February 5, 2013
We like it here in Port Arthur at the American Legion so much, we stayed an extra day and just lazed around. I’m reading a Mary Higgins Clark mystery and played with picture files most of the day. I have to qualify my book. I enjoyed her early books and then at some point she got sloppy and so formulaic you could guess the ending in the first five chapters. I quit reading her books.Recently, I picked up another, Night Time Is My Time and hey, she has redeemed herself. I get in the mood for mystery and true crime books. But, so far, Ann Rule is the best true crime writer. My recent favorite books? None are genre books. Night Whispers by Judith McNaught, Before Women Had Wings, by Connie May Fowler, Fortune’s Rocks, by Anita Shreve.
Looking back at pictures over the past few weeks, I’ll just post them willy- nilly. But first, let me warn you :
I KNOW YOU wouldn’t.
A beautiful sculpture of a local hero at Rockport.
Jim taking pictures on the streets of Galveston.
Remember the Naked Mermaid store? Well, they weren’t ALL naked.
I think this mermaid is drunk. I call her the floozie mermaid.
Getting ready for Mardi Gras in Galveston.
Quite a catch. These were caught with a rod and reel, when sport fishing was really a sport. It isn’t against the law here in Texas to pull your pick-up truck next to the river, turn on a big spotlight and shine it into the water, and net the fish up that are attracted to the light. Night fishing or frogging in every state I’ve lived in is not allowed, it puts the critter at such a disadvantage. Can’t call it sportsman-like. It is slaughter.
Another photo of the great Miss Joplin from The Gulf Coast Museum.
And exquisite glass pieces too.
Beautiful, aren’t they?
The way I look at it is this: I can’t afford beautiful glass like this. But, I can collect pictures of beautiful objects and keep them forever to look at and enjoy again and again.
I have a hard time to fathom the skill and technique it must take to create these pieces. There is a need for those of us who can only appreciate such beauty.
These tiny birds are not magnificent long-billed water birds, but cute little common street birds. I think I must like all birds, even the pesty jays, woodpeckers and crows.
Indelible impressions of the Texas Gulf Coast are the many boats at many marinas. The shimmering shadows in water, the blue, white, and gray colors. Lovely.
The black gold that put Texas on forefront of the economy.
This is a common practice to honor an artist who has died. Her paint brushes in the back of a turtle sculpture.
So, this is Texas. This morning, the Commander of the American Legion Post we are about to leave, invited us in for omelets with he and his wife and dog. Bar none. The friendliest post we’ve ever been to. What a way to end our stay here. Unforgettable. We will unload in Louisiana by the end of the day. Goodbye Texas, for now.
November 29, 2012
I’m driving for the second time since my surgery and decided to have lunch with a friend 9 miles away in Angels Camp. The Prius battery pack, way over warranty, protested by not shifting gears when I went up a steep hill. Stuck! I waited in a rain drenched spot on the side of the road for one hour. Luckily I had a magazine to read. When the tow truck appeared, they didn’t have the proper equipment to tow a Prius. I had to abandon my vehicle and return home. The tow company has it in their yard and will deliver it this morning to Modesto Toyota. I guess it wasn’t a wasted day. I played with pictures all afternoon. I was able to load one picture only this morning because the post editor has changed something fundamental about uploading pictures. And, nothing else will load. I guess it is like waiting for the tow. It will eventually get fixed.
Anyway, this is a clever sculpture as part of a building in downtown Portland, OR.
October 11, 2012
Mary remains at home in California tending to medical issues.
The motorhome is parked at Fraternal Order of Eagles #2811. I expect to be here a couple of more days.
Santa Fe has a population of about 68,000 and is at about 7,000 feet of elevation. You can read all about this city by clicking this Wikipedia informational link…
Yesterday I drove the Bronco the less than two miles to Canyon Road in Santa Fe. According to their brochure, it’s a half-mile long with more than 100 galleries, artist studios, boutiques and restaurants.
I soon discovered that I live in another world than these folks. The prices are outrageous…or at least I thought so. I openly confess I do not appreciate “modern art”. When I look at something I cannot figure out what it is or what the artist is trying to convey…it’s hard for me to appreciate it. It must be the ex-engineer in me!
