Friday, July 31, 2009

Buddy gives me a heartattack!

Well, I learned a valuable lesson today. Buddy is doing remarkably well but I on the other hand got a little too cocky about his progress and let my guard down. We had a productive treat training session this morning and so I took Buddy with me to the bank and some errands in the car. When we got back, his halter was too tight so I took it off and attached the leash to his collar. I closed the garage door(thank the Lord) and put him on the floor still holding his leash. When we got to the stairs leading up to the kitchen, he balked(must have been a different feel and look than the stairs in the house he has conquered) well, he pulled right out of his collar and the result was his panicking and running all over the garage and basement with me in hot pursuit. I finally got calmed down(one of us had too) and he finally came close enough for me to get him under control. Note to self-despite progress-we are not ready for the big time so back goes the harness and the leash. Oh did I mention he is asking to go outside to do his business now? Progress comes in small rewards but they are sooooo worth it.
Jennylynne and Buddy

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Cove in Springtime

The "Cove in Springtime" is a pastel that I started in the field earlier this spring when the redbuds were blooming. This is a cove I have painted many times and is one of favorite places at Lake Jacomo. It was a little overcast that day but the sun would peek thru in spots and deliver these delicious streams of light. It was hard to decide which direction to paint. I had forgotten about the painting until I found a photo of it in my old camera. Finally, I found the actual painting in a stack that had made its way to the back of my cubby. Since I paint almost everyday outside, it is sometimes easy to lose track of the plein aire works in my studio. Finding this painting brought back wonderful memories of the day and the season. It was enjoyable to finish the painting and remember the day. We had a glorious spring this year. Hope you enjoy and remember the spring too.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Painting for the City of Lenexa show in August
Buddy and I went out for our morning walk-he was a really good boy and did all his business. I got a huge tail wag this morning, in fact, his tail is more up than down between his legs now. I know this sounds silly, but tails in the air are a very very good thing!

Today, I am going to get my painting ready to deliver to Karen Lyman for the CF Foundation fundraiser. She let me know that it didn't have to be framed just backed and in a clear bag. Yeah-I hate framing!

I am going to work on a painting that I had started in Taos, New Mexico today and see if I can get finished or at least close to finished. I also have a painting I need to get framed for the MidAmerica Pastel Society show coming up at the City Hall of Lenexa Gallery in August.

Buddy and I might go plein air painting at Lake Jacomo tomorrow. I feel the need to get out of the studio. Of course, I do have the paint out at Holyfield Winery in Basehor, Ks coming up this Saturday-that should be fun.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Buddy's First Doggy Class

Lotta and Buddy
Scooter and Mickey
Buddy went to Doggy class with his friend Scooter tonight. Scooter is a great influence as she knows how to sit, down, shake, roll over and crawl already. Her daddy and grandma discovered this by accident and are excited. At first Buddy was really really scared and spent the time under my chair. Slowly he began to come out and sit beside me or in front of me. Everyone was sitting at first but when it came time to stand and start working with their dogs, it was under the chair again. After awhile, he ventured back out. We discuss with Lotta, our trainer, ways to make him more comfortable. He is totally NOT FOOD MOTIVATED so she gave us a way to practice trying to get him to take food from our hand. We will practice this at home this week. For our first night at class we worked on coming out from under mom's chair and walking on our leash around other dogs. This week at home we will work on having people come in and NOT get down on the floor so he can be more comfortable around people. Afterall, we can't expect all our visitors to always get down on the floor. We are also going to work on taking treats from human hands and walking on our leash. That's quite enough for our first class assignment.

