The missing weeks…

So much time has passed. I am truly sorry for failing in my mission to keep you all up to date on my activities here in New Mexico. Much has happened and very little has happened at the same time… hard to explain. At this point though I am struck by how fast the time has gone by and how little time there is left for me here in Albuquerque and I am motivating myself to try to post consistently once again. I hope you’re still with me…?

I believe the Balloon Fiesta photos are where we left off so allow me to go back in time a bit to this past October. I wasn’t able to attend due to a flight delay on my return trip from Ann Arbor. Here’s a taste:

Jade, Adrian and Kate woke up very early and set off on their bikes to make it to the grounds for around 6am. I wasn’t looking forward to the waking up early and riding in the freezing morning hours but seeing the photos, I am truly sad I missed joining them on this adventure.

DSC_0224It gets very cold in the early morning in Albuquerque, which is what makes it so ideal for hot air ballooning as I understand it.


I can only imagine what going up in one of these must be like, I am very tempted to try it out!



Apparently the balloon creations are judged in a competition.




Dias de los Muertos was the next exciting event outside of the studio, Sunday, November 4. I believe the day is celebrated differently depending on location. David, a fellow Tamarind student from Xalapa Mexico, explained he is accustomed to marking the day by going house to house visiting friends and family, enjoying food and drink.

It took me a good half hour to ride to the parade route and there was some confusion over what street it would actually run along once I got there. It was a beautiful sunny day though so hanging out for a while made no difference to me.


There were a lot of children and families involved and it seems almost everyone had their faces painted, even the onlookers.





Some of the floats had themes which I am not sure I understood.


The tricked out cars were amazing!


Not sure if you can make it out in the photo below but both the truck and car were on hydraulics and popped up almost sideways. Crazy!


The parade ended in a park where live music was featured along with craft vendors and food trucks.



Skulls made of sugar- a traditional sweet.

The food trucks in Albuquerque are quite something! I tried nopales for the first time.


This is a photo I took back in September of a cactus that grows just about everywhere… and despite it’s dangerously sharp spike, it’s delicious!  The nopales were grilled and wrapped in a freshly made corn tortilla with Mexican cheese, black beans, fresh salsa and green chile…of course! Nummm.

This was a welcome outing as my focus switched at the beginning of November to completing a comprehensive print studio business plan for our business course taught by Tamarind Director Marjorie Devon. I wrote forty eight pages of research and financial information in support of a hypothetical business plan. A very interesting exercise but hard to juggle on top of all the work that was still going on in the studio.

American Thanksgiving on November 22, was marked by a big group dinner party at Bill and Vera Lagatutta’s house. Unfortunately my camera did not make it along but my bike did. The weather was still quite warm and sunny during the day. We had cocktails and appetizers outdoors it was so nice. We feasted on a traditional dinner inside with turkey, all the trimmings and then some. We each brought a side dish and mine became my main course; a gorgeous barley, beat and black bean salad. Sorry, this is starting to sound like a food blog! Making myself hungry.

In the studio we worked on a few photobased techniques: egg albumen on stone, negative diazo, four colour separation and waterless lithography before the holiday break.


A big studio clean-up was scheduled for our last day of class and I arranged a trip home to Toronto for a few weeks to see my family.

My time in Toronto was very low key. I popped into Open Studio very briefly. I guess I should have organized things differently as I missed seeing everyone except for Sara Kelley, Associate Director and Doug Guildford, a long time studio artist member. I had intentions to visit again but I was so burnt out I really didn’t make an effort to spend time with anyone other then my daughter Sydney and my partner Andrew. We spent a quiet Christmas at my place despite my hopes of  making it home to Montreal to see my father, stepmother and brother. The days went by so quickly and before I knew it I was on a plane again heading back to Albuquerque. My apologies to all for being antisocial! Truly my loss.

Well rested and recuperated from the hectic pace of the first semester, we launched into our second semester on January 14th, 2013, the final four months of the Tamarind program.


4 thoughts on “The missing weeks…

  1. Sandi Ralph

    Hi Jill

    Nice to her from you and happy you made it back to Toronto to see your family. Great pictures, Happy Holidays.


  2. Astrid

    Hey Jill,
    Time has certainly flown! Too bad I wasn’t around when you dropped by briefly. I guess that must of been when I was recovering. Best wishes on the rest of your time there.

  3. Victoria Cowan

    Just yesterday I was wondering how you are doing, guessing that you’re dealing with a heavy work load. Thanks for taking the time to bring us all up to date. It’s always good to hear from you.


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