– Poetry by Francie Hall –
Driving route 285 toward Poncha Pass, Colorado,
across a snow-capped mountain-framed meadow
I see a scattering of Black Angus cattle
grazing in a distant verdant meadow-
in sunlight, the green of emeralds.
Black Angus appear as black letters,
punctuation or music notes,
tossed from the sky by some playful god
working on his manuscript
or checking his score.
Mary Kimber grew up in Wyoming and Montana, but has lived in Minneapolis, San Francisco, Denver, and Washington, D.C. She has traveled to many cities in the U.S. as well as internationally, and loves the contrast of city versus rural, wherever she roams. In 2014, Mary moved to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado, where she and her husband built their family home, fondly known as Fort Kimber. She and her husband have two daughters and a granddaughter.
Mary has been painting since she was in high school. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she also studied film and photography. After a long career in the legal industry, Mary returned to painting in earnest, in 2014, from her home in Forbes Park, Colorado. She has always been attracted to the wild and finds inspiration in the natural world, animals, folktales, Native American and mystical legends, and memories of her childhood — hiking, fishing, and camping with her family. Mary primarily works in watercolor, but also uses charcoal, pastels, pen and ink, and in recent years, has also been involved in printmaking.
Francie Hall grew up on a farm in southern Indiana close to the Ohio River, near Louisville, Ky. She has been writing poetry and an occasional short story since she was nine years old. As a child, she roamed the fields and woodlands. She grew to love the wild beauty and solitude of the country. She helped her grandmother milk cows, churn butter, and work in the garden. Her family grew all their own food, and had their own eggs and milk. There were no modern conveniences; everyone was independent in living off the land. This was a respite from much of the mad rush of city life.
As an adult, she has learned to like and appreciate the beauty, energy and conveniences of the city. She has lived and worked in Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, Texas and near Chicago. Here she enjoyed the arts, music, sports, the friends she met, and the general electric vibe of city life. She and her husband built a beautiful home in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado, their own piece of paradise, which was destroyed in the Spring Creek forest fire of June, 2018. They have since relocated to Taos, New Mexico. To her, there is no exclusivity to either country or city life. She has learned a lot from each environment and enjoys the pleasure of knowing she can live in either place.