Spider alert!

I decided to do a new mural.  I’d never been happy with the moon, but had never really made the effort to fix the problems:

rabbitinthemoon_w

So seeing as I have more time on my hands, I thought there was no excuse.  I had enough Kilz to go over the moon.

1string

I sketched out guidelines for the rays of the web using a string and two pencils, so I could more accurately get the fall of the threads.

2somerays

Painting in the top of the rays where the side of the garage is in the shade.

3morerays

Getting there!  Decided to put a rough outline of the spider in to figure out how big I want it to be.

4raysdone

That’s enough for the first day.  It’s a really rough siding board and not easy to paint detail on!  And maybe my neighbors driving by will enjoy a bit of entertainment as the spider progresses. 

A forever home in Flagstaff

A recent sale of one of my larger paintings resulted in this young couple hanging a beautiful view over their dining room table.

Oil painting of Salton Sea

“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.

Tales from the field #28

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 desert geckos

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.

Uromastyx lizard

Little Miss ‘Liberty’ saying goodbye to her former owner.

Salton Sea update. Sonnet.

reflectingpoolapr2019

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:

Shining Sea

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.

Tales from the field #22

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.

Purple flower in Salton City

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.

Superbloom

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!

Good morning

The upside of the return jetlag is being up in plenty of time for mornings like these.  I lost a little red in those clouds when I went to get the camera, but it’s still beautiful.

Sunrise across the Salton Sea

Dawn off my back porch – my favorite place.

Painting the morning in the night

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.

Students in painting class

We’re doing an underpainting to get rid of the white so in the final painting we’re not strugging with that aspect

Students in painting class

We’re painting the sky part of the top coat

Students in painting class

It’s easier to paint the bottom of the panel when it’s upside down.

Students in painting class

Adding the sun.

Students in painting class

All done!