Monday, December 21, 2015

New blog address

Looking for recent news about my life as an artist? Visit my website,,  and click on the Linda's Blog link. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


While I often share photos and mini-reports of our trips through Facebook, I also like to take a little time to "blog" about these sorts experiences for anyone interested in reading about it or who don't Facebook.

Wildflowers in Cimarron Canyon State Park, New Mexico.
Our most recent trip was an 11-day, 2800-mile excursion from our home in Canyon Lake, Texas, up to the Texas Panhandle, across into northern New Mexico, over to Southwest Colorado, back into New Mexico, down to Ruidoso and back into Texas and home again.

David and I packed the Transit with some of my paintings (as I planned to visit galleries along the way) and headed out on Aug. 18, a typically hot Tuesday morning.

As anyone who lives in or has been to Texas, it seems like you spend most of your time just getting out of Texas when you do a road trip. It pretty much took the first day of our trip to get to New Mexico, via the Texas Panhandle and we finally landed in Clovis, NM, for our first night. Our goal was to get as close to the mountains and, hopefully, some cooler weather, as soon as we could.

Heading north/northwest out from Clovis the next morning, we drove through miles of dry, treeless landscape but soon the views began to change...we could see the mountains in a distance. As we got nearer, the pine trees and, soon, the Aspens began to appear! And wildflowers! Yes, the late-summer blooms were showing off, sometimes sparsely, other times in abundance. It took a bit of time to enter areas where the temps were not as cruel as what we had been experiencing in Central Texas but we enjoyed even a few degrees of relief. By the time we reached Eagle Nest, a wonderful little village east of Wheeler Peak and the Taos Ski Area, we were enjoying the "mountain air."

We took the upper loop around the mountain peak to Red River and then down the other side to Taos, our layover for the second night.
St. Francis Church in Taos, NM
The next morning, we roamed around the town for a bit, getting out early enough to miss much of the tourist traffic, plus we were on a weekday, which helped. This was the first time I had ever visited Taos and now I certainly see why all of my artist friends speak so highly of it. What a charming town! And while I've seen photos and paintings of those blue doors for many years, I now "get it." They are amazing! Something about the blue against the creamy adobe is almost magical.

I found myself unable to resist taking photo after photo. But perhaps one of my favorite place was the historic San Franciso de Asis Church and Plaza, located in Ranchos de Taos. I'm including a photo of the church and of a wall facing the courtyard around the church. I love how the sun enhances the warm adobe color, don't you? And those blue doors and
Art is everywhere in Taos! This is a mural on Ledoux Street, which is lined with galleries and artist studios.

With some reluctance, we left Taos since our destination for the next night was Durango, CO, and we had miles yet to travel.

But the drive from Taos to Pagosa Springs was beautiful. We enjoyed rolling hills, valleys and mountains along the way. Loved seeing happy cows feeding on green pastures. While it was only August, I could almost imagine the stands of Aspen trees turning gold for Autumn. I kept telling David along the way that we have to come back to see the seasons change.

Once in Durango, we found our hotel and had just enough time for a quick peek around downtown. The next day, we checked out several galleries, then caught up with some good friends and had a wonderful visit over lunch. Since they lived there, they were able to advise us on the "must-see" things to try to get in on the trip. The couple collect art, including mine, and also gave us some leads for galleries where my wildflowers might fit well. (A side note here: We are working on plans for a show in Spring 2016 as a result of contacts made during this trip.) 

Friday morning we said goodbye to Durango and headed north to Silverton for our adventure on the Millon Dollar Highway. One word to try to sum it up: Spectacular.

If you've never done this drive, US 550 out of Durango then catch 62 at Ridgeway over to Telluride, you must put it on your list. You follow switchbacks along the edge of the mountain sides where some folks a lot braver that I carved roads out of rock decades ago. Along the way, the road takes you through old mining towns, like Silverton, Ouray and Ridgeway, that are now adorable stops filled with shops.  But they have managed to maintain a certain historical presence and charm. I especially love the hanging baskets filled with colorful flowers up and down the sidewalks!

Ouray, CO....lined with shops and framed by mountains!

A mountain stream coming out of the Box Canyon in Ouray, Colorado.

After spending the night in Ouray, we continued our journey up to Ridgeway and then over to Telluride. We didn't do the tram there but did drive around the mountains from Telluride to Mountain Village before heading out. The drive through the San Juan National Forest was, again, spectacular. Sorry, just not many words to do it justice.
One of the many views as we drove through the San Juan Mountains from Telluride to Cortez.

 Our destination for the next night's stay was Cortez, near the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park.

Again, this was all new territory for both David and I. We so thoroughly enjoyed the Million Dollar Highway out of Durango. But we were in for a different-but-equally amazing experience when we decided that we were too close to Mesa Verde to not take it in.

