Summer viewing….

East Jesus Sculpture Garden in Slab City

One of the artworks at the East Jesus Sculpture Garden in Slab City (by Niland), California. Perhaps best leave this one until the fall.

Just when you thought it was safe to take a stay-cation and relax in front of the tv, ArtNet recommends a lot of travel-worthy art museums to visit.

(And just in case you were wondering, no, my refracturing technique is not a copy of David Hockney’s photo collage technique, despite some of the similarities in appearance.)

If nothing is close enough to go to, maybe there’s one closer!


The Mojave.

The spacious Mojave Desert

The spacious Mojave Desert

395 blasts a road straight (almost) through the Mojave desert from Adelanto and north and north and  north up the eastern spine of California, clear past state line. The first stretch of it, up to  Kramer Junction, is mostly flat – littered with creosote bushes and other small brush plants that also inhabit my yard, but whose names I do not know. Aside from 395 and a line of power poles, it is all open space. Desert and sky. I think if I have a ghost, I would haunt this beautiful place.

North of Kramer Junction, the road continues flat for a while, but then rises past Atolia  (population 0), Red Mountain (population unlisted) and Johannesburg (population 130) before tracking through the El Paso Mountains and into Ridgecrest. Ridgegcrest is neither on a ridge, nor on the crest of anything. It was originally called Crumbville, but when the
China Lake Navy base was built, (yes, that’s a US Navy** base in the middle of the desert) there was a decision to rename the town, and a lady suggested
Ridgecrest because she had lived in a place of that name somewhere back east (that I figure probably was built on the crest of some ridge) and no one could think of anything better.

My Name in Lights

My Name in Lights

It’s always nice when you drive into town and see your name in lights. The Maturango Museum was ready for me and we were on time. We spent two hours unloading, unpacking and setting up the show and then took the rest of the day off – it was quite “toasty” outside. Arriving at the Heritage Inn Hotel, which comped us the room, I approached the front desk and told the lady my name, and she knew exactly who we were.

I wrote this on Thursday evening, but the hotel’s internet took the evening off sick, so no posting until today. Was able to post this via the museum’s internet while setting up for my presentation at the reception this evening.

Pre-flight checklist.

The final throes of preparation for the museum show

The final throes of preparation. Three more to pack. Labels, check. Business cards, check. Brochures, check. Tape gun, check…..

This morning I was packing up the last three paintings for my roadtrip that starts on Wednesday.  I’m going over to my other half’s place in Brea to pick him up for a trip up north.  We’ve driven this road, together and alone, several times and are both looking forward to it.  As I was looking around the mess coming together in the studio and contemplating other things that should get added to the list, this sprung to mind for Thursday morning.

Good morning and welcome to flight 395 from Brea to Ridgecrest.  I’ll be your pilot for the journey in this Silverado roadcraft.  Today we have a cargo of 56 refractured watercolors and watercolor collages, a half-dozen ‘Thought inside the box’ trinket boxes and a box of “Skies of Peace and Passion” books.  There is plenty of room in the cargo bay for personal items as there is no booth to take with us this time because our destination is the Maturango Museum to deliver the work for a two month solo show by “world-famous artist Jeni Bate” (I have to keep saying that otherwise it won’t stick) in the Sylvia Winslow Art Gallery. The flight will take approximately four hours, with a scheduled potty stop in Kramer Junction (or Adelante if the coffee runs through quicker).

Coffee and breakfast bars will be served on this trip because with the 7am start, we won’t have time to eat before we leave. Highlights of your 3-day/2-night vacation will include helping the artist schlep the artwork into the museum and unbox it (box cutter and dolly will be provided), stuffing the resulting cardboard containers back into the truck, helping me find the hotel without a map and getting me back to the gallery, listening again to that rehearsed speech about the work that will be given on Friday evening at the opening reception, and talking to gallery goers.  (Please pack your own sales skills.) If you’re really lucky, there may be an opportunity to go fishing on Friday, but it would be wise to pack a couple books in case we end up just hanging out in the hotel.  The return trip will be more leisurely on Saturday morning.  Let me know if you want to drive!