2023 Artists

Artists will be in each garden Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  (Scroll down to the Artist Bios to find out their gardens shifts.)

Gardens and artwork are similar in that they are composed in harmony with a series of shapes, forms, colors, and textures. We invite you to watch the artists as they express their artwork in the gardens. The 2023 Placitas Garden Tour will invite a select group of local artists to “create” their magic in each of the gardens.

All of the artists’ personal works will be on display for sale at the Placitas Community Library on the day of the tour.

photo: Todd & Rozanne Hakala

This is a very special opportunity for you to own an original work of art at the 2023 Placitas Garden Tour. The artists are working in collaboration with the Sandoval County Master Gardeners & the Placitas Community Library to raise funds for future landscape projects & educational programs in Placitas.

Information about each artist is listed below. If the artist has a website, you can click on the artist’s name below to visit it.

Click here to download the 2023 Artists’ Schedules at the Gardens.

2023 Artist Bios

Mary Louise (Mary Lou) Skelton

Mary Lou will be at the Magnificent Mesa Garden (#6).

Her work will be at the Placitas Library from Sept. 2 through Sept. 28.

Mary Louise (Mary Lou) Skelton first discovered the wonders and diversity in gourd art about 10 years ago, first making a simple bear design on a small round gourd that opened up the world of possibilities of what a simple gourd could become. The creativity is endless, and the gourd is her canvass.

Many times, there is a story to be told through my art or sometimes it’s a beautiful design. Since moving to NM in 2009, I have become enamored and inspired by the native arts and designs and also the beautiful, peaceful, and vibrant colors in our natural setting. There is a quiet spiritual feeling that seems to envelope me and is reflected in my art. I love wood-burning designs into the hard shell of the gourd resulting in beautiful crisp lines and details, I often use ink dyes to colorfully stain areas. I also use paint or even carving to have texture or different designs in the gourds.

I have also been working with yucca, stones, beads, woods, and leathers that add to the gourd media. The most physical and demanding part for me is the preparation of a gourd which is a yearlong process. After being dried for a year, the outside skin is cleaned (scrubbed) off and the inside is cleaned. This is really a lot of physical labor, and anyone is welcome to help me in that task!!

All the different shapes of a gourd lend it to becoming imaginative work. Yes, it is a craft. Yes, it is an art. And YES, it is magical and fun.

Jude Rudder

Jude will be at The Flowing Garden (#5).

Her work will be at the library from Sept. 2 through Sept. 28.

After I retired, I decided to pick up a brush and study watercolor.  Over the years I have learned more through my library of books, art museums, and numerous hikes in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado. I have gotten into the practice of taking a camera and sketchbook with me.  Just having a camera in hand helps me to concentrate on color, shapes, and values.  It’s amazing!

I now consider myself an artist in both watercolor and oils.  My joy comes from landscape and botanicals. My hope is to capture the viewer’s imagination.

During the summer, you will find me in my garden in Corrales tending to my roses and tomatoes.  I’m a Master Gardener.  My main focus of volunteering is through the Corrales Historical Society.  I serve as the Events Scheduler for the old San Ysidro Mission Church. I belong to the Rio Grande Art Association, New Mexico Watercolor Society, and New Mexico Art League.

I have been in numerous art shows and have won awards in both Colorado and in New Mexico through the New Mexico Watercolor Society and at the New Mexico State Fair.  Earlier this year, my watercolor “Sandia Peak” was purchased by the city of Albuquerque through Public Art.  It now hangs in the Albuquerque City Hall.

Erica Wendel-Oglesby

Erica will be at Placitas Winery (#4).

Her work will be at the library from Sept. 2 through Sept. 28.

Erica is a mosaicist, jewelry designer and photographer who lives and works in Placitas and Taos, New Mexico.

 She took art classes as a child in weaving and pottery. In elementary school, she created and sold woven chokers.  While her parents were out of the country, she attended Kingswood/Cranbrook taking weaving and jewelry making classes as part of her junior year in high school.  She returned to her former high school for her Senior year, volunteered to teach the jewelry making class when the jewelry teacher took a leave of absence and received an Art Achievement award as a result.

After a fulfilling thirty-one plus year career in healthcare, Erica retired and found herself overwhelmed with artistic ideas. In 2015, she started showing her wildlife photography and within a few years had branched out to one-of-a-kind jewelry and nature mosaics.

One common thing in her life was immersion in nature – the woods, forests, beaches, deserts and her own gardens- while living in Michigan, Florida, Saudi Arabia, Arizona, Minnesota and New Mexico.  Also, she is drawn to colorful subjects and texture.  She loves using her hands to create!

This year her mosaic titled Red Vase was selected to be a banner for Taos is Art and is displayed outside in Taos.

