Thursday, February 29, 2024

A Grand House

 This pretty house caught my eye as I drove past.  It's located in one of our historic neighborhoods, the Encanto Historic District. I like the Juliet balcony and the little fountain in front.  There are so many unique homes in this part of town.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Snowy Trees


It's that time of year when the flowering pear trees are full of white blooms that look like snow.  This one was looking especially heavy with pretty, white booms.

While nearby, these two rows of trees are still waiting for their spring buds to appear. These deciduous trees look attractive in their own barren way.  

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Furry Friends


I stopped at the Shemer Art Center over the weekend for their annual "Furry Friends" event.  It's a celebration of art and our beloved pets.  

I got there in time to see a pet parade with a few dogs pulling floats full of flowers.

It was fun to watch and the dogs in the parade appeared to be enjoying all the attention.  

I saw that Cruella Deville was on hand for the event.  Fortunately, she was doing some face painting for the kids and was not trying kidnap any pups.  

Monday, February 26, 2024

Let's Take a Walk


Here is another utility box from downtown Tempe.  This one was painted by Aaron Allen Marner and it's called "Let's Take a Walk".  

It depicts people who appear to be happy to be outdoors with nature all around and the outline of the city behind them.

I can understand that happiness.  I for one, love being outdoors.  

Taking part in Monday Murals!

Sunday, February 25, 2024

20th Century Highlights


I'm continuing with more information about the Maria & Modernism exhibit at the Heard Museum that I wrote about yesterday.  This photo and the one below were of things that Maria and her husband encountered on their many trips across the country.  This is a photo of the New York Central Railroad's Mercury passenger train from the 1930's.  

And this gorgeous room is a bar in the Chrysler Building in New York dated 1939.  It is attributed to Seagram's Distillers.  Oh how I would love to have a drink it this setting.

This is a more traditional piece of ceramic dated from 1939.  The couple did pottery making demonstrations at the World's Fair in San Francisco. 

This one is the black on black type of pottery that Maria became famous for. She perfected the craft.

This piece caught my eye.  It was created by Barbara Gonzales who happens to be Maria's great-granddaughter.  The art of pottery making has been passed down the family tree.  

I love this one!

I felt compelled to include this photo of a 1985 El Camino.  Rose Simpson painted this vehicle to honor Maria.  She painted it in the black on black style inspired by Tewa pottery.  Her statement says that this was not just a show piece.  It was a hard working vehicle that was used on her farm.  It's gorgeous!  I wonder if it's still around somewhere.

It was a great exhibit that I will return to view again while it is here.  It will be up into July giving me lots of time to view it again.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's my Covent Garden destination.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Maria & Modernism


I went to the Heard Museum yesterday for member's opening event for a new exhibit called Maria & Modernism.  The exhibit was all about Maria Martinez (1887 - 1980), a ceramicist and one of the 20th century's most influential and celebrated artists.  

Maria was making pottery at a time when society and industry were changing dramatically.

She was a traditional Tewa woman who embraced a modern lifestyle while still creating ceramics in a traditional manor.  

This photo was taken in 1976 and she is standing with a jar she made in 1942.

Maria and her husband Julian traveled extensively taking her work across America.  They attended four major World's Fairs, St. Louis in 1904, San Diego in 1915, Chicago in 1934 and San Francisco in 1939. Their pottery fit seamlessly with the streamlined aesthetic of the 1930's and 40's.  In every state they visited, Julian would collect some clay and bring it home.  This collection features pieces they made from that clay and are named for the various states the clay came from.

This is a close look at the center piece that features images of the artists.

The exhibit included many pieces made by the couple and their children and grandchildren.  It also included other pieces and images that relate to the era they were working in.  They were working during the Art Deco era and the exhibit included images of that era's modern influences.  Tomorrow I'll show you some of those images.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Year of the Dragon


Earlier this month, we entered the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese calendar.  I was shopping recently when I saw this set of dishes for sale.  Perfect for this year.  

There seems to be a set of dishes for every occasion.  As I've said before on this site, I once had way too many sets of dishes. Now when I see a set I like, I just take a photo and walk away.


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Keith Haring's Pyramid


When I was at the Phoenix Art Museum last weekend, I saw a piece I hadn't seen before sitting in the middle of the lobby in front of the gift shop.  

