Sandoval Signpost
An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Tim Perkins

Tim Perkins in his Placitas studio (PHOTO CREDIT: Oli Robbins)

c. Tim Perkins

Crock with Dried Roses, oil painting, by Tim Perkins

c. Tim Perkins

Flo Blu on Red, oil painting, by Tim Perkins

c. Tim Perkins

The Sugar Bowl, oil painting, by Tim Perkins

Time suspended: the still life Paintings of Tim Perkins

—Oli Robbins

Vases, grapes, flowers, eggs, glass jars—these words conjure up clear pictures of the objects they refer to. We all encounter these goods on a daily basis, but rarely do we deeply examine their appearances. When viewing a still life painting by Placitas artist Tim Perkins, however, we do just that—find beauty in the colors, shapes, and forms of such objects, however banal. Perkins’ paintings pay homage to the everyday and ask that the viewer delight in that which is otherwise overlooked. Sometimes the most aesthetically pleasing and visually satisfying paintings are not those that provide a grand narrative, but those that present the prosaic in new, interesting, and beautiful ways.

Perkins, a native of Arizona, recently moved to Placitas with his wife, Joanne. Painting is a relatively new passion for Perkins, who served in the Air Force for twenty years before devoting himself to the craft. Before leaving the Air Force, while on tour in Paris, Perkins visited the Louvre and was fascinated by 17th-century Dutch still life paintings. It was around this time, about twelve years ago, that he tried his hand at painting.

Lacking formal training but eager to learn, Perkins turned to Bob Ross’s television program, The Joy of Painting. Recalls Perkins, “I was actually watching Bob Ross paint on T.V., and he was talking about the happy little trees.” As anyone who has had the pleasure of indulging in a few moments of Ross’s charming tutorials knows, Ross makes painting look easy. But most find that composing a perspectively accurate landscape with many “happy trees” is far from effortless. Perkins, clearly endowed with an innate flair for painting, found that Ross’s methods were easy to apply and proved successful—so successful, in fact, that he shortly outgrew them. He continued his artistic education by immersing himself in books. After finding a high quality reproduction of a painting he particularly admired, he would copy it. Perkins eventually sought formal instruction at the Scottsdale Artists’ School, where he learned from such contemporary still life masters as David Leffel and Gregg Kreutz, the work of both of whom Perkins has consulted for instruction and inspiration since day one. Perkins holds Leffel and Kreutz in the highest esteem, but when comparing his work to that of these contemporary greats, he notes that his style is “a little more detailed, more realistic. They’re a little more impressionistic. My work separates itself like that.”

The brilliant lighting effects achieved in Perkins’ paintings are attributable to Perkins’ own virtuosity, and also, as the artist explains, to a painting medium called “Maroger.” Composed of black oil and varnish and used centuries ago by such masters as Titian and Rubens, “Maroger,” says Perkins, “gives your work a little bit of luminosity when you use it in the impasto areas.”

Even Perkins’ earliest compositions were critically acclaimed. Perkins won the director’s award for best body of work at the very first art show he entered. His compositions continue to garner praise; he was named last month’s painter of the month by the Oil Painters of America, an organization that also awarded him at their 2011 Western regional show.

Several objects, intimately and quietly grouped together, take center stage in Perkins’ Crock with Dried Roses. A large brown crock vase, elegant dried roses, a blue jar, citrus fruits, fresh grapes, eggs and leaves rest atop a nondescript surface, against an abstract geometric backdrop. The scene is dimly and softly lit; shadows can be found on nearly every object, and two gentle patches of light hit the crock vase just left of center, to the right of the upright rose, and on the bottom right, above the branch of leaves. The scene is familiar in many ways, as each individual object depicted is commonplace in many homes, but it’s also striking, for rarely does one see, in the natural world, these exact home and food goods together, in such a delicate ensemble. Similarly, many 17th-century Dutch still life paintings juxtapose plants, flowers or fruits from different regions, or that do not naturally occur in nature alongside one another. These subtly unexpected arrangements endow still life paintings with a mystery that does not exist in most other realistic genres of art. 

