Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Parry's Nolina

When my friends from Colorado were here visiting about a week ago, we had a chance to go to Joshua Tree National Park and hike around. You would think that since we live 5 minutes from the entrance of the Park, we would go there all the time. Funny how that is not the case at all. We seem to only go there when we have visitors. Even though the wind was cold that day, we still had fun.

One of the most exciting parts of our day for me was when we saw that the Parry's Nolina were beginning to bloom. This member of the Lily Family is another thing that I had never seen before we moved to the high desert of Southern California. Some of the specimens we encountered in the park were the largest I have seen yet. This one made me think of an old man, hunched over by age.

I am sad to tell you that I don't think the Joshua Trees will bloom this year. I am now feeling thankful that I took so many photographs of them in bloom last year!!! Here is one, just for nostalgia's sake. This photo was taken near Darwin, California last year.

I must get back into the studio now. I have been experimenting with some new techniques. It is often difficult to break oneself of old ways of approaching a painting. Having said that, I also recognize that when you do things the same way, you will get the same results. To attain NEW results, you must get brave and do things differently. I want new results, so I am willing to stretch myself. It is not without frustration, but I know it will pay off. At least, I hope it will. At the moment, I am feeling a little discouraged. Good thing I am stubborn, or I would already be reverting to my old techniques!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Blues

Sometimes you just have the blues.


The desert bell.

This monotype will be listed in my etsy store later today.

Have a divine weekend, my beloved readers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yellow Desert Flowers

Yellow flowers are sometimes difficult to identify. That's okay, they are still pretty. Lately, I have been fortunate enough to be interested in the same flowers as the bees!! The one directly below is bladderpod, I am quite sure. The one above is NOT in my flower book.

This last one is a poppy. More soon!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Treasury!

Hello everyone!

Well, I was hoping I would be more frequent with my blog posts last week, but I was not. You see, the sun came out and it was about 80 degrees and sunny and warm. So I had a very hard time sitting in front of the computer or doing anything at all indoors! I spent most of the week outside, digging in the dirt. Then, I was preparing for house guests, and then, I was entertaining house guests! So that is why my blog posts have dwindled down to nothing for over a week. It is not that I feel I am obligated to tell you why I am not typing away every day, but when I make promises I like to keep them. So I feel, in a way, that I have let you down. I will do my BEST to supply you with new flower photos this week. NO SLACKING OFF!!!

Some exciting news: I have one of my monotypes featured in a treasury on etsy!

Click here to see it.

New monotypes are being added to my etsy shop, so please check back. There are some favorites there! Here is a photo of one of them.

This week, I will be a faithful blogger and do my utmost not to abandon my beloved readers and flower seekers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Desert Bar

I can't believe it has already been almost a week since I last posted! What is happening to my blogging? I am going to blame it on my first root canal, which I endured on Wednesday. All that Novocaine has made it impossible to type. Ha ha ha (The good news is that I survived, and my mouth is recovering nicely.)

Yesterday, I met a roommate of mine from college in Parker, AZ. She recently got married, and since she lives in South Dakota, and I live in California, I hadn't met her new husband yet. She was visiting her in-laws in Yuma, AZ, and we decided to meet halfway. Her in-laws are great tour guides, and they took us to this amazing place called the Desert Bar. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit. It is only open Saturday and Sunday, and they are closed during the hottest summer months. I suggest visiting the website if you are interested. There used to be a copper mine on the land where the Desert Bar is located. It is also known as the Nellie E Saloon, since the mine was named "Nellie E".

I think one of my favorite things about this place is that it is off the power grid. If you look at the photographs, you will see all the solar panels used for power. The towers are actually cooling towers. According to the website, there are pads at the tops of these towers, and when they get these pads wet, the air is cooled. The cool air then travels down the towers and provides a cool circulation of air. The concept is similar to that of a swamp cooler, but without the fan.