Buddy's Big Day-Doggy Obediance Class Begins

Well, we survived another night. Buddy once again slept on our bed with us. Once he settles in he is gone for the night-it's nice to know that he feels secure enough to sleep peacefully. Tiger,you remember him-the alpha momma's boy, he is still having a little issue with sharing the bed with Buddy but he is getting over it.
Buddy didn't eat last night-I think his tummy is still adjusting to the new food. We have him on Science Diet. He ate a little grass last night while on his walk-hope he's not a vegetarian!
This morning though he went over to the counter in my studio where I keep his food and stood by his food bowl. So I put a little in and he ate it no problem. He didn't even have to have Simba, his cat pal, taste it first. Guess he now trusts that we are not trying to poison him.
After he ate breakfast he went to the back door and stood-I'm reluctant to get too excited that he really knew he was trying to tell me he needed out-but out we went and he did his business. YEAH!!!
Tonight is a big deal for Buddy-we are going to doggy obedience class with Scooter and Mickey. I fed him lightly this morning so hopefully he will take treats at the class. It will be a little difficult to train him as he is totally not food motivated. Al,the trainer, said to not feed him much today in hopes that that will spark his wanting the treats. We are also going to have to find something really smelling to tempt his taste buds. Our two successful choices so far are salami and chicken-so that's what we are going to try.
We'll let you know how the class goes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009

Buddy and I went to the committee meeting today at Summit Art and met some new friends. He was really good and stayed quiet for the whole meeting. I let him come out at the end to meet Tom, Ramon, and Carole. He was shy but did allow Tom to pet him under his chin. It was a good opportunity to tell more people about the puppy mill abuse and the plight of not only Buddy but others like him.
Then we went to pick up my nephew and back home for a day of new and exciting things to learn and experience. We are all still sitting on the floor as Buddy gets a little freaked out by new people towering above him.
Everytime I leave the studio when I come back I get a huge tail wag. It's just awesome.
He is not eating tonight. His tummy is growling and rumbling. He is still adjusting to the new food. We are still trying to figure out what will tempt him as far as treats to use in his class tomorrow night. He is totally not food motivated-should be interesting.

More new adventures with Buddy

Monday, July 27, 2009

We had a pretty good day. Little Buddy has not missed once in his "outside" duties. He will pace frantically when he needs to go out to relieve himself. In fact, he went into his crate in our bedroom for the night and as soon as the light went out he started whimpering-this was a new sound we had not heard from him. He was pacing back and forth in his crate. So I got up and dressed and took him outside. That's what he needed-after he did his business he was content to go back in the crate for awhile.
He soon started whimpering again but without the frantic pacing. My husband, Mike, went over and let him out just to see what he would do. He came ove to the bed and put his front paws up on the edge so Mike picked him up. Buddy went down at our feet next to Miko(who always sleeps with us) and after a quick check to see if anyone was going to bother him-went promptly to sleep. He stayed in that spot all night curled up by Miko and in between Mike and I at our feet. Needless to say-we were astounded! In the morning, he waited patiently on the bed while I got dressed and then we went out for his morning walk.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"The Anniversary" Painting for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

This is the finished painting for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser at Union Station on September 3rd, 2009. This painting will be donated for the Wine Opener Art Sale and Silent Auction. The tickets are $60.00. Artists will also be painting from their easels on site during the event. Contact Karen Lyman at 913-384-8997 for information.

A new day for Buddy

Well, we came back from the vet and I lay down on the floor in my studio with Buddy curling up about six inches from me. He has gone to the potty outside all day. I make sure that I praise him and call him "good boy" when he does this. After our nap, I worked on my painting for the CF foundation fundraiser and Buddy slept on the rug under my easel. Tiger, our cat with the M on his forehead for "Momma's Boy" is having a few issues with the spreading around of attention going on. Hopefully he will get over it.

Buddy and I started some laundry-which sent him back to his crate in the studio. By the third load, he was out again and by my side. I guess he figures that if it's okay with me and I survive that he will too.

We can't get over the change in Miko-she has not been to the closet once. She also is only sleeping until 10am, as opposed to the all day sleeping she was doing after Wizzy died. Her and Buddy share his crate for naps during the day. He still disconnects when confronted with other people or situations-but we are a work in progress.

Right now he is pacing because Mickey is mowing and he's a little freaked out with the new sound. He hasn't touched his food that I just put down for him-might need Simba,the cat, to come show him it's okay and edible again. He'll start eating it if Simba takes a few bites. It's nice to have other furry companions to show him the ropes. Beats we humans having to show him! They do it so much better.

Earlier today, I just had to take a trip to the bathroom. The experience brought back memories of the boys when they were two and couldn't stand to be separated from their Mom by a closed door. Buddy actually wagged his tail at me when I emerged,seems he was happy to see me. We were astonished. What a great compliment he gave me. It's the best "atta girl" I think I've ever received.