Before painting Crock with Dried Roses, Perkins gathered the objects he wished to paint, and artfully arranged them on a table in his studio. Having an eye for design is integral for a successful still life painter, as the objects to be painted must relate to one another harmoniously. The props Perkins includes in his compositions are carefully selected. Says Perkins, “Right away I know if I’d like to paint something or not. I like things that kind of have age on them.” Perkins stages all his props before beginning a piece, but will sometimes take liberties and work from imagination or memory, particularly when he wants to include a prop that he has already painted multiple times.

In nature, flowers and fruit are subject to decay. They bloom and dry, ripen and rot, reminding us of the ephemeral nature of time. But in Perkins’ intimate still lifes, the precious is memorialized and time stands still.

Visit Perkins’ website at for images of his available work, or enjoy his work in person at Santa Fe’s Manitou Galleries:

c. Laura Robbins

Protect our wildlife corridors

The final mosaic panel of the Placitas Community Mural, Protect Our Wildlife Corridors, will begin construction in December. If you have already participated in any way, look for your name on the recently installed Name Panel. Once again, Community Members are invited to be part of this art project sponsored by Pathways. No experience necessary. If you are interested, contact Laura at

c. Laura Telander

Flutter, painting, by Laura Telander

c. Greg Reiche

Oohm III, sculpture, by Greg Reiche

Telander and Reiche show at the Range Café

On December 2 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Range Gallery at the Range Café in Bernalillo will open a holiday show featuring the mixed-media work of Laura Telander and sculpture of Greg Reiche. Both artists will be in attendance at the public reception, and the show will continue through the end of the month.

Laura Telander, an MFA graduate of the University of New Mexico, and longtime resident of Placitas, will exhibit a variety of new works in a variety of mediums from oil painting to mixed-media constructions. These delicate yet powerful works are rich tapestries of color and texture. Laura has been exhibiting her works for over twenty years here in New Mexico and has work in the State of New Mexico’s permanent collection, as well as collections throughout the country.

Greg Reiche, a native New Mexican, has been active in the local arts community for over thirty years. He has created a body of smaller works for this show fabricated from a variety of stones, metals and glass. Greg’s work can be found in both public and private collections throughout the United States, including the Albuquerque Museum and the Museum of New Mexico. He is currently designing work for the City of El Paso and Purdue University.

The Range Gallery is open seven days a week 7:30 am to 8:00 p.m.

 c. Cathryne Richards

Kiln-fired glass object, by Cathryne Richards

A kiln-formed glass class taught at community center

Kiln-fired glass is an ancient art form that employs special glass called dichroic glass, which sparkles with the metals with which it is made. Two layers or more provide a canvass that shows every color of the rainbow. Fused glass jewelry pieces are easy to create. Materials will be available for a small fee at the first class.

The glass fun and fusing begins on December 13 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Placitas Community Center, 41 Camino de Las Huertas.

Cathryne Richards will present a beginner’s class and open workshop on the second and fourth Tuesday. Call the Community Center at 867-1396 to reserve your space in the beginner’s class on December 13. You will learn how to cut glass, design, lay up the pieces, and, with a special kiln, fire them into jewelry pendants, brooches, bracelets, and earrings. A field trip is planned to gather supplies and ideas on December 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This year there will be special guest speakers once a month, an artist’s “show ‘n’ tell,” and specialists who will present a variety of topics on how to work with glass in creating objects of beauty. Everything from working with crushed glass called frit, firing, slumping, or molding your pieces in the kiln, to finishing and marketing your jewelry will be presented over the course of the open workshops.

MasterWorks of New Mexico calls for all New Mexico artists

Master Works of New Mexico calls for all New Mexico artists for the 2012 fourteenth Annual Premier Show of Fine Art. There are four divisions: miniatures, pastel, water media, and oil/acrylic. An artist may enter one or all divisions. The show will be held April 7 through April 28 with the opening and preview reception on April 6 held at Expo New Mexico (fairgrounds) Hispanic Arts Building.

