Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Only Black & White


I went to the Shemer Art Center over the weekend to see the current exhibit called "Only Black & White".  One of the members of my Art Challenge Group had a piece in the show and here it is.  

Jim Lowman is a printer who specializes in serigraphy, etching and relief printing.  His piece is called "COVID Codex" and he used a lot of Native American symbols done in silkscreen on special paper.  It's always fun to see one of our members featured in an art exhibit.  

There were some very creative pieces in the show.  I'm always impressed by the amount of talent on display at these exhibits.  The one above by Lisa Nordstrom was very clever.  It's called "Another Well Woven Story".  She has taken lines of text and woven them together.

To the right is a piece done with colored pencil called "Resilience" by Barbara Dahlstedt.  It is so finely done that I thought it was a photograph at first.

Here is another very interesting piece.  This one is called "House of Memory" and is composed nine wooden, house-shaped frames each containing a mason jar and inside each jar was an old photo.  Along with the piece was a recorded message of the artist's voice talking quietly about memories of family and friends over the years.

It was another fascinating show at the Shemer.  

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Sun is About to Shine


A week ago when I was at the Desert Botanical Garden, I spotted another Chihuly glass sculpture being installed.

As I got a little closer, I could see the boxes containing the "rays" of sunshine looking like they were anxious to get out of the boxes.

When I was there on Friday, I saw that the work had been completed and "the sun" was shining brightly.  It will look stunning at night when it is all lit up.  There is a grand opening event Wednesday evening that I will be attending.  You can be sure there will be lots of photos to follow.

One last photo.  This is what it looked like three weeks ago when I first spotted this huge orb.  I had no idea at the time what it was going to be.  Now I see that it was the framework for the sun-like sculpture.  

Sunday, November 28, 2021

On the Move


I went for a short walk at the Desert Botanical Garden Friday afternoon so I could enjoy the lovely fall weather.

I saw one of the cute little cactus wrens perched on top of a saguaro cactus.  I raised the camera to take a photo and just as I clicked the shutter the little fellow flew off.  I thought I'd be tossing the shot but when I downloaded it, I actually liked the action in the image.  That little bird looks like it's flying right at the camera.

To the right I photographed another saguaro cactus with just a hint of lavender Chihuly glass reeds peeking out at its base.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm featuring a Japanese treat in NYC.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

All Gone!


There used to be a beautiful fountain at the Scottsdale Civic Center Park. 

It was large with several fountain spouts that pushed water into the air.  It was located right in the middle of the park and although you wouldn't know it when you were walking around it, the fountain was located right above a street that traveled north and south right under the park.  That fountain started to cause leakage below it and the water was causing a lot of damage to the underpass for the road.  Back in 2018, I wrote about it with some photos of the temporary art pieces that replaced the water.

It was finally decided that the entire underpass had to be rebuilt so construction started in the fall of 2018 and it continued into the spring of 2021.  During that time, the park was almost divided into two pieces because of the construction and the work that needed to be done to stabilize the area.  When it finally opened again, this is what replaced the fountain.  A long flat space with both grass and paved area.  It's certainly not as attractive as the fountain but the area has become a  popular place to ride bikes through the park and picnic in the grass.  It's still a popular park, it just looks different to those of us who remember the fountain.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Attracting Butterflies


The last time I was at the Desert Botanical Garden, I noticed quite a few butterflies attracted to the plant called "butterfly mist".  

They were being attracted by the sweetness of this plant and I was being attracted by their beauty as they sat on top of the blooms.

It was a sort of mutual attraction!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!


Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S.  There will be a lot of pumpkin pie served on many tables.  I'm making pumpkin bread myself.  Of course, it won't be made with the little pumpkins shown here.  These little ones are not good for cooking.  These little pumpkins were found at the Desert Botanical Garden about three weeks ago.  Someone had placed them on this wall all line up in neat rows.

A week later, the neat rows were gone but the jumble of little pumpkins was still on that same wall.

Then just this last weekend, they were rearranged again but they were still in the same place.  The next time I go, I'll look to see if they are still there.

In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy some pumpkin bread, some pumpkin pie and some turkey and mashed potatoes too.  It's a day for eating as well as giving thanks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Taking a Second Look


A friend of mine wanted to see the new exhibit at the Heard Museum so I went with her and took a second look at the exhibit titled "Remembering the Future".  I found two more art pieces that appealed to me.

The one above is called "Corn Dancer" by Pablita Velarde.  I love the geometric style of this one.  I don't see any curves at all.

To the left is a sculpture called "Shaman with Fetish" by Michael McCleve.  Looking at this one, I see a big horned sheep with its large, curved horn.  I look again and I see a large falcon or hawk approaching its prey.  I also like the way the light has cast a perfect shadow behind the piece.  

The abstract nature of both of these appealed to me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Glow of Sunrise


Yesterday's brilliant sunset inspired me to post these photos that a took a week ago at sunrise.  I walked at the Desert Botanical Garden at 7:00 AM, just after sunrise and with the sun still low in the eastern sky, it was casting a light on he Papago Buttes making them glow bright red.

Moving along the trail, I saw the sun start to light up the tall saguaro cactus.  

About 30 minutes later, I was on a different trail where the sun was lighting up the mountain to the south and it was beginning to spread across the desert floor.  It was a good time to be walking at the garden.  