After a quick coffee stop Sunday morning, we left out from Cortez for Mesa Verde. According to the website, you should allow for 4 hours for the minimum trip into and out of the park. That was our goal as we drove in a little after 10 a.m. Little did we know that it would not be until some 8 hours later that we would be leaving the park!

View of the mountains driving into Mesa Verde National Park.

One of the many centuries-old cliff dwellings you can view from the roadside in Mesa Verde.

 As I've told so many of my friends, if you've never done Mesa Verde, you must make the time to do it. The experience of standing there looking at the stone homes of people who created them and lived in them is remarkable and spiritual.

The Old Post Office in downtown Santa Fe, now a museum.
We left Mesa Verde, heading east then south for Farmington, New Mexico, our next stopover. After a wonderful visit the next morning with Karen at Studio 116, a gallery and art studio in downtown Farmington, we headed out for Santa Fe.

Again, a town that so many artists are drawn visit, to move to, to call home or, at least, home away from home. Something about how the sun shines in New Mexico inspires artists to see and add color to their art and to their lives. We walked around the downtown area, taking in the adobe buildings, old and new, the historic church and the colorfully adorned old post office. After a brief stop at La Posada, we drove the "famous" Canyon Road, where a gallery fills every nook and cranny it seems. We decided to not spend much time this trip but have marked it down for a visit again someday.

Rather than take the I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerue, we opted for the road a little less traveled, NM14, AKA the Turquoise Trail. Again, a good choice! The road is dotted with once-abandoned mining towns that we brought back to life as artist communes years ago. Today, little villages like Madrid (yes, where parts of the movie "Wild Hogs" was filmed) are host to galleries, art studios, coffee shops and restaurants. On the way to and in between the towns are some interesting art displays as well, like this "sculpture garden" near Cerrillos, NM. 

Leaving the Turquoise Trail near Sandia Peak, we continued southward toward Ruidoso, our next stop for the night. Again, rather than following the Interstate, we opted for a quieter road with some zigs and zags as we our way to Carrizozo and then Captian and, finally Ruidoso. During that day's trip we went from desert mountains into more desert and then back into the mountains, but this time filled with pine trees, at least where the fires had not scorched the earth.

David and Linda, Cloudcroft, NM, August 2015.
Ah, back in the mountain air one last time. Our intent was to spend one night and then head home to Texas. After a brief conversation the next morning, we decided to take advantage of a rather inexpensive-yet-acceptable motel room and stay another night.

That gave us a chance to make the scenic drive through the Lincoln National Forest, up to Cloudcroft, only our second time to visit the quaint little mountain town in the clouds. We caught up with another old friend who now owns a gallery there, walked around downtown a bit (one street about 3 blocks long) and then did a visit at the old railroad trestle that was used decades ago to bring visitors by the hundreds during the summer so they could escape the heat of the desert.

Finally, Thursday morning we left New Mexico, heading for Texas, heading for home. It was a most memorable trip.

If you've taken the time to read this, I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with us. I encourage you to find a way to travel, to get out and see this wonderful country of ours. You'll be glad you did!

Friday, June 19, 2015


As I worked on marking important dates on my calendar and composed a list of upcoming shows and other engagements today, I thought I'd take a few minutes to write a Summer 2015 Update for my blog that I'll subtitle: What's Happening in "my life as a artist."


In addition to my art currently being exhibited in three national galleries (Robert Paul Galleries in Stowe, Vermont; Wild Holly Gallery in Carefree/Scottsdale, Arizona; and ArtisticLifestyles in Las Vegas, Nevada), David and I continue to insure that my work is being seen right here in Texas.

As you may know, last February we opened our own space, Wildflower Art Gallery, in Wimberley, Texas. (More news about that in a minute.) In April, I added a Texas gallery representative, Artisans Connect in Georgetown, Texas. And, of course, I am still an active displaying member of the New Braunfels Art League and regularly show in NBAL gallery in downtown New Braunfels. Did you know that my journey as a "professional" artist began when I joined NBAL in 2003?


And speaking of local/Texas exposure, my wildflowers are currently in two new venues in the Central Texas area and will soon be in a third.

Two paintings, "Colorful Dance" and "Marmalade Dreams," shown here, are brightening the walls of the Wimberley Medical Plaza in a special exhibition sponsored by the Wimberley Valley Art League. The exhibit continues through August 13, 2015.

Earlier this month, one of my large, 4 ft by 4 ft paintings was juried in for "The Big Show" exhibition at Texas State University Round Rock. "Invitation to Spring" will be part of the exhibit that runs through Aug. 27. The show is sponsored by the Round Rock Arts organization. A reception will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. on June 26.

On July 1, David and I will heading back up to Round Rock to hang a selection of my art for a solo show in the new Kerbey Lane Cafe that recently opened in Rock Creek Plaza, just off I-35. I've had a long association with Kerbey Lane Cafe and excited to continue showing my art in their wonderful restaurants around Austin. This is a two-month exhibit that will run through the end of August.


