Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Desert is Blooming

A few days ago I was on the lookout for desert wildflowers, now I'm starting to see cactus blooms.  The desert is starting to show its colors.  This pretty yellow bloom is on a Bishop's Cap cactus.  I included the photo to the left so you could see how it got its name.  It does look a bit like a Bishop's Cap, doesn't it?

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  A museum needs to look good, inside and out.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Desert Beauty, Inside & Out

This last house on the garden tour was my favorite.  We got to tour the inside of this home and it was spectacular.  It will take several days to show it all so I'm going to wait to start that tour until after the first of the month.  But, for now just enjoy the stark look of the home's entrance and marvel at the size of that ocotillo in front of the house.  It has the be the tallest one I've ever seen.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Enjoying the Desert

Yesterday I mentioned the blue touches in this second house on the garden tour.  Here is another example.  A pretty little blue table and chairs.

Another seating area was composed of a circle of vintage Adirondack chairs.

You might recognize these two enjoying another of the seating areas.  It's my good friends Julie and her mother Glenda.  We all had a wonderful time exploring these pretty gardens.

This last photo shows a pretty mosaic scene the was on one of the garden walls.  Can you spot the quail in the foreground and the two black dogs toward the back?

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Bold Blue

The second house from the garden tour I mentioned yesterday was another older home with some wonderful bold touches.  I loved that sapphire blue wall at the entrance.

At the back of the home, the back garden was very large with different seating areas scattered all around the yard.  You can see a hint of that same blue in the center of this photo.

This is just one of the seating areas.  I'll show you a few more tomorrow.  That butterfly bench blends in so well with the desert surrounds, it almost becomes invisible.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Desert Garden Tour

I got to see a lot of desert gardens this last weekend when I went on a private garden tour that was sponsored by the Desert Botanical Garden.  There were three houses on the tour and over the next few days, I'll show you scenes from each one.  First up is this mid-century modern home that blended in so well with its desert surroundings that I couldn't see if from the street at all.

The garden had several areas where the owners could do some outdoor entertaining or just relax and read a book.

The pool area has a fabulous view of Camelback Mountain.

I really admired this wall made of woven strips of thin aluminum.  The garden all the way around the house was all natural and blended perfectly with the Arizona desert.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Random iPhone Images

It's time for another series of random photos I've taken that don't seem to fit in anywhere on their own.  Above is a gorgeous Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.  I parked next to it recently at Biltmore Fashion Park.  My car looked embarrassingly shabby next to this one.

To the left are the stairs inside the Scottsdale Museum of the West.  Once again, the symmetry caught my eye.

These decorative balloons were flying at my local grocery store recently.  There were animal balloons on one aisle and this police car and fire truck on another.

This last one is back at the Scottsdale Museum of the West again.  There is a sculpture courtyard in the center of the museum and one wall is made of metal with these holes at the top to let water run out whenever it rains.  The water makes these rusty patterns on the wall.  It's the hand of nature making art.

Monday, March 25, 2019


This mural is found in the Roosevelt Row Arts District in downtown Phoenix.  It was painted by artist El Mac along with Augustine Kofie.  El Mac's murals are mostly portraits of people and many have this dreamy look to them.  I'll have to feature some more of them in the future.

Check Sami's Colorful World to see more Monday Murals.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

More Art to Celebrate

Here are a few more photos from the Celebration of Fine Art that I visited last Friday.  Stephanie Revennaugh had both paintings and sculptures at her station and there was  theme of horses in many of them.  Check her website and you will see many more wonderful horse sculptures.

I featured the artist above two years ago when I pictured his "Bull Market" painting. This one is of Times Square and he's added the two chairs right in the center.  Pete Tillack's work is amazingly detailed with just a touch of whimsy.

Speaking of whimsy, take a look at this happy bear.  This is a painting by Bruce Marion.  He paints wonderful art pieces of animals and scenes and in addition, has a special line of "joyful bears".  I have to admit, looking at his bears did make me smile.

The artist, Mark Lewanski wasn't in his booth when I visited to show.  If he had been, I would have asked him how he accomplishes this woven glass.  I think these are both beautiful and impossible.  I found a YouTube video of him discussing how he does this but, I think I'd have to see it in person to really understand.

Here is a close up shot I took so I could show you the weaving detail. Isn't that simply amazing?

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking a little trip in a flying machine.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Celebration of Fine Art

I almost forgot all about the annual Celebration of Fine Art in north Scottsdale this year.  This is the last weekend so I'm glad I remembered and headed out there.  As usual the art was spectacular and talking with the artists is always a special treat.  Here are three that I admired.  The top one is a sculpture capped with gorgeous feathers.  The artist is Doug Fountain.

I really liked these wooden vases each topped with something ornamental.  They are by Brian Sykes who came all the way from Charlotte North Carolina.