Here’s an example…painting size (in inches) followed by the price…
13×13 – $1,600
40×23 – $7,500
51×78 – $17,000
30×48 – $6,000
Here are some photos that I took there…
As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…
This blown glass is 48x22x6 – $30,000…
Most of the galleries I wandered into, I barely got a grunt as a greeting. I think they could detect I wasn’t a buyer.
However in the gallery I enjoyed the most. Lakind, I got a most enthusiastic greeting by a young gal named Sophie. She explained that they have the most unusual gallery on Canyon Road because they feature paintings by both father and daughter. Here’s their website link…
Today’s extra large photo gallery is for my life-partner Mary, who is not traveling with me at the moment. She is a true art affection-ado and it would have taken us weeks before we left Santa Fe. As for myself, I enjoy art I can understand, so I had an enjoyable time wandering around Canyon Road…understanding what I could. I’ll continue exploring the city today.
Enjoying interesting places is another joy of a full-time RVer!
If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
October 5, 2012
Since our accident on May 27th, I swear, I have never had so many doctors in my life. If it isn’t one thing it is another. Poke and probe and test. Since the accident I feel like I have sand in one eye and it keeps swelling. After a round yesterday with my eye doctor and picking up records from one place to deliver to another place, I stopped at the Arts Council for an art fix. Jim has taken gallery pictures for me that I appreciate, but it isn’t the same as being able to view your own choices of things you admire. I am ever impressed by the talent in my community.
My favorite piece in the exhibit was this triptych in the photo above. I’ve done a close up of each piece.
Simple lines, bold colors. Beautifully matched.
Many nice pieces, so if you have a chance to visit the Arts Council Gallery in San Andreas, do it. I’m working on a piece of my own, but it is not for sale. Maybe, since I’m home for an extended period, I’ll get a piece finished for the affordable arts exhibit they do before Christmas.
I don’t know why I like old, rusty, derelict cars. This worked on a ceramic piece. Tough to execute.
Homer as a pretty jolly sculpture is appealing
Trees, another favorite theme. Who doesn’t love a tree?
Bead work is making an impact in the arts/crafts world. This little bird is something to hang on the Christmas tree or not. It works anywhere.
If I have errands, I like to seize the day, and art makes me smile and eases the burdens we sometimes carry.
August 1, 2012
I had never been to a Mudfest before and wasn’t quite sure what I would see. It was a first time event at Quyles Kiln/Brice Station Winery about two miles above Murphys. Pam Quyle runs the pottery, her sister and brother-in-law have a winery and tasting room. Great combination. But I was there to meet old friends from Alameda County. The first thing I ran into was a dog-head with a ball in its mouth. Not surprising since there are plenty of friendly dogs around the place who love balls.
The second thing I hadn’t seen before was this magnificent dragonfly garden piece. The eye never rests here. But, I walked in the showroom looking for my friend Pam, who was nowhere to be seen.
The Quyle family has been making pottery here since 1928. Families come to replenish their dishes from one generation to the next. Always quality pieces, that never changes. I treasure my colanders, serving bowls, casseroles and berry dishes. But you can find any vessel here, made by Pam or other potters who sell their work here.
Not only pottery, but other art flourishes. Water color and oil paintings, etchings and greeting cards, and then I see this poster of a dog story. The artist, Marilyn Pyle told me they are popular with school libraries and veterinary offices.
Pam has a potter working here who does faces and busts. I don’t know his or her name and didn’t get to meet the potter, but I did run into this sculpture:
And these delightful faces.
I often find galleries on the road and get my art fix, but here I am at home and able to do the same thing. For the Mudfest, potters and other artists were invited to put up a booth and present their work.
I guess when Cathi Newlin says, “Happiness is a lump of Clay” you can see the passion people have for working with clay. Her rats were so life-like I accused her of starting a plague.
She works in Angels Camp and does nice framed tiles and photography as well from her shop at the The Square Peg.
I poked around the booths until my friends arrived and Don Hall’s work caught my eye. He does highly decorated pieces and much of his stuff has an Asian look to it. Delicate flowers and plant life. He has a website, donhallworks.com. He came up from Turlock.
Pottery can be so individual and I always love to see work that is exciting and different.
While I was looking I could smell the chicken in a barrel cooking. Then Denise and Gary Lindsay, my Sheriff’s Department friends from Alameda County showed up and we enjoyed sharing a bottle of wine and food. The people catering the meals, I wish I had gotten their names. Unlike some events, the portions were very generous and everyone was bragging about the food. It was excellent.
