top of page
  • katehenke

Taking Stock as Fall Turns to Winter

Successes and Struggles as I Move Forward

What a whirl wind of change it's been in the past few months! Have barely had enough time to catch my breath with preparation for the September Cathedral Park Fair while tending to a fatally sick cat (SO HARD!) and now a new bouncy kitten in my life!

This is a time for me to reflect on where I've been in the last 2 years of living in Northern New Mexico, look at my successes and challenges and figure out a strategy for the future.

Taking inventory of how I'm doing... it turns out I've sold 77 paintings in the last 28 months — since this whole art journey began. I have to be honest, and am surprised by this, I have to face facts and now begin to think of myself as a "Professional Artist!"


Northern New Mexico Fine Arts and Crafts Guild has been established for 20 years as the only fair the city will allow to be selling in coveted Cathedral Park, Santa Fe. Truly a lovely venue, yet in the last two years I see that the success for vendors has diminished. Yes, I'm very new to the scene and don't have much to compare, but my first year it was obvious that fair goers were hungry to buy, where as 2022 most were careful about choices and didn't buy much. I didn't take a loss, but I would have expected a two day fair to offer more in the way of revenue.

My tent location was situated off to the side, facing away from the central fountain, not close to the main corridor at all, which didn't help sales. I had to reconfigure my entrance so it would be noticeable in order to attract any customers at all. I sold a considerable number of greeting cards but as for paintings, only sold four. Compare that to my first July fair in 2022 where I sold 23 paintings, albeit many were small.

These two paintings are more process oriented abstract works. The one on the left is a favorite of my early abstracts called "Three and One." The buyer was so excited by this piece, truly happy to take it home. The right is a painting that came from my imagination from the experience of driving the gorge road from Santa Fe to Taos. I titled it "Magical Gorge Road" and for some reason painting it was a cathartic experience, had a strong feeling of coming home with each brush stroke! No surprise the buyer and I shared in a long conversation spanning many topics!

Rio Grande Ribbon (10"x10") and Moon's Reflection (6"x6") were bought by patrons; as you see, the moon painting can be hung upside down or downside up! The Rio Grande painting is moving into the abstract, I consider it one of my best works.

Frankly, was surprised that I didn't sell any of my newer, more realistic works. In this last series, I set out to try painting representational work, thinking people were more interested in images easily recognizable. I also wanted to check my skill level with a more realistic style. I learned that the greatest response comes when I paint in a more expressive, abstract and authentic way. I truly enjoy painting this way and it now sets me in a direction of following my own expressive abstract direction when I paint my next series!


Freya Jack-o-Lantern Card

Little missy Freya inspired this card design, my first lino cut since high school! Did not sell one card but it allowed me to give many to friends on Halloween day!

On October 29th and November 5th I worked the Sunday Railyard Artists Market (RAM) in Santa Fe and was surprised to sell 5 paintings altogether, while at the same time found some of my art tribe in the vendors I met and made friends with at that market. So much of my activities are solitary, so it's a joy to connect with other artists and feel a solid kinship!

It was a clear affirmation for me as I received many compliments from many artist/vendors. We all suffer tremendously from imposter syndrome no matter how accomplished we might be! It's such a confidence boost to receive this positive attention! So thank you! (You know who you are!)

Unless or until I become a regular vendor, every time I set up it will be in a different location and there is no way of predicting how your space will look or function!

These two paintings, Our Lady and Rose and San Ildefanzo Church were sold to an artist couple from the Denver area. Both thrilled with their new paintings! A real acknowledgment to have other artists get excited by your work! I consider these two of my best paintings!

It feels monumental to have sold Cornfield as it was a pivotal work I painted last year and has been my most admired painting to date with several potential buyers who swerved or back down. Truly meant to go to a well deserved home where it will be cherished! Lavender Field (acrylic on canvas) a sweet little landscape, a good companion painting!

Last, but not least "Acequia" was sold to a couple of artist/vendors at the Railyard. Truly and honor to have another artist appreciate my work enough to want to buy it! What sweet people, too!

I am beginning to investigate what it takes to begin to approach galleries to represent me as fairs are such an awful lot of work!

Please check EVENTS page for upcoming Railyard dates!

Look for new cards for sale in the shop...

will appear any day now!


A last glimpse of 9 year old Tulsi, photo taken one week before she passed. Still don't know if it was Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) or cancer or something else! What a dear sweet love she was!

Will leave you with a current photo of Freya who keeps me entertained, busy pulling cat toys and rescuing falling objects! She gives hope and comfort in this troubled world.

113 views0 comments
bottom of page