Despite a couple of set backs, we are back on track and continue to build up our newest business venture while finding ways to be a part of a wonderful community of fellow artists.

The set backs that I'm referring to began with my slip on the stairs in early April. I was pretty much home bound at my sister's house in New Braunfels for about 8 weeks but am finally well on my way to a recovery. (If you did not know about this little accident but would like to catch up, here's a link to a blog post that explains it all.)

As gallery manager, David stepped up and was doing a great job at taking care business (and helping my sister take care of me) for the rest and April and well into May as I was stuck at my sister's house recuperating.

And then on Memorial Day Weekend, the great flood came. Luckily, our gallery, as well as the most of the businesses near or on The Square, were spared any flooding or damage. But hundreds of homes, as well as many lives, were lost during the flood. It was devastating for the community on many levels.

As the flood waters receded, the media continued to focus on the loss and destruction, to the point that many viewers/readers were led to believe that the entire town of Wimberley floated down the Blanco River. The days and weeks that followed were increasingly challenging for the Wimberley business community, which so heavily relies on tourism. Thanks to efforts of the businesses themselves as well as the Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce and our good-hearted friends and neighbors who understand the situation and possible repercussions, the word is slowly getting out that Wimberley is Open for Business and those valuable day-tripping visitors and shoppers are slowly returning.

Although I was unable to be out and about, thanks to my trusty MacBook Pro laptop, I not only stayed in touch with the outside world, but got quite a bit of work accomplished. On that list was the creation of my first art-marketing video. I had not edited video since my days back in college when I was working on my communication arts degree at Incarnate Word. While the technology has greatly changed and improved, the basic concept is the same. I chose to use photos and iPhone movie clips of our new gallery to both practice my video-editing skills and to create a product that we can use to introduce and promote our Wildflower Art Gallery, which I've posted here. I hope you watch the video!

If you plan to visit our gallery in Wimberley, please note that we are open Wednesday through Sunday. We are also happy to accommodate visitors after hours and on Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment. As I mentioned before, David manages the gallery so you can find him there almost all the time. If you need directions or to confirm hours, please call David at 830-730-7880 or e-mail him at


For several years, my art has been licensed for use on products around the world. You may recall that limited edition watches with my wildflowers were even sold on a UK shopping channel on TV there and in Germany for 3 years running. My paintings have been featured on greeting cards sold in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

I'm happy to share a few more recent developments.

Last year, I signed with an artist representative out of NYC that works with interior designers. We had met when I exhibited at Art Expo New York. Through that connection, late last fall a company that runs a luxury senior living facility in Orange County, New York, choose two of paintings for framed prints to decorate their building.

Also, the UK-based licensing company that represents my work for the international market recently acquired a deal for some of my wildflowers to be used for wall art that will be sold in upscale home decor stores in Dubai and across the United Arab Emirates. Yes, my Texas-inspired wildflowers are blooming in the UAE! Who would have thought?

Most recently, I've been invited to list with The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS, a project of Manhattan Arts International. This is an online-based non-profit company that showcases artists whose work is well suited for hospitals, healthcare and other facilities that can use art that heals the spirit, mind and body. One of my paintings was featured in the weekly "Positive Art News" post that was published on June 15.


And, finally, I want to announce that I've started up my print-on-demand Cafe Press shop again.

As some of you may recall, I used Cafe Press for years, which allowed me to offer my wildflowers on tiles, keepsake boxes and number of other products. With so many new paintings that I've created in the last year or so, I decide that now was a good time to set up shop again.To visit the shop, just click here!

In addition to my collectors being able to order online, any time, any quantity, we'll be stocking a limited supply of select gift items in our Wimberley gallery. They will be a great compliment to my Wildflower Umbrellas, Designer Purses, Mugs and Note Cards that we already offer at the gallery. The first shipment, an assortment of beautiful Keepsake Boxes, will not be in for several weeks but if you follow me on Facebook ( and or you've signed up for my e-newsletter, I'll be sure to let you know when the stock arrives. If you don't get my e-newsletters, visit and look for the pop-up box when you start scrolling down to sign up!


And while it may not directly relate to my "life as an artist," I thought I'd write a little about what's happening this summer in my studio.

Every summer since I first rented my studio upstairs above the New Braunfels Art League Gallery in 2004 I've been offering a Summer Art Camp program for ages 5-13. A few years back, I brought in a couple more teachers to help share the load and to offer more options for the students. I'm so happy that this has continued to work out for everyone concerned! Between Elaine Still Eickenroht, Lynette Clauser and myself, we are able to offer a well-rounded program! We kicked off the summer the first week of June and will continue with something different every week through the third week of August. If you are in the area and if you are looking for a great camp for a special child in your life,

The studio is also where I create my wildflower art. Obviously, with the accident slowing me down, I have not been painting lately. But I hope that by the time camps have concluded in August that I'll be able to get back to creating! I have tons of ideas for new paintings and can't wait to get back at it!

