I feel as though I have been on a long journey – away from life as I know it!

Most of you know why I have been missing from the blog for so long, but if you don’t, it is because I have just moved my gallery to a much more exciting and much larger location in downtown Santa Fe. The process started at the end of March, but, really, it started in 1993.

Or maybe even earlier.

I recently chatted with an artist who said the right answer when someone asks how long a piece took to create, is 40 years (or however long your art life has been). All of that experience goes into each piece you make.

For a large chunk of of my art life, I painted surrealistic watercolors, which I sold through a couple San Francisco art galleries, and through my friends and family network – and I headed up an art department at a Bay Area high school, until the institutional politics drove me bonkers, and I quit teaching.

I took a part-time job at an art supply/frame shop for a few months and thought about it all.

The store owner asked me to design some collateral materials.

I had been asked to do design jobs before, but never took it seriously.

After designing some marketing materials for the shop owner, I found that I liked applying art principles to brochures etc. and I quit that job to launch my own advertising, illustration, and graphic design firm. My design skill set was already in place, because every artist MUST also be a designer, and all I had to do was learn about printing specs, typesetting, and technical things like that.

The business did very well, but I kept painting too.

Then the tech revolution hit Silicon Valley and I found myself smack dab in the middle of it.

I was way too busy to paint. Most of my art-making was illustrating, but I still longed to paint the stuff I WANTED to paint.

I had enough guts to send some slides to the then Arts Commissioner of San Francisco (or whatever that position was called then), and was shocked when he granted me an interview to review my work.

EXCITING! Here was the guy who knew everything about the San Francisco art scene.

The down side was that he did know everything, and what he did know was disheartening. He felt that the current trend in galleries was copying the paint-throwing abstract expressionism of the 50’s, and that galleries shied away from surrealism because it wasn’t the money maker of the time.

He said three other things I will never forget . . .

He said he would register me as a Surrealist at the San Francisco MOMA (Museum of Modern Art).

He said he would describe my work as “Dali meets Disney”. (I have always loved that and still use it today.)

He said if I wanted to make a living with my work, I should OPEN MY OWN ART GALLERY.

So, in 1993, when the graphic design business finally drove me bonkers, I did just that.

In California.

On the coast.

I rented an adorable little Cape Cod type building on Highway 1, and belatedly realized it had no walls for hanging paintings (all windows on the front facing the ocean – all mirrors on the back wall to reflect the ocean). Couldn’t hang paintings, so I got into crafts like paper arts, polymer clay etc.

Two important things affected the next move . . .

I had always loved and visited Santa Fe, and dreamed of having a gallery there.

Highway 1 fell off the cliff just north of me, cut me off from San Francisco coastal traffic, and turned my location into a 7 mile long cul-de-sac from Half Moon Bay.

So when a small gallery became available in Santa Fe, I rented it and moved. And moved. And moved. And moved . . .

Ten locations in all.

Two of them were fine art galleries, and the rest were craft/gift galleries or a mix of the two.

There are very funny and peculiar stories about what prompted all those moves, but this post is already too long, and if I told you, you would never believe me anyway. None was really quite as dramatic as Highway 1 falling off, but some were close.

Too late to make a long story short, but the point of all this is that our move to a great location this time, and the ability to make this gallery a fine art gallery again, is a long time dream come true.

So I dropped everything and devoted heart and soul, 24-7 to the project.

Which is now at the stage where it is done, but will never be really finished. An ongoing work in progress, but I can now return to gardening, blogging, art journaling, and other of my “normal” pursuits.

Hopefully, I will be taking this blog in some interesting directions.

Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of the gallery:


Long time artist friends are excited that we have enough room for them now. These amazing 8 ft wood sculptures are by Ray Fisher (, an artist pal from the 90’s whose work just gets more amazing.

His sculpture looks great with the work of Kara Young, who has stuck with us through thick and thin, large and small, and who now gets rewarded with the largest wall in the gallery. Those pieces are made of cast paper, burned copper, cement, patinas, and encaustic.

You can see a couple pieces of my Alchemy glass wall art on the right.


These fabulous Raven sculptures are made of up-cycled knifes, forks, and other metals by an artist who has been hoping we had room for his work for 7 years!

KD Fullerton’s whimsical smoke-fired ceramic figures have been a favorite of ours for the past seven years or so. We sold 12 of them to one couple right after the move! They are creating a “petroglyph” wall over their sofa in their new Santa Fe condo.


Heather Foster is a well known Santa Fe painter who also works at Bullseye Glass Resource Center here. Her cows feel like they are alive and about to come off the canvas. Heather is taking her cows in an exciting direction – painting on glass with powdered glass as the “paint”. The piece you see sitting on a table under her canvases is painted in and on a half inch slab of fused glass.


The gallery space was already outfitted with a couple of hinged walls that can be moved to divide the gallery differently.

This gives you an idea of what is going on here, and I will let you know about exciting developments, but mostly, I will return to blogging about everyday art and everyday art-full life.

Meanwhile, I post on Instagram (which also goes to Facebook) much more often. If you are interested, you can follow either at the top of the sidebar.



  1. Wow Jessica! You’ve taken ” gallery” to a whole new level, sophisticated and right up there with others around you. Congratulations on such a huge achievement and hopefully, your final move!

  2. Everything looks so beautiful. I’m so glad you have the gallery of your dreams. Many good wishes to you for this new chapter.

  3. WOW…………..what a wonderful name for your wonderful gallery. That is some achievement. I hope you get lots of traffic and I look forward to stopping by sometime this next year.

  4. I’m with Diana—what a supremely appropriate name for your gallery! It is a wonderful space, and I am positive that I will spend a couple of hours there the next time I visit…. I know it was a lot of hard work, but you did a splendid job, and I’m sure you will be rewarded by the increased traffic and artistic inspiration. BTW, I completely understand the people who bought 12 of KD Fullerton’s pieces. We love her work and have five!

  5. I’m certain that your new location will increase traffic. I agree that the name of your gallery is so appropriate. I wish that I lived locally–I love what I see.

  6. Enjoying your blog. Coming to Santa Fe on my way to California this summer in August. Will stop in at your beautiful new gallery space! Hope you will be there!

  7. Best of luck with your new business venture. Life does not take us in a straight line, but it does take us.

  8. Couldn’t be happier for you …. you’re living another fabulous adventure Jessica. Now I’m waiting for the book….of all of your adventures…what a read that would be!

  9. WOW! And perfect for the name of your new gallery. I wish I lived closer so that I could come and see it in person, but from the pictures, it looks amazing. Best of luck and thank you for sharing all of this with us. Congratulations!

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