Thursday, April 30, 2020

Light Inspired Art

Since the Phoenix Art Museum has been closed since mid-March, they have been sending out emails to members as "virtual visits".  The one I got recently feature several pieces that all deal with light in one way or another.  Since I recognized each piece as one I had photos of, I decided to create a post around those same pieces.  Above is one of my favorites that hangs in the main lobby so it is one of the first art pieces you see when you enter the museum.  It's called "The Last Scattering Surface" by Josiah McElheny.  It's part of the artist's big bang series and attempts to explain the creation of the universe.

This next one is called "Palindrome #1" by Glenn Ligon.  It's neon lettering against a black background.  Your first thought might be that the phrase really isn't a true palindrome.  The artist calls it a conceptual palindrome, not a verbal one. I almost always see people doing selfies in front of this one.

This is a very subtle piece called "Mohl Ip" by James Turrell.  It's located in the great hall of the museum where events are held.  I call it subtle because it changes colors and intensity very slowly.  I've seen it almost red and often blue.  It has a kind of hypnotic effect if you sit and watch it.

I'll have to describe this one to you because the photo doesn't do it justice.  The piece is called "You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies" and the artist is Yayoi Kusama.  This one is a completely dark room that is strung with thousands of strands of tiny LED lights.  You enter from one side and exit the other.  I don't go into this very often because I have a hard time adjusting my eyes to find my way out which of course, is the whole purpose.

You might remember this one.  I've featured it several times before.  It's another favorite.  This one is called "Mike Kelley 13" by Jennifer Steinkamp.  It is a digital projection of a tree that sort of sways in the wind and changes with the seasons.  I believe this view is summer.  Jennifer named the piece after her teacher and fellow artist.

The only photo I have of the last piece is this collage I created way back in 2008.  I couldn't even find one of the original photos.   This is another digital creation and it's called "Julian & Suzanne Walking" by Julian Opie.  Several pieces like this exist in places all over the world.  I saw one once in London.  This  piece is located on the outside of the museum so even if you are just driving by, you can admire this couple who walk, walk, walk but never get anywhere.

I love getting these emails from the museum.  They have all kinds of bits of information in them that I wouldn't normally get just reading the description cards.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Tacky Tiki

The Tacky Tiki is every bit as good a name as the real name of this place, The Drunk Munk.  I saw this scene last Friday on my walk.  The truly sad thing is that this "Drunk Munk" restaurant/bar is located in the same building that once housed the beloved Cowboy Ciao restaurant.  I featured that former valley favorite back in 2015.  After 21 years of booming business, the restaurant suddenly closed in October of 2018.  It appears it has been replaced by this unfortunate looking place.

Perhaps I'm being unkind.  I haven't tried this place so I can't comment on the food, drink or atmosphere other than my observation of this inelegant entrance.  However, I did check their website and the pictures there did not make me want to rush to try it.

P.S. The good news is that the famous "Stetson Chopped Salad" that I described in my 2015 post, is still available at two other valley restaurants.  Or it was know....the pandemic shut down.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Annual Maternity Parking Lot

If you've been following my blog for a while, you will probably remember that every spring a couple of Canadian Geese turn up in the parking lot where I live and hang around until the eggs are hatched.  This year was no exception.  I took the photo to the left on March 26th when this fellow first showed up for his ritual of sitting in the parking lot.  The top photo I took just last Friday when the same goose was watching things from the top of the carport covers.

Yesterday when I was sitting at my desk I heard a lot of very loud goose "honking" going on so I went outside to see what was happening.  It turns out they were rather loudly staking their territory around two newly hatched goslings.  They might be hard to spot in the photo above.  One is at the feet of the goose on the left and the other is up on that shelf just below his head.

It wasn't long before one of them was trying out his new and very unstable legs.  In the past years, I've always questioned why these fellows choose to nest in a parking lot where cars are coming and going all the time.  So this year I questioned Professor Google about just that.  Apparently it's quite common.  Just take a look at all the photos I found on Google!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Glamorous Astronaut

This is an impressive mural I found on a building on 16th Street in Phoenix.  It looks a bit like a fashion model in a space suit, something that one probably wouldn't see in reality.  This mural was painted by a Florida based artist named Jay Maich and he calls it Moon Room.

