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Archive for the ‘Outsider art’ Category


Sunday, April 15th, 2012

It has been too long since I checked in here. After a few days in San Francisco bonding with our new granddaughter, we headed south to the desert to spend time with Steve’s brothers and their wives — Mike and Ann live in Twentynine Palms and David and Kristin live in Florida and flew out to join us for a few days.

The virus and sinus infection that I had when we left home finally left me, but it took a toll on my energy level. Keeping up with the daytime activities, meant that I was exhausted by evening and so blogging went by the wayside.

It felt so good to be in the warm, dry desert and wear a t-shirt and sandals. I soaked up some vitamin D and got a bit of color, but no sunburn. I love the big open sky and the long visitas of the desert.

My Florida SIL, is a retired art professor from University of Southern Florida. She is an authority on folk and public art and has written several  books and discovered a number of interesting outsider artists. She always has a list of things to look for and visit when she arrives. She did not disappoint us. The area around Twentynine Palms is a treasure trove of art installations — funky and surreal.

The High Desert Test Sites is an organization with the following mission:

High Desert Test Sites generates physical and conceptual spaces for art exploring the intersections between contemporary art and life at large. Scattered along a stretch of intimate yet diverse desert communities that include Joshua Tree, Pioneertown, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and 29 Palms, our sites provide a place for both fleeting and long-term experimental projects.

If you click on the link, you can read about some of the sites.

Here are some photos from our first day of driving around the desert.

Our first stop was the Sky Village Swap Meet that was a very weird collection of stuff arranged in booths and shanties. There were wonderful cactus groupings that I loved.


Our next stop was the World Famous Crochet Museum. What a hoot!!

This was a former film developing building.



Here are Kristin and Ann enjoying the crocheted items. The little building was packed.

I have tons of photos and will try to get some more ready to post tomorrow. I have a ton of work to do to get ready for our Artists Among Us. I also am itching to get back in the studio and get caught up with my 3 x 3s. Today, I helped with the art class at Trinity, did loads and loads of laundry, tried to organize my life and had pizza with the family. It was nice to check in with M & M and their parents.



Winding Down

Sunday, May 31st, 2009


This is a photo of the spider sculpture on the front lawn of the Kemper Art Museum. One day, I caught this squirrel hanging out on the spider.


Most every one has departed from Kansas City. We have one week of post-conference workshops that start tomorrow. I will get latecomers checked in tomorrow morning. After that, I am taking Digital Photography for Textile Artists — a one day workshop. I will be packing up and heading home on Wednesday.

This morning, I heard a lecture by Jerry Bleem about Unconscious Advice for the Self-Conscious. His premise was that we often enter our studios with goals: the next show, the next sale, success. He asked us to see what we might learn from artists who ignore career, market and style. He proceeded to entertain us with the wonderful world of the self-taught and the visionary as he entertained us with slides of outsider artists. This is something that I often think about. Just doing the art for the sake of doing the art can be very fulfilling.

Next, I enjoyed a demo of Using Soy Wax Three Ways, by Jane Dunnewold.


The three ways are stamping, folding and dipping and stenciling. Here is a piece with dye brushed on after stamping with a stamp cut from a sponge.


This is a piece that was dyed, soy waxed, discharged and then printed with a screen to get a very complex surface.


I added some more photos of the wearable art to my Flickr.

Tomorrow is June 1 and the reveal of the latest Twelve X 12 reveal. The challenge was identity. Be sure to go over and see what we have done.

Mecca and Salvation Mountain

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

OK, I know you are wondering if I have gone off on some strange pilgrimage! Keep reading.

Today, we awoke to a glorious day in the desert — sunshine, clear vistas and sweater weather. With Mike driving and Mr C navigating, the four of us took off for a visit to the Salton Sea area to the south. We drove through the Joshua Tree National Park. We stopped at the Cholla garden and were amazed to see this bad boy cactus growing as far as the eye could see.



Our first mission was to arrive in Mecca.


We arrived at the Salton Sea to find a tranquil and beautiful spot in the middle of a desert. The sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado river flooded the Sonoran Desert’s Salton basin. It is a major resource for millions of migratory birds.


These are American White Pelicans.


We did some off road driving on some muddy roads looking for the mud volcanoes. We decided that it was not worth leaving the vehicle to walk through the mud for a closer look. I didn’t even take a photo. But, it was an exciting detour.

Our next mission was to find Salvation Mountain, an outsider art installation, and Slab City, a place where folks hook up rather sketchy trailers and mobile homes and have built quite a community.

Here is Salvation Mountain and the creator.



That is him in the red jacket. What a charming man.


On up the road we found Slab City, so named because it was originally laid out for campers in rvs. It seems to have been taken over by camping squatters who have claimed the area and say it is the “last free place.”



The area we drove through is very fertile and with irrigation, many crops grow there. I love this photo of date palms.


We ended up in Palm Springs where we enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner of chinese food. It was a fun day.

You can see all my photos, from the sublime to the ridiculous, on this Flickr set: Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, Slab City.

Tomorrow, we head for the coast to see the Visions show at the Oceanside Museum of Art and then to San Diego to visit the Visions Gallery.