Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Happy New Year!

It is good to be home. Yesterday, the Great Studio Organization Project made large strides, and Pretty Soon, you will see photos of the finished product. I received a sewing machine for Christmas (thank you, Mama and Papa Recker!!!) and last night I practiced some sewing. There was a piece of fabric pinned to a curtain rod in my studio. I am hemming it and finishing the edges, so it looks a little more official. I decided this was a good thing to practice on, because if it doesn't work, I can always buy more cheap fabric (which is what this is) to try again. I am not a seamstress, and it is NOT my mother's fault. She tried very hard to teach me how to sew when I was younger, and I just didn't have the patience. I don't know what makes me think I have the patience now, ...optimism?? Wish me peaceful sewing moments, please.

Happy New Year, all you lovely readers of my blog. I am grateful to you, for reading, for commenting, for everything!!! I leave you with some delightful yellow desert blooms, which Matthias and I discovered not too far from home. Best wishes for all of you in this New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Even MORE Travels

Once again, my lack of new entries is due to travels. This time, Matthias, Pono and I loaded into the old VW Vanagon and drove to Mesa, AZ to visit my in-laws. We are really enjoying the Vanagon! It doesn't go really fast, so we prefer the back roads to the interstate. It makes for much more scenic travel, too.

We just returned last night. It was a fun-filled 3 days. We celebrated a belated Christmas with Mama and Papa Recker. Lots of wonderful food, friends and gifts. There were many highlights of the trip. I am finding that I really love the saguaro cactus. On Friday, Eva, Matthias, Pono and I went for a really great hike near the Superstition Wilderness. I took way too many photos of the saguaro. They are so cool! This area seemed quite lush with vegetation (well, for a desert!). It was much greener than the area near Joshua Tree. It was not a long hike - only about 2 hours round trip - but what beautiful surroundings! It was a rocky trail, and I was so busy looking around me, that I had to be careful not to trip over the rocks.

The trail ended near some pools of water, and on the rocks lining the pools, there are a bunch of petroglyphs. I climbed around on the rocks for quite some time, taking photos of the petroglyphs. I loved them. Meanwhile, Pono splashed around in the lowest of the pools. He isn't much of a swimmer, but he does love water. The petroglyphs here were created by the Hohokam people. They are said to be about 200 to 2,000 years old. (They were not all done at the same time.) The early cowboys and miners of this area erroneously called these carvings "hieroglyphs", but of course they are really petroglyphs. The trail is called "Hieroglyph Trail" for the name originally given these wonderful images. I found out that there is a difference between "petroglyphs", which are actually carved into rock, and "pictographs", which are paintings. It is not common to see many "pictographs", since they don't last as long as the petroglyphs. You will typically only see them if they are somehow sheltered from the elements.

I really love ancient art, and I did study this kind of art when I was in college. Anytime I can see examples of primitive art in person, I am thrilled. This time was no exception.

Well, I have more to tell you, but I need to reorganize my studio today, so I can paint! This post took a lot longer than it should have, because I was interrupted by a bobcat walking through our yard. I can't just let a bobcat walk through the yard without getting up and observing closely. Pono was also intrigued, and sat right next to me with quiveringly excited ears. I will try to be more consistant with the blog now, I swear!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Curiosity and the Coyotes

There are quite a few coyotes here in the high desert. Yesterday, Pono and I seemed to be surrounded by them. While I was brushing my teeth in the morning, before our walk, there were two coyotes running across our property. I know this, because Pono was barking like crazy. He rarely barks, so when I hear him bark, I always have to go and check it out. He was standing on his hind feet, with a front paw on the window sill, looking avidly out the window. There they were, casually galloping along. I could see why Pono seemed so bent out of shape, since those two coyotes acted like it was their yard, and not his. (Which I am sure, not long ago, it probably was!)

We then got in the car and drove to one of our favorite hiking spots. A white car had turned onto the dirt road ahead of us. After about a minute or two on the dirt road, I saw a coyote enter the road behind the white car. The coyote ran after the car, just like I have seen dogs do when they chase cars. It was a strange sight, seeing this coyote chasing a car. While this coyote was still following the white car, another coyote crossed in front of us, but this one did not follow its friend down the road behind the car. After a time, the white car turned off, and the coyote went on its way.

Pono and I proceeded to our usual parking spot. It seemed coyote-free, so we went ahead on our walk. When we were finished with our walk, driving back on the dirt road, there were the two coyotes once again. Lingering along the edge of the road, they slowly and leisurely got out of our way. I was able to stop the car, roll down the window, and snap a couple of photos. That is, until Pono couldn't stand it anymore, crawled into my lap and tried to jump out the window to chase the two renegades. That was pretty much the end of the photo shoot. The two coyotes seemed just as curious about us as we were about them. They showed no fear, even though I know they could smell Pono.

