Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A walk in Sequim, WA

I am visiting family in Sequim, WA for the Thanksgiving holiday. What a complete change from the desert! It rained for 6 hours straight the day before yesterday, which was an absolute marvel to this desert dwelling girl. (Real rain?) When I went for a run yesterday, I could see my breath. Another wonder! And leaves. Oh, and did I mention I have seen shades of green I had nearly forgotten about? I've decided to drink in all of these new sights, and fill up my creative well. It's so important to do this, from time to time.

I thought you might like to come for a walk with my Dad and I.

I am fortunate that my Dad is incredibly patient with me, since I have to stop every ten paces to snap another photograph.

There are deer wandering around this neighborhood, and I have seen them three times now. Here are a couple of shots of them I NEVER would have gotten, had Mr. Pono the fuzzy dog been with me.

Are you doing anything special for Thanksgiving?
I am grateful for you, for reading my blog and sharing your thoughts with me. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


One good reason to wake up early:

I love this bent over Joshua Tree in our backyard. It feels like an old woman with osteoporosis, bent over with age. Yet she still stands, resilient in the wind.

I found this short little clip about Georgia O'Keeffe on It is well worth five minutes of your time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Tile House

The sweet face that greeted me upon arrival.
The longer we live in the desert, the more opportunities I have to see the infinite wonders of this place. Last weekend, I was privileged to be the dinner guest out at the Tile House in Wonder Valley, CA. (Wonder Valley is about 20 minutes east of Joshua Tree on Highway 62.) I always love driving out to Wonder Valley. It has a vastness to it that I find powerful and grand.

Artist Perry Hoffman started covering the surfaces of his desert house with mosaic tile about twelve years ago. I have never seen anything like it. Both interior and exterior walls have been lovingly re-surfaced with colorful tiles. A little help from Kickstarter this year has propelled him forward. What an incredible work in progress!
The View from the patio

Dining area
Hoffman told me he took a class in San Francisco from a friend to learn how to do mosaic tile, and that was where is all started. Now, Hoffman teaches classes in mosaic tile when he isn't working on this phenomenal house. Hoffman is also a photographer, works in clay, and has recently begun painting in acrylic. Some of his clay pieces end up in his mosaics.

This is the section he had been working on the day I visited. 

In the kitchen

The back of the house is not tiled, but the colorful stripes danced with many of the same colors in the mosaics.
We had a wonderful night of pizza, dog petting and art talk. I am so fortunate to meet so many creative people. To find out more about the Tile House and see some more of Hoffman's work, you can click here to visit his website. A big thank you to Perry, for inviting me to visit!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dog love

Someone flipped a switch, and BAM! it's windy and cold in the desert. (only 48 degrees F when I went out this morning with Mr. fuzzy Pono-who-loves-the-cold). The only reason I went outside was because of a pestering dog who couldn't WAIT to run out in the cold. Once out in the cold, this pestering dog stopped for a moment to sniff the wind, then ran and barked at absolutely nothing. Dogs are the best therapy out there. They know how to live in the moment. They show joy and enthusiasm for life and simple pleasures. They eat kibble, the same kibble, every day and don't complain. I am inspired by my dog.

While out on said run, we were joined by the bravest raven I have met so far. It flew right alongside us while we ran. Pono loves to bark at ravens, but despite his ferocious barking, this raven remained undaunted. It kept up with us, occasionally landing on a Joshua Tree to squawk at us. I felt like it really had something to say, but I don't speak raven. A little part of me wonders if it was merely trying to tease the dog. I tried to take a photo with my phone, but with the wind trying to blow the raven off the tree and the camera out of my hand, I'm afraid the photo is not worth posting.
Yesterday's stormy sunrise.
I am heading back into the studio today, as I am gearing up to show with the talented artists at JTAG starting in December. I will be showing new work there every month until April of 2013. Then, in April comes a solo show in Bakersfield at Metro Galleries. After selling so many paintings during the Art Tours, I have some work to do! Such a nice problem to have.

How are you adjusting to fall? Has everyone settled into the time change? (I still haven't, but I am loving being up to watch the sunrise every morning.) I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall's arrival

It has been a beautiful Indian Summer here in the high desert. We've had the kind of wind-free, warm-sun weather where it's hard to stay indoors and get "things" done. The outside beckons. Therefore, I answer its call and go out. Come in. Then go out again. Things are just beginning to show the touch of cooler night air.

The fishhook cactus. It's always red, but I think I notice it more now that the sky is that impossible fall blue.

The desert willow

I don't have much to say tonight, so I have decided to share with you words written by my friend Erik Stalheim. This is what I really want to say, and it is so much better in his words. (Thanks, emmet!)

ridiculous to dam tears, at times
i am so full of the world
It can only squeeze Itself through ducts
collect itself in perfect globes of 
                      wet salt
and then fall, following gravity
               to Its source
And the world does not fit
inside my skin, bursts me like a
splitting cocoon to birth the sun - 
Its light allows no boundaries
still these eyes that give tears
make them out, blurred or cut
sharply in love
                                          ~Erik Stalheim, 2004