Thursday, July 9, 2020

Purple Hair & Other Sightings

Today I have another collections of random shots that have been sitting in my photo folders.  First up, a pretty purple hat to go with some decidedly purple hair.

Above is a family of clay meerkats that I spotted in someone's yard.  They are such cute little fellows.

To the left, an interesting bench that is designed to resemble a clothes pin.  It's located in the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel.

A wicked looking motorcycle that I found parked in front of the shop next to my dry cleaners.  It looks like something Batman would ride, doesn't it?

Above we have an example of what that powerful Arizona sun does to our street signs after they've been exposed for a few years.  I noticed recently that this one has since been replaced.

Who knows what prompted me to take the photo to the left.  It must have been that cute little red bottle shaped can.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

I Have No Explanation

I actually spotted this unusual sight two weeks ago when I was driving to the Desert Botanical Garden for that walk I took the last week of June.  On the way back home, I made a point of stopping to snap a photo.

This was along Camelback Road in front of a group of condos.  It appears that someone lifted a golf cart and placed it on top of a palm tree stump.  That bottom sign on the stump says Do Not Climb and the top one says there is 24 hour camera surveillance.  If this was a prank, hopefully the culprits have been identified.  If it wasn't....well... what else could it be?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Robins Have Moved In

I've spent quit a bit of time down in the courtyard area where I live observing the robins who appear to have moved in.  As I said before, the desert is not a normal environment for robins.  These are the first I've seen in my 50 years of living here!

The birds themselves are starting to get used to seeing me and my camera but, I think a few of my neighbors might be questioning my sanity.  Not many people just sit in the courtyard watching the trees.

I've discovered that there is quite a large family of robins living in the trees down there.  I've seen at least 18 to 20.

I love seeing them and I'll continue to enjoy their company as long as they are around.  

Monday, July 6, 2020

Hotel Embraces Art

A new hotel opened up last fall in the Roosevelt Row Arts District and the hotel itself has embraced the artistic community in full force.  It was this five-story mural on the outside that caught my eye but I've since learned that the inside is full of murals and paintings all by local artists.

The mural on the outside is by Heather Freitas, a local artist.  It looks like her work has mostly been on canvas but this mural fits her style beautifully.

Linked to Monday Murals.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

This Cowboy Gets Around

This cowboy was standing right in front of the entrance to the Scottsdale Museum of the West when I was there last weekend.  I knew I had seen him before.

And I was right.  I photographed him back in July of 2012 when he was standing in front of one of the galleries on Main Street in Scottsdale.

And guess what, I found two more photos of him that I took in March of 2019 when I found him standing on a corner near the Scottsdale Museum of the West.

The name of this sculpture is Maynard Dixon and it was created by artist Gary Ernest Smith.  Smith says that Maynard Dixon was the most influential artist in the development of Smith's artistic style.

Mr. Dixon has moved around a lot throughout the city of Scottsdale.  Maybe he'll settle down at the museum.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting a church that dates to Roman times.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Fourth of July

Nothing is more American than Micky Mouse unless it's a Micky Mouse in red, white and blue stripes and stars.   He is a perfect low-key feature for today's Fourth of July celebrations.  I doubt there will be many public celebrations given the pandemic conditions here.  In my opinion and the opinion of my friends and colleagues there isn't a lot to celebrate this year.  The country is being led by someone who has totally failed at every aspect of his job.  At the beginning of this year we were faced with a global crisis that in some ways should have brought a divided country together with all of us pitching in together to protect each other and get a dangerous virus under control.  Instead, we had a leader at the top who pushed us further apart with his lies and self-serving rhetoric.  And yet, there are still a good sized group of people who continue to stand by him and say he's doing a fine job.  It's a total mystery to me.  If it was as simple as following the Pied Piper I'd say let them go but, it's not that simple because they are taking us over the cliff with them.

So sorry for the rant.  As most of you know I usually try not to bring politics into my blog posts but on this occasion when we should be celebrating the birth of our nation, it seems a perfect time to express my frustrations with the directions of our country.

For those celebrating this American Holiday, be safe out there!

