The Whole Enchilada


The Whole Enchilada was my penultimate painting before we finally evacuated from El Chaltén, Patagonia, at the beginning of the worldwide COVID lockdown.

Termination dust—the first snow of the year at high elevations—had appeared on the mountains. Hosteria el Pilar would close for the season on April 1. This isn’t a business-driven, Maine-style winter closure, but an absolute necessity. The water lines must be drained and the rooms closed up before winter descends on the Southern Andes in all its fury.

Leaving my room, I was buffeted by wind whistling down the corridor. It was strong enough inside to wrest the door from my hand and slam it.

Jane ChapinKellee Mayfield and I climbed the nearest mountain to get a different view of the glaciers. We followed a trail, thinking we would meet up with our fellow painters. Not finding them, we hared straight up the steep hillside. About halfway up, I pointed out that I’d already had my quota of falling off cliffs this year, having tumbled down one in Parrsboro, NS the previous July. None of us had rappelling gear and we were suddenly in a maze of granite ridges.

“If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you, too?” is a famous parental question. I now knew the answer was yes. Faced with a choice of being left behind or staying with your buddies, you soldier on. The good news is that none of us fell, even descending into a wicked headwind. The view from up there was sublime. We hunched down behind boulders as the wind increased in force. All of us painted well, although there can be no detail when your easel is bucketing in a fierce wind.

Packing up, we realized we had no idea how we’d gotten up there. A mountain looks very different from the top than it does from the bottom. But Kellee and Jane are both half mountain goat, apparently. They found a route down, one that was actually easier than our route up.

1 in stock


The Whole Enchilada is 12X16, oil on archival canvasboard.

Shipping included within the continental United States. For Hawaii, Alaska and international shipping, please contact me directly to calculate surcharge.


If a painting disappoints, I will of course refund your money, on return of the painting back in my Rockport studio. Returned art must be properly packaged, with corner protectors as required and insured to its full value.

All refunds will be processed back to your original method of payment.


Contact me.