My last day in New Mexico was about style. My dear friend Carnell, his mentor, his/our mutual friends arranged one last dinner. It was wonderful, what can I say. Table conversation would be nothing but kind words and excitement that I am leaving for the big city and questions about what I will being doing and why. The piano player(s) sang New York medleys for me. In honesty, it raised my anxiety level just a little. Of course I would think what if… insert negative situation, but one must have faith. As one of my aunts said to me a couple months back, “…just trust and have faith in your friends because they will help you.” Without a doubt, I do have fantastic friends!
As people were leaving for the evening, the older gentleman to my left said, “Good luck! Do your best!” The gentleman’s words vibrated with me, as this is exactly what my dad always says to me. My body was one large internal smile.
As I drove out of Santa Fe, Carnell would text me to say he booked a room for me at the Hyatt, downtown Albuquerque. I have always wanted to stay there, I would say to him. How lucky and special was that? The view of the Sandia Mountains the next morning was gorgeous. A wonderful imprint on my memory.
The next day, one might say I also had a bit of rough send off. I left the hotel to arrive promptly at 9 am to the barber shop. Unfortunately, I had to wait. And wait. I arrived back at the hotel with minutes to get ready and it was not at all how I pictured my last morning in the 505. I wanted to wear certain jeans and a certain shirt but those certain jeans were at the bottom of my bag and the certain shirt was not clean. I had planned on doing some laundry the night before I left and stuff my black duffle bag with as much clothes as possible. That would not be the case.
Dearest Aaron B., would drop me off at the airport. And, as I flustered to get my belongings and say good bye to Aaron, I would walk into the airport terminal, check in and realize my phone was still in the car. Of course, I have no phone numbers memorized and my lap top was dead. I made my way to find a chair and wall socket, scrambled to open my lap top bag only to have two empty mini apple vodka bottles drop out as airport security walked by. Quickly, I managed to get the two bottles before they rolled any further on the floor. These two mini vodka bottles were from a few days ago, when I had what felt like a long day. Trust me. Anyway, I waited in the airport hoping and praying Aaron would snap and realize he was probably listening to two songs that repeated over and over. Evidently that was not the case. I was hoping he would run down the terminal to find me going through security as he waived with dramatic hand gestures mouthing, “I GOT YOUR PHONE!” That would not be the case. When I did manage to plug my lap top in and send him a Facebook message, he messaged me back he was already home. I heard my name being called over the airport intercom that my American Airlines flight was leaving. It was my last call. I would board my flight to New York City without a phone, without my NYC friends number, without anyones number, in jeans I did not want to wear in a shirt that made me feel frumpy. But, I was beyond excited and nervous. NYC, here I come. But first, an hour layover in Dallas.
These are some of the headboards that were hand painted by me for the new remodeled rooms at LaFonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM. Artists were asked to paint flowers in the Spanish/Native American folk art style. The majority of these headboards were queen and the color palette was chosen beforehand by the architect and the hotel.
Since about the middle of June this year, I have been pretty busy. What have I been busy with, you ask? Barbara Felix Architecture + Design has been remodeling the historic hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza, here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Arguably one of the best hotels to stay at, with one of the best views atop the city, the Bell Tower.
I witness firsthand the architect and her team working long hours, nights and weekends. And, of course, the hard work has paid off. Barbara Felix and the hotel received positive responses and wonderful reviews! I even heard some people gasped as they entered into the rooms. I know that because I was in the hall way painting! But--if I can brag for a bit--one of the hotel guests I was talking with/explaining what I was doing, said to me before walking off, "Well, you must be very talented if they asked you to paint here." Those words stuck with me and made me giddy. I thought, heck yea! I will accept that compliment, "Thank you. Thank you, very much!"
Here are article links and reviews:
And my personal favorite:
The following slide show is some of the work I did at La Fonda. Kiva fireplaces painted with simple flowers, the odd-looking metal portals are actually laundry chutes (the original artist had painted some flowers and animals, and I just pumped it up a little, trying to keep the artists original work). You can see the laundry chutes if you wonder the corridors of the hotel. The last images are the headboards, which replaced some of the older/originals, but keeping with the Spanish Colonial/Mission Revival and Native American motifs. Also keeping with La Fonda's artistic integrity set by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter (the hotel's designer and architect from 1905-1948) and paying tribute to her, nine artists were commissioned for the headboards. The other artists are:
Jack Fragile (Pueblo Heritage), Keith Grosbeck (Chippewa/Munsee-Delaware Plains Cree), Dylan McLaughlin (Navajo), Warren Montoya (Santa Ana & Santa Clara Pueblos), Shane Nichols (Passamaquoddy), Brian Vallo (Acoma Pueblo), Kat Weber (Santa Fe), and Anne Winkler (Santa Fe).
I must say, this is one of the best projects I have been apart of. I am truly thankful and happy to my dear friend, Brian Vallo, for having me aboard. Words can not express...
We have been slowing getting aprons made. Between our jobs, play time with the kids and life in general, its coming along. We have some men's aprons that are almost ready. Hit us up, if you are interested.
Meanwhile, yesterday when I volunteered at my friends event, ARTFeast, I ran into familiar faces. It was exciting talking about the aprons we are making and people seemed to be interested. I guess we need to open the sweatshop tonight!
It was Monday night. My roommate Bryon was going to read at El Farol on Canyon Road. I had never been and his partner, my other roommate, asked if I wanted to go. "Sure! I've never been." Poetry night seems to bring a certain hybrid of people out. Entertaining, yes. Obnoxious people, yes. Bad mics, yes. But, the talent of some of the writers was amazing. Here is one such talent reading a poem:
These photos were taking in July at Zocalo, Santa Fe, NM for SWAIA. The bolos were silent auciton items for the SWAIA gala at LaFonda. Interestingly, the photos look different here, but I still love them. The girl is Montana.
At the Native American Clothing Contest. Tom Ford (a guest judge) is as beautiful in person as he is in print....very kind and gracious.
Corey Garcia: famous artist (well...kinda), shameless self-promoter (hahaha), 8-5 slave (until my true genius is recognized) and avid happy hour goer (call me).