Friday, July 31, 2020

Radiant Grove

I mentioned yesterday that I went to the Phoenix Public Library last February to see a special Student Art Exhibit.  While I was there, I was able to view several other art exhibits that the library was featuring.  These colorful "trees" caught my eye.  It's a piece called Radiant Grove.

The artist is Daniel Funkhouser and this piece is created from laser cut acrylic.  The colors were amazing but I was kind of wishing they had been placed against a plain wall. I think all the different pieces of colorful plastic that make up the trees would pop out more against a solid background.

This was part of an organization called In Flux which is a collaboration between six valley cities, Phoenix, Chandler, Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale and Tempe.  The six cities selected 10 artists to create temporary public art works that could be displayed in locations around the valley.  I'm glad I caught this one and learned about this art project.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Student Art Exhibit

Back in February when life was going along at a normal pace, I read somewhere that there was an exhibit of student art work on display at the the main branch of the Phoenix Public Library.  It was work by students at Phoenix College, the school I used to live near.  I decided to take a look.  It turned out to be a very small exhibit with only five artists represented.  I only took photos of two of the pieces.  The one above was created in hand-dyed fabric by Brenda Mason.  It's called "Path to Forgiveness".  One of the members of my Art Challenge group does work with fabric so I could appreciate this one very much.

The second one I photographed is by artist Curtis Owens.  It is called "Scarred Fragments" and it's constructed of ceramic pieces on panels.  They made me think of a type of body shield.

Finding these photos made me sigh and wish I could go museums and libraries once again.

Tomorrow I'll show you another interesting piece of art I found at the Library that wasn't a part of this particular exhibit.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Around the Corner....More Smooth Curves

 You might remember that at the end of June, I took a Sunday drive to Scottsdale and wandered around the outside of the Scottsdale Museum of the West.  While I was there I found another beautiful sculpture by Khang Pham-New.  I posted a picture of the other sculpture of his back in June.  I found this one right around the corner.  This one is larger than the first one I found.  The artist calls this one "Realm of Passion".

This sculpture had a descriptive plaque and I found the information very interesting.

It reads:
In the late 1970's and early 1980's Vietnamese refugees fled Vietnam by boat and migrated to many countries, including the United States.  Known as "Boat People" many families resettled in the greater Phoenix area, and as Vietnamese Americans they contribute to the rich cultural diversity of the American West.  Vietnamese artist Khang Pham-New created these sculptures to serve and show gratitude for both our country having given his people lawful permanent residency and to the Vietnamese immigrants for proudly preserving their cultural characteristics, most importantly family loyalty.  

Reading that gave me a whole different perspective of this wonderful artist.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Southwest Pieta

Here is another sculpture I found on the Arizona State University campus.  This one is located outside the Nelson Fine Arts Building.  It's called Southwest Pieta and it was sculpted by Luis Jimenez.  Jimenez was born in El Paso Texas but lived in New Mexico for most of his career.  He has scultptures all over the country.  In fact, according to Wikipedia, he has a sculpture by the same name as this in Albuquerque New Mexico that was named a National Treasure by President Bill Clinton in 1999.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Art Challenge Meeting

My Art Challenge group met last Friday evening and this month's challenge was "Hidden".  I used that editing software on my very old laptop and came up with this photo that I called Hidden Land.  A landscape that has been captured and hidden away in a floating orb.

We met via Zoom again for the fourth time.  Obviously, it's not as much fun as all of us being together but it will have to do for the time being.

Since our "in-person" meetings always consisted of a vast array of food and drink, I decided to create my own little "buffet".  It was a nice treat to enjoy while we viewed all the fascinating art that had been created on the subject of "Hidden".

I got to choose the challenge theme for the next meeting.  It will be "Curiosity".  I have no idea what I will create but, I have until the end of August to come up with something.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

As the Day Progressed

Friday afternoon around 1:30, I headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things when I noticed the clouds building up to the north.

I made a bit of a detour to get to place where I could snap a couple of photos of those big puffy clouds in the distance.  I was hoping they would bring a monsoon storm our way.

At around 5:45, I noticed what looked like rain but the sun was shining.  I went outside to see what was happening and sure enough, it was raining with the sun shining brightly from the west.  It's hard to tell in the photo above.  I think the camera was overcompensating for shooting into the bright light.  However, you can see the shadows of the trees.

