Monday, February 28, 2022

Art With a Sense of Humor


A few of the artists at the Celebration of Fine Art create images with a bit of humor and whimsey and sometimes a touch of irony.  Barbara Rudolf is one of those artists.  I featured one of her paintings last year.  It was the clever take on To Kill A Mockingbird with her version called Tequila Mockingbird. (It's at the bottom of this post.) I thought this play on Crime and Punishment was also pretty clever.  

My favorite painting from this year's collection was another one with a tequila theme.  This one is just so exquisitely painted.  

Another artist with a sense of humor is Leah Kiser.  I loved this painting called fine feathered friends.  Pink cats covered in feathers are truly a rare sight!  Ms. Kiser says she gets a lot of inspiration from her young children.  If you check her link, you will see some of her dancing dinosaurs.  

I featured Jenny Foster about two years ago but she deserves another look.  Her whimsical animals will always put a smile on my face.  I loved this long-eared rabbit.  Jenny was a joy to talk to.  She's every bit as happy and spirited as her wonderful paintings.

I've been going to this event every year and posting about it since 2010.  If you are curious about other artists you can click the tag C of FA at the bottom of the page.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Artists At Work!

 I made my annual trip to the Celebration of Fine Art, that art event that happens every year from late January through March.  I saw many artists who come every year to work in the big white tents and there were several new artists to enjoy.  And, I took lots of photos to share in the future.  

The three shots I'm posting today show three different artists at work on their latest projects.  It was interesting watching this young lady.  She had a photo of a colorful marble on her iPad and was painting the details from that image.

This artist has some incredible landscapes and city scenes in his collection.  I'm always amazed by his work.  I'll have more on his work in the future.  It was fun to once again enjoy being surrounded by beautiful works of art and the talented people who create them.  I bought two things this year.  I'll show you those later too.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm showing some scenery from Utah.  

Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Open for Good Project


On Wednesday evening I joined my friends Julie and Dave and Glenda for a special James Beard Foundation event to help independent restaurants.  The campaign is called "Open for Good" and it was created to help vulnerable restaurants survive the pandemic crisis.  

The meal was planned and prepared by two local chefs, Samantha Sanz of the restaurant Elements in Paradise Valley and Rochelle Daniel of Fat Ox in Scottsdale.  

The meal got started with a complimentary cocktail called The Stonecutter.  It was delicious.

Then an amuse bouche arrived.  It was a very tasty ravioli complemented with a touch of caviar.  

The appetizer was described as baby scallops with shrimp mousseline and apple.  Very tasty. 

The entree was a smoked beef short rib with a porcini tamale and black truffle mole.

That was followed by a coffee-chocolate tart. 

And, here are the two talented ladies who created it all.  It was a fabulous meal full of all kinds of flavors and all for a very good cause.  We really do need our wonderful independent restaurants to survive.  It's been a rough two years for them.  My very special thanks to my friends Julie and Dave for including me in this tasty event.

Friday, February 25, 2022

As the Storm Moved Past Us


My friends Julie and Dave had invited me to join them and Julie's mother Glenda for a very special dinner Wednesday evening.  When I headed out around 5:30, the rain had stopped and the sun had started to peek through the clouds.  The storm that brought rain and snow to Arizona was heading east.  The remaining clouds looked pretty dramatic.  I snapped these two photos as I was driving to meet my dinner party.

Those clouds were so low it looked like I might be be able to touch them.  
Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the special dinner event.  

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Rain & Snow


A cold front came roaring through Arizona yesterday bringing colder temperatures and rain.  We need the rain so no one is complaining.  It's fun to watch since we don't see that much of it.

When I went out to snap a photo, I saw yesterday's "parking lot" geese sitting on the roof and soaking up the rain.  There were one or two "honks" while I was watching them.

Up north where my sister lives, the weather brought snow and her dog was loving it.  She said he kept running outside to play in it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Big Feet!


The Canadian Geese are back and once again they have been scouting out the parking lot instead of enjoying the nearby lake.

I heard them squawking loudly so I went outside to see what all the noise was about.  I saw two of them "honking" at each other from the top of the carport covers.  

In past years they have hatched their young ones right here in the parking lot.  Time will tell whether they think our parking lot is once again a good nursing facility. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Early Evening Light


When I was at the Heard Museum last Friday night, I walked around to take in the early evening light from the approaching sunset.  It was shining directly on these ladies from the Doug Hyde sculpture called "Intertribal Gathering".  I featured this sculpture a few years ago.  The statue faces directly west so it gets the afternoon light.

I returned about  30 minutes later and the sun had slipped below the horizon so the ladies were no longer in the spotlight.  However, they were still standing watch in front of the museum.  

The play of early evening light, while it lasted was entertaining to watch.  

Monday, February 21, 2022

Black History Month, part 2


I found another one of the "Black History Matters" murals this time on side The Nash, a Phoenix Jazz club.  I'd say the three historic figures chosen for this mural are perfect for this site.  Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis fit in perfectly.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Silver & Gold


I attended a member opening celebration for a new exhibit at the Heard Museum Friday evening.  It's all about the Silverwork done by Native Americans.  There were a lot of antique pieces in the show as you can imagine from the dates shown in the show.  It was especially interesting to learn about how the different styles of concho belts were designed and used.  (If you aren't sure what a concho belt is, check the link for images.)

