Friday, January 31, 2020

Shoes as a Work of Art

Most of you know that I do love a nice pair of shoes.  However this great pair was not for sale.  These were part of a display of unique art works at the Heard Museum.

Artist Teri Greeves took a pair of Converse basketball shoes and covered them in finely stitched glass beads.  The name of the art piece is "We Gave Two Horses in Honor of Our Son".  Teri Greeves is known for her incredible bead work.  You can see some of her other works here.  (I love the umbrella)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bear Tracks

This sculpture stands outside the Scottsdale Museum of the West.  It's quite an elaborate sculpture with many intricate details all the way down to his moccasins that look like they are heavily beaded.

The back of the sculpture is just as elaborate as the front. I love the painted details on what represents a buffalo hide. The artist  is Dave McGary.  His bronzes are always very realistic and expressive. McGary's work is internationally known with sculptures in the U.S. Capitol National Statuary Hall, the Smithsonian and in the White House collection.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Nothing to See Except Ducks

I stopped at the Japanese Friendship Garden over the weekend and walked the trail hoping to see some blooms.  No such luck, nothing was blooming yet.

I did however, see plenty of ducks enjoying the water.  This one looks like he's about to leap off the water fall.

I used to live not far from this great spot so I would go often.  Now I only go about twice a year.  In the spring, they usually have some gorgeous flowers so I'll have to mark my calendar to return in a few weeks.

Oh yes, along with the ducks I did see a few koi swimming around.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

New Color for a Phoenix Bird

A few years ago, I was posting photos of all the different versions of the Phoenix Bird that can be found within the city.  One of them was this stylized version.    Back then, it was all metallic.  Recently I drove past this building and saw that it had been painted a bright yellow. At first I wasn't sure about that color but the more I look at it, the more I like it.  It looks good against the blue sky reflected in all that glass.

P.S.  I notice that in the top photo I captured a reflected image of a mural I posted back in 2013.  That mural has been there a very long time even though the salon it was on has been gone a long time.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Freedom is Back

The name of this mural is "Freedom is Back".  It was painted by the Fortoul Brothers, Gabriel and Isaac who have a national reputation for their distinctive art works.  The brother's use human images along with natural elements in their paintings.  This was designed with Isacc's 12 year old daughter in mind as she rides her horse across the desert in total freedom.  I love it.  It graces the side of a building that houses three radio stations.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, January 26, 2020


How is this for a blast of color?  I saw this poppy growing in pot along one of the streets in old town Scottsdale and I wondered if I could capture its brilliant color.  I think I did!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I have something a little different.  I'm comparing a relatively recent visit to a place in California with a visit I made some 30 years ago.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Patterns and Textures

My post today is all about patterns and textures.  I start with this photo of a row of cactus planted up against a textured wall.  There is lots of pattern and texture in this shot.  A few thorns too!

This one is just some architectural detail on one of the buildings at Biltmore Fashion Park Shopping Center.  Straight lines, angles and curves, all together.

This one happens to be an art work that was included in a show at the Phoenix Art Museum.  It's called "Pixeles" by Oscar Munoz an artist from Columbia.  It looks like pixelated images but it's actually made from coffee stained sugar cubes.  Surprised?  I was.

This last one required two photos.  It was also taken at the Phoenix Art Museum.  This room at the museum was all set up for some kind of meeting or presentation.  When I looked down on the room from the second floor, I saw the long row of chairs in the photo to the left and when I went downstairs, I liked the look of the chairs from that level too.

How is that for a variety?

Friday, January 24, 2020

Private Dining Room

There is a restaurant in Scottsdale called Olive & Ivy located right on the Scottsdale waterfront, next door to Scottsdale Fashion Square.  I only dine there occasionally but, I walk past it often.  In one corner is this private dining room that isn't really all that private because there are glass walls on three sides.  I shot this photo right through the window on one side.  I suppose they could close those drapes if the party required more privacy.  Regardless, I liked the look of the room.

These lights decorate the inside of the restaurant.  You can see them through the doors in the photo above.  It's the kind of place that I would call "trendy".

Thursday, January 23, 2020

SkySong Under the Sun

Every now and then, I take a drive through the campus of SkySong, the ASU campus in Scottsdale designed for innovation, technology and imagination.  It is constantly changing with new buildings going up and more business partners collaborating.

I simply love those huge, white sails that fly above the center of the campus.  On this day recently, I caught some shots with the sun playing a big role.

It was also nice to see the trees turning colors and losing their leaves along the walkway.  It's a true fall look.  I know it's actually winter but we are a little slow to catch up here in the desert.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Pink Flamingos

I took these photos at the end of September and then promptly forgot all about them.  I pass this house quit often when I take what I call a short-cut over to Julie and Dave's house.  On this particular day when I drove by, I saw a flash of pink so I stopped for a closer look.

