Dec 31, 2014


2014 has been awesomely amazing, intense, tragic and hopeful, and truthfully, I imagine that 2015 will not be much different. The fine balance between chaos and harmony exists no matter what we do, or where we are. I'm here on my threshold, encompassing both, weaving them together as a weaver makes a cloth, aware that one does not exist without the other. And that WE are ALL OF THAT.

In the last few days of 2014, I have been creating little huipil samplers, in the way of lace samplers, crochet samplers, etc. that I have seen in the homes of women who knew all the secrets I never did, about stitchery. When I look at it, I see that some are more successful, some less. But then, that is MY perspective. Together they make a whole, like a quilt that has yet to be stitched together. 

Lena Bartula's "huipil sampler 1"  18.5x 13", mixed media

Making these has spawned (a word I really don't like) another project, and I believe it was subconsciously inspired by Lisa Sonora. I participated in ROOT: a 30-day journal project. I had never made a commitment like that, and I didn't do so well on this first one. I made it to day 21, and looking back, I feel it was because I failed to make it MY project. Lisa is so fabulous, she ALMOST made me think I could do it. So Lisa, thank you so much; because of you, I'm inspired to do something of my own. 

Beginning tomorrow, I'm going to make one huipil a day for 365 days. Yes, I said that. These small ones are 6 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches, and it's likely that somedays I'll be making something much smaller, much less detailed for sure. But since most of 2015, I plan to be in my studio more than I was in 2014, I believe it's a viable goal. 

I hope you'll come along for the journey. See you next year!

Dec 18, 2014


All the best of the holiday season to all of you, may it be filled with light, joy, and an abundance of love. As for me, the little elves have been hunting and gathering supplies and materials for the Pathmaker Huipil Workshop in Oaxaca. Since I leave San Miguel on January 5, there's no time like the present. It seems that every year, I say I won't plan anything for January, so that I can just enjoy December, but I haven't been very good at keeping to that. All those years in Santa Fe, I spend December working on the Virgen of Guadalupe exhibitions, closely followed by preparations for the Canyon Road Farolito Walk on Christmas Eve. 

When I moved to Mexico, I began having solo exhibitions in Puerto Vallarta, January or February, and December was taken up with finishing work and last minute marketing. Soon after those ended in 2009, Mariposas San Miguel took over my life and the holidays meant selling lots of products and making sure the women in the rancho had a good Christmas for their families. OK, now that that's over, I used last December working on last minute huipils for the solo exhibitions in February, Guatemala City, and March, Oaxaca. This year, I am preparing to leave, which as we all know, includes packing for all the students who will be showing up in Teotitlan del Valle for the workshop that Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca's Cultural Navigator, has organized. 

So here we go, I'm makin' a list and checkin' it twice, and if YOU are one of the participants, you will know what you DON'T have to bring. 

Colorful and thick cotton thread, metallic threads and trims, cotton and nylon
trim too.

Canvas gessoed and not gessoed, panels and pieces and full huipil bases. 

Milagros and more milagros, for a nice touch of bling.

Paper of all sorts and colors, plus heavy watercolor paper
that makes a good base for the huipil.

Cutting tools, liquid silicone, rubber stamp alphabet, needles with big eyes.
When put in a cork, they are great poking and punching tools. And the corks
make great patterns when used with ink pads or paint.

And speaking of paint, it may be too heavy to take in my suitcase, but I trust, with all the art there is in Oaxaca, that we will find what we need in the art supply store. We'll go, intrepid travelers, with an openness of heart and mind, a sense of adventure, knowing that whatever we find there or don't find, whatever tools we have or don't have, it will all be perfect. What we least expect to show up, will undoubtedly appear. This is for me, the best part of traveling outside of my studio, expect the unexpected!

Cheers to you and all you can imagine in 2015. And gratitude to all of you who helped make 2014 an outstanding year. Blessings, peace, love and endless inspiration!

Dec 2, 2014


It's been a while, a long while actually, since I showed my work at a fair, and maybe never at a book fair. But having been invited to show my bookart at LitEruption, by the local famous author of the day, Eva Hunter, I accepted graciously and gratefully. There are so many famous authors, writers, poets here in San Miguel, and most of them will have a table at this fair, next Saturday, December 6, at the Posada Aldea, from 10 am to 2 pm. 

Some you may recognize are the organizer, Eva Hunter, "A Little Mormon Girl," and who will be presenting her latest publication, "The Council of Women; Atonement in San Miguel," Tony Cohan "On Mexican Time," Joseph Dispenza, "God On Your Own," plus Lynda Schor, James Cervantes, Sher Davidson, John Scherber, and oh so many others I can't remember. Then there are the artists like Dawn Gaskill and Donna Myers, bringing unique and marvelous art to add to the mix. How does it get any better than this?