Sunday, 15 June 2014



I’ve been out in the bigger world, outside the home cushion of the USA, for 11 years now; and I have come to realize in the last few weeks, that actually, it’s time to go home.  Not because the world has become too big or too difficult – believe me, it might just possibly be MORE difficult to be “home” – but because much as I love my life in Europe, I miss New Mexico, I miss my family, my loved ones, I miss relating to friends on a daily basis who have the same life experience as I. I want to spend time with my Dad while he can still remember me (he has Alzheimer’s).  It was really brought home to me this past week as I read Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton.  I had tears in my eyes many times as through the pages of that incredible book, I relived times that had been my own experience, HOME!  I  am painting intensely in my 16th century Braeton house for the summer, listening to music that reminds me of home, and planning just how I’m going to achieve this huge shift.  Once again, it’s time to leap off a cliff – one equally as big as the one I leapt off of when I moved to Scotland!  I have to raise a large sum of cash to achieve this as soon as I possibly can.  I have to move my horse, my cat, some paintings (some will stay in Scotland or France because let’s face it, I have a global business!!), a few boxes of books and the family mementos and photos that made life away from them easier to bear (my Navajo rugs, Apache baskets, pueblo pottery, my Mother’s apron, and my childhood panda bear). 

In the meantime, I intend to keep painting furiously; to make the best of this time I have in France; to explore a bit more as I get ahead of the financial game just a little.  Leaping off cliffs into the unknown to make my art sing is part and parcel of living as a full-time artist for me.  This leap back home – as soon as my finances will allow – is another big step forward and will, I hope, make it easier for me once again to travel the world to paint, to find new and better markets for my work, and to maintain those markets I have worked so hard to create in Scotland, England and the rest of Europe.  Made possible, I know, by making a stable place for me to be.  And with all this change, there will still be the terrible wrench of leaving my friends and family in Scotland (I know, I know, I’ve already left, but not really.... not until the last box goes, and the cat is back with me and Dancer in our new home).

When I first began this blog about the adventures of being a full-time artist in this difficult world of 9-5 jobs and consumerism, hard times for living without a tough outer skin, I’d not realized how much of the inner journey I’d feel the need to write about!  But the inner journey of an artist is actually MORE important (to me anyway) than the outer!  In the meantime, enjoy a few more images from my incredibly productive summer!!
Old Nice, Like a ripe melon... 14 x 11 in., oil on board, £1,000.00

Thunderstorm approaching olive groves, Le Castellet, 16 x 24 in., oil on canvas, £2,000.00


Thursday, 5 June 2014

INSPIRATION and other things...

St. Agnes, Provence-Alps-Cote d'Azur, 12 x 16 in., oil on board, £1,250.00

 It’s already June!  Where has the time gone!?!  I’ve been struggling lately with my choices, I’ve also been driven to keep painting; it’s an interesting conundrum!  I’m living in a gentle, rolling paradise, in a 16th Century Bretton house – every artist’s dream.  But, the landscape doesn’t inspire me – it doesn’t get in my way either.  And, I knew when I moved here for 5 months that I WASN’T inspired.  I knew it wouldn’t get in my way either.  And, it hasn’t!  But what has stymied me more than anything is the IDEA that I’m not inspired by my very environment.  I paint from my photos and sketches of other places – mostly from my journeys to the South of France, or back to Scotland. 

I’ve just finished a lovely little piece from Le Pouldu, a coastal town south of here, just to prove this wrong.  I CAN be inspired, but I’ve got to travel to get to it, rather than stepping out my door.  As I look at my photos from my journeys , I realize that I literally was able to step out my door and feel inspired – I often am inspired by the view from Le Rouret,  across the city covered plains to the ocean in the distance,  or out the door in Glenfinnan  across the fields and eternal mists and rain to the hills, and feel inspired.  Yet here, in this gentle place, I am not.  I am grateful because my beloved old mare, Dancer, has settled in nicely, so the distraction and worry of my “little sister’s” difficult transition from Glenfinnan to France has gone.  However, I’m now able to focus on what is working for me and what is not. 

Le Pouldu, Brittany, 11 x 14 in., oil on board, £1,000.00

It’s never easy for an artist, to live with uncertainty; yet, it’s part and parcel of our very lives.  I had imagined being able to travel across and explore France during my time here; and I’m not able to.  I have to scramble so very hard just to keep food on my table, and petrol in my car that any thoughts of exploring further – to the Perigord (one of my dreams to see the caves at Lascaux – rather the duplicates since people are no longer able to go inside in order to protect them), a mere 4 hour drive from here; to explore other parts of the Southern French coasts, and on down to the Cote d’Azur to the rugged hills above Nice and Menton, to again live in and capture the famous Provencal light.  I am painting that light, but from my photos, from my sketches, from my memory, and at the moment under the influence of an energy saving, daylight (really???) bulb, because the best light comes into the studio in the evening, and my best work happens in the morning....  Always, always, there is the need to adjust, to work with what is in front of me!! 

Auribeau sur Siagne, 11 x 14 in., oil on board, £1,000.00

I’ve more exploring to do though.  I hear there are beautiful rose colored rocks just an hour north of here (though not the deep red of the Corniche), and I’m saving my pennies (now THAT’S a euphemism!!!  Saving – I have to just make the decision to fill the tank and not pay something else, or pay a card, and use that just paid balance to fill the tank, etc., etc.  This is the OTHER side of a very blessed and romantic life as a painter!!), and will make the journey.  Red rocks – visions of my desert home return to me, making me more homesick than ever, but inspiring nonetheless, as they meet the blue ocean.