It was 3 months ago today that I started sheltering in place. I’d been working in the print studio at the Santa Fe Community College that night, anxious about leaving the next morning for 2 weeks in Mexico. The world was falling apart; And I really wanted to run away. What got me was a social media report that we, the USA, was 1 week from Italy. the sirens, the dying, the people at windows playing tubas and violins. The socially responsible action was to STOP. Don’t go anywhere.
I went in my studio. I’ve been working with chainmail textures and pattern ink transfers since I went to India in 2018. Protection- the MeToo Movement and hate speech from the administration, the Fascist autocrats on the rise around the world. FEAR feeding frenzy.
I danced. Socially distanced with large paper figures. Henry Miller was there, so was Rona aka June, and Queen Victoria.Moondrop, Nuwa and Fuxi, Me- the beaver advocate. I’m still here, sheltering in place although less afraid of the grocery store. Working. Witnessing and reporting my experience in this perfect storm. The virus is the elder here- I respect the conditions and its energetic preparation for Black Lives Matter to bring the lies and poison of racism out into the streets in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Shocking transformation. We are in it together.


It’s confirmed. We are all connected.
Coronavirus, the ancient virus that has roamed the world for billions of years, is paying earth a visit. And I’m about to board a plane for El Pecadero, Mexico. Traveling light. Hoping for the best. Always measuring fear with prudence, Dear Prudence.
Our carbon footprint is being reduced for us as the shelves clear, travel stops, gas bottoms out but we have no where we have to be except under covers.
The redwing blackbirds don’t seem concerned. I woke to their singing and feel the warmth, the sun, the approaching Equinox.

9 Years


Don’t Fence Me In: ART PROJECTS 2008-2018
This is a small book- 10″x8″, a picture book and a quick read.
It was a monumental project for me.
For a few years I’ve wanted to compile a book about my art projects to provide context for the curious who ask “where do your ideas come from ?” As a project in its own right, ‘Don’t Fence Me In’ is a field guide to 9 years, 2009- 2018. The making and recording called art is my way of building cairns; Marking a place, discovery, time; knowing others have been there and that we cross paths over and over.

Winter 2019

We’ve had a big winter here in the southwest. Snow. I love the snow and skiing but my studio has been a brisk 60 degrees for 2 months. I was happy to stay inside my warm house to begin a photo book of my art projects from 2009-2018. Everyone told me the software was user friendly, easy- but then I fell into the rabbit hole, thanks to artist,friend, and digital media guru Sarah Hewitt. The idea of the book was to integrate the diverse projects I worked on during that time period. Stringing Henry Miller with disappearing beavers on the Santa Fe River and the magical mystery tour of India with the BE HERE NOW awareness that climate disruption is threatening the dance of life itself. Sarah reminded me that I am also a writer, a word person, a storyteller. By the end of our phone conversation I was collaging the last 9 rich years of life into now, 2019, with despair and hope. Here are a few images from the next project- a graphic novel about the ongoing search for “things with feathers ” ( Emily Dickinson’Hope is the thing with feathers) while feeling grief for life on earth given the climate report.

Meta-Tourist returns home

Text panel from the exhibition of Meta-Tourist at gf contemporary, summer 2018:
Making of the Meta-Tourist
My introduction to India was through fabric. It was a Madras plaid dress with matching headband. Then the Beatles introduced me to sitars and meditation. I saw people marching on the evening news and learned about the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and the influence of Mahatma Gandhi’s practice of non-violent protest. India became my ‘exotic’ other. Yoga, meditation, embroidered clothing, weaving and spinning were to follow.
In November 2016, I was accepted to a printmaking residency in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. In my application I proposed:
‘’ …to develop a print-based installation that is mythic in breadth and contemporary in content and use of materials. The conceptual foundation for the project will be the vital weaving and textile arts of Gujarat and Gandhi’s revitalization of domestic textile production as a vehicle for Indian independence and social restoration. “
The plan was to travel through Rajasthan for three weeks with my daughter and have one month at the residency in Gujarat, which borders Rajasthan on the south.
We searched out embroiderers, toured a paper factory and block print shops. After visiting palaces, forts, temples and mosques, the stories began to sound the same as one power structure gave way to another. The ruins of yesterday’s empire are today’s tourist attraction. The walled city fails to protect over time. In every city on our tour, vendors told me that the camel is about love, the horse is about power, and the elephant brings luck, the peacock happiness. It’s what we all want.
The work here is my fabrication of India with my Gandhi glasses on, still believing that the inner and outer worlds are connected and worthy of my attention.
Most of the print work was made in India on the cotton rag paper I saw being made in Rajasthan. The embroidered prints on Indian khadi cloth I purchased from the government shop in Vadodara were printed at Fourth Dimension studio in Santa Fe with the help of Michael McCabe. Thanks to all who helped make the departure and return of the Meta Tourist possible.