At 7:30 that same evening, there was a definite golden glow shining on my windows so I went out again and caught this fiery sunset.  I'm hoping for a few more days like this one.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's another virtual walk, this time near the beach.

Saturday, July 25, 2020


I took this photo last fall when I was attending one of the lectures at Arizona State University but I only recently found information about this statue.  It was donated to the W. P. Carey School of Management by entrepreneur Morton Fleischer and his wife Donna back in 2009.  For a while the statue stood in front of the Fleischer Museum in Scottsdale but the museum closed in 2002 and the statue was moved to their ranch.  The statue is 14 foot high and 20 foot long and depicts five horses rising out of the earth.  It was created by sculptor Buck McCain.  It must be quite a job to move a statue this big.

Friday, July 24, 2020

More Historic Charm

I have three more homes from historic neighborhoods today.  The first one is from the Del Norte Place neighborhood.  This area dates back to 1927 when the area was conceived as an English Cottage style community.  Later construction featured more ranch style homes which explains this one.  Houses here are probably in the $500,000 to $600,000 price range these days.

Earl Place is another neighborhood that dates back to 1927.  This area was named for E. A. Earl who subdivided his agricultural land to help meet the growing need for housing.  Homes here were advertised as charming cottages with custom wood interior detailing and modern conveniences such as electric light switches and kitchen appliances.  Prices here are probably the same as above.

This last house is from the East Alvarado neighborhood.  This area dates to 1929 with a lot of traditional and early ranch style homes.  However as the neighborhood grew, a lot of different architectural styles began to appear.  Prices here are about the same as the two above.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Gables, Shutters and Curves

I have three more historic neighborhoods represented here today.  First up in in an area called Cheery Lynn.  It's described as a prototype neighborhood with predominantly English-influenced architecture.

The next photo is a house in the Coronado historic neighborhood.  This is one of the larger neighborhoods with homes dating back to 1900 through the 1930's.

The Country Club Park neighborhood sits just outside of the Phoenix Country Club and the homes here are in a variety of styles.  This one has a bit of an art deco look to it.

All of the historic neighborhoods are denoted by the blue signs that sit atop the normal street signs in each neighborhood.

A couple of my readers asked about the cost of these homes and I can say that it depends on which neighborhood.  Most fall within the normal value for the amount of square footage, probably between $180,000 to $300,000 and maybe one or two as high as $500,000.  However, a few of the neighborhoods fall well above that range, many rising above one million.  The Alvarado neighborhood I pictured a few days ago falls in that category.  I'll point out some of the other expensive ones when I get to them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Finally the Clouds Have Arrived

We've been not so patiently waiting for our summer "monsoons" to begin and it looks like they might be on the way.  The past few days we've seen more and more cloud build-ups but so far no rain.  It is predicted to rain sometime in the next few days but, you know how those "predictions" go.

On the bright side, all those clouds make for some spectacular sunsets.  This one caught my eye Monday evening.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly....

...of internet service!

No one should have that many laptops on their desk!  For the past three weeks, I've been suffering from a very strange malady that made no sense at all.  My work laptop would no longer connect to the internet via wifi.  No one could figure it out.  They asked me to connect the computer via an ethernet cable which I did and that worked however, my modem and router are in a different room than my office,  So tethered to the router, I had to work from my coffee table with a series of wires draped across my living room.  Not an optimal situation for productivity.  I contacted my service provider and they blamed the computer.  My technical staff at work could find no fault with the computer.  They finally gave me a loaner laptop to use which connected without any problems but, when I joined online meetings with the loaner, my connection kept failing.

After three calls to my service provider I finally found a technician willing to listen to my problem and work on a solution.  It was determined that my modem was old and wearing out.  I spent all day Friday figuring out the problem, buying a new modem and then installing it myself (with the help of the technician on the phone). It was the only way to get help because my provider is not making any in-home service calls in Arizona or Florida because of Covid-19.  Everything is working now but there is simply no explanation for why the two work laptops had problems.  My Apple products had no connection problems at all.  

