Saturday, February 29, 2020

Random Musings

Here are some random thoughts I had while taking photos.  I guess it's not enough to own a Rolls Royce, someone had to cover it in a flashy metallic wrap too.

An interesting art work at a local gallery.  There is definitely a message being conveyed here.  I didn't catch the artist's name but I think it's likely whoever it is will be voting in the Democratic primary.  They might even be a "Bernie" fan.

I spotted that ragged plastic trapped in a tree when I was walking around downtown Phoenix.  There is no escaping the scourge of plastics.

A scar I found on one of the fleshy leaves of an agave plant.  I liked the interesting pattern.  It looks like an inner-city freeway map.

Friday, February 28, 2020

From the Side

I've had photos of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Phoenix on my blog before (here).  However, I don't think I've ever photographed it from the side like this.   Those curved window frames make it look a bit like a cheese grater from this angle.

I snapped this one with my iPhone when I was walking around downtown.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Oh the Wells Fargo Wagon is a Comin'

A couple of weeks ago, I was in downtown Phoenix with some time to kill before meeting friends for the symphony so I stopped in at the Wells Fargo Museum located on the street level of the Wells Fargo tower.  It's a small but very nice museum with lots of history about Wells Fargo dating all they way back to the famous coach and mail lines.  They have two old coaches on display.  The one above was set against a desert background perfect for picture taking.

The other one was set up for fun.  People can sit it it and feel what it would be like to ride across the desert in this horse drawn wagon.  I'm thinking that you get a pretty calm version of what it must have really been like.

One thing that really impressed me was the collection of N.C. Wyeth original paintings.  They must have had at least a dozen of them.  Wyeth worked as an illustrator for different publications so many of these paintings ended up in novels, school books and magazines.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Weave - Construct - Code - Connect

Yesterday I mentioned that I was in the Gallery at the Tempe Center for the Arts for a concert which also gave me the opportunity to enjoy the artwork on display.  My title for this post is the name of the exhibit.

I found this piece to the left to be extremely fascinating, especially to someone who enjoys photography.  The artist, Carol Shinn transferred a photo she had taken to fabric and then using a basic sewing machine proceeded to "embroider" the entire image until every tiny bit of it was covered with thread with none of the original photo showing.  In other words, she embroidered her photographic image.  It was amazing to see.

One of the other pieces was visible in one of my photos from yesterday's post.

This one was created by Devorah Sperber and is composed completely of spools of thread in different colors.  The viewer can look through those lenses and see the portrait.  At the link you will see that she has created a wide variety of portraits this way.

There were other pieces in the exhibit that I found absorbing, almost like solving a puzzle.

It was certainly a wonderful experience to hear beautiful music as I described yesterday and also find so much art to challenge the senses.  It was a truly sensory experience.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Unique Experience

Last Sunday I joined close friends to attend a concert produced by Hayden's Ferry Chamber Music Series.  We had only recently heard of this musical organization and attended this performance on the recommendation of an acquaintance.  By the end, we were wishing we had heard about it long before.

It was held at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe and in the Art Gallery at that facility.  The performance we saw was called the Trio Combray with Gregory Fulkerson on violin, Jeffrey Solow on cello and Jeffrey Swann on piano.  They  played pieces by Shumann, Beethoven and Brahms.

The setting was what I'd call intimate with only a small gathering of people in the audience.  We sat listening to some truly beautiful music surrounded by some fascinating art work from the gallery's current exhibition.  There is only one more performance in this season's series and we've already decided to attend it and take more friends along with us.  I'll certainly be looking for next season's schedule when it becomes available.  It's always wonderful to find new and wider artistic enjoyments.

Tomorrow I'll show you some of the intriguing art that was featured in the exhibit in the gallery.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Eye on the Wall

This mural is located in the Roosevelt Row Arts District.  It was painted by well known Phoenix muralist Lalo Cota and his daughter Devony Cota.  They make a great father and daughter artistic duo!  I've featured Cota's murals here before.  One of them is here.  His work is all over town and is always creative and colorful.

Monday Murals

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Shrouded Monk

The praying monk on the side of Camelback Mountain was shrouded in low lying clouds all day yesterday.  It rained pretty much all day long.

Everything got a good soaking which is just what we need here in the desert.  I only left the house to go to the grocery store and snap these photos and I got pretty wet doing just that.  What a nice change of pace.  According to the experts, the sun will be back for Sunday.

So what did I do all day long at home?  I baked cookies!  Mint and Chocolate chip cookies to be exact.  They are delicious.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm looking at views over and around Los Angeles.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Downtown Supermarket

A year ago, I posted about a big construction site in downtown Phoenix that was going to be a new supermarket.  Well, it's finally done and I recently had the opportunity to walk through the new Frys Grocery store.  It's a beautiful store on the inside with everything anyone could want and plenty of prepared foods to feed that downtown lunch crowd.  I have a friend who works downtown and she said she loves the salad bar.

