Monday, January 23, 2017

Tucson Visit

I stepped outside in the drizzle at David's property and a group of wild turkeys ran past.  Can you see them, above?  Below, David and I drove to Tucson together.  I had a lot of errands to do and people to meet so in the end my intent to photograph David meeting all my friends and seeing new places kind of fell through the cracks.  On our first morning we went for a hike in my old neighborhood with my friend Valery and her two dogs.  I originally met Valery while hiking the road and one cold morning encountered her walking her dogs while wearing what looked like a long mink coat.  I teased her - something about how you know you're in a good neighborhood when people walk their dogs wearing a mink coat, and she assured me it was fake fur and we ended up hiking together after that.  She had recently retired from Goldman Sachs in New York where she had been a Vice President.  Very smart.  I love meeting intelligent women.  Anyway, we all hiked along the arroyo where I'd cemented 13 of my concrete goddess faces the previous year and found 4 of them.  I was so sneaky with them I couldn't remember where I stuck them.

David and I drove out to TerraSante, a community about 20 miles out in the desert.  I've lived there a couple of times for months at a time, because Bruce, the owner, was willing to barter with me for my art or videos.  Across the street is where Victoria has her moringa ranch.  I made a series of videos for Victoria  (see link below).  I used to suffer from serious dehydration (enough to be hospitalized) and her filter has helped  me immensely.  Victoria and David in front of cactus with boobs.

David and I went to the Historical Museum in Tucson - very nice.  As we were leaving I saw this display.  In the 1930's a family accidentally found a large stash of lead artifacts, below, which have Latin words on them.   A big mystery!  Did the Romans come to Tucson?

We stayed in my beautiful room at Dan's, but I forgot to take any photos.  David helped me pack up the truck with the 7 tubs of stuff I'd left behind.  I was hoping to see my piggies, but they never showed up.  Dan told me I was welcome back any time.  I would love to go next week during the Gem Show but I already have so much stuff from last year's Gem Show, so.....  Got to meet up with my friend Mark and my other friend Mark, re-registered my truck, stocked up on vitamins from Trader Joes and stuff like that before we headed back home.  Below, the sky on the way back.  David was driving when I suddenly leaned over and asked him what my odometer said.  It was at 269,999.  Yahoo.  That truck is the best running truck/vehicle I've ever owned.  So, of course, I had to photograph the odometer as it turned over to 270,000 miles.  David said he's now a believer - he thought my timing was psychic.  It was. I didn't know what the miles were, I just had a sudden feeling to look at them.

The whole way back - Rainbows!  Very little rain - it was in the distance.

As soon as we hit Santa Cruz I drove immediately to the beach.  Chilly, but beautiful.  

It was cold out.  In Fran's back yard below.

Fran and Patti saying goodbye.  They are the best hostesses you've ever met, including gourmet meals.  They recently bought a house on Maui with another friend.  They showed us the photos, it's quite amazing.  Fran's husband, who passed away years ago, owned a large law firm in Cleveland.  Her two daughters are all grown up and doing very well in San Francisco and New York and now she's ready for new horizons.

Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge - only a few hours from home.

Below, a little video I made for Ralph Starritt, an artist I'm working with.  I'm working on a huge dragon (30 feet long) and am presently cutting out many dragon scales, then we will weld/pop rivet everything together.  I'm also going to carve a dead redwood tree in front of  the Siskiyou Historical Museum.  It's a memorial to loggers and a grant from a logging company is paying for it and a large metal sculpture that Ralph is making.


Below is the body of the dragon - on wheels so it can be dragged around in parades, I think.  Or at least dragged to where it's going to live when finished.  It needs a lot of work but it seems to me a good way to learn how to cut and weld metal.

Below is one of five videos I made for Victoria - this water filter works amazing.  I take it everywhere I go.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Creative in Yreka

I've started to mortar my goddess faces around town.  They are supposed to look like ancient ruins oozing out of the ground, but I'm afraid someone might trip over one of them so I've begun cementing them to walls. Below is Ralph Starritt, a metal sculptor who has covered this whole area, including just about every little town, with his large metal sculptures.  I'm making a video for him and in return he's letting me learn how to use his plasma cutter and welders.  This is the most fun I've had in a long, long time.  Yahoo!

Ralph's studio, below, and below that a couple of his pieces in town.

