Colorado Painting Journey


is leaving silently.
Much like a

approaching the end of an
amazing journey.

—Darnell Lamont Walker



The beauty of Colorado remains at the forefront of my mind as I write. Six weeks of painting, dancing, and enjoying the company of dear friends. It just doesn’t get better than that.

In my previous newsletter, I mentioned Bob and Donni’s master bath remodel. They were changing the wall color from tan to warm cream. Donni’s goal was to
keep the murals
I had painted ten years ago. The solution was to have them paint within three inches of the blossoms and paint over the stems and leaves. (These could be repainted quicker than painting around them.) I would paint the new base color up to the edges of the blossoms, do touch-ups then paint the stems and leaves. I added the same flowers in the new water closet.

The loft was the next area for a color change. They chose a subtle blue-grey background, a lovely compliment to their favorite football team’s colors.

This time I painted around the original designs replacing parts of the delicately detailed areas as needed. The life-size Bronco Chef, holding a spatula with a cheeseburger, is Donni’s father. The two boys playing football are their sons. The message written on the hand-painted chalkboard was there when I arrived. That was a perfect touch for the photo.


Several blocks west of the Broadmoor Resort I had painted undulating borders in Jan’s foyer and halls last year. She was looking forward to having something painted in her dining room to visually tie the areas together.

The dining room walls were painted a lovely tranquil green with warm white trim. She found including design elements of her borders into floral sprays in the corners appealing. I mixed harmonious greens for the foliage and added white roses to create cohesiveness between the trim and the ceiling.


Jan mentioned that she wanted to do something with a narrow wall in the kitchen that was visible from the great room. She had considered having me continue the border I had painted the previous year or perhaps wood installed diagonally or brick with
similar colors
as the fireplace. More of the same border seemed redundant and given there were several kinds of wood being used in the area the brick made more sense. The first photo shows the beginning stages. After taping off the grout lines, I painted them a soft gray and stippled a deeper hue of gray followed by the assorted colors in the bricks, then I added shadows for depth.


Next was a kitchen project. Deb accessorized her home in a neutral relaxing farm style. She wanted a custom design for the kitchen soffits but was uncertain what she might like. She liked the idea of keeping it neutral and adding a touch of the predominant accent color from her living room. These long-flowing freestyle brushstrokes have long been one of my favorite styles of painting.


The time is moving toward midnight as I sink into the coziness of my very own bed. It was a long and mostly relaxing drive home from Colorado. As I lie here listening to the thunder rolling across an impenetrable indigo sky I hear the sound of rain skipping across the leaves before spattering onto the ground. Tendrils of light periodically flash through the slits of the blinds. The air smells fresh. The room is filled with the dampness that accompanies a rainy summer night in Georgia. The frogs croaking and the stridulation of the crickets are missed tonight but Mother Nature’s surprising display made the long drive worth it.

An enchanting bouquet of thoughts passes through my mind. Thoughts of projects completed, of friends, some new, and many from past chapters of my time in Colorado Springs. Each time I leave it saddens me when I think of the friends I didn’t have time to connect with.

I missed the blooming of one of my favorite flowers while I was in Colorado, the agapanthus. My grandson surprised me with this photo he took while watering one morning.

And now for you flower lovers . . . this year I was blessed with this beauty. I noticed a vine in the woods encroaching upon the edge of my lawn. (How dare it!) When I
saw the pretty buds I was too curious to cut them down and what a glorious surprise. The bees certainly like it. Every year I seem to spot something new in the woods. I looked it up and found that I have a passiflora incarnata. It is also known as a wild purple passion vine. One of the hardiest species of passion flower. It is both found as a wildflower in the southern US and in cultivation for its fruit and striking bluish-purple blooms. Wild passion in my own backyard, who would have guessed?!?


Before leaving for Colorado I planted viningdahlias my sister had given me on my trip to Indiana in May. As I was leaving for Colorado I noticed thick vines with tiny leaves peeking through the soil as if surveying their surroundings. They must have liked what they saw because they are striking clustered around the mailbox post. Next year I’ll stick around long enough to train them to climb. And now it’s time for fall plantings.


4 comments to Colorado Painting Journey

  • from: Kathleen H
    to: Mickey Baxter-Spade
    date: Oct 27, 2022, 12:16 AM

    Your beautiful notecards sit on my desk, and whenever I send one,
    the recipient always writes or calls back by thanking me
    for such a “unique and beautiful card…”
    Thanks to you!


  • Hi Kate,

    I am always honored when someone shares there stories about the response to my cards. Hope you are well and happy.
    Thank you so much for sharing.


  • from: Stan N
    to: Mickey Baxter-Spade
    date: Nov 20, 2022, 10:23 PM

    Thanks Mickey, a pleasure to have a glimpse into your delights. They bring me quietness and peace. Also good to see your smiling face. Take care and enjoy this great colorful time of year. Keep sharing the beauty.


  • Hi Stan,

    It’s nice to hear from new subscribers. My life is primarily peaceful. Being near family after living across the country for thirty years is something to be treasred. I am blessed with dear friends and lovely neighbors. Thanks so much for commenting!


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