Wednesday, February 10, 2016

More Spring Looks

Yesterday it was African daisies, today it's the flowering pear trees.  They both seem to show up around this time every year.  I saw this tree near an office complex with the tree reflected in the building's glass.

If I focus on the glass, I get a crazy-quilt of white flowers and branches.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Look of Spring

It's that time of year here in Arizona.  Things are starting to look very spring-like.  Yesterday I notice lots of yards full of African Daisies.

They really do make me smile when I see patches of them here and there.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Let's Here it for the Landscapers

On that same street I featured yesterday, one house stood out because of the landscaping.  I don't think I'd ever seen such a beautifully landscaped yard.  I don't even want to think of what it costs to keep all these hedges so neat and those flowers blooming.

Big flower pots overflowing with color coordinated flowers and a wall completely covered in some type of vines frame the front of this gorgeous house.  Notice how the flowers are running all along the bottom edge of the wall.

The house is quite large so those color coordinated flowers ran for quite a distance.  And, that row of equally sized trees running along the inside of the wall.  It was all quite breathtaking.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Wandering in the City

When I was headed home from Scottsdale recently, on a whim I decided to take a residential street across town instead of the usual busy Camelback corridor.  I'm so glad I did.  I discovered some beautiful homes in and area I had never seen before.

This one and the one above where very large on huge properties with lots of trees.  They didn't really look like Arizona at all.

I liked the look of this home with all the windows and neatly trimmed yard.  I see at least 8 gables but I bet there were more in the back.

I'd love to see the stairway inside the round tower on this one.  This place was a little more like the Spanish style that is known in the southwest.

This one is a more traditional ranch style home but those old olive trees in front against that grey and overcast sky added a bit of mystery to it.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  In the same spirit of adventure as this post, I'm taking a road less traveled.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sculpture Garden

The Scottsdale Museum of the West also had a small sculpture garden that I found to be quite attractive.

The back wall of the garden is a work of art in itself.  It's called "Weeping Wall" by landscape architect Colwell Shelor.  The wastewater that collects from the heating and cooling systems is diverted through the wall and into the planter in the center of the courtyard.  The running water over the metal wall makes beautiful patterns.

A museum of the west would not be complete without an Allan Houser sculpture.  This one is called "Apache Cradleboard".

This sculpture by Doug Hyde is called "Evening Chat" and it sits in the center of the garden.  I love the very calming a peaceful look it has.

If you live in Arizona or are visiting the state, this museum has a lot to offer.  Be sure to put it on your list of places to visit.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Depicting the West

The Scottsdale Museum of the West has a huge collection of art works on various themes.  One set of paintings (and bronzes) told the story of the Lewis & Clark 1804 expeditions through the uncharted west to find a trade route to the Pacific Ocean.  Several of the men on the expedition kept journals of the trip describing what they saw, people they met and the perils along the way.  200 years after the event, artist Charles Fritz used those journals to create works of art telling the story.  The above photo is of a painting called "We Proceed On".  The artist states that throughout the journals the words "we proceed on" appeared many times indicating the drive to keep going and continue their mission.  He painted this image to represent that spirit to press on.

This painting is called "Descending the Grand Falls of the Columbia" and it shows what looks to me like the perilous way it was necessary to lower the boats down the falls.  These must have been some pretty tough and determined people.  I could never have stood on that rock between rushing waters waiting for a boat to be lowered down to me.

No museum about the west would be complete without some Native American influence in the art.  This painting titled "Caught Between Two Worlds" by John Moyers of Albuquerque New Mexico has that influence.  In this painting, Moyers is displaying how indigenous cultures are now living in an increasingly diverse and transforming world.

Moyer is a member of Cowboy Artists of America and the museum is showing and exhibition of artwork from all 77 members of the group.

This last painting was a favorite of mine.  I loved the simplicity of it as well as the intensity.  It's a painting by Bev Doolittle and the only thing in this painting that reminded me of a Bev Doolittle painting was the horse.   To see some of Bev Doolittle's work and compare for yourself, click here.

I cropped the photo above down to just the painting so you could see the image more clearly.  The man sitting by his campfire is reaching for his rifle because he hears something and it appears the horse hears it too.  The title of this piece is "Unknown Presence".