Well, Simba worked his magic and Buddy is eating-all is right in our world.

Finally, the start of the CF painting

Here is the beginning of the painting I'm creating for the CF Foundation night at Union Station in KCMO. I finally got the feeling that I wanted for the still life. I started off with an underwash of oils and am adding pastels on top of that. I am going to call the painting-"The Anniversary". I am almost finished with the piece and will post it when finished. The artists that are participating have been invited to Hollyfield Winery in Bashor, Kansas this Saturday for a fun day among the vines. We will be painting in plein aire and or course enjoying Hollyfield's wonderful wines. Come out and spend the day with us. We will be there from 9am to 6pm. Some of the artist will also have works for sale that day.

The CF Foundation Wine Opener and Art Sale and Silent Auction will be held at Union Station on September 3, 2009. The tickets are $60.00 Some of the artists will also be painting during the event. Contact Karen Lyman at 913-384-8997 for information and tickets.

I will be posting the finished piece soon. Stay tuned.

Buddy's trip to the Vet

This is Buddy. It's Monday, his second full day in a home. Buddy slept peacefully in his crate last night. When he heard Mike get up to get ready for work, he waited patiently for him to come take him out for his walk. We have to open the crate and wait for a few minutes for him to venture out on his own. We do this so he will feel comfortable leaving his safe haven on his own rather than us having to force him out. Then he layed down for Mike to put on his leash and carry him outside for his morning walk.
He did his business and Mike brought him back into the bedroom. I was up and ready to go down to the studio so he followed my down his now conquered stairs into the studio.
We had a vet appointment this morning. Miko went with us to the vet for support. I took his crate so he would feel safe. At the vet, we had to wait for the doctor but Buddy did pretty good. When we were in the vet office, they had to wait until Buddy was ready to come out. They checked his heart, ears, took a fecal sample, and did just an overall health check. His ears were full of gook and have some calcifiation in them from years of neglected grooming. They also had a yeast infection. Dr. Dyer put medicine in them and we will re-check them in about two weeks. His teeth were ground down and he has some missing many incisors but otherwise his mouth looked good. The pads of his feet are swollen and he has chronic interdigital space of foot bronzing from his years in a wire cage. He has chronic changes in vertical and horizontal canals with his left ear thicker than the right and thick brown wax impaction with hair but the meds will hopefully help that condition. He did really well and as always is submissive waiting for the next trama.
So, that is our day so far-Buddy and I will write more later.

Buddy's second day-Sunday July 26,2009

Well, we survived the night. Everything was peaceful and quiet. In the morning, my husband took Buddy out for his walk. Since walking on a leash is a fairly new experience for him-it takes awhile. Unlike normal dogs-puppy mill dogs don't know what a leash is-nor grass-nor do they know how to sniff around for a place to go potty. Scooter has been going out with Buddy to help him adjust to his new found world in the backyard. It is a lenghty process-walking with a lightly held leash-frequent laying down by Buddy when a sound he doesn't recognize is heard(which is practically just about everything).

After he had done his business, we got dressed and went down to eat breakfast. First, though, we had to tackle the stairs. I laid down a trail of his "stinky" treats for him to follow and then sat on the steps waiting for him. We would get to the top and no farther. I kept laying down the trail of treats one step at a time until we had made it down all five steps. Then we went back up the stairs and did it all over again. By the fourth time-Success-all the way down with no treats! He is a really smart little guy.

We went to my studio so he could hang out under my easel or the desk-whereever is closest to me. We had a visit from our other son and his wife and we were back to square one by the time they left. It took about two hours for him to come out of his crate again.

Potty training is going well-no accidents in the house-yet. It still takes about a half hour to an hour to accomplish but it is well worth the wait.

Buddy has become my little shadow. If I get up to get something across the room-he is right behind me. Miko and he are getting along well. They have started sharing his crate. She goes in there and he follows and lays down with her. They take their naps together usually there or under my easel.

It has been so sad to see how much Buddy does not know about the world. He has spent his whole life in a small cage-never walking on grass, never being touched or petted, never getting treats. The pet rescue group said he was terribly matted when they first got him. He still needs some more hair taken off around his eyes but we will let Laura,our groomer, deal with that in a week or two.