Below, my favorite new tool, the plasma cutter.  It quickly cuts through steel. 

My first attempt at cutting - sort of wiggly but I'll get better.  Goddess heads I'm making out of shovels.

The deer are smart.  It's hunting season now and many days I see them hanging out in the back yard.  They move into town because they know there is no shooting in town.  Ha ha.

This is the head I made in a clay class I took when I first moved to Yreka.

Above and below are paintings I did for my series on kids and animals.  The one below was accepted in an exhibition about artist's books at the Siskiyou County Museum in Dunsmuir.  The chihuahua book was also in the show.

FIRE!!!  I took this photo at the end of my street.  For two weeks we breathed smoke as the countryside and people's houses burned.

David helped me move all my stuff out of my storage unit in Reno, but it turned out that his alternator had died and we had to stop and charge his battery every half hour until we got to Susanville.  There we stopped at an auto parts store and David put a new alternator in his truck - it has run perfectly ever since and I now know how to do it too.

Below, one of the many places we stopped to recharge David's battery, beautiful.

Three of the wild kitties I've been feeding since they were tiny little babies.  

The autumn grape vine in front of my little house.

Below, the head of a dragon - to learn how to cut and weld I'm going to focus on building this dragon during the month of December.   So far we have the head and three feet.  I think I'll start with the wings.

One of the feet/claws.

My walking friend Berta took me up to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Hilt (Tashi?).  They were having a retreat so we couldn't go into the Temple, but we visited this shrine near the entrance of their property.  It was like being in Nepal.

A 35 foot tall statue

And two 20 foot tall statues of white and green Tara.

A view of the shrine from the Temple parking lot.

As we drove back to Yreka we stopped so I could photograph these guys .

They immediately came looking to see who we were.

Then Berta took me to the local health food store for lunch - to celebrate my birthday!
Thank you Berta for a really nice day!!!

Monday, June 06, 2016

Yreka, Cal

It's official.  I'm a snowbird.  I'm presently in Yreka where I'm renting a cute little house from my friend David.  It had been unloved and empty for years.  Ceiling tiles falling down, cats had used the place as their personal litter box.  After much work David restored the house, alone, in his spare time.  I talked with Dan, my landlord in Tucson, and he says I got out just in time as the heat has been over 110 recently.  

David found this new looking Craftsman style solid wood furniture on Craigslist.  

I took it as a sign from God when I realized that the YMCA was across the street .  I took the photo. below, from the front yard.  I signed up my first week.  They have several yoga classes every week and I go there every day to get my internet fix.  

I was originally going to stay with my sister, Janice, in Hermosa Beach, but my friend Fran asked me to stay with her for a few days and repaint the table and chairs I'd painted for her years ago.  The half that was not in the sun was okay, the other half had to be sanded down and repainted.  The first photo is before and below is after (but before Fran painted a protective something over it.)

Patti collecting herbs and vegetables from their garden.  She made these wonderful gourmet meals with simple things from the garden. 

Fran, below, in her kitchen.  

The white ball was a turnip which was very good.  

Fran's garden is full of her and Patti's sculptures wherever you look. 

Everything was so green and lush I kept photographing it.

Tomatoes, strawberries, artichokes all ripening in May.

Fran just got a new box of bees delivered.

Fran made this pencil puzzle.

I'm glad I stayed for the spring in the Sonoran desert.  All the cacti sprout pink and/or yellow flowers.

Below, a fuzzy picture through my dirty windscreen of the weird black mountains.  Usually they're the same dull brown as the mountains behind them.  This road had many dips, some of roller coaster deepness.  It's fun to drive.

Below is a new friend, Mark Seagram, who is helping me with a song I wrote.  Mark worked for 11 years in Los Angeles in the post movie audio business.  He has a nice collection of sound boards and synthesizers and sound equipment.  The video below is of him working one of his synthesizers.

Below, is Kanzeon, the Japanese name for Quan Yin, the goddess of mercy.  I carved this statue for the Los Angeles Zen Center years ago and recently they commissioned an artist to create the reed piece behind her.  These photos showed up in Tricycle, a Buddhist magazine.

My favorite thing about living in the desert outside Tucson is the continuous wildlife strolling by my glass door.  I got to know the javelina family that walked by my door several times a week and many of the birds.