some changes to the website – breakfast – a shower.  Sat down at the easel to work on a 24″x30″ and realized the wind was too much of a distraction.  Put in a load of laundry and will do dishes instead.  Doing the things in life which must be done. The calm simplicity of ordinary days. 

Finished “Centinelas de Oro” about noon yesterday and put it up for sale within an hour.   Ebay, 2 Facebook pages, my Art Journal, Linked In and a Studio Newsletter.  Big mistake.  Gabe Abrums called from Chimayo Trading to say that a lady was in the gallery first thing this morning ready to buy.  Said the painting was still wet and there was no way I could let it go now.  This work took 2 months to paint. After some careful thought, just sent email declining offer – I have taken it off the market.  Why? Because I want to avoid feeling the loss of it right now.

Gave up doing art shows for that very same reason.  Two years of intense work.  Holding the work back from the market with only a hint of future sales. Huge investment in framing the paintings.  No money.  The build up to showtime – crazy excitement – many, many collectors….a sell out. Money enough to pay the all the back bills I which I juggled for two years.  Yay!  Not much left over.  The morning after I sat in a lawn chair on the patio and sobbed.  All the walls in my house were empty and I felt profound loss.    It took a good long while for me to find my balance and get back to work. Not everything is about the money!

Time to do the dishes – fold the laundry. Wait for the wind to die down. 


Holy Thursday – Phone call from Gabe this morning that Centinelas de Oro has sold less than 24 hours after completion! More than a few awkward moments when I told him that I had taken the painting off the market and wanted to keep it.  He said the price had already been paid in full. Felt I was being coerced into selling “Donna, after all we have done for you!” A guilt trip.  He convinced me it was going to a good home.  Just wish I had a little more time to live with this painting – it might be easier to let go. I have to give it more thought. My feelings of loss are not going away.