On the Southwest Road
Willard's travels through New Mexico inspired him to paint the adobe houses and the southwest landscape. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Willard painted the traditional adobe houses, the Sandia Mountains and the volcanic peaks to the west. He sold his work at local galleries, Grimshaw's Ice Cream Parlor, and the train station. The Pages toured Arizona's Petrified Forest in 1926 when they traveled south from Colorado to spend the winter. Their Winter trips through Arizona included Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.
Ethel became Willard's bookkeeper, handling sales, correspondence and other accounting work. She sometimes referred to herself as "assistant artist." Willard and Ethel fell in love with Colorado when they visited Fred Niehaus, a best friend from Whiting, Kansas. In the mid-1920s they purchased 2.5 acres in Geneva Park, high above Boulder, Colorado.
The Pages continued traveling and Willard painted and sketched on all their travels, in 1929 accumulating enough funds to build their home, which they constructed from red-toned sandstone. The house included three bedrooms, a high pitched gabled roof with shed dormers, and a large upstairs bedroom that became Willard's studio. Because of her arthritis, Ethel could not climb the stairs to the studio, so Willard cut a one-foot-square hole in the floor so they could talk to each other as Willard painted upstairs.
Occasionally, Willard and Ethel traveled to California and Wyoming. He painted the giant Sequoias, the Pacific Ocean, the Tetons, and Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Other travels took them to the New England states and south to Florida.