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where art lives . . . .

by | Jan 17, 2017 | Uncategorized


What art offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit.
~ John Updike



Who doesn’t love venturing into an artist’s studio? Even I — myself an artist — love visiting other creative’s studios.



Artist Francis Bacon’s studio; photo by Perry Ogden.


I delight in seeing the arrangement of materials — some tidy, some chaotic explosions — and the variety of colors, and textures of STUFF, the weird and amusing found objects, snippets of scribble, spills and splatters, dinged up boxes and boards, worn furnishings, rusted bits of whatnot, papers and things piled and pinned and taped and thrown.  It’s like looking into an artist’s wallet or their diary or their bedroom or — dare I say ? — their soul.

Artist markus lupertz

Artist Markus Lupertz in his studio.



Sign on my studio door.

There are times when I am happy to welcome people into my studio, and other times when I want to keep it private. The latter is usually when I’ve got a lot of experiments going on. At these stages I’m still feeling my way — trying to find my voice — and feeling perhaps a little vulnerable, unwilling just yet to open myself up to the rest of the world for comment.

Funny, as I write this, a studio memory has surfaced: I was in grad school in Philadephia, and a distant relative — some half-cousin removed to the nth degree, whom I did not know — got in touch with me. It turned out his office was just a few blocks from my studio. As I recall, he had a vague connection to art — had studied architecture or urban planning or some such at Penn some years back (he was a bit older than I).  And so hearing through the family grapevine that I was nearby, he called to ask if he could come by and see my work, and then perhaps we could have lunch together.

A few days later he came by my studio, and, after walking around and looking at my paintings — all works in progress — he started verbally critiquing my work, and doing so rather negatively. Arrogantly. Pompously.


I couldn’t quite decide which I felt more:  offense or incredulous amusement!

Stunned by his ill-breeding — surely a trait of the other side of his family { sniff } — he was never invited back.

Good riddance!


Meanwhile, I kept on painting.


THAT, however, is not the studio story I intended to share just now. Rather, I want to share a studio story from a couple months ago** which is this:

One day in late October I received an email from Kimberly Conrad, the Denver, Colorado artist and editor of Where Art Lives Magazine — the richly illustrated digital publication featuring artists of the extensive Where Art Lives web hub.
Turns out she was going to be visiting Santa Fe to meet and photograph several Santa Fe artists and their studios, and wondered if she could perhaps add me to her list. It was all very last minute, as she had originally assumed — based on my website “” — that I live in Taos. Unfortunately her tight schedule wouldn’t allow for a Taos visit. Lamenting this to our mutual friend and art sista Joan Fullerton, Joan informed her, “Dawn doesn’t live in Taos anymore; she lives in Santa Fe!”Where-Art-Lives_Dec-2016_Cover_px
An email here, a phone call there, and next thing I know I’m busy vacuuming clouds of black dog hair from my white studio floor, and straightening dozens of crooked pictures on the walls, as I prepared for the arrival of Where Art Lives.

QUITE the opposite of my grad school visitation described above, my visit with Where Art Lives was most pleasant. Kimberly and her entourage are clearly as enchanted by artists’ studios as I am, viewing an artist’s space with a mixture of  reverence, curiosity, awe and delight, whilst inquiring about paintings and materials, work habits, processes sources of inspiration, and more.

While she said my studio and I would be highlighted in the next issue of Where Art Lives, never did I imagine to see my studio and living space spread across 8-pages of a cool art magazine!

Please help me thank Where Art Lives Magazine by checking out their December issue here (my studio is featured on pages 158 – 165).

[And the January issue just came out here ]

Meanwhile — thanks to Kimberly Conrad and Where Art Lives — here is one place where art lives in Santa Fe:













** If you subscribe to my groovy Studio Art Notes newsletter and read the late autumn ’16 edition, then you already know this news — and to you I say: 1) THANK YOU for being a subscriber! and, 2) apologies for the redundant news!