While I was at the celebration in the courtyard of the museum, I snapped another photo of that Art Deco building next door.  This time I captured a brilliant, golden sunset in the lower right corner.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  A visit to an old west town.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Homes with History


I've got three homes to share today from three different historic areas in Phoenix.  This first one comes from an area called Los Olivos.  I love the dramatic gables on this one.  Even the garage in the back has a steep roof line and the gates that match.  

This small, pueblo style house is located in the Yaple Park neighborhood.  This one has a style that fits right into the desert environment.  

This last one was found in the Windsor Square area and it has more of a Spanish ranch house feel to it.  I love all the arches and the tiled roof.  

Driving around in some of the historic neighborhoods, I never know what interesting Architecture I might found.  

Friday, February 18, 2022

Odd Shots at the Garden


Sometimes when I'm walking at the Desert Botanical Garden, I turn my camera lens on some odd shots.  Like this one.  That water faucet caught my eye for some strange reason.

I spotted "Dora" who appears to have gotten left behind.  Hopefully she joined her fellow explorers before the day was over.  

I snapped a photo of this t-shirt that was for sale in the gift shop.  It features all the points of interest in the Phoenix area.  The Desert Botanical Garden is shown on the right side.  I'm not sure what the Grand Canyon is doing over there on the left.  The Grand Canyon is a very long way from Phoenix, 225 miles to be exact.  

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Sol de Citron


The Chihuly Sculpture called Sol de Citron is located in a spot where it can be viewed from a distance especially if you walk on the Sonoran Dessert Nature trail.  That's the trail that goes up to a high viewpoint.  As I walked up the trail, I kept turning back to see if I could see that giant yellow sculpture.

There are several places on the trail where you get a good view.  With all those desert plants, it looks like it just another interesting plant.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Sculpted Metal


I tried to go for walk at the Scottsdale Civic Center park last weekend only to find in closed for construction.  I'm not sure what is happening there but the entire park was closed off with special instructions for how to get to the various buildings the frame the park.  

So, instead of a walk in the park, I took a short walk along the old town streets.  That's where I saw these two saguaro cactus made of metal. They were in a little garden outside a gallery shop.

I guess if you don't want to care for the real thing, you can always opt for one of these beauties.  

The one in the top photo almost looks real, doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Squirrelly Squirrel


When I was at the Desert Botanical Garden a week ago I took a few minutes to sit at one of the tables around the patio cafe.  This little antelope squirrel took a keen interest in me.  He watched for a while and then would run right up to my foot.  When he got that close, I would move my foot ever so slightly and he would skitter back to is observation point.  After a minute or two, he'd try again.  People tend to toss scraps at these little creatures even though the signs warn not to feed the animals.  But because some people still do, these little creatures tend to get too close.  I tried to tell him that potato chips and bread crusts were not good for him but he just gave me that little sneer you see in the bottom right photo.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Valentines Day


I've been saving this one especially for today.  This is actually another of my Art Challenge Club pieces from back in 2018.  The challenge was "heart".  I was inspired to search through my photo library looking for all the photos that were dominated by red.  I found quite a few.  I then used my editing tools to create a heart shaped collage.  When I was searching through all my past art challenge pieces, I thought this one would be the perfect Valentine post.  

Enjoy the day!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

It's Blooming Time


The flowering pear trees are right on time.  I noticed that they had started to bloom at the beginning of the week and today they are at their peak.  

There are three of them right here on the property so I don't have to go far to enjoy them.  As you can see (above), the bees are enjoying their arrival also.

I better enjoy them now.  They are predicting a bit of rain next week.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's an art exhibit about art people.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Colored Pencils


Here is one more of my abstract art photos that I took a year ago.  These colored pencils were brand new so they were all sharp and even.  I liked this photo and wondered what I could do with it.

Then one day I was playing with one of my photo editing tools and I found this border made up of colored pencils.  That seemed just perfect for my photo so here you have it.  

This is just a little sample of some of things I did to fend off boredom back in 2020.  However, some of them were so fun that I think I'll continue to find interesting things to photograph like this.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Something Very Different


One year ago, I like so many others, found myself "locked-down" at home due to the pandemic.  As someone who is always out taking photos everywhere I go, I suddenly found myself wondering what to do with myself.  To fight off the boredom, I found myself photographing things around the house and making my own little abstract art pieces.  The one above was my first attempt.  I had a drawer full of "Sharpie" pens in a rainbow of colors so I arranged them and photographed them.

On another day, I photographed these two sets of multi-colored crayons.  Using the crayons to make art turned out to not work very well but, I love how they look in their boxes.

I purchased these three colorful "sticks" at the Phoenix Art Museum.  They are just decorative pieces that can be placed in bouquets of flowers or into potted plants to brighten them up.  I actually put this photo to use as one of the backgrounds on my iPhone.

Tomorrow I'll show you one more.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Foxtail Agave


Two weeks ago I featured some aloe blooms on this blog.  Today I have an agave bloom.  This "flower" is the very tall and very fuzzy bloom of the foxtail agave.  It's a pretty dramatic bloom that attracts lots of bees as well as a few other insects.  Sometimes they stand straight and tall while others, like this one tend to fall over from their own weight.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Walking Among the Crowds


Last weekend I went for a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden hoping for a nice, quiet walk.  However, it was more crowded than I have seen it in years.  Our great winter weather combined with the Chihuly exhibit have sent attendance at the garden soaring.  It seemed like there were crowds on every trail.

It did give me an opportunity to photograph the huge cardon cactus with some people in the foreground.  That way you can see just how big these giant cactus are.  They grow up taller than any saguaro cactus.