How to pack for India?


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It’s time to put together 300 days worth of imagining this trip to India, 45 days of picking up ‘must have’ items (ink for printing, paper, charcoal tablets still on the list, back up charger, find the GoPro cord, get WhatsApp. Clothes- buy them in India so I have more room in the suitcase.


Taking Georgia with me, along with needle, indigo dyed silk and a needle. Page one, travel log.

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This and many other hand drawings are going with me.

I leave in a week. Will it all fit? This trip is taking me. I can’t wait to see what shows up.

A year in the life of a beaver pond

Remember the beaver pond April 2016In September 2016 I began a three month residency with the Santa Fe Art Institute. The project focused on the riparian restoration that had taken place along the Santa Fe River in La Cieneguilla, the effluent treated water that flows west to Cochiti Pueblo where it joins the Rio Grande. In November, I presented my 3 month immersion into this complex stretch of river and the beaver ponds that altered the land and soundscape of the place I’ve called home for 27 years, an epic story, in 140 seconds. SFAI 140 is a quarterly event at SFAI turning epic into haiku? Nearly a year later, the river is back to it’s tidy channel, waiting for a 100 year flood. I continue to photograph and investigate the now dry ponds, listening for bullfrogs who’ve moved further down the canyon.

SFAI 140 November 2016

“I’m not vegan and I kill mice.I never thought about water rights until 2012 when beavers appeared in the Santa Fe River near my home in La Cieneguilla.mccloud_1

For 28 years I’ve lived on one of the earliest Spanish land grants in the United States, the site of a once thriving Keres Village. In riparian restoration terms, I’m non-native.

The beavers, who are native and reside on the upper Santa Fe River canyon and west at Cochiti Pueblo,    took down the cottonwoods and red willow planted by Wild Earth Guardians in 2008.
Beaver is a keystone species, recognized for creating habitat for other species and filtering water. I was enchanted by the slow, meandering wetlands but the farmers downriver were not- –the dams were impeding the flow for irrigation.

I was told that no beavers ever lived in this stretch of river. Rumors circulated they’d been introduced by WildEarth Guardians.beavers were here

Last March, at a county commissioners meeting, those opposing the beaver asked for extrication of what was presented as a nuisance. I imagined beaver being picked out, and, to paraphrase John Muir, I saw everything in the universe attached to them, and in jeopardy.

I questioned my water rights- Do I have a voice here? I found myself between those with traditional water rights and ‘those’ environmentalists.

As an artist who works with allegory and metaphor, I welcome the beaver as a place-holder for the wild, creative- destructive life force, clearing way for the new.

November 1 marked the end of the 7-month open season on beavers. A county investigator recently reported no signs of activity. Were they hunted out? Perhaps the endocrine disrupters in the water affected reproduction.

No bodies have been recovered – no toxicology reports exist. As mysterious as they arrived, the beaver have disappeared —at least for now.




indigo season

It’s June and I’ve just planted indigo seedlings into a garden patch. Blue. I’m growing sky and water blue. I first dyed with indigo cakes from Japan in the late 1980’s when I was restoring Navajo textiles, dipping handspun wool into the dye bath and watching it go from green to sky blue and deeper with each dip and aeration until it was metallic midnight. Now I grow the plants and strip the leaves in late summer to make my dye bath. Same ritual dipping and airing, only the La Cieneguilla grown indigo yields a greenish teal and occasionally a deep blue. In these collages I’m combining wax encaustic (some wax gathered from home-hives) with the dyed silk organza. FullSizeRender (5) 2FullSizeRender (7)

Am I an activist or is it normal to resist a bully?

IMG_1459I was sent home from school in 1968 for wearing culottes. I was in 7th grade and the male shop teacher grabbed me in the hallway. Girls must wear skirts, and they must not be shorter than two inches above the knee. I was sent to the principal’s office. My only regret was that I didn’t ask Mr. Shopteacher, in the presence of Mr. Principal, to prove it. It would have required an awkward moment – me, spreading my legs to reveal the stitched crotch of the herringbone wool tweed culottes, which were stylishly discrete to look like a dress. The one-piece outfit was a precursor to the efficient can-do jumpsuit, a seamless promise of crotch inaccessibility that neutralized the playing field. I too could be an astronaut; maybe even president.

A week ago I flew to Washington,D.C. where I joined my two adult daughters for the Women’s March, along with my niece and a friend, both teachers, and my hosts. I wore a fake furry pink hat with kitten ears and pink balls attached to the neckties. I’d found it while cleaning out the closet. It reminded me of an Andean cap with earflaps and the balls swinging beneath my ears were festive payback for the male incursions on style I’d endured in school and at church; I hated those chapel veils.