Also in August, it'll be time to set up the fall schedule for classes that we'll be offering from the studio. Of course, I'll be back with my acrylic painting for teens and adults. Elaine will be offering her popular Tuesday after school and Saturday classes for the kids. And I'm sure that Lynette will again be offering pastel painting, mixed media and more. Be sure to check out in August to see the Fall 2015 schedule. And if you haven't done so already, please "like" my studio FB page at


So that's the highlights of Summer 2015 for the Jacobsons! Wow...sounds like both David and I been pretty busy, doesn't it? If you've made it this far reading this blog post, I know that you are someone who is sincerely interested in my life as artist and/or my art or, simply, you are a friend. Regardless, I want to thank you! I hope our paths cross sometime soon. But in the meantime, I'll close with my favorite wish for you...

May your life be like a field of wildflowers...filled with color and overflowing with joy!

Friday, April 24, 2015


While April 13th did not fall on a Friday this year, it sure felt like it did in my world.

David and I were headed out around noon on that Monday, the 13th, for an overnight trip to Georgetown, north of Austin. Our anniversary was the week before and we had been so busy preparing our new Wildflower Art Gallery in Wimberley for a ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce there and for our "grand opening" weekend that we didn't get to do much more than say "Happy Anniversary" to each other.

I had several new paintings ready to deliver to a new gallery rep in Georgetown, Artisans Connect. We decided to drop off our dog at my sister's house then take advantage of a 2-day business trip/getaway to deliver the art, find a nice little B-n-B for the night and get in some site seeing around the area. We both tackled a good deal of items on our to-do list Monday morning, clearing our calendar and conscience to take a couple of days "off."

But then the accident happened.

Charging down the stairs, which were wet from the overnight rains and made more treacherous from the pollen that was washed from the overhanging branches, I was on the last or next to the last step when my right foot flew out from under me and I went splat on my butt. In the process, I hurt my right leg and, needless to say, knocked the wind out of my sails. So much for the trip. David was able to help me up and get me to the car and we headed to town. There was no way I could get back up the stairs so the only option was for him to take me to my sister's house in New Braunfels where there are only a couple of steps, no stairs.

We iced and elevated for the evening then made an appointment with my doctor the next day so I could get it X-rayed. With the first read, they told us that nothing was broken and to just continue to ice-n-elevate and take pain meds. Found a "tiny" bit of arthritis but otherwise looked OK. Luckily we had friends and friends of friends to borrow a wheelchair and walkers to get around some, but I was in lots of pain for the first few days and could barely get up and down and when I did had to have lots of help. Was feeling a little better day by day and then a call from the Doctor's office came on Friday afternoon.

They had sent the X-rays out for reading and it came back that I did, indeed have a "small fracture" in right tibial plateau and some compression. (Basically, at the top of the shin bone near the knee joint. I'm sure folks who know more about the anatomy could explain it better). The doctor  immediately put me in an immobilizer, told me to keep the weight off the leg at all times and to see an orthopedic surgeon the following week.

Unless you know what you are looking at, this may not look that bad.
Progress was good over the weekend and the pain wasn't nearly as intense. Monday morning we called the orthopedic surgeon's office and David took the X-ray disk to them.  Within a half hour they called they he wanted to see me on Thursday.

Since we still needed to get the new paintings to Georgetown and rather than just send David on his own, I decided to ride up with him. After all, all I had to do was sit and look out the window, right? We had a great day, accomplished the mission, had a nice lunch in Georgetown, enjoyed the wildflowers along the roadsides and was back home by late afternoon.

But the trip took its toll and I was pretty much wiped out the next day. We had put off talking about or making any decisions regarding the Downtown New Braunfels Art Walk set for April 25-26. Of course I had planned to have my studio all cleaned up and open for the event. After the exhausting trip on Monday, we made the difficult decision to not participate this year. I had to accept the reality that it was just not in the best interest of my health and continued healing to push myself that way. Even with help, it would be too risky.

We made it to the appointment on Thursday and the doctor confirmed that I did indeed have a fracture, but more significant than what we were told the previous week. Also, the arthritis was much more severe, so much so that he felt that surgery at this time would not be a good idea since there was already damage that might, down the line, require knee replacement.

I've been instructed to continue doing what I'm doing: keep the immobilizer on and keep weight off the right leg so it can heal on its on for the next 5 weeks. Yes, 5 weeks! Then I return for another appointment and another X-ray to see if I can start on the next phase, rebuilding the muscle and getting my strength back. And, of course, no driving until it's safe.

Needless to say, this messes up any plans I had for the next few months for teaching, painting and just living life as I normally do. Hopefully by mid-summer I'll be getting "back to normal."

