Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm back

I'm back!!! I am sorry to keep you all waiting for the report about the Studio Tours. The Wednesday after the tours, I had to go into the hospital for a minor procedure to take care of some problems I have been experiencing. I was in the hospital overnight, and have been recuperating at home since then. Don't worry, it went well and every day I feel better. So the prognosis is good! I guess I always think I can accomplish more than I really can. I was certain I would be able to get a blog post in before the hospital visit. I do apologize.

The Studio Tours were great!!! I had a really good turnout, the weather was fantastic, and I met a lot of other artists and new people. I will honestly say that the sales weren't quite what I had hoped for, but in every other way it was a great success. I am really happy I participated. If any of you who visited my studio are reading this, THANKS FOR COMING!!! I think it was a great way to introduce myself and my artwork to this community. I look forward to doing it again next year.

The fall weather in the desert has been so spectacular. I am not trying to brag, for those of you who are already freezing cold. I merely want to share with you how delightful it has been, particularly after the summer heat. The nights cool down into the 50's, and during the day it is usually in the mid-80's. It is heavenly. A few brave blossoms have emerged, and I am not sure if they are normally fall blooming, or if the bit of rain we got about a month ago was the cause. In any case, I am always delighted to see flowers in the wild.

I leave you with a photo of a roadrunner who recently visited. Here he (she?) is, staring right at us! I took another photo, when he started to run, but all I got in the frame was the end of his tail. "Beep beep, zip--BANG!!!!" So fast.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cactus, Anyone?

I never cease to be amazed at these desert creatures. Their tenacity is astounding. This is a very hot place in the summer, with drying wind. It is actually cold enough to occasionally freeze in the winter, and the wind is cold. It is dry year round. Yet, the abundance of life is still evident.

Last week, my husband planted some new cactus in our yard. A friend and neighbor was kind enough to give us some cuttings from his cactus. I don't know too much about growing cactus, but the neighbor told us to let them dry out, and then to plant them. So that is what Matthias did. Well, about two days after he planted these cactus, I was up early, looking out the front window at the full moon, when I spotted a jack rabbit, munching away at the cactus as though we planted it just for him!!!! I can't believe it! I mean, these jackrabbits apparently know how to eat between the prickly parts, or maybe they can eat the prickly parts, too. Whatever it is, I am impressed. So of course I had to go out and take some photos for you.

The biggest cactus, the one in the second photo, is now completely eaten. I mean, completely! I have put a wire cage around the other one, so it is still there, but a third cactus has been attacked, as of just last night. I had photos of that one, too, but Photoshop is not cooperating, and I need to finish my preparations for the Studio Tours.

Have a great weekend, all. I will post about the tours next week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall in the desert

We had a cool spell over the weekend. We experienced the coldest temperatures since last spring, where the highs were only in the 50's, and a cold wind was blowing. It still gets much cooler at night now, but the temperatures during the day have gone back up to the 70's. I am much happier with the warmer temperatures, since I am a cold blooded lizard who needs a warm rock in the sun to sit upon!!! However, this is a sign that winter comes, even to the desert.

I don't have much to tell you. The mornings have been beautiful, as you can see in the above photo. The dirt road is one I run with the dog quite often in the morning. What a wonderful time to be out! Enjoy your day, everyone. Hopefully, tomorrow will have some more interesting thoughts.

I am putting final touches on the house and art for this weekend! It's approaching quickly - Art Tours 2008! Stop in if you live nearby - I'd love to see you and feed you some munchies. I'm number 44 on the tour.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New series, painting #2

Everything seems to take me extra time these days. I can't explain why, but I can give you my theory that I have been trapped in some sort of time warp or something. The Joshua Tree time warp, where time just slips through my fingers like water through a sieve. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Here is the second painting in my Aboriginal art inspired series. This one is even tinier than the desert quail painting from Sunday, measuring only 4 x 4 inches. You know I don't have the patience to put tiny dots on a large format canvas, right folks? Right. I still don't know if this painting is quite finished, although maybe it is. I think my tortoise might be a bit too round. He ate too many desert flowers.

I also experimented with my friend, Carla Sonheim's, technique of a tranfer painting. So I thought you might like to see what I did. It isn't nearly as cool as what she is doing, but I am enjoying trying new things right now. It is good to expand your mind, and your creative processes. Thank you, Carla, for the tutorial! If any of you want to try this, visit her blog. (Scroll down to Sept. 22nd for the beginning of the tutorial.) It's fun!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New series of paintings

I forgot that I was supposed to post this photo yesterday. The only weak reason I have for my absentmindedness is that I had so much fun painting this first painting, that I did another one!!! The second one may not be finished yet. I am still thinking about that. It's also smaller, and so far, I don't love it as much as I love this first one. I will let you be the judge, but you have to wait to see the second painting in the series. (I didn't photograph it yet.)

This is acrylic on canvas (acrylic being a new thing for me!) It measures 6 x 6 x 2 inches. As you can see, the painting continues around the edges, which I think is really working. I have to tell you that this painting was inspired by Australian Aboriginal art, especially the art from the region near Utopia. My husband and I actually own quite a number of paintings from artists there. I have admired them for so long! This painting isn't nearly as wonderful as the paintings I have seen done by the Australian Aboriginals, but I had so much fun painting it. These are the quail that we have running all over the desert. They are called "Gambel's Quail", I think, and I have tried repeatedly to photograph them. But they are silly, shy little things, and so far have not been interested in having their photo taken. Hopefully one day I can have a photo for you. Until then, here they are in a painting, complete with their funny feathered tops. I love these birds!

Now, I must go to bed.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Snakes and more snakes

One thing about the desert is that you will never get lonely to see a snake. At least, not lately. We have had enough rain, so there is enough for the rodents to eat. Which means there is also plenty for the snakes to eat! Here is another snake we saw a few days ago, while running with the Pono in the morning. Don't worry, I didn't actually get that close to it, I just used my zoom.

We got a tiny bit more rain on Monday afternoon. Not enough to bring us up to the one inch mark yet, but we are closer! For the year, we now have received .91 inches of rain. WHOA. What's nice about the rain is that not only does it cool the air off, but there are beautiful clouds at sunset. I had fun taking photos, so I thought I would share a few with you.

I discovered that even though I thought I was having my studio open on October 11th and 12th, it turns out I was off by one week. So my studio will be open on October 18th and 19th, from 9 to 5 pm. (I swear I did call and ask, but mistakes happen.) At least I will have an extra week to get everything ready to show. I have just started a new series of animal paintings, and I hope to have a photo of one ready to show you tomorrow.