We wore our pink hats, we talked to strangers, we laughed, we felt good, we were mashed in crowds and unafraid, we refrained from liquids to avoid the serpentine port-a- potty lines. We imagined feeling bad by Tuesday when weren’t all together, laughing, walking, chanting, doing something and believing in the goodness of people.

We arrived at the designated ‘end’ of the march, the Ellipse (how perfect!) on the Mall with a clear view of the White House. I set my sign among the others on the grass for Trump to read knowing full well the only readers would be my fellow marchers and the DC sanitation crew. It said ‘You Tweet, I’ll roar’ ‘ on one side and “Liberty and Justice for All”’ on the other.  IMG_1435IMG_1461

Where is my roar? Can you hear me? It’s like a nightmare and I cannot scream. Last night it was about my old dog Dibby. In the dream she’d died and nobody had told me. My sorrow was swallowed up in not having been with her when she was dying. I get phone calls from distressed friends. What can we do? How do we say walls don’t work- remember Berlin, not to mention China? Who will hear that fracking disrupts the heartbeat of the earth? How can I speak to the muscle memory of fear? That’s what’s in running the government right now in the US and creepily, all over the world. Fear.FullSizeRender


Child’s art work made during reign of Nazi Germany, on display at US Holocaust Museum Memorial

On Sunday, following the march, we went to the The US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Red Make America Great caps and Pink Pussyhats were shoulder to shoulder in the crowd. It was warm inside. I was uncomfortable. I thought it was bad design, all these people….it felt like I was in a herd of cattle, ushered in one direction, no way out. And then I got it- the perfect design for a memorial. I am here, it’s January 22, 2017 and this is the feeling of the people whose pictures I see on the walls, whose words I hear and read. I mentioned to my daughter that if I’d visited a year ago it would have been soft focus historic memory, something that happened at another time or far away. Now it feels current. I want the young girl in the red hat ahead of me to question; I want her WOKE.

January 26th. I listen to the news. Those who voted for Trump and wrote him off as a blowhard full of rhetoric who could make America rich again, I wonder if they are squirming inside. And those who didn’t vote, how do they feel? Are they scared?

In late August I was driving with friends to go mushroom hunting for porcinis. As we turned toward the mountains there was a man standing on the corner, holding a cardboard sign with big black painted letters ‘STAY POSITIVE’.  IMG_1496

That was all. Stay positive. No money requested, no story about war or gas or hard times. He was his sign, a bright presence on the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Guadalupe St. We all gave him money. Stay Positive was our slogan for the day although we found no mushrooms. It steered my perspective. I painted the words on my studio door. When I fall into the rabbit hole of worry and fear I remember stay positive, his presence. Now I’ve added his words to the contacts in my phone, along with phone numbers for Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich. I’ll need them all in the coming months.



Santa Fe Art Institute Residency update

captured-by-game-pI’ve lived in La Cieneguilla for 28 years. For someone born in White Plains, NY who lived in 5 houses before she was 6 and never went west of  the Mississippi River until 15 years of age, this is remarkable. Am I  enchanted? IMG_1165In German there is a word for my condition: Fernweh. Akin to wanderlust, there is something in my soul that likes to feel like the outsider on a forever frontier. I work in the gap of detached yearning. Like a prayer.

Slowly, I’ve come to realize this place is home.

When beaver moved into the Santa Fe River they  felled the cottonwoods planted by WildEarth Guardians in 2008. A handful of farmers downriver complained the dams impeded the flow of the river for irrigation. My project, while at the Santa Fe Art Institute asked ‘can humans and beavers coexist on the stretch of river between the Santa Fe Wastewater Treatment Plant and Cochiti Pueblo, where it joins the Rio Grande? During the project, the beavers appear to have abandoned or been hunted out as the river goes through La Cieneguilla. There are lodges at the topbeavers were hereof the watershed in Santa Fe Canyon preserve and at the river’s  terminus at Cochiti Pueblo.Why are they not here? They were either hunted out as part of the long standing rancher’s stewardship of water/land management or perhaps the emerging pollutants- pharmaceuticals- in the treated effluent water weakened them.

I joined the  Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative. We are diversity in action- ranchers, artists, farmers, Cochiti Pueblo natives, Spanish land grant inheritors, newcomers, city, county, state and federal employees. I questioned if I had a voice in water rights when I first heard about the beaver controversy.

As a land owner with 3 acres and a domestic well, the project at SFAI/ Water Rights has opened into a broader story of land, land ownership, and the narratives that shape our perception of belonging and protection.