In the meantime, life goes on. David is still opening the Wimberley gallery on weekends and during the week as he can. The summer camp schedule for our studio in New Braunfels is complete and posted, but there will be some switching around on instructors as soon as I get it lined up. But the camps will remain in place as listed on the website and we are already getting enrollments. Thankfully I have my trusty laptop computer and can do business somewhat as normal as long as I pace it, as my sweet David keeps reminding me. Maybe now I'll find time now to clean out my overloaded in-boxes!

Thanks for reading and thanks for your interest!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Announcing the opening of my Wildflower Art Gallery!

Sometimes you just know when its right. That simple statement pretty much sums up how David and I felt in late January when we decided, pretty much on a whim and within about a 72-hour-window, to open a gallery in Wimberley, Texas, to showcase my wildflower paintings.

In case you've never heard of or been to Wimberley, the little village is known for its quaint-and-walkable downtown "square" filled with shops, art galleries and restaurants. Wimberley is located in the heart of Texas, a short 45-minute drive southwest of Austin and about an hour and half north/northeast of San Antonio. With beautiful Texas Hill Country drives and some cool wineries and even a lavender farm in the area, it's the quintessential "day-trip" destination. And it's also well known for its humongous, monthly Wimberley Lions Market Days.

The seed for the idea was first planted on a Saturday when we drove over from our home near Fischer to visit Art on 12, a beautiful, new gallery featuring many of our artist friends from the region that opened in Fall 2014. We parked a few yards from the gallery's entrance in front of Olde Towne Plaza, a collection of quirky buildings that, without a doubt, has seen its better days. Being the coffee lovers that we are, I have to admit that it was the "fresh roasted coffee" sign on one of the shops that first caught our attention. We made our way past a brightly painted green vacant cottage to Fisticuffs Coffee Roasters where Jed, the owner, gave us a friendly welcome. David spent some time "talking coffee" while I wandered around, looking at the mostly-empty buildings and thinking of how it must have all looked so cool when they were filled with shops and displays. In addition to the Fisticuffs, the only business currently in operation was Broadway Paul's Antiques. In the back of my mind I wondered if a gallery would work there but didn't really talk with David about it. We walked about some together and then made it the gallery next door.

After a nice visit with our friends at Art on 12, we drove around a bit and then headed back home. We didn't discuss it the next day, but on Monday David asked what I "thought" about that little green building next to the coffee roaster for an art gallery. Since it was now up for discussion, we made another trip to Wimberley to look it over again and, if we were still interested, to get the phone number on the for-rent sign.

Photo of future Wildflower Art Gallery taken just before we rented building.

After considerable time looking in the windows and walking around the complex of old buildings, we spent some time walking the Square, which is only a block from the little green cottage and Olde Towne Plaza, looking at the other shops and getting a sense of the place. While there were a few other for-rent signs up here and there, no other building or location spoke to us the way the little green cottage did. I think it was about then that we both decided that, if the terms were something we could work with, we'd soon be in business.

We called the property manager the next day, got the scoop, batted around the idea, slept on it, and the following day David made an appointment to see the building on Friday afternoon. By 6 p.m. and only 6 days after first seeing it, we were exchanging a check for the keys to the little green cottage.

Over the next few days, we put a plan into place. First, a name and we settled on: Wildflower Art Gallery. Since it will be mostly for my work, my full name will be used with the business name on most marketing materials. So you'll often see: Linda Calvert Jacobson Wildflower Art Gallery.

I set about creating a quickie logo so I could order some signage and business cards. Meanwhile, David began what would be two solid, non-stop weeks of cleaning and painting, concentrating on the interior first, in order to open as soon as possible.

After joining the Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce, I found out about the Wimberley Second Saturday Gallery Trail and made contact to get on the map so we could be included in the February event.  That made it official: the Wildflower Art Gallery would have a soft opening on Saturday, Feb. 14.

Just in case you are interested or you're wondering, we are still planning to show my wildflowers at fine art shows around the nation, continue to work with my existing out-of-state gallery representatives and secure additional galleries. In fact, we'll be heading to New Mexico next month  for the Las Cruces Arts Fair on March 13-15. Then in April we are planning to be in the Texas Panhandle for the Lubbock Arts Festival on April 18 and 19th.

I'll also continue to teach and coordinate classes for Casa de Linda Art Studio, located upstairs at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery. I've had this studio for more than a decade and its still going strong! Soon we'll be planning our popular Children's Art Camp program.

With our busy schedule and travels, when possible we'll have a fellow artist keeping the Wildflower Art Gallery open to greet visitors and to accommodate buyers and collectors.

For now, we'll have "winter" hours on weekends only and will be open from 12-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and by appointment. Come Spring (mid March), we'll increase both the hours and number of days we'll be open and will be posting the details soon. If you are making a trip specifically to see the gallery and/or to visit with me, please e-mail or call David at 830-730-7880. Since I'll still be teaching classes at the New Braunfels studio as well as painting every chance I get, David will managing the gallery. But I suspect you'll find both of us there most weekends!

