Category Archives: Writings

Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas

Bita Beach, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas 9″ x 12″ Oil on Gesso Board

I spent January exploring the most fabulous 1.5 square miles, walking beaches instead of shoveling record snowfall in Colorado.
Green Turtle Cay is one of the barrier islands off mainland Great Abaco The Bahamas. It is considered part of the “Abaco Out Islands” and is 3 miles long and ½ mile wide. It was named after the once abundant green turtles that inhabited the area. Wikipedia

A wonderfully generous painting student has a house on White Sound. She and her husband offered me the use of their house for a month after taking my course. (Understanding Clouds) That course is no longer offered through Artist’s Network University, so I’ll be making it available through my own website later this year. Yes, this was an online course, so I had never met my hosts in person until two planes and a ferry brought me to their dock. It pays to have a good sense of people and I feel that this whole adventure is a natural outcome of teaching with a desire to inspire creativity and take artistic risks. Learning to paint better is a byproduct.

While on the island, I used the solitude to work on a first draft of a new screenplay. ( ) Now that the story is nearly ready to send out, I am happy to be painting again…. but I do miss those beautiful beaches.

Also posted in Blog, Creative Process, Events, Featured, Uncategorized

Colorado Supports the Arts!

The Colorado Creative Industries Division of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (CCI), has awarded me with a Career Advancement grant. The grant is to be used toward developing, publishing and marketing my Children’s Picture Book, Augustina, as well as a screenplay for animated film to accompany the book.

She’s making progress toward being available in bookstores!

4Dance Spread_RRoberts 2

Augustina, is a humorous story about a lovable, barnyard oddball who dances her way into the carnival spotlight, and discovers her true identity — she is a heifer-potamus!

Educators, day care providers and social workers enthusiastically support this story:

“I see all kinds of application potential, everything from children who are adopted to helping children gain ego strength.” — Carol C., Clinical Social Worker

Please contact me for more information about Augustina.

To capitalize on attending conferences and industry workshops I am simultaneously developing an additional story for both book and film. Hint: the characters are perfect for cute Halloween costumes in coming years. Stay tuned!


Also posted in Events, Featured, What's New?

Cover Art for Colorado Central Magazine

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About the painting:  This oil painting depicts fall cottonwoods on the historic Garcia Ranch. Reyes Garcia is now the steward of this ranch and allowed me to take a walk and paint this beautiful piece of property. As a retired professor of philosophy, environmental and indigenous studies, Reyes is deeply attuned to the legacy of his family’s land and the way of life it has provided for generations. With the Garcia family having originally settled in Conejos County in the 1850’s, he has a long history rooted in the special area between the Conejos and San Antonio Rivers in the southern part of the San Luis Valley.

Conserving the land and water is a way “to make my own small contribution to preserving the family legacy of ranching and the land-based culture of the ranchero tradition,” Garcia writes. “… I came to understand this tradition includes putting into practice ecological values by virtue of an instinctual love of the land that engenders good stewardship and a deep respect for all life forms, the seasonal rotation of livestock and their humane treatment, the acequia irrigation system especially, the transmission of skills which make self-reliance possible…”

in 2013, the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust worked with Reyes to complete a voluntary conservation easement on the spectacular Garcia Ranch, to insure that this working ranch will remain intact with its senior water rights in perpetuity. Learn more about RiGHT’s ongoing conservation work and the ranch at

Also posted in Blog, Collaborative Works, Collectors, Creative Process, Events, Featured, Uncategorized, What's New?

Chance Encounters Exhibit

Exhibit Opens November 30th!


Firedworks Gallery is pleased to present Chance Encounters,
an exhibit with the artwork of Rita Roberts and photographs of Andoni Canela.

Some of the paintings and photographs can be seen at:

Opening Reception and for the artists:  Friday, November 30th, 7 – 9 pm
Video and presentation at 7:30 pm
Show will be on view through the holidays.


Twenty-two paintings and photographs that reflect the incredible diversity of the San Luis Valley will be on view at Firedworks Gallery in Alamosa. Two masters experience and observe together, the rhythms of art and nature, as an integral part of their creations. Each, in their own way, generate images in devotion to the wild, as well as the personal.
Both artists have contributed to land and wildlife conservation efforts. The Chance Encounters collection includes habitats protected by the Rio Grande Headwater’s Land Trust (RiGHT), the Nature Conservancy, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Monte Vista and Alamosa Wildlife Refuges, and Colorado State Wildlife areas.


Andoni Canela.
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For 20 years, Andoni Canela has been working as a wildlife photographer, traveling throughout the world in search of endangered species – such as polar bears, grey whales, Bengal tigers, Iberian wolves, pandas, grizzlies, condors and quetzals. His photographs have been published in National Geographic, Time, Geo, The Sunday Times, Newsweek, La Vanguardia and El País. He is the author of a dozen books and has made several expeditions to the Arctic, Amazon, Himalayas and the savannas of Africa. Beginning in the summer 2013 he has a touring exhibition with his 5 year work on the Arctic. This exhibition will be on view in more than 40 cities in Spain.

Rita Roberts.
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Artist, and long-time resident of Monte Vista, Rita Roberts, has teamed up with this master photographer. As a naturalist and landscape painter, Rita’s work has gained national attention. She is a signature member of Oil Painters of America and has been featured in national publications including, Southwest Art, American Art Collector, and The Artist’s Magazine. She holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and will complete an MFA at the Academy of Art University in 2014. She shows regularly in prestigious exhibits like Salon International in San Antonio, Women Artists of the West Invitational, Tucson and Wendt Gallery Invitationals in Laguna Beach.

