Posts Tagged With: art galleries


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We had heard about the only “blue beach” in Texas and we went to see it. It is chained off from vehicles, and doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon.

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It is a pretty beach. I guess I was expecting some kind of blue sand or something. It turns out the blue is for a blue diamond rating given beaches by a coalition of beaches organization, assisted by each state or country in keeping with the US  Environmental Protection Agency standards.  This one is considered the cleanest beach in Texas. Clean means safe bacteria levels and kept free of debris and so on.

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Across from it is this pretty saltwater lagoon.

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And, nearby is a pretty harbor.

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One area has the fancy sailing boats and yachts.

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The other side has working boats, the fishing fleet and small individual boats.

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I liked the small fishing boats best. They seem to have more character.

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They have a beauty of their own.

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Here’s MARGIE cozying up to the bait shop.

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A hardworking boat, with a patch or two, but still working. Needs a little TLC.

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The whole harbor seems like a work of art to me. I guess if you live here and see it every day, it may not look special. The Rockport Maritime Museum is nearby as is the Community Arts Center. Jim went to the Museum and I chose the art center and drove to a couple of galleries on Broadway. Broadway, the main street, is short and sweet with a host of galleries and kitschy shops. And, a good restaurant, La Luna. At least, in answer to my question, “where would you go to lunch…?  But, I knew we wouldn’t be going anywhere in town for lunch this day because the American Legion serves oysters from 2:00 pm. on Sundays, until they run out.

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At the Community Art Center, this was my favorite piece. I could just see that bird dancing in the shallows and showing off her feathers. Here they allow you to vote for a favorite and the artist that wins the People’s choice, gets to show in their merit gallery. Everything is for sale here.

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I like fabric art and this one wasn’t great, but I took a picture because of the little motor home in the corner. You don’t see many motor homes in art work. It was entitled See America, and that is what Jim and I are doing.

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I love the many dune pictures I’ve seen in the galleries, representing spring and summer when the dunes are at their most beautiful.

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Then this fish, kind of a decorator item. I tend to take pictures of fish facing right because my friend, Dave Olsen is convinced that all fish are portrayed facing left in art.

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Hey, Dave, here is another.

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In another gallery was this cute little beaded critter. This is for Sharon who is a beading nut. There were at least a dozen different critters in this place on Broadway and several more galleries I had to miss. We are only here for a day and everything opens late on Sundays, and the oysters are ready at 2:00.DSC04475 (Copy)

We got there before they ran out, but it was a long wait in line. A dozen oysters on the half shell for $5.

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I found out you can eat a lot of oysters if you don’t have anything else for dinner. A dozen fried or baked $5.50.  Such a deal. I wanted to go back for the baked, but we got there about 2:30 and by the time I decided to try the baked, they were out of oysters. Yummy! People look at us kind of funny when we take pictures of our food but we kept company with a couple from Illinois and they understood perfectly.

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Yesterday I blogged my stroll through town, but didn’t finish. We left Durango and visited the Aztec Ruins in Aztec, NM. and parked at Navajo Lake St. Park where we will stay until Sunday.  We are winding down as I prepare to fly to Murphys for my family reunion. Jim is still on pain meds and needs to slow down as well. We both seem to run out of energy, and need more sleep since the accident.  First I want to take you to an unusual museum.

The photograph I took  is poor in that a museum of historical documents, all under glass, do not photograph well.  And, since this is my first photograph to load, I’m finding the signal here is painfully slow. Located in a nice plaza surrounded by other businesses, a cafe, etc. at 835 Main St.,  it may be just what you’d like to see. R. H. Crossland was a dynamic collector of old documents, and this museum and foundation was started in 2003.  It has since benefited local and national charities with $1,200,000.


Ocoma pottery is famed for its strength and thinness.  This piece from the Durango Art Center is stellar but the price was way out of my price range.  I knew that from looking at smaller pieces. This one had no price tag.


An alabaster sculpture by James Joe III, another Native American piece in a Gallery with great diversity;  six exhibits yearly of national and international artists. High end fine arts and photography.  With pictures loading so slowly, I will hasten on to mention the plethora of choices in this very concentrated area of Old Town Durango.  Wildshots-Claude Steelman landscapes and wildlife. Toh-Atin, specializes in Navajo weaving, jewelry, pottery, paintings and sculpture. Azul features  unique jewelry, glass wall art and multimedia pieces featuring local, national and international artists. Earthen Vessel features hand crafted eclectic pieces, handmade and unique, metal and wearable art, pottery, jewelry. There are many more galleries to visit. I needed another day.


We stopped to have a micro-brew at the Steamworks.  Great atmosphere, good food. Peanut shells on the floor reminded me of Larry Blakes Long Table Dinners in Berkeley, CA in the 1950’s.  I like stouts and porters with nice thick butter, chewy chocolate and coffee hops.  I found this large foamy headed beer disappointing, and a taste of the wheat beer left me wondering wherze the fruit?  But, Coloradans seem to like it that way and you may too.

