Saturday, May 29, 2010

Landscapes of the Surreal and Mysterious

Landscapes of the Surreal and Mysterious is the tentative title of a one-dude show I'll be doing locally in September. I originally considered a name with "desert" in it, but then I decided a while ago not to limit my audience (or collectors!) by sticking with only one type of landscape.

The desert is a surreal place. Maybe that's why I love it so much, seeing as I'm a big fan of surrealism as well. But I've seen other places that, under the right conditions, can be surreal or at least mystical as well. So the common thread I plan to weave through my work this summer is: whatever landscape I paint, it can't be a straightforward rendition of the place. It MUST have a sense that the "gods" were there that day (or night), spreading their magic across a land that overwhelms the viewer with fleeting mystery and reminding us that the land is, indeed, alive.

Time to get busy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

All Done!

Phew! My P/T teaching gig is over. There was a lot about it that I enjoyed, but it was a LOT of work preparing for lectures and labs.

I really liked the students, too. One of them told me early on that I'll be teaching a really nice group of people, and she was right. The vast majority of them are aspiring to be nurses, and people who want to enter "helping" professions like that tend to be nice, caring and all that.

On the other hand, there was also a small group that... well, I'm just not sure about them. I don't know if they had access to exams from previous semesters to "study" from. For that matter, the copy-center person printed out copies of the lecture and lab finals, but they disappeared before I could get them. I have no proof, but one instructor and I theorized a student, who shouldn't have a key to the copy center, may have "piggy-backed" behind an instructor, gotten into the copy center and took the exams. As I mentioned, I can't prove that. But it's scary to think students who are pursuing careers in the health-care fields might stoop to stunts like that. If true, it's just a matter of time before cheating habits derail their plans -- and their careers.

Anyway, I've been working days, nights and weekends to get ready to teach. I plan on revising all of the material before I teach again -- whenever that is. But for now, grades and attendance reports have been submitted, and now I'm ready for some serious R&R.

Doing nothing sounds pretty good right now!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Desert Senna

The low desert (Palm Springs area) has been pretty much finished with the spring flowers, but we're still getting 'em in the high desert!

Actually, the spring annuals are essentially done, but the shrubs are blooming now. The photo shows a plant called desert senna. As you can see, they have yellow flowers. When that many of them bloom, it's an inspiring sight -- and they are fragrant, to boot!

Think I'll be painting this in the near future? You betcha!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sometimes It Just Doesn't Work

Today I pulled all of my paintings out of the lone gallery I appeared in. People in this area seem to want mostly red (the hue that is known as "ReallyReally Red"!) and, although buyers seem to respond positively to my paintings, they're not buying them. I guess for that reason, the gallery owner stashed my works in a back room, out of sight of gallery visitors, and "replaced" me on the walls with another artist's paintings.

Well, that's understandable, I suppose. If an artist isn't selling in a gallery, the owner needs to move that artist out and find another whose work does sell. But it's frustrating when all of the hopes from the last two years were flushed down the toilet. The buyers' tastes in this area are also, well, nonexistent. I've been advised to head further east, maybe to Texas, or even as far as the East Coast.

What can I say? I'm angry with the art world right now, and I'm not sure what to do next. For now, I'll focus on doing what I really want to do. Maybe some day, I'll put them up for sale. But I'll definitely not narrow the focus to one specific region, as I did with the works that were in the gallery.

Sometimes it just doesn't work. And when it doesn't, it costs a lot of time, materials and sanity.

Meanwhile, here: have some red flowers. The high desert is still in bloom.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Desert Sunset

Si-i-g-g-h-hhh... once again, it's been hard to find the time to post anything on my blog! I almost forgot how to log on!!

April can be a month when we get all kinds of fun weather here in the desert. And when we do, the effects both in the sky and on the land are magical.

So -- how 'bout a bee-yoo-tee-ful sunrise?