I suppose the photos would be much better with a regular camera, but all I had with me was my tiny little digital camera, which I take with me everywhere. At least you get an idea.

I'm no expert, but this second coyote looked like it might be pregnant - compared to the other one, it did have a pretty poufy tummy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I was just re-reading my blog from yesterday. There is something I want to clarify. When I mentioned the paw "whomp" in my face, and then I "whomp" back - it is important for you to know that I do not hit my dog. He does tend to hit me with his paw, yes, but I just sorta "paw" him back. Lightly, and with much more consideration. Don't worry. I love Pono. Even at 6 am.

I have nothing else to tell you. I am too tired to be of any use today.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Steamed vegetables and a workout buddy

Sometimes, you just want something healthy. Tonight was one of those nights. I just had a plate of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. YUM. I feel so healthy. I wonder, does this cancel out the 3 cookies I ate earlier today? hmmm....

I am still wanting to get into the studio, but when you look into the refrigerator, and see there is no food, you realize that the paintings must wait. How inconvenient to have to shop for food when you want to apply paint to canvas!!! sheesh. Now I know why Picasso had so many women. They had to take care of the every day errands. I could really use a housewife.

I think it takes a while to catch up with life when you have been away for too long. There were so many errands to run today, and I am still not finished with them. Plus, I have all my Christmas shopping to do. I actually did get a bit done today, which is helpful. Maybe I will simply skip over the Christmas present idea, and try for New Year's presents and cards, instead.

I did manage to be outside with the dog. Having a dog will certainly help if you are looking for a workout buddy. Pono is accustomed to getting a walk first thing in the morning. So if I am trying to sleep in, or just be lazy in bed, I have this really hard to ignore whining and pawing that gets me up every time. It's like having a snooze alarm that won't turn off. The paw whomps me in the face - I whomp back - and then the paw comes again, followed by a whining and extremely wet tongue. A gym membership will never come with this kind of motivation. Again, this afternoon, while I was trying to work on the computer, a wet, cold nose poked me in the arm, and a whine told me that I needed to get up and throw a ball!

What I am enjoying lately about the high desert are the rocks. Don't you love them? I took these photos yesterday, when Matthias and I hiked nearby. It has been clear and beautiful here, although I will admit, I didn't expect it to be as cold as it is. It freezes (or close to it) at night, and it is usually about 50 degrees or so during the day. Not bad, but I was hoping for 60 or 70!!! I know, I know, I'm a wimp.

New watercolor listed on etsy, today! Take a peek.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I am sure by now you all think that I dropped off the edge of the earth. I am still here! On November 29th, I drove down to Palm Desert, to meet with the owner of a gallery on El Paseo. I took a carload of art with me. I carried the art into the gallery, unwrapped each one with beating heart, and did my best not to hyperventilate. I talked to the owner about the work, and what other things I have planned for my art. Somehow I managed to remain confident, and the meeting went the way I had hoped. The owner kept about 17 monotypes, and I walked out with a signed contract. One miracle.

While I was in the meeting with the gallery owner, my cell phone rang. I let the voicemail pick it up, so after the meeting, I checked to see who called. It was my father, telling me that my mother had slipped into a coma. It is astounding how quickly I went from flying high with joy directly to devastation. I drove home, and began preparing for another journey to Denver, to be with my family. Mom was in a coma for 3 days and 3 nights, and I didn't think I would see her blue eyes open again. I didn't think I would tell her I loved her again. My Dad, sister, her husband, and I kept a vigil in the CCU room, every day wondering what would happen. On Sunday after I arrived in Denver, she opened her eyes. Another miracle.

Two long weeks I remained in Denver, spending most of the time in the hospital. The day I booked a ticket home to Joshua Tree was also the same day my mother got to go home. Now we are both happily sleeping in our own beds, and not missing the endless parade of doctors and nurses of the hospital. I must admit that I have seen more of hospitals and the monster machines therein than I ever wanted. This was the same hospital where my sister spent many long days, so many years ago. She died of cancer when she was 22 years old. (I was 21)

It was cold and snowy in Denver, and the Canadian Geese had set up camp on the hospital grounds. I got a chance to snap a few photos of them, just for you beloved blog readers. I kept thinking "fly south, you silly geese!" But if you are from Canada, Colorado is south, I guess. The geese weren't overly frightened of me, but they were a bit bashful about having their photo taken. I got a number of geese rear end shots. It was too cold for a more involved photo session.

I am taking a few days to recover from the stress of this last visit to Denver. I am anxious to get back into the studio, to create a whole new body of work for the busy season in Palm Desert. If any of you are ever in the vicinity, please to stop in Christopher Morgan Galleries at 73-375 El Paseo!