From this side I can see that a parking garage above the store is part of the building and above that looks like office space or possibly condos.  That part still looks empty so I'm not sure what is going to happen up there.

Inside the store I found this mural-like painting depicting all kinds of scenes from Phoenix through the ages.  It was created by the Arizona based mural artist collective called Mural Mice Universal.  I love the Phoenix Bird flying off in the upper right.

Friday, February 21, 2020

February Gardens

Last weekend I drove over to my old neighborhood to photograph the African daisies in bloom for a post on this blog.  I know exactly what yards have these perennials every year so it's the perfect place to catch some photos.  I thought I'd show you one of the houses where the flowers run wild over the front yard.  They give the whole neighborhood a delicious spring-like look.

Letting these yellow and orange beauties spread around the cactus in the yard makes for a perfect 'spring-time-in-the-desert' garden.

Thursday, February 20, 2020


When I went to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism to see that  World Press Foundation photographic exhibit, I discovered a small museum of memorabilia from the long career of Walter Cronkite.

There was a collection of magazines with him on the cover, some books, one of his typewriters and one of his Emmy's.

There was also a collection of cameras used by reporters and even an old television camera from one of our Phoenix area television stations.

There was quite a lot to see in this one room.  It's a wonderful tribute to a very well respected newsman.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fly Me to the Moon

The moon was looming over Camelback Mountain mid-day last Sunday so I used my telephoto to see if I could get a good shot of it.  This is the one I like the best.  I love the way the telephoto makes it look so close.  It looks like I might be standing on another planet looking at the sky.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Weekend iPhone Photos

I have a few iPhone photos from this last weekend, another busy one for me.  First up is the scene inside the Mesa Art Center Gallery.  It was opening night for a new exhibit and a pretty good sized crowd had turned out for the opening.

This was my favorite piece in the exhibit.  It's a painting on silk called SanTan Sunset by Cheri Reckers.  There are some mountains south of Phoenix called the SanTan Mountains so that is where the name comes from.

After the gallery opening we stepped next door to the Art Center to hear a concert by Renee Fleming.  We had balcony seats as you can see but her beautiful voice carried perfectly up to our ears.

My friend Glenda was dog-sitting for Tucker again and I couldn't resist a photo (or two or three) of this cute little fellow.  You might remember that I photographed Tucker a little over a year ago.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Cactus Garden

I found this wonderful mural on the wall of an apartment complex.  There is no signature so I can't give the artist credit but, I can say that whoever the artist is, they are very talented.  It kind of makes me anxious for the cactus blooms to start showing up.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

And Also Appearing in February

If it's time for the flowering pear trees (yesterday's post) than it must also be African Daisy time.  Sure enough, they are starting to make an appearance all around town.

I love finding patches that have been blended with other wildflowers.

They make perfect little garden scenes right next to the street.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  When traveling, it's always wise to keep your eye out for the totally unusual.  

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Right on Time

Mother nature's internal clock is right on time again this year.  It's the first part of February and the flowering pear trees are blooming like crazy.  As you can see it makes the bees very happy.

I made a quick stop at my favorite cluster of the trees and they were putting on a wonderful show and tempting us all with signs of spring.

There is even a flowering pear tree in the courtyard of where I live.  It's in an awkward spot to photograph but looking down on it from the top floor with the pool water as a backdrop works very nicely.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Art in the Hotel Lobby

The Kimpton Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix has joined with the art group ARTLAB to sponsor an artist in residence in the hotel lobby.  The day I stopped in, the artist was Taylor Victoria.

To the left is one of her drawings that she has printed on cards.  She told me she does these detailed geometric designs free-hand using no rulers, compasses or other drawing tools.

What incredible talent!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Full Moon

Last weekend, I was at my friends Julie & Dave's house for dinner and it happened to be a full moon night.  I was busy helping prepare the dinner so Dave grabbed my camera and went out to see if he could get some good shots.  I'd say he succeeded nicely.

After I downloaded the shots, I sent a few back to Dave who told me he took them hand-held.  I'm really impressed now.  I'd say he did a fantastic job.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Birds at the Watering Hole

My weekend walk at the botanical garden turned out to be a good time for bird watching.  At my favorite spot, the contemplation garden I got to see quite a lot of birds coming in for a drink.  It was the first time I had seen quail at this spot.

I enjoyed seeing these plump chaps stop by for a drink.

After the quail left, the lesser goldfinches showed up.

There was quite a large group of them taking turns in the water.

Some were there for a quick bath while others just needed a drink.

And, it seems this guy just wanted to sit in the water.