Before you purchase that cute little puppy from a pet store-I hope that you will remember Buddy and not do it. If people would stop buying their pets from pet stores-there would be no puppy mills. Amazing!

Buddy is still pacing when any new situation confronts him. It usually takes about half an hour for him to settle back down in the quiet of my studio. Tomorrow we go to the vet-we'll keep you posted on that adventure. But for now, it has been a long day and we are going to sleep.

Braden, the journey back to somewhere normal

I have decided to combine my art blog with a blog about our new member to our family. A couple weeks ago, my son Mickey(a wounded Iraq vet who lives with us) decided he needed a dog. Our border collie, Sarah, who had been his friend thru all his surgeries and therapy had passed away at the age of 16.(we got Sarah in April 2004 at the age of ten-just two months before Mikey was blown up by an IED in Iraq. When he came home Sarah and he would walk and talk for hours-she was constantly by his side. When he started having seizures at night, it was Sarah who let us know. She was a kind and gentle soul and we missed her terribly.

We also suffered the loss of our little man, Wizzy. He had always had a heart condition and finally at the age of 15 succumbed to congestive heart failure. So, reeling from the two losses, we decided to adopt a friend for our remaining dog,Miko, who has been off by herself in the closet ever since her friends passed.

I went on line to Furry Kids' Refuge to find a little Shih tzu. The one I found was named Braden. Braden was a puppy mill rescue. We have always had strays and rescue dogs so after doing a little homework on the needs of a puppy mill rescue, we decided to take the plunge. Furry Kids' also had a little cocker spaniel that needed a home and after my son saw her picture, it was love at first sight. We had to wait a couple of weeks since the foster mom's place had a little touch of kennel cough when they added a couple dogs rescued from another puppy mill.

Finally, Saturday was the big day! We took Miko and headed out to Petco where the adoptions are held. Scooter,the cocker, was instantly taken with Mickey and he with her. Braden was unsure of all the goings on but out of his crate seemed to bond with Miko. We walked everyone together and all seemed to go well-so after the paperwork-we all headed home.

Braden, spent most of that first day in his crate with the door open. We put his halter on him as he tends to buck with just a collar on and we didn't want him to harm his neck when on the leash.

Everything to Braden is a new experience-he was even afraid of the grass. We are taking little baby steps. After he seemed more comfortable, we went out in our backyard which has a privacy fence to introduce him to the rest of our family-the cats. After several hisses, and a scene from a halloween movie with all of them in raised back position, they figured out that Braden and Scooter could care less about their species and everyone calmed down. Our alpha male cat, Tiger, however will need some additional time-he can't understand their indifference to him. He is used to everyone bowing down and kissing his feet-oh well, it's a new experience for all of us.

We tried several ways to make Braden comfortable in the yard so he could do his business(potting for those who don't own animals). Finally, we tried a long retractable leash so he could go away from us but still be under control in case he bolted. SUCCESS! We then retired back to the safety of my studio.

Meal time was a whole different issue. I put the water bowl and his food bowl by his crate but not in it. After about an hour-nothing. Then our little mentally challenged cat, Simba, went over and started eating the dog food-Braden watched warily. Finally, he went over and started sharing the food bowl with Simba. Simba retreated to let Braden eat in peace. Simba is such a good caregiver. Braden and he have bonded wonderfully. Braden even lets Simba lay within six inches of him-HUGE!

I spent the day on the floor in my studio reading-surrounded by tidbits of salami. The salami was to entice Braden to feel comfortable around me. At first, he was reluctant with just doggy treats(not enough smell). Salami, however, is a great bribe-at least for Braden. Braden, was not responding to his name at all. We understood that there would be a little disconnect since everything is new to him. I had been talking to him and started calling him Buddy. He connected with that name and would actually look at you and follow you-soooo-he is now Buddy.

I spent most of the rest of the first day on the floor at his level. Towards the evening I sat at my desk and worked at my computer. My husband came in from his den to check on us and was surprised to find Buddy under my desk right at my feet-so was I. After we return from outside to do his business, he usually paces for awhile and it takes him a little bit to calm back down and feel comfortable. Having Scooter has been a great thing as they were at the same foster mom's house so Buddy feels connected to something he is familiar with.

