Truth or Consequences

Go call the police, go call the gavnah! First things first: when the police of Truth or Consequences come for you, oh lady, you know you’ve stepped one foot too far over the line.

TorC_Police

Second item on the agenda: Steak & Lobby Cocktails….YUM!

TorC_Steak_Lobster_Cocktails

The town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico turned out to be bonafide: 7,000 souls (ish), situated right on the Rio Grande, and the site of numerous natural hot springs. (But everything wasn’t perfect: there were also a lot of old buggies left scattered about from pioneer days which gave me the creeps because they were about 1/3 the size that movies have allowed us to believe them to be. It’s very uncomfortable to be constantly reminded of how scrawny our ancestors were. And how miserable were the Good Ol’ Days. Brrr.)

I spent the first few days letting it all sink in. I’d never really spent time in the Southwest before. I didn’t want to jump right into pursuing my studio work “as usual” because I felt that an important benefit of participating in the Starry Night¬†program would be to allow my surroundings to somehow either inform my work, my approach, or just reset my mind. I investigated the architecture, used the local library to research the local critters (snakes, snakes, snakes – so fashionable so inspirational!), left neither the trails nor the Rio Grande in peace. Basically made a townie menace of myself.

I also used the time to step back from production mode and started a lot of small test paintings; I’ve been experimenting with new compositions (snakes! so fashion-forward!) and new layering techniques. Up until now one of my biggest limitations has been that the layering process I’ve been using is extremely time-intensive. Since being back home the test pieces have finally paid off and I’ve found a new, amazing way to build my layers getting the same visual results but in a way that actually SPEEDS UP the process of oil paint drying. I’m really excited to be back in my studio with so much ammunition.

I’ll post pics of the actual residency next week. In the meantime enjoy the sight of a typical Truth or Consequences motel – more motels in this hot springs town than you can shake a stick at:

TorC_Oasis_Motel

Example of an arted-out home:

TorC_Art_Home

There were a lot of trailers and mobile homes in Truth or Consequences but I got the feeling that (partially because this type of mixed-bag housing does account for such a large portion of the town) trailer livin’ doesn’t carry the negative connotations that it does in other parts of the country. It seems like a lot of interesting, art-focused people choose to move to Truth or Consequences specifically so that they can pursue their art while living on the cheap. At any rate the houses and the trailers were often quite decked-out like this one, a surprising number of people obviously using their outdoor areas as studio space for building sculptures, etc. Plus there must be things about living in a trailer in the desert that are beneficial that I don’t understand. Possibly easier to heat and cool than regular homes? Maybe easier to keep the desert dust out as they are more sealed?

Typical apartments (just look at all that Dish!):

TorC_Got_Dish

Elephant Butte Lake is about 3 miles outside of Truth or Consequences. For some reason our puny ancestor humans decided to dam up the Rio Grande and create this lake. (I’m sure it took a disgusting amount of effort since they were so tiny and no doubt lacked machinery. Brrr. There are plaques about it all over town which I’m sure explain the meaning of it in detail.)

TorC_Elephant_Butte

Care to take a dip in the Rio Grande? The river is about two blocks away from the residency:

TorC_RioGrande

I’m sorry if I don’t have the energy to teach you another thing

If you don’t know to descend into Classic Rock while you’re descending into the desert then I’m sorry but you don’t know anything. ¬†And I can’t teach you.

Soon enough I’ll add substantive quality to this. The sort of words you can gain weight on. But for now Mama’s tired. Learn what you can: I’ve arrived at my artist’s residency in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Against the odds.