Jolie Blonde and Phantom, painting,
by Marjie Bassler
Local artist creates pet portraits with personality
Ever see a pet portrait of two prairie dogs? A fish? Goats and
a pot-bellied pig? Local artist Marjie Bassler has painted all these
and many more.
“So far, I’ve painted over two hundred pet portraits,”
says Bassler, “typically dogs and cats, but also horses, rabbits
and many other animal companions. I once did a portrait of a bull
snake that liked to get up on the back of an outdoor bench and watch
Star Trek through the living room window. Apparently the snakes
in Placitas like to stay current on modern culture,” Bassler
Bassler paints on paper or canvas in acrylic, watercolor, or a
mixture of the two, and is known for her use of humor and bright
colors. Working from photos and a description of the animal’s
personality, Bassler creates a portrait that is truly unique.
“I try to capture some of the love that people feel for their
animal companions and the joy they experience together. This gives
these portraits an added dimension.”
In addition to the portraits, Bassler also does other paintings
of animals in the same humorous, colorful style. She frequently
donates artwork to various animal rescue groups, including the Animal
Humane Association of New Mexico, Watermelon Mountain Ranch, and
Walkin’ N Circles Ranch, as well as to charities that help
You can see Bassler’s work at the Placitas Holiday Sale on
November 17 and 18 in the big tent next to Rio Sierra Realty. She
also shows at Art Gallery 66 in Bernalillo and in Albuquerque at
Sumner & Dene and Casa de Avila and at www.wesstartisans.com/MarjieBassler.php3.
Hearts for Horses seeks volunteers
The Hearts for Horses volunteer organization is seeking horse-friendly
volunteers to assist at a November 10 event. Hearts for Horses is
a free, all-volunteer organization that provides equestrian experiences
to children who are affected by Down’s syndrome. These opportunities
allow the kids to have some good, old-fashioned fun. The program
is not intended to be therapy. Our next event is Saturday, November
10 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at the Vista Sandia Equestrian Center.
We seek volunteers who own very gentle horses or ponies. We have
three volunteers with each child—one to lead the horse, and
two “walk-alongs” to help hold the children. If you’re
interested in volunteering for the event, please contact John Colang
through his website at www.lazycoyoteranch.com. We need volunteers
to help with the children and horses, to bake and bring cookies
and snacks, and to help cheer the kids on! If you know of any children
affected by Down’s syndrome, please spread the word. We need
additional horses and ponies for this incredibly rewarding two-hour
event. All types of volunteers are needed and welcome (even if you
don’t have horse experience). Children must be fourteen years
of age or older to volunteer.
of Cranes returns to Bosque del Apache
This is the eighteenth year that the city of Socorro, New Mexico,
and the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) have celebrated
the return of the cranes with this festival. They invite you to
share it with them from November 13 to 18.
Education is an important part of the mission of the Bosque del
Apache NWR. Throughout the year, the Bosque is host to meetings,
seminars, international film crews, tours, visits by groups of school
children and, in November, the Festival of the Cranes. There are
four major components to the festival: tours, lectures, exhibits
and the Refuge.
Tours are offered to introduce you to areas and topics not commonly
available during the year. Birders will be out from dawn to dusk,
on and off of the Bosque, including a birding tour on Elephant Butte
Lake. The management of local National Wildlife Refuges will conduct
groups and explain in detail the operation of each refuge. During
the Historic Socorro Open House, photo galleries and historic buildings
will be open for visitors. New Mexico Tech and the scientific community
will also have displays and tours. Caution to birders: read the
descriptions carefully—not all tours are for birding.
Lectures are offered for a variety of wildlife-related subjects.
Most lectures are given at the Macey Center in Socorro. Some lectures
are workshops in photography, bird identification, and wildlife
painting. Workshops are conducted in the field or special facilities.
On Saturday, November 17, and most of Sunday the 18th, the main
promenade at the Refuge will be filled with exhibits and demonstrations.
This is where you will see animals up close. Animal rescue groups
will display mammals and birds along the perimeter of the promenade.
If you ever wanted a full head photo of a flammulated owl, this
may be your only opportunity. In the visitor center and the art
and exhibitors tents, you will find educational activities as well
as items for sale.
The Bosque del Apache NWR is ready to celebrate the return of the
cranes with you. The Fly-Out in the morning and the Fly-In in the
evening are memorable events. You are free to experience this on
your own or you may join one of the tours. More may be learned by
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance presents study
and film about living with wolves
Jim and Jamie Dutcher, wildlife documentary filmmakers, will present
a one-hour program on their six-year study of wolves in Idaho (including
a thirty-seven-minute segment of their film Living with Wolves)
at the Lensic Theatre in Santa Fe on November 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Brought here for a program sponsored by the New Mexico Wilderness
Alliance, the Dutchers have graciously waived a considerable part
of their speaking fee to offer their program at the Lensic.
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 grassroots
environmental organization dedicated to the protection, restoration,
and continued enjoyment of New Mexico’s wild lands and wilderness
areas. The Alliance has joined forces with the Dutchers to bring
New Mexico’s wolves into focus as they face dire circumstances.
“As we see wolves once again being shot and trapped and poisoned,
we recognize that our incredible opportunity to live with wolves
is unlikely to ever happen again,” the Dutchers explain. “For
that reason, we feel that we have an obligation to share the lives
of the Sawtooth pack and their kin with the widest audience possible,
to save wolves and the wild land they need for future generations.”
The knowledge and passion brought by the Dutchers will help raise
awareness of the plight of the Mexican grey wolves in southern New
Mexico, and inspire people to support New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
conservation efforts there and throughout the state.