As for the location, we're in Olde Towne Plaza and the street address is 13801 RR 12. If you GPS or Google the address, some maps will place us far north of Wimberley, out in a cow pasture. Don't you love technology?

So here's a bit more information to help you find us. We are about a block or so "south" of the Square. In addition to it being a bright, really bright green, there's the frame work of an old plane "flying" out front. Mounted on a pole, it rotates around when there's a breeze. Really kinda cool. Other land marks to look for: We are between Art on 12 and The Boot Whisperer and across the street from Santa Fe Connection.

For a quick visual, here's a drawn map of where you can find us.

As always, I so appreciate that you have taken the time to read this blog post and that you've taken an interest in my "life as a artist" story. This is just one more step in a new direction for both David and I. If you are ever in the area, please let us know and plan a visit! We can be reached by e-mail at or you can call us at 830-730-7880. To see more of my work and what's currently available, please visit

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


This is Vernon and Cathy who live in California and were visiting family in South Texas, where we first met at the Artrageous Fine Art Show in Edinburg in October. They fell in love with my wildflower art, especially "Passions Rising," which they said would be perfect for their home in Hawaii. They couldn't commit on the spot but Vernon held on to my business card and said they'd be in the San Antonio/Austin area around Thanksgiving and might be in touch. Fast forward to the Saturday after Thanksgiving when I just happened to be working in my New Braunfels studio and got a call out of the blue. They were in the area and wanted to see if I still had "Passions Rising." We met and they were delighted to see their painting again. In the meantime, Cathy was immediately drawn to "Summer Woods," which she said would be perfect for their home in South Carolina. Plus she found another small painting, "Wild Heart," as a companion piece to "Passions Rising" to ship to Hawaii. So now 3 of wildflower paintings have new homes, some 4,500 miles apart! I'm thrilled and honored to welcome my newest collectors!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


David and I at the 2014 Sacramento Arts Fest.
Four thousand, four hundred miles. That's how far we traveled from our home in Texas to California for the Sacramento Arts Fest and back. David, my partner in life and business, drove and I navigated. Of course, there were more than a few side trips along the way as we traveled through New Mexico, Arizona, the tip of Nevada, into California, north through the central valley and back down along the California coast before crossing back and heading home.

Continuing with a custom I began a few years back, I wanted to blog about this most recent trip and share the experience with my friends and fans. This is a long post but, believe it or not, really does only hit the highlights of the trip! Perhaps it will give you some ideas about places to visit on your next road trip or, at the very least, you'll enjoy the photos.

Our main destination when we hit the road early in the morning on November 1 was to be in Sacramento by the following Wednesday evening so we could have all day Thursday to set up our booth for the show, which opened on Friday, Nov. 7. The extra day or so to get from here to there allowed for some extraordinary sightseeing along the way.

Scenic view on the road from Globe to Show Low.
After a layover in Lordsburg, NM, we headed up US 70 for the Arizona/New Mexico border and on to Safford and then Globe. We had not explored much of the eastern part of Arizona, so this was some new territory. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises was when we drove along US Hwy 70 through Safford and started seeing acres and acres of cotton. I had no idea that cotton was grown in Arizona, did you? After we got back home and I did a little research, I learned that this area had a huge role in creating a new type of cotton pre-WWI. If you're interested in learning more, check out this link about Pima Cotton.

Our next destination was down the road a bit, Globe, and soon we were taking US Hwy 60 north to drive through the Salt River Canyon. My sister and I "discovered" the road on our vacation last summer and I couldn't wait to share it with David. If narrow roads and hairpin switchbacks make you nervous, you'll do good to avoid this 88-mile run that ends in the beautiful area of Show Low/Pinetop and the Apache National Forest. But if you're brave, then it's a must-see!

Yes, this is Arizona. Near Strawberry/Pine, north of Payson.
We picked up AZ 260 west out of Show Low and headed to Payson for night #2. Driving through pine trees and looking out at the canyons and mountain sides, it's hard to believe that you are still in Arizona. Now that I've had a few chances to check out the state, I have a whole new appreciation for the variety of landscape and my old preconceived ideas that Arizona was all about deserts and cactus have long since dissolved.

Continuing with our scenic route, we headed north out of Payson on AZ 260, going through Strawberry/Pine and then took a westward turn toward Camp Verde.

The farther west we drove, the more we began to leave the piney woods behind and, once again, could see miles and miles of desert to the left, right and ahead. However, at one point we did catch a glimpse of San Francisco Peaks, the 11,500-ft tall mountains located in the Snow Bowl north of Flagstaff, which were already topped with snow!
Montezuma Well, Arizona.

A side trip on the drive to Camp Verde took us on a short hike to see Montezuma Well.  It was worth the walk up the hill side to see this ancient fresh water well and the ruins of homes built by Indians hundreds of years ago.

