Sunday, December 26, 2010

Xmas at the Purifoy Site

Our friends Judy, Timothy, and Susan came up from the low desert on Xmas day, and we drove out to the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum. I've blogged about this place before, and probably will again--there's so much to see that it's a new experience each time.

Basically, what this experience consists of is wandering at will around 7.5 acres of assemblage sculptures made by Noah Purifoy, primarily during the 1990s. They are weathering and decaying, as he intended they would--he was interested in how nature participates in the creative process. A good example is the bird's nest inside the bag in the photo above.

Here are Bill, Timothy, and Judy looking at a wall of plaques, above; and Susan in front of more fun stuff, right.

Below: more photos of fab found object art. (Love those bowling balls!) Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Censorship Show

Last night, we attended the opening of the Art Censorship Show at Gretchen Grunt's 29 Palms Creative Center. Here's Gretchen, shaking it up in front of the anti-censorship message.

It all began a few weeks ago, when this piece by artist Rik Livingston was censored after being accepted as part of his exhibit at the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce. The issue was resolved after scores of local artists came out in support of Rik, and the whole affair inspired the Censorship Show.

Here's Bill with "Trashy Lingerie," a black-and-white image he took of a Los Angeles storefront in the 1970s.

Here's our friend Robert Morris (aka Roberto), also formerly of Santa Barbara, with some of his expertly altered images that insert nudes, classical architecture, and mythological figures into the landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park.

Huell Howser came out to support the effort (he has a home in the area). Here he is with Suzanne Ross in front of her piece.

It wasn't all just nudes--there were some offbeat interpretations of the theme as well, like Robyn Goudy's piece above. To the right, lovebirds Suzanne and Robyn.

Don't miss it! The show runs through January 18--for more info click here

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meditation Garden Dedication

The Meditation Garden at Sky's the Limit had its dedication ceremony on Sunday, December 5. Bill is the garden's official photographer, so unless otherwise noted, the photos on this post are his--thanks Bill! Above: an overview of the garden and the assembled crowd, looking towards 29 Palms.

This project came about due to the vision and persistence of Ray Yeager, aided by his wife, Shirley. (That's my photo above.) Ray designed the garden according to the centuries-old tradition of Japanese dry landscape gardening. The rocks are carefully chosen for their shapes and precisely placed according to the guidelines in an 11th century Zen Buddhist garden manual, which stipulates that such a garden should reflect the local scenery.

The ceremony featured chanting by two Buddhist monks from the local Thai Forest Monks' Monastery in Landers. Yes, it is true, the Thai Forest Monks live in the desert, where they are creating a beautiful oasis--with lots of trees, of course.

After the chanting, Abbot Pradit Abhijato sprinkled water on the attendees, then circled the garden and sprinkled water on it. The sun chose that very moment to come out. The boundary of Joshua Tree National Park comes right up to the edge of the Meditation Garden--there couldn't be a better spot for a garden like this. There's also a Nature Trail with benches for contemplation like this one, dedicated by our friends Phyllis and Richard Schwartz.

For more information about Sky's the Limit--which has plans for an Observatory and Nature Center on the site--click here

Monday, December 6, 2010


We spent the afternoon in the park on the day after Thanksgiving. At some point before Hidden Valley, we just pulled over, crossed the road and headed overland. I don't know the name of the spot where we were, but some climbers were there, too, in and around these rocks.

The trees and bushes were so thick in places that I would almost call the landscape riparian. You can get an idea on the left side of the photo above.

We hiked out to a ridge of rocks and back, and on the return trip I found a snakeskin stuck in a bush. It was completely colorless, and from a long, thin snake. When I picked it up, it broke in two and I ended up leaving it behind in the last patch of sun. (I'm told that one is not supposed to take home such things, in any case.) It's the first snakeskin I've ever found, and I felt lucky.

A few more treasures from this walk. Above: Boulder Formation 101. Right: how exactly do things like this happen? Below: a glorious golden yucca blossom, paper-thin by now, a miracle that all the pieces have not yet blown away.