Wednesday, 28 December 2016


I'm soon to begin painting again!  Whew!  I need to do new work from the Normandy coast in France for an exhibition in the village of Le Bourg Dun...opening mid-July.  So the clock has begun ticking. I still am not in my house/studio in Taos, NM .  It sounds like a cold grotto when I open the door, from the snow melting through the dirt ceilings.  The roofers, plumbers, electricians are madly trying to get things sorted so the roof can go on, and I'm sweating to get it all done, before my walls melt and I run out of cash!!!

I know I really won't loose the walls - they'll dry out, as will the roof!  I've launched a GOFundMe campaign to help finish the house, ( )  I've an exhibition in Austin at the Irish Embassy that's been extended into March, and I'll find a place that's dry and warm, to paint! Somehow, in all the chaos, I need to get quiet, and start to re-immerse myself in that magical Norman coastline.  Of COURSE I'll make it....

Monday, 22 August 2016


I've not had the energy to pick up a brush at all since my last blog!  I will paint again, and soon! I promise... but for now, the deconstruction of what doesn't work, is rotten, or beyond repair is heavy work!!  But I find that I have found  the same focus that I once had; the need to create nearly every day.  And I know, without a doubt, that this old focus will translate to the easel, once I have a place to work and the heavy physical labor is over.  I've had help from a couple of friends when I needed it most....more brawn than I possess was needed to get the floors started in two rooms. But mostly, I've tackled this project each day, on my own! I HATE asking for help, hate looking not strong; but it was beyond me to get the floors started.  Once started, I could do it, using a bit of ingenuity figuring out the best way to conquer a physical limitation, and get the stuff up.  The same was true with demolishing heavy walls separating two connected bathrooms.... it will be one bathroom, and a small utility room.
Master Bedroom... one day, a set of narrow french doors in the window ahead.
the living room now... the oldest room in the house - 30 in thick walls

one room now, was two bathrooms of interesting construction. my master bath, utilities, and a hall and closet in to the master bedroom

my debris pile from the bathroom alone... beyond that, the old kitchen, my bedroom, and alot of rotten wood... what a view though.

Yesterday, after spending 4 hours cutting and pulling old wiring, boxes, light switches, I nearly finished the inside, but several wires defeated me...stuck between the ceiling boards and vigas....again, it will take more brawn than I possess to pull those wires with the aid of a 'wonder bar' (truly the most versatile tool in my arsenal!) to lift the ceiling boards just enough to pull the wires through.  Yesterday, I sat on a step looking at the dirt floors, broken windows, and concrete slabs I still need to bust and remove (hmmm....maybe a patio???), and I wondered if I'd lost my mind!  I know I've not, but I felt overwhelmed and worried that I won't get into my house before the snow starts to fly....  Its only 4 big rooms, so truly, once construction begins, it shouldn't take too long! And I'm hiring the help for the construction, bar the remudding, painting, refinishing of windows, existing floors, etc.  I'm just sore and tired!  I am having to learn to ask for help once again! Which I think is the point to this missive.... I can't do it all myself. There is nothing wrong with saying "Uncle!" and recognizing that I need to remember to ask for help!

Friday, 8 July 2016


Well, it HAS been awhile, once again.  But I am finally finding my feet.  I have been talking/writing about 'floating' for what feels like years....possibly since August 2011 to be truthful; but I have purchased this little bit of New Mexico heaven this past month, AND have managed to finish all four paintings shown in the previous blog post!  The above house will give me space, and a studio, and grounding so that I feel I can soar again with a rudder this time.  It will be alot of work, don't get me wrong!!  But this vintage 1820 adobe on the Talpa Ridge just south of Taos, NM, will be well worth it.  It still has beautiful vigas, 30 in thick walls in places, and mud plaster through out the inside of the house.  The ceiling has 12 in. of dirt as insulation on top of the plank ceiling above the big vigas.  There is NO plumbing, the electricity has to be completely redone before they'll think of re-attaching the house to the grid, and lots of broken windows.....  but its mine.

 The Studio
The Torreon

The studio sits out back of the main farm house.... an old forge of the same vintage; and there is even a torreon on the property - a New Mexican version of a adobe defensive tower (once 2 stories) from about 1820 - the Comanche Wars.  I miss Scotland and parts of France like I missed Taos when I lived away.  I know that this base will be the first step in once again being able to keep my feet firmly soaring across the pond; painting and keeping up with the many friends around the world that I've made.  Now for the adventure of restoring the house, the studio; and stabilizing the torreon. Along with making time to paint most days.....

Sunday, 1 May 2016


I am posting this photo of my current studio, in the SMU at Taos, Ft. Burgwin Art Barn.  I'm proving to you all and myself that I am actually working....four started, yet unfinished paintings.  Loss affects us all differently.  and it seems that for me, it affects my ability to let out the images inside me.  Yes, my creativity flows from the inside out, even if its an image in front of me....and grief and loss seem to block that for me.  But SOMETHING's leaking out, or even these four paintings wouldn't be there. Doesn't matter that two of them were begun a year ago....the images are still there, lurking until I can find a way to dynamite the dam holding it all in. This dam is definitely cracking...I can feel it.  I just wanted to let you all know I'm still here.  Still looking at the world through my painter's eyes....