Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Few Summer Desert Birds

A Ladderback Woodpecker, a rare visitor, just after sunrise:

this tiny round one, a Common Bushtit, which I am seeing for the first time since I came here four years ago, also came very early...it is actually gray, tinged pink by the early light:

The California Thrashers, larger than Robins,  are one of my favorites:

they run along high-stepping like a dressage horse, with their heads up and tails in the air

a pair of Thrashers in the shade of my car, their beaks open for cooling

This little hummingbird showed up on a windy evening, trying to drink from the Mimosa, and having a hard time in the strong wind trying to keep up with the high light blowing branches:

it frequently went to rest in the nearby Palo Verde which was more stable...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beloved Mimosa

A couple of years ago I planted a little Mimosa tree, and it is now giving pleasant shade along with the vines of the Carolina Jasmine, which blooms in March and April.

These flowers give a wonderful scent to the air in the morning and evening.

here being visited by a small hummingbird, a common occurrence...

and here by a butterfly that is not the famous Monarch (Danaus plexippus), which is paler and more yellow-orange,

but is a relative, and about the same size, called the Queen butterfly (Danaus gilippus).

the Mimosa is called "the tree that sleeps" because its leaves relax when the sun leaves them and come up again with the sun in the morning.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Open House in the Studio Again Tomorrow

Today I will be at Joshua Tree Art Gallery from 10am to 3pm, where my work is exhibited as part of a collective.
And tomorrow, Monday, June 28, I will be hosting Open House at my studio at 60756 Birdie Road in north Joshua Tree, from 11am to 4pm.  The sun is making mint tea today to be enjoyed tomorrow, chilled....also makes a delicious white wine mint seltzer cooler...available here tomorrow afternoon!

At the Open House last weekend, this painting happily went to its new home in Yucca Valley:

MORNING BRIGHT        oil on canvas         12" x 16"

JOSHUAS AT DUSK    oil on canvas     12" x 12"

This is a new painting, inspired by an evening in the spring in Joshua Tree National Park.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Full Moonrise and Partial Eclipse

Full moon rises last night over the mountains of Joshua Tree National Park

the shadow of the earth falling across the moon about 20 minutes before dawn breaks

and about 20 minutes later

northeast about an hour before sunrise

in a blue sky, just before sunrise

the moon, still shadowed, disappears behind the western hills

What a magical planet...all for the pleasure of the eyes and the soul...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Partial Lunar Eclipse

According to Sky and Telescope, those of us in this area will be able to see the sun's shadow partially go over the full moon starting at about 3:15 am Saturday morning, mid-eclipse being at about 4:40 am as the sky is lightening...probably best to see it when it is still dark....more info here and here.  This should look lovely as the moon will be low in the western sky and appear quite large.

(Image from Wikipedia file)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mini Abstracts

Several mini paintings found new homes last weekend, including these two:

BOTTLE     oil on canvas     6" x 6"
(This one is staying close by in Yucca Valley)

RED SQUARE 3 (or 4, not sure)   oil on canvas 6" x 6"
(This one went to Pacific Palisades, LA)

And some new ones appeared in my studio:

RED SQUARE 8     oil on canvas    6" x 6"

RED SQUARE 9   oil on canvas    6" x 6"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Desert Garden, June

when I first came here to the Mojave, I did not even consider a vegetable garden...and then I heard that people were doing it, so I began the Desert Garden Adventure...
this is its second year...

this morning I cut my first 6" zuchinni of the year...in this photo you can see another one growing, it is about 3" long now, and you can see the fire ants on the flower...fire ants LOVE squash flowers, and this makes for lots of adventures picking squash...their little bites are like fire, requiring a swift retreat to apply baking soda paste...

I also planted seeds from a small round melon I got at the Farmers' Market in Joshua Tree last year, and they are growing well and flowering...

also flowering are the watermelon plants... I was not going to grow watermelons this year because I do not seem to be very good at telling from thumping them when they are ripe....and then they came up by themselves from last year's compost, so I decided to water them and try again...the few that I did guess right about the ripeness were very delicious...

these watermelon flowers are tiny, less than an inch across, like cantaloupe, and like the round melons' flowers...and unlike the huge flowers on the yellow squash and zuchinni...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Day the Sun Turns Back

and this little painting is on its way to London...

CADIZ VALLEY, AUGUST     oil on linen          8" x 10" 


Road Runner running at dusk

Friday, June 18, 2010

Studio Open House Painting

Showing 26 new landscape paintings

Saturday 19 June       10am - 6pm
Sunday 20 June        Noon - 4pm

This is a new painting of the southern Cadiz Valley: 

DESERT COLOR     oil on linen     8" x 10"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Five Minutes with a Red Racer

I opened the back door to find a snake right under it...we were both startled, I stepped back inside and reached for my camera;  the snake quickly moved away

and went over to the bird bath

"climbed" up

and drank and drank...

then headed across the bird bath

and up to the flower pot

and then down through another flower pot

to the ground

and then went on its way...
what an amazing body to live in...

New Painting

Below is the image of one of the 26 new landscape paintings I am showing this weekend at my Studio Open House, 10-6 on Saturday, and noon to 4pm on Sunday.

CANYON WASH     oil on canvas      12" x 12"

...inspired by the beautiful area just west of Desert Hot Springs, up against the mountains...