Deadline for digital entries and larger works is January 27. Deadline for miniatures entry form and shipped work is March 17. Deadline for miniatures, and all hand-delivered work is March 24, 2012.

Judges will be Santiago Perez for larger works in three divisions and Mary Carroll Nelson for miniatures. For information, go to:

c. Geri Verble & Sandy Johnson

Jewelry, by Geri Verble and Sandy Johnson

Beads tell tales

Geri Verble and Sandy Johnson, local Placitas jewelry designers, are being featured in the December exhibit at the Placitas Library. Both artists share a passion for beads and are former presidents and current board members of the Bead Society of New Mexico. Both designers want to share with local residents their stories behind the beads.

Geri Verble specializes in tribal and ethnic jewelry. She begins her design work by choosing a bead or pendant collected from around the world. Many of these treasures come from third-world countries, as well as from co-ops that work with some of the world’s poorest people. There is much intrigue found in the work of international artisans. Saying, “every bead tells a story,” Geri believes each ancient bead and ethnic ornament has a spiritual energy that flows through the piece. That energy guides her as she designs. Verble says, “from the intricate work of the African lost wax brass beads, to the silver repousse pendants from Nepal, or the masterful metalwork of the Tuareg desert men from Niger, these stories take us to a different time and place and remind us that somehow we are all connected.” Verble believes that designing in harmony with the Earth can create jewelry that satisfies the human spirit.

Geri developed a passion for collecting ethnic beads and pendants while traveling with the Peace Corps. Bead collecting became not only an obsession for her, but a journey into learning about the history of beads. Having majored in Theatre Arts in college, Verble’s focus was in Stagecraft Design. This sense of design has influenced her work in creating one-of-a-kind, exceptional designs. One of Verble’s pieces, “An African Christmas” was featured in BeadStyle Magazine, November 2008. Her work is also represented at Bright Rain Gallery in Albuquerque’s Old Town.

For fifteen years, Sandy Johnson created “funky, interesting” jewelry for herself and some of her colleagues using unusual elements to enliven those somber business suits she wore in corporate America. Retirement allowed the time needed to explore some of the more traditional jewelry making techniques and to learn how jewelers work. Classes in metal-working, casting, and lamp work glass beads have helped infuse her latest jewelry designs with some of those more traditional elements. Most often, however, in creating the individual look of her jewelry, she is inspired by an interesting vintage fabric, hunks of glass, unusual beads, or natural items.

Johnson has participated in organizations like the Bead Society of New Mexico and the Fiber Arts Council and has sought one-on-one instruction from other jewelers. These experiences have provided her with opportunities to teach classes in jewelry making and to serve as a State Fair Judge. Sandy has joined other jewelry makers in group shows at the New Mexico Arts Alliance and the Wooden Cow Gallery. Until recently, her jewelry was only exhibited and sold at the Fiber Arts Fiesta. Her studio is now open by appointment, and she is selling her jewelry designs at more local art events.

A jewelry trunk show reception will be held at the Placitas Community Library Collin Room on Friday, December 9 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Texas Gypsies play holiday music program

On December 4 at 3:00 p.m., The Placitas Artists Series will present the Texas Gypsies as the fourth concert in the celebration of their twenty-fifth Anniversary Season. The Texas Gypsies are an award-winning band with a unique and eclectic style and a sound all their own. Able to mix violin, winds, guitars, and drums, their music is a mix and influence of Classic Big Band Swing music, Gypsy Jazz, New Orleans, Pop Classics, Western Swing, Rockabilly, and more. Members are Steve Curry on guitar and vocals; John Hewitt on bass and vocals; Mike Sizer on clarinet and sax; Gordon Mcleod on violin; and Andrew Griffith on the drums. They will play a program of holiday music.

