Buckle up kids, this might be a long one!
As I reported last month, Aaron and I kicked off September with a trip to the beach in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, a 4-hour drive from the Phoenix metro. We stayed in an area we had not visited that was located to the east of the town, and the beach there was the most beautiful one we have encountered in the area. The tides in Puerto Peñasco are some of the most dramatic in the world, and they were especially so with the new moon in the sky. One night, I watched the water retract at sunset faster than water leaving a bathtub, leaving beautiful patterns in the sand. It was incredible!
The area was largely undeveloped (even our condo building was still being built) and there were no neighboring properties. It was a peaceful getaway, but we did awaken in the middle of the night the night before Labor Day to no electricity. It never came back on. Such is Mexico, I guess! We headed for the border and even with a quite early departure, the wait to enter the U.S. was about 2 hours.
I was accepted into the juried “Share Our Walls” exhibition at the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild in Tucson, which opened September 8 and runs until October 6. The reception was toasty with a broken air conditioner in the gallery, but the show was full of cool works of art and I was honored to have my work displayed along with them.
In addition to the SAWG show, the collaborative artwork that my friend Ursula Schneider and I created was accepted into the “Colaboraciones” show at Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery & Workshop in Tucson. I also received an e-mail early in the month from a collaborative workspace called Industrious Tempe that will be opening at the end of October, asking if I would like to display my artwork there. It looks like it will be a beautiful space and I can’t wait to see my work adorn their walls.
Unfortunately, I missed the reception for the Raices Taller show because my friend Kalisha and I took a weekend trip to Flagstaff after I won tickets to the Northern Arizona Food and Wine festival . It was a great excuse to get away to the cooler elevations and have a little “girls trip.” We had a wonderful time and I’m so grateful for the friendship of my fellow Louisville to Arizona transplant.
“Fall” began to arrive here, and high temperatures dipped to the 90’s and even the 80’s. My cabin fever had indeed about exceeded its level of tolerability, and I hit the trails. I visited the always-magical Desert Botanical Garden mid-month, took day trips to Payson and Prescott, and hiked at Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa.
The trip to Payson included stops along the Salt River, Saguaro Lake, and finally the Tonto Natural Bridge, the largest travertine natural bridge in the world. I had longed to visit Watson Lake in Prescott for a couple of years, and it did not disappoint. It is a manmade lake that abuts the Granite Dells, composed of gorgeous rock formations. I hiked the entire perimeter of the lake and I’m quite sure I’ll be back to do it again and again.
At Usery Mountain Regional Park, I spent time really looking at and admiring the many personalities and configurations that saguaros display, and photographed many of them. Four of these characters became my final paintings of the month, a series I’m playing with naming “Cacticatures,” a play on the word caricature.
As I have the past couple of years, I’ve designed a 2020 calendar featuring some of my favorite paintings of 2019 and it’s currently on pre-sale. Sales will be closed after November 3, and I don’t plan to order any extras because I certainly can’t use more than one myself. I anticipate shipping the calendars out to customers on December 1. So, if you’re so inclined, get one while you can.
The 10 paintings I created in September and the photos that inspired them are included following a few photos from this month’s adventures. Where will I find my next inspiration?
And with that, I bid you a happy October! Perhaps I will find some changing leaves up a mountain somewhere. I do miss bright orange and red maples, but the magic of nature lives everywhere in different forms. I’ll appreciate what I have at my doorstep. Cheers!