“With time you learn to see what is absent: the spring in the winter, the mountain lion in the devoured stag, the flows of water that carved the dry land, the bygone feet that walked the path into being, the living in the dead, the movement in the stones. . .If you come here seeking something particular you may find only it. Or find nothing. But if you come seeking the desert it will be given to you in time. . . .It will be given to you as story and music”. — From Desert Music by Rebecca Solnit It finally hit me when I came to the high desert of New Mexico. Inspiration. I was instantly moved by the elegant simplicity of overlapping planes, the rhythm of textures, the graceful line of the horizon and the overall openness that allowed me to fully breathe. I love the history of the place and how it holds visible memories spanning centuries—the revelations contained in layers of geology, a dry river bed etched in the landscape, an adobe structure returning to the earth, perhaps only making its presence known by a depression where a kiva once existed. I’d been taking painting courses at an art center in Chicago every weekend and often struggled to come up with subject matter. After living in Chicago for 15 years, my husband and I decided it was time for a major change and moved to Albuquerque. Just weeks before moving, I took my first class in encaustics at the same art center. I’d seen a few encaustic pieces at the international art exposition ART Chicago and was fascinated and intrigued by the depth, translucence and luminosity of the medium. Even though I was busy with packing and planning a cross-country journey, I figured I’d better fit this class in, since I wouldn’t have an opportunity like this in New Mexico. I couldn’t have been more wrong about that.