Sunday, June 24, 2018

Experiencing Canyon Road

I've visited Santa Fe several times in the past but, somehow on those previous trips I missed out on what Canyon Road has to offer.  I guess I've always stuck to the city center and the museums and galleries clustered there.

I corrected that omission on this latest trip and I've discovered a new mecca of art and culture that almost overwhelmed my senses.  How could I have missed this half mile of creativity in the past?

There are over 100 galleries and shops on this short stretch of road so exploring them all would take days.  The best I could do on a Friday afternoon was park the car, start walking and take in as much as possible before closing time.

I stumbled into the gallery of Barbara Meikle and was enjoying her colorful works of art when I paused in front of this painting.  I turned to the artist and asked "was this painting in the Cowgirl Up show in Wickenburg Arizona?" She seemed surprised and said "Yes, it was.".  That's when I told her that I had featured this painting in a blog post I did about that show in Wickenburg.  What a coincidence that I would have picked her gallery to explore by pure chance.

In addition to gallery after gallery, the area also had a few shops where all kinds of southwestern clothing, housewares and other items could be found.  This shelf of colorfully painted chickens attracted my attention.

But it was the art works that truly inspired me.  I saw magnificent paintings and brilliant sculptures everywhere I walked.  This one by Robin Laws called "Buddies" was particularly endearing.

I was also impressed by how beautifully the area was landscaped with colorful flowers mixed in with all the sculptures and artwork.

A few of the galleries were having special events to introduce new art collections so while strolling the galleries we were serenaded by talented musicians.  It was certainly the perfect way for this first time visitor to experience this patch of imagination and creativity.  Canyon Road will be high on my list of priorities on any future visits to Santa Fe.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Tucson Museum of Art

Last week I talked about how I tend to roam around the historic El Presidio neighborhood whenever I'm in Tucson.  This week I'll show you the Tucson Museum of Art that is located in that neighborhood.  As you walk the streets around the museum, you are surrounded by old and historic buildings in a variety styles.  However, when you step through the doors of the art museum, you enter a building that is very contemporary in design.

I love how the main room forms a ramp leading down into the galleries below.  All of the walls are covered with art so you can make your way down while viewing some of the museum's collection on the way.

The last time I was there I enjoyed a series of paintings by Jim Waid, an American artist.  He is described as creating paintings that appear to be abstract but, as you look at them they slowly reveal the organic nature of the painting.  The one above reveals a scene from Monument Valley in northern Arizona. There is a string of wild horses passing by in the lower part of the painting.

The painting above is by Dean Narcho, a Native American artist who studied with Jim Waid.  That is where he became interested in abstract art.

The museum also has a wonderful display of ceramic and glass sculptures. This one by Yoshio Taylor appealed to me.

I was impressed by this museum.  It's not as large as the Phoenix Art Museum but, it has a wonderful collection that seems to lean toward artists of the southwest.  That's always welcome.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Enjoying Historic Arizona

I mentioned in previous posts that whenever I find myself in Tucson, I always stop at the historic El Charro restaurant for a delicious meal.  It's one of my favorite places to go.  Because it's located in a historic neighborhood called El Presidio, the houses and buildings around the restaurant are also a draw.  I always make time to roam around the neighborhood and take some photos.  Many of the houses have been lovingly restored and have so many interesting details that appeal to me.  I'm especially fond of the one above with it's bright color, lush desert plants and that wonderful old door.

This one always piqued my interest.  I find it's variety of window shapes a very attractive feature.

Some of the places are very large and were probably the homes of wealthy, early settlers in the area.  

Some are awaiting some TLC but they still hold a rustic beauty that can't be denied.  

I love how colorfully many of them are painted.

And interesting things like atmospheric gates and beautiful entrances make me wonder what it looks like inside.

While I'm roaming the streets with my camera, sometimes I run into the curious who wonder what I'm up to.  This handsome fellow was watching me from the doorway so I snapped a portrait of him.  

There is an endless supply of picturesque spots in the El Presidio neighborhood.  Most of the structures date from 1860 to 1920 and the neighborhood is home to restaurants, offices, shops and the Tucson Museum of Art as well as all these wonderful old homes.  I'll be back here again, that is a certainty.  

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Collection!

I feel as though I'd be terribly remiss if I told you all about the Chihuly Garden and Glass place without mentioning "The Collection".  It seems that Dale Chihuly is quite the collector and he doesn't stop and collecting just one thing.  He seems to collect everything.  The restaurant at his wonderful museum in Seattle is where he displays his vast collection of "things".

We'll start the viewing with the accordions.  Quite a lot of accordions!  They hang from the ceiling of the restaurant creating a beautifully abstract design above our heads.

Chihuly started collecting things when he was just a boy but more recently has expanded his collection to include a vast array of vintage items like this collection of clock radios.  He is motivated by shapes and colors so I can see why this collection would appeal to him.  Do you see one up there that looks familiar?  I did.  They very much reminded me of the old olive green radio that belonged to my mother and dad when I was growing up.

Restaurant guests eat at glass topped tables and below the glass is another collection of vintage items like the toy cars and trucks above and the shaving brushes to the left.

How about a collection of vintage cameras?  Remember these?

You don't have to visit the restaurant with only the collection in mind.  You should also visit for the food.  The food was delicious and beautifully served.  I had an exceptionally good salad while I saw mouthwatering burgers and sandwiches pass by the table as I ate.

Remember long before cell phones and iPods how we used to listen to music on  pocket radios?  This was a collection that brought back all kinds of memories.