Tomorrow I'll end with a view of the sculpture garden at this museum.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Western Art

After my visit to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art I thought I'd stop in at the brand new Scottsdale Museum of the West and see what they had to offer.  I have to say I was a bit surprised.  I didn't expect such big museum judging from the building on the outside.  And, I was surprised at everything they had on exhibit.  Every thing from sculptures, paintings, craftwork, jewelry to western gear.

Take a look at this collection of saddles and behind them the cases of other horse gear from spurs to saddle blankets.   Tomorrow I'll show you some of the artwork on display.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Yo Soy...Je Sui...I Am....The Future

While I was at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday, I popped in to the Young@art Gallery to see what was on display.  The exhibit was from the annual VSA International Art Program for Children with Disabilities art exhibition.  The children were asked to answer these questions in their artistic expressions:
Who will I be in the future?
Where will I live?
What are my hopes and dreams?
How will I change the world?
The art was very inspiring.  The photo above is from 10-year old Aden C. of Manassas Virginia.  It's called Colorful Patterns and being a lover of all patterns, it really appealed to me.

16-year old Nicholas B created the piece above called Symphony Rift.  Nicholas is from Wahiawa Hawaii and I'd say he has an exceptional artistic talent.

This last one is from 18-year old Hali G. from Arizona and it's called simply "self-portrait".
The VSA organization was founded by Jean Kennedy Smith 35 years ago and is now part of the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Still Tickin'

I visited the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday to see an exhibit that had just opened.  I missed the opening night reception on Friday evening because of another commitment so I headed over first thing on Saturday to check it out.

The show is called Betye Saar:  Still Tickin' so it seems appropriate to show you this piece from the show first.  The name of the show could have several meanings but, the one that resonated with me is the fact that Ms. Saar is 89 years old and still creating art.  Or as she puts it; "still spinning on my ninetieth revolution around the sun."

Ms. Saar has been creating artworks since 1960 reflecting on African-American identity, spirituality and how different cultures are interconnected.

The show was divided into three themes:  nostalgia and memory; mysticism and ritual; and political and racial.  The above piece has a definite mystical theme with the table and chairs surrounded by natural elements and various Tarot cards.  One of the docents told me that the natural materials are gathered in whatever city the exhibit is taking place.  Members of staff helped to collect the tumbleweeds and branches for this display.

This piece was called "Loss of Innocence" with that christening dress hanging over a child's chair with a picture of a baby on it.

Upon closer look at the christening dress, you will find words that some people have used to describe a young African-American child.  It's easy to see that this piece falls into the political and racial theme.

This last photo is of a room full of pieces that that were all created with a color theme of red.  The bright red room really pulled me in and made me want to stay for a while.

It was an interesting and powerful show that I enjoyed very much.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Theme Day: Scenes from a Coffee House

Since I don't drink coffee, I had to ask my friends where would be a good coffee house to photograph.  They suggested a place called Copper Star which is located in an old remodeled gas station.  It was perfect.  I just walked inside and snapped a couple of photos and walked out.  I think only one person saw me.  Everyone else was busy enjoying their coffee and conversation.  That guy in the black shirt to the right was setting up to play some music.

And the girl behind the counter was way too busy making fancy coffee drinks to notice anyone with a camera in hand.  It worked out perfectly!

If you would like to see how other City Daily Photo bloggers have pictured a coffee house in their city, click here.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Old West Atmosphere

I was in Scottsdale yesterday and visited two museums.  I'll have more about those visits in the coming days after theme day.  Traffic in this city has gotten a little crazy lately with all kinds of events in town especially the Barrett-Jackson Auction which draws huge crowds.  I did a few posts about this show/auction with a few  photos of some pretty fantastic classic cars back in January of 2013 (remember the Batmobile?).  However, traffic didn't seem to bother this guy who was waiting for some passengers he could tour around old town Scottsdale.