I found his website where he has a photo of this mural but, there is no explanation for the name or the subject.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tending the Herd

I discovered this lady tending a herd of goats on one of my walks in Scottsdale.    I didn't see an artist's name attached to this scene that is slightly hidden from the street.   I have however, featured that tall fellow with his back to us before on this blog.  That statue is called "Blessings to All" and was created by Kathy Whitman known as Elk Woman.  If you click the link, you might notice in that older photo, the lady with the goats was not behind him.  She must have been added to the park-like space more recently.

I wonder if this one was created by the same artist called Elk Woman.  It is a possibility.  Elk Woman is represented by the Bischoff's Gallery which is located next to this little park.  In fact, I think that gallery maintains this park space.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourn's today.  I'm visiting the former home of an Italian explorer.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Changing Scenery....Again

I met my friend Glenda yesterday for another change of scenery walk.  This time we opted for the paths next to the canal in Scottsdale in the area known as the Scottsdale Waterfront.  It was a beautiful, clear morning making the look of those expensive condo buildings along the canal look very pretty against the blue sky.

What a gorgeous shade of blue!  We saw lots of people with the same idea but we were able to keep our distance from all of them.  I'm not sure where we will walk next week.  The temperatures are headed into the 100's (38+ C) by tomorrow.  That is about 14 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year.  Fingers crossed that normal temps will come back before our summer heat sets in.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Let's Celebrate Arbor Day

When I was a youngster back in grade school, I remember Arbor Day being a bit of big deal.  School kids would celebrate the day by planting a tree somewhere in the city.  Even into high school, I remember seeing news stories of tree planting celebrations.  These days the day is not even mentioned.  I know that with the current health crisis, there probably wouldn't be a celebration this year, however I haven't heard of any type of public event for Arbor Day in a very long time.  Since trees and forests are "the lungs" of this planet, it seems a real shame that the day isn't celebrated more.  We should all be planting more trees!

You might recognize the tree in today's photo.  Last January when I passed this tree, it had completely turned brown for the winter.  I snapped a photo of it and then I manipulated the photo and turned the leaves a beautiful fall red.  You can see that post here.  This is such a beautifully shaped tree, I always stop to admire it when I walk the neighborhood.  I think it's worthy of lots of admiration.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Stairway to Heaven??

A little break from the stay-at-home monotony yesterday afternoon.  My friend Glenda is moving into a new place that has been under going major renovations for the past few months.  I found out yesterday morning that the new spiral staircase that is going into her atrium was being installed and would require a crane to lift over the roof and down into the area.

Her new place isn't far from me so I decided to head over and take a few photos.  Here they are lifting it off of the truck that brought it in.

Here it is swinging in the air.  Her condo is to the left and that two story one in the middle of the photo so they still have to swing it to the left to get it over the right spot.

Now it's in position to be lowered into the atrium.

And, here they are lowering it into position.  By the time I left, they had it all set up and were putting the bolts in to hold it in place.  

It was nice to have something interesting to see, for a change of pace.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day turns 50 years old today!  We've been celebrating our home planet for 50 years but unfortunately we haven't done a very good job of protecting it.  We had better start doing a better job of it because it's the only home we have.

When I went for my "change of scenery" walk last Friday in Scottsdale, I found a lot of things the earth has given us.  Like the pretty bachelor's button flower in the first photo and the honey bee on top of it.  And, this bright red hibiscus bloom.

And look at these snapdragons that are growing in crack in the paving stones.  Our Earth is a beautiful place.  Let's do what we can to keep it that way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Cuddly Friends in Strange Places

When I was in Scottsdale last Friday, I notice quite a few cuddly stuffed animals in some very strange places.  Can you see that cute little dog squeezed in between the "L" and the "O" in Robert Indiana's Love sculpture.

If not, here is a closer view.  There appears to be someone else joining the pup inside the "O".

Then right along Camelback Road I spotted this Teddy Bear fixed to a palm tree.

I learned the next day that there has been a world-wide event happening inspired by a children's book "We are Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen.  Since so many children are staying at home right now, people have put teddy bears (and other stuffed animals) in places around their yards or in their windows so when parents are walking with their children, the kids can be searching for the bears. 

I must be a kid at heart because I'm going to keep my eye out for these cuddly creatures too.

