February 22, 2015
I picked up an Alibi today. No, that’s not a defense against some crime or misdemeanor I committed. It’s a local free paper that’s full of useful information, like restaurant reviews about foods I’ve never heard of before, activities for the week, columns to brighten one’s day with humor, and letters and articles about current local issues to darken one’s day and poke one’s social conscience. As my husband and I sat over a plate of fish and chips at the Greenside Restaurant, I read the writeup for Aquarius in “Free Will Astrology”, by Bob Brezsny. I have to quote it all here so we’ll be on the same page, so to speak:
“The art of the French Aquarian painter Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927) appears in prestigious museums. He isn’t as famous as his fellow Impressionists Paul Cezanne and Camille Pissarro, but he wielded a big influence on them both His career developed slowly because he had to work a day job to earn a living When he was 50 years old, he won a wad of free money in the national lottery and thereafter devoted himself full-time to painting. I’m not saying you will enjoy a windfall like that anytime soon, Aquarius, but such an event is possible. At the very least, your income could rise. Your odds of experiencing financial luck will increase to the degree that you work to improve the best gifts you have to offer your fellow humans.”
Now was that directed at me or what?! Well,obviously I don’t expect to win the lottery. That would be impossible since I never buy lottery tickets. And I don’t have any wealthy relatives. All mine come from “humble” backgrounds, though there was a great deal of rich musical talent on the Fletcher side of the family, and I was fortunate enough to be surrounded growing up by exceptionally creative and talented people — musicians, poets, writers, artists, nearly all who had their “day jobs”. The exception was my mentor, Leonard Brooks, who escaped to Mexico from the “day job” country of Canada, back at the time when it was still possible to live in Mexico on $5.00 a day, or less.
Mexico, despite all it’s problems, is still a mecca for artists, though most now have to have some additional source of income–like wealthy parents or rich inheritance, or a 9-month “day job” in the US or Canada that supports them for the other three months.. It’s become a lot more expensive to live there in recent decades than it was when Leonard moved there..
There have been times when I thought about going back to San Miguel de Allende and spending time there doing my art. Then the logistics of taking my materials there dawn on me, and I come to my senses. Imagine me trying to cross the border with sheets and sheets of art paper, scissors of all sizes, plant materials, and cans of finishing sprays? Heck, beyond the inevitable obstacles of Homeland Security, I couldn’t even think of moving to southern New Mexico!
But New Mexico is also an amazing place for artists. It’s a magnet that draws people from all over, not only to do their art, but to buy paintings and other art to decorate their homes. Though Taos has had a reputation for artists for bezillion years, the Route 66 Corridor is fast gaining ground. And in recent months I’ve been privileged to meet some of the truly outstanding artists of all media that live in the Albuquerque/East Mountains area.
So, I shall remain content to stay in Tijeras and do my work here. Maybe the Alibi’s prediction will come true; maybe not. In the meantime, I can bask in the highly creative and supportive artistic environment of Route 66 and Central New Mexico and continue my work.