Art that Inspired Me

The Bull

I can’t take full credit for the images of Niall Kerrigan’s sculptures. If you’ve read Shaman’s Blues you know the art I’m talking about—rusted metal, parts of old tools and machines recycled into creatures or people. Take a look at the art that inspired the art in my book. Sculptor Alexandra Soler’s work amazed me when I encountered it in person. Her animals aren’t just inventive, but practically alive. They seem to be filled with some inner vitality, ready to move, supported by anatomically believable muscles and bones—and yet they are made from recycled metal scraps. She finds parts that are shaped like the parts of the animals and reuses them with perfect fits. I have no idea how long it takes her to create these sculptures, but even finding the right materials must be challenging, not to mention the process of building them. My favorite is the bull made from Toro lawnmower parts. He is every inch the bull. I wish you could stand face to face with him. It makes you feel as if he’s making a turn to charge you.

See more of her work on Art by Alex. The horse made of horseshoes is startlingly real. The chicken made me smile.

Virtual Tour of New Mexico, Part Two: Music in Santa Fe, a trip to T or C, and Desert Beauty

This started as a virtual tour of Santa Fe last week, but I decided to expand it to other locations as well.

First stop, music. Santa Fe Bandstand is one of the highlights of my summer. I enjoy the atmosphere and the range of artists, and as a writer of course I especially like watching the audience. Every summer I come up from T or C for a week or a few days, timing my trip for the performers I most want to see and hear.

Bandstand plays a key role in Shaman’s Blues. If you’ve read the book, see if reality matches your imagination.

Photo gallery

Not many videos available right now, but here are a few. My personal favorite among the bands in these videos—Felix Y Los Gatos. Love the blues accordion!

This next stop on the tour is part of the “on location” visit for Shaman’s Blues. New Mexico Magazine recently featured an article on my beloved Truth or Consequences, where Mae moves in the beginning of the book. Read the article and you’ll see how an off-beat artist like Niall fits right in, and how a place like Dada Café just might happen. (I located it on Broadway in a building that has had a high rate of restaurant turnover.)

Turtleback Mountain is prominent in the picture that accompanies this article, and it’s in Mae’s view from her back yard.

If my book or this “tour” made you fall in love with New Mexico, I recommend New Mexico Magazine as a way to keep the virtual tour going year round. They cover art, music, books, food, history, recreation, and their photography alone is enough to make the publication worth my subscription.

The final part of this tour is immersion in the natural beauty of the state. These pictures are not related to scenes in the book, other than the fact that one can’t drive on the interstate in NM without seeing something breathtaking, and that is part of Mae’s experience in her new home.

I discovered this photographer’s work at an outdoor art show in Santa Fe a few years ago. His way of seeing the world is attentive to grand vistas and subtle details, often in the same picture, and makes me feel the sacredness of the land.  He has a name that somehow suits his work—Amadeus Leitner.

The photo gallery could keep you in a state of exalted bliss for quite some time. Imagine the smells of sage and juniper, the breath of the wind, the texture of a rock heated by the sun, and you’ll be there.

Welcome to the Land of Enchantment.

Virtual Tour of Santa Fe: On location in Shaman’s Blues, Part One


This week, take a look at some of the art my characters see in the book.


  1. Manitou Galleries, works in glass inspired by Native traditional art. First stop on the gallery tour in the book.
  2. Next stop is the Worrell Gallery, which was still the Frank Howell Gallery in the year I set Shaman’s Blues. Bill Worrell’s mystical sculptures, paintings and poetry shared space with Frank Howell’s reverent portraits of Native elders. There had always been a Worrell deer shaman or two outside as well as a few of them inside. They have titles. I call them deer shamans. The scene in Shaman’s Blues where Mae and Jamie start to have a serious discussion of shamanism and a tourist says something funny takes place here.
  3. The Howell Gallery has moved to Canyon Road. This link to Howell’s posters shows some of the images I have Mae looking at earlier in that scene.
  4. Blue Rain Gallery, glass, pottery and paintings. The blue glass bird sculpture that provokes a significant revelation is set here.

  1. The whirling sculptures at the Mark White Gallery.
  2. This next location is the store where Mae finds the corn mother fetish.


Enjoy. Don’t you wish you were there? Next week, more!

Shaman’s Blues Released!

                                            Shaman’s Blues

                           The second Mae Martin psychic mystery

Mystery crosses between the worlds and romance gets turned upside down in Santa Fe, the City Different.

Mae Martin gets a double-edged going-away gift from her job as a psychic and
healer: beautiful music by a man who’s gone missing, and a request to find him.

When she arrives in her new home in New Mexico, aiming to start life over as she comes to terms with her second divorce, she faces a new challenge in the use of her gift. Her new neighbors are under the influence of an apparently fake psychic who runs the health food restaurant where they work. When Mae questions the skills of the peculiar restaurateur, the woman disappears—either to Santa Fe, or another dimension. The restaurant’s manager asks Mae to discover which it is.

Finding two missing people proves easier than finding out the truth about either of them, or getting one of them, once found, to go away again.