Well, then it was off to bed. We took Buddy and his crate up to our bedroom. We placed it next to our bed so he could feel safe in his crate but get used to the sounds and smells of our bedroom. He curled up on his pillow and went right to sleep. Tomorrow is a whole new day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Still life

Well, I have finally got around to working on the still life. I have taken a photo of the initial stage and will post that soon. It has been an interesting process. I can really understand why I don't do them often. It has been hard to resist going outside and painting versus being stuck in my studio painting. I finally found a bird song tape for my cd player-this helps me to "pretend" I'm outside. Opening the windows has helped a little too since the weather has turned nice and cool-in the middle of summer!

Well gotta run for now-I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Still life painting

Well, I have finally bought a dozen roses to get started on the still life painting for the CF Foundation gala. My hubby thought that since I was only going to use 3-5, he didn't see the need for a dozen. I informed him that they were on sale at $6.99 per dozen-so of course-I had no choice.

I have mapped out the painting in my head and will start on the preliminary drawing and underpainting today. I'll post my progress as I go along. Haven't done a still life in awhile because of all the plein aire painting-should be fun.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Final Day in Taos

Well, this was the final day in Taos. We spent the morning touring the galleries and museums in Taos before we packed up and started for Santa Fe. We arrived in Santa Fe and headed straight to Albert's studio.
The afternoon was filled with art talk and viewing his beautiful paintings. His studio is filled with pastel and oil paintings. As always seems to be the case, the actual paintings are stunning in person. He was so generous in letting us explore anywhere-pull out any painting-ask him any question. It was also nice to see how he approaches his studio work and how he sets up to do the painting.
I also was able to obtain a set of his Unison pastel-he had assembled them for artist to help them with the greens. Yeah!!!
That night we all met at the Guadalupe Cafe for our final dinner together and to say goodbye. We all exchanged addresses, phone numbers and emails so we can keep in touch and see how we are all progressing.
Tomorrow we head for home-I am sad that the week is over but so enthused about the trip and looking forward to doing some studio painting from all the photos I took on the trip. New Mexico is truly the "Land of Enchantment".

Day 5-Taos

Today we went back to Arroyo Hondo and the Rio Grande Gorge. It was a lovely day and it was exciting to see and hear the rafters going down the whitewater. I don't know whether the rain made the river flow faster but the rafters were certainly yelling louder. It was interesting to watch them ride up the wave and then tumble down-they all seemed to be having a great time.

I again tackled the stream that ran down into the Rio Grande thru the valley. I love painting water-all kinds of water. I find immense interest in the way water behaves. Whether it is a quiet pond, a lake lapping against the shoreline or in this case, a rushing torrent.

I have really been working on my contrasts in my paintings. Trying to keep it simple and more vibrant in value, contrast and focal point. I think that all artists, no matter what their status in the art world, need to keep learning and growing and perfecting. Not only does it make us better artist but it keeps our skills and style ever evolving for ourselves and our collectors.

The afternoon was spent with final critiques and life lessons.

Mike and I took a drive up through the Ski Basin area. It was so beautiful!

Day 4-Taos

Day 4 found us on the road to Arroyo Hondo again. This time we stayed closer to the begininning of the road to paint in an area that offered views of the mountains, boulders that jutted out from the hills, and a small brook that ran in and out of the road.

Elizabeth and I were a little late getting out to paint. She had a headache so I waited for her to feel better before we headed out together. The others were all ready there and engrossed in their paintings. After walking around to see what had captured their eyes, we set up and began ours. The sky threatened to rain on us at any moment. The others finished and headed out for lunch but we continued to paint-suddenly we heard thunder. The sky was looking pretty black but we kept counting the seconds between thunder claps and continued on with our painting. Finally, I decided that I had captured enough of my subject and decided to start packing up. Elizabeth and I had just gotten everything into the car when the heavens opened up and a torrential rain came down in force. Whether we were just lucky, or we actually were good at predicting when the rain would start we will probably never know. The ride back was a little slippery as the road was not paved. In fact most of the roads off the main drag are not paved. They are a kind of mud/rock/rut thing.

In the afternoon, we all went our seperate ways and found places to paint clouds. I was able to set out under the porch by our room and paint to my hearts content until the rain started coming in sideways. I am posting a couple of my "sky" paintings here. The skies there are just gorgeous! There is no smog or city lights to interfere with them. The colors are incredible-I can see why so many painters flock there. I definitely can see the alure that beckoned Georgia O'Keefe to New Mexico.

