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!
We are having a cold winter, that’s for sure. At least, that’s how it feels. A couple weeks ago at the Art on Main in La Quinta, there’s was no getting warm at all. There is a coffee shop in the center of Old Town which is very good, but the line is always long there. I didn’t want to leave my booth for such a length of time. That’s when you need someone who is a real fan of your work and understands the problems of a freezing artist.
Having been doing a lot of catch up (to where I should’ve been if I’d never gone) after returning, I forgot to put up a link to my Monthly Newsletter yesterday. So now you’re back at the office/gotten over the hangover, you can read it.