Two Great Art Events Oct. 16-18: Part 7

‘Tulips and Lilacs’ by Kate O’Donnell. 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

‘Iris and Copper Pitcher’ by Kate O’Donnell. Courtesy photo

Meet Kate O’Donnell

Kate O’Donnell’s combined love of art and gardening come together in her luminous oil paintings.

Her still lifes, with dark backgrounds and focused light, find beauty in the simplest of floral images that invite contemplation. Her floral subjects come from her abundant and colorful garden, always changing and reflecting the season.  

O’Donnell began studying art with Betty Nance Smith, Karen Wray, and later Cary Ennis, all accomplished painters from Los Alamos.

O’Donnell’s work is represented in private collections and galleries in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Oregon.

‘St. Francis and Roses’ by Kate O’Donnell. Courtesy photo
Airplane by Dan Macdonell. Courtesy photo

Meet Dan Macdonell

Dan Macdonell has been standing in wood shavings since he was a boy when he began working with his step-dad who owned Alpine Builders Supply in Santa Fe. He loved the business and worked in the building trades his whole career.

While living in Farmington he built cabinets and furniture. Then in 1996 when he moved to Albuquerque he had to leave his woodshop behind. That didn’t deter him from continuing to work with wood; he just had to scale down his products.

Nine years ago his daughter (who lives in Los Alamos) “pestered” him to make a good solid wood truck for her children. That was the beginning of a new love for Macdonell. The first toy he made was a dump truck. Now he makes trucks, tractors, airplanes, railroad cars and steam engines.

Rather than painting his toys, Macdonell uses a variety of woods to create tonal effects. Working with pine, alder, poplar and basswood, he finishes the pieces with mineral oil, which brings out a rich natural color. This butcher block finish can be re-oiled as time takes its toll, so the toys can maintain their luster.

Each piece that Macdonell makes is one-of-a-kind. Although he works off plans, many of his toys are modified to make them easier and different, and then he personalizes each piece. The average size of his wooden vehicles is 12-13″ long, but they vary from as small as 7-8″ to over 24.”

Outside of fairs, Macdonell’s toys can be found at the Blue Portal in Old Town in Albuquerque.

Train by Dan Macdonell. Courtesy photo

Roadgrader by Dan Macdonell. Courtesy photo