Back on the road, we were headed for a "red rock" fix with a drive through Sedona on our way to Flagstaff. Even just a few hours surrounded by the majestic scenery of Sedona feeds the soul. We followed the zigzag and hairpin switchbacks of AZ 89A north to Flagstaff, our stop over for the night. Making good time, we had one more sightseeing adventure in store: Snow Bowl.

Snow at Snow Bowl, north of Flagstaff, AZ.
As we drove toward the mountains, little snow flakes began to fall, melting as they touched down but setting the stage for what we were about to experience. As we drove further up the mountain road, we began to see more Aspens and...Snow! While we missed the fall color that I was hoping for, the contrast of the snow on the pine trees and the harmonious look of the white-and-black bark of the Aspens made it picture perfect. What a contrast to the desert area we had driven through to get here!

The next morning we took a brief drive around old downtown Flagstaff and then headed west once again, this time taking I-40 to make time on the Interstate, which allowed for a brief stop off at Williams, AZ. From there we took a detour up through the tip of Nevada and then spent the next several hours driving through or near various "wilderness" areas with names like Dead Mountains, Clipper Mountain, Trilobite and the vast Mojave National Preserve. David dodged some serious tumble weeds along the way! This area falls under the "beautiful-to-look-at-but-I-would-never-want-to-live-there-or-even-drive-it-very-often" category!

Our next stop would be Bakersfield, CA, for the night's stopover. From there we headed north on 99 through the ag lands and orchards, small towns and large, to Sacramento, calling it "home base" until Monday morning.

World Peace Rose Garden in downtown Sacramento, CA.
For the next few days, it was all about business and our purpose for the trip: exhibiting at the Sacramento Arts Fest in downtown Sacramento. We stayed at a motel just a few blocks from the Convention Center. Two blocks over was the State Capitol and the State Capitol Park, home to the World Peace Rose Garden.

The close proximity of everything downtown made for a convenient and wonderful experience. In the mornings, we could walk from the hotel to the coffee shop to the rose garden and back to the convention center in time for the show to open. Doesn't get much better than that!

As for the show, it was one of the best we attended, in many ways. First, it was well organized and nicely laid out. Load in and out was fairly simple, all things considered. But best of all, they had good attendance and we had good sales! In fact, we all but sold out of our umbrellas and did well on both note cards and calendars. And, three paintings, including one of my newest "Apsen" series works, are now in homes in Sacramento!

Monday morning we bid goodbye to downtown Sacramento and made our way to "Old Town" for a quick stroll before leaving the area.

Napa Valley vineyard. Quintessential California.
As we drove across the bridge and discussed our options, we decided that we were too close to Napa to not at least drive through the famous "valley" and the town. Hillsides were covered with vineyards. Yes, it does look just like the pictures we've all seen. Napa itself was a nice stopover for lunch and coffee but they are still repairing damage from a recent earth quake.

Heading south we decided to pass on visiting San Franciso and instead make our next destination Monterey, Carmel and the fabulous California Hwy 1. Since we were making our motel reservations the day before each night's stay, we booked a motel in Monterey for Monday night only. After spending the afternoon exploring, we were pleased enough with the accommodations and not ready to leave the area so we stayed over a second night in Monterey.

For that couple of days, we took in what we could of the area, including a stroll on Cannery Row, driving most of the "17-mile drive" along the coastline and, of course, a stop off in Carmel, to visit several galleries for potential representation and to get a feel for the town...and what a neat little town it is!

Redwood trees at a Big Sur state park.
Wednesday morning we hit Hwy 1, heading for San Simeon and the Hearst Castle but not before seeing Big Sur and stopping off at several parks and scenic look outs along the way. I have to say that this is a beautiful part of the state and makes for a most memorable road trip! I can still hear the waves crashing on the rocks at Point Lobos State Reserve!

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises from this leg of the trip  was getting to see -- and walk through -- stands of huge Coast Redwood trees in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. While I took tons of photos, it's just impossible to really capture their size and grandeur. The one I'm posting with David standing near the base give you only a slight idea of what I mean.

As we took in the sights and sounds of the Pacific Coast Highway, we were trying to keep our focus on the next destination: Hearst Castle. Our intent was to make the last tour on Wednesday but those few side trips along the way delayed the plan. Rather than rush to get there, we decided to slow down a bit and take our time. From my trusty little iPad, when I had enough "bars," I booked a room in San Simeon for the night and reserved tickets for the 9 a.m. castle tour for the next morning.

Only a few low clouds here. We enjoyed a few days of "blue skies" before the rains came.

I've known about the "home" of William Randolph Hearst for as long as I can remember. As a former Hearst employee back in my newspaper days and a long-time fan of "Citizen Kane," a visit to Hearst Castle had long been on my bucket list. While I never dreamed it would happen this trip, the opportunity presented itself and I couldn't pass it up.

