“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.
I had a most unexpected sale from a small group show I participated in in Yucca Valley. The group I belong to is called Chaparral Artists and we had a group show at the Center for Healthy Generations in Yucca Valley. We often have one of our members having a solo show on their wall and we have our meetings here. Over the summer we had a group show with interested members displaying one or two pieces. We took the art down at the end of August.
At the first meeting of the season in September I was approached by another artist who commented that she had loved one of the paintings I had displayed, but it had been out of her budget. A quick conversation followed and we soon had a deal. I had to bring her the painting the next time I was in the area, and last week she blessed me with a picture of ‘Dark Water, White Wave’ in its forever home. It’s very flattering to sell to another artist!
“Dark Water, White Wave” in its forever home in Joshua Tree.
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.
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.
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.
I had heard that Bombay Beach is such a close-knit community, it’s one of the last places that you can let your kid run the streets in safety, but I had not realized it was becoming such an artists’ community. I guess they reach out to LA artists more than local ones…..
I have to say that this was one painting (or pair of paintings) executed under the most hostile of weathers. No, not so much heat, but the desiccating wind. I had to stop on the second morning and go back for a short session closer to dawn on the third day, and then it was a struggle. The good news is that once I’d drawn up the letters, I could quickly go from one side to the other, painting layers, knowing full well that that my start point would be completely dry by the time I returned to it in about 25 minutes. At the end of the second day I had to quit because the paint was drying on the brush. The east side of the boat was too hot to work, and the west side, in the shade and wind, I was shivering. And I still had to figure out how to spray with an acrylic glaze with the UV component – in a stiff breeze.
Nevertheless ‘Poseidon’ has its name on its sides and today will be test launched. Eventually this boat will carry a solar powered pump which will pump water from the Salton Sea into the marina ‘fingers’ in Desert Shores, to maintain the water level and mitigate red agae. Launch day is on Sunday.