Gallery hours are 10 am to 6 pm seven days a week through December. For more information please contact Carol Mondragon or 719-589-6064. Some of the paintings and photographs can be seen at:

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Firedworks Gallery
608 Main Street
Alamosa, CO 81101
719-589-6064    Email:

Also posted in Blog, Collaborative Works, Creative Process, Events, Featured, What's New?

This Soul Is…








This Soul Is…

A single, windblown tree
on a grassy plain,
stunted by gales of critical air.

Migrating thoughts glide, bound and graze,
rabbits, antelope, raptors; prey
forager and predator ways.

Whistle trains sift a morning haze.

Fantasies in heat waves
shimmy each lowland blade,
fiery rut of a love affair.

Sliced, ended. A dagger of low light
across a flatland glade,
browsed bare.

My soul awaits a cleansing rain.

© 2010 Rita Doyle Roberts

Salvation’s Lie

slamming screen door
kicked off soiled shoes

freckles turned to buckshot
from her double-barreled cross

baby, upon boy, over unsuspecting man
planting damage, within defect, after birth

lungs and pockets emptied by churchly angels
sins of the flesh hacked to pieces

waxy tears drip on five cakes a year, now six
lit up on the 4th of July, bottles but no rockets

holiday turkey frozen solid
while she thaws in detox

invisible fallout explained away, forgiven
by the polyester / cotton blend of accountant-turned-therapist

putrid stench of interior rot
shrouded by incense, seduction, and garage sale revivals

tented bridges burn
wagon wheels spin

salvation and escapes lie, lurking
in shadows behind the offering

© 2010 Rita Doyle Roberts

Man of Snow

Clunky shoes crunch a dormant lawn.  Selma bends, her heavy bosoms rest momentarily on her thighs as she reaches for the small roll of daily news.  Frost remains on short stalks of grass, like white whiskers on an old man’s chin.

“Good morning, Selma.” Clyde, a bit grimy and weathered, removes his hat.

A sudden gust blows secondhand snow from the oak’s bare branches. “It’s a little early for you, isn’t it Clyde, or were you out all night?” Selma licks her lips.    Snowflakes on the lips have no smell, but white whiskers do; pipe tobacco, pickled cucumbers, and the sour ferment of endless rebuke.

Clyde replaces his hat. “We were in the neighborhood. Harold’s been gone for a while now… maybe you’d like some company.” Clyde’s scraggly dog pushes through the gate.

Selma folds her arms. “Maybe I’d like to cook breakfast for you, is that it?” The mutt sniffs the hem of Selma’s housecoat. Its muzzle is white with age or frost, she can’t tell which.  Selma swats him with her newspaper.

“Aw, come on,” Clyde tugs at her sleeve, wool sweater over quilted robe. “You never minded before.” Selma snatches her arm away. Clyde rubs his chapped hands together. “The least you could do is invite us in to warm up. A cup of coffee maybe?”

Selma pulls a box of matches from her pocket. Clydes’s eyebrows raise as she makes a torch of the newspaper. “Here,” she offers, “warm yourself with this.” Selma tramps around the house. Clyde is left in the yard with a new snowfall and a handful of burning words.

Selma stomps her shoes at the back door. Inside small, bare toes wriggle on the kitchen linoleum.  Pearl rubs her eyes.  “Grandma, where were you?”

“Stray dogs,” Selma explains, “a couple of pathetic old hounds. I shooed them off.”

Pearl swirls her nightgown in a twirl.  “I already decided, I’m going to build snowman today. We have to find a hat for him.”  Selma nods, “You can use one of Grandpa’s old hats and his pipe too.”  Pearls halts her twirling, “But he never let me use his stuff.” Selma shrugs a smile. “Well, he’s not here to protest, is he?”

Pearl dizzies herself with happy spins.
Pearl colors at the coffee table.  Two lopsided braids frizz over her hunched shoulders.  She cups her hands and blows into them. “I’m still cold.”  Selma taps a spoon on the side of a pan.  “You were outside a long time.  This soup will heat you up.”

The metal gate squeaks and Pearl holds back the curtain.  “Grandma, who plays baseball in winter?”  Selma wipes her hands on a dingy apron, then stoops to see out the window.
Clyde scowls and takes a batter’s stance next to the snowman.  “Hey!  What’s he doing?” Pearl’s innocent outrage wants to know.  “Hush now.  Come away from the window,” Selma hustles Pearl to the kitchen, guiding her by the shoulders.  “Yeah, but….”  Pearl protests.  Selma grips a little harder, “It’s just a snowman and some drunkard down on his luck.  Isn’t it nice that you built a man of snow, just for that good-for-nothing to beat up and feel better?  You’re such a thoughtful girl.”

“But I didn’t know.  I wanted a snowman.”

“Oh, you knew.  Somewhere inside you already had an idea that somebody needed that snowman.”

Pearl runs back to see remnants of the shattered head glittering downward like a quiet blizzard. Its black hat rocks slowly on a low branch. Clyde sticks out his tongue to catch some of the glistening crystals.  He leans a little too far back, teeters. The wooden bat makes a surprisingly loud crack when it hits the icy sidewalk.  His dog lifts its leg, turning the round base of the snowman yellow.

Clyde snatches the pipe from where it landed atop the mail box. He grips it in his teeth, grinning. The old sot wobbles. He nods with great satisfaction at the headless snowman, then stumbles away.

Pearl skips to the kitchen.  Saddle shoes on a wooden floor thump a heartbeat rhythm.  “You were right Grandma!  That man left happy.  I guess he needed a pipe too.”

Selma pulls the girl over to her hip in a one-armed hug. “You’re a blessing to everyone, whether they know it or not.” She lights a match with her free hand. “Let’s have cocoa with our soup.” The stove top ticks, till the burner ignites into a blue ring of tiny flames.

©2010 Rita Doyle Roberts