Pickup Artist

As you can tell, my whole family was just entranced by this truck we found in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico. After driving past it several days seeing it parked in its "rusting place," we stopped to take pictures.


Fast forward to our last day in New Mexico when we spent the day walking around Santa Fe. As we mostly window shopped, we passed Barbara Bowles’ studio/shop and were entranced once again by pictures of rusting trucks.

Barbara Bowles has become known as "The Pickup Artist" by her photos of vintage trucks. Her beautiful photographs of the layers of paint and years of life preserved in the rusting metal body of the truck have the look of a colorful impressionistic painting. So how random was it that we found one of her photographs of OUR truck, she calls Turquoise Trail? She explained to us that the make-shift gate in the truck bed meant it probably transported animals. The scratches on the side were probably from the bags gas stations sold to hang on the side and hold water should the truck get overheated.

Talking to Barbara was one of the highlights of the visit for me. I love hearing how an artist has found and embraced her art. She talked about how she grew up in the northeast but was drawn to the light of New Mexico and, upon her 40th birthday, risked all and moved the Santa Fe. She started selling her art at Flea Markets and through a few galleries, but to preserve her artistic freedom, set up her own gallery 2 1/2 years ago in Santa Fe. She did without a bedroom dresser and dining room table so they could be used in the studio to display her art.

With a degree in art, she started taking pictures to use as inspirations for her paintings, but then found the photographs so incredible that they became the art in themselves. She photographs with film, converts the images to digital and then prints them onto watercolor paper. The results are both archival safe and stunning.

Barbara explained that she’s known for the creative way she composes her pictures. She says her photography is to document the abstraction in reality. She wants the viewer to discover the object within the photo and to enjoy seeing the world from a different perspective.

So . . . on that long 12-hour ride home I tried to see New Mexico and Texas through Barbara’s creative lenses. Take a look at her gallery and see if it doesn’t help you see some of the objects around you in a new light.

Fallwinter_cover_3Fall-Winter Stampin’ Up! Collection 2007 – I love punches. It’s not uncommon for me to use more than three punches in a single card. With the new catalog we went from 29 punches to 35, yep, I’m in trouble. And without much fanfare, Stampin’ Up! added the Crop-a-dile (page 189). I know I’ll be getting the Photo Corners and the Scallop Circle, I can see that working beautifully with the circle punches. The Five-Petal Flower matches the hostess set "In The Spotlight". There’s a new 3/16" Corner Rounder and, finally, a One-inch Circle punch. The little Star punch will be fun with the Western themes throughout the catalog, and the Snow Blossom punch looks like a lot of fun for Christmas and to use with the In the Spotlight set.

Almost as exciting as the punches themselves are the new stamp sets that coordinate with the punches. I bought the Designer Label punch from the last catalog and didn’t really use it as much as I thought I would, but there’s a level 1 hostess set, Party Punch, that’s going to be a blast to use with it and the Round Tab punch.

Here’s a Tipsy Tuesday tip for you. Take a piece of Vellum paper (or regular cardstock will do, too) and use all the punches in your inventory on it. Because the pictures in the catalog are the actual size of the stamp imprints, you can overlay your Vellum template over the catalog images to see how well the punches will work with the images. Cool, huh.


Sweet Comments

  1. Thanks for the link to The Pickup Artist – love those photos – especially the old trucks!! I hope to go to New Mexico someday, it’s high on my ‘to do’ list.
    That vellum punch page is a great idea – thanks :)

  2. Thanks for the link to The Pickup Artist – love those photos – especially the old trucks!! I hope to go to New Mexico someday, it’s high on my ‘to do’ list.
    That vellum punch page is a great idea – thanks :)

  3. Wow–that truck is amazing. Thanks for sharing the picture. Can’t wait to check out The Pickup Artist. I just love old trucks. Been trying to talk my hubby into getting one for years.

  4. I LOVE that truck, in all its rusty-aqua-red glory! I rather tihnk its a piece of ART, not junk!!! Id love it on my wall in my house! (a pic, not the truck!! wee, that’d be ok too!!)