These days I find all sorts of dubious, sometimes unwelcome mail in my post office box – a higher water bill due to our fledgling garden, a letter from the Albuquerque Academy asking for a donation to their endowment (wish I could, guys, but really? not this year. . ), a letter from the IRS (I’m pretty sure I got those 2009 taxes right, but they’re not agreeing with me).
Yesterday I twirled the combination on my little box in the Logan Post Office and found a postcard with the above painting of Lilly on the front. Good mail. Happy-to-receive-it mail. Who wouldn’t want that face in their mailbox?
The artist is Cheryl McChesney from Santa Fe. We met at the Girls, Inc. show last summer – three days on the plaza where I sold jewelry and she sold her paintings and prints in a booth across the sidewalk from us. We were slammed, Sabrina and I, selling jewelry hard and fast, but when there was a break, I’d wander to Cheryl’s tent and admire her paintings of livestock and chickens.
We got acquainted – she told me the story of how she grew up on a farm in the Midwest near the Mississippi and I told her the story of how I grew up on a farm in eastern New Mexico. She showed me her Kindle (“It’s a great way to read during these shows without anyone really knowing you’re doing so. . “) and I showed her our jewelry, and by the end of the show she had a bag full of Pick Up Sticks charms and I had two prints of Longhorn calves to give to Zachary for Christmas.
The postcard advertises two shows – the Eldorado Studio Tour 2011 on May 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. She’s at Studio #34 at 14 Tarro Road. The second show is in the Gallery at Wells Fargo Bank, Santa Fe (241 Washington Avenue) – Cheryl has a solo exhibition from June 2 to June 31.
I love her paintings – they’re farm animals, up close and personal and friendly in the way I remember farm animals, and she uses playful colors. I’m wishing I could do the Eldorado Tour, but mostly I’m wishing I could have a couple of prints for my home office. We’ll see. . .
Check her out at http://cherylmcchesney.com/. Or go to one of her shows and tell her I sent you. You’re really going to like her. And her work. I personally like unpretentious art that reminds me of real life. That’s what this is.