As long time readers know, I visit Arizona a lot – especially the Tucson area. I have friends there, and I attend the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show every February to find special components for the jewelry I create.
This year’s trip was ten days, and very special because three of my siblings were able to join me for parts of it. We rented a wonderful townhouse in Tubac (one of my favorite places on earth).
One of the best things about my Arizona trips is the opportunity to take some great photos so I thought I would share some with you this fine Sunday morning. I find them very sketch-worthy, so I am extending permission for you to sketch them in your journals if you feel so inclined. Of course, you may not lay any kind of claim to the the images or use them in any other way.
The sky photo above was taken on my drive – just before I got to Hatch, New Mexico (home of the famous chile). I have never seen anything like it and I see a lot of fabulous New Mexico skies. Does anyone know if this cloud type has a name?
Just to point out that interesting photos can be found anywhere, this is the patio light on the townhouse we rented. I love the texture and the angles, and thought it would be fun to draw.
My brother, Andy, is an incredible chef, and so is Kathy, his fiancé. He is also an award winning winemaker in California. Every get-together means major treats in the food and wine department. He doesn’t bring many clothes because his suitcase is filled with special food items and bottles of wine in special travel containers. I love that kind of devotion to one’s passion almost as much as I love the great meals!
With a frittata planned for breakfast, some Farm Fresh eggs were purchased from the Tubac Market, and when I saw them, I halted all cooking activities until I could get photos . . .
Sometimes food is art even before it is prepared.
I just had to take everyone to Elvira’s restaurant in Tubac – as much for the decor as the food and my favorite Tamarind Margaritas. I have never seen any place so overdone in such a tasteful and beautiful way.
The Tamarind Margarita has multiple levels of sweet and sour flavors that follow each other like a fine wine. My good friend, Vivian, tried one while we were there for an art retreat in 2014. After her first sip, she made this now famous statement:
“This tastes like that looks!”
Here’s the “that” she was referring to . . .
If you are ever in Tubac, don’t miss this restaurant – even if you don’t drink or eat Mexican food!
Of course, we went to some of the venues of the Gem & Mineral Show (you can’t possibly make it to them all). I did not buy much this year, but did find the parts for the wrap bracelets I make (which you will see soon), and these very unusual turquoise beads . . .
Aren’t they pretty?
My favorite Tucson restaurant is Wildflower, as my friends will testify because we “must” go there several times every time I visit! We had a fabulous dinner there on a Friday evening, and this photo is testament to the fact that anything can be stunning if properly lit . . .
Another favorite part of Tucson is the old town area near the Tucson Art Museum. There is a great restaurant called Café a la C’ART inside the museum which is on my “have to” list for lunch, and the surrounding neighborhood is so charming!
Here are some pictures. See if you agree . . .
It is obvious that the property owners take great pride in the exteriors of their historic dwellings.
While one of our great meal treats was being prepared by our chefs-in-residence, my brother Bob and I took a short (3 mile) trip from the townhouse to Tumacacori, a National Historic Park preserving Mission ruins.
I have taken so many photos here over the years, but there is always one more angle or vignette to appreciate.
One of the ruins was a two story storage building once upon a time, where the best seeds harvested from each season were stored in clay pots which sat in the indentations on the benches (bancos) along the wall. The holes in the upper wall are where log beams (vigas) supported a second story.
My sister was the last sibling to show up on this trip, and we did a lot of relaxing along with exploring.
After a long lunch at the Stables restaurant at the Tubac Golf Resort, we did some wandering because the grounds are full of photo ops.
I loved the play of light and shadow on these pots . . .
And my final sketching photo this time is this fabulous cactus which was growing near the townhouse. I found out it is a Santa Rita Prickly Pear which turns purple with cold or harsh conditions. Tucson has had several freezes this Winter – which created this beautiful palette . . .
To die for, right?
Some of these images will soon be available as cards and prints in my online gallery. Which brings me to . . .
News Updates . . .
No big news, but with the demise of Sheer Heaven, and my renewed concentration on my own art, I have realized, belatedly indeed, that in fifteen years, I have never really brought my own art to the forefront of my web presence.
Instead, I have used it to demonstrate and teach, and never even exposed a lot of what I do at all – and hardly ever offered it for sale online.
My websites have no portfolio galleries or bodies of work, or even galleries of my art journal pages, which could not be for sale, of course, but they could show the fun I have with the art journaling/sketchbooking process.
So, