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President’s Message Blog

2021 PAPNM President

The current PAPNM President is publishing a monthly letter in this blog.

PAPNM Members: please feel free to comment (see comment icon below each post similar to Facebook). Alternatively send a private message by selecting the underlined author’s name in any post or the president's name to the left.

Select underlined title for full message.

  • 01 Jul 2021 2:49 AM | Phyllis Gunderson (Administrator)

    Good morning and Happy July.

    First off I would like to welcome our new members!  Welcome to our wonderful painting group.  

    • Liz Bartlett Culp from Midland Texas
    • Lois Fernandez from Taos, New Mexico
    • Ennis Emily from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • Lois Fernandez from Taos, New Mexico
    • Melissa Homann from Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • Amy Jordan from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • David Knox from Fort Collins, Colorado
    • David Mayer from Lafayette, Colorado
    • John Misner from Boyd, Texas
    • Kay Maureen Moses from Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • Joe Munley from Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • Richard Nicholas from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • Charles Nickerson from Rio Rancho, New Mexico
    • Mary Stovall from Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Members, please reach out and help us make our new members feel welcome

    We had several successful paint outs this last month as well as a social at the Albuquerque BioPark Botanical Gardens.  Thank you coordinators for all the hard work to make this happen for us!

    This month's paint outs are ready for your sign-ups See Paint Out Schedule for the Year for the most up to date information 

    • Rio Grande del Norte NM Gorge Over Look on 3 July starting at 9AM at the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Slide Trailhead
    • Gilman Tunnels on 17 July starting at 9AM near Jemez Pueblo

    The 2021 Summer Skies online contest is now open.  You have until 10 September to get the those plein air paintings highlighting the beautiful summer skies and clouds from across the country.  2021 Summer Skies Contest Album 

    Applications are open for the 13th National Juried Members Exhibition at the Sorrel Sky Gallery in Santa Fe with an opening on October 29th. As you know the Call is open in CafeTM and will close on July 16.  Here is the link to the events page for your reference  If you have questions on the exhibition and show, please contact the show team.  The chairs are Carole Belliveau, Lee MacLeod, Kat Hansen and Beth Cooper.  This is our premier event for the year.  Get those beautiful plein air paintings ready for submission!

    Our next Board meeting is July 9 on Zoom.  If you would like to join the meeting here is the link:  As before, please mute on entering and use the chat function to ask questions or make comments.  We always have more to do than the time allows. If we don't get to your question during the meeting, one of the Board members will get back to you via phone or email.  

    And finally, Check out the store to purchase PAPNM collector items

    Wishing you all a wonderful and productive month!


    Reply to this email directly to reach the email sender.

    Happy Painting and Best Regards all,  Phyllis

    Plein Air Painters of New Mexico

  • 01 Jun 2021 8:00 AM | Phyllis Gunderson (Administrator)

    Dear PAPNM Members and Friends

    As I open this month’s missive, I would like to extol the wonderful New Mexico landscape yet again.  I had the rare opportunity to participate in the Ghost Ranch Artist Residency in May, founded and organized by our very own Diane Arenberg.  To say I had a wonderful time focusing on my work would be a massive understatement.  It is truly a magical place and I was so very grateful for the opportunity.  

    Welcome to new members!   Folks, lets make sure our new members feel welcome as you see them at PAPNM Paint Outs and Events!

    • Liz Bartlett Culp, Midland Texas
    • Richard Alan Nichols, Taos. New Mexico
    • Carol Corbin-Kuykendall, Albuquerque. New Mexico
    • Scott Kuykendall, Albuquerque. New Mexico

    In June we have quite a few things happening. Beth Cooper and the Event teams have been really busy arranging for Paint Outs and Events. 

    • Couse-Sharp Historic Site Paint Out, Taos NM on 05 Jun 2021, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM @ 146 Kit Carson Road, Taos NM 87571. This event has reached its signup limit. Many thanks for Suzanne Schleck organizing this event. 
    • Special Ghost Ranch Paint Out on 11 Jun 2021 – 13 Jun 2021 @ Ghost Ranch. Many thanks for Beth Cooper organizing this event.
    • Central NM Paint Out - Cerrillos Hills State Park, Cerrillos, NM on 19 Jun 2021, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM  Many thanks to Charles Coutret for organizing this event.
    • Applications for the Taos Plein Air Juried Paint Out and Show - Painting the Enchanted Circle will open up this week. . It should be a great event in September.  Get those paintings ready to submit.  Big thanks to Dick Wimberly and the rest of the events team!!

    And for fun we are going to have a Membership Social and Paint Out on 27 Jun 2021 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM at the Albuquerque's Botanical Garden, 2601 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104.  Consider joining us at this beautiful oasis. 

    • PAPNM members are invited to paint and pause for a social at noon. The garden is a mecca of beautiful and unusual plants. The main lawn is a green oasis with plenty of shaded areas for gathering.  
    • Painters can bring supplies in backpacks or carts. Pack a lunch or order food from the cafe to pick up. 
    • There is plenty of parking at no extra fee. Wear sunscreen, bring an umbrella, and bug repellent is recommended. 
    • Restrooms are available and are cleaned and sanitized frequently.  
    • At NOON. Meet other artists on the lawn, bring your business cards to exchange, get to know the volunteers.  
    • Garden Hours: 9am-5pm. View the Layout Here
    • Cost: Adults - $8 (New Mexico Residents*), $12.50 (Non-Residents)Seniors (65+) - $3.50 (New Mexico Residents*), $5.50 (Non-Residents)Military receive $2 off.  Tickets must be purchased online in advance. 
    • You can read about the Park's  safety requirements and get information on the Cafe. HERE  
    •   Many thanks to Stephanie West for getting this organized!

    Some updates from our Communications team lead by Stephanie West

    • Update your member profile on PAPNM: New options are available to you. 
      • Log in to and click on the little person icon near the top of the screen. 
      • Select 'View Profile.' This is where you can add more information about what you do including other art mediums. 
      • Click on the blue button, "EDIT PROFILE." From here, you can add specific mediums to your profile or other things like a career under 'Other industries.' 
      • Plus, you can upload your artist resume and/or your bio. Don’t miss this opportunity!
    • Prepare now for selling Art in 2022: 
      • May is the month Western Art Collector and American Art Collector magazines focus on New Mexico. 
      • If you want exposure (paid or unpaid,) images and stories must be submitted to the magazine’s rep. by March 1. 
      • Other magazines for consideration are Southwest Art, Cowboys and Indians, and New Mexico Magazine, who focus on the Southwest year round.
    • We could use your help and expertise! 
      • Location Scouts.  Have you ever wanted to be a location scout? Paint out and event chairs need help documenting scenes and locations. Please let us know if you can help out with Images, descriptions and short video footage. Please contact a board member or, email your favorite painting spot info to the event coordinator. 
      • Writers. Do you love to write? Have you a hankering to see your words in the newspaper?   We could use help collaborating to write press releases for our upcoming Ghost Ranch and Taos events. 
      • Please contact Stephanie, the Communications Director, if you can help.

    In the coming months, I will be discussing a recurring relationship with the Ghost Ranch and PAPNM.  We are both unique New Mexico resources focusing on our magical landscape.  If you have ideas that would be mutually beneficial for both organizations, drop me a note.  Thank you in advance

    And finally; Check out the store For our 2021 collector items!!

    Wishing you all a wonderful and productive month!

    Best Regards all, Phyllis 

  • 08 May 2021 3:34 PM | Phyllis Gunderson (Administrator)

    Dear PAPNM Members and friends

    As always, I hope this note finds you well and enjoying the creativity that you bring to the beauty of our land with Plein Air Painting. 

    First off, I would like to welcome our new members:  

    • Jason Adamik from Tijeras, New Mexico
    • Jeanne Adams from Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • Rick Alt from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • Michelle Baker from Asheville, North Carolina
    • Didi Bourbon from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • Caroline Coutret from Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • Sheryl Craig from Leedly, Oklahoma
    • Cindy Fry from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • Andy Garcia from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico
    • Deborah Hedrick from Midland, Texas
    • Angela Jo from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • Susan Lange Marshall from Corrales, New Mexico
    • Teresa Newman from Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • Denise Rose from Cochiti Lake, New Mexico
    • Danta Ruiz from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico
    • Nelda Smith from Logan, New Mexico 
    • Laura Speer from Corrales, New Mexico
    • Kathryn Stedham from Santa Fe,  New Mexico
    • Alida Tustison from Pena Blanca, New Mexico
    • Jonathan Vordermark from Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico
    • Krysteen Waszak from Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • Alices Webb from Albuquerque, New Mexico 
    • Mike Word from Santa Fe, New Mexico

    We now have new PAPNM aprons for sale.  We will be offering them for $20 each plus shipping.  They are quite nice with our logo and pockets.  Thank you Stephanie West for getting these ordered for our members.  We should have them up on the website for sale soon, in the interim, contact any board member to get yours.

    Beth Cooper and the events teams have been really busy arranging for Paint Outs and Events.  

    • PAPNM Paint Out coordinators are knocking it out of the park!  Thank you Suzanne Scleck, Charles Coutret, Micheal Chesley Johnson!  Lots of Paint Outs coming up sign up and join the fun
      • 15 May 2021, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (MDT), Elena Gallegos Open Space, Albuquerque. 
      • 05 Jun 2021, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (MDT), Couse-Sharp Historic Site, Taos NM,  46 Kit Carson Road, Taos NM 87571. 
      • 19 Jun 2021 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (MDT), Cerrillos Hills State Park, Cerrillos, NM. 
      • 03 Jul 2021, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (MDT), Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Slide Trailhead
      • We are adding a Paint Out for June at Ghost Ranch June 11 and 12 as well.  Watch for details next week!
      • And more… check out the PAPNM calendar.
    • Jemez Hot town Cool Springs Paint Out and Show event just concluded at the Jemez Fine Art Gallery in Jemez Springs.  Huge "WAY TO GO" out to Co Chairs Wendy Alhm and Susan Nichols as well as their volunteers that pulled this together.  Not only was the event really fun and well organized, I believe 18 paintings were sold! Thank you to our Judge of Awards Tobi Clement!  Congratulations to all our talented award winers. Whoo hoo.
    • A reminder of upcoming events reminder on Signs of Spring - Online Contests  Deadline for entry is June 10, 2021.
    • Taos Plein Air "Painting the Enchanted Circle" Juried Members Paint Out and Show.  The opening is September 25, 2021 at the Wilder Nightingale Fine Art Gallery in Taos New Mexico.  Call for entry should be in June. Save the Date: Taos Plein Air "Painting the EnchantedCircle" Juried Paint Out and Show  Our chairs for this event are Beth Cooper, Beth May, Suzanne Schleck, Susan Brown and Dick Wimberly.  
    • 13th National Juried Members Exhibition at the Sorrel Sky Gallery in Santa Fe with an opening on October 29,2021Save the Date: 13th National Juried MembersExhibition Call for entry should be in June. The chairs are Carole Belliveau, Lee MacLeod, Kat Hansen and Beth Cooper
    Sponsors.  We are so very much appreciative of our sponsors and I would like to let you know we have a new one at the Fine Art Store with their Rochester Art Supply Club Program.   When PAPNM members and friends shop at the Fine Art Store, PAPNM will get a 5% credit for gift cards that we can in turn use for prizes at our events.  Check them out at, Rochester Art Supply.  Remember when you put in your order, let them know that you are associated with PAPNM.

    We are having a PAPNM Board Meeting on Friday May 14, at 9:30 AM and I would like to invite you to attend.  It will be via Zoom. Here is the link: 

    Meeting ID: 825 5598 2527

    Passcode: 080763 

    We try to keep our meetings to under two hours, which can be a challenge with all that the team is working on.  This is a very hard working Board!  When you join the meeting, we will have you on mute, but you will be able to ask questions via chat.  We will be monitoring those inquiries and addressing as many as we can during the session as it applies to the reports presented by each board member.  At the end of the meeting, we will open up for general discussion.  

    Send me any questions or comments you may have by replying to this message.  Looking forward to hearing from you.  

    As always, have a wonderful day!

  • 11 Apr 2021 11:44 PM | Phyllis Gunderson (Administrator)

    Dear PAPNM family

    As the weather continues to improve, more and more of us are getting out and enjoying the beauty that surrounds.  I feel particularly grateful for the opportunity to go outside and paint with talented friends. I haven’t been out painting much in the last several months, but recently took the opportunity to try out new hardware to get out to paint. No, I didn’t get a new easel, but rather a new hip; I had a full hip replacement in March.  It's interesting to note that when you can’t seem to do something you dearly love due to issues beyond your control, the return to your passion is all the more sweet. Many of us have stayed away from gatherings and friends for far too long.  As conditions and weather improves, I would encourage you to embrace the opportunity to get out and paint.

    I’m excited to report that we will have our first major event starting inabout a week.  The  "Hot Springs, Cool Town" Non-Juried Paint Out and Show in Jemez Springs is in full swing and moving forward our intrepid co-chairs Wendy Ahlm and Susan Nichols have planned and put together a fun and very well organized event.  There may be a spot or two still open for Tobi Clemens workshop.  If interested check it out. We have 60 artists converging on the unique beauty of the Jemez Springs area for the week before the opening.  If I am not mistaken, this is the largest turn out yet for this event. I hope to see you out there!

    PAPNM Paint Out are starting up as well.  Check out the PaintOuts page for upcoming events! Thank you to our Paint Out Coordinators for searching out great locations and hosting: CharlesCoutret - Central NM,  Michael Chesley Johnson - Western NM andSuzanne Schleck - Northern NM.  Please remember that when yousign up for a PAPNM Paint Out that you have one of the limited spotsfor that paint out.  While we all know that life happens and things come up, the coordinators would really appreciate you letting them know in advance to not to look for you if you can’t be there.  If you can give advance notice, even better, as we may have someone on awaiting list.

    In my last note to all of you I wrote about the upcoming Plein Air Cafe- a virtual meet up once a month on Zoom to talk about all thingsPlein Air Painting. We have had to take a step back from that and willbe looking for a coordinator from the membership to facilitate thecalls.  We should put a formal call in a week or so. Please consider adding your talent to our activities.

    Again, wishing you health and creativity as you go forth to interpret the beauty of New Mexico and other state landscapes as Plein Air painters.

    Again wishing you the best of health and creativity

    Phyllis Gunderson, President PAPNM

    Again, wishing you health and creativity as you go forth to interpret the beauty of New Mexico and other state landscapes as Plein Air painters.

    Best Regards, 

    Phyllis Gunderson, President 

    Plein Air Painters of New Mexico

  • 28 Feb 2021 7:00 PM | Phyllis Gunderson (Administrator)

    Good morning members, sponsors and benefactors of PAPNM.  I hope this note finds you and yours healthy, happy and painting our beautiful American landscape. With the weather changing, I would hope to see more of us getting out to capture the beauty that is uniquely ours.  Of course we will follow the guidance from the New Mexico Department of Health guideline as we do in all of our events.  

    I would like to update you on just a few of the things your energetic Board and other volunteers are working on your behalf.  If you would like to join us in working our activities, drop me or one of the board members an email. 

    We have three events in the works for 2021.  If you would like to add your wonderful talent and energy, please contact your Events Director, Beth Ming Cooper  (

    • Jemez Non-Juried Members Paint Out and Show hosted by Jemez Fine Art Gallery, 17346 Hwy. 4, Jemez Springs, NM from April 24 - May 7, 2021.  Our event co-leaders Wendy Alhm and Susan Nichols have arranged a wonderful paint out and event.  In addition there will be a workshop put on by our very own and talented Signature member,  Tobi Clement. Check out the details on the website "Hot Springs, Cool Town" Non-Juried Paint Out and Show in Jemez Springs.  There are still spaces left.  It promises to be a wonderful event.
    • Taos Plein Air "Painting the Enchanted Circle" Juried Members Paint Out and Show.  The opening is September 25, 2021 at the Wilder Nightingale Fine Art Gallery in Taos New Mexico.  Call for entry should be in June. Save the Date: Taos Plein Air "Painting the Enchanted Circle" Juried Paint Out and Show  Our chairs for this event are Beth Cooper, Beth May, Suzanne Schleck, Susan Brown and Dick Wimberly.  Watch this space!
    • 13th National Juried Members Exhibition at the Sorrel Sky Gallery in Santa Fe with an opening on October 29, 2021.  Save the Date: 13th National Juried Members Exhibition Call for entry should be in June. The chairs are Carole Belliveau, Lee MacLeod, Kat Hansen  and Beth Cooper.

    We have started up PAPNM sponsored Paint Outs.  Contact Beth Cooper if you want to host one in your area.  Remember that our planning and registration is in accordance with current NM state health department regulations.

    A reminder to register for our Winter Wonderland Online Contest 2021 Winter Wonderland Contest . Entry closes on March 10, 2021.  Get your beautiful work uploaded.

    Our Communications Director, Stephanie West has a wonderful advertising plan in place.  We will be focusing our advertising dollars on Plein Air Magazine, Western Art Collector, Southwest Art, New Mexico Magazine and Taos News.

    Vice President Carole Belliveau in partnership with Membership Director Jane Frederick have sent out welcome notes to our new members.  If you see our new members out and about on the byways, say hello.  A warm welcome to new members: Bryant Bullard, Charles Coutret, Sally Delap-John, Jan Marie DeLipsey, Gwen Ethelbah, Sandra Heller, Doug Hemler, Cynthia Inson, Leah Jeffcoat, Julie Kennelly, Tina Little, Ellen Marshall, Teri Smith, Kevin Weckbach!

    New offerings…

    • Paint Out Stories Paint Out Stories. Our team has started to collect and publish stories from our members.  There are a couple posted.  Check them out.  Get involved and add your story and perspective.
    • Coming soon is the Plein Air Cafe - casual chat for members.  This new and innovative activity is the brain child of Beth Cooper will be the 2nd Wednesday of each month on a Zoom call.  Watch the website for the premier. 
    • Stephanie West and Wendy Ahlm will be sharing information about PAPNM and the Jemez Paint Out and Show on KRQE TV's New Mexico Living show. The segment will air the first week in March. 
    • We now have the ability to accept cash donations online in addition to those that are associated with a show.  You can direct potential donors to our page  ( to make a non-tax deductible gift to the organization.  We will use those donations in accordance with regulations governing our 501c(6) status to support on events, publicizing the organization and the furtherance of the practice of Plein Air painting.
    • Jane Frederick has put a membership card on each of your profiles for you to print out.
    • New How To Video links are now being posted on the website.  This will be a valuable resource for not only our newer painters, but also our veterans to see how different setups work in the field.  Check out and subscribe to our You Tube channel: 
    • Interested in Plein Air Live?  Sign up from our home page 

    Again, wishing you health and creativity as you go forth to interpret the beauty of New Mexico and other state landscapes as Plein Air painters.

    Best Regards, 

    Phyllis Gunderson, President

    Plein Air Painters of New Mexico

  • 19 Jan 2021 2:59 PM | Phyllis Gunderson (Administrator)

    First off, I hope this note finds you and those you hold dear healthy and happy.  As we start the new year, I am reminded of all the things for which we can be grateful.  With that perspective, I would like to start my first PAPNM President’s message to you.

    • Grateful for the beautiful New Mexico landscape:  I think sometimes the hardest part of painting in New Mexico is deciding where and what to capture on canvas.
    • Grateful for the tremendous talent and diversity in the organization:  Quite simply, I am in awe of the talent and accomplishments of this group.  We can all learn so much from each other.
    • Grateful for the flexibility of this organization:  Last year had not just a few challanges brought on by the health crisis.  We met them and grew from the experience.
    • Grateful for those intrepid painters who have stepped up to be on the Board of Directors this year.  We have large shoes to fill from the last Board. We had our first meeting last week.  What a group!  To reintroduce them to you: 
      • Vice President, Carole Belliveau
      • Treasurer, Ginny Bracht
      • Secretary, Wendy Ahlm
      • Membership Director, Jane Frederick
      • Events Director, Eilizabeth (Beth) Ming Cooper
      • Communications Director, Stephanie West
      • Historian, Anita West
      • Past President, Natasha Isenhour

    At the first meeting and accomplished a few important items:  re-look and confirmation of our individual and group roles and responsibilities, setting our direction for the year, creating a preliminary budget and and a review of 2021 planned events.   I am so very pleased with the energy and vibe of this group! I'm confident you will be as well.

    Our focus areas for the year:

    • Increase membership numbers and participation
    • Increase transparency and build enduring relationships with our members
    • Increase sales opportunities and resources for our members
    • As these goals are admittedly high level, they will give us a framework to work through ideas we have for our organization.  If you have ideas, we would love to hear them and work with you to bring them to life.  Reach out to me or any board member so that we can have a conversation. The list of specific ideas from the board is a pretty long one.  This is what we are working on now.
      • We have three confirmed events for the year. Beth and her team haveus set up well for preferable in person or virtual events as current conditions warrant.  If we have learned anything from the last year, we need to stay flexible.
        • Jemez Springs - “Hot Springs, Cool Town”. This will be a non juried show led by Wendy Ahlm and Susan Nichols in close coordination with Susan Vigil and the Jemez Fine Art Gallery.  The opening is April 24.
        • Taos - Taos Plein Air - “Painting the Enchanted Circle”. This will be a juried show led by Beth Cooper, Beth May and Dick Wimberly in close coordination with Wilder Nightingale Fine Art Gallery.  The opening is September 25.
        • 13th National Juried Members Exhibition and Show.   This is our premier event for the year.  It will be a juried show led by Carole Belliveau and Beth Cooper in close coordination with Sorrel Sky Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe. The opening is October 29.
      • The team is researching setting up a PAPNM ‘store’ for branded items such as aprons, tees and the like.  We believe that we will team with an organization like Zazzle to carry the merchandise.  Watch this space!
      • Another activity we are working is better engaging new members.  I think we can all remember when we joined the organization and how it felt to be new.  Carol Belliveau and Jane Frederick are collaborating here.
      • Setting up a virtual coffee hour so that we can share tips and tricks with everyone.  Beth Cooper, Dick Wimberly and others are working to bring this to life. This should be a lot of fun.
      • Hosted paintouts and a repository of places to paint in New Mexico. This initiative will be led by Beth Cooper and most of the board.

    So, in an effort to keep this relatively short, suffice to say you have a very energetic board who is focused on you, the members.  We appreciate the accomplishments of the past and plan on building on that to make PAPNM an even better organization.  

    I hope to hear from you!

    Best Regards,

    Phyllis Gunderson, President

    Plein Air Painters of New Mexico

  • 30 Dec 2020 7:40 AM | Natasha Isenhour

    Dear Plein Air Painters of New Mexico Artists and Appreciators,

    My monkey mind, a gift and a curse…

    As we sit on the cusp of a waning 2020 the old adage of wiping the slate clean comes to mind.  A new year and a new clean slate.  The thought of getting the erasers out and eliminating the marked out, marked over, changed and forgotten ambitions of the year.  That’s a lot of cleaning, a real chore, a dusty mess…

    Then I thought of a show I just finished watching, The Queens Gambit.  I thought about Beth Harmon, the lead character and the sequence of events, completely out of her purview, that led her to being placed into an orphanage as a young child.  Then, how a chore, cleaning erasers in the basement of the nunnery, led her to her life’s calling of playing chess.  

    I’m reminded of the lesson here.  Of all the difficulties 2020 has presented, I have watched folks deal with the chaos and unknowing, the solitude, inconvenience, sadness, boredom (the list is endless) in so many dichotomous ways.  What instills my hope in humanity are the ones that chose to rise.  People that developed flexibility, forged new trails, or simply set out to conquer something in their life.  

    Nietzsche said, “one must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.”  Difficulty boils our own internal chaos to the top.  It can manifest into destruction or beauty.

    I’m so proud of PAPNM and how you guys, artists, the board and everyone, have kept the candle of creativity lit.  From our first  board meeting in January full of amazing intentions to organize paintouts, mentorship programs and shows, to suddenly becoming an online organization and doing our best to bring as much as we could to you within the the parameters set outside of our purview as an organization.

    Although I would have taken the beginning aspirations and plans formed in January over the eventual history of the past 364 days, we have moved forward as an organization.  For that, I am incredibly proud.

    One of the most gratifying parts of my interpretation of my job as President, has been to write to you.  So many of you have written lovely responses to me at how I tapped in to something you were feeling, experiencing, something helpful or hopeful.  It has been a privilege to do that.  That was part of creating a dancing star from the chaos for me.  I have enjoyed it so much in fact, that I plan to begin my blog on my website again.  My writing fuels my painting among other things and this year has taught me to seek fuel in equal parts to the fuel I spend.  

    I want to thank each and every one of you that touched in to PAPNM this year.  Every active and passive way you participate is fuel for this organization.  The lifeblood of it.  I encourage you to get more involved as plans are laid for this next year, somehow already at our doorstep.  Please let us know if you have a desire to help with an event or perhaps consider a board position for 2022. It’s never too early to make plans.

    Mark up your calendar as if everything you put down will be able to move forward, but in your heart, hold the flexibility to adapt to change.  Your discovery may lay beneath the feet of your upended plans. 


    With Sincere Gratitude,

    Natasha Isenhour

    President PAPNM

  • 01 Nov 2020 10:08 AM | Natasha Isenhour

    Dear Artist Family and Appreciators,

    I’ll start by apologizing for my neglect in getting a newsletter out for October.  I had so much happening I had to let a few things slip through the cracks.  But it wasn’t that you weren’t on my mind.  You were.  Art was.  Life was.  So many things.  All these lists I am marking through and adding to daily.  The calendar with all its ink leaving a history of events that were moved, cancelled, changed…

    This year has been something of a tornado.  Despite the cancellations, how it is that I’m busier than ever remained a mystery.

    Then, it happened.  I had an opportunity to leave everything on my desk and walk away for a month.  

    So I worked in earnest to set everything up where I wasn’t going to be in trouble upon my return.  Bills lined up and other systems in place to take care of things in my absence.  Much harder than it sounds.  I packed my art gear, a duffle of clothes and my coffee pot and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.  A residency.  A time just for my art, not alllll the myriad of aspects of the career, but just the making of it.  The contemplation of technique and nuance that my scattered days didn’t allow for.  I settled in, and alas, all the ghosts of the complicated career path I willingly stepped into lay heavy and in the forefront of my mind.  It literally took two weeks for the burden to lift and thanks to the lack of internet access, something wasn’t reminding me constantly of the world outside.


    About a week in, I discovered a wealth of emotion I couldn’t put my finger on.  It was coming from everywhere.  Discord in friendships, the workload, the closing of a very important gallery connection of more than a decade, time marching, people leaving the planet, the monsters of hate and bigotry and complete lack of critical thinking looming larger by the minute… There was certainly plenty of reason for tears.  The world outside is enough to drown goodness and gratitude if we allow it.  Instead, for me, I guess all of that difficulty goes in a pile around my heart until a tool to deal with it comes into view.

    Step one, leave.

    Step two, sit in your madness.

    Step three, identify it and own it.

    Step four, breathe light and space into it.

    Step five, see what was under there….


    Beneath all of that, below the artificial façade that allows you to push through, is the stuff, the pain, all of it.  Beneath the stuff is belief that something can happen to ease discomfort and right wrongs.  Beneath the belief is authenticity. There are so many filters and the burdens of life on top of that genuine authenticity, I wondered if I would ever recognize it if I saw it again.

    So I painted some more.  I had a huge wall to tape and pin my paintings to. The painting I did the day after I arrived hung first, followed in sequence with the other 17 paintings I did over that time.  Everything I just told you here was spelled out a day at a time on that wall.  I even resisted the urge to assign a name to them to keep from attaching vocabulary to a feeling. I simply numbered them GR1, GR2...  I began to see my authenticity emerging.  I was no longer painting based on posting on social media, hoping for a good response.  I wasn’t concerned if these paintings were going to be desired by a gallery or painting something I hoped someone would want to add to their collection.  I was doing what I did when I was 5.  I was painting out of shear joy and to simply see where it would lead.  The paintings, to my eye, got better with each passing day and I was painting in a way I had wished for myself when I would sit back and criticize my still wet work, always looking for something illusive to attain a result I couldn’t even describe. 


    I think that’s what I found.  I really think I did.  The gift of time and absence of the rest of the world gave me just enough time to touch into that precious place to know it was still there waiting for me.

    What did I learn?  Well beyond the fact that I saw first hand, that our child nature, our passion based simply on our goodness and tendency toward beauty never leaves.  It lives in us.  We create very complicated lives and mourn the loss of it, but in truth, it never abandons us. 

    I learned that quiet, and unplugging doesn’t have to wait for permission, we simply must seize it and own it, if not for a month, for a waking hour.  I learned that I had no idea at all how burdened with obligation I had allowed myself to become.  I didn’t understand that I had designed the very thing that was holding back my ability to be my authentic self, simply because I lost touch of even what that meant.

    Why am I sharing all this?  I thought a number of times over that month, that if I could make it possible for all my artist friends as well as others, to hit pause long enough to touch in that deeply, it would be the most blessed Christmas there ever was.  Short of that, perhaps sharing just the surface of this experience would have some of you contemplating your own well meaning, well constructed lives and check in to see how your authentic self was doing.

    Identify what matters, make sure those things are secure, then go check on your heart…

    Blessings and love,

    Natasha Isenhour

    Your humble President.

  • 02 Sep 2020 8:48 AM | Natasha Isenhour

    Fellow Artists, Patrons and Appreciators,

    Well I’ll tell you, with this little hint of Fall in the air, I’m realizing just how quickly this year has gone by, simultaneously feeling it’s been forever since normalcy.  I really do work each day, to stay focused on the things I can do, instead of allowing myself to be consumed by the things I have no control over.

    I find myself entering more shows now than in past years.  We are inundated by opportunities to enter shows online.  So many now are more tempting than ever because there is no shipping involved.  That’s BIG.   We get to put the money into the entry instead of the logistics and costs of packing it up and shipping it off.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    I don’t know how most artists take care of their inventory.  Pen and paper have always been my friend.  I have one book that I log every painting in as I finish and sign it.  Month, year, name of painting, size and medium.  Another book has all my dates and payments for memberships and entries, and another corresponding page for sales listed by gallery or event for that year.  

    I’m beginning to see a problem emerge… Even though I have always been careful not to overbook myself in events and shows where my body or my work have to be in attendance, there is a new issue with this paradigm shift.  The  commitment to these online shows, although most of the scenarios have been in existence, are now getting more complicated with all the shows knocking on our email inboxes. I began thinking about this when it became abundantly clear that people are posting some of their best work (including myself) multiple times for multiple shows on Facebook. I seem to see it more now than ever.  

    The Temptation and the Trap

    All work must be for sale.

    NFS is acceptable. 

    All sales will be a $/$ split. 

    Artist will be responsible for all sales, no commission!

    The Complication

    This show has been cancelled.

    This show has been rescheduled.

    This show has now gone online only.

    The show dates have been extended!

    My little folksy system that has worked brilliantly for years is now taking a beating!  Things marked out, really good paintings that I’ve decided I can enter into a couple of places getting rerouted into a longer or rescheduled show, all manner of confusion.  I cannot possibly be the only one that has a moment of panic when there is an inquiry and that painting is in some online show somewhere.  I go back to see what its in, and I don’t know without looking back at the prospectus (if I can even find it), or maybe at my scribbled notes to see if the sale is committed to the online show its in or not. 

    What I’m trying to call attention to is the fact that with more venues forced to go online, they are working more and more on how to keep the show a cash cow even though it won’t hang on their gallery wall.  It’s only fair that they get a cut of course!  Galleries work hard for their cut of the sales.  But it seems to me, the way these venues are working their shows are as individual as the venues themselves.  In some cases, a great deal of the work has been reduced for the gallery, and a lot of the responsibility that the gallery has assumed in the past is now on the artist.

    Be CLEAR on what you are agreeing to!

    Do NOT assume a venue isn’t likely to sell the piece and double book it into another show!

    KNOW who is responsible for shipping costs if it does sell!

    BE RESPONSIBLE for keeping great records of where work is and what its committed to.

    Most shows will put you on a two year black out if the work you enter is accepted but for whatever reason, you don’t get it to the show.  Think about how much more complicated this is if the work never leaves your studio.  We enter shows sometimes 3-4 months before the commitment date.  With so many tempting shows coming your way, are YOU setting aside the work you enter?  Are you clear on your responsibility if it gets in?  

