Thursday, May 23, 2019

Since it has been quite a while since I posted on the blog, I thought this might be a good opportunity to re-introduce myself. My name is Maia and I'm exactly 55 years old, which seems like a very centered number to be! I live in Colorado with my husband and our 11-year-old daughter who, as I write this, is just about to celebrate her continuation to middle school. People across the internet are more likely to know her (She goes by QQ) than to know me. She is a shining light who brightens the days of everyone whose path she crosses. 

I am a jewelry designer, I work with powerful combinations of healing gemstones, and I make all of my own pieces in my small and crowded home studio. I like to make elixirs with my collection of healing stones as well, and am always in search of knowledge. My mother was a jeweler before me, and had a gallery of her own in Taos, NM when  I was in grade school in the '70s. She worked mostly in lost wax casting,  and also made mobile-style sculptural pieces and handmade conchas, but she taught me about the gemstones and their individual qualities and uses. She was also an astrologer who made beautiful star charts for our family and friends over the years. Her father and grandfather had been early students of Buddhist practices in Italy and Holland, long before Buddhism entered the mainstream consciousness. 

I was lucky enough to have an extremely bohemian and peripatetic childhood. I moved just about once every two years, first with my family and then on my own, living in a dozen states and countries all told before I turned 30. I grew up in artist colonies like Woodstock and Taos, among painters, sculptors, musicians and writers. My father, whose first language was Spanish, was an accomplished painter, sculptor, folk musician, flamenco guitarist and architect. Our houses were  always centered around studios, and our life was rife with creative influence and adventurous people. Music, art and adventurous travel were woven through the fabric of our lives. We rode horses, lived on a cattle ranch, spent time in France with my mother's family, and spent days and weeks on the road and in tents, camping in all the most beautiful spots across the US. 

In my adult life, I have been an adventure sports journalist, an architectural illustrator, and fashion illustrator, a children's book illustrator. My family taught me that I didn't need to be just one thing, I could be as many things as I could imagine. My daughter wants to be a professional violinist, but she is also a consummate athlete, exceptional at any sport she tries, especially those with an element of danger such as rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and skateboarding.

In all my growing years, I never imagined myself as a wife or a mother. Our gypsy lifestyle and my lone wolf nature had me imagining that I would spend my years moving from country to country, from desert to desert, living alone on the road and never staying in one place for, untethered, with few possessions and fewer obligations. 

I married late in life, and shortly afterward we adopted our daughter from China with serious surgical needs. She was 11 months old when we brought her home to Colorado, and, as it turned out, motherhood has been the greatest joy and the greatest adventure of all the many great adventures in my life. 

I still love the road, and the deserts, and my crazy, wild, gypsy life. But I also love my home and my little family, and the creating that I'm lucky enough to do every day. My youth was wild and mixed up and full of beautiful mistakes and so many forks in the road. I am thankful for my adventurous, brave, creative mother who told me that her 50s were some of the best years of her life. 
She has showed me the way, and I look forward to all the adventures still ahead of me as I enter the second half of my life.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Denver's spring flowers...before they get snowed off in tonight's spring storm! March goes out like a LION.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Returning "home" to the Arkansas River valley where I had the privilege of spending much of my childhood, in a pioneer era cabin with no plumbing, no electricity, just well water, wood stoves, horses, cows, coyotes and a whole lotta natural beauty in every direction. 

On this solo birthday roadtrip, I stayed in some rather different accommodations (see bottom of post for link). Salida, where I learned to swim as a kid, and where my dad paddled in kayak races back in the day, has turned into an artist's community and a mecca for mountain bikers, kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts. Still remote, it has managed to hold onto its small town Colorado personality. 

*Photos taken at the Arkansas headwaters in Leadville, CO, in Salida, CO in the Arkansas River Valley, on the Continental Divide, and at the wonderful Amigo Motor Lodge in Salida.