Donna Clair

Southwest Contemporary Artist

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




30 April 2022 (Llano Quemado, New Mexico) – High winds, forest fires – smoky haze settling on Taos Valley.  Heard yesterday that he winds will pick up again today. I can hear some whistles at the windows.  Rain clouds formed over the area across from my kitchen window.  Plumes of smoke from the Las Vegas fire. My heart leapt with anticipation.  Within a short time the skies were again a bright but smoky blue – no rain!  Mother Nature just teasing us with the hope of relief.

The saga of my new painting Centinelas de Oro roared to life again this week with more pressure for me to sell.  Guilt trips galore!  Art conflicts are a pain in the ass!  Money rules in this business.  Have been selling my work in New Mexico for 55 years and some things never change. Pressure to produce and sell, sell, sell.  Fighting for the right to keep my own painting.  Craziness!  Holding back my resentment and anger.  Instead the arguments just roll around in my head like black clouds disrupting my process.  Painting will be varnished and signed this weekend.  The frame is waiting.  A sense of fulfillment to see it hanging on my wall next week.

The clouds parted yesterday afternoon.  Grocery day, housecleaning day – closet purge!  Time to sit down and set up a new painting from a February day in Truchas. Back into my “Donna Bubble”, my sanctuary.  When I was a child my crayons and coloring books helped my little world to right itself whenever family life got too loud and scary.  My own private “cone of silence”.   Need to come back home to myself now.

“Evening Shadows” is almost finished.  Scene from an evening drive along Ranchitos Road – the Immaculate Conception capilla – always lovely and serene. 



Waiting for my DNA kit from Ancestry.  The war in Ukraine is bringing up some vivid memories of my family during the years of WWII.  My relatives in Poland all came from the same village south of Danzig – the port where the first invasion took place on September lst 1939 – I was born on the 3rd. Today Poland’s population has increased by 10% due to Ukranians fleeing to safety.  The Polish people are opening their hearts and homes to complete strangers.  I am so proud to be Polish!  This is the beginning of a new journey for me.  In my family there were only whispers of what really went on during the war years – SSsssh! The children will hear.  I want to remember….

Back to my Bubble!  – DC