Friday, July 3, 2020

The Perfect Location....Maybe

When I was in Scottsdale last Sunday, I noticed a brand new hotel that has gone up directly across the street from the Western Spirit Scottsdale Museum of the West.  It's name looks like it will be Canopy by Hilton.  In normal times, this location would be pretty much ideal.  It's across the street from a museum and just feet from Main Street where all the galleries and restaurants are located.  One could even walk to Scottsdale Fashion Square, the largest shopping center in the state.  At the rate the virus is devastating Arizona, it will be a while before this place can open.  And when it does, what will the new "normal" be?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Greeter

I took the photo to the left several months ago and wrote down the name of the artist.  However, I must have lost the note with the artist's name.  So, last Sunday I drove to Scottsdale where this sculpture was located to find the name again.  The sculptor is Barry Eisenach.  His sculptures tend to be pioneers or native Americans.  That theme fits in perfectly in this location right behind the Scottsdale Museum of the West.

With everything still closed, there was not a single person around so I wandered around the outside of the museum and photographed several other pieces of art.  It's good to have some new photos to feed the blog.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Theme Day: Neighborhood

I feel like I've had lots of pictures from my neighborhood lately but I haven't featured many birds eye views in the west direction so here we go.  This is where I begin my neighborhood walks (when it's cool enough to walk).  I round that curve in the street below and head west where I cross the golf course and then turn north toward the Biltmore Hotel.  The walk takes me through an area full of what I'd call mega-mansions however, there are several condo and apartment buildings scattered among those monstrous houses.

Today is the first of the month so most bloggers who are part of the City Daily Photo group post a photo based on a theme.  If you would like to see more "neighborhoods" from around the world, click here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dramatic Sky

I was so excited about being able to walk and take photos at the Desert Botanic Garden, that I forgot I had these photos from a recent sunset.  

I was sitting in my living room when I noticed a sort of red glow coming from the windows.  I grabbed my camera and went out to catch a couple of shots.

You would have thought we might have had a touch of rain to go with all those clouds but, no such luck.  I guess the clouds were just passing through.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Wild Rising....Still on View

When I went to the garden last Friday, I was surprised to see the the exhibit called "Wild Rising" was still on view.  I posted about this exhibit a few times last October when it opened.  You might remember the cute meerkats.  Usually, the large exhibits at the Desert Botanical Garden run from October to mid-May.  I see on their website that this exhibit is scheduled to run into November of 2020.  I bet that the travel restrictions associated with the pandemic have extended the stay.  The responsible art group is from Milan Italy.

You also might remember that this elephant was located in a room all to himself and labeled "The Elephant in the Room".  The message was about climate change.  It looks as though the Covid-19 problems have brought him out of his room and into the fresh air.  I found him standing where the Christmas tree is usually located.  

Also enjoying the fresh air and blue skies were these sunflowers.  They always encourage a smile.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Color Purple

When I went on my walk at the Desert Botanical Garden for the first time in three months, I was drawn to lots of purple blooms in different places.  Above are the blooms of the Guayacan shrub.  I always enjoy seeing these blooms.

This one was new to me.  I had to ask a gardener who was near what it was.  She said it was called a purple potato plant.  She said it was a relative of nightshade and I can see a similarity in the blooms.

There were two artichokes in full bloom making a wispy splash of color.

The cape plumbago was also in full bloom.  Lots of pretty flowers in my favorite color.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting a little known historic site.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Surprised by the Blooms

I went on my scheduled walk at the Desert Botanical Garden yesterday morning and one thing I did not expect to see was cactus blooms.  When it starts to get really hot, the blooming starts to slow down but, I was lucky.  I saw lots of cactus blooms.

Yellow ones and red ones.

And, a huge big white one!

And then, on that cluster that tends to bloom all at once, there were several blooms.  I was afraid I had missed seeing any blooms this year so I was pleasantly surprised.  Of course, I have more photos to share over the next week or so.  

