Jim Vogel is one of my favorite artists and it is always with great anticipation that I await his next show; and each seems to outdo the last.  He is a grand storyteller - sharing/painting the tales and lore he learned from his grandfather, his mother and the elders of the village where he grew up.  

Born into a family of 12 children in the rural Southwestern community of Roswell, New Mexico, he took to drawing intuitively  at an early age. He would hang out at the Roswell Museum of Art Center and became enamored by the work that he saw, especially that of Peter Hurd (a native of Roswell) and Luis Jimenez.

This certificate for outstanding work in the Department of Art he received from Roswell  High is a treasured reminder of that early talent and passion.

His first painting - his grandfather the cactus hunter.

Photo of his  grandfather...


T H E   S T U D I O

The drive north from Santa Fe to Vogel's studio in Dixon, New Mexico takes about an hour. The day of my visit was overcast and rainy, but the huge storm clouds that billowed and hung in the air just made the drive more dramatic and interesting. The tricky part was actually getting to the studio, perched just above the VIVAC Winery on an  unpaved incline that turns to slime when it rains. Four-wheel drive a must. Every studio that I visit has its own personality and I love to 'shoot' the details that tell so much about the artist. Here goes:

 A view from one of the windows framing the massive sandstone mountain - Barrancos Blanco.

Sans hat...with apron

The large, two-room studio, notes Vogel, has had several interesting reincarnations. It was purchased in the 60's by a man named Harvey - not sure if he was a relative of THE Fred Harvey of hotel/restaurant fame, Anyway, this Mr. Harvey had hopes of opening a Trading Post, but his efforts were ultimately thwarted and he returned to his home in England.  Next came the Hippies, says Vogel, who actually knows some of the folks who grew up in his house/studio. 

One of the magnificent signature frames that Jim carves
to embrace his painting...

His talented wife, Christen Vogel, is a tin and wood artist and has an amazing eye
 for finding salvaged pieces that she re-cycles into frames for many of Jim's paintings. 

Her tin-punching tools...

Photo courtesy of Blue Rain Gallery

Tucked below  Christen's large work table
 are bins brimming with found treasures waiting to become beautiful.

T H E   P R O C E S S

First comes the inspiration and then the sketch...

Lots and lots of sketches...

The day I visited Jim was working on a sketch for a new painting. 

He stands and uses a studio wall as his 'sketching easel'.

His muse below for the painting.

When the sketches are finished they get transferred to canvas and the Vogel magic begins.

If your familiar with Jim Vogel's work than you know that  his paintings portray  dominant figures -  exaggerated, larger-than-life, Fillini'esqueThe hands and feet are huge. The feet perhaps symbolizing an anchor ; the hands
 a tribute to the sanctity of work.

Jim Vogel's hands...


Represented by BLUE RAIN GALLERY

130 Lincoln Ave. - Santa Fe, NM

And he does wine labels - Available at VIVAC WINERY



"The intention of my art is not to tell a story, but to create objects that influence and enhance the space around them, evoking an emotional response."

When Ceramic Artist Sheryl Zacharia was nine years old she began writing songs, and picked out her first guitar in the King Corn Stamp Catalog...

In her late teens, she discovered her voice and her passion for song writing and dropped out of college, moved to NY City and for the next fifteen years performed in clubs in and around the Village - including the famed Brecker Brothers 7th Avenue South.

In her mid-thirties she realized that she had a yearning to do art, her intended major when she entered college. So she followed that path, working in clay, taking classes at the famed Artworks and Greenwich House Pottery, where she was eventually hired to teach. After a decade and a half of teaching,  she decided to move to Santa Fe and pursue her artistic passion full-time. 

 Images of current work at TANSEY CONTEMPORARY - SANTA FE

I first saw Sheryl's work at the JANE SAUER GALLERY - now TANSEY CONTEMPORARY - and was taken by the sculptural texture, color and design of her handsome, hand-built vessels. I recently made a home/studio visit and was privy to a dynamic retrospective of her work. 



Every surface reveals one of Sheryl's paintings or ceramic wonders. Her home is filled with color, texture and charming surprises... Needless to say, it was a
delight to walk through and photograph everything.

Q.You create hand-built ceramic vessels. Are you a potter, ceramicist, abstract sculptor...?

A. All of the above!!! But I really just think of myself as an artist who is currently mostly working in Clay. I prefer making abstract sculpture to functional ware, but I do enjoy making it for special shows like the one in December at the THE ART SCHOOL AT OLD CHURCH - Demarest, NJ. This show is in its' 43rd year with some of the best studio potters in the  country, which can be a humbling experience. 

Some of the following are Sheryl's earlier work from 20-years ago...

Q. Your work has been called "Visual Poetry" - does this wonderful description resonate with what your creations?

A. I love this description, as I come from a songwriting background and do think my work is very lyrical - words, feelings and rhythm translated into the visual.

Q. You lived in NY for many years, what do you miss most and what did you 'find' moving to Santa Fe? 

A. What I miss in NY is the action and interactions, the museums, but mostly my friends and family. But, I'm finding another family here in Santa Fe, one that is interesting, generous and good hearted. The richness of living closer to nature here is what I find most inspiring along with the different cultural influences that are new to me. My last Solo Show at TANSEY CONTEMPORARY was entitled "The Sky is the Water." Everyone thought I would miss the water, but the sky here makes me say WOW everyday. And I love having a flower garden!

Her first painting in high school...

 Q. Do you always begin a project with a drawing?

A.  I draw and sketch constantly, very simple line drawings of forms, and I do work from those drawings. They are everywhere - sketch books, in my phone and IPAD. I collect my favorites and that keeps my work moving and focused. Then I build and add some simple color blocking with a clay slip called terra sigalatta. That gives me the foundation. After the first firing, I apply my stains and glazes and fire again. I love the glazing process as I love to paint. The surfaces are all about enhancing the forms, which of course, must stand on their own.

 T H E   S T U D I O

Sheryl's studio is attached to the house, so the flow from living space to work space is an easy one - unlike a schlepp on a NY subway. With two window walls - one looking out onto a charming patio - the large space is filled with light that brings the outside in. 

Q. You told me that your first love is music; how does that medium realize or translate into your work? Do you feel the same sense of joy in creating your vessels as you do in singing?  

A. Yes, music is my great love and I"m always listening, singing and even dancing when I work. Sometimes you just have to get up and dance! Pattern and form are rhythm, palette is harmony, lines and shapes are lyrical. The joy I feel making visual art is satisfying in a different way; both are the same in that the process is the motivation, the love of creating, but with a song, the creation stays with you longer.

The future sculpture garden...

Q. What challenges and drives you creatively in your work? 

A.  It's hard to say what drives me. I came out of the womb as a creative individual. I started writing songs when I was 9. I guess it's just a fervent need to express myself and create whether it be music, painting or ceramics.  I even dreamed of being a dancer when I was young. I also think having had a sad childhood and losing my father at a young age, it was a very therapeutic way to let things out. Not to sound corny, but making art really feeds my soul.

Some of the 75 functional pieces going to the December show are

A separate room houses her kiln,,,

Q. How many hours do you spend in your studio? 

A. I'm a bit of a workaholic, but it doesn't seem like work as I enjoy it so much.  I work almost everyday; sometimes long hours and sometimes just a few hours. It's the main reason why I moved here, wanting a studio in my home, at my fingertips, so I could work whenever I wanted. When I'm not working, I take walks with my adorable dog PABLO (below), attend music and art events, tool around in the garden and discover new places to visit.



652 Canyon Rd. - Santa Fe