Day 3-The Afternoon

We painted in the afternoon at the stream that runs along the road to the Ski Basin. It was a breathtaking area and the stream was running fast with lots of whitewater places. The road runs between the mountains so you don't realize how high you are going till you have a little trouble breathing. I painted a part of the stream with a couple of the small boulders as the light streamed across them. It was a beautiful afternoon full of the sounds of water rushing, birds singing and fellowship. The kind of day that makes you thankful that you paint for a living-what a great job!

In the evening we met back at the hotel for critiques and more sage advice from our mentor, Albert. It is exciting to see what the others have painted and what different views we all capture. Here is Albert explaining about gallaries, the next day's excursion and more pearls of wisdom.

Day 3-Taos, New Mexico

We had a real treat on Wednesday, Day 3. We were taken to Walt Gonske's studio/home to paint in his garden. I painted his view towards the mountains and also a view of his gateway into his garden. He was such a generous host. We all painted till noon and then he took us on a tour of his studio-HEAVEN! He had several of his paintings hanging there along with paintings from other artists. I had the pleasure of seeing Laura Robb's still lifes in person. The pictures of her paintings do not do them justice. They are absolutely stunning in person, as are Walt's. To be so completely immersed in your living space and your art must truly be a blessing. We also got a tour of his famous "paintmobile"(pictured above). He can go out on location and paint from the windows that are eye-level while out of the elements. I have already told my husband that I see one of those in my future.(Lord knows how many brownies that's going cost me-I better get the oven fired up now.)
The painting that I painted of his view is shown above, along with a photo of the view and a photo of his paintmobile.

Day 2-Taos, New Mexico

Day 2 found us painting along the road by an old farmstead. The ranch had been in their family for over 100 years according to the owners brother. He came by to watch us all paint the structures and let us know a little history. His brother owns the land now but they all grew up there when it was still a working farm. He assured us that there were no plans to tear down the old structures-they enjoy watching the artists come to paint there.

The day was a little cloudy with off and on peeks of the sun. Albert and a few of the other painters painted a group of three buildings that were on the slope of the hill. I walked up aways away and MaryAnn and I set up to paint the long barn like building.

It is always so nice to see people preserving the past, and also, in the process their heritage. This is one of the main reasons that I love plein aire painting. You record the moments of time at a location that may never be the same as the moment you paint there. I painted a barn in Odessa, Mo. that had been in their family for years. The next year I went there to paint on their farm and the whole front of the barn had collapsed due to a small tornado. It made an interesting new painting opportunity but I did miss the old structure I had painted the year before. Since the farm is no longer a dairy farm, the owner has no plans to rebuild. So, my painting is the last record of how it looked when it was a dairy farm.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spending the Week with Albert Handell

My painting of the gorge.

Albert painting on the High road.

Day 1, Monday:

This morning, we all caravaned to Arroyo Hondo off County Rd. B-005. We drove down to the John Dunn Bridge in the gorge by the Rio Grande. It was a beautiful day with an abundance of painting opportunities. The cliffs rose high above us-towering towards a aqua-blue sky. There were loads of buses filled with river-rafters, hikers, fishermen and artists. I drove across the bridge and painted from the other side looking back towards the road(back home we'd call it a lane). The painting that I started didn't turn out quite like I liked but I got some great sketches done and enjoyed watching how all the artists approached the location. It is always amazing to me that we can be in the same spot and all pick such different scenes to paint.

That afternoon, after lunch on our own, we met back up to paint on the high road going from Santa Fe to Taos on Hwy 68. The sun was in and out making wonderful atmospheric scenes. From a picnic area there you can see the gorge as it heads off towards the mountains. It was my first experience painting this kind of landscape. I'm posting Albert painting and also the finished painting that I did.

New blog site

I will be posting at in addition to my blog I already have on my website at

I will be posting the plein aire paintings that I do each week and letting you know where I've been painting and about the paintings themselves. I will also be posting tips I've learned from workshops and the plein aire experience.

Hope you will check back often. The first paintings will be from my recent mentoring trip to Taos, New Mexico with Albert Handell.