Gary and Denise had stumbled upon the Kiln and Gary, now retired and moved to Tuolumne County, is also a clay person. He does beautiful mosaic tables and since moving, needs a place to have his clay fired. He came to the right place. Gary was an avid volunteer and served as treasurer for the Alameda County Archives for many years and was making cocktail tables even then for is fellow deputies. He has quite a following. I’m sure he’ll be just as successful in Tuolumne County enjoying his hobby.
We ate dinner, the band began to play in the meadow behind the tasting room and I again think to myself, how lucky I am to live here. I hope they have another Mudfest next year. And, they better have the same caterer.
June 12, 2012
Our trail took us to Durango, Colorado, a known Western Railroad town. Our plan is to take the old steam train from Durango to Silverton, and back , today. When we arrived at the friendly American Legion on 9th St. yesterday afternoon, I was greeted by this lovely planting of hollyhocks. I didn’t realize how my eyes hungered for flowers after weeks in desert wilds. We set out for a walk downtown to find a restaurant, turned a corner and more flowers greeted us.
Flowers bring instant smiles. Jim, too, stopped to take pictures of pansy faces. I think we were both a bit lonesome for familiar sights.
We hooked a left on Main St. and there in a window was this interesting ceramic sculpture of a pile of chairs in a high chair. I had to go in and inquire and look around Sorrel Sky Gallery. Proprietor Amanda Nicols shared the story of this piece done by artist Deborah Rael-Buckley, entitled Cosecha Amarga which means bitter harvest. It is intended as a political statement, representing the empty chairs at the table, discarded and piled up haphazardly like the victims of rape and murder in Juarez, Mexico, where the bodies were discarded a piled up in the desert. Powerful stuff from an artist who usually does warm, fuzzy pieces, explained Amanda.
The piece sits in pools of blood from the victims. Price, $2,900.
This bronze raven, from Jim Eppler, who bought barren land in Texas and became fascinated by the birds.
Coming from the desert, we’ve seen a number of soft jack rabbits cavorting among the prickly pear. The Puebloans first made blankets by twisting rabbit skins pieces around a leather cord, then tying (weaving) them together for a solid blanket. A bronze by Gerald Balciar. Quality work and deep pocket prices in this gallery and I wanted to linger and look at everything, including the restored buildiing with reproduction original wallpaper. Lovely. Amanda gave me a map of the other galleries around town. I’m already drooling.
We found Franciscos for lunch, and had good food, reasonable prices, and a great micro beer from Durango Brewing Company, Pinstripe Ale. Finally fed, we walked for a couple of hours to explore Old Town Durango.
We stepped into the plush lobby of the General Palmer Hotel, Victorian elegance greeted us in carpets so thick we felt like we were walking on sponges. But one signature of the owner is new- teddy bears.
For over 21 years, according to one clerk, the female owner has placed a teddy bear in each room because she felt they add a bit of homey warmth and comfort to people far from home.
Those small pieces of comfort were everywhere in contrast to the old Victorian furnishings in cozy sitting nooks. I loved it.
Visitors are encouraged to look around, and we did.
Then a right turn out the door, seated on a street bench? A giant teddy bear.
I peeked in to the old west style building that now serves as a French restaurant and bolangerie, (bakery).
The street is so appealing. Try a winebar, Thai food, Cowboy Girls, or get information on wild river rafting, and skiing (for winter.)
Pretty sidewalk cafes; they are dog friendly.
The fun stuff; old theatre, an old tymie photo shop to take your picture in Victorian or Western garb.
Even a place to tie up your horse. In fact, I saw an old cowboy with his big truck putting money into a meter and I wanted to talk to him about riding his horse into town, but he got away before I caught up to him. But, then, another contrast, a bevy of beauties walking down the street.
We were told by our friendly host at the American Legion to be sure and stop for a drink at the Strater Hotel.
You can’t miss it. It probably has the most gingerbread of all the old buildings in town.
I took a close-up of one of the fancy corbels.
Inside the lobby, the clerk’s cage has some of that beautiful old wood that no one can afford to buy anymore.
Cozy sitting areas.
It kind of reminds you of the old romantic movies. They’ve preserved the room key slot holder from former days. I’m sure that piece of furniture has a name, but I don’t know what it is.
