Monday, February 18, 2019

Early Blooms

There were only a few things blooming at the garden last Saturday.  This pretty, purple bloom was on the Arizona Sophora tree.  I thought it was Texas Mountain Laurel when I saw it but the sign said Arizona Sophora.  So, I looked it up and it looks like it's from the same family.

This one is a favorite of mine.  It's called Purple Coral Pea vine.  The garden has it planted so that it tumbles over a tall wall.  I do like purple flowers.

The aloe are blooming too and since the garden has a huge selection of them, there are blooms similar to these everywhere you look.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Dramatic Sky

There was a big celebration at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday!  It was the garden's 80th anniversary!  I attended a brunch at the garden and then walked all of the trails!  The whole time I was there, I thought it would pour down rain on us but, it never did.  However, we had some pretty dramatic skies.  I took this profile of Camelback Mountain with those wonderful clouds above from the highest view point in the garden.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I have photos from The Cloisters!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

More Rain for the Dessert

We've had more rain in the Phoenix area since last Thursday.  

It's a blessing for the dessert.  It helps to make the spring flowers bloom!
I'm looking forward to some dessert color coming our way.

Friday, February 15, 2019


I was driving around the Camelback Mountain foothills when I spotted this rather tall mail box holder.  Someone has created an artistic twist to an everyday occurrence.   I wonder if the home owner gives this straight-edged fellow a "high-five" when they gather the daily mail.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentines Day!

I bought this pretty little tart simply to photograph it to use for my Valentines Day post.  
Then of course, I had to eat it myself.  Oh the things we bloggers do for the sake of our blogs!  😁

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Recognizable Art

I thought since I had a post about some questionable art/fashion yesterday, I should have a post today that included some art that is easily recognizable as such.  This wall-sized painting called "Processing Sheep" by William Franklin Midgette fits the bill.  There is no denying this life-sized painting is a true work of art.

I hadn't been over to the South Wing of the museum in a while so it was refreshing to browse around the European and American art pieces.  And, you can tell from the second photo that I almost had the place to myself.  I'm not sure why this wing was so quiet last Friday but it was certainly a relaxing visit.

I added the painting to the left because it really struck my curiosity.  I don't remember seeing it before and I think it is quite beautiful with that handsome young man reading his book in a lovely garden.  The description card said that the artist was unknown but that for a time it was credited to Camille Pissarro.  I like it very much.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Is It Fashion....or, Is It Art?

Last Sunday, I told you about the Fashion exhibit that was at the Phoenix Art Museum and I posted the one design I thought was wearable.  Not by me of course, but by maybe a tall fashion model.  And, it was also artistic in it's own way.  That is more than I can say for some of the others in the show.

This ensemble to the left is created by a fashion house called Maison Margiela and it is what I'd call "off-the-wall" crazy.  It's not what I would call wearable so is it art?

I did a little research on the fashion house and I learned that they are known for deconstructive and avant-garde designs using unconventional materials.

I cropped the photo down to the shoes so you could see how the shoes are covered in hosiery that is bunched up around the heel and across the front of the shoe.  Very, very strange.

However, that wasn't as strange as the fashions from the same design house that were playing in the video the museum had on display.  I snapped a couple of photos to show you.  This lady looks like she has put on every coat in her closet.

And, this lady looks like she's wrapped her self in a bolt of fabric and is carrying the whole bolt with her.  The information I read about the design house also said that they tend to hold live shows in unusual settings and the model's faces are often obscured by fabric or goggles.  Supposedly to direct attention to the "clothes" and the designs.  (I put "clothes" in quotes because I'm not sure they actually qualify as clothes.)  I was able to find the actual video that the museum was using and I've put a link to it here.  It's well worth a peek even if it's just for a laugh or two.  The bracelets to hold cell phones are a clever addition on some of the models in the video.

I think this type of design is an aspect of fashion (or art) that I just don't get.  However, if the purpose is to get one talking about it, then it worked.  That is exactly what I'm doing.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Those Flowering Pear Trees....Again!

Every year at this time, I always show you a photo of the flowering pear trees and I always think they are blooming way too early.  However, looking at my older photos, it's always been around the start of February.

They are looking smashing all over the city but, this year I found an office building that has them lining the entrance.  It's a jungle of white blooms!  There are even several on the grounds where I live and they are also in full bloom right now.  I just love seeing them.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ultracontemporary Fashion

There was a second exhibit at the art museum that I wanted to see.  This one was all about fashion.  Ultracontemporary fashion that is.  Actually, I'd call it pretty far out.  However, this outfit by Gucci was pretty eye catching.  It is described as a whimsical garment of colorful wool felt with a trope l'oeil ruffle.

I'll show you some of the other pieces from this show in the future.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting another Arizona mining town.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Wondrous Worlds

I went to the Phoenix Art Museum yesterday to see the recent exhibit called Wondrous World: Art & Islam Through Time & Place.  It features a vast collection of objects from the Newark Museum representing nearly every corner of the globe.

 I thought I'd show you my favorite pieces from the exhibit.  Above is just a scene I liked of two people watching the video that showed different mosques from all over the world.  They are sitting against the backdrop of those two colorful weavings.

To the left is a figure that was placed in a tomb.  It comes from China between the 8th and 11th centuries.  Isn't it exquisite?

