CORRALES, NM – Barbara Clark has been painting in Corrales for 27 years, and for most of that time she has opened her gallery doors for the annual Corrales Art Studio Tour.
“It’s a lot of fun and because I’ve been doing this for about 15 years, I have people – actually someone earlier today, their kids were toddlers and they’re going to college, so it’s fun to be able to catch up with people,” Clark said.
She is one of 80 artists taking part in this year’s tour, and she always draws huge crowds of art lovers.
“Just seeing people’s creativity is really amazing,” said tour participant Annie Kuehler.
And those who are just beginning to explore their artistic side.
“We appreciate it as much as possible. I like to try my hand and try to get started, but I have many years ahead of me to compete with these great artists,” said Cherri Stow.
Clark began her career as a painter after quitting her job as an accountant on the East Coast, and she had advice for new artists.
“Brush miles, there’s a phrase called ‘brush miles,’ and keep painting, and if you keep painting, eventually you’ll get good,” Clark said.
Her colorful patterns highlight the skies and open spaces of New Mexico, which drew her to the Land of Enchantment.
“But my style is basically I’m looking for shapes that I want to forget about the thing. Forget I’m looking at a house or a car or a tree, and look at those shapes and try to put them on, and if you get the right shapes, the paint works,” Clark said.
She says the studio tour is just another example of Corrales’ thriving artist community.
“It’s a great place to be an artist, anything I want if I need support in any way I can get it here,” Clark said.