Two Great Art Events Oct. 16-18: Part 15

Owls by Heather Ward. Courtesy photo

ART News:

Oct. 16-18 is Art Weekend in Los Alamos! Both the 2015 Los Alamos Studio Tour and the Gateway to the Holidays Arts and Crafts Fair will take place that weekend. The Los Alamos Daily Post is featuring artists from both events leading up to the Tour and Fair.

The 2015 Studio Tour is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. There will be an artists’ reception 5-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16. Samples of all artists’ work will be on display throughout the weekend in the Pajarito Room at historic Fuller Lodge.

The Fuller Lodge “Gateway to the Holidays” Arts & Crafts Fair runs 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at Crossroads Bible Church. A list of particating artists and their work can be viewed at


Iguana by Heather Ward. Courtesy photo

Meet Heather Ward

Heather Ward grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, and moved to northern New Mexico with her husband in 2002.

She decided staying home with their children was a great opportunity to get back into drawing, a hobby she had enjoyed since childhood. Wildlife is her primary subject, and she strives to show the beauty in all animals through her art.

After spending several years working in graphite and charcoal, she reluctantly picked up scratchboard. To her surprise, it was not as unforgiving as she thought, and has since put all her effort into mastering this unique medium.

“I started seeing scratchboard on several of the art websites I joined,” Ward said. “I liked the striking contrast of it, but it looked intimidating – I could see no way around making mistakes, except not to make them in the first place. For Christmas, 2012, I bit the bullet and asked for a starter set. To this day, I have not put it down. The high-contrast nature of scratchboard seems to bring drawings to life, and animals in particular are well-suited to scratchboard because of the techniques used to remove the black ink from the white clay-coated board. It is no wonder, then, that I love this medium.”

Ward is a Signature Member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists, and has exhibited her work in several United States and internationally. In 2015, she was a finalist in the Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition, which drew over 7,500 entries.


Peacock by Heather Ward. Courtesy photo


December earrings by Samaya Blaise. Courtesy photo
Meet Samaya Blaise

Samaya Blaise finds the legend of 1,000 cranes so inspiring that she created a line of origami earrings. According to Japanese lore, folding 1,000 origami cranes grants you a wish, which has led to thousands of cranes being folded and given away to loved ones for prayers of healing. Cranes are also created as symbols of peace for the world.

Inspired by this fascination with the crane as a symbol of longevity and peace and a love of origami, Blaise hopes her crane earrings will serve as reminders of health, peace and the inherent beauty in all life. 

Each set of birthstone crane earrings are embellished with genuine gemstones, set in either sterling silver or 14/20 gold fill.


Lilacs in Bloom earrings by Samaya Blaise. Courtesy photo

“I create each earring lovingly by hand, with a mindful prayer of good wishes for the wearer as I fold the cranes,” Blaise said. “Vibrant health, peace and joy are embedded in these gifts.  May their beauty be enjoyed, and the love that went into their creation can be felt.”

Blaise has been in the jewelry business for 18 years. She first fell in love with the beauty of nature within gemstones when she took a part-time job at a jewelry store after college and a passion was born.  Because of co-workers’ reluctance to understand a small, yet seemingly complex, case of diamond rings, she took on the task of learning all there was to know about those colorless gems as a way to more effectively offer knowledge to customer’s requests and a second passion was born.

Blaise began courses through the Gemological Institute of America, and became certified in diamonds, and studied about her first love, colored gems.  She moved her way up in the industry, managing jewelry stores around the Southwest, and then was recruited to a Washington, DC area diamond importer.  There, she spent all her time with colorless beauties, but never lost her passion for nature’s gift of colored gemstones.

Blaise attended various gem shows, and like a kid in a candy store, accumulated beauties of nature, acquired knowledge of crafting them into wearable art – little masterpieces – using gemstones as her paint.  She began selling her work in 2010, and continues to expand her collection, bringing the joy of gems to others.  She is now honored to adorn others with her creations of color and light, as she practices her passion in her childhood home of Santa Fe.


November earrings by Samaya Blaise. Courtesy photo