Category Archives: On the Creative Life

Art Show

Imaginary Pueblos, by Betsy James

One of the liabilities of an oversized right brain is less room for the left brain. In my busy multiverse of painting, writing, teaching, and hiking, that’s a real issue at times.

I have four paintings in the Albuquerque Museum’s annual ArtsThrive show and sale—this is my seventh year—and I should have sent you the links a couple of weeks ago:

https://albuquerquemuseumfoundation.org/artsthrive/

https://www.bidsquare.com/auctions/albuquerque-museum-foundation/artsthrive-art-exhibition-benefit-timed-auction-5450

Enter my name in the top right of the second link. And if you live in ‘Burque, the show’s up until November 8.

There! Whew.

Rain

After long heat, rain and chill at last. The little tinajas in the sandstone have sips of water now for birds, foxes, coyotes.

The sinuous watercourses are full of red mud. This collared lizard—male? female?—out and about before cold weather, was actually an outrageous neon chartreuse. With a muddy face.

Two Joys

Two-track and Red Star, Betsy James

One: two-tracks, the dusty, lonely roads that follow the contours of the West. The one above reminds me of a long-ago hike taken from the low road to Zuni.

Two: hiking high and wild, to beat the heat and get up where breathing is a pleasure. Lately that has meant the Jemez Mountains, raked over by wildfires but springing up green with the monsoon rains. We just missed the wild raspberries: the bears got there first.

Hot Chocolate

 

An illustration for Dr. Patricia Crown of the University of New Mexico, showing the technique presumably used a thousand years ago by the inhabitants of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, to froth a drink made from cacao traded up from Mexico.  Arguing the details with three archaeologists and four Pueblo consultants took six weeks and about fifty emails. Love this kind of dialogue!

And yes, the woman has six toes. A mutation that shows up archaeologically and may be associated with high status.

The story of chocolate in Chaco is fascinating. Here’s Dr. Crown’s brief introduction to it:

More of my favorite kind of illustration,  historical  recreation:

https://betsyjames.com/illustration/historical-illustration/history-and-prehistory/