Monday, November 22, 2021

Dramatic Sunset

 I was at my friends Julie & Dave's house Friday night and we got to witness another spectacular Arizona Sunset.  There were enough clouds in the sky to make it glow.

It was a less busy weekend than the last one but I did go once again to the Symphony on Saturday night.  My friends David and Riley and I went to see Midori play the violin and she was (of course) perfect.  She played Korngold's Concerto in D which is a wonderful piece of music.  It was very dramatic music to match this sunset.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

"Open Sesame"

 I love it when the Desert Botanical Garden grows something unusual that I can learn from.  When I saw the signs identifying this plant, I was fascinated.  I wondered where sesame seeds came from and here it is.  Those little pods are full of seeds.

It was great that the garden provided a display so you could see the broken pods and the harvest of seeds.  

So, do you like sesame seeds on your bagel or bread?  I always find them a welcome addition.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm enjoying the view of Manhattan from the plane.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Chihuly Update


I went for another walk at the Desert Botanical Garden and I saw a few more Chihuly creations that have been installed.

Above are some pretty, lavender reeds and to the left is a dramatic white and gold creation. 

The blue and red reeds appear to be hiding among the desert plants.

This one is quite unusual.  I saw several like this being installed in one location.  It looks like they might be neon.  

A few more trails were closed so I know there is more construction going on. It will be fun to see them all revealed.  

Friday, November 19, 2021

Around Town with My iPhone


I have a few photos I've snapped over the past couple of weeks with my iPhone.  Above is a shot I took while sitting at a traffic light.  I've featured that "striped" building a few times before but I thought those palm trees added a nice look.

To the left are some pretty purple flowers that were blooming in the parking lot of the Phoenix Art Museum. I believe it is called Desert Ruellia.  This plant is used in a lot of commercial landscapes so they are blooming all over town right now.

I stopped in for a short browse at Z Gallerie.  It's a store that always has over-the-top decorative items.  This giant white peacock on a dining table is a perfect example.

To the right is a drone that I spotted hovering over the canal when I was watching the fire and water show I featured a couple of days ago.  I think it was taking videos of the crowds gathering for the show.

I encountered a street festival and stopped to check out the vendors.  These creative chairs were interesting.  I wonder if they sold any of them.

I love the way the late afternoon sun has been casting light through my house this time of year.  I like the way it was lighting up the butterfly hanging on my wall.

There you have it, just a few shots I didn't want to toss out.  

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Looks Like Snow!


I saw this shrub on my last walk at the Desert Botanical Garden.  There was no sign to identify this plant so I don't know what it is.  When I looked at the photo, my first thought was that it looked like snow on pine branches but, I can assure you that it wasn't snow.  Not when we are still having temperatures in the 80's.  

It is certainly an interesting plant.  Does anyone have any ideas as to what it might be?

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Robins are Back


Over the last weekend, I noticed that the robins were back.  They are once again visiting the courtyard area where I live.  So on Monday afternoon, I took my camera down there and sat and watched them.  

They didn't seem as skittish as they had last year.  They hopped around on the ground near me but they kept an eye on me while doing it.

They used to get frightened by the camera but this time they looked right at me when I took a few photos.

I'm glad they are back.  You might remember when I first spotted them a year or so ago, it was a big surprise.  Robins are not native to the desert southwest but they were native to Illinois where I grew up.  It is great to see them once again.  They bring back childhood memories.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Busy, Busy, Busy!


After almost two years of staying close to home, things are finally starting to happen again.  I've gotten to take two trips, one to California and one to New York and group activities are starting to open again.  

The annual Canal Convergence event in Scottsdale has been going on for the past two weekends and when I went, I saw that it was drawing a pretty big crowd of people.  That's where I saw the interesting fire on the water show and where I saw several of these bright star-like structures.  

I went to the symphony Friday night.  One of their first live performances in almost two years.  I snapped this photo before it began when the orchestra was warming up their instruments.  The Symphony made the decision to perform in symphony hall to a vaccinated crowd only.  They checked vaccination status at the door.

While life is slowly moving forward, there is still a threat out there so I for one plan to do things as safely as I can.  

Monday, November 15, 2021

New York Mural


I found this mural in New York City when I was there a few weeks ago.  The Artist is Todd Gray and it's located near the World Trade Center just across the street from the Oculus.  It certainly pops with color!

Taking part in Monday Murals

Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Art of Mining in the American West


Yesterday, I went to the Phoenix Art Museum to see a new exhibit called "Landscapes of Extraction".  It covered 65 works from early to mid 20th century each depicting mining in some form.  I'll show you a few of my favorites from the exhibit.  This one above is by Frank "Pancho" Gates and is called "Central City".  It is dated 1937.

This one is by Louise Emerson Ronnebeck and it is titled "Silver Mine, Russell Gulch Colorado".  It was painted in 1933.  This one made me think of all those farm scenes I've admired.  Maybe it's the red in those buildings that's making me think of barns and those hills making me think of haystacks.  

This one was painted by William D White and is called "Man Pushing Ore Cart".  It was painted in 1930.  That man just seems to be in such a precarious spot with that heavy cart over a deep chasm.  

This last one is my favorite of them all.  It was painted by Helen Katharine Forbes in 1940.  It is called "Mountain & Miners Shack".  This one conjured up so many thoughts in me.  It looks so isolated making me wonder where the miner was getting his food and how he got in and out of this spot.   All four of these paintings were done in oil on canvas.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm walking around Rockefeller Center.