The Texas Gypsies have been together for seven years, and in that time, they have won several awards, been featured in many newspapers and magazines, performed live on TV, and have made two commercials for Fox TV. They have performed at hundreds of public and private events from headlining concerts to street festivals to corporate events and weddings. They were chosen to represent Texas as an official TCA Touring Roster act twice from 2008 to 2011. The Texas Gypsies perform almost 150 shows a year from regional to international.

For a more complete description of the concert and the musicians, visit: The concert is generously sponsored by Claudia Moraga.

Tickets for the concert will be available at the door one hour before the concert, or may be purchased in advance at La Bonne Vie Salon and Day Spa in Homestead Village Shopping Center in Placitas, Ah!Capelli Salon & Color Studio in Enchanted Hills Plaza, Rio Rancho, or on-line at Prices are $20 in advance. At the door, prices are General Admission: $20 and Students: $15.

The facility is completely accessible, and free childcare is provided for families with children under six. Las Placitas Presbyterian Church is located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242.) For more information, visit or call 867-8080.

PAS features artists at concert

—Shirley Ericson, Placitas Artist Series

On Sunday, December 4, The Placitas Artists Series continues its twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebration Season at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church with the presentation of the art of Barb Belknap (stained glass), Diana Martin (beaded jewelry), Susan Reid (acrylic painting), Laura Robbins (mosaics), and Judith Roderick (silk painting and silk quilts). A reception will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the church located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (Exit 242). The works will be on display from December 1 until December 31.

Barb Belknap, owner of Placitas Art Glass, majored in animation at Carnegie-Mellon University and worked for three animation studios. In her twenties, she worked as an artist in an ecclesiastical art studio. Belknap opened an art glass studio in New Mexico in 1986. The Belknaps became owner-publishers of the Signpost in 1993, as well as founding Albuquerque Arts magazine in 1997. In 2011, Belknap was chosen by The New Mexico Committee for Women in the Arts and The Center for Contemporary Arts as one of 130 “outstanding New Mexico women artists” to show in their fine arts exhibition at the Muñoz Waxman Gallery in Santa Fe.

Diana Martin is a self-taught student of fine crafts. Throughout her adult life she has explored macramé, weaving, basketry, fiber sculpture, and now enjoys sculpting beaded jewelry. Her creations have been displayed in many stores and galleries including The Museum of Contemporary Art Gift Shop in Chicago, Mariposa Gallery in Albuquerque.

Laura Robbins creates non-traditional mosaics that primarily incorporate cut and fused glass with hand-formed ceramics. She also utilizes natural and man-made objects. Her imagery explores spontaneous design, mythical, natural, and environmental concepts. Lauraʼs work can be seen at the new BioPark Insectarium, and as this yearʼs Globalquerque Music Festival poster art. She has completed commissions for residencies, businesses, and schools throughout New Mexico, including the Range Cafes, Bosque School, Sandia Prep, Amy Biehl High School, and Accion New Mexico. She is currently co-spearheading the multi-panel, seventy-foot-long Placitas Community Mosaic Mural, Protect Our Wildlife Corridors.

Susan Reid was born in New York and has made Albuquerque her home since 1973. Her father, a professional artist, encouraged drawing and painting, yet she was in her fourties before painting seriously. She considers herself a primarily self-taught artist. Reid has been represented by Matrix Fine Art in Albuquerque since 2006 and has had two solo shows there. Her work is in private collections throughout the country.

Judith Roderick touched upon the batik process, wax resist on cotton, while being a Painting and Design major at Carnegie Tech in the 1960s. She batiked for decades, creating wall hangings, clothing, and quilts. Since 1982, she has been painting on silk, concurrent with oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting, raising a family, printmaking, photography, owning Village Wools a fiber supply store in Albuquerque for ten years, teaching, holding a career in Wearable Art, and retiring from all of those. The cloth still calls; the dye on the silk is still a familiar and magical way of expression. Her current subject matter is Cranes and other birds, flora and fauna, the beauty and diversity of Nature. She paints the silk in the summers and finds that making the quilts is a perfect winter activity.

For more information call 867-8080 or visit





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