Saturday, August 17, 2019

Global Transport

When my plane landed in Phoenix two weeks ago when I returned from California, I saw this huge aircraft parked to one side with a nose cone that lifted up revealing a ramp to drive something into the belly of the plane.  I was curious about it so I zoomed in on the photo to see what was printed on the side.  It reads "Volga-Dneper".  I did a little investigating and found that it is a company based in Ulyanovsk, Russia that specializes in providing air charter services.  It operates a fleet of twelve AN-124 Boeing 747-8F aircraft that are certified for global transport operations.  Now I'm very curious to know what it was doing here.  Was it bringing something big here or is it taking something big away. Who knows!

Friday, August 16, 2019


I was driving around in the far north of Phoenix last weekend when I passed this grand entrance with what looked like a very long drive.  I turned around to get a closer look wondering what this sanctuary was.  I drove down the long, well-manicured drive and finally came to a locked gate that was operated with a remote control or coded key-pad.  Behind it was a subdivision of houses.  From what I could see, the houses were nice but they weren't especially elaborate.  The entrance sure is.  It must make the people who live there feel like they are entering a little paradise.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A"Head" of the Competition

I noticed this giant head perched at the entrance to the Goodman's Furniture store so I stopped to take a photo.

Goodman's sells office furniture so I'm not quite sure how this fellow fits in with the marketing of desks and the chairs that fit under them.  However, there he is sitting rather proudly on his tall platform.

I guess you could say he drew me in and I'm certainly not in the market for office furniture.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

In-Fill Housing

I live in the heart of Phoenix in an area that has been well established for a long time.  However, when I drive around my area, I see lots and lots of construction on condominiums that have been squeezed into small spaces surrounded by older homes.  Most of the time, they blend into the neighborhood very well.

Every now and then, I find one like this that seems to be such a stark contrast to the little brick houses that are all around it.  This one is simply way to severe to suit my taste.  I'm afraid it makes me think of a prison block.

This one is also very angular and plain but, at least the paint colors make it more appealing.  One of these days, I'm going to roam around these places and have a look at the models.  That would be fun.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Random Observations

Just a few random observations I've made recently around town.  Here's a guy who loves a wide range of Rock and Roll.  He rolled up next to me at a traffic light.

I spotted this guy talking to someone in a parking lot.  He obviously likes living on the wild side.

An unusual name for a hair salon.  I shot this one through the windshield so its a bit hazy.

A little tableau I noticed at a local antique store.  The brush and mirror and jars are very attractive.

Flying over a house in my neighborhood.  Just a little out of place.

Monday, August 12, 2019

It's All About the Hats

I took these photos at one of the galleries in Scottsdale three years ago and I noticed them again when I was organizing photo files.  The only problem was, I didn't know who the artist was.  So, when I ventured out to Scottsdale for the art walk last Thursday, I made a point of visiting the same gallery to see if they had any more from this artist.

They didn't so I asked the gallery owner if he remembered these paintings and he did. The artist is Victor Ostrovsky and I learned that he has retired from painting because of an illness.

What strikes me about these paintings is that they look more like mural art than paintings on canvas.  I could picture one of these on a wall or the side of building.

Looking at his web site, these images look like they are part of his "Metaphors of Espionage" series.

They are certainly an interesting take on a typical landscape.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Revisiting The Last Supper

When I went on that art walk last Thursday evening, one of the galleries I stopped at was Sacred Art Gallery.  I probably wouldn't have stopped in if it hadn't been 105 degrees outside, and the air conditioning inside was beckoning.  As it turns out, I'm glad I stepped inside and found this "painting" that caught my eye immediately.  It looked so much like the real thing I had seen two months ago in Milan Italy.  I approached and looked at the tag and saw that this was a giclee print and the artist was rightfully credited to Leonardo da Vinci.  I talked with the gallery employee and learned that many of the pieces in the the store were giclee prints of famous religious art.  It's good to know that this piece of art that is in so much peril will live on in photos and artwork for centuries to come.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm at the third stop on the tour of Milan and there is an amusing story to tell.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Scottsdale Art Walk

