Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities. ~Edyth O’Neill

Monday, December 25, 2017

December 25th 2017

This has been a quiet Christmas day for me here in Fredericksburg. The beautiful Santa by Bethany Lowe makes a seasonal statement but I did not decorate the house as usual this Christmas. I am staying in and trying to make headway against a chest problem, not with my wonderful family because there is some flu there. The adorable little Yorkie puppy came from Santa to some of the great grands. What a face! He is six inches high! I am grateful for so many things and look forward to the coming year. There are paintings allover my breakfast table, and stacked down my hallway, and I cant wait to make more. e

Saturday, December 23, 2017

December 2017 Taos New Mexico

I had a short time in Taos in December but the cold forced me home sooner than I had planned. Just the same I set up to paint a bit in this sweet little condo on Kit Carson.

For some of us a visit to Taos is a pleasant vacation with new foods, new sights, lots of music and perhaps skiing. For a number of my artist friends it is an opportunity to paint the beautiful high desert scenery.  The light in that high clear air is exceptional and has been celebrated by artists for over one hundred years.
For some however, it is a deeper more meaningful time, a recognition of something like coming home to a place we have never been but have always belonged.  The locals understand this, and say the mountain claims some of us and as surely rejects others.  I am one who has fallen under the spell of the Mountain. The land at the base Taos Mountain resonates for me like no other place ever has. Several cultures have come together there and formed an amazing community.  I find so much in Taos to admire and support in any small way I can. 
 Healing so many of the world’s ills could start from this place.  Foremost perhaps is respect for the earth itself.  The pueblo people understand their existence here is drawn from Mother Earth and conservation and reuse of her resources should underpin all endeavors.  Water really is life, and Water must be wisely used and protected.  A large effort is made to have food locally grown and consumed.  Picuris pueblo has made the transition to solar electricity, Kit Carson Electric in Taos is committed to total solar by 2022.  Many homes in the area around Taos offer innovative solutions to living off the grid. 
Life is founded literally from the ground up. The adobe architectural style dates back over 1200 years, rising from the earth itself in response to the needs of the people.
Along with respect for the earth is respect for the diverse people of Taos, with acceptance for all who want to live in harmony.  Art and music and literature flourish here.  Time itself seems to be measured differently.  Local people say it is a hard place to live but they want to be here and no other place.  There is appalling poverty here as well as well as the charming lifestyle visible on the surface.  As I listen to recordings by Russell Means and other American Indian activists, I understand a fraction more of the abuse heaped on our indigenous peoples. 
Nothing I have said here touches on the profound spiritual impact I have experienced in Taos.  For that you must go and see for yourself. I have a Christian friend who says there is Fact and there is Faith and there is Mystery beyond our understanding.
I have chosen to give to Taos Feeds Taos and Heart of Taos. I invite others to consider joining me in this.   e
Forgive this duplicate Post, so many friends read the blog and not my FB page.  Wishing all of you a sweet Christmas.  My sweetheart has been gone 5 years this month, but still feels very close for me. e 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mid October, back from Taos

Because I was not on the same computer and somehow my password was not enough, I have been locked away from blogging for many weeks.  My sweet time in Taos ended last week for now, and I have been struggling to put away the hundred things I took with me.

A good many paintings came home, 12 finished, two in progress, two left in a small show in Taos, and many in my mind yet to put on canvas.

I have photographs from the trip on my FB page if you care to look.  A few I will share here also.

Taos was almost an overload of sensations,  such incredible beauty at every turn, with the great golden trees 120 feet tall arching over the little streets in town to almost meet overhead on Liebert and Burch and Montoya and Los Pandos and more. Purple astors and yellow tipped chamisa grow wild, and over it all is that mystical mountain. I am surprised to find how passionately I miss the mountain. One is conscious of Taos mountain, in the parking lot at Walmart,  stopping at a traffic light,  coming out of the grocery store, it is ever present and for me,   impossible not to feel.  Taos Mountain changes color in the incredible light of that place,  sometimes in just a minute or two, confounding those who would photograph it or capture it in paint.   It is green with dark shadows, or with splashes of gold on the sides where the trees have taken color, or it is deep Copen blue with a sprinkling of snow on the top, or it is purple with swaths of apricot light from the evening's last sunlight in the opposite sky.  It is opalescent in the full Harvest Moon's light.

