Art, Community, Entrepreneurship, Featured, The Creative Process

Art in My Own Backyard: Los Barriles’ Art Walk

Today was one of those days that just gets away from you – early appointments, missed connections, low blood sugar – so I wasn’t able to jump on the Art Studio Tour in and around Los Barriles. Luckily for me, Playa Norte RV park was one of the stops on the tour, right here in my own backyard!

Artist Linda Jo Hunter discusses her work with Art Tour participants.

Even better, one of the featured artists was oil painter and watercolorist Linda Jo Hunter, who also happens to be my next-door neighbor here in the park. She’s been working hard these past few weeks producing new work for the show. And I’ve had a front row seat for her creative process, watching her pack her paints and pencils, canvas and easel onto her fat-tired electric bike and head out every morning to that day’s plein air work site. Sometimes that’s the side of the road, where she’s been drawing the local cows as they nosh on the bushes; other times it’s an abandoned house up the Hill to Nowhere (yep, that’s what they call it around here), where she’s painted a landscape of the view from every window in the house. My favorite part of her process? Watching her put new paintings on the dashboard of her truck to dry overnight.

Check out her website to see more of her artwork:

Oh, and by the way, painting is only one of Linda’s talents – and her other claim to fame is really flipping cool: She’s a professional animal tracker! She and her husband Mike, who’s pursuing his kiteboarding passion here in Baja, spent many years living in Alaska, where Linda learned animal tracking as a strategy for feeling safer out in the wild. In addition to teaching workshops, she’s written about her adventures as a tracker in Lonesome for Bears: A Woman’s Journey in the Tracks of the Wilderness (2008).

Artist Nicole desChamps puts finishing touches on a new piece.

And the artist behind those yummy Mexican folklorico paintings, you ask? It’s Nicole desChamps, another woman of many talents and multiple media. After many years designing original art for clothing (with a client list ranging from Disneyland and Macy’s to Habitat for Humanity and the Girl Scouts of America), she moved into decorative painting – on furniture, household goods, and especially murals. Including the murals in these photos.

Her folklorico paintings, inspired by traditional Mexican designs dating back to the 17th century, can also be seen at the Mango Folk Art gallery in Todos Santos, on the Pacific side of Baja Sur.

To see more of her work, check out her website:

I have to say, I am SUPER inspired by all this color and creativity. I’ve been writing up a storm the past month and am making serious progress on a new fiction project right now. Still, I did bring along a big box of art supplies – because you never know when the muse – or which muse – might strike, right? I think I hear my Maker Muse calling to me now….

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