It was a rather large flock of pink, plastic flamingos prancing around in front of the house.  I can't imagine what they were there for.  They weren't there the week before and they weren't there the week after.  It must have been for some special occasion.  I keep my eye on this house now, just in case some other strange additions show up.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Shoe Shopping

I was shopping for a new pair of sneakers (trainers, athletic shoes, whatever you call them) this last weekend and although I didn't find what I was looking for, I did find a few interesting shoes with "entertainment" value.

These beaded comic book heels were very different.  I tried to think of the perfect occasion to wear them and just couldn't come up with anything.

These sparkling and fringed "go-go" boots would be great for a re-make of "Saturday Night Fever."  They'd look great on the dance floor.

Female construction workers might be interested in this pair however, those heels might be a bit treacherous climbing around on scaffolding.

The funny thing is, I actually saw a young girl wearing something similar to these later that same day.

Apparently there is a market for them among the younger generations.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Dog's Day

It was Dog's Day at the Desert Botanical Garden on Saturday so I went hoping to get lots of cute doggie photos.  I went around 9:30 and it was so busy that the dogs were all a bit wired so I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked.  Why stand around posing when there are so many other dogs to converse with.

I love how this one had his tongue curled up.  It wasn't just for a second, he sat like that for quite a long time.

At one spot they had this little obstacle course so the dogs could jump over it.  I loved watching this because almost all the dogs wanted to go around it instead.  They seemed to be saying "why would I want to do all that jumping when it's easier to just walk around this thing."

When I left, people were still lined up to get in.  There were a LOT of dogs there.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Masks of All Kinds

I just had to show one more set of photos from the Masks of the Congo exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum.  The masks above are made from wood and fiber.

The one to left is another made of wood and fiber but this one has pigment added to add color.  It also has a bird perching on its crown.

This one made me smile.  I love it.

I found this one to be most interesting.  In essence it's a fertility mask depicting not only the head but the torso of a female.  Here is how it was described:
"It was part of a complex set of ritual steps involving the participation of a large group of assistants who cleansed and fed women suffering from infertility problems, accompanied by their partners and the mask character.  At the end of ritual, the mask handed the women twigs representing babies; these were kept under their beds at night."  Fascinating.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting some ancient ruins.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Beauty of the instrument

Taking a break from the Masks of the Congo, I thought I'd tell you a little about the Musical Instrument Museum.  First of all, it's huge.  I never made it to the second floor on this last visit, I got too fascinated with the masks and the unique displays on the ground floor.  In this room, they had a display of creative instruments that were unusual or beautifully designed.

That "Octobasse" in the center of the room was huge.  It's described as a  bowed lute and is a 2007 reproduction of an instrument from 1850.

Above is a group of instruments going for beauty as well as beautiful sound.  There is a Mandolinetto from 1920, Mark VI Tenor Saxophone from 1970, Concert Zither from 1908 and a "Tar" or plucked lute from the 19th Century.

When you visit the museum, you are given a headset and each display contains a video screen and when you step within range, you are able to hear the sound that goes with the video display.  That was especially wonderful in the Masks of the Congo exhibit.  I could actually see the masked dancers and hear the music being played.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Masks and Costumes

There were some very elaborate costumes on display in the exhibit of Masks and Music from the Congo at the Musical Instrument Museum.  I found this group of costumes especially interesting.  Some are made from cloth and rope while others from shells and bones.

Many of the masks are made from gourds and trimmed with dried grasses.  They were carved and shaped into all kinds of expressions.

I'm glad I went to see this fascinating exhibit.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Masks and Music from the Congo

Last Saturday I went to the Musical Instrument Museum to see a special exhibit they have showing a variety of masks and musical instruments of the various regions of the Congo.

It was a beautiful exhibit with lots of videos and audio to go with the different tribal areas.

As you can see, along with the masks and instruments, there were also full costumes worn for the masquerades.

Masquerades take place in different parts of the Congo for a variety of reasons.  Anything from simple entertainment, demonstrations of power to connections with the spirit world.

It was a fascinating exhibit.  I'll show you a few more photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Dinosaur Escape

Back in the early 80's, I was living in the city of Mesa and I served on the Museum and Cultural Advisory Board.  That was long before the amazing new Art Center but, the Arizona Museum of Natural History was a thriving museum.  However, there was not a huge dinosaur bursting out of the side of the museum while I was on that board.

What a surprise it was to see this fellow looking as though he was about to pounce on my car.  That is quite a sculpture.  I was very impressed.

I was also impressed to see sculptures on almost every corner in Mesa's downtown area.  Old Humpty Dumpty was looking pretty proud of himself sitting on that wall.  Mesa has come a very long way since the time our board was struggling for funding for the arts.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


The third exhibit at the Mesa Art Center that I saw was called "biophilia" and it consisted of just two pieces from Arizona artist, Mary Meyer.  She specializes in mixed media sculpture and installations.  The two pieces in this show were huge panels covered with clay objects.  The dark one above was all about seeds.

The white panel was on the opposite wall and it featured leaves.  They are quite interesting to look at. I found myself getting close to each panel and looking at all the little pieces that made up the whole panel.