Wednesday, January 31, 2024

More Flowers and a Very Tall Sculpture


Here are a few more flowers from the Tempe Blooms event that I wrote about yesterday.  I especially liked that tree all decorated with flowers.

I also discovered this sculpture that pays tribute to a former Mayor of Tempe, Harry Mitchell.  It's called "Above the Crowd" and the artist is John R. Nelson.  

That is one VERY TALL sculpture.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

No Loitering at the Sunflower Saguaro


The city of Tempe had a brand new event this last weekend called Tempe Blooms.  They filled the downtown area with a variety of floral arrangements and lots of live music. If this event was designed to draw people to downtown Tempe, it was a huge success.  There were so many people out it was hard navigate the sidewalks.

This sunflower covered saguaro arrangement was the first one I photographed and I didn't notice the "No Loitering" sign on the wall behind it until I down loaded the photo.


There were all sorts of flower arrangements all over the downtown area.

The flowers were beautiful but the huge crowds of people made it difficult to photograph them all.

I took the light rail out to Tempe because parking in the city is a challenge and with an event going on it would be impossible.  I haven't been on the light rail for several years now so that was a bit of an adventure in itself.  

Monday, January 29, 2024

A Night at the Opera


I joined my friends David and Riley for the opening night performance of The Barber of Seville on Saturday night.  It is a hilarious opera accompanied by fantastic music.  As everyone was gathering in their seats, I snapped this photo of the very elaborate set.

I was admiring the set when the "projection" suddenly stopped.  Up until that moment, I had no idea the set was a projection and not real.  It was a pretty impressively designed projection.

My friend Riley is a patron of the Arizona Opera Company so when we got to our seats, there was a beautiful rose and a thank you card attached to his seat.  What a nice surprise!  And, what a thoroughly enjoyable evening!

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Observations Along the Way


I saw this great looking car in the grocery store parking lot and wondered what it was.  It turns out to be a Chrysler Crossfire.  I love the color and the sporty look.

At that very same grocery store, I saw this fellow tied up outside the door and waiting for its owner to return. 

I never know what I'll see on those common, household errands.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I found a bit of humor at the art museum.  

Saturday, January 27, 2024

The Sun is Back


I was at my friend Glenda's house Thursday evening when the sun finally came out and started lighting up the houses around her.  

I just had to go out into her back yard to snap a photo or two.  After five straight days of dark gray skies and on and off rain, it was refreshing to see the sun light up the mountains once again.  

The one good thing about all that rain will be the spring wildflowers.  Hopefully we got the right amount of rain to make the desert bloom.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Books and Art Together


The Anticus Gallery that I mentioned in Wednesday's post is unique in that it doesn't just represent artists with paintings, sculptures and jewelry.  It is also a book store carrying a variety of books.

They even had a children's corner full of children's books and artworks.  In fact, I purchased a book while I was there.

There were several animal sculptures that caught my eye while I was there.  This cute fellow has really long legs and very large feet.  I didn't get the artist's name.

And these rabbits came in all shapes and sizes and in a variety of positions.  I liked the one sitting on the little platform and looking right at me.  His dark eyes seemed to follow me as I walked past.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Raindrops on Roses & Everything Else


We had several days of true winter weather this last weekend and rolling into this week.  Last Saturday it was so gray and dark that I never left the house.  On Sunday I felt the urge to get out so I went to the Desert Botanical Garden for a walk in the misty rain.  While I was there, mist turned into steady light rain so I was pretty soaked by the time I left.

So were the roses and all the other plants.

There weren't any animals or birds to be seen.  They were all staying under cover where they could avoid the rain.

I felt a bit sorry for Botero's Reclining Woman.  She was pretty exposed to the elements.  She could have used a nice blanket for the day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Vladimir is Now in Scottsdale


Vladimir Kush is an artist whose gallery in Laguna Beach I've visited many times.  I posted about it last August when I was there.  I discovered that one of the Scottsdale galleries is now representing him.  I saw this dragonfly motorcycle and recognized it immediately.  

Anticus Gallery had several of his paintings inside the gallery.  I especially like this one.  I love the illusion of the horse as either an opening in side of the rustic building or a shadow on the building. The window is placed perfectly where a blanket and saddle would be.  

The one above made me think of Wimbledon and the famous tennis matches there.   That view of the skyline made me think of the view of London from Hampstead Heath.

The one to the right blends a fallen leaf into a mountain scene where it becomes another mountain beautifully blended into the scene.  

Kush's "metaphorical realism" always delights me.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Past and Present


I found two very old  and very faded slides likely taken sometime in the 60's before we had moved to Arizona.  I recognize them as taken in Old Town Scottsdale. That's my dad standing over to the right.  I decided to go over to Scottsdale in search of these locations.

  I believe this is the spot where McGee's used to be located all those years ago.  January is the very heart of the winter tourist season so it was impossible to get a photo without the cars in front.

This second slide is of a place called Lulu Belle which used to be a gay nineties themed cocktail bar.  I don't think any of my family was ever inside the place but I do recall liking the look of the place.

