Rhenna St. Clair—Author & Painter


In the early 1990s I was having difficulty with some health issues that would frequently send me to the ER at St. Agnes Hospital in Santa Fe. My medical doctor at the time was highly educated, open-minded, and had an appreciation for alternative medicine.

When he felt we had reached the end of what allopathic medicine could do for me, he suggested I consult an acupuncturist. The practitioner he referred me to was Dr. Skya Abbate of Southwest Acupuncture College. That was 1992.

I received acupuncture treatments from Dr. Abbate and took Chinese herbs and, in the process, started reading books about Chinese medicine. Over a period of eighteen months, I felt better and better. By the time my health was fully restored, I was hooked. I decided to begin my own study of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine so I could become licensed by the state of New Mexico and start life over again.

Going back to school at the age of 52 wasn’t easy. The old brain didn’t work quite as efficiently as when I got my bachelor’s degree in 1967. Fortunately, at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, Oregon there was a group of older students, and we helped each other tough out the program and graduate.

In the year 2000 I became licensed as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM) in New Mexico, (NMBAOM #662) and never looked back. I set up practice in Farmington and my passion for what acupuncture and Chinese herbs can accomplish has only increased. I am vastly grateful for the insights and capabilities of those revered Fathers and Mothers of the medicine who were working miracles in health restoration 5,000 years ago in China.

After twenty-one years in practice, I am still amazed by this fathomless medicine and, I laugh as I write this, but I feel am only now beginning to understand its complexities.


I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not draw or paint. This horse-crazy little girl littered her family home with drawings of horses, colored with crayons or painted in watercolor.

In the 1950s my mother would take my sister and me to the Neighborhood House in Portland for art lessons. That was where I first had professional instruction. Later, attending St. Mary’s High School in downtown Portland, I took art lessons from Sister Mary Rosina in the 1960s.

I mostly pain in oils, but also do watercolors. The watercolors are always vivid, but the oil paintings are more subdued in tone and have a weightier subject matter. With oil paintings, I usually put a layer of metallic gold on the canvas first. To me, this represents connection with the universe. Then I do a layer of sky blue, a connective layer between universe and earth. Then, I begin my painting on top of that.

I paint only for myself. Only one painting of mine was placed in a juried art show. For me, the only goal is losing myself in the process of painting.


I never intended to do much writing. It was never a goal of mine. In college, and later while working at Fresno State College in Alumni and Development, I did quite a bit of journalistic writing for various papers, but never thought about trying fiction.

It was only in 1993 that I began to write the fantasy, Window of the Wind, that I am serializing on this website. As mentioned elsewhere, I was out on the Navajo Reservation, intending to do some painting, when unbidden thoughts of how our planet, and its place in a universe, came into being. I couldn’t stop the thoughts, it was like an assault of ideas, a barrage, and so I started writing it all down.

From those thoughts, I gradually formed the story that takes place in three earthly realities in Window of the Wind.

After that, I started writing down other ideas I had for stories. I wrote the third volume of the Window of the Window trilogy. That story, unpublished, is titled The Velikovsky Question. The second story, The Colors of Sand, remains inside my brain and may someday end up on paper. I owe my consistency in writing in the past seven years to Traci Halesvass’s writing workshops at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico.

From prompts in the writing workshop, I wrote Getting New Mexico, published in 2019 and my current manuscript, Lost Forever. There’s more yet to come. Once you get into this writing gig, there is no way out!