I was sorting through photos again last week when I came across several photos I had taken when I went on the weekly art walk in Scottsdale.  I got to thinking that I hadn't done that in a while and figured I should do it again when they start up in the fall.  I checked their schedule and discovered they do it all year long.  So Thursday evening I headed over to Scottsdale to see what the art walk was like on a hot August night.  Quiet would be the word that comes to mind.  Not many people were out admiring the art and many of the galleries were closed for vacations but I pushed on and visited around eight different galleries.  It was all on a stretch of three blocks so I wasn't out in the heat for long periods of time.  I snapped the above photo when I was crossing the street at the corner of Main and Scottsdale Road.  I snapped three shots before I got one without any cars crossing in front.  Scottsdale Road is pretty busy.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Old Adobe Mission

The Old Adobe Mission is located right in the heart of downtown Scottsdale.  It's official name is Our Lady of Perpetual Help and it was built by hand by Mexican immigrants who settled in Scottsdale in the early 1900's.  In 2001, the city of Scottsdale had it placed on the Register of Historic Buildings.

I love taking pictures of it's snow-white bell tower against a perfect blue sky!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Clouds Seen From Below & Above

It's that time of year when we get build ups of clouds every afternoon.  The monsoon season was a little late getting here but it has finally arrived.  However, we aren't seeing as much rainfall as in the past.  It seems to rain all around us but Phoenix just gets left out.

It was fun seeing all those clouds from above as we approached Phoenix last Sunday evening.  It's one of the reasons I always get a window seat when I return from California.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Four Days to Cool Down

I just spent four wonderful days in beautiful (and relatively cool) California, my annual summer visit to escape the Arizona heat for a few days.

I did every thing I love to do there.  Walks on the beach photographing sand pipers and watching the waves crash on the rocks are two must do's when visiting.

The Marriott Newport Coast Vacation Resort has a wonderful Lily Pond and the lilies were especially beautiful this year.  I took dozens of photos.

I also visited my favorite California garden, Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona Del Mar.  That cute little sea otter was still there holding the watering hose.

I really hated to leave that nice sea breeze and return to 109 degrees!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tempe....from Above

Flying into Phoenix  Sunday evening, I managed to get a pretty good shot of Gammage Auditorium on the ASU campus.  That's the Frank Lloyd Wright designed building I've posted photos of before.  (The round building below Gammage is the ASU Music building.)

But, in case you forgot what it looks like (from the ground), here is another photo.  I love that flight back from Orange County because it's only an hour long and it flies over territory that I'm familiar with so I can easily recognize landmarks on the ground.  It follows Interstate 10 most of the way and I've driven that road to California many times.  What I haven't seen on that drive are the large number of solar farms between here and there.  Huge fields of solar panels are visible from the air all the way across the desert.

Monday, August 5, 2019


This little house is located on Osborne Road between 3rd and 7th Streets.  I think it is used as an office building at the present.  I love this butterfly mural on the side of the building.

However, finding information on the artist was a bit tricky.  The signature to the left gave me a clue as it appears to be linked to someone named David Lopez but, photos of his art work are so vastly different from this that I'm not sure it's the same person.  It will remain a bit of a mystery.

Linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Tributary Wall

There is a 10 foot high wall that runs along Goldwater Avenue in Scottsdale that separates the busy street and the huge Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall to the east from the neighborhood of homes to the west.  It was originally built as a sound abatement wall to protect the neighborhood behind the wall from the traffic noise.

The artist, Kevin Berry was selected to design a wall that would fit the environment and be pleasing to look at.  This water and fish design was selected because of the wall's proximity to the canal.  It celebrates the water in our desert that makes living here possible.  I enjoy seeing this wall every time I drive past it.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I think I found the most elaborate Apple store in the world.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Organizing Photo Files

The Phoenix Art Museum has not done an Arts & Flowers event since 2015.  I'm not sure why they haven't been doing it but I do miss that event.  I decided last weekend that I would move all my photos from the various Arts & Flowers events from one big art museum folder and put them in a separate folder.  While I was doing that, I noticed that one of my all time favorite paintings had been represented with flowers three times over the years.  The photo above is the arrangement made in April of 2014.  This painting, by the way, is called Desert Rain God by Louisa McElwain.  I posted about it here.

The one above is from the 2012 event.  I think this one is my favorite of all three representations.  It seems to mirror the painting the most.

This last one dates back to March of 2011.  Organizing photo files is the kind of thing I do when it's just too hot outside to be out and about.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Back Up Plan

I had a back-up plan for yesterday's theme day post.  I could use one of my many over-exposed photos of Anish Kapoor's sculpture "Upside Down, Inside Out".  After all, it's a very large black object.  I posted a photo of this sculpture last year when I finally got a photo that wasn't over exposed.