Across the street from the stagecoach was another old wagon sitting on top of the Blacksmith shop.  Yes, there is a real blacksmith shop in old town Scottsdale but there isn't much horseshoe work done there.  It's mostly antiques and art piece that can be found in this place.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Take a quick tour of the National Gallery in Washington DC.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Different Perspective

I thought I'd post a few more photos from the David and Gladys Wright House with a little different perspective.  The photo above was taken on a cloudy day just before sunset.  This view is from the guest house to the north of the main house looking south.

This is a night view taken from the center of the house.  The walkway leading to the front door is behind me and the large window is looking into the living area.

This view is also from the center below the house looking at the master bedroom.

This last shot shows the design that is used to represent the organization that has been created to preserve the house.  I LOVE everything about that design!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Inside a Great House

Continuing from yesterday's post, today I'll show you the interior of the David and Gladys Wright House.  Above is the living area.  The owner who saved it from demolition is Zachary Rawlings and he has done an outstanding job of bringing the home back to life.  Much of the original furnishings had been given to museums across the country so new ones needed to be constructed.  Even that gorgeous carpet was recreated in the original design.

The master bedroom was located at the very end of the home in that circular area that is cantilevered out.  The headboard for the bed was built right into the wall (where that photo is located) so that the bed was positioned for maximum views.

Here is a close-up of the photo so you can see the position of the bed in this room.

This is one of the guest bedrooms with windows facing the west. 

Here is a photo of the kitchen.  The stove was behind me as the wall curved around.

To bring things full circle, Sarah Levi, the great-great granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright is now the Scholar in Residence.  So the home is still occupied by a member of the Wright family while being open to the public for tours that are scheduled by reservation.  

I for one am hoping that Mr. Rawlings plans to turn the property into a cultural and educational center are fulfilled.  He is currently drawing some heated opposition from some area residents who are worried about noise and traffic.  Mr. Rawlings is working very hard to create something that will benefit everyone and preserve an incredible historic structure with as little neighborhood disruption as possible. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Story of a Great House

In October of last year, I got my first look at the David and Gladys Wright house in Phoenix.  I actually poked my lens through a fence to snap the above photo.  My first thought was that it was the most amazing Frank Lloyd Wright house that I had ever seen in person.  Little did I know that I would soon become even more familiar with the place.  Through a series of friends, I've had the pleasure of touring the house on several occasions.  (The above photo is take from west looking east.)

Over the past four years, news of the house has been circulating quite rapidly especially on my side of the city, close to the actual structure.  You see, the home was days away from demolition when a local businessman purchased it in 2012 and saved what is deemed one 20 of Wright's most important buildings of his career.  In fact, when the contractor hired to demolish the house saw it, he became concerned that an important FLW house would be destroyed in error and he called the city and the demolition permit was voided.  (The above photo is taken from the east side looking west.)

David Wright was the son of Frank Lloyd Wright and when he purchased the land he asked his father who was 84 at the time to design a home for him and his wife.

And, what a design he created.  The home sits like a coiled snake on the property rising upward to take in the spectacular views of Camelback Mountain.  In 1952 when the home was completed, there were citrus groves surrounding the home and from the windows you could see Camelback Mountain over a carpet of green from the trees.

The walk that encircles the house goes all the way up to the rooftop where the wide view of Camelback Mountain can be seen in all it's splendor.  That building just below is the guesthouse which was completed on the property a few years after the home was completed.

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you some photos from inside this fantastic architectural beauty.  

The theme for City Daily Photo bloggers on February 1 is
"A Scene from a Cafe or Coffee House.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mesa Arts Center

I drove out to Mesa on Friday to have lunch with a close friend I hadn't seen a while and I decided while I was there to stop by the Mesa Art Center to take some photos.  It really is an impressive art center with not only performance spaces but places for workshops and classes too.  It has a very contemporary design with a lot of attractive features.

One of the great features is this stream of water that runs from one end of the center's campus to the other.  You can see a little of it in the photo on top too.

And here you can see where the stream begins with the water gushing from those pipes above.

This photo shows the performance center from the Main Street side of the facility.

Near the back of the facility, the stream ends and this covered walkway takes it's place artistically mimicking the look of the stream of water.  

I took a whole lot more photos at this place so I'll throw a few more in here and there.

The theme for City Daily Photo bloggers on February 1 is
"A Scene from a Cafe or Coffee House.