Truchas Spotlight: Anna Karin & Bill Loyd
Anna Karin is a landscape, figurative and still-life painter. The Anna Karin Gallery, on the High Road to Taos, also represents Truchas artists and features painting, photography, bells and sculpture. It includes the work of gallery artists and her life partner, Bill G. Loyd. From materials he recycles, he creates objects of grace and beauty, usually in the form of sculpture and bells.
How would you describe what you do for a living, and what is your favorite part of your job?
Karin: I'm drawn to the use of old-world techniques in my work, and it becomes this delightful meditation. I balance this solitary work with drawing the live model with my friends.
Loyd: I have a rather charmed work life. To begin with, it's fun; I generally call it play. Hey, I get to rattle around scrapyards and auctions and pore over Craigslist. With these new treasures in hand, I fashion sculpture, bells and an array of critters: ravens, tortoises, whales, coyotes...
What do you consider the greatest challenges and rewards of your job?
Karin: I’m challenged to take an ordinary object, whether it be a landscape or a vintage garment, and somehow call-out the unseen. Is there some sort of mystery or wonder to be brought forth here? Seeing a customer's delight in a completed work is one of my greatest rewards, and solving a problem in my own initial layout is certainly another.
Loyd: On creative process, I get a great deal of satisfaction challenging myself to draw forth a novel direction/use [of material to recycle]. It might be a common item, like an old tank, but the process of saying "And what new way might this be used?" can bear delightful fruit. For example, welded-together cut-off ends of propane tanks became the “beads” in a 12-foot high “Goddess Necklace” that’s quite lovely. The rewards are both humbling and stunning. A client who recently purchased a temple bell was visibly moved by the bell’s tone. Recently retired, he was still dealing with the fallout from his work as a psychiatrist. I was able to share a book on meditation, Becoming Supernatural. He was thrilled with both. Such experiences are not uncommon here and are always heartwarming. In another recent encounter, I brainstormed with a client on a commissioned wedding gift. The result was a steel cut-out of the Norse mythological raven characters Hugin and Munin, positioned on either side of a triskelion [a figure with three branches radiating from a common center]. It's stunning! Well, it was after the fourth try!
How did you end up living in Truchas?
Karin: I was planning a journey back to my native Sweden, but I took on a red wolfdog named Sheba, who became my best bud. She would not have been able to handle the stress of travel and the quarantine period, so having previously visited the mountain village of Truchas, we moved — and here we be!
Loyd: In the fall of 1999, I was driving down from Taos on the High Road, and I pulled over to the overlook just north of Truchas [which is Spanish for “trout”]. It wasn’t even “magic hour,” when the NM light causes the landscape to take on a rose-colored glow, but I thought, what a pretty little town.
What is your best insider recommendation for Truchas visitors?
Loyd: There are now several galleries in Truchas, so there is always something new to see. And, THE MOUNTAINS! Anna and I love to cross-country ski, snowshoe, bike and go hiking. There are numerous trails to explore. Presently, there are no services available in Truchas, so do come prepared.
What is your favorite near or far getaway, and why?
Karin and Loyd: Of course, a favorite getaway would be to my beloved Sweden, but near, we love going to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. Book a couple days; within the first half-hour the whole world melts away. We also like to get away to Mount Princeton Hot Springs or Orvis Hot Springs, in Colorado.
Describe an unrealized dream of yours.
Karin: My roots are in Sweden, and my work shows well there, so exhibiting both here and abroad is definitely one of my goals.
Loyd: Creating this delicious workspace with 14-foot-high entry doors. Cedar vigas [ceiling beams] emanate from a common hub/light well above the office desk, and reach out over curved office/ bathroom walls. The space needs all the interior done: electrical, plumbing, insulation... I really have to pace myself. It's like, “Oh, how to pack yet more into the day without totally hitting the wall?”!
As told to Cyndy Tanner