Always my pleasure to post the Cloud Appreciation Society newsletter. This one especially is one to dig into and see whether you can get your tongue round the word “cataractagenitus”.
Sometimes life give you just what you need. On Saturday I was at an art fair at Rainbow Stew in Yucca Valley. My neighbor, Christine Chase, had brought a project to work on during the day. She had a number of pieces of upcycled household objects that she assembled into a sculpture. At the end of the day, we packed up a little early because it had gotten windy and we were starting to get blown away. I helped Christine with the last few stages of taking down her tent safely. As she was packing she realized that now that the project was complete, she didn’t have room for the sculpture and the box that the pieces had been in. She asked if I needed a box. I said I didn’t, but had room to take it and recycle it appropriately.
As I disassembled the booth, it got windier. Because it had been a 1-day show with no chance of rain, I’d put the loose canopy top on. It’s easier to transport, I put it on the frame at home, but it isn’t waterproof. As I had intended to leave it on until I returned home, I didn’t bring the bag it goes in. As I was taking the booth down, it became obvious things would be safer if I removed the ‘sail’ from the top. I was bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t brought the bag, but then suddenly realized why serendipity had given me a box….
When I went to pick up my paintings yesterday from the Riverside County Fair – also the National Date Festival, I had a nice little surprise. Of the three paintings I entered, two came home with ribbons, and I came home with a nice little check. ‘The Setting Sun’ had taken an honorable mention in the Theme of the year, non-traditional, and ‘Gentle Storm’ had taken first place in the same category. Well, the theme of the year was clouds….
Another weather-related tale to follow the drizzle in Arizona. Last Friday I was scheduled to sit in the gift-shop at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, and was also going to take artwork in for the upcoming membership judged show. I knew that there had been a little snow in the high desert because Snake Jagger had posted a picture of some snow in his front yard in Morongo Valley on Wednesday.
I love snow in the low desert: it’s up there on the mountains, where it looks pretty, not down here in the driveway where you have to shovel it.
On the Thursday afternoon, Darlene who is the scheduler at the 29 Palms Gallery called me and said that the previous day the grade between Morongo Valley and Yucca Valley had been closed because of snow on Wednesday and that it was snowing in Yucca Valley right now and was forecast to continue snowing until 11pm and freeze overnight. She thought the chances of my making it to the gallery safely the next day were slim and had called in a possible substitute.
I said let’s wait until the morning to see. Friday morning I called her and she said the sun was shining and everything was melting. Caltrans website confirmed the 62 was open so I set out.
I had to stop in Yucca Valley to pick up a painting that Raini had collected for me from the prior show so I was able to take an unusual photo – me with snow.
I had considered taking a pic of me holding a snowball but the thought of cold wet hands made me reconsider. This is quite close enough to the snow for me.
I’ll take any kind of water – rain, hail, flood, fog, sleet, snow – (I’ve only so far done shows with the first 4) – and even earthquakes (yes, been there done that) over wind any day. Wind is the true 4-letter word. Nevertheless, it’s not easy to set up in the rain.
Soaked items include: sneakers, socks, jeans, inside of truck tailgate (it has rug), some corners of the cardboard boxes, eventually the outside of the partial walls you see set up, hoodie, mat bin, cooler, ground tarp. The weather forecast for Litchfield Park, AZ, though is better for the actual show days.
Sometimes a little local knowledge can be vital.
Last Wednesday when we were setting up for the South West Art Festival in Indio, my booth neighbor from Utah, had stacked his boxes on the grass in the space between our booths. This fair is at the Polo Grounds and we have lush grass there. I’d not met Peter before but that’s no excuse to not be a good neighbor.
I suggested that he put tarps under his boxes, pointing out that the polo field was very well irrigated, plus we had had several days of great rain recently and might get dew. Yes, I know, dew in the desert seems like an oxymoron but it does happen! Peter decided to take my advice and while I was unloading and parking the truck piled his boxes into my space and tarped under his boxing area.
Turned out to be a good call. On the Thursday morning when we were completing set-up, my boots were quite sodden walking around on the grass. If he had not tarped under them, those boxes would’ve been history.
As ever a pleasure to pass on the Cloud Appreciation Society Newsletter. Now I have to just think of the best reason for them to visit Salton City on that US trip!