On the side street, St. Marks Presbyterian Church had an interesting labyrinth in honor of a revered rector.

And this apparatus is an electric meter, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. One neighborhood person told me that from the inside of the house, the customer slides a card and gets, say, $20 worth of electricity, or whatever that person can afford. On this particular meter, someone has placed a lost set of keys found nearby.



But, hurrying on to the Aztec Ruins in Aztec, N.M.   We’ve seen so many beautiful ruins that we  hesitated to drive the 20 miles out of our way in the wrong direction to come here.  The first thing you learn is the ruins are not Aztec, but early on people thought so. The town was named after the ruins, so the name sticks. It is Anasazi as the others. Each one has unique features and this place had some very complete areas, showing how inhabitants moved from room to room to get anywhere.  There were no hallways. The construction points are much more obvious here. They didn’t know how to dovetail corners in their masonry and that is why  many walls fell.  But the major jewel of this ruins is a huge, reconstructed, kiva.

An overview of the grounds shows this kiva with a square  entrance attached to a round building. And, all around are keyhole entrances only useable to get out from the bottom half of the building which is underground. You didn’t have to enter this kiva through a hole in the roof, quite an advancement in building skills, compared to the builders at Chaco Canyon which we missed because of the accident.

An overview of the inside of the great kiva, shows the huge columns used to hold up a heavy roof.  The keyhole entrances are a way out, and are windows for light. Stone steps led into the chamber from two sides, also very advanced.

Stone benches surround the circular kiva for the celebrants.  The keyholes reveal a strong ladder but only eight inches wide. It would take some practice to go out in such a manner. Perhaps the ladders are just for building repair?

A reveal of the column’s foundation shows how it was constructed. It is centered on a huge round stone slab.

A second reveal shows construction of the column itself.   And, in the background, huge stone slabs that were carved by some unknown stonemason of long ago.  This was worth the visit, even though we’ve seen other great ruins.

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An Extra Day In Durango, Colorado…

After a very full day, the day before yesterday…riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to Silverton and back…we were really weary yesterday. We were supposed to move on…but decided to linger and rest some more before hitting the road once again. Besides…Mary had not yet seen all the remaining art galleries here in Durango. So, that’s what we did yesterday.

Now, I’m not really in to art galleries per se, but I walked along with Mary just to keep her company. Along the way, I just took some photos of whatever caught my eye.

Here are some photos that I took…

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…

To see the other 40 photos that I took, click this link…

Having fun with a camera every day is another joy in the full-time RVing lifestyle!

Today we will once again be back on the road.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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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:

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The movie, Mystic Pizza, was named after this intriguing place that is not recognized by the State as a community. Its actually part of Stonington and Groton. Maybe that’s why it is “Mystic”. Jim’s daughter-in-law grew up here and she and his son were married here.  Wikipedia has a long history about the place if you wish to click on this link. There seems to be a strong arts community judging from the galleries.

Part of their history was boat building and shipping.

Its a pretty town with a delightful harbor and nice restaurants. Swans are an imported species used to eat up some of the invasive algae troublesome in the shallows where the river meets the sea.

A draw bridge, built in 1922, lifted for a couple of passing boats. It moves about 2200 boats through in a year. We watched as a couple of pedestrians, giggling, scooted under the gates after the whistle blew and crossed over in a hurry.

The counter weights, there are two of them, weigh 260 tons each. Kind of amazing to see them up in the air and to walk under them.

It was hot yesterday when we arrived and we walked around town from one air conditioned store to the next. Our goal was to visit the largest Maritime Museum in the World today, but, yesterday and this morning proved so hot and muggy we are moving on to his son’s house where we can plug in to air conditioning instead of running the noisy generator. The museum will wait for another year.
We were so lucky to have stopped in the gallery of Jeffrey P’an, a glass blower. His work is different than anything I’ve seen. Exquisitely beautiful, different, and fragile.

Regrettably, I only took  a few pictures of his exquisite art. There is a video of him working at this link:

The difference in his blown glass and others is that he makes his own rods of glass, then melds a pre-designed mosaic of the glass before shaping it into a piece. Amazing work. He has a gallery in Stonington as well. He can be found all over the web.

Headed for the water for a breeze, we found the old Mystic Lighthouse. I found a picture of one of the only women known to be a whaler. She consistently worked with her husband whaling. She had no children so they worked together. This little museum held a lot of stuff. I enjoyed the tools from ice making-

and a story about an eccentric guy named Hancox.

From the lighthouse tower I took a picture of Jim trying to cool off in the shade of a tree. He suffers more than I do with the heat. The museum was not air conditioned. We’ve broken our router and can’t get a signal so Jim won’t be posting today. For some reason or another, my computer drew on an unsecured signal, but his computer can’t get it.

For a link to other pictures, click below:

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