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An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Kandy Tate

Kandy Tate in her Placitas studio with her painting Santa Fe Summer (photo credit: Oli Robbins)

c. Kandy Tate

A Stream Runs Through It, oil on canvas, 16 x 20, by Kandy Tate

c. Kandy Tate

Lolita the Llama, oil on canvas, 12” x 24”, by Kandy Tate

Kandy Tate: Moments and feelings suspended in paint

—Oli Robbins
Kandy Tate’s paintings convey the sentiment of a moment. The smell of blooming tulips, the thin, crisp air surrounding Aspen trees, the colors and shapes that dance off a lake on a Spring afternoon—all of these sensations are palpable in Tate’s paintings. She successfully captures them by depicting first impressions and ignoring superfluous details. Says Tate, “When you glance at a scene, it’s what you first see. You don’t have detail, but the overall feel of it.” Like the Parisian Impressionists before her, Tate focuses on atmospheric effect—studying the play of light on objects and figures. “I’m more attracted to color, sunlight, and design, rather than exactly what it is.” Tate’s paintings are not hyper-realistic, and if they were, they may not carry the same intensity of feeling. Her compositions are reduced, her brushstrokes visible, and her colors intense and vibrant. Tate seizes and transports the viewer to passing instances in time.

“Ever since I was little,” Tate remembers, “all I wanted was to be an artist.” She grew up in Kansas, where her grandfather owned a farm and a ranch. He introduced her to art-making by drawing her pictures of the farm animals, which continue to be among Tate’s favorite subjects. In addition to landscapes, she frequently portrays goats, llamas, donkeys, and cows. “They’re kind of conversation pieces,” says Tate of her representations of the animals and their quirky personalities. At about age nine, she began taking art classes, at school and on Saturday mornings at Wichita’s art association. After high school, she went to Wichita State where, on the advice of her father, she got a degree in drawing and painting as well as art education. She went on to get Masters in both, and taught art in schools—eventually becoming head of the art department of a middle school. Tate finds great satisfaction and joy in teaching, and continues to teach classes on Landscape Oil Painting in Albuquerque and at The Range in Bernalillo.

Tate’s education in the fine arts extends beyond Wichita State. The painter also received training in Woodstock, NY in the late 70s, when the town still had, in Tate’s words, “hippie flavor.” In 2005, she traveled to Europe and studied in Paris, Florence, and Giverny. Her experience at the Louvre was one of her most memorable. She recalls “standing there with an easel, right there by the paintings, copying them. Talk about discipline and concentration—you had to forget about the swarms of people all around you.” I would have assumed that Tate mastered the “plein air” technique in France, seeing as she spent time in Giverny, home of the legendary Impressionist Claude Monet. But in fact, she learned the ins and outs of painting “en plein air,” or “in the open air” (a technique esteemed by 19th-century French painters who prioritized working in natural light), from a fellow Kansan, with whom she traveled to Taos on painting trips.

Tate’s work can be found in films such as The Big Kahuna, on metro phone book covers, and in several notable collections, including that of former first lady Barbara Bush. Mrs. Bush encountered Tate’s paintings in Missouri, outside of Kansas City. The Bushes were good friends with Tate’s husband’s aunt and uncle, whose house they were visiting when they first surveyed Tate’s work. Mrs. Bush fell in love with her early watercolors and, after returning to Washington, instructed one of her secretaries to call Tate and request a painting. When Tate listened to the voice mail on her machine she thought, “This has got to be a joke.” But after looking at her caller ID, which read “White House,” and promptly calling the number back, she realized that the Bushes were indeed to become her patrons. Tate painted Mrs. Bush and Millie (the family’s beloved Springer Spaniel) in the infamous White House Rose Garden. The oil painting first hung in the White House, and is now part of the Bush’s personal collection. A print of the painting resides in the halls of Barbara Bush Middle School in San Antonio.

The Wichita, Kansas, native—who has maintained her charming midwest accent—moved to Santa Fe in 2006, and then Placitas in 2009, when work brought her and her husband to the Albuquerque area. The two had admired New Mexico for several years prior and, while still living in Kansas, purchased a condo in Santa Fe so Tate could spend time painting the unique landscape. Like so many artists who have transplanted themselves in our beautiful state, Tate finds that New Mexico, and its epic skies and sunsets, has improved the quality of her work. “Moving here and seeing it visually all the time has really helped my colors and atmospheric conditions.” She studies light intently, watching how it “hits an object, bounces around and creates shadows.”

Tate displays her work at the Weems Gallery on Louisiana as well as in galleries in Denver, Oklahoma City, and North Carolina. Currently, she devotes most of her energy to teaching, painting, and traveling to art shows. Like teaching, art shows keep her busy and encourage her to focus on creativity and the observation of beauty. After the recent loss of her husband, Tate realized how important it is to continue pursuing passions and talents. She is more than ever immersed in her craft, allowing art to heal.

Many of Tate’s paintings are available as giclees and lithographs. To inquire about classes, or to view Tate’s paintings in person, call 424-1168. You can also visit her website at:

c. Joan Hellquist

c. Joan Hellquist

Photographs by Joan M. Hellquist

Joan M. Hellquist at the Placitas library

On July 12, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., a reception for Joan M. Hellquist’s show of photographs, A lot like Us, will be held at the Placitas Community Library. The show will run until July 31.

Joan grew up in a New Jersey suburb of New York City, but since then, has lived in seven other states. She moved to New Mexico in 1988 and immediately knew she was home.

