c. Meg LeonardThe 2019 cover artist is Meg Leonard, who has participated in every PST since 2005. Meg earned her BFA Degree from the Miami University of Ohio. She participates in many regional and national art shows, and shows in a number of galleries. Most recently, Meg was awarded the National Parks 2018 Artists in Residence at Glacier National Park.

Here in Meg’s own words is the story of a painting, “It Was a Very Good Year.

I discovered the Anasazi Fields Winery on my first visit to the Village of Placitas where my realtor and I topped off a full day of successful house hunting with an enthusiastic introduction to fruit wines from local orchards. One year later, in 2005, after I had experienced the full cycle of changing seasons, made new friends, and participated in my first Placitas Studio Tour, I returned to visit the Winery which was open on weekends for impromptu artist discussions, music, poetry readings, and wine tasting. On this brilliant autumn afternoon, a beautiful golden poplar tree set against the foothills caught my eye. Jim (“Fish”) graciously gave me permission to set up my easel so as to work in pastel, undisturbed, with just company of birds and wind. Over the course of the afternoon, that wind kicked up and nearly took all off all the leaves from that tree, and it was delightful to stand witness as the season quickly changed before my eyes. I added weights to the easel and worked fast.

Once Jim saw the completed piece, he asked if I would consider trading it for his sculpture or wine. For me, that was a swell idea! He said, “It had been a very good year, for the fruit harvest and wine production were outstanding.” It was a good year for me, too, so the title of the painting was clear. It took Jim 3 years to finally finish the sculpture in trade, an abstract bird/woman made of apricot and cherry woods. When he delivered it, we talked about the great local hiking. I’d been exploring and painting the nearby wilderness areas, and was surprised to find out his extensive history with environmental study, the BLM, mapping and traversing the region.

Meanwhile I completed an oil painting from the pastel version, which was quite well-liked and purchased by a local collector. The pastel painting hung behind the tasting area at the Winery, until Jim passed away in June, 2017. The Fish family returned this original pastel to me. It was subsequently borrowed by a major film studio for use on 2 movie sets here in NM. Unfortunately, the production crew dropped it, broke the frame and glass, which damaged the artwork. Now unsellable as damaged work, it is perhaps time for a new generation of It was a Very Good Year to be borne.

In the tenacious spirit and fortitude of A Very Good Year, I hope this imagery attracts the attention of many art lovers and collectors so that we all have a great Studio Tour 2019!

Additionally, it would greatly please the late Jim Fish, in a remote way, as a continuation of his legacy supporting our Placitas artist community.—Meg

The Placitas Studio Tour is registered as a Domestic Nonprofit Corporation in the State of New Mexico.

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