Painting with a fine group three mornings a week the entire time I was there enriched my experience past telling.  The East Studio Art League is led by artist Richard Alan Nichols in the historic studio of Ernest Blumenschein, one of the more prominent artists to work in Taos.  Rich Nichols' work can be seen in Parson's Gallery on the web.  Of course I enjoyed it first hand while there.  I soon felt at home  and wrapped in the love of this group of caring people sharing meaningful time and experiences.  Outside of my painting group, I met other warm and wonderful people also.  Taos has been a haven for alternate lifestyle advocates (Does anyone still say hippies?) since the 60's,  so I felt at home in that regard too.   There is music on various corners, much of it at Farmer's market on the Plaza Saturday morning.  People dance where and when they feel like it.  Wonderful big dogs go everywhere with their significant people.   Art is everywhere in dozens of galleries and open studios.  I pray that I can go again, and am grateful I could make the trip this time.  e

Sunday, July 23, 2017

"In God's House", San Geronimo Mission, Taos New Mexico

This title because the defeated Taosenos  took refuge in God's house.   Men, women and children lie buried there. The vibrations in this plot of earth are almost palpable.  This is the mission site in Taos Pueblo where over 150 people were burned alive and blown apart by canons as the US army took over Taos in 1846/47.  That ended the resistance but not the suffering of the indigenous people.

I was painting the church ruins this week and my brother sent a photo of our mother in 1953 standing beside the slowly melting tower of old San Geronimo. I had never known of this picture and was quite amazed to see  it!    Deja vu.  The bell tower was a little taller then.   A newer mission by this name was erected nearby in 1850.  e

Added Note:  Thank you for all comments. I am sorry this format does not do conversation back and forth for us all.    Diane, yes the beautiful old Spanish missions are filled with stories.  I have also painted one in Questa NM. I hope to be there and paint the one in Ranchos de Taos soon, San Francisco de Asis. Thank you for the compliment on my painting.

My Facebook page is art centric, for those who might be interested.   My FB page has little that is personal on it, no grandbabies or rug hooking or antique collecting.   My blog is directed at friends as we share these common interests.  e

always glad to hear from friends at joneill816@austin.rr.com

Mother in 1953

My mother as a young woman.

There is more to read and a picture of the ruins today at  


Sunday, July 9, 2017

New Mexico really is the Land of Enchantment.

Taos, New Mexico is one of the most spiritual places I have ever visited.  Many people agree with me on that.  There is raw and striking beauty with incredible light in the thin cool clear air.  As our young people say today, awesome.  Taos has been an important artist colony for a hundred years or so. Taos mountain dominates the landscape with many moods in differing light and differing seasons.

 I visited  Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos with my brother in November of 1991. The focus of the nine day trip was the study of Native American Jewelry  and a bit more broadly, enjoying other crafts like weaving and pottery making.  Chale showed me the museums and the missions and we visited some of the local craftspeople in several small villages and bought Cerrillos turquoise from the hands that had cut and cleaned and polished them.   We visited Acoma and a number of communities.  I proudly wore my own jewelry and was thrilled to have a stranger stop me on the plaza in Santa Fe to ask where I got my Isleta Cross Necklace.  I made it in that style and signed it was my reply.

 Since my first piece of silver with turquoise was purchased for me by my aunt Maurice when I was 15, I have loved this jewelry which is so natural for women of the southwest to wear.  In 1990 or 91,  I purchased a Navajo bracelet from a dear friend,  Eula.    I expressed a desire for a good collection of turquoise and silver to Jackie. He replied "Lets make some ourselves."  I was stunned but thrilled.    We signed up for a 6 session local silver smithing class which taught basic silver work focused on modern styling.  That was enough!  We were off to a fun adventure with our new craft as I studied all I could find to read on the Native American jewelry, liking particularly the Navajo work and also the earlier crosses of the fur trade.   I greatly enjoyed a book called "Heart of the Dragon Fly".  This book tells how the double barred cross of  St Stephen worn by the early Spaniards reminded the native Indians of their own symbol for water, a dragon fly  with its four wings. So the Indians quickly adopted the dragon fly cross and the Spaniards were pleased they had made so many converts.

Jack and I ordered a full array of tools and silver from Gallop NM, and found a supply of good  turquoise in Fredericksburg from a woman whose late husband once worked in the oil business in New Mexico and Arizona and had been a lapidary in his spare time.  With all of this,  I happily pounded and stamped and soldered, and Jack liked to work with old silver coins which he was very good with.  We bought dimes from the 1930's and Jack made wonderful dime beads.  Some of our work was sold to close friends and a little of it belongs to family members but I have over half of it to wear myself still. 