I was afraid it might be too hot to enjoy the walk but it was overcast and only 83 when I arrived.  The sun came out after about 30 minutes and by the time I left it was up to 88 but the sun was getting intense.  All in all, it was truly enjoyable.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Windows to the West

I don't get near this sculpture very often because it is located on the far side of the Scottsdale Civic Center park.  I took this photo three years ago and just saw it in my files.  This one is called "Windows to the West" and it's by artist Louise Nevelson.  Nevelson was considered one of the most important American sculptors of the 20th century.  She has large public art works all over the world.  Her body of work is very impressive.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Smooth Curves

This sculpture is located in a public art space behind the Scottsdale Museum of Western Art. The artist is Khang Pham-New and he calls this piece "Curvilinearity".  I did a quick research of the artist and found that he is known for these smooth, abstract, granite sculptures.

It's so smooth that it almost begs to be touched.  It's very hard to resist running your hands over those wonderful curves.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The "Head" Above the Restaurant

Back in April when I took an early morning walk in old town Scottsdale, I snapped this photo of the Los Olivos Mexican Patio restaurant.  When I approached the building, I had completely forgotten about this giant Aztec-like head on the roof.  This restaurant has a history the goes back 70 years and the business is still in the hands of the same family.  A few years ago, I posted a photo of one of their very unique dining rooms inside the restaurant.  Dining in that room makes you feel like you are "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Misguided Attempt

It appears that someone tried to toss a discarded ironing board into this construction dumpster and they didn't quite make it.  This dumpster showed up in the parking lot where I live last week and maintenance people are using it while one of the units here is being remodeled.  I spotted the ironing board hanging from the side on Sunday when went out.  It made me chuckle.

What makes me chuckle even more is that this was pretty much the highlight of my weekend.  This staying at home business is very, very boring.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hidden Meanings

This mural appears on the side of some new condominiums located in downtown Phoenix.  The artist, Clyde Thompson calls it "La Musa" which translates to "the muse".  Thompson completed his art studies at ASU and now has murals all over the valley.

The condominiums are called enHance Park Condominiums.  They are located near the Roosevelt Row Arts District on one side and the Margaret T Hance Park on the other side.  Hance Park is a city park named for Phoenix's first female mayor, Margaret Hance.    She was mayor of the city of Phoenix from 1976 to 1983.  Between the name of condominiums and the name of the mural, there is a lot of play on words going on here.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Art Challenge Meeting

My Art Challenge group met last Friday via Zoom since we are all still self isolating.  This month's challenge was "Health" and here is my entry.  I took a photo that I had from my archives and worked some editing magic on it to produce this.  I call it "Here's to Your Health".

I took this photo several years ago when I saw how I could capture the shadows behind the two glasses.  Next month's challenge is "Hidden".  I wonder what I will come up with for that one.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm featuring all the "old west" places in Arizona.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Celebrating Juneteenth

Yesterday I got another virtual visit email from the Phoenix Art Museum, this time celebrating "Juneteenth" and works of black artists.  If I would have had this sooner, I would have posted it yesterday on the actual day, June 19th.  The "visit" featured 9 pieces of art all by celebrated black artists.   I discovered I had pictures in my archives for 7 of the pieces they featured.  First up is a work by Erica Deeman named "Untitled 18".

The museum has two more of these profile portraits.  They look very striking hung in a row like this.

The next one is a work I featured just a few weeks ago called "Palindrome #1 by Glenn Ligon.  Since the photo I posted a few weeks ago was just of the black and white piece, I decided to use this shot that I took in 2018 when it was surrounded by those black butterflies and moths from the artwork "Black Cloud".

This one is called "The Bitter Nest, Part 1: Love in the School Yard" by Faith Ringgold.  I remember when this one was featured in a show dedicated to female artists a few years ago.

Many of you will recognize the art of Kehinde Wiley.  I believe this painting was the first of his works that the museum acquired.  It's called "Marechal Floriano Peixoto (From the  World Stage: Brazil Series)".  Since this purchase, the museum has acquired a few more of Wiley's works.   The email visit featured the three below.

"Memling: After Memling's Portrait of a Man with a Coin of the Emperor Nero"

"Memling: After Memling's Portrait of Maarten van Nieuwenhove"

"Memling: After Memling's Portrait of a Man in Red Hat"

I do love Wiley's work.  I featured photos from a wonderful exhibit the museum did of his work four years ago.  I especially loved the stained glass "saints".

As always, I'm enjoying the virtual visits that museum has provided via email.  It will be great when I can go back in person.