That is my explanation for why on Friday I had five laptops sitting on my desk.  My two MacBooks that worked without fail and my two work computers that each had its own set of problems.  Back in the corner is that old Dell laptop I keep for the photo editing software only.  I'm happy to say all is back to normal today and my desk looks once again like a normal work space.

So that is my Good, Bad & Ugly internet saga.  Technology is "good" when it works, "bad" when it doesn't and "ugly" when things happen that no one can make any sense of at all.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Madonna Mural

This reverent Madonna graces the front of a Tattoo parlor on McDowell Road in Phoenix.  It was painted by the artist known as El Mac.  El Mac (aka Miles "Mac" MacGregor) is a Los Angeles based artist who actually grew up in Phoenix.  He has a number of murals around Phoenix and an even larger amount in Los Angeles.  I wonder how many Madonna tattoos have been created in this shop.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Living Near the College

When Phoenix College opened up in 1939 it was located just outside the city limits.  Its opening created a demand for nearby housing and thus the Historic Neighborhood of Campus Vista was born. I think I've mentioned several times that I used to live in a Historic Neighborhood and it just so happens that this is the neighborhood I lived in.  In fact, this is the house I lived in.  This photo is from my archives and it reflects how the house looked while I was living there.  I actually began blogging from here back in 2008.

I drove by the old house recently and this is what it looks like these days.  I like the brown trim and the trees have grown nicely.

It's almost hard to believe that this area was once outside the city limits because today it is located right in the heart of the city just minutes away from downtown Phoenix.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm taking a virtual walk in the high desert.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods

I started a series over six years ago of photos of homes from some of the Historic Neighborhoods in Phoenix.  I don't think I ever finished it.  Since driving around neighborhoods and shooting photos from my car is something I can do and still remain socially distant, I think it's time I revisit some of these places.  So I'm going to try to cover all 35 of our historic neighborhoods over the months ahead.  I'm starting above with a house from the Alvarado neighborhood.  This neighborhood has some wonderful old homes that have been beautifully maintained.  I pictured two of them in the past here and here.

This house is in the Ashland Historic Neighborhood and you can tell from the high-rise buildings behind it that it's located very close a business corridor.  Those are buildings along Central Avenue in the background.

This last house is from the Brentwood Historic Neighborhood.  This area began developing in the 1920's and was considered a suburb of Phoenix for a while. Now it's right in the heart of town.

I love looking at these old houses.  They have so much character.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Reflected Palm Trees

I was stopped behind this car at a traffic light when I noticed those almost perfect reflections of the line of palm trees along the street.  I  grabbed my iPhone and snapped.  That car is certainly very clean and shiny.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Remembering the Penthouse

I dug deep into my archives for this post.  Back in 2010, I was working for someone who owned a condo in the One Lexington high-rise building on Central Avenue in Phoenix.  The building had recently been converted to condos from an office building.  My employer obtained permission to hold a political fund-raising event in the penthouse apartment.  The apartment had been scheduled to be the grand prize in the Health & Wealth raffle supporting the Barrow Neurological Foundation.

I attended with my trusty camera in hand to take a few photos for the official event.  But in addition to the clusters of people talking to elected officials, I took a few photos just for me.

It was a two-story condo so I could get some interesting shots from the second floor looking down.  I managed to snap a photo of those nicely arranged trays of snacks before the guests attacked them.

The dining table also looked good from above.  I can see a theme of dots and circles and orbs going on with that decor.

I never did hear who won the penthouse in that raffle.  Back in 2010, I did post one photo from that night on my blog.  It was a night time scene looking out over the city from the fabulous roof-top patio.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Curiosity Has a Price

Many of us photo bloggers have been searching through our photo files lately to come up with photos to post since we can't get out and about as much as usual.  Last week, I went searching through a file of photos from the Butterfly Wonderland place in Scottsdale.  It's been over 6 years since I visited there.  I think the annual butterfly pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden always satisfies my need to see butterflies.

While looking through those photos, I noticed that many of the butterflies were not identified so I went to Amazon and found a book called the Smithsonian Handbook on Butterflies and Moths.  I ordered it and it arrived on Monday.  So far, the only one I've found in the book is the first photo.  It's called a Great Orange Tip.  The one above I found doing a Google search. It's a Tamil Lacewing.

