Monday, February 20, 2017

Pretty Lady

There is a temporary park set up on a vacant lot near downtown Phoenix and this mural has shown up on the wall at the park.  I'm sure one day, someone will build something on this lot but for now it's set up with a picnic table and this covered shelter.  The mural is by Gennaro Garcia.  I like it!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Stormy Weather

Have you heard about all the rain they are getting in California?  Well a little of it has made it's way over here to the desert.  Not quite as much rain as the coast (yet) but, it was certainly a dull and drippy day yesterday.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's Laundry day in Italy.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Celebrity Chef Sighting

Last Saturday night, I joined some friends to try out a brand new restaurant in Phoenix called Mora Italian.  It's a new restaurant created by celebrity chef Scott Conant, a well known New York restaurateur and one of the judges on the Food Network television show "Chopped".

And, the chef himself was in the house supervising the kitchen staff and overseeing the very crowded dining room.

I had the spaghetti pomodoro which was delicious.  I think everyone at the table tried something different and everyone of us were very pleased with our choices.  I'll be back.

Friday, February 17, 2017

More Art

To wrap up my series from the Celebration of Fine Arts, I have two more art pieces that caught my eye.  Above we have a piece by artist Delmar Pettigrew.  It's an American flag created with flattened soda and beer cans.  What could be more American than that?  Delmar is a painter and sculptor.

I really enjoyed this painting by Pete Tillack called "Bull Market".  I really enjoy looking at Pete's work.  He does gorgeous paintings full of symbolism and expression.  Click his link to get a better looks at some of his works.

You can also click on this link for more about the Celebration of Fine Arts in Scottsdale.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gedion Nyanhongo

Another artist I visited with at the Celebration of Fine Art is Gedion Nyanhongo.  Gedion lives in Phoenix but, he was born in Zimbabwe.  He creates sculptures in a variety of colorful stones.  I featured posts about Gedion and his work before here and here.

If you click on Gedion's link above, you will see more photos of his beautiful work.

I'm always happy to see Gedion's work around the city and I'm thrilled to see him at work every year at this event.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

More Fine Art

When I was at the Celebration of Fine Art last Friday, I enjoyed meeting Terrell Powell and seeing his whimsical art works.  This colorful tower of birds made me smile.

Terrell told me about a project he's hosting to create colorful benches to be placed in children's hospitals or doctors offices.  It's called the Children's Art Bench Project.

Terrell's art pieces are sure to put a smile on everyone's face.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day

Nothing says Valentines Day like a bunch of roses!  Well, maybe a box of chocolates would also say it.  

So I'll add a photo of some very pretty chocolates that I brought back from my trip to London last fall.  Sadly, they are all gone now.  Roses and all says Happy Valentines Day.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Celebration of Fine Art

Every year around this time I visit the Celebration of Fine Art, the art event that takes place every year between mid-January through March.  It's now in its 27th year.  There are 100 artists from all over the country who gather here to work and sell their art.  And, every year I stop to visit with Sue Averell at her booth at the event.  I first met Sue many years ago at an art event in San Francisco and I've been admiring her work ever since.  She specializes in urban landscape and botanical paintings.  I was astounded by this huge piece she has completed recently.  It has so many elements to it combining painting and sculpture.  I love it!  Click the link above to visit Sue's web site.  You will see more of her work there.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter Blooms

Every year when I see these flowering pear trees start to bloom, I think it's way to early for them but, a quick look through my past photos reveals that it's right on time.  In fact, some of my past shots were taken  in late January.

I'm always looking up into these beautiful trees when I take these photos but, this time I was looking down.  I found a tree growing in a courtyard setting so I shot these images from above the tree.

These little white blooms are pretty from any angle.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  If you like beautiful patterns, be sure to check it out.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Bees and The Flowers

The bees seem to love these tiny purple flowers.  They were all congregating around this plant at the Desert Botanical Garden when I was there last weekend.

Since the plant was hanging over the side of a wall, it put the flowers right at eye level so I could zoom in on these busy little creatures.

I hope they enjoy these blooms while they last.  If I remember correctly, this plant blooms early in the season and then is mostly green the rest of the year.

I love the way the garden has used the flowers around the edge of this 6 foot high planter.  It gave me a sort of sweeping view looking up at the tall cactus growing above me.

Friday, February 10, 2017


The shadows of this tree against a white wall was suddenly very appealing to me so I took a few shots.  I was standing in a parking lot at the time.

I can't decide which I like better, the one with the top of the wall showing or the one where I've zoomed in a little to show only the tree, the wall and the shadows.  What do you think?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Aloe Blooms

When I was at the Desert Botanical Garden last weekend, I saw a lot of aloe plants showing off their abundance of blooms.  I love how there is such a variety of blooms to see.

The bees were happy to see these blooms too!

The blooms come in colors ranging from red to orange, to yellow.

Some of them are tall and shapely while others are short and squat.

The yellow ones were just beginning to open up.