The bar is located near Parker, AZ in the Buckskin Mountains. The road leading to to it is a bumpy dirt road. Most of the vehicles in the parking lot were pickup trucks and Jeeps, but we managed to make it there in a Saturn. So I don't think you would have to have a four wheel drive vehicle to enjoy a hamburger (with "no cheese - EVER.") and a beer in this unique venue. They have live music, and lots of rusted old desert vehicles to admire. Well worth the bumpy ride!

This is the beginning of wildflower season in the desert, and I have been running around, taking photos like a madwoman. Just a couple of days ago, I saw my first Desert Bell, or phacelia campanularia, and now they seem to be ubiquitous. I love the rich blue color of these flowers. Stay tuned, as more wildflower photos are coming soon. Sooner than a week, I hope.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Monotypes on etsy

This is going to be a quick post, because I have been on the computer ALL DAY. I am grateful to you for stopping by, and I promise, my dear readers, that I will be more interesting the next time I post. Promise!

I just wanted to tell you that I am starting to list monotypes on etsy. I haven't had too many of them on the etsy site, because I was "saving" them for galleries. However, I am creating them more quickly than the galleries can sell them, at the moment. So it is time to offer them for sale in another venue. So, etsy it is!!! I will be listing them all week, and hopefully, you will find one JUST FOR YOU!!!

So stop by my etsy shop and take a quick little peek!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another flower painting

Yesterday I finished both of the desert wildflower paintings I was working on, and dropped them off at the High Desert Nature Museum for the exhibition of wildflower inspired art. There will be a show of art using recycled materials at the same time as the wildflower exhibition. The opening is next Saturday. I think I may have overworked the Beaver Tail Cactus flower painting, but I still like how it turned out. Not bad for the first acrylic painting I've ever done.

This is the second painting I have done in acrylic. It is a painting of the Mojave Asters. Any flower that is purple or lavender colored is a hit with me, so of course I had to paint these. I worked from a photograph I took last spring, but I didn't want it to look tight or too photo realistic. That is not my style.

Pono and I had a nice walk/run this morning. It was a little crisp outside, but the sun is bright and warm. When I stopped to catch my breath and give Pono a little drink of water, I snapped this close up of what I believe is a Mojave Popcorn flower, or cryptantha confertiflora. (It could also be a Yellow Cryptantha, but I am not sure.) In either case, this tiny clump of yellow flowers belongs to the Boraginaceae family, which is the same family as the Forget-me-not. I remember these flowers from last year, because the leaves are quite large, larger than most other green things in the sandy soil, and I was thinking they would produce this big, showy blossom. However, the yellow flower clump is so delicate, that I found myself laughing about my assumption.

I hope everyone has a lovely day! I must go and enjoy some desert sunshine now.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Something completely different

Hello dear blog readers! For those of you with blogs, I want to apologize for not stopping to visit. I have been pre-occupied lately. I hope to get some time to catch up on you today. I have been working on a brand new painting. There is an exhibit coming up for desert wildflower paintings. For those of you who were reading my blog last spring, you know how much fun I had with the desert wildflowers. I had no idea the desert could be so beautiful and magical. I was taking photographs left and right. Consequently, I feel obligated to contribute something to the wildflower exhibition. So I have nearly finished an acrylic painting of the beavertail cactus blossom. This is my first acrylic painting, ever!!! I have always struggled with acrylic, since it dries so quickly and the colors seem funky to me. However, being the stubborn person that I am, I keep trying it every now and then.

This painting is NEARLY finished. It measures 18 x 24 inches, and is, as I said, acrylic on canvas. And I haven't even abstracted it!!! Surprised? I have always loved painting flowers, but it has been over 5 years since I last did a painting of flowers. It was nice to re-visit one of my favorite subjects.

Pono and I saw our first wildflowers of the season last week. This is the Desert Vetch, if I remember accurately from last spring. I have heard that this spring they are expecting an even BETTER wildflower season than last year! Is that exciting or WHAT???!!??? I can't wait.