Artist in Residence Adventure ~

Stage 9:  Wrap It Up…


Residency Culminating Artist Talk

My final formal commitment as the November Artist in Residence was to hold my Artist Talk to summarize my experiences and the resulting artwork.  I set up the vacated temporary gift shop space again with tables, easel, and video camera.  I took some time to organize my thoughts and how to best present all that had transpired.  I ended up grouping the art created into three categories:  Recording what I saw, Responding to what I saw/experienced, and Integrating what I saw/experienced/learned.  I did record the talk but still need to create an intro and splice the segments together.  Stay tuned, I will update the videos section of the residency web page and will add it to this post once the link is ready!  In the mean time, here is a link for the FACEBOOK LIVE I did following the Artist Talk which includes a tour of the Long House out on the trail!


Here is a link to the post with all of the artwork produced during the Residency in the state of completion when I packed it to ship home.  I wanted to capture and record how far I got while physically living and painting in Bandelier National Monument. This residency isn’t ending 30 November, simply changing studio locations!


Virginia friends, Sue and Jim Sprague, who lived in Santa Fe for 10 years, were in town for Thanksgiving and came out to the park for the Artist Talk and a nice visit.


South Rim Frijolito Trail & Alcove House

“Base camp” friend Mary decided to join me for my culminating hike.  My final goal was to hike the South Rim Frijolito trail to find a view of the Alcove House from across the canyon.  The photographer that was Artist in Residence in October, had shared directions for how to find the spot from which to get this view.  This was the longest hike yet, I would have done it by myself but I’m so glad I had Mary’s company, it made the entire day much richer and a lot more fun!  I consulted Ranger Mark on the best route to take and he recommended going up the switchbacks “to get on up to the top” and take the long South canyon wall descending trail back!  OKAY!


With all of the main bridges across the Frijoles creek under construction, the trail start moved down to the Falls Trail entrance, then hung a right to parallel the creek until you get back across from the Visitors Center to the back country trail head and the switchbacks up the South canyon wall to access the Frijolito trail!  I had gone about a third of the way up earlier in the month, discovering for myself that it wasn’t so scary after all…  the trail did get a little more challenging further up the canyon wall but at this point, I had the precipice anxiety in check, treking pole in hand to provide more stability, and simply took each next step one at a time… WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT when we reached the top!


Once on top of the South rim, the view was filled by the mesa grasses, junipers, and occasional pines.  The vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges from this vantage point were numerous and the clouds added interest to the vast skies.  We encountered a lot of signs of larger wildlife (i.e., scat and footprints!), and the birds were numerous and quite talkative!  The trail continued on for quite a bit so it took awhile to get to the intersection of the Frijolito trail and the South canyon wall path descending along it’s face back to the Visitors Center…


We proceeded a ways beyond the trail intersection and started looking for where I might cut over off-trail towards the canyon rim in order to capture a view of the Alcove House across the canyon… First try revealed only canyon walls so there was nothing to see yet… back to the main trail to move on a bit further.  A few hundred yards further and I tried again… carefully as I drew closer to the rim, then around a juniper tree near the edge I was able to see the North canyon wall and voila! FOUND IT!  I was giddy that I had been able to follow the vague instructions and actually find what I was looking for!  OH MY!  I do regret not being able to have seen the Alcove House up close, those 140 steps up 4 different ladders to access it would have certainly been a challenge and accomplishment!   But being able to see it from this unique vantage point was extremely special!


Working back to the trail Mary and I discovered a skeleton of a mule deer… We felt like we were channeling Georgia O’Keefe with her skulls and skeletons from her surreal pieces!  We also found sign of elk!  I would have loved to have seen them but was tickled to know they at least frequented this area of the park.


We then headed DOWN the trail to the Visitors Center descending ~ 1 mile down the face of the South canyon wall… Basically a mile-long PRECIPICE for me to conquer, including fallen boulders!  VICTORY!  It was a beautiful hike with amazing views of the North wall and additional cavates and formations.  We took our time and stopped to enjoy the views often.  At the bottom, I was worn out, my neuroma in my right foot was talking back to me, but I was absolutely ECSTATIC to have done it!!!



Pack & Clean

Oh my goodness, now I have to pack ALL of this STUFF I brought, bought, and made and get it out of here!  Luckily, I had made sketches of the art supplies boxes I shipped to help me pack it all back up!  It took most of the day to get everything into a box or suitcase!  The casita looked like a land-mine had hit it Tuesday during the bulk of the packing!


I did some more Christmas shopping at the Gift Shop (and obtained another packing box from Oksana the Gift Shop Manager!!), and then did several loads of laundry, vacuumed, and cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen…  I tried to leave it nicer than I found it!



Saying Goodbye

What a full month!  FULL… of exploration, discovery, facing fears, being inspired, creating art, learning so many new things, meeting so many wonderful people!  What an experience!.  With so many “works in progress” started this month, I may be saying goodbye to this period of living in the park, however, I don’t think I can nor want to declare this Artist Residency over as there is much to still be done!  I had just folded this calendar up after pulling it and all my stickies of lists and motivators off the wall; I realized I should take a picture of this “Residency at a glance” record of the month of November!  Just Wow!



After all of the packing and cleaning, I took a final walk Tuesday evening on Pueblo Loop and created a Facebook live (2 parts since signal dropped!) giving a tour of the Tyounyi ruins, Tallus House, and climbing into the cavates!   Here is the link to Part 1 and Part 2 if you want to watch!



Tuesday night I worked on a little painting of the cavates on the North canyon wall from a photo I took from the South Rim and left it in the Casita as the other two 2022 Artists in Residence had left samples of their work.


Wednesday morning I finished laundering the linens (sheets and towels) provided by the park and completed packing up.  I borrowed the hand truck from the Visitors Center and made four trips from the casita around the Visitors Center to the car.  Once packed up I said farewell to Ranger Gary as he was the only Ranger I could find at the Visitors Center!  I stopped at the overlook for Frijoles Canyon and did a final Facebook Live for the Residency, click the panorama picture of the Overlook to watch the video!


The official Residency is finished… now to Santa Fe to decompress and initiate my transition back to the real world!  I’ll share those extended adventures next time!


If you’re interested in the other Bandelier Artist in Residence ~ Adventure  posts, here are the links so you can enjoy the full story!

  1. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 1:  Travel & Acclimation…”
  2. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 2:  Arrival at My New Home…”
  3. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 3:  Explore & Initial Game Plan…”
  4. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 4:  Field Trip to Valles Caldera…”
  5. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 5:  Studio Days & Exploration…”
  6. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 6:  Wider Explorations…”
  7. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 7:  Seeds of Inspiration & Ideas to Pursue…”
  8. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 8:  Focus for Final Push…”
  9. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ The Artwork…”
  10. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 9:  Wrap it Up…”
  11. “Artist in Residence Adventure ~ Stage 10:  Decompression Begins…”

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