Tales from the field #13

When I was setting up for Palo Alto, I was setting the shelf in my desk and found out I’d inadvertantly packed a gecko. Far away from his natural climate, this little critter would not have survived to be released onto the streets of Palo Alto. I needed to take him home.

gecko in a cup

My friend Cindy went into Pete’s and begged an empty cup from them, and he spent the day in cup jail in my booth.

That evening, having found that he eats various bugs, I was looking around my airbnb, thinking ‘I need a fly’. Then, I found a spider! I scooped it up and added it to the cup, which by this time had some natural materials in it so as to not be quite so boring.

gecko in a cup

A little furniture.

I left him at the airbnb on Sunday, and in the evening brought him out so he could have a warm up on my hand. After he no longer felt chilly, he wanted to run around a little more, but it was time for bed before an early start.

Gecko

“Ah, a heating pad.”

I put him back in the cup – really? his little face said, cup jail again?

gecko in a cup

What did I do to deserve this?

We’re going home in the morning!
You’re really going to take me home? was the quizzical expression.

gecko in a cup

Really, you’re taking me home? You mean it?

The one expression I didn’t capture was the look on his face when I put out the contents of the cup in the front yard. He looked around, then looked at me. Wow, you kept your word! I’m home.
Then he zoomed off into the oleander at gecko speed.

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Newer Work #84

I am usually willing to do commissions that will not be chosen.  I often do a couple of commissions when making a refractured watercolor or mixed media because if it doesn’t it the spot, it can just go into show stock and someone else will love it.

Just Chillin’ II started as a commission and the potential customer didn’t fall in love with it – in part because it wasn’t going to look good in the house because the wall colors weren’t conducive.  So, another 16×20″ matted painting is in the bin this weekend.

refractured watercolor

#1358 “Just Chillin II”. 11×14″ refractured watercolor in white mat ready for 16×20″ frame.

Tales from the field #11.

I’ve been locked out of a few places before – my house, my truck (multiple offenses) and my motel room.  Motel 6 are particularly good at having the key not work the next evening, but that’s always an easy fix.

This weekend I went to Flagstaff and fairly easily found my Airbnb location.  The owner I knew had taken the weekend off to go hiking out of town, and out of cell phone range.  There was another guest also, but when I arrived the place was empty.  And locked.

It had been a busy week and I’d skipped the part where I’d written the entry instructions down because I thought they were in a text on my phone.  They weren’t.  They were on my email which I couldn’t access until I got my laptop onto wifi.  I couldn’t get onto the wifi until I accessed my email and found my host’s wifi and password.  Catch 22.  I could always find a Starbucks, if only I could get onto the web to find where one was because I don’t know Flagstaff well…. Catch 23?

I wondered how friendly the locals were.  This is a fairly rural area – down a cinder gravel road.  I was in luck.  The second house I tried had a 4 furiously barking dogs and a friendly homeowner who stuffed them back into the house and sat on the steps with me and was willing to let me use his laptop as well as his wifi, though mine turned out to be faster.  Email accessed and problem solved!

Newer work #80

I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve specifically posted a ‘Newer work’ post.  This one is from a new batch, and a little different than many of my other refractured watercolor/acrylic/poetry pieces in that I put the poetry on the acrylic in places obvious to the viewer, rather than hidden in the clouds.  I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction on this one when I take it out for the first time this weekend.

mixed media painting

#1351 “Heaven’s Gate”. Mixed media on panel, 14×11″. Inscription reads: Hevean’s gates have bars. You can see in but you can’t go there yet.

 

Tales from the field #9

Well, well, well.  Seems like spelling is not a prerequisite for the City of Calabasas!  This trash can was at the back of my booth on the weekend.

Misspelled trash can sign

I guess someone will need to recycle themselves back to remedial spelling.

Tales from the field #8

Sometimes life happens to people.  I’ve not ever had to bail on a show at the last minute, thank goodness, but last weekend, my neighbor did.  I don’t know who it was and there was no message to the organizers, but by 9am on the Friday, it was clear that the space next to me was going to remain a space, and I had an extra wall.  Blissfully I’d bought a couple spare paintings, and spread things around, and made the best use of it.

Skyscapes for the Soul Booth at Tempe Art festival

If I’d known it, I would’ve set up differently, though.

The irony was that I had thought, based on the booth map, that I was getting a corner booth.  I was, but just not the way I thought.

Tales from the Field #7.

Sometimes the trip to or from the show is as eventful as the show itself.  The trip to the Phoenix area I particularly enjoy because there’s a short-cut from Mecca to the I10-eastbound up Box Canyon.  On the outbound trip, which is during the day, the geology is very scenic.  On the inbound trip, which is usually around 10pm, it’s one of those dark-sky zones where you can stop and enjoy stars without the interference of city lights.  The alternative is to go up to the I10 in Indio, but the Box Canyon cut-off is 25 miles shorter.

On the way to Carefree, I got to the top of Box Canyon, where it joins the freeway, only to find the on-ramp was coned off and blocked by several pieces of heavy machinery.  The next on-ramp to the east is at Chiriaco Summit, maybe 4 miles, and to the west, the Indio on-ramp.  Yes, a 50 mile round trip.  Aargh.

Just to complicate matters, I’d been having some slight thermostat problems with the truck.  Although it wasn’t overheating very much, from the last trip, it seemed that if I stopped to let it cool, it got hotter.  The plan had been to try to drive to Blythe to get a replacement thermostat, if necessary, doing the work in the parking lot.  I had not planned on stopping between home and Blythe – a 2 hour leg of the trip.  And it was starting to look like I was going to have to stop at Chiriaco anyway, that second cup of coffee was working overtime, and I didn’t think my bladder would make it another hour to Blythe.

I hopped out of the truck and talked to one of the workers who pointed me in the direction of the foreman.  He said that at the last bend in Box Canyon was a side-road, marked by two cones, which went up to Chiriaco Summit.  Perfect.

detourtochiriaco1

Desert definition of ‘road’.

However, when the foreman used the word ‘road’, he didn’t quite say how ‘roady’ this was.  At first there was a dirt stretch, followed by gravel and more dirt, and eventually panning out into ancient blacktop for a while, then changing between the three options before it joined I10 at Chiriaco Summit.   I had the ‘road’ to myself.  It passed little bridges where washes ran down, and these were inevitably full of trees and bushes.  Ah, if ever there was a road I could leave the truck running at the side of it and run behind a bush!

Road between Box Canyon and Chriaco Summit

Ah, relief is in sight!

No need to stop at Chiriacco!  When I got to Blythe and bought the thermostat, I think the truck realized I was serious about doing this open-hood surgery myself in a parking lot without a mechanic in attendance. I’ve not had a problem with it since.