And, you can still use their old letter box.
The fixture is new, but the reproduction wallpapers and Victorian decoration is true to its former glory. We never did have that drink in the bar. The Strater offers tours if you want one with all of the history. But, just peeking in and wandering around was fun.
We were headed for the train station to pick up our tickets and visit the train museum. I guess I’ll have to blog that tomorrow. We only covered about six blocks. If you visit, plan to stay more than a day. In fact, the prices at the posh hotels were quite reasonable. And, let’s face it, you can’t visit all of those wonderful galleries in one short afternoon.
To look at the rest of my pictures, click on the link:
May 2, 2012
Departure from Sacramento, CA airport was a whole new experience. A new building, new shuttle, new sculpture. I had to relearn my way around. I don’t know what the exciting rabbit sculpture is made of but it looks like papier mache’, and isn’t he grand?
I read in the NY Times if you ever want an upgrade to first class, you’d better be wearing a suit and tie. I like the freedom people have to dress comfortably while traveling. Travel brings hassle enough without having to be constricted in your clothing. Flip flops, people glued to their cells, cleanly shaved or not. Makes for great people watching.
And then the excitement. While going through security, a SHOUT. Security people answered loudly, halted the lines and in military precision took places and stood at attention. Silence. It was strange, the only sound was the loudspeaker, regularly announcing flights. .
Everyone waited, suspended. After several minutes, a few people began to ask what was going on. Is this a drill? Finally the security leader gave the loud ALL CLEAR. And the same answering shouts as personnel returned to their original positions. A security person came to our line and pushed through someone’s luggage and told the person about to approach the exray belt, “This luggage goes through first.” And then everything returned to normal. No explanations. We couldn’t tell what had just happened, except to suspect someone was removed from that line and taken away. We didn’t see the owner of the luggage return.
Of course, the real excitement was getting to see my sweetie again, waiting patiently at the airport in Albuquerque.
Jim was pleased to point out to me that Albuquerque’s airport is all solar. And I was pleased to learn that. I so wish more builders would do the same. Such a cost savings for we beleaguered taxpayers.
And then…and then…we were hung up in traffic just six cars away from the intersection. We waited through many green lights. Those vehicles in a position to do so, turned around and tried to find a way out. We could tell that a Highway Patrolman was stopping the traffic. No accident. Then a phalanx of motorcycle cops, a couple sirens, passed through. We guessed that some dignitary was being escorted through town,( though we didn’t see a limo), but all we commoners had to wait. When we turned onto the major thoroughfare, we saw bright ribbons on two light-post stanchions leaving us to wonder anew for what we had waited?
March 31, 2011
Our Arts Council recognizes young talent by giving high school students an opportunity to display their work in a public gallery. Every year at this time, they advertise this special exhibit and I had to go. People who can paint or draw, as this painter did, make me green with envy. I like the expression on this girls face. You can read it, a might distrustful, haughty, independent. Intriguing.
I am an artist of sorts. My medium is mixed, so my second favorite piece from the exhibit is this sculpture. I like sculpture made from recycled, found “stuff” and this fit the bill with its pressure gauge, clocks and faucett handles.
I never could draw anything but kindergarten stick figures so my greatest admiration is for those who can do what I can’t, render a likeness that looks real. Like this old man and his cat.
Or this one entitled, “Poverty”.
There were several computer generated pieces nicely enhanced and interesting as well. The child with fragile wings.
This black and white photo with magical sunglasses that reflect a shinning world of promise.
And this piece reminded me of those ads in the 50′s with a line drawn profile much like this girl’s, beckoning you to take an art course, promising “you, too, can draw this well.” I perfected that profile by drawing it over and over, but, I couldn’t afford the course. And, it was probably one of those sham kind of things anyway that wouldn’t have done a thing for any latent talent I may have had. Like this artist, I favored the color green, then, too.
December 9, 2010
In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned the Red Hats. Joellyn Gano, left, is also a member of the Calaveras Arts Council and enjoyed both parties on the same evening at the Murphys Hotel. Her husband Dave is a painter. Joellyn plays a mean accordion, just one of her many talents. Penny West, served as director of the Calaveras County Arts Council and kept that organization growing and strong, nurturing all of us since 1981. She now shares that position with Mary Jane Genochio.