For the days spent in the Carmel area and then driving south on Hwy 1, we were blessed as the clouds lifted and the skies cleared. By Thursday morning, another weather system arrived, bringing off-and-on rain and grey skies, which set the stage for our tour. To see Hearst Castle, ticket holders meet at the visitor center and are taken by bus up the hill to the estate.

Rainy day at Hearst Castle...but still wonderful!
The fog-n-mist blocked any views that would otherwise be part of the experience. But still, the weather gave the landscape and buildings an almost mystical feel. We took one of the tours and spent as much time as we felt we could allow ourselves to explore the grounds and enjoy the amazing art, architecture and landscaping.

The design and building of Hearst Castle lasted from 1919 to 1947. What's really was a woman architect, Julia Morgan, who was the mastermind behind the design!

While touring the castle and grounds fulfilled the "bucket list" item, I'm not checking it off since I really would love to do it again when the sun shining. I had a friend tell me that in high season, during the summer, you have to make your reservations weeks in advance. Guess we'll have to plan ahead a bit more next time! But it is worth the trip. If you are interested, you can read more about Hearst Castle here.

Soon we were catching a bus back to the visitor center and back on Hwy 1, heading south to Santa Maria where picked up Hwy 166 to start heading back eastward toward Arizona again.

Zigzagging through the desert mountains and valleys we ended up at Castiaic, north of LA, for our layover.

Palm Desert Shopping District.
Heading out early the next morning, our next stop would be Palm Spring, Cathedral City and Palm Desert to check out the area and the galleries. We took time to park and walk a section of El Paseo in Palm Desert. Known as the "Rodeo Drive of the Desert," it is high end in every way. Amazing area and worth another visit another time.

We then headed southward around the Salton Sea to pick up I-8 to Yuma in Southern Arizona where David's dad, brother and cousin live.

We spent the weekend in Yuma, getting in some quality time with family (and even a quick trip across "the" border, into Mexico, for a little shopping and exploring) before heading east again on Monday morning for the final few days of our trip. However, we were delayed a bit when David discovered a low tire that had to be repaired before we could get back on the road.

Of course, I have to include at least one photo of the beautiful Saguaros that Arizona is most famous for!

Tombstone, as expected!
Several hours later we were heading into the Tucson area. We decided to get off of the interstate and take some back roads and scenic routes (not that it isn't all scenic in its own way). After a wonderful drive through the Saguaro National Park and then a layover in Tucson, the last item on our to-see-and-do list for this trip was a detour south to Tombstone and the old copper-mining-town-turned-arts-mecca-and-hippie-hangout Bisbee.

Since I've been to both Tombstone and Bisbee before (though it was more than 20 years ago), both were pretty much as I remembered. David had not been there so it was another area that I wanted to share with him, especially Bisbee. In addition to the abandoned copper mine that you drive by just outside of old town, the village itself is pretty interesting.
Downtown Bisbee, AZ, well preserved and very artsy!
Again, this is not the Arizona you'd expect to see. Bisbee is built, literally, on the hillsides with steep streets and lots of stairs! After a wonderful lunch, a walk around the downtown and a stop off for coffee, we were on the road again, taking one final scenic drive though southeast Arizona before crossing the border into New Mexico and heading for Las Cruces, our last stop before the long drive back home to the Texas Hill Country.

The last day was just about making time. I do have to say, after 19 days on the road, covering some 4400 miles, it is, as always, good to be home!

Below are a few more photos, in no particular order, from this road trip. I do hope that you've enjoyed taking this journey with us!

Famous Cannery Row, Monterey, CA.

Rain-drenched Fuchsia flowers at Hearst Castle.

Hearst Castle Rose Garden

Joshua Trees.

Looking up at the Redwoods.

Southern Cali Mountains and Valley.

Peaceful Seagulls enjoying a day at ocean.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014


We spent several days in Ruidoso New Mexico for the Ruidoso Fine Art Festival, July 25-28, 2014. Rather than an extensive write up this time, I thought I'd post photos and some captions to let them tell the story. Enjoy!


This was near Roswell, only about 75 miles from Ruidoso. But what a difference those miles make as you'll see!
Grindstone Lake, just west of downtown Ruidoso, New Mexico.
A beautiful sunset over Carrizo Creek Lake near the Inn of the Mountain Gods resort.

David took this photo of a public golf course that surrounds the Ruidoso Convention Center where the show was held.


Yes, we were in Ruidoso for more than than just sightseeing. Here are some pics from our booth at the Ruidiso Fine Art Festival. It was a wonderful show!


Since we were already there, we decided to stay over an extra day to take some drives around the area. The most memorable was doing up to Ski Apache. The views were just amazing!

Headed north for another side trip where we found a great breakfast at the Smokey Bear Restaurant in Capitan, NM. Yes, this are is the home to "THE" Smokey the Bear

AND, OF COURSE, WE SAW LOTS OF WILDFLOWERS! Here's just a small sampling...

So that's some of the highlights of our trip.