These on the Mountain Aloe have a sort of shaggy look to them.
As always, there is a lot to see at the garden even when only a few things are blooming.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Arizona Canal

The Arizona Canal dates back the 1880's and is part of the vast Salt River Project water distribution system in the Phoenix area.  The canal runs 50 miles through Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria and Mesa.  In Scottsdale it serves as the center point for what is called the Scottsdale Waterfront.  I've posted about that before here.  A little bit past the Scottsdale Waterfront area, the canal runs under Scottsdale road and emerges again on the other side.  Many times driving past this intersection, I've noticed the pedestrian bridge across the canal and all the bell-like structures on the side of it.  I finally made a point of taking a closer look.

I really thought I'd hear some tones with the water flowing over these bells but, all I could hear was the gurgling water.

It's an interesting feature that is part of the Scottsdale Public Arts project along the canal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dvorak & Vivaldi

On Saturday evening, I went to the Musical Instrument Museum's concert hall to see the Chamber group of the Phoenix Symphony perform.  It was my first time to see a performance in this space and I was impressed.  It is a small theater with an excellent line of vision down to the stage.

The chamber group performed Dvorak's Serenade in E Major for the first half and a favorite of mine, Vivaldi's Four Seasons in the second half.  The soloist is Steven Moeckel who is the concert master for the Phoenix Symphony and who has performed as a soloist around the world.  I met Steven several weeks ago after a symphony performance through my good friend David and Saturday evening I got to meet his parents who were visiting Phoenix to see him perform.  Steven is a superb performer and an all-around nice guy.  I feel privileged to know him.  Oh, and the performance of The Four Seasons was nothing short of spectacular.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mural with a Story to Tell

There is a huge mural in downtown Phoenix that I've wanted to feature on my blog for a long time.  I finally got all the facts together along with some photos.  It's located on the side of the headquarters for Valley Youth Theater and it's part of a much bigger project called "Water Writes" which is a part of the Estria Foundation.  The mural depicts how water is central to the success and prosperity of Arizona.  Phoenix was chosen for one of these "Water Writes" murals because of our critical water issues.  Other places where a "Water Writes" mural has been located are California, Honolulu, British Columbia, Colombia, El Salvador, Gaza Strip, Philippines and South Africa.

The central figure of the mural is a pregnant woman representing Mother Earth.  She is pregnant with twins who represent good and evil which describes the choices we make with our environment and impact those choices will have on future generations.

The mural depicts how we use water in Arizona.  Sometimes for farming

And other times for mining.  The mural was painted by a team of 15 local artists.  It's pretty spectacular.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Butterflies and Birds

I took a long walk at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday and found quite a few butterflies out gathering the sweets from the flowers.  The Baja Fairy Duster plant had at least a dozen of them fluttering around it.

This one was kind enough to pose with his wings spread for a while.  He was probably soaking up the warm sunshine.

And this little verdin was calling to me from the tree.  He was flitting from branch to branch and chirping at the top of his lungs.  I think he was trying to get me to take a photo, so I did.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Any Dr. Who fans out there?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Whacky Sports Fans

You've all seen Mr. Orange before, the "super-fan" of the Phoenix Suns Basketball team.  I've featured him a few times on this site.  That spotted shirt is a first, though.

I spotted another one of those whacky fans at the last game I attended.

This time it's a lady with purple hair and an orange tutu.

You really have to be a devoted fan to dress up like this, don't you think?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Through the Portal

Located at the Scottsdale Civic Center park is a sculpture that I've passed hundreds of times and never stopped to take a closer look.  I finally caught sight of this view point last weekend and I thought to myself 'why haven't you noticed that before'.  We are looking through a portal in sculpture toward the colorful Saguaro Hotel.

The sculpture itself is a large stainless steel three sided peak.  In fact, it's called Mountains and Rainbows by an artist named Jose Y. Bermudez.  It was commissioned by the city of Scottsdale back in 1975.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sculptures at Home

When my friends and I were driving around last weekend looking at houses, we found a little hidden street in Scottsdale where we saw this house.  I almost missed those sculpted palm trees.  My friend pointed them out.  They are not the real kind but they do look real from a distance.

Nearby the palm tree sculpture, we saw this rather abstract buffalo hidden among the desert plants.  It was a very short street with only four houses on it but they certainly had a lot of things to admire.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Theme Day: Loving Life

On the first day of every month, City Daily Photo Bloggers post a photo based on defined theme.  The theme for February is "Loving Life".  I chose this photo of my friend Glenda and her dog Stella on one of the "Dog Days" at the Desert Botanical Garden.  Stella and Glenda are the best of friends as you can easily see from this photo.  They were certainly loving life on this fun outing at the garden.

If you would like see other City Daily Photo Bloggers posts about Loving Life, click here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Replacement

Back in 2013, I told you about a shopping center in Scottsdale that was built to look like a Tuscan village.  You can see that post here.  I mentioned that the center had been sold to a developer who had plans to tear it down and build a residential community.  Well, it's done and this is the replacement for that lovely Tuscan village.  It's called The Enclave.

One of my friends is actually looking for a new place in this area so we decided to stop in and take a look at one of the models.

However, the lobby is as far as we got.  It seems the models are only shown by appointment.  My friend hasn't decided if she will pursue that arrangement or not.  So, off we went to look at some other places.