Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rattlesnake Visits and Roadrunners Build Nest

this is as much of a Mohave Rattlesnake, know as a "Mohave Green" around here, as I could see, and I was grateful to see it as I was just about to step where it was resting...its flat diamond-shaped head is at the lower right, partially hidden by a branch of the rosemary bush it was emerging from has two venoms, one a "regular rattlesnake venom" and the other a cobra-like paralyzer...there are few reports of its bites, apparently mostly from people messing with them...this one did not seem threatened by me;  when I quietly came back with my camera it did not coil or rattle, just stayed absolutely still...when I went out again to check on it 15 minutes later, it had disappeared...and I do not know if it went into the rosemary bush or departed...

...the other creature news of the day is that I discovered I now have TWO roadrunners roosting at night in the Caroline Jasmine vine, and I was able to get images of them just as they are about to go to roost, carrying little sticks...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LEMON, LIME & GRAPE           oil on canvas         20" x 16"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mulberries are Delicious

caught a flash of orange and black and white through the window this morning and expected to find it was an turned out to be a Black-Headed Grosbeak (almost as big as a robin), seen here with a just-starting-to-ripen mulberry in its thick beak...

here it has eaten most of it

the slightly beige color of the mulberry shows the ability of the birds to find them just before they are ready for human these birds gave me the signal that it is time to do something...

most of the berries are small and green like these

then along came a mockingbird who brought its treasure down to the ground to eat...and I realized it was time to save some for me, unlike last year when they ate them all...

reading historical fiction gave me an idea of what people used to do, which was to drape cloth over fruit tree branches to protect from bird I am trying this...because mulberries are so delicious when they are purple/black ripe...and the birds can have the other 85%...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

OPEN SPACES                oil on canvas            24" x 24"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

INDIGO OCEAN               oil on canvas           10" x 10"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday Evening Moonrise

You wonder what I am doing? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That's the feeling.

     - T. E. Lawrence, 1888 - 1935       (from Quote of the Day)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blank Canvas

spent most of the day yesterday stretching and priming canvas, and preparing some with a yellow-gold underpainting...

ready to jump in again to full-time studio after three weeks of studio visits, exploring galleries in Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area), delivering paintings, a far-away Opening, delightful spring chores of planting and pruning and fertilizing and putting up bird netting around my 2-tree orchard, re-organizing the packing/frame storeroom, and, finally, sending off the 2010 tax forms to Caesar with gratitude for the beautiful roads and spectacular parklands and maintenance of law and order...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

End of a Soft Quiet Desert Day

view to the south just after sunset...downtown Joshua Tree is just on the other side of the nearer hills, beyond are the mountains of Joshua Tree National Park...

White-crowned Sparrow, one of a flock of about 50 that have been delightfully singing around the house and studio all day for a few weeks, stops for a last drink as the sun disappears...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beavertail cactus starting to bloom, rich and full with buds...this cactus, inedible because of its many tiny spines, survives well out here among all these herbivores (cottontails, jackrabbits, antelope ground squirrels, little gophers, little kangaroo rats, mice) is the first to bloom...sheer delight to the winter eyes...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

EARTH CURVE     oil on canvas      18" x 24"

...listening to sitar and tablas...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BLUE WAVE          oil on canvas            11" x 14"

(abstract painting from 2007) 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

PASSING HOUR                     oil on canvas      36" x 48"

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

RAIN SONG             oil on board             24" x 24"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

For the Desert, A Lush Spring

path around the east side of the studio

desert dandelions with budding beavertail...

still a lovely slow warming, today a huge high clouds cover the sky...

Monday, April 4, 2011

VISION AT DAWN       oil on canvas     40" x 30"

this painting was inspired by a small drawing I made a while back of two merged transparent cones that I imagined are made of light and a sort of permeable plasma...

Sunday, April 3, 2011


after a long cool spring, the desert is warming up, accompanied by strong winds...the neighbor put this flag on their house a few months has already tattered, and its pole is no longer straight...and it still looks pretty, backlit in the late afternoon sun...

I tried to eat breakfast outside this morning and I had to give up when the wind started blowing the food off the fork before I could get it into my mouth...

Friday, April 1, 2011