So what do you supposed these last two are called?  I can't find them in the book and I wasn't able to find them via Google.  Any ideas out there?  The book I bought has thousands of examples in it but I couldn't find any that come close to these two and I also couldn't find a few that I had already identified.   So that book didn't turn out to be very helpful after all.

By the way, if you want to see the butterflies I posted from the Butterfly Wonderland in the past, just click the Butterfly Wonderland label below.

7/16/20 Update:  Two of my readers did the deep research and found the names of these two butterflies.  The top one is called a Starry Night Cracker, an appropriate name I think.  The last one is called a Rusty Tipped Page.  Thanks very much for finding these for me!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Looking for a Burger?

Over this past weekend, I was craving a burger and there is one corner not far from me where there is a good selection of choices to satisfy that craving.  Around the corner of 20th Street and Camelback Road, there is a plethora of burger joints available to try.  I've written about Hopdoddy before.  They have one of my favorite burgers which I pictured in that past post.  Hopdoddy is located on the southeast corner.

Across the street from Hopdoddy is Smash Burger, another decent burger joint.  This one is located on the southwest corner of 20th Street and Camelback Road.  This is the one I chose this last weekend.  The burgers are good but the french fries are outstanding.  They sprinkle them with rosemary.  Yum!

Just feet away from Smash Burger is the relatively new In-n-out Burger place.  This place opened at this location about two years ago and of course, became to big hit instantly.  People love this place so much that it's always busy.  Now, with inside dining almost non-existent, they have turned their huge parking lot into a huge vehicle maze to accommodate the very long lines of people using their drive-thru.  Several weeks ago, I waited in that long line for 30 minutes to get my burger.  Memories of that long wait helped to steer me to a different place this last weekend.

On the north side of Camelback Road is the old standby, Wendy's.  It's actually been there long before any of the others.  You would think with all the other options available on this particular corner, Wendy's would have taken a big hit on it's business.  Not so!  This place appears to be just as busy as it's always been.

Hungry for a burger?  Head to 20th Street and Camelback Road.  The options are many!

Monday, July 13, 2020

Colorful Collaboration

This mural on the side of a building along 16th Street is a collaboration between Los Angeles based artist Vyal One (aka Vyal Reyes) and Breeze (aka Thomas Marcus).  Eyes are common in Vyal One's work which can be seen all over the country.  I love the colors in this one.  It conveys a soothing feeling to me.

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Open, Closed, Open and Closed Again

For approximately nine months I watched as this building was going up on the east side of the Biltmore Fashion Park Shopping Center.  I had already heard that it was going to be a fitness center but, I have to admit I was blown away by its size as the building progressed.

In mid-March it opened and then just one week later had to close as the pandemic shut-down happened.  When our Governor finally lifted the shut-down order it opened again only to have to close once more as our infection numbers soared out of control.  But, that second closing didn't come easy.  Lifetime Fitness decided to defy the Governor's closing order. Their defiance lasted only a day or two when they finally gave in and closed again.  As you can see, it's a gorgeous building and I'm sure a state-of-the-art facility.  Just another casualty of this horrible virus.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting the city that sits at the very tip of Lake Como.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Something to Think About

I can't tell you the number of times I've tried to photograph this piece at the Phoenix Art Museum.  It's almost impossible to get it without distracting reflections.

That said, reading the description of this piece gives you a lot to think about.  The artist is Josiah McElheny and the description reads:

"Can a three-dimensional object exist without a shadow?  This question inspired Josiah McElheny to create his series Extended Landscape Model for Total Reflective Abstraction.  The sculptures are a response to a conversation that began in 1929 between Buckminster Fuller, a theoretical engineer, and Isamu Noguchi, a sculptor.  The two theorized that it was possible but the object would need to be perfectly reflective and exist in a reflective environment.  Noguchi experimented to achieve this perfect combination, but McElheny was the one to realize their utopic theory fully.  According to McElheny, the work explores themes of transparency, reflectivity, connection and seamlessness; elements for a utopic environment.  However, McElheny notes that this vision is short-lived because the reality of a functional utopic society can only lead to horrible violence.  Thus, his work takes the form of models rather than fully developed realities."

How is that for something heavy to think about this weekend?  On the other hand, just enjoy looking at those pretty reflective forms and think about how hard this is to capture in a photo.