Desperately Seeking Jude!

As a visual artist who has fashioned a home studio in my dining room in New Jersey for the past five years, stealing hours between full time teaching , kids and life to paint, I dreamed of going "elsewhere." I envisioned a quiet spacious studio where I could create uninterrupted in a community of like minded individuals that fully support art making and dreaming. So here I am, nearly 1800 miles away from the east coast in the "land of abundance," at an artist's residency called Elsewhere located in Paonia, CO. The town itself, small and charming, offers big time culture and convenience all located just steps away from the Elsewhere residency. The Blue Sage, a cultural hub for art, dancing, music, Tai Chi and more, the Paradise Theatre, a state of the art library, top notch eateries and Revolution brewery are just a few of the establishments that attract locals and visitors alike. Sunday lunches at the Trading Post ,treks along the River Park and daily walks throughout this picturesque valley, hugged by breathtaking mountain ranges have made my stay especially memorable.

So getting back to the reason I ventured "elsewhere" in the first place, to ponder and paint in peace...and so I have. For the past five weeks, (with only 3 more to go... please say it ain't so), I have lived in the Gingerbread House, a cozy living space located behind the main residence. My studio space is in the "big house" complete with ample room, wall space and natural light. Art visionaries Willow, Karen and Maya have created this whimsical wonderland for artists that offers all the comforts of home and more. An excellent reference library of books was an added surprise.

There is much to write about as every nook and cranny of this residency and the people associated with it offer inspiration and each deserve recognition but I am not a writer . It seemed more apt that I share some images with accompanying captions to better illustrate my experience.

Daily walks offer endless glimpses of the beauty in and around the Paonia landscape! I wonder if one ceases to see and appreciate this beauty. I doubt it!

I paint children, primarily strong , passionate , empowered girls! We paint what we know! I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to capture the essence of these two beautiful young women, Ceylon and Riven!

An evolving outdoor space a Elsewhere offers a whimsical place to think, breathe and be.

The entry to my private space, the Gingerbread House! Warm and welcoming!

While walking with fellow resident Nathalie, passing a nearby farm, a flock of sheep seriously galloped to greet us from a few hundred yards away with a chorus of "baaahs."

Resident cat, Tomato is perhaps the most docile, loving feline I have ever encountered. Lover of all and loved by all...(and I am a dog lover), Tomato was a constant presence and companion .

Walks along the river amid beds of rocks were simply beautiful!

In celebration of St. Patrick's  Day, friends, abundance and fun, we were generously invited to plant peas and enjoy a pot luck supper , hosted by Adam and Sara. Kite flying, eating, playing and conversation ensued! I attended with fellow residents and friends, Nathalie Collins, Roya Amigh and Carrie Naughton!

Every Sunday, the Trading Post, a local organic farm, store and eatery generously offers a "by donation" Sunday lunch for the community. It is a spectacular  hot and cold freshly prepared buffet. The music adds to the warmth and richness of the experience.

Works in progress!

Me, Ceylon and progress

And finally, here is a link that includes some images from our Artist's Open Studio at Elsewhere. It  allowed us  share our work and experiences with the community and was well attended! I am looking forward to what will transpire during my final few weeks. For anyone considering the worth of a creative is nothing more than an invaluable gift to yourself and your work. Elsewhere enables the muses and the magic unfold. Elsewhere Open Studio To view more of my work or to contact me visit