Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico photographers’

The first weekend of May is a special time in the sleepy village where I live.

(A side note on villages: Aren’t they always sleepy? That’s what makes them villages. Not cities; not even towns. Ours truly is a village, incorporated as such in 1971. Hence, it is known as The Village of Corrales, and there has been since I can recall a sign that says something to the effect of “Drive slow and see our animals, drive fast and see our judge.” I know, it’s not the most grammatically correct sign. But what do you expect from a village?)

May 1 and 2 are the days when many of the artists and craftspeople who call Corrales “home” open up their studios and galleries and invite the public to visit.

Corrales Art Studio Tour, poster © 2010 by Krysteen Wazask. All rights reserved.

I am participating in the Corrales Art Studio Tour with two other artists, in a centuries-old former dance hall — now a creative space called Movement Studios — that sits in the center of Corrales.

(A side note on the center of Corrales: You know you’re there when you see a road sign warning Congested Area. Whenever Jim and I approach the sign he coughs and sniffles, at which point I, having forgotten that he does this every time we drive through the village, ask, “Something wrong?” He points to the sign, clears his throat, and says, “Congested Area.”)

Although I am quietly panicking over the fact that I’m behind on making art, I am deeply grateful to be spending the weekend with two talented artists who are also kind and lovely individuals. I’ve known them for only a short while yet I am honored to share this experience with them both.

(A side note on artists: I stand in awe of most simply because I’m blown away by their talent. But not all artists are likable, and there are some I probably wouldn’t choose to get to know. Well, these two artists are people I want to know better. Seeing their art and learning what moves them makes me want to know more about their lives, past and present. They are creative and authentic. Buena gente, as we say in Spanish.)

Here is a bit about them, starting with the one I met first.


john toomey

Working Memory-Resurrection-Fern and Working Memory-Hymn-Recording, 30″ x 24″ mixed media paintings, images © 2010 by John Toomey. All rights reserved.

My art is communion with natural form. My imagery, which stems from both observation and improvisation, is born from dreaming upon the horizon, both drifting towards sky and descending into soil. My work is a contemplation of forces that shape, veil, reveal, and reshape forms of nature. It is a dialogue between abstraction and representation, cause and effect, growth and decay.


I am an artist, arts educator, and twenty-year resident of New Mexico. I teach art to pre-school and elementary aged children at Cottonwood School in Corrales. I make landscape-based abstractions, mostly mixed media paintings on paper. And although I have a profound love for my New Mexico home, it is the landscape of rural west Tennessee that set me on a path towards becoming an artist.

I spent most of my childhood outdoors, roaming and exploring the fields and woods that surrounded my home. As a teen I began to realize an interest for drawing and painting, finding my primary source of inspiration and imagery out in those familiar places. In those fields I dug a well that continues to provide, regardless of where I put down roots.

This is especially true with respect to my current body of work entitled “Working Memory,” a series of paintings in progress that return me to home and deal with the loss of that home. These are mixed-media works on paper, made with acrylic, pastel, watercolor, and bits of organic debris, pressed flowers, leaves, and soil. Most importantly though, this series deals with the ever so gradual loss of my mother as a result of Alzheimer’s disease.

My mom’s greatest love was taking care of our home, gardening and tending to the flowers, trees, and birds. I know her greatest desire was to live out her days in that beautiful place, but sadly she no longer recognizes her family or remembers her flowers.

“Working Memory” is about a boy paying homage to his mother, remembering the gifts that she instilled within him — a deep love of nature and a purposeful connection to place.

I dedicate this work to my mom but also to all who have experienced loss as a result of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.


mary hobbs

Bahamas, photo © 2010 by Mary Hobbs. All rights reserved.

I carry my camera with me all the time, photographing my young children and their friends at the grocery store, dentist’s office, just before bed. Watching them at play or in repose, I am compelled to take pictures. This practice is a way for me to discover something profound in everyday mundaneness, to recall events from my own past and explore a child’s emotional landscapes.

I am especially intrigued by how our psychological world can be so different from the physical space we inhabit, how different each child’s experience can be in the same moment — one joyful, the other stressed, another bored.

In a poolside snapshot of a little girl, the traditional touchstones of a carefree childhood — a Popsicle on a sunny day, being wrapped in a warm towel after exiting the pool — are missing. Instead she is surrounded by oversized sneakers, a barrel trash can and rough blades of brass. This image is not so much a photograph of a happy child at the pool, but something more complicated. It is this complication, this juxtaposition of objects in a child’s physical space and the child’s response to this juxtaposition that fascinates me.


I hope you will come and visit with us on May 1 and 2, in the center of the sleepy village of Corrales. Our address is 4605 Corrales Road (#25, #26, and #27 on the studio tour map). You can see more of John’s and Mary’s art, and my own. You can learn about Movement Studios and the classes that happen there when we’re not inhabiting the space.

We’d love to see friends and strangers, talk about coyotes and snakes and the trials and tribulations of making art and making a living. And just hang. And, well, maybe sell a piece or two.

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By Juanita McDermott

Dezy Sugar Monsters
sugar monsters attacking my pancreas, painting on whiteboard by Desmond McDermott, photograph by Juanita McDermott, © 2007, all rights reserved

            Cure Diabetes, all rights reserved, Juanita McDermott, 2007
             Cure Diabetes, photograph by Juanita McDermott,
              with assistance from Dezy McDermott, © 2007,
              all rights reserved

Reflection Of My World, all rights reserved, Juanita McDermott, 2007

 Reflection Of My World, photograph by Juanita McDermott, © 2007,
  all rights reserved


Prickly Little Fingers, all rights reserved, Juanita McDermott, 2007
  Prickly Little Fingers, photograph by Juanita McDermott, © 2007,
      all rights reserved

About Photography: I’ve been taking photographs for about a year. I only recently discovered what a passion I had for it after someone showed me how to use flickr to drag and drop photos into my work blog. flickr is like an adult MySpace; it allows you to share your photos with people all over the globe. Now my work blog is extinct, replaced by my photography and flickr. 

Since my six-year-old son is Type 1 diabetic (he was diagnosed at the age of two), I decided to start shooting photos of diabetes related topics. I formed a group on flickr called Diabetes Art for people to express what it’s like living with Type 1 diabetes and its complications. Type 1 diabetes is serious in and of itself, but it can lead to other serious health issues.

My goal was to create art pieces with used diabetes supplies –syringes, test strips, insulin vials, infusion sets, finger prickers, etc. These supplies were such a part of my son’s life and my life -I wanted to create something out of them other than what they really stood for. I was amazed to see that many people quickly joined the diabetes art group on flickr and began creating art pieces of their own to shoot and post. I was soon interacting with people all over the world and learned how diabetes is treated and managed in developing countries.

My son, Dezy, got very excited about the new group and created a few pieces of his own. He loves helping me when I’m working on my pieces. When I was ready for a new one, I gave Dezy my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot S30. I upgraded to a Sony DSC-H5 camera, which my husband researched and purchased. There’s a lot I don’t yet know about the features on this camera, but that’s OK. I’m having a lot of fun as it is.

Dezy was invited to represent the state of New Mexico in Washington, DC, for Children’s Congress on June 17th-20th. My family and I are completely dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes, and my son dreams of a day when he is free of this disease. We’re looking forward to sharing with all the US senators and congressional representatives what Dezy’s life is like living with Type 1 diabetes. Dezy and I will take plenty of photos and share them with all of you on my flickr account.

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