Being seen—With Hurd!

Muffy-Clark-Gill-newsletter
Muffy Clark Gill “Two Cows” travel sketch
Leaving the heat of Carlsbad, we passed by the town of Roswell, New Mexico. Roswell likes to promote itself as the home of space alien encounters and the Chamber of Commerce has taken it to heart:
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A while later we arrived in the resort mountain town of Ruidoso (rue-dow-sow) to cool off in the southern New Mexico mountains. Our home base was the Twin Spruce RV Park—a shaded retreat at about 7000 feet elevation on the edge of the bustling and crowded downtown. We camped there for four days and checked out some antique shops and thrift shops while hunting for used cowboy boots that I will paint for a fundraiser for the Naples Theraputic Riding Center.
Muffy-Clark-Gill-newsletter
Muffy-Clark-Gill-newsletter
Swallowtail with Red Hot Poker at our campground
One day we unhooked the Rog Mahal and drove 20 miles east to the village of San Patricio, home of the Hurd Gallery, owned by artist Michael Hurd, the youngest sun of Peter Hurd. Michael’s father, artist Peter Hurd moved to the valley and made it his home along with his wife, Henriette, one of the children of the famous artist and illustrator N.C. Wyeth. He supported a 2400 acre farm where he entertained friends and dignitaries and even had a polo field on the property.
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Peter Hurd was known for being commissioned to paint the presidential portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson. When Johnson saw the completed portrait he commented that:”it was the ugliest portrait I ever saw”. Today that portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery-after Peter gave it to the gallery in 1968 (with the provision that it not be displayed until LBJ left office). Meanwhile upon entering the building that is home to the Gallery, you can see some caricatures of LBJ that Peter drew in the gallery lobby. Henriette was also a member of a family of painters— in addition to father N.C., both she and her brother, artist Andrew Wyeth were well known artists. The gallery features work by all four artists for sale and also has a wonderful tasting room where we were able to sample wines made with grapes from the farm.
Muffy-Clark-Gill-newsletter
Muffy-Clark-Gill-newsletter
When we originally parked the Roge, a man drove up and talked to us about our RV. He stated that he had just been with a friend who had one just like ours and admired it then he left. After we had been seated in the tasting room, my husband went to get something from the RV when he ran into Michael—he was the man who had been talking to us earlier. My husband brought him into the room and commented to me that he had someone that I wanted to meet. We started chatting about his career and interest in art and rapidly I felt like we had been old friends forever rather than only a few minutes. He even allowed me to take a picture of him with Mono, and his new girlfriend, Monita, my travel monkeys!
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Sadly we said our goodbyes to Michael and the gallery and returned to the vacation madhouse that is Ruidoso. The journey continues in my next newsletter.

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