Another option was to post this photo inside an art work called (it's a long name) "You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies".  The artist, Yayoi Kusama created a completely black room with thousands of LED lights strung on long threads. You enter the room in one door and you have to make your way through the room to the exit through a different door.  It makes me very nervous to go in this room and try to find the exit, so it took a lot of guts for me to go in there a few weeks ago just to get this shot!  😱

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Theme Day: Black

The theme for City Daily Photo Bloggers for August 1st is "Black" and I have to say, I was wondering what I should post for this omnipresent color.  As luck would have it, the object presented itself when I went to the Heard Museum almost two weeks ago.  Do you remember my post about the show called "Color Riot"?  Well, in conjunction with that show, the museum had set up a room where guests could play around with color themselves and they had all kinds of colorful crafts available.

On the wall decorating this room were a row of colorful sheep with Navajo words printed below each.  So the word beneath each animal was the Navajo word for that color.  So "Lizhin" (I can't make that fancy "L") means Black.

What could have been more perfect?  I knew when I saw that cute black sheep that I had my theme day photo.  So, once again, the black sheep of the family stands out from the crowd!

To see other "Black" scenes from other cities, click here.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Rocky Creation with a Touch of Humor

When I went to the Arizona Heritage Museum a few weeks ago, I saw one amusing display that I found very creative and fun to look at.  The display was located in a room dedicated to minerals and it was called "Banquet of Rocks".  The description reads:  "A Banquet of Rocks is the result of 35 years of fun by Arless and Margaret Nixon of Phoenix Arizona.  With the help of friends, they created a king's feast of rocks that look like food."  Above we see the breakfast plate with pancakes, bacon and an egg.  In the background is a slice of lemon meringue pie.

For lunch we have a hamburger with French fries, pickles and some olives and Swiss cheese on the other plate in the back.

And, look at what's for dinner.  I see a steak and a potato and some mushrooms and carrots and in the center some peas.

The entire menu is printed on the card behind the display along with the minerals that made up each food item.  I wonder which one or two of these rock discoveries, started this collection rolling.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Grand Procession

When I went to the Heard Museum a week ago to see the show "Color Riot", I also saw another temporary exhibit called "Grand Procession".   It consisted of "Contemporary Plains Indian Dolls from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection".  These were a type of Indian craft that I had not seen before and they were beautiful.  It's an exceptional collection of what some call "soft sculptures".  All of the 23 dolls included represent indigenous peoples from the Great Plains and Great Basin regions who lived during the late 19th century.

I found the dolls to be intricately designed  with leather clothing and tiny micro-beads and feathers.

They represent beautifully detailed work by Jamie Okuma, Rhonda Holy Bear and three generations of the Growing Thunder family, Joyce and Jessa Rae Growing Thunder and Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Masked Man

I found this mural on the wall of an enclosed patio that belongs to the Steven Paul Salon in Scottsdale.  It has a mythical and theatrical flair to it that appealed to me.  I went inside the salon to ask who the artist was fully expecting that no one would know.  I was wrong, they did know.  It was painted by John Enright.

Linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Bell, The Flower and The Wash

I found out that Ilan Averbuch (see yesterday's post) has another public art sculpture in the area, this one located in Scottsdale.  This one is called The Bell, The Flower and The Wash.  The large metal sculptures look like bells or flowers and were inspired by the fireman's bells.  It's located next to a fire station.  The vessel that is open to the sky will collect water when it rains and there is an underground pipe below the sculpture that lets the water flow underground until it opens into a park.

If we ever have a long, rainy day, I'll have to remember this and drive over to see how this works.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking in the second stop on my half day tour of Milan.

Saturday, July 27, 2019


When our light rail system was first opened back in 2008, it was agreed that every station would have public art.  A team of artists and city engineers were assembled to assess where to place the art and how large it should be.  This piece called Landmark is the largest and was placed at the Central Avenue and Camelback Road station because it offered the most amount of land to place something this large.  The sculpture is by Ilan Averbuch, a sculptor from New York.  Averbuch also served on that original team developing the concept of art at every station.  This piece consists of a 24 foot circle of desert stone with steel and stone abstract figures that cross though the circle in an endless march.  This piece has always made me think of that old TV show called "Stargate".  Remember that one?