At first glance, I recognized Keith Haring's pop-art style immediately.  

I might be wrong but, it appears this spot is being used to showcase a piece of art in the collection that was selected by a member of the museum staff.  This one was selected by a gallery attendant with the following comment:

"Amid the AIDS crisis of the 1980's, I see Haring's belief in equality as a form of resistance to those who demonized the LBGTQ+ community and sought to ignore those affected by HIV.  In a time when people are again seeking to alienate and demonize the LBGTQ+ community, I want to show resistance, I want visibility as I believe Haring did."

I like the art and the sentiment.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Winter Blooming


There were a few things blooming at the garden like this Kearney Sumac.  Those little balls of bloom were attracting lots of bees.  

Bougainvillea blooms all year long but this one glowing in the sun was looking so pretty, I just had to snap shot.  

This is a type of peavine that tumbles over a wall at the garden.  It was starting to bloom for everyone to enjoy.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

An Exercise in Patience


I was craving a walk at the garden on Sunday so I set out knowing full well that it would be a busy place.  After all, February and March are the biggest tourist months for the Phoenix area.  I decided to give it a try anyway.  Once there, I decided to take a few photos inside the front cactus garden.  I took a seat on a bench and patiently waited for gap in all the groups of people walking by.  I think it took about 8 minutes to find this clear moment.

I took these two shots just to give you an idea of how crowded the trails were.  I still managed a nice walk and I did find two or three places that were quiet enough to enjoy the outdoors.  

I enjoyed the walk in spite of all the crowds.  

Monday, February 19, 2024

Many Arms


Another utility box that I found in downtown Tempe.  This one is painted by Megan Stapp and it's called "New Arms".  It looks to me like her saguaro cactus is all arms and no stalk.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.  

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Enjoying the Ride


I got to pretend I was Barbie for just a minute when I took a "spin" in her hot pink convertible.  The heart shaped sunglasses were an added bonus.

I didn't realize that so many designers got on the Barbie band wagon designing clothes for the tiny girl.  Here she is in an Oscar de la Renta gown.

Bob Mackie who was designing exotic costumes for Cher and other performers, collaborated with Mattel to create 50 collector dolls.

The exhibit included just three of those collector dolls.  

It was a fun exhibit that everyone around me seemed to be enjoying.  There were young and old alike and men as well as women reminiscing as they viewed the various display cases.  

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm making a visit to Covent Garden.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

A Cultural Icon


I went to the Phoenix Art Museum yesterday to see the new exhibit "Barbie: A Cultural Icon".  It was a fun exhibit that brought back lots of memories.  

For instance, this is the very first Barbie doll dressed in her black and white bathing suit with her signature pony tail.  

And here she is a few years later standing on the moon! Barbie could do anything!

The exhibit explored how the doll evolved to include all young girls.

Tomorrow I'll show you a few more photos from this exhibit.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Admiring the Birds


If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you've probably figured out that I love photographing birds.  I also love observing them.  I think that whenever I'm outdoors, I'm always conscious of the birds around me. So, today I'll honor them with a few more photos.  First up, a roadrunner sitting on a wall.

Here's a grackle who stopped by to visit me as I was having lunch on the patio of a restaurant.  He didn't know he was going to get his picture taken.

One of my favorite birds to photograph, the peach-faced lovebird.  These characters have made their home here in the Phoenix area.  No one seems to know how they arrived in the area.  The consensus is that some pets might have escaped captivity at one time.  They have thrived here ever since.  

This is one of the many Gamble's quail that reside at the Desert Botanical Garden.  This one found a good place to perch to get a sweeping view of the area.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Appealing Symmetry


I love the symmetry of long passageways so I tend to snap photos whenever I see one I like.  So I thought I'd share a few of them.  This one was taken at a resort in Scottsdale.

Above is the lobby of a medical building.

To the left is the long walkway at one side of the Heard Museum.

This last one is the lobby of a hotel in downtown Phoenix.  This building used to be a bank building many years ago.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Happy Valentines Day

 Happy Valentines Day to you all!

I think flowers are the perfect Valentines Day gift.  They are beautiful to look at, they aren't fattening and they are good for the soul.