Setting up for Art off the Fence today - the show runs tomorrow and Sunday, 11 to 4.
And the Sooke Fine Arts Show opens Thursday - I'm pleased to have had two pieces accepted into the show. A feast for the eyes, the show runs for 11 days - more info at http://sookefinearts.com
Counting down! Two weeks to go until Art off the Fence on beautiful South Pender Island! Music, food, and an art extravaganza all under the trees at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Mark your calendars!
We hope you will add a visit to Sea Star Vineyards to your long weekend agenda. You will find an art extravaganza to enjoy along with Sea Star's exquisite wines - a celebratory combination on this Canada Day Weekend. Show opens tonight and continues Saturday and Sunday.
Red Tree Artists will be featured at Sea Star Vineyards over the Canada Day Weekend - we're excited to be showing as a group for the first time since our beloved gallery at Hope Bay closed. The show opens Friday, June 29th at 4; details on poster below.
I will be showing three Sea Script images that I think reflect the beauty and texture
of the ocean that surrounds and sustains us.
We hope that our loyal gallery followers along with friends and family
will find their way to Sea Star for wonderful artwork,
exquisite wines, gourmet hors d'ouvres, and melodious bass and guitar music by Cole Dine.
Wendy came to Pender Island about the same time I did, and came to glass art about the time I started taking photography seriously. We enjoyed working together and collaborated on multiple projects. It is a year since she passed away too suddenly, too young. Both her person and her talent are worth celebrating and remembering. With that in mind, I put together a book of photographs of her glass - to view the book, go to
The maps led us out of the snow and back home - we completed the circle today and were greeted
by (chilly) sunshine on Pender.
Enroute we passed through Shanika, an Oregon ghost town where the only peopled place in the
flat desert landscape was the electrically coloured general store.
Our final travel highlight - the narrow, tunnelled Washington-side road along the Columbia
River Gorge. The grandeur of sheer cliffs cascading into white-capped water was paralleled by
the man-made roadside attractions including a full-size replica of Stonehenge, completed in 1930,
built as a memorial to those who died in WW1.
A challenge to see in the small image below, but I was intrigued by framed glimpses of modern
windmills on the adjacent hillside.
Nearby is the Maryhill Museum of Art, beautifully situated on the high bluffs overlooking the river
and filled with an eclectic collection of art including more than 80 sculptures by Auguste Rodin,
objects from the palace of the queen of Romania (!), European and American paintings, a
stunning collection of chess sets from around the world, and rotating special exhibitions.
Outdoors there are intriguing sculptures - here two views of a metal runner.
After rewarding visits with family over Easter week - the mandatory ferry ride that necessarily
bookends any Pender arrival/departure.
We knew our circle was complete when we found ourselves amid the moss-covered trees of
This penultimate week of vacation indulgence takes us from mere miles from the Mexican border to mid-Oregon, from cactus and tumbleweed to forests of pine, from shirt-sleeve heat to turtle-neck cold.
The small frontier town of Ajo California welcomes visitors with eye-catching murals, some even
extending across the sidewalk. The second shot below, a close-up of part of the first photo,
shows the fun and somewhat disorienting sidewalk.
Many murals express the sentiments of the artist as in the mural below.
From Ajo we began the long trek north, stopping to linger in Las Vegas for a day trip to the
Valley of Fire. The valley lives up to its name - roads and trails through fiery red rocks
rivalling the grandeur of the park's nearby cousins - Bryce and Zion. Even a smaller desert-
variety of bighorn sheep!
Those 'slits' through the rock piles are part of the roadway in and out of the park. Below - even
a slot canyon!
And, not far north of Vegas, Death Valley. Our third time, and the vistas as gripping and
mesmerizing as the first. Love the curvy one-way road though the aptly named
"Artists' Palatte Drive'.
We hit a bit of a wall on the west side of Death Valley when we encountered foreboding winter
storm warnings in the High Sierra Mountains. "Carry chains" - like we'd even be able to mount
them if we had them! We diverted east to Nevada where we found no snow but considerable
rain and significant winds buffeting us with frightening strength - didn't seem to bother the
big-rig driver passing us.
After that long and challenging day, even awakening to snow on a subsequent morning was
welcome - that's our motorhome reflected in the lake. Knowing the wind had dropped and the sun
would quickly melt the snow was comforting, as was being being back in familiar vegetation.
Next time I post will be from home. Happy Easter wherever you are!
Still in desert territory - for the past couple of weeks we've been hiking, exploring, and
marvelling at the diversity of vegetation and the gravity-defying rock formations of Arizona.
We spent a week with friends hiking and golfing, keeping ourselves fuelled by exquisite
chocolate made by a Canadian who opened a gourmet shop in downtown Prescott.
From there we moved on to the Tucson area where we hiked in State Parks and National Monuments -
we found well marked and maintained trails of varying difficulty and were blessed with wonderful
walking weather - not too hot and a thin cloud cover to veil the sun.
Fun to explore the ghost towns and see the vehicular decoration - the hand painted box of the
truck above makes our rig mundane by comparison! Hmmm...
Flying right along...
from picking the juiciest of oranges at our campground in Bakersfield, to admiring the beauty
and drama of a very different landscape - definitely no longer coastal!
Above and below, Joshua Tree National Park. To my eye, individual Joshua trees have nothing
to recommend them; in combination they create a strange, even weird, captivating environment.
We were lucky to have bright sun and ominous clouds, underlining the strangeness of the
landscape and vegetation. The photo on the right below is of cholla cacti - rivalling the surrounding
Joshua trees for spookiness.
A super moon ushered in the month of March, lovely rising over the mountains that ring Palm Springs.
And Sunnylands, the magnificent desert escape for presidents and celebrities from all walks
of life - guests of the Annenberg Estate by invitation. Visitors are allowed into a portion
of the gardens and estate only when no dignitaries are in retreat at Sunnylands.
The manicured lush and luxurious landscape of Palm Springs is welcome contrast to the barren
desert. Now headed further inland to friends in Arizona where it snowed just a few days ago.
Just into southern California - writing from Bakersfield, about 100 miles east of LA. We did a similar trip a year ago and chuckled when we realized that last year it took us four days to get here from home; this year it took 21 days! The highlights of our meandering ways this week included a trip into San Francisco and visits to Napa and Sonoma. We were able to leave our chariot in an RV park outside the city and approach the city by passenger ferry. Fun for us country kids to see skyscrapers and climb aboard cable cars - as thrilling as the rides at any amusement park.
Never mind the (excellent) wine, the Napa and Sonoma wineries are enchanting and the
countryside idyllic. At this time of year mustard is prolific everywhere, even beneath the vines.
From a distance, it looks as though a master splashed the landscape liberally with bright yellow paint.
Back to the coast for perhaps the highlight of the week - Point Reyes National Seashore,
not far northwest of San Francisco. It's desolate beauty is completely captivating - isolated
farms, thousands of grazing cows, pocket beaches littered with resting elephant seals. We
watched as they deliberately covered themselves with sand and we learned that they sometimes
stay put for three months!
Local hiking trails reminded us of walking in Ireland or Scotland. The weather changed dramatically
several times in the few hours we were there. We dodged occasional downpours and were lucky
with timing for long walks.
Point Reyes itself - another treacherous headland. The blustery wind so strong the stairs to
the lighthouse were closed and I struggled to hold my camera still enough for a photograph!
Signing off from sunny, chilly CA - up to about 10 C in the daytime and just below freezing at
night. But here is the view from our window this morning, and we are allowed to harvest!