Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Yellow Blooms Everywhere

Last Friday, I met a friend for lunch (and shopping) at Kierland Commons up in north Scottsdale.  In order to get there from my house, I have to drive up over the mountains of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.  On the whole drive to the center, I was in awe of the yellow of the Palo Verde trees everywhere I looked.

So I couldn't stop myself from taking more photos.  Maybe it's because of my cataract surgery last fall that I'm seeing the blooms brighter than ever.  Whatever the reason they seem especially gorgeous this year.

Here are some blooms framing that "praying monk" I mentioned last week when I posted about the painting I found at the art museum.

Another pretty tree along a road I travel quite frequently.  

Just driving down an ordinary street is suddenly a beautiful scene.

I stopped at another place to take some photos that I'll show you later this week.  I'm loving all the color I'm seeing this spring.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Mystery Solved

The mystery of the silly goose who hangs around our parking lot is solved.  There is a nest somewhere on the grounds.  No one has found it yet but, yesterday I was headed to my car only to find the feathered family lingering near it.

So I did what any good photographer would do.  I laid all my stuff on the ground, got out the camera and snapped away as the parents flanked the two young ones and kept an close eye on my every move.

When I came back after my errands, they were no where to be seen.  The young ones are too young to be on their own, so they must be somewhere near by.  I wonder where that nest is hidden.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Arizona Falls

I hadn't stopped at Arizona Falls, the hydroelectric plant that is a city park, in several years so when I passed it the other day, I decided to make a visit.  It looks pretty much the same and it's still leveling the canal water and generating electricity just as before.

There are three waterfalls in all, the two in the top photo and this one in the center that splashes the water over boulders and pipes and gears.

The park sits right on the edge of the Arizona Canal, one of the major canals that run through the valley bringing irrigation water across the desert.  As far as I know, this is the only spot where there is a small electric generating plant.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm thinking about an upcoming weekend trip to Oregon wine country.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Balancing Blonde

I've had this photo of a sculpture on the grounds of the Shemer Art Center for about a year but, I hadn't posted it because I didn't know who the sculptor was.  I finally found out last week that it was created by James Farris an artist and sculptor from Tempe Arizona.

She always makes me think of Marilyn Monroe whenever I see her on the grounds of the museum.

James Farris passed away in December of 2010 but I think this sculpture has only been at the museum for about two years.  It makes me wonder how it made its way to the Shemer.  I'll have to ask a few more questions when I get the chance.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Getting a Little Abstract

I think I might have been inspired by those abstract paintings I saw (and loved) last weekend. When I was walking at the Scottsdale Mall behind the Saguaro Hotel I kept seeing artistic views unfolding.  The hotel is painted in big, bold colors like pink, orange, yellow, blue and white.  The above is at the back of the hotel by the patio off of a ballroom.

I decided to get a little abstract and zoom in to capture just the pink and orange with that tiny speck of white against the blue sky.

I walked around some more and saw this blue wall with the blooming palo verde tree in front of it.  Blue and yellow go together so well.

Around another corner I saw this ocotillo up against the white wall.  How do you like my little photographic foray into abstraction?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Past and Present

Before I leave the Phoenix Art Museum, I have to show you one more painting that I hadn't seen before.  It's titled "Kneeling Monk" and it was painted by Harry B Wagoner (1889 - 1950).  It's a view of Camelback Mountain that I've shown many times on this blog with the "Praying Monk" (what we call that formation now) jutting up like a little bracket in the center of the painting.

A lot has changed in the area since that painting was made!  I'm sure Wagoner would recognize the mountain again if he could see it but, I'm equally sure he wouldn't recognize the desert surrounding it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Transcendentalist Painting Group

The Phoenix Art Museum owns several paintings by members of the Transcendentalist Painting Group I mention in yesterday's post.  In another part of the museum, they set up a small section of paintings from the artists in this group who were working at the same time as Agnes Pelton.  Above is Rancho de Taos Church by Emil Bisttram.

This group of paintings is called the Zodiac Suite by Raymond Johnson.  They range from Aries on the very far left to Pisces on the far right.

On the left of this photo is City Dynamism by Raymond Johnson.  Next to it is Marine #4 by Emil Bisttram and on the end is Tensions also by Bisttram.  To the right is a favorite of mine called Composition #18 and it is also by Bisttram.

I'll end with one more from the Agnes Pelton show.  This one happens to be owned by the Phoenix Art Museum and I've seen it many times before but until my visit to the exhibit last Saturday, I didn't know anything about the artist.  It will be nice to see this painting with the background to really appreciate it fully.  This one is called simply "Day".