Judi Caine Papais, left, has a marvelous studio with wonderful north light and teaches as well as paints. She is a well known artists along with many others too numerous to name. Judi belongs to another arts group in the county. Murphys may have the most galleries of all the small towns in Calaveras, but there are many others if you wish to spend a day perusing the awesome talents of this community. If you are looking for culture, music, dance, visual arts, sculpture, or pottery, you will find it here.
Good friends, Dave Self and Pastor Meg Self attended. Dave, with talents previously hidden from view. He drew illustrations for Glen Wasson’s book and will be coming out with a book of his own poetry soon. He amazed me.
Glen with his wife Joan, a talented photographer. Glen provided the entertainment for the night and kept us laughing with renditions from his current book, Tales Mark Twain Would Have Loved To Steal.
Glen is well known for his doggerel. He writes on the spot and read a poem he composed just for the evening. But, I mentioned the Red Hats. Glen wrote “A Gentleman’s Response To The Red Hat Ladies” and kept us laughing at his indelicate response to the repression of men’s natural tendencies.
When I am old I will not care
About the kind of clothes I wear
They may be tattered, old or ripped
And I won’t care if my fly’s not zipped.
In crowded elevators I may break wind
And look as though I’m quite chagrined
At some innocent person standing there
Whom I’ll indict with a reproachful stare.
And I don’t care if the ladies mind
That I pinch them hard on the behind
I’ve always longed to play such sports,
Especially those with bulging shorts.
I’ll go to church in my overalls
Wear polyester plaid to formal balls
I’ll watch TV in my under wear
And scatter beer cans everywhere.
I’ll scratch myself in private places
Just to see the look on people’s faces.
In mixed compay I’ll tell lewd jokes
To scandalize those proper folks.
At dinner time I will pick my nose
And wipe the boogers on my clothes.
And to me it really doesn’t matter
If I grab the last thing from the platter.
Until I’m old I’ll still behave,
It isn’t nice to be a knave.
But, I can’t wait for that joyful day
When I’m old enough to act that way.
September 23, 2010
Yesterday, I visited the Nevada Museum of Fine Arts. Its changed considerably since my last visit. Bigger, new location in a beautiful modern building. No pictures are allowed inside but the roof sculpture garden and outside pieces will give you an idea of the quality of this museum.
This rock man seems to be doubled over in pain. A closeup even shows his rock fingers.
This beautiful sculpture is huge, as you can imagine. Remembering that outdoor work has to be weatherproof, it amazes me the physical work and ingenuity of pieces like this one.
I love the Inhale Exhale polished stone bench. You can sit on them and have lunch. They are of course best viewed without picnickers, but people enjoy sitting outside on this unique usable art.
The following piece was purchased and moved from Burning Man. (Not this year’s event.) The docent explained to me they wished they could have purchased the stacked semi trucks sculpture but it was just too big. The semi’s were open to climbing and kids were all over the thing. Makes me want to renew my commitment to attend Burning Man some year.
An inside exhibit featured a metal artist named Bentson. He had his whole studio on display, with videos on how he works. He calls himself a “blue collar artist” since he welds and hefts and brazes metal into pieces like this one from the roof top.
I liked this piece of his with the buildings as a back drop.
This stone sculpture holds water in a narrow rivulet and birds fly in and out to drink from it.
A driftwood horse? It only appears to be driftwood. It is made of bronze and imitates driftwood. Driftwood for a permanent exhibit would be vulnerable to hands and weathering.
Reno’s downtown lampposts are artistically designed and beautiful. This one identifies the Arts District. Cool!
When I first looked at the indentation on this bench, it struck me as a spot for a shorter child to sit. Except, on looking closer, I see it was designed to miss the electric plug. Usable art design always tickles me.
From the roof, the views of Reno are refreshing, with the hills all around. Very enjoyable. Even so, the Museum has a Picasso, a Lichtenstein and many innovative and questing pieces. But one room was devoted to Chester Arnold. The exhibit is named, On Earth As It Is In Heaven. An amazing collection of mostly room sized paintings, vivid and thought provoking. His pieces have a message about America that speaks to our proclivity for altering the natural landscape and questioning if we balance our exploitation with what is good for humanity. This exhibit is a must see.
His website has little icons that get bigger when you click on them. They don’t reveal the power of his room sized pieces.