Monday, April 20, 2020

This Mural Has Staying Power

Way back in 2008, I featured a picture of this mural located on the side of restaurant building in downtown Phoenix.  At the time, the restaurant was a Thai place.

Now it's a vegan restaurant.  When the mural was first placed there it was a Cuban Restaurant and since this is a Cuban scene it fit perfectly.  So, the mural has real staying power...the restaurants not so much.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

A Very Weak Season

On this day for the past two years, I've been showing you the blooms on this gorgeous bottle brush tree not far from my house.  Here is 2019 and 2018.  This tree has never failed to impress until this year.

What a weak showing of blooms this year.  I drove past on April 2nd to see if it was blooming and again on April 15th.  This is the best I got.  I wonder why this year was so different.  Take a look at the two links and you'll see that this tree was much, much brighter last year.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking a cruise on Lake Como.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Change of Scenery

Yesterday I drove to Scottsdale and met my friend Glenda so we could take a walk with some new scenery.  I have to admit, the walk was a bit surreal.  The above photo is Main Street in Scottsdale Old Town, an area that this time of year would be simply packed with tourists.  The street is lined with galleries and jewelry stores and those parking spaces you see are simply never empty.  I've tried to find a parking place on this street many, many times with no luck.

This is the time of year when these businesses make all their money.  The late winter and early spring months are the bread and butter of this area.  I couldn't help wondering how many of these stores will survive this crisis.

It was odd to see one of my favorite restaurant, AZ88 closed up with a sign out front advertising a few "take-out" items on the menu.

Scottsdale Civic Center Park was virtually empty with the exception of one or two walkers like us meandering about.  And, there were signs posted everywhere reminding people to maintain social distancing.  There was a bright side, I did get quite a few photos that I can share in the future and it was just great to see new scenery and enjoy the peace and quiet in a place that is never peaceful and quiet.

Friday, April 17, 2020

I See Frida

Two years ago, I did a post about a visit to the home of woman who collects southwestern art.  I found these two unposted photos from that visit in my archives.   I remember seeing Frida Kahlo peeking through the back of one the dining room chairs.  I wasn't quite sure what I was seeing so I took a closer look.

On the other side of the table was a special chair with a painting of Frida Kahlo on it.  It made an interesting illusion in the top photo because you can't see any of the chair at all from that viewpoint. It just looks like Frida is watching me take photos.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Paolo Soleri Bridge

I've featured different views of the Paolo Soleri Bridge located in Scottsdale Arizona at the Scottsdale Waterfront a few times before.  However, I've never done a post specifically about the bridge.

The bridge was commissioned in 1990 but it took 20 years to approve designs, obtain funding, and build.  It was finally dedicated on December 11th 2010 and Paolo Soleri was in attendance for the dedication.

It is a pedestrian passage over the canal and a gathering place for people enjoying the beauty of the area with its many paths leading to a variety of businesses and public areas.  In addition, it is a sort of solar calendar.  The two 64-foot pylons that anchor the bridge are spaced 6 inches apart.  The gap allows the noon-day sun to create a shadow across the bridge.  The length of the shadow depends on the time of year.  On June 21st, the summer solstice, no shadow appears at all while the winter solstice in December produces the longest shadow.

Behind the two tall pylons are two 22-foot pylons encasing one of Paolo Soleri's bells.

The bell has its own story to tell.  It was part of the artist's very first U.S. retrospective of his work at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. back in 1970.

Paolo Soleri passed away in 2013 at his home in Paradise Valley Arizona.  His studio Cosanti is still thriving at the same location.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

One New & One Old

Some clouds over Camelback Mountain from my place just this last weekend.  I love clouds like these and try to capture them whenever they appear.

And, a shadow that caught my eye a few months ago.  It's from an apartment complex located behind the Phoenix Art Museum.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

95th Anniversary

I took this photo way back in 2013 and never got around to posting it.  It's of the doors to the offices of Arizona Highways Magazine.  Beautiful doors, don't you think?  Did you notice how the Thunderbird's talons are formed on the door handles?

When I got my most recent issue of the magazine and saw that the publication was celebrating 95 years of beautiful and inspiring photography, it seemed like the perfect time to dig out that old photo I took so many years ago.  People all over the world have been enjoying the wonders of the state of Arizona through this magazine for many, many years.  Here's to many more!