She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in art. Her advisor at UNH was a big influence, getting her first portrait commission at the university. After graduating, she did portraiture for several years. By the time Joan moved to New Mexico, she was doing pastel landscapes, and for the first fourteen years in New Mexico she continued her pastel landscape work, traveling around the Four Corners area, gathering material for her paintings while backpacking, rafting, and camping. Her goal was to set her work apart by using subject matter that was more off the beaten path.

For the past eleven years, after retiring from her career in healthcare and living in Placitas, Hellquist has been hand-painting wildlife images on Indian-made hand drums. Painting drums has allowed her to combine her history as a drummer, her respect for Native American culture, and her love of animals. She has painted 350 drums so far. Her drums will be on display at her artist’s reception.

For this exhibit Joan has mounted her animal photographs on canvas, which add a painterly aspect to them.  Hellquist says, “Animals, be they pets or wild, are in many ways, very much like us. The photos in the show include brown and polar bears, raptors, bison, horses, and ravens. Each photo shows the animal being itself, but also being a lot like us.”

Call for artists for the Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale

Applications for artists are available for the Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale. This popular and well-attended show is held the weekend before Thanksgiving on November 19 and 20 at three central locations in the village of Placitas. Artists do not have to be from Placitas to apply. This is a juried show, and all artists will need to submit digital images of their work.

The application is posted on the website at: Here the artists can print the application and then mail it to: Placitas Holiday Sale, 3 Canon del Apache, Placitas, NM 87043. If you need an application mailed to you, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the same address.

All applications must be postmarked by July 21, 2013.

Jim Fish reads poetry

In his fourth book of poetry, Songs of the Landscape, Jim Fish invites you explore the world around you at the Placitas Community Library on Saturday, July 27 at 2:00 p.m.

“His poems are verbal photographs of the land and the sky, of the sights and sounds, of the critters that roam the landscapes, and of the ever-changing light.” said librarian Anne Grey Frost.

His poetry references the historic village of Placitas, the Sandia Mountains, Ojito Wilderness, Taos Ski Valley, the ranch in West Texas where he grew up, the coast of Northern California, and the canyons of the Gallina people northwest of the Jemez Mountains.

Throughout the collection, Fish dances from one side of his brain to the other, from the observations of an artist to the explanations of the underlying scientific principles.

In addition to writing, Jim Fish sculpts wood and is the winemaker at Anasazi Fields Winery.

Attention dog lover artists

A unique fundraising event for Second Chance Animal Rescue (SCAR) and New Mexico Dogs Deserve Better (NMDDB) is in effect. Ed Goodman owns fifty funky, vintage, wooden, full-sized bowling pins. He is offering one to each participating artist to turn into creatively adorned masterpieces. He has many marble and wooden bases that can be used for pins that are to be displayed upright. Participating artists should feel free to use paint, textiles, found objects, clay, mosaics, or anything else they desire to transform these bowling pins. The pins will be sold at a silent auction at a gala event—date and location to be determined. All pieces must be returned to Ed Goodman by September 1, 2013. All proceeds of the event will go to support the important work of SCAR and NMDDB. Contact Ed Goodman at to receive a bowling pin and information regarding the event.

Corrales Visual Arts calls for fine artists, crafters

The Visual Arts Council of the Corrales Historical Society announces a call for fine art work to show at the Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales from October 4 to 13, 2013. Work may be brought to the Old San Ysidro Church at 966 Old Church Road in Corrales for judging on Wednesday, August 21,  from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. or on August 22 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. All work must be original to the artist and concept, completed within the past two years, not previously shown in a Visual Arts Show, and available for purchase of not more than $2,500. Entries must be gallery ready and are limited to three pieces. Painting, drawing, collage, fabric, sculpture, photography, etc., are eligible. For details, visit:

Fine crafters are invited to participate in the twenty-fifth annual Old Church Fine Crafts Show on December 6 to 9. Entries for that juried show must be submitted on August 24, 2013. For details and to obtain an entry form, contact Bev Darrow at 505-301-0042.

The Horse Before the Cart
Who are you & why

pourquoi, pourquoi, pourquoi
is heaven in the sky
is that the reason why
we ascend in all our knowing
up above the brain
but some have their heads in the ground
on Earth
some hear heaven in the sound
of a different word.
The sun the earth the moon & the stars
from that we abound,
say the pink sisters
the purple brothers
the green mothers
the blue fathers
the red aunts
the yellow uncles
we are all the same
says the dullards of America
I’ll give you chartreuse rain
& black black sambas to dance all night
brighten up your mind
prayer to no known God
tighten up your belt
& keep your pecker in your pants
your boobs only partially exposed
this is 2000 & 6
the century of America remembered
her spirit dismembered
her rainbow fragmented
her MTV soul taking its toll
let’s be serious
I haven’t crawled out of my grave for nothing
I’m alive to be dead
dying to be alive
and coming to you from the ghost of memory
we used to think that things can be improved
well I’m that kick in the butt
and I will kick until I die
& leave you with the reason why
heaven is in Earth, is Earth & surprise
and all those idiots praying to each other’s butts
or fingering their beads or salivating over images
of a bastard hippy
will lead you astray, far far away
from this very day
this is the way
but who am I to say
with my roots in the dirt
with my hands in the tropics
& orchids in my mouth
& chimpanzees on my brain
love in my arms
& dances in my heart
beating, beating, beating
what you see is your art,
a smaller footprint with
the horse before the cart.
—Larry Goodell / 15Jan06

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