I didn't expect that the stripes would still be there but there they are.  It looks like two businesses share the building now and one of them calls itself "Belle's", a Nashville kitchen.   Nashville kitchen in Scottsdale Arizona?  That seems out of place to me.  

It was fun to track down these locations.  It gave me an opportunity to visit a couple of galleries and enjoy some art that I can share in future posts.

Monday, January 22, 2024

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Here is a mural to delight the gardener.  In fact, it is painted on the side of a garden supply store.  I see a lovely desert garden to the left and lots of perfect fruits and veggies on that narrow strip at the bottom right.  I like the tomato.  Nothing beats a freshly picked tomato still warm from the sun.  That's how I remember them growing up in Illinois.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

A Touch of London at Home


When I was in London back in October, I purchased this pillow cover in the gift shop at the Tate Britain.  I loved its reference to all the areas of the great city of London.

Last weekend I finally got around to purchasing a pillow filler for the cover so now this pillow can reside in my living room and remind me of all the things I love about London.

This is also a good way to let you know that I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today and it's more about the Tate Britain.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Brilliant Tree


When I saw this tree yesterday, I had to stop for a photo.  It was a bit of a challenge because this parking lot is always full and it has the narrowest parking spaces I've ever seen.

I ended up parking in a red zone.  I figured I'd only be less than 2 minutes.  It was just enough time.

We see lots of trees that turn a golden yellow at this time of year but finding one such a brilliant red is a rarity.  

Friday, January 19, 2024

Sitting Tall


I saw this fellow sitting high up on his perch while I was stopped at a traffic light.  If I'm not mistaken, This is another Bill Tonnesen sculpture.  I'm sure that person in the cage is his.  Someone told me he has a studio in the building here.

You can see a few more of his sculptures here and here.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Feathered Friends and Acquaintances

 I've observed a few birds in the last few days, all of them close to home.  These two Canadian geese were deciding whether to take the plunge in the lake on the golf course near me. 

This little house finch was singing a very cheery tune while I was walking near by.  I thought he might fly away when I pointed the camera in that direction but he stayed put.  

I heard lots of very faint peeps coming from this palm tree as I walked past.  Then I noticed the curve-billed thrasher hiding among the palm fronds.  Perhaps there was a nest in there somewhere.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Art Preserved


These sand cast panels were once on the side of the Saks Fifth Avenue building at the Biltmore Fashion Park shopping center.  That building was torn down many years ago but these panels were preserved.  They were placed on a special wall at the same center.  They are just not located in a spot with a lot of foot traffic.  I saw them last week when I was there and decided to get a photo.  The panels were originally created by an artist named John Smith in 1963.  I'm happy they were saved but, I do wish they were in a better spot for viewing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Brass Knuckles as Art


In late November, I posted about an art gallery that I had found at the Biltmore Fashion Park Shopping Center.  When I walked past the gallery again a week ago, there was some new art in the window.  Now instead of the large horse painting, there are two guys who appear to be shooting at each other.  However what really caught my eye was the "brass knuckles" as a sculpture in the window.  I can't imagine where that sculpture might fit.  Any ideas?

Monday, January 15, 2024

Nature and Science

 There is a new parking garage that has been added to the Park Central complex and it's easy to see why.  The center is now full of classrooms for all the training facilities as well as the new Creighton University building.  Along the street side of the garage are several mural panels. 

Some of the panels depict scenes found in nature like the humming bird and flowers.  The cactus bloom looks natural but that ear of corn appears to be sending a message that I haven't deciphered. 

This last panel has a more scientific look to it.  That makes sense since most of the learning facilities here deal with either medical skills or computer skills.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

An Assortment of Flowers

 I didn't I posted any poinsettia photos this holiday season.  I'll correct that today with this cluster of plants on display at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Some more red flowers at my friends Julie and Dave's house on New Years Eve.  We had a lovely dinner and some champagne to welcome the new year.  

One of the planters at the Heard Museum was overflowing with this huge nasturtium plant but there was only one bloom and it was peeking out from behind a leaf.  

I had dinner with friends visiting from Chicago Friday evening and this pretty flower came in the drink I ordered.  I was tempted to put it behind my ear.  

I have another post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's about an interesting encounter in a museum.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Moving the Sculptures


In addition to the new amphitheaters at the Scottsdale Civic Center Park, it looks like all the sculptures that were there before have returned.  They are just in new locations.  It would have been fun to see them being moved around.  The LOVE sculpture is in a new location but still expressing its message of peace. 

Louise Nevelson's Windows to the West has moved from one end of the park to the opposite end.  It should get more attention in this location where a lot more people will see it.  By the way, the full name of this sculpture is "Atmospheres and Environments XIII: Windows to the West".  

And good old, Herb Drinkwater has been moved only a few feet to a new location.  I did a post about this statue three years ago.

He served as mayor to Scottsdale from 1980 to 1996 and was loved by everyone.  You can read more about his accomplishments in the link above.

He's seen in this statue with his dog Sadie who was by his side most of the time.