So this explains my interest in viewing the great collections of jewelry in New Mexico.

My Daughter Cheryl plays guitar well. 

 That mountain still calls me, I may have to go back.  As an aside,  I can see interesting hooked  rug designs inspired by elements there.  

Other posts on this blog showing some jewelry are:
Friday, January 6, 2012
Friday, September 5, 2014
More but  I cannot find at present. A lot of repetition here.   e

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A nautical hooked rug to love

Some years ago I decided to hook a copy of an antique rug picturing a whaling scene.  Barb Carroll printed it for her pattern collection called "honoring the past" and sent me a pattern as a sweet gift.    She named her pattern "Moby Dick" even though the old rug had a gray whale and not a white one like Moby.  You can order the pattern from Katie now.

Many of us have hooked rugs for years and years, and often we work our rugs in the company of like minded others.  Large workshop groups and smaller less formal gatherings over time have given me a circle I think of as "my rug hooking friend"s.  So friendship is woven into the hooked rugs I live with.   We exchange wools, and ways to bind rugs and color suggestions, but only occasionally do we really work on one another's rugs.  My new rug is one that several friends have worked on.  I began it and felt I would not finish it due to the weight on my hands.  Trisha took it home and worked one of the sailing vessels and more. I added more and more, enjoying the striated background and whale the most, till the rug was barely over half done and there it has sat unfinished for years in a huge basket along with  beautiful wools planned for it.  Last year Debbie came along and offered to complete it for me!  Now she has returned it, having a seamless blend with my original hooking, and binding and finishing the rug superbly!    This six foot long beautiful textile is glorious on the long dining table Jack built for us years ago.  Thank you Debbie, my feelings are beyond words.  warmly, e

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fredericksburg is a delightful town for artists and art lovers

Depending upon how the dates fall, several art events are clustered more or less tightly at the beginning of each month for me here in Fredericksburg. There is so much to see that I cannot begin to take in even half of it.  What I did manage to enjoy this past several days was a rich experience.

On Thursday night, Die Kunstler, the art club I belong to, hosted as guest artist Tony Pro, Executive Director/Instructor at the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts in San Antonio.   Tony has just returned from the annual conference of The Portrait Society of America. For our club demo, Tony chose to paint an oil sketch of Ron Drynan, the husband of one of our members.  I was early enough and lucky enough to get a very close up seat and watched every stroke of this beautiful work! The crowded room was still as we sat enthralled for two hours, and ended in heartfelt applause. Tony spoke often to us as he worked, starting with a few strong directional strokes on which to build the design of his painting. These are phone shots and sometimes the camera was not held steady.

Nora Dempsey introduced our guest.

I sat right in under the lamp! I watched stroke by stroke.

Maryneil Dance and Nora Dempsey with me

Break after an hour

Our viewers had two screens to better see the action. 

 The very beautiful oil sketch.  Tony explained his use of negative space and strong dark passages.

First Friday night is our monthly Art Walk with about 15 Galleries open.  Here are some shots at RS Hanna Gallery's new address on Main Street:
Flowers are part of the art here.

Maryneil Dance in front of some of her work.

A fountain of gardenias!

HOT   Southwest flavors

Cool and sweet here

I enjoy the horses by Lindsey Bittner Graham
More beauties here from Lindsey Bittner Graham

 By Bob Rohm above
John Austin Hanna

John Austin Hanna has been my favorite hill Country Artist for over 35 years!   

Saturday brought an opportunity to watch Barbara Mauldin work her magic.  Imagine soft and pretty cactus!  Barbara can tame it all. 
Barbara begins with a strong basic abstract design. 

Three happy hours spent in an absolutely perfect Spring afternoon!

The painting went home with Barbara for the finishing touches. Just Great.  

Above, another cactus painting by Barbara already hanging in the gallery.

At the other end on the porch of this great early Texas building, now Fredericksburg Art Gallery, Barbara's husband Chuck Mauldin paints a three legged cow, for which we teased him.  Pretty soon it had all four legs and was in line with his many other wonderful  southwestern scenes. 
 Below also by Chuck Mauldin.
Fredericksburg is a sweet place to be in the Spring.  e

Blog Archive