I wish this photo gave you a better idea of the scale of this piece by Carlos Page.  It's made of metal and could easily take up a whole back garden wall.  He had so many clever pieces to look at.

I'll show you a few more tomorrow.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Two Sides to One Butterfly

I've been heading to the Desert Botanical Garden to walk lately so I made a second trip to the spring butterfly exhibit one day last week.  They are always releasing new butterflies into the pavilion.  This time I saw this pretty giant swallowtail.

The giant swallowtail is just as pretty from the underside as it is from the top.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

In Search of Desert Wildflowers

I did a search for some desert wildflowers last weekend and I didn't have to go far to find some.  They were blooming along roadways.....

....and on desert slopes.  Above are some arroyo lupine and up top, some yellow brittle bush blooms.

Here is a big cluster of globe mallow displaying those pretty orange blooms.

Globe mallow blooms up close. 
I love it when we have enough rain to bring out these beauties.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Food Imitating Art

A few days ago, I met a friend for lunch at the Heard Museum.  I arrived 30 minutes early so went into the museum to see a recent exhibit I had heard about.  I enjoyed the exhibit and then met my friend in the cafe.  The museum usually has something on its menu that compliments the current exhibit and by chance, I ordered it.  It was described as a stacked chicken enchilada.  When they sat the plate in front of me, I was immediately struck by how it was presented to mimic the art in the show.  So after lunch, I went back into the museum to snap a few photos to compare.

The show is called Josef Albers in Mexico and consisted of the artwork of Albers, a German artist.  The pieces are based on a series of photographs he took on his many trips to Mexico to visit some of the ancient sites like Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza and others.  He took a lot of photos of the details of the geometric  designs that were used in the building of these places.

These paintings are all called Homage to the Square.  All of the paintings in the show were based on geometric patterns with varying colors.  That enchilada was a pretty clever way to celebrate his art.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Twisted Chimney

What an unusual design for chimneys!  I found them on the top of a shop in the Fifth Avenue shopping area of Scottsdale.  The shop itself looks pretty ordinary but those chimneys on top are anything but.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Dragon Breath

This mural is on the side of a business called Collectors Marketplace.  I believe they sell and trade comic books and other assorted collectors items.  It was painted by an artist called Keomaka and it's been on this building for a very long time.

The front of the building has a little GI Joe action going on and it was painted by the same artist.  I suppose you might say, the art compliments the business.

To see more murals posted today, click here.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Last year at this time I noticed that AJ's Fine Foods had a fancy cake available for people who want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style.  I snapped a photo  and posted it here.

I stopped in the store on Friday to see if they had something similar for this year and sure enough, there it was.  The cake must have been a hit last year because this year the price has gone up.  Last year it cost $49.99 and This year it's $55.00.  There is a high price for celebrating in style!

Hope you have a fun day with or without cake!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm down on the Arizona border with Mexico this time.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Rain and Wind

We had lots of rain followed by lots of wind this last week.  It has finally settled down.  That rain will help the desert wildflowers bloom.  I need to see if I can find any.  The wind just left a lot of leaves, palm bark and debris tossed around on the streets.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Beethoven, Strauss & Bubbles

Last Sunday I went to the Symphony with three other friends where we enjoyed renowned pianist Stephen Hough playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major.  What a wonderful piece of music it is.  The second half of the show featured a piece called Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) by Richard Strauss.  Another excellent and piece of music that I'm so thankful our conductor, Tito Munoz, described before it began.  It made listening to it that much more exciting.

My friends and I also celebrated the event with some bubbly.  Champagne goes with everything!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Learning to Swim & My Purchases

I wonder if all the construction at the Scottsdale Civic Center park has scared off the ducks.  We saw only one duck in the pond and she had only one little duckling.  Momma duck was keeping a very close eye on this little one while it paddled ferociously around the pond.

I also didn't want you to think I left the Arts Festival empty handed.  I did manage two great purchases.  A beautifully hand-woven shawl created by Cheryl Kabala and a very pretty leather handbag by Roche Leather.  I think I did okay!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

More Art, More Temptations

Here are a few more of the pretty (and very tempting) items that were for sale at the Scottsdale Arts Festival last weekend.

Above is a set of wooden bowls that were beautifully decorated with bright patterns by Rebecca Wilson.

To the left is a great print of a rooster.  Wouldn't that look great in a kitchen with an space for it?  You can see it even won a ribbon.  The rooster and other works were created by Stephen and Bonnie Harmston.

Above is a whimsical sculpture of a bull made from quite a few golf clubs. I didn't catch the artists name on that one.

To the left is a metal sculpture by John Benedict.  It really is a beautiful piece.

This last one was another glass vendor.  I always get caught by the glass art.  These pretty objects were created by Ken and Ingrid Hanson.