Sunday, October 31, 2010

Art Tours 2010, Second Weekend

It was another big weekend for us on the annual art tours. On Saturday, our friends from Palm Springs, Timothy and Judy Hearsum, came up for the day. We had lunch at Pappy & Harriet's ("Best Honky Tonk West of the Mississippi") and visited a number of studios in Pioneertown and Landers. I didn't get out the camera, though...

Today Bill stayed home getting a new photo ready for the 29 Palms Gallery's Southland Show, and I took off on another studio jaunt with friends Phyllis and Tobi. I have always coveted one of Christy Anderson's license plates and finally "got lucky"!

We also visited Bonnie Brady. I love her books and cards, most of which use handmade paper (sometimes paper she makes herself). Above, a couple of books; to the right, a card. I've learned a lot from Bonnie and always feel inspired by her creative output. (Her son, John Greenfield, and daughter, Susan Brady Gonzales, are talented artists as well, and they all show together on the tour.)

There are still a few things blooming in the yard at this late date. Does anyone know what this purple flowering plant is? We inherited it when we bought the house; it's certainly going to town lately. There are rumors that temperatures next week will be back up around 80 degrees, we (and our plants) are anticipating a last blast of summer!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Art Tours 2010, First Weekend

We've covered a lot of ground over the past couple of days, visiting artists on the Hwy. 62 Art Tours. Weekend One this year covered Joshua Tree, 29 Palms, and Wonder Valley. We started out yesterday in JT at Ellie Tyler's brand new studio. There's Ellie in the doorway--a beautiful space for her beautiful photography!

Then we went on to Karine Swenson's place--always one of our favorite stops. We were sorely tempted this year by a large and extraordinary painting of a Joshua tree. For now, we've brought home a giclee of a jackrabbit--plus a winter hat for Bill crocheted by John Lauretig.

Next we visited Rik and Cat Livingston's studio, where this piece of yard art caught our attention. Rik and Cat produce an amazing array of humorous art, which is interspersed with their massive collections of comic books, action figures, and more.

After a delicious lunch at the Crossroads Cafe, we headed out to Wonder Valley and the studio of Perry Hoffman, where Mayah Martin also had work on display. I brought home this Buddha statue of hers.

Today we kept it simple, visiting two more of our favorites: Ellen Hill and Mike Smiley. We finally sprung for one of Mike's iconic small statues, a hawk carved in limestone.

If you're in the area and feel inspired to check out the tours, they continue next weekend--Ellie, Ellen, and Mike's studios will be open then, too, and Mayah will be showing at a different location in Pioneertown. Full details are available by clicking here

Sunday, October 17, 2010


There have been many reports recently of bighorn sheep sightings at Barker Dam in the national park. A few weeks ago Phyllis, Richard and I went out to try our luck. And we were rewarded: after waiting for about an hour, a bighorn showed up right around dusk. He is standing on the rocks in the center of the photo above. (Thanks to Phyllis, both for spotting the sheep and taking this photo!)

This is the first bighorn I have ever seen, and it was a treat. He was not large but incredibly graceful. We watched him cross this grassy area above the dam and climb up onto the rocks in the photo above.

I welcome any excuse just to sit somewhere in the park for awhile and to look at the rocks. These rocks seem to be defying any possible laws of probability.

We got to enjoy the sunset light as well.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


This past Wednesday, the True World Gallery in Joshua Tree hosted a visit of art cars traveling from Los Angeles to the Salton Sea. The cars were parked in front of the gallery on Hwy. 62 for all to see. The reception was followed by an art car movie, "Automorphosis," screened out back in the Starlite Courtyard.

This winged car was one of our favorites. As you can see in the photo to the right, there are steps up the back to reach a couple of deluxe viewing chairs.

The man behind the tour, and the movie, is Harrod Blank, who has made art cars his life. The Camera Van is his creation. Some of the cameras mounted on the car actually take pictures, and he can set the flashes to go off in a light show display.

Above is a rear view, and to the right some of the fun detail work on the camera van.

Appropriately, this car was playing mariachi music!

We loved the Automorphosis movie. The creativity of art car geeks is astounding, and you will laugh your head off. You can learn more about the movie and Harrod's other endeavors by clicking here or here. (You can order the Automorphosis DVD for $25 by emailing Harrod.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Early Morning Storms

For the past few days we have had early morning thunderstorms. One day we were wakened at 4 am by blinding flashes of light that filled the entire sky. The storm appeared to be right on top of us. Thunder and rain followed, clearing by sunrise, when a rainbow appeared in a huge arc covering our entire western view. These photos show the two ends of the rainbow and the glorious early morning light on the rocks.

This morning around 6 am we went outside to watch an amazing light show, with constant flashes of lightning stretching 180 degrees from Joshua Tree National Park to 29 Palms and the marine base.

Some of the lightning strikes have started fires, but nothing major. One report described a lone Joshua tree being struck, which inspired this poem.

Needed Elsewhere

The sleeping world saw no sign
of a storm, until, before dawn,
a soundless sky flashed white,
and white again, an electric field
searching for an outlet.
A slender, jagged bolt
struck a single Joshua tree
and reduced it to a cinder.
Is anything random?
Were those spiked arms
needed elsewhere, to hold
something unnamed,
in a place without form?