This last piece is not as old as the one above.  This is a  textile made to commemorate the Festival National de la Jeunesse, a national youth festival in Agadez Niger.  It is from 1982.  It shows a figure wearing the blue turban and robe typical of the Tuareg culture.  The Tuareg are nomadic herders that graze animals in regions from Niger to Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Libya and Mauritania.  In other words, they travel very long distances.

It really is a beautiful exhibit.

Friday, February 8, 2019

College Architecture

I mentioned that there was some interesting architecture at the Chandler/Gilbert Community College along with the sculptures I found.  Many of the buildings were constructed of concrete block but with artistic touches that made them stand out.  The building above was all glass with a steel framework around it.

And this building had some added color and that second story walkway with the silver arches over it. It sort of looked like a fancy, stretched-out slinky toy.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Mesquite Wash

Here is another sculpture I found on the campus of Chandler/Gilbert Community College.  This one is called "Mesquite Wash" by Kevin Berry.

I like it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Rainy Day

Last Sunday was a rainy day in Phoenix.  I think we were getting some of that heavy rain that hit California over the weekend.  It didn't seem to rain here quite as hard as it did on the west coast.

I took a short drive around the city around noon to see how things were looking after being rained upon.  I liked seeing the low hanging clouds hovering over the tops of the mountains.

That wonderful rock formation called the Praying Monk wasn't shrouded in clouds but the mountain above him was.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Three Columns of Wisdom

Last Saturday, I drove out to Chandler to visit the campus of the Chandler/Gilbert Community College.  I was headed there to see an art exhibit of works by one of my art club friends.  However, I was a day late.  The show had been taken down already.  So, instead I wandered the campus for a while and found some interesting art works and architecture there.  This piece is called Three Columns of Wisdom by Ron Gasowski in collaboration with the children of Chandler Unified School District 80.

The three totem poles are made of pottery that each looks like it is made up of pottery shards.  It's very creative and the colors are so calming.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Circles and Patterns

I recently found these murals located on the wall of a building in downtown Phoenix.  They cover several doors on the side of a building that is mostly a parking garage with a few businesses on the ground floor.

There are five of them in total.

Here are two narrow ones.

I couldn't find much information about the murals except that they were created by Kyllan Maney whose work is full of abstract patterns.  I love these!  That top one would make a great backdrop for taking photos of people.

If you enjoy murals, click here to see more.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Viewing the Birds

I took a drive out to Gilbert to the Riparian Reserve to see if I could see any interesting birds.  I saw quite a lot of ducks.

Including this one called a Northern Shoveler.  It gets that name from the shovel shaped bill.

There were quite a few geese roaming about and occasionally squawking quite loudly.

And, I saw this snowy egret who was doing the Hokey-Pokey!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I visiting another beautiful library in New York.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Spring-Like Weather

While our friends in the midwest and northeast are suffering through some vicious cold, it's been almost spring-like here in the Arizona desert.  It's strange to be watching the news reports of snow and ice and sub-zero temperatures while we've been enjoying days in the 70's.

Places like the Hermosa Inn have already started to plant their spring garden.  I hope we don't get a sudden cold flash that destroys it all.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Theme Day: White

The theme for February 1st is White and I chose those wonderful big sails that soar over SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.  I've featured this place a few times before.  The center has grown amazingly quickly so those white sails are getting harder and harder to get a clear view to photograph.  But, if I stand underneath I can look straight up.

They are beautiful and can be seen from far away even though the buildings surrounding them are growing quickly.  I love the way they look.

To see White represented from around the world, click here.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Broken Shutters

There is a parking garage near the Scottsdale Civic Center that I hardly ever use but one day recently I parked there and that's when I saw these windows with the wooden shutters on the back side of a building that used to be a restaurant.  The building is vacant right now and has been for quite a while.

The wooden shutters are in various states of decay but they make interesting photos, don't you think?

If anyone ever moves into this building, I wonder if they will fix these windows or just leave them looking rustic and old.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mystery Photos

I have an old Sony digital camera with three really nice lenses but I haven't used it in a few years.  It's too big and bulky and my little Nikon does everything I need it to do.  However, this last weekend, I decided to get out the Sony and shoot a few macro photos of some flowers I bought.  I had to recharge the batteries and reset the date and time but I finally got it ready to take the shots.

I took about 18 shots of the flowers and then downloaded the photos to my computer and these three photos were in the group I downloaded.

I checked the date on them and they were taken May 20, 2017.  I have no idea what they are.  They are a complete mystery to me.  I have a pretty good memory but, I have no recollection of taking these photos.  I'm not even sure what this is.  It looks like  a big bowl of broken glass but I can't imagine why I would have had or seen a bowl of broken glass.  It's just a mystery.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Random Observations

I have a few random observations today.  First up is this row of pictures on the wall at my doctor's office.  Don't those photos look like something I would have taken?  That gives me ideas!

A stack of vintage western magazines on display at the Phoenix Art Museum.

And, to the left, a tree with a very colorful trunk.

Some very pretty glass objects that I admired at the Desert Botanical Garden gift shop.  I was really tempted to purchase one but, I took the photo instead.

And, here is this rather strange thing I found in an alley behind some shops.  At first I thought someone was standing there until I got close enough to see it.  It was surrounded by a lot of trash so I think it was fated for the junk heap.  It did make me wonder where it came from and what it was for.