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Desert Transcendentalist

The Ray Serene, 1925
Have you every gone to an art exhibit and found that the artist's work had a sort of emotional effect on you?  That's what happened to me last Saturday when I went to see an exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum titled "Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist".  Her work really speaks to my soul and I couldn't begin to explain why.  I just loved it.

The exhibit is described as the "first survey of the under-recognized American painter in more than 24 years."

Star Gazer, 1929

This painting to the right is called Sand Storm and is described as showing how the sun looks as it starts to break through that heavy cloud of sand and dust toward the end of the storm and the rainbow that might appear after the storm. If you've never experienced that type of storm, I can tell you this really does capture the light of the sun breaking through the brown haze.

Agnes Pelton was born in 1881 and died in 1961.  She was introduced to the desert southwest in 1919 when she visited a friend in Taos New Mexico.  She eventually settled in a place called Cathedral City in the California southern desert.

One thing that struck me was the similarity between Agnes Pelton and an artist whose work I saw at the Guggenheim in New York last fall.  That artist was Hilma af Klint, a Swedish artist I posted about here.

They both were under-recognized and they both were influenced by metaphysical views. Pelton joined a group of artists known as the
Transcendental Painting Group (TPG).

Tomorrow I'll show some works from other members of the group that were shown in another area of the museum and set up to compliment this exhibit.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Palo Verde Trees on Earth Day!

At the Desert Botanical Garden

The palo verde tree is native to the southwest and just happens to be the Arizona state tree.  There are probably just as many (if not more) palo verde trees as there are palm trees about the valley.  April is the time they bloom with pretty little yellow flowers.

People who have them in their yards and gardens probably get a bit annoyed at having to clean up those little yellow petals this time of year.  As you can see from these photos, there is a circle of yellow petals on the ground around them.

Along Camelback Avenue

At an office building

At a Medical Building

From the steps of the Phoenix Art Museum

These trees are everywhere in the city and they just seem to scream "spring is here" wherever I go.  I love seeing them as you can probably tell from the number of photos I've taken.   Happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Easter Jackrabbit

I hope everyone is having (or has had) a wonderful Easter.

When I visited Berridge Nurseries last weekend, I found a wonderful Easter display.  I even ran into Mr. Jackrabbit. This fellow has certainly outgrown the "bunny" status.

Mrs. Jackrabbit was also there.

This pair didn't want all those fuzzy, little floppy-eared critters to have all the holiday fun!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  When it comes to beautiful landscapes, Tuscany can't be beat.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Birds and the Bees

When I was at the Desert Botanical Garden last Sunday, I spotted a lesser goldfinch munching on the blooms on a tree.  I don't see that many of these so I was happy that I spotted this one.

These two doves were basking in the early morning sunshine.

And the bees were all gathered around to enjoy the blooms on the very tall Cardon cactus.
Nature's creatures rise early to enjoy the fruits of the garden.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Bottle Brush Tree

On this exact day one year ago, I posted some photos of the blooms on a bottle brush tree that I found by accident.  Many of you wanted to see the whole tree but, when I went back to photograph it, the blooms were all gone.  So, I waited until this spring and made several trips past waiting for it come into full bloom.

Here you are, the whole tree full of those wonderful, red, brush-like blooms.

I see these as small bushes quite often but last year was the first time I'd seen one in full tree size.

It really makes for a dramatic sight!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Giant Blooms

Last Sunday morning I got up early and headed to the Desert Botanical Garden for the 7:00 AM members only hour.  The woman who checked me in said be sure to go to the Argentinian Giant cactus patch first thing because they bloomed the night before.

As I rounded the corner in that direction, I could see a gaggle (is that the right word?) of photographers gathered around.  Luckily there was plenty of room to join the group and start snapping photos.  There were around 10 blooms in all and about twice that in buds to bloom the next night.

These huge blooms are certainly the stars of the cactus flower world!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Scenes Around the Nursery

The Design crew at Berridge Nursery do a fantastic job of displaying the merchandise for sale in their decorator shops.  I thought the black, white and red display above was especially eye catching.

And, this little corner with the white rabbit on the table was also interesting.  It looks like someones private back garden.

The father and son howling coyotes were cute additions among the potted plants.

Many of the cactus for sale had buds and blooms on them.

And, I couldn't leave without snapping a photo of this jumbo sized hibiscus bloom.  I love the color.