Everything has Changed

late November, 2020

After 10+ years on the East Coast, I have moved back to Colorado. To the bottom of the state this time. To Trinidad, (no, not the island), a town of about 8,000, ten miles north of the New Mexico border. Midway between Denver and Santa Fe.

Why? First, it’s Colorado, which I have missed ever since I left. It’s also only 15 hours to L.A. After all these decades as a visual artist I am returning to my first career: ACTING. Yep. That’s what I went to college for. That’s why I moved to New York, where at 21 I got a union job in a Broadway show before I had an apartment. This time around, no stage. TV & movies only. As my friend Tim says, I’m a “new old face.”

I thawed out my long-frozen SAG/AFTRA membership a year ago when I made this decision, but caring for my beloved cat Bob through his last months and then the reality that is Covid have managed my calendar more emphatically than any plans I made.

I am not giving up the visual arts, but it may be a year before I have a studio again. The decades have taught me that I’m not primarily a painter, actor, sculptor, writer, or anything else. I am a creative. I need creative outlets to be a sane person on this planet. I feel lucky to go back to acting with a creative outlet in hand, something I did not have at 20. I don’t need acting jobs to fulfill my creative needs – in case they don’t. Although it would be completely lovely if they do! In fact, that would be fabulous.

One thing I had forgotten in the decades of theatrical retirement is how much I thoroughly LOVED the craft of acting way back then. Those memories continued surfacing as I criss-crossed the country 3x, driving 15,000 miles on this move to Trinidad. For ages my recollections had focused only on how overwhelmed, confounded and disappointed I had been by the business back then. We are all young once.

We may not, however, all get to be old.

70th! Birthday Sale

How can I tempt you? Since I now also list my work on SaatchiArt.com, and they take 35%, go to dawnsiebel.com, use the coupon code “70th Bday” and get 40% off ANY of my paintings – even those already on sale – good until January 15, 2021. FREE U.S. shipping (now from Colorado!).

Separately, my smaller 11×14 animal studies on canvas board have been discounted 50% to $150 each. (No coupon code needed.) If you want 3, let me know and I’ll make a special 3/$400 price just for you.

Please take 20% off endangered species prints (signed and numbered 14×14 or 20×20) with the code: “70th Bday PRINTS.” Saatchi also sells prints of my work that they produce. They are not numbered, slightly less expensive and include a 10×10 size @ $90. (Not sure what they charge for shipping.)

Finally, remaining card sets are $25 each. The four sets are elephants, big cats, great apes, and hoof & feather. $75 for all. MOO cards, very luxe paper, deep color. Could be framed. When these are gone, they’ll be gone.

Email me directly if you have questions dawn@dawnsiebel.com.

In the midst of changing careers and zip codes and re-entering a professional world slow-motioned by Covid, art sales would be a splendid and gratefully-accepted addition to my dwindling bank account.

Why Trinidad?

My good friend William Biety was in the same acting clique at high school as I but it was after we re-met in Denver where he was a gallery director that our friendship really rooted and grew. He and his husband John relocated to Trinidad maybe 5 years back and every conversation I had with him was about why I should move there when I came back to Colorado – which he knew I would. All his reasons were true. Sadly William died two years ago. But I am still moving to Trinidad.

It’s a young old town coming up again. In a gentrifying Colorado, it’s still affordable. It has a small but thriving art community into which I can network in the future. It has a real downtown. Established in the Civil War years when coal was discovered, it has 30 or 40 turn-of-the-century buildings that the town was too broke to tear down in the 60s when that was what we did. Now, one by one, they are all being renovated. Main streets are laid with brick. Significant benefactor investors from Denver are refurbishing things like the beautiful old theatre where they have their annual jazz festival. Trinidad even has a repertory theatre company! In a town of 8,000! And a community college. And maybe the oldest synagogue in Colorado.

It also has a thriving pot industry and benefits from being the first stop across the border from New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. For now that puts about $5 mil/year in the town coffers. Otherwise I heard it has the lowest taxes in the state.

Colorado just named Fisher’s Peak its newest state park, opening up thousands of acres of what had been private land on the slopes of the massive mesa formation on Trinidad’s southeastern flank. Hiking, biking and adventure tourists to come.

Trinidad has no recycling (yet), no Costco, no Apple stores, no health food stores, few doctors, and a weak selection of dining options for vegetarians. This is changing even now, at least in the food department.

To my Massachusetts friends

I am truly sorry Covid and circumstances made me leave without a party or more personal goodbyes. I planned and planned but then everything was done in ten dense days and Poof! — my lease was up and I was off. It would have been a good party!

Thank you all. Stay well!

4 responses to “Everything has Changed”

  1. Holly Fisher says:

    So glad you have surfaced Dawn!!! Foxy Lady told me you got in your and headed following the demise of beloved Bob Cat. And glad to know you have settled in what sounds like a lovely loving sweet town! My big sister is in Los cruces, which to my ears is practically next door! One day I just might get out there to visit, and will come looking for you! Keep me on your list ! Hollyfisherfilm.com


  2. Alan Rudy says:

    Wow! How cool.would love to visit you when we’re next in you neighborhood. Where are you located? how best to reach you?

    • Ulla Lange says:

      So happy for you, Dawn! Such an exciting move and change, shows great courage and how you listen to your heart. Trinidad is lucky to get a true creative like you into the community. Excited to follow what comes next for you in the acting world!

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