Her ongoing inspiration comes from nature and wildlife around her and her involvement with other very talented artists in the community.

Sabina Turner

Sabina will be at the Shifting Moods & Views Garden (#1).

Her work will be at the library from Sept. 2 through Sept. 28.

Now living in New Mexico, it seems apropos one of Sabina Turner’s dominant subjects has been the Native Americans. Her love of color, contrasting and complementary, creating liveliness and texture, led Sabina through a series of these vivid paintings. The artistry expressed in the Native American regalia, and the movements of their dance, drew her into their culture.

That beginning has since expanded to include a series of antique vests from around the world. The embroidery and embossing on these remnants of times past fascinates her. Her paintings of these antique handmade garments capture the expressions unique to their culture of origin.

The different symbols and techniques from each indigenous region and era were the artistic efforts of the women of that time. While doing these paintings Sabina tries to imagine the hands and fingers working the fabrics, the life of the person and the use of the article. She tries to pull that depth into her painting rather than just a facile surface treatment. By also adding a contemporary person or portrait to the vest she brings life to it again, carrying it back to our time.

P.K. Williams

Patricia will be at the Small Pleasurer’s Garden (#3).

Her work will be at the library from Sept. 2 through Sept. 28.

P.K. is a mixed media artist working and residing in Placitas, New Mexico.

She graduated with a master’s degree in education from the University of Texas in El Paso and she taught Elementary School with the Ysleta School District for many years. In 2012, P.K. and her husband relocated to Albuquerque where she worked with Art in the Schools while starting her new career in art.

In 2019 P.K. and her husband moved to Placitas because of the vibrant art community as well as the wonderful views of the mountain and mesas.

She has had work in three different galleries in Albuquerque, one of which she co-directed. She has participated in various solo and group exhibitions in and around the Albuquerque area and has had work accepted into exhibits in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Denver, and Texas.

P.K. has won awards locally, in Colorado and in Texas. At the end of February 2020, she had her work featured on the cover of the local Alibi publication to celebrate Women’s Month. Most recently she won the Carol Ann Waterson Award with the Collage Artists of America and had a piece published in Spotlight Magazine.

She is a member of New Mexico Women in the Arts, the Rio Grande Art Association, the Collage Artists of America, the National Collage Society, the New Mexico Art League, and a signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society.

You can view her work on her website or in 3 Square Art Gallery’s (located in Ft. Collins, Colorado) online gallery.   https://pkwfineart.com        https://3saart.com/

Meg Leonard

Meg will be at the Larga Vista Garden (#2).

Her work will be at the library from Sept. 2 through Sept. 28.

Artists have the best job in the world. We get to watch the miracles of nature closely, patiently observe, record our experience, and have fun getting dirty.

We can change a space with our strokes, add life and energy to places that need humanizing. We possess sensitivity to our surroundings, and sometimes our work reflects the societal milieu. At best, the work can evoke a response, stir a soul, awaken a distant memory. It seems to me, all makers share and wrestle with a universal delight in the beautiful, the mysterious, and choose this labor as a path to insight, purpose, contentment and divinity.

When I started traveling westward from Ohio in my 20’s, the vast horizon was where I fixed my gaze, and the artwork was all about drama where earth and sky meet. I camped in all the National Parks across the country and knew then that New Mexico was where I would live out my days. Life had other plans, so for the next 30 years I worked as a nurse in Milwaukee area hospitals, raised a family, grew in appreciation of the fragility and miracle of life. I tried to be grounded with balancing art, nursing, and mothering. In the privacy of a cherished studio, I drew white birds flying in the night sky and flowers blooming in the desert, the most obvious metaphors for the yearning in my heart.

I came back each year to be in New Mexico light, purity of air, and sense of home. After spending a summer in El Rancho, the neighboring monolith, the Black Mesa of the San Ildefonso Pueblo emerged in my work for a year. Later, all my work subconsciously contained a path leading to a hidden point or crossroads in the clouds. That path led me to Placitas in 2004 where I now enjoy opening my eyes each day with a sense of awe and retiring with gratitude.

My work is derived from what I witness or recall, developing the most compelling quality of that moment that made me stop to look. I often start outdoors and refine later in the studio, without the aid of photographs. The oil paintings are developed from emotional memory, and are a distillation of details, so they become a magical alchemy of a transcendent “light bath”. Most often I am captivated by light, geologic rhythm, relationships of colors, or a brief, crystalline change in atmosphere. Sometimes these experiences are held for years before they’re painted.

With filters of time, practice, and personal grit, they become clearer. I paint in oil or pastel, preferring pastel in the field for its seductive brilliance and spontaneity. I know I have successfully communicated when the viewer stops to breathe deep, looks beyond the surface, and is moved beyond words.