Friday, March 31, 2017


I noticed a serious infestation of creepy, crawly insects in downtown Phoenix recently.  These aren't your every day bugs, these invertebrates are huge!

On a corner near the Phoenix Convention Center is a collection of these scary creatures.  This scorpion looks like he's drooling for a taste of that little guy he's clutching with his claw.

This centipede is looking just a bit shy.

This funny looking character has taken to wearing high heels!  
This crazy bunch of insects is the work of Tom Otterness of Brooklyn New York.  Thanks Tom!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Orchestrating a Blooming Desert

The exhibition in the new gallery at the Heard Museum is called "Beauty Speaks for Us" and it is meant to present works of American Indian art that span generations and cultures but share the transcendent quality of beauty.  Many of the works were from the collections of private owners from the Phoenix area with some of the museum's own pieces also included.  I really enjoyed seeing some incredible artworks that I had never seen before and this painting above is a good example.  It's called "Orchestrating a Blooming Desert" by Steve Yazzie from 1970.  Since I have such a love of the desert in bloom, this one would appeal to me, wouldn't it?

The basket weaving dates from the early 1900's from the Hopi culture.  It's part of the museum collection.

This black and siena bear sculpture is from 1970 and is the work of Tony Da from the San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico.

This painting is by the well known native American artist, Dan Namingha.  It is dated 1950 and was a gift of the artist.  It's called "Red Tail Hawk Kachina".

That wraps up my photos from this exhibit which ends on April 2nd.  I'll be anxious to see what show they mount next in that beautiful new gallery.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Historic Textiles

Today I'll show you some fantastic textiles that were on display in the new gallery at the Heard Museum.  This first one was my favorite.  It's a Navajo pictoral textile with an image of Shiprock in New Mexico.  If you've never seen Shiprock in person, click the link to see a photograph of this iconic rock formation.  That will give you and idea of how well the artist captured the mountain.

This piece is a Navajo Sand painting textile which is a weaving of a sand painting design.  Both this one and the one above date bak to the 1920's and are part of the collection of Carol Ann Mackay.

This last one is a Chilkat Blanket from the Tingit peoples of the Pacific Northwest.  This one is part of the Heard Museum's Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection.  I found all three of these incredibly beautiful.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gunmetal Finish Jars

At the beginning of the month, I mentioned that I had gone to the Heard Museum to find my "Black and White in Color" shot for the first of March.  I actually went to the museum to see the new gallery that had recently opened.  I saw some of the most beautiful things there and I promised I'd show you some of them.  I'm going to start today with these wonderful black pots (or jars as the artist calls them) with their gunmetal finish.  They are the creation of Maria Martinez of the San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico.

While I was taking these two photos, one of the docents in the room came over and asked if I was trying to duplicate the cover photo of the Heard Museum magazine.  I actually hadn't remembered seeing the cover photo.

So, I went home and located my magazine and sure enough, these beautiful 'jars' were featured on the cover but I think the photographer who took this shot had the advantage of taking it without the glass case around them.

I'll show you some more treasures tomorrow.

Monday, March 27, 2017

What a Show-Off

That Spanish Villa I featured yesterday wasn't the only thing I saw on that winding drive through the Scottsdale Golf Club property.  I also spotted this very large and very full orchid tree.  Look at all those blooms!

The tree was thick with beautiful pink flowers.

Another site worth stopping for don't you think?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Found While Exploring

On Friday I took a drive out to north Scottsdale but along he way I decided to take the quieter roads instead of the main streets.  I turned on to a street just west of Scottsdale Road and followed it north for a while and then it suddenly turned into the Scottsdale Golf Club area and from that point on, the street was no longer straight.  Instead in wound its way through the community past large homes and vast green spaces.  I was glad I found myself on such a pretty drive.  There were a lot of very large and interesting homes in the area but, this one actually made me stop to get a closer look.  It has to be the most elaborately decorated Spanish Villa that I've ever seen.

I took this wider view so you could see most of the house as I saw it from the street.  I doubt I could easily find it again.  Those winding streets went in every direction and I just followed the ones that looked the most interesting.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm looking at a surprise find inside the Siena Cathedral.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fire Engine Red

When I went to the Scottsdale Art Festival two weeks ago, I spotted this snazzy looking antique parked in the parking lot.  Unfortunately, I didn't look to see what make this is so I'll leave up to you folks to let me know if you recognize it.

It's got a pretty dramatic looking hood ornament!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Once again....

.....I find myself sending  love and sympathy to friends and all the people who were touched by another senseless act of hate and aggression.

There are too many people out there who are so disenfranchised and bitter that they are willing to take innocent people with them on their march toward suicide.

I won't be curling up into a fetal position and locking my doors to strangers.  My favorite places in the world are places of diversity and I will continue to visit them whenever I can.

