“The Dome” is a community building in Vista Del Mar (which is kind of a suburb of Salton City). Technically it’s a club house for various city lots that are club members, but you can become a member even if your home lot isn’t a ‘membership’ lot. Anyway it’s really neat community venue with a beautiful building and a pool, built in the late 50s or early 60s.
At the side of the pool is the ‘Tiki bar’. It’s been years I’m sure since it was used as a bar, due to the newer regulations about selling liquor, or having glasses around the pool. Nevertheless it is there and occasionally requires refurbishment, usually in the form of a lick of paint. During the most recent refurbishment, I was asked by the board to put a design on the front. Nothing too complex – a bunch of palm trees. The pool is surrounded by palm trees.
As it is already quite cosy here, the only good time to paint is first thing in the morning, so on Sunday morning I dragged myself out of bed and was brush in hand and poolside by 7am.
Some artists are apparently afraid of the blank canvas, but I love them!
Step one is to install the sky.
Now how about adding a few stumps.
Had to start leafing it up at the right hand end, the sun is chasing me around the corner.
Just keep going…
And there you have it.
I took a side angle too, I was shooting into the sun which doesn’t help.
While I was making trees, Skeeter used some of the sky paint to refurbish the sign at the back.
A recent sale of one of my larger paintings resulted in this young couple hanging a beautiful view over their dining room table.
“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.
Avid readers may remember that last year at the Palo Alto show, I was setting up my booth only to discover I had inadvertently packed a gecko, which I then kept in a cup until I was able to release it in my yard, 10 hours drive to the south and in a completely different climate.
I almost did it again last weekend, this time managing to catch two of the three geckos that were hiding in the nooks and cranies of booth-wall bags and painting boxes to show how lucky they were to not be taken somewhere that they wouldn’t be able to live.
Two tame little geckos who almost had an unfortunate journey.
Oddly this was a journey that was destined to involve the transportation of another reptile. My other half Ken, who breeds bearded dragons and uromastyx, was in the process of having a uromastic shipped from San Diego until we realized I would be making the same journey in a lot less time. We coordinated with the seller of the lizard and he was willing to meet me at the show site, Liberty Station, at the end of the show. We did a quick transaction at the corner of the street and I packed up this little girl to bring her back to the desert on a four hour trip rather than a day at the hands of FedEx.
Little Miss ‘Liberty’ saying goodbye to her former owner.
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:
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.
On Thursday I had to go over to Borrego Springs for an Art meeting. I was held up by gazillions of wonderful visitors looking for the right place to stop to look at flowers. Of course you can’t see flowers in detail when you’re driving at 55 – the speed limit along the S22 which for those non-locals is the only road between Salton City and Borrego Springs.
I don’t know what it is, but it’s one of my ‘private collection’ because I’m apparently the only person who goes where this flower is.
By the time I was late for the meeting, I’d composed this in my head and plan to put it on a sign at the corner of S22.
While you’re trolling for flowers at 20,
that vehicle that’s riding your ass
is a local that’s late getting somewhere,
so please let the tailgater pass!
Last night I guided a small group through a paint and wine class at Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley. One of my students had already taken classes with me, including the Absolute Beginners class and was happy to work through this painting of winter solstice sunrise across the Salton Sea to hone some of the skills.
We’re doing an underpainting to get rid of the white so in the final painting we’re not strugging with that aspect
We’re painting the sky part of the top coat
It’s easier to paint the bottom of the panel when it’s upside down.