Santga Fe artist Rebecca Fairfax Clay

Before picking up a paintbrush, I had a long and reasonably successful career as a writer and journalist for public radio and TV, magazines, newspapers, policy journals, children’s books and literary journals. During that time, I covered a vast array of topics — from Art to the Zuni — and learned so much about life along the way.

It wasn’t until early 2022 that I decided to begin drawing and painting, having no idea what might appear on the canvas. Little by little, through diligent practice, I began to experiment and find ways to express myself and my creativity through this new medium. To say the least, it’s been a life-changing journey, opening my eyes to the endless possibilities of bringing together canvas and paint.

I began with acrylic, moved on to oil and am now working almost exclusively with oil and cold wax, a combination that opens up even more exciting ways to create textures, layers, shapes, forms, effects and, perhaps most importantly, depth, to invent, design and build worlds of color within worlds of color.

That is what making art is ultimately all about — sharing a unique vision with the viewer, a vision that inspires, uplifts and brings joy into the home.

On a personal note, I was born in a Pennsylvania coal mining town where my father was briefly an Episcopal priest, and later raised in suburban Boston. A bit of a wild child, I had my one child at the unripe young age of 18 and began studying dance at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst a few years later.

I had started dreaming of Paris as a very young girl, longing for the kind of beauty there that I saw in picture books and perhaps a reconnection with deep French Huguenot family roots that had been torn out in the 17th century. As a sophomore, I joined the university’s year-abroad program, setting sail on a Soviet ocean liner for the City of Light, my three-year old daughter in tow to study at the Sorbonne. After our return, I graduated from Boston University with a degree in journalism.

Further adventures took us to New York City, Santa Fe and North Carolina where Jennifer stayed to attend university. I went on to do media work in Washington, DC and Kazakhstan, then attended various writer residencies in Italy, France, Turkey, India and Iceland, penning short stories that were later published in literary journals. I speak French and Spanish plus some German and Russian — such travel and linguistic experiences continue to inform me creatively.

As an artist, I seek to express some small part of the beauty, drama and even whimsy of our inner and outer existence – the mysteries within the human psyche and the natural world.

Beautiful Santa Fe has been my home for 14 years now.

Thanks so much for your interest in my artwork,

Rebecca Fairfax signature