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Something about my eight amazing days in the desert

From my eight amazing days in the desert – morning in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

From my eight amazing days in the desert – morning in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Yesterday morning we left behind the scrublands of the desert and headed back to Virginia’s Appalachia. As we packed the rental car to head to the airport, grabbed coffee and food not on our diet, I thought about Ella and Lily, the muse cats.

I contemplated the little paw prints of ink that decorate my studio (what do you know, that’s not a best studio practice – letting your kittens near an inking plate). I remembered the 3 a.m. wake-ups that involved perky felines. And in short, I really missed them.

And then I considered the wonderment of being in a place for eight days where like-minded and like-interested people abounded. I have not spent long periods of time with other printmakers and to enjoy a week submersed in the medium was a glorious thing. I attended a workshop on Direct to Plate Gravure in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Now I toy with the idea of living in the desert. I think about days without the sounds of leaf blowers and lawnmowers.

Could I enjoy life without large bodies of water nearby? Could I handle a new world of allergens?

But in this dry town, there’s an etching club that has a gallery, a workspace, an antique working press, a patron who supports their art, and lovely artists involved.

There are more galleries than one can see in a week.

The takeaway

My overall takeaway from my fourth trip to Santa Fe (of specifics I will write more during the next little while when I’m not shell-shocked from altitude and time changes or from getting home last night at 3 a.m.) is:

The New Mexico desert is a place of artistic equilibrium. It is a place of balance where people speak a similar artistic vocabulary and daily conversations begin with “What medium are you working in today?” as opposed to “How do you like the weather?”

But where I am today is home with Ken, the kittens, comfortable pillows, a new beer recipe recently brewed and ready for consumption, and friends whom I look forward to seeing in person.

And then again there is always the dream of Santa Fe, and one needs dreams.

A few notes about other artists you’ve met on this blog or will meet:

  • Diana Bloomfield. We saw her work at the Verve Gallery in Santa Fe. First – what a great space (I am in love with it). It’s all about photo processes, including several hand-colored photogravures. In their current show, I wish there were more of Diana’s framed images. There are two up along with a beautiful digital slide show of her work. Also in a bin, several matted pieces are available, but the beauty of these Gum Bichromate prints would have complimented the other hanging work presented (but I know space is an issue).
  • Langley Anderson. Starting June 8, Langley’s “Chromatic Parvitude” will grace the walls of the River City Grill in Radford, Virginia. This show featuring her microscopy is through the Green Heron Art Center. Her exhibit is on display until August. 2, and the reception is June 8 from 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Amber Slusser-Brillhart. Congratulations to Amber for winning the 10th Annual Longwood University Undergraduate Medieval Conference’s Abels-Johnson Award for Excellence. This was the conference’s fourth competition for the best student paper. Click here to read more about this.

And coming up soon: an artist interview with the photographer who inspired me to go back to grad school – Leah Gose.


The Unwinding Path is the blog of L.S. King – photographer, want-to-be printmaker and sometimes hypnotist. By day she is an arts communications officer at a rural university (translation: photographer, writer, and media content provider), and most of the rest of her time she is an MFA graduate student at Radford University.


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