London, I love you!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Canal Convergence

The annual Canal Convergence Art Celebration has been going on along the Scottsdale Waterfront for the past month.  It's all about the art, water, and light.  I haven't been there at night yet so I haven't seen the what the light part of it looks like.

These extra large, white blooms are scattered along the canal.  Each one responds the people around them by opening up and closing.

And, they also light up from the inside.  I better hurry up and get over there at night so I can see what they look like all lit up.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


The acacia trees are blooming right now and sending their sweet aroma all over.  I know that some people don't like the smell of acacia blooms and some are even allergic to them but, I love the scent.

It's a good thing because I'm seeing (and smelling) them everywhere I go.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Yellow Palette

So, yesterday I featured all the lavender flowers I saw at the Desert Botanical Garden and today I'm showing all the yellow I saw.  Above are some blooms on the Brittlebush plant.  Brittlebush grows everywhere in the desert so at this time of year, you can see yellow in every direction.

I found a small patch of yellow and purple pansies in a corner of the herb garden.  Pansies are such cheery flowers.

And, a favorite of mine, the Mexican Sunflower plant.  It gets as big as a tree and when it blooms, it has these big yellow flowers all over it.

It was blooming like crazy when I was there last Saturday.

Needless to say, the bees enjoy a taste of the Mexican Sunflowers too!

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Lavender Palette

I took a long walk at the Desert Botanical Garden on Saturday and I found myself admiring a lot of lavender blooms in different places.  Above is a blue hibiscus.  I'm not sure how it got it's name because it's more lavender than blue.

Nearby was some nightshade blooming with its papery flowers with yellow centers.

The Chinese Wisteria was also blooming.  We don't see a lot of wisteria here in the desert. 

The Lavender plants were enjoying the sunshine.

And the sea lavender was also looking pretty.

This was a new plant to me.  It's called a Fairy Fan Flower.  All of the blooms were half circles like a fan.

Lavender wasn't the only dominating color at the garden.  Yellow was also making a showing.  Tomorrow I'll show you what yellow has to offer.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Poppies Everywhere

I had to run an errand back in my old neighborhood on Friday so I took the opportunity to drive the path I used to walk when I lived over there.  That's where I found a house that had a yard filled with bright yellow poppies.  They were so beautiful, I had to stop and get some photos.

They certainly were making a splash in the neighborhood!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting my favorite cathedral in Italy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Coffee House that Never Was

Back in January of 2010, I posted a photo of this mural/sign on a building in Phoenix Midtown.  It was going to be a coffee house.  At the time I posted the photo, I mentioned that construction seemed to be stalled.  I never expected that it would sit empty for 7 years.  I drove by recently and saw the sign looking rather shabby and a huge chain-link fence surrounding the whole building.  Even if the business never got off the ground, you would think the property would have been put to another use but, it seems the whole thing has died on the vine.

Click the link to see my old post and how bright the sign was back then.  (I can't believe how small my  photos used to be!)

Friday, March 17, 2017

So Much Art, So Little Space

Here are a few more pieces of art that caught my eye at the Scottsdale Arts Festival last Friday.  These brilliant paintings are by Jennifer Cavan of Santa Fe New Mexico.

These ceramic pieces are by the husband and wife team Scott and Naomi Schoenherr of Laguna Beach California.  I thought I had seen these whimsical pieces before.  I bet I've seen them at one of the Laguna Beach art festivals.  The one pictured above is a Rolls Royce with two characters in the front, golf bags in the back and big Saguaro cactus just for fun.

Next we have another ceramic piece the I really liked.  It has a definite 'out of Africa' look to it.  This one is by another team, Barry and Rosalind Hage of Long Beach California.

(A lot of California artists at this event.)

There were a lot of talented artists at this event.  I'll have to remember to go again next year.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Best of Show!

Last Friday I went with friends to the Scottsdale Arts Festival in the Scottsdale Civic Center Park.  I can't recall that I've ever gone to this show before and this year was the 47th.  There are so many arts festivals but, somehow I've missed this one.

However, I'm glad I made it to this one.  I got to meet Fred Stodder, the creator of these fabulous ceramic pieces.  I had never seen anything quite like these before.  They are in such bold colors and interesting shapes that give them a whole new dimension.  Fred lives in San Juan Capistrano, a beautiful southern California location.  Check his website to see more of his work.  Fred won the "Best in Show" prize for his work and it was his first trip to this show.  Congratulations Fred!

We went late in the afternoon on Friday and it couldn't have been a more perfect time.  There were no crowds and the late afternoon sun was lighting up the art just perfectly.

The other thing I liked about this show was the music.  There were two stages. When we entered, there was a band playing some great Latin rhythms.  They were called "Zona Libre".   On the other side of the park was this very colorful group called "Jerusafunk" and they were play some fantastic Klezmer sounds.

 I do enjoy a really good klezmer band and these guys were great.

Tomorrow I'll show you a few more of the great art works we saw here.