Tales from the field #32

Tomorrow is Black Friday and I’m a retailer so I’ll be at a show in Palm Springs.  Today is Thanksgiving so I wanted to find something to be thankful for:

Silverado on a flooded street

The flood got deeper as I continued the setup

This Thanksgiving I am thankful that:

  • the rain I set up my tent in was merely heavy rain and not freezing
  • that it wasn’t windy so I could put the walls up without having to put the weights on first
  • that my booth is on a well drained grassy slope
  • that my truck was ignored by Palm Springs finest, alongside the red curb and half in a flood, with the park anywhere lights on
  • that my truck has a heater because I was soaked from my head to my hips and my feet to my thighs
  • that my truck was able to navigate the floods along Ramon Road
  • that there weren’t any crazy fast drivers who caused a crash on the freeway
  • that I decided to go for this wet setup so I don’t have to get up at 4 am to set up tomorrow
  • that I am writing this listening to the rain on my roof while a turkey cooks

A gallery closes

I started working with Sm’Art gallery I think 3 years ago, maybe 4.  It was a strange start.  I received a cold-call email that sounded good, not the usual scam stuff, but the attachment wouldn’t open.  After some thought I replied.  It was a real offer, Alana had managed to have an email blast sent to the local attendees of ‘Art under the umbrellas’ show.

I signed up for the co-op gallery – we share the rent and working in the gallery.  I have made many good contacts and friends over the years, taught a lot of classes (Alana was instrumental in the design of the ‘Painting for Absolute Beginners’ class and the contact that let to a season of intermediate classes, the contents of which become follow on exercises for ‘Absolute Beginners’.

At the end of October, Alana decided to close the gallery.  A combination of factors came together at the end of the lease and we had our final evening.  Here are a couple photos from the first 20 minutes before the crowd got there.

sm'Art studio co-op gallery

Just getting set up. Holly had created some ‘Day of the Dead’ paintings.

sm'Art studio co-op gallery

Sitting around chatting. We did quite a bit of business that night, especially Janice – who is the one with the gray shirt, on her device.

Glass Outhouse Gallery – ‘Fleeting Passions’

A few years ago I was introduced to the Glass Outhouse Gallery in Wonder Valley – just east of 29 Palms.  It is in the middle of nowhere, even more than I am, and has a small gallery where Laurel and Howard hold month-long 2-artist shows, and a sculpture garden made of recycled material art, created by Howard.

Artwork in gallery

Four skies in the Glass Outhouse Gallery

I had a show there a few years ago with my Mixed Media work and am scheduled to have another show there with that medium in January 2021.  Yes, artists do plan ahead.

Artwork in gallery

The cart shows that this is a hanging day.

As I have another body of work and enough Mixed Media to run two shows concurrently, I’m on their ‘waitlist’.  A list of artists who, in an emergency can put together a show in a couple days.  Last week I got the call.

Artwork in gallery

The outgoing artist hadn’t picked up her work yet.

I had planned to take my oils and acrylics to the show in Monrovia this weekend, but with a quick call I managed to get that changed and this body of work was available for the month.

Artwork in gallery

Nice little row, the last 4 ‘diamonds’

My fellow artist is Tami Wood.  We both joked that our names are two four-letter words.  Her work is made exclusively of recycled materials.  We’ve called our show ‘Fleeting Passions’ because we both explore ephemeral aspects of our environment.

Artwork in gallery

And room for the bin, that holds paintings I did in or for paint and wine evenings that I’ve taught.

After the show in Newport I brought everything up and hung the show.  Howard will pin up the prices later.

Artwork in gallery

I’m surprised the one on the left hadn’t sold at Newport, it had a lot of interest.

Because of existing commitments (Monrovia), I can’t be at the reception but Tami will handle that and I’ll do my share of gallery sitting during the month.

Artwork in gallery

The painting on the right is one from my house – I’m down to the last few oils and acrylics and am selling at discount prices!

What I didn’t realize until I told another friend in 29 Palms about the late arrangement, I’d scored a show during the Highway 62 Art Tour – three of the four weekends in October, and the Glass Outhouse Gallery is one of the stops.  Wow, I’m sure glad I decided to go for it!

Artwork in gallery

Almost exactly the right amount of space, there was only one suitable painting I didn’t put up!

I feel bless that because of various issues outside of my scope, I now have a show with both bodies of work on the Highway 62 tour – I have Mixed Media work at the High Desert Medical Center!

 

A forever home in Flagstaff

A recent sale of one of my larger paintings resulted in this young couple hanging a beautiful view over their dining room table.

Oil painting of Salton Sea

“Away we go” has the following poem written for it and painted in just below the horizon. (The birds that it refers to aren’t easily seen at this distance.) The days approach the dawns’ bright glow we stretch our wings away we go.

A forever home in Palo Alto

A recent sale at Palo Alto subsequently got back to me as a pic of the painting in its forever home.  This one might not look as interesting as you would think it could be, but I knew before the new owners took it home, it was going in the guest bathroom, so most of the surrounds are omitted for aesthetic reasons.

Refractured watercolor painting

“I thought this would be” has the following lines written for it and painted into the horizon areas: I thought this would be the view I’d live and die with but the sea recedes.

Shakin up the Arts

Each year there is a ‘Shakin up the Arts’ show at the Carmen Durazo Center in Calexico.  This year the show was just about equally divided between high school students and adult artist entries.

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

Some of the adult entries

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

There was quite a crowd at the reception

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

Some more adult entries.

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

The support pillars are ideal places for the small artworks

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

The one on the left was my favorite in the whole show

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

Artist Sherry Nash and I met and discussed work – this is one of her mixed media pieces

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

Sherry also does acrylic pours

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

Some more of the student work. This young lady had no qualms about asking me whether I liked her painting!

Art at Carmen Durazo Cultural Center

There were some 3-d pieces also.

Salton Sea update. Sonnet.

reflectingpoolapr2019

I often get asked about the Salton Sea. Whether it is still there. Yes, but a little smaller. I am looking at a mid to dark blue sea as I write this, sitting at my dining room table (the view is better than the wall in front of my desk), which means it’s pretty breezy out there. I love the fact that I can tell the windspeed by the color of the sea, and that sometimes one half of it will be dark and the other light. That when there is no wind, it is the same color as the sky.
This morning I walked down to the shore, such as it is, now perhaps a half mile of what will eventually be salt flats – some of it dry enough to walk on, much of it not, so I can no longer go to the water’s edge without ending up up to my thighs in fish guano.
I took a photo of the ‘reflecting pool’, which when I moved here almost fifteen years ago was full of water up to the far side of that little row of vegetation in the front.

When I returned I wrote this:

Shining Sea

Palm Springs to Yuma – not a hint of breeze,
the silence is so loud you’ll hear your heart
beat in your chest. Your breath will stop and start
as you behold the mirror Salton Sea’s
become on such a day. A piece of sky
stretched on the desert floor – cerulean rug
of knots so fine. And ’til a stop will tug
the air, that blessed earthly canopy,
and then that sea to ever deepening blue
then gray, then black with whitecapse, watch this glass
this polished surface thirty five miles vast
reflects the sky it lives under, to you.
On windless days, the Salton Sea shines most,
more than the oceans found on either coast.