Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A visit to the Salton Sea


Here it is, the last day of July. Only 10 more days until we close on our house! I can't wait to finally have a chance to settle in for good somewhere. In the meantime, my desire to create art - and as you may have noticed - write in my blog have dwindled down to almost nothing. I apologize! It will get better very soon.

For the first topic today, I wanted to mention Cy Twombly, one of my favorite living painters. For those of you who haven't heard about the recent incident, a woman in France KISSED one of his paintings (valued at $2 million!) and left red lipstick marks on the white part of the canvas. After seeing these gorgeous paintings of Mr. Twombly's, here, I can sympathize her plight. However, I doubt that I would have the audacity to perform such an ignorant stunt. As an artist seeking a "break" in the art world myself, I have to wonder, was her stunt merely a way to launch herself into the eyes of the public? (She is herself an artist) There is that saying "there's no such thing as bad press". Hmmm... Even still, if that were in fact the case, it can only be viewed as an act of desperation in the long run. It did make me wonder!

Matthias had a birthday yesterday, and we decided to take a little road trip to the Salton Sea. Neither one of us had ever been there before, and we thought we could take the dog, and let him enjoy some of his favorite "chase the ball into water" pasttime. It was another scorching day in the desert - topping off at a toasty 110 F - and it seemed like a good plan. It looked pretty good when we first got there. However, Matthias opened up the car door, and the first thing I noticed was the 50 flies that entered the car. I got out (more flies) and was assaulted by a powerful, eggy, fishy kind of stench. There was trash along the edge of the lake, and the beach was a deep bed of what looked like tiny barnacle shells. It smelled BAD. Pono's first reaction was to ROLL in the stinky beach. He would not go in the water. We drove around the Sea (lake, whatever you call it) and thought another spot might be more inviting. This time, the shoreline was a little more appealing at first glance (no trash or barnacle shells) but the edges of the shore were lined with two layers of dead and rotting fish carcasses. YUCK!!! We didn't know anything about the Salton Sea, but of course our adventure lead us to do some googling.

Apparently, it was formed in 1907 when the Colorado River flooded, bursting through some irrigation channels. It filled up the basin and became the Salton Sea. Since the main outlet for the Sea is evaporation, it is saltier than the ocean. It is plagued with massive die-offs of fish and birds, despite being a major wildlife refuge. You can read more about it on the link above. Let's just say, I won't be bringing visitors there. It's too bad, because it LOOKS like it would be really nice. I can see why most of the attempts at business ended up resembling these lonely places. The stench alone would drive me insane. Never mind the infestation of flies...

I am going to extend my notecard giveaway for one more week. If any of you are just reading about this, I have 7 notecards listed for sale on my etsy site. If you would like to have one all of your very own (for FREE!), all you have to do is visit my etsy site, choose the card you'd most like to have, and send me a "conversation" (click "contact karine swenson") with the card you want and your address. I will happily send a card off to you. Happy Christmas in July (soon August)! This free giveaway will end on August 7th. Thanks for visiting my blog!

7 comments:

priya said...

been going through your blog and looking at your work. it's beautiful!

lorenzstudio said...

Oh my! I'm sorry!
Yes, the Salton Sea may look good on the map, but is certainly not a place one wants to vacation! I've been close enough to the Salton Sea to know that I don't prefer to return!
I am loving your blog and your artwork.

lee said...

The Salton Sea sounds very exotic. Makes you want to go there. But now I know if ever I go to California, to stay away from the Salton Sea. Love your piece at the top, the colours are beautiful as usual....

lee said...

Hi Karen, thanks for looking at my blog, nope on the card, can hardly wait to get it and show everyone how wonderfully creative and talented you are..

Mel said...

Sounds *exactly* like the Great Salt Lake. :)

Sherrie said...

Don't be TOO hard on the Sea... it's a hugely important habitat for enormous numbers of birds, and it's struggling. Just invest in some clothespins next time you head that way. ;-)

Happy imminent house!

Sandy said...

Interesting post...kept me reading and I love your art.