I like the way it sounds. “Truth or Consequences”. I like that it calls me to action when action is needed. I also like that it is an historic hot springs town an easy drive from my house.
We live in the mountains in a mile high town in Arizona with steep hillsides and ever darkening canyon walls in the winter months. Once you head east though, the land flattens and widens. Turn left at Deming, head north a ways and there, like a shimmering mirage is Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
Formerly known as Hot Springs, NM., the town changed its name in the 1950s but the old motor courts and healing waters remain.
In January we like to go for a few days to celebrate my husband’s birthday. This particular time, after soaking and strolling and soaking some more, as we were packing up the car, I remarked how similar but different this place is to ours. It is about the same size as our town, unpolished in the same way ( this is a good thing! ) and just loose enough around the edges to also be ‘artist friendly’. But visually it is so very different.
This place is long and low and linear. The houses are a mixture of colorful bungalows, boxy trailers, old motor courts and single story territorials that shine in the high desert light.
“ I might like to come back and paint this place someday.” I said.
“ No need to come back, I will just leave you here”, he said.
“ Promise to come back and get me??” I asked.
I like this man! I always have a portable studio in the back of the car plus there is an amazing store on Main Street called Hot Springs Frame & Art Supply. Even better, everything else is within walking distance of my room. Done!
The next 10 days were dizzy with sketching, note taking, photographing, pastel drawing, acrylic painting and, well yes, “taking the waters” as they say.
I produced a series of colorful geometric paintings on mat board cutouts from the frame shop and my hotel room/studio was no worse for wear. I met lots of great folks and I was thankful for all who encouraged me.
Poe returned to collect me, we had one last soak, and as we pulled into home this immense fulfillment came over me.
What a Life I have!
I can step right into another world and visually explore its shapes and singular shadows and crooked little corners and show others what I saw. The nature of a different place brings out a different nature in me. It seemed too as distant as places and people are, it is the space in between that ultimately connects us.
Back to Bisbee. Back to the studio. Back to my call to action…
“Truth or Consequences”!
-Finished paintings ready for sale in the SamPoe Gallery