Art+Tea with John DePuy

The expressionist paintings of John DePuy conjure a sense of a life spent striving to capture the spiritual in art.

John invited us into his painting studio in Ojo Caliente, NM for our Art+Tea conversation. Rita O’Connell from Live Taos joined us for the ride.

Listen to the podcast:

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John started our Art+Tea conversation by reading words that renowned writer and environmental activist Edward Abbey wrote about him. (Photo by Rita O’Connell)

John and Abbey were to share a close friendship from the 1950s until Ed’s death in 1989. The two kindred souls made a vow to chronicle the landscapes of the Southwest—John through his painting and Abbey through his writing.

John asserts that a poem Abbey wrote about him says it all:

Madman and seer,
painter of the apocalyptic volcano of the world—
Compañero, I am with you forever
in the glorious fraternity of the damned.
—Edward Abbey





DePuy Southern Utah 1978 unknown
John sketching in southern Utah, 1978. The artist has filled volumes of sketchbooks with drawings from his ravels. These sketches serve as a source for his paintings and drawings. He revisits these drawings over time and may paint from the same sketch more than once.


John in his studio, 2014. Photo by Isabel DePuy. John paints his oils on canvas as well as ink and watercolor on paper in his Ojo Caliente, NM. studio.
John in his studio, 2014. Photo by Isabel DePuy. John paints his oils on canvas as well as ink and watercolor on paper in his Ojo Caliente, NM. studio.

The images below offer a closer look at John DePuy’s artwork.

The Harwood is honored to feature the work of John DePuy: Painter of the Apocalyptic Volcano of the World through May 1, 2016. The exhibition includes a selection of his oil paintings, works on paper and various sketchbooks.

John DePuy exhibition at the Harwood Museum.
John DePuy exhibition at the Harwood Museum.


Port Caramel Chocolate Tarts
Recipe and Commentary
By David Costanza

Oh, Dear! I cannot believe I just made another dessert with caramel in it. Shocking. IF you have followed this podcast (& the recipes we post on the BLOG along with pictures from our tea-party) then you will be an expert at making caramel by now; if not, I, humbly, direct you back to my lengthy explanation in the recipe section of our talk with Rachel Preston Prinz that way today’s business with tarts will remain short & sweet.

This is a recipe I have been making for years now, given to me by an old friend, clipped out of a Martha Stewart magazine.

Port Caramel Chocolate Tarts
Port Caramel Chocolate Tarts

The tarts in this recipe are made made with chocolate tart dough (from another recipe source.) Same technique as regular tart dough:

Cream 6 1/4 oz butter &
3 1/2 oz sugar

1 egg

combine & then add:
8 3/4 oz flour combined with
5 TBS cocoa powder.

Sorry about all of those weird measurements—I translated them from metric measurements out of an Alain Ducasse cookbook that was hanging out at one of my previous haunts. (As all of my previous jobs haunt me in some way or another). Make the dough ahead of time (preferably yesterday! ) & wrap & place in fridge. If it isn’t yesterday anymore for you either, than 2 or 3 hours should suffice to chill the dough enough to roll out the tarts. These tart shells will get pre-baked. 10 minutes @ 350º. Set a timer because you will not be able to see if the chocolate dough is done baking like you can with a vanilla tart. You can definitely tell when they are burnt, but like a dough not made yesterday, it won’t do you much good now.

Let the tart shells cool.

While the oven is on you can toast 2 cups of slivered almonds. These will get placed at the bottom of the tart shells & on top.

For the filling:

Tart making experts: start your saucepan on medium & melt 1 cup sugar.

When the sugar is all melted lower the heat to almost off & add 5/8 cup heavy cream & 3 TBS port warmed almost to boiling. Stir to incorporate.

When that mixture calms down add 2 TBS butter. Stir again.

Now turn off the heat & add 1 oz bittersweet chocolate (70%)

Stir until all ingredients combined

I place a pinch of toasted almonds in the bottom of each shell. I like to pour the port choice caramel into a glass measuring cup & then fill each tart. This recipe will fill 12 2 1/2” tarts or 6 3 3/4” tarts (approximately, that is) after you have filled all of your tarts (leftover caramel can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for a pretty long time, I have it at least a month, & then rewarmed & added to future tarts or eaten straight out of the airtight container, why not?

Place a pinch of almonds on top of each tart & a little pinch of course sea salt.

Serve at room temperature. The chocolate can be a bit too chewy when chilled.

David's pastry made this dog more than a little curious.
David’s pastry made this dog more than a little curious.
Thanks again to Tea+
Yummy Tea from Tea-O-Graphy.

Art+Tea is a project of the Harwood Museum of Art of the University of New Mexico.

The podcast features music by David’s band Art of Flying.

Tea-O-Graphy is Art+Tea’s official ‘Tea Sponsor’, providing us with delicious blends to share on our interviews.

And thanks very much to Rita O’Connell for documenting our journey for LiveTaos — Check it out! And to John and Isabel DePuy for their hospitality.

Tell us what you think — you can email us at artplustea [at] gmail [dot] com or tweet us @artplustea.

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