    Rethink your inventory system.  Is it working well for you?  Are you just wading in to this wonderful world of committing your art to shows and galleries?  If you are, take it from me, adopt a great provenance practice right out of the gate! My early inventory is stuck on an ancient Macintosh tower in an old program that isn’t supported by any computer.  It’s gibberish and forever lost now.  That’s when I turned to pen and paper.  I thought I was so wise at the time lol!  Even if I do move to software for my inventory, I imagine there will be this little life raft of notebooks to be found upon my demise.

    Old dogs, new tricks…

    Speaking of old dogs and new tricks!!  It’s TIME NOW to talk to me about your new volunteer role with the board for 2021!  I’ve learned so much with my time here on the PAPNM board.  Several of the board members are at the end of their term limit and can’t continue to serve in their positions.  Do you have ideas for how to grow our organization or to make things better?  Consider serving on the board and have your chance to help it evolve with your fresh ideas to lend.  You don’t have to be a professional artist to be a dynamite addition.  AND, with all the tools in place now, you can serve from anywhere!  I live two hours away from Santa Fe and have been able to conduct the vast majority of my duties from my studio!  We need you.  Contact me!!  

    Paint ON!!!

    Natasha Isenhour

    President, PAPNM

  • 05 Jul 2020 10:26 AM | Natasha Isenhour

    Summer Greetings Everyone!

    It’s been quite the busy few weeks in my world.  Cancellations abound, and still other plans being formulated. I made a decision early on into this pandemic, that I was going to keep my mind clear of the easy trap.  I wanted to steer clear for many reasons. One of those reasons was that it will be very hard to shake loose of that trap when the world evolves away from this current paradigm.  What trap am I talking about?  It is to stop my energy flow and sit in sadness.

    Energy.  It’s 100 degrees here nearly every day lately, with the foreseeable forecast repeating itself.  The sun, creating an over abundance of energy, saps mine.  That energy is overwhelming so I stay indoors.  The news cycle, creating an over abundance of energy, saps mine.  So I turn it off.  Think of your energy as money.  If your money is being grabbed by a stranger out of your pocket, get away from the stranger!  Your energy is YOURS to spend.  Spend it wisely.

    Energy.  I have read, over and over about artists that “can’t” create now “because” of COVID.  Artists who “feel guilty” creating while the world is in turmoil.  Remember that easy trap I was talking about?  That to me feels like turning my pockets inside out for the stranger.  Don’t get me wrong!  What we do is so satisfying and feels more like hedonistic play than work!  I can see where the easy trap can getcha’!  So let me explain…

    Our work takes energy, and a lot of it.  The point I think that we too often miss, is that our spent energy is going into an Energy Bank.  Think of hydroelectric power or wind power.  Energy to construct dams and turbines and maintain them.  All so they can give back more energy than the expended energy to build them.

    Art as Energy 101.  Art for the artist serves two very important Energy Banks.  The most obvious of course is the financial one.  I paint a painting and sell it lets say, I’m asking you to really consider this…

    I have used my money energy to buy frames and art materials, that energy exchange has funded manufacturers, truckers, suppliers and distributors. It has supplied money energy to advertisers, landlords and web designers in its wake from conception to my hands to do something with it.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Now, when that money energy from the sale hits my palm, I can pay my utilities, put food on the table and stay off the system with good grace.  That’s me holding up my end of keeping the wheels greased.

    Art as Energy Advanced.  What I do is more than the exchange of money for work, which is a lot in itself when you look at it!  The other Energy Bank I contribute to is, at the very least, of equal importance.  I would argue greater, particularly in these times when people feel trapped and in many cases ARE trapped in their circumstance.  Our work can be a life raft.   The number of people affected by just one painting we paint, even if it never sells, is countless.  That one moment of time that they see it in a gallery, scroll to it on social media, or see it on our website that they are touched by it.  For some of those affected its like a gulp of cool air on a hot day, tension paused however briefly, elevated from being sick or caring for a loved one even just for a second.  That, my friends, is the gift of the Energy Bank we make a deposit to every time we share what we do.  WE then, are feeding THEIR Energy Bank.

    It isn’t selfish to do what we love.  It might just be the most giving thing we have to offer in a time when ugly and hurt consumes us all around.  I, for one, cannot think of a better time to be an artist.  A creator of something that could hold promise, healing, comfort or even an escape to someone else I may never meet.

    The lesson here?

    You get to decide how and where to spend your energy more often than not.  We make so many choices that aren’t good for us, (like buying a carton of ice cream…again) why not OWN your Energy.  Why not make a decision to spend your Energy where it has the most benefit, rather than allowing a stranger to pick it out of your pocket and watching him do it?

    The challenge?

    Come to terms with your “Why” of making art, and understand the great affect it has on others around you, near and far.  Be determined not to take your gift for granted.

    Peace Out Folks,

    Make it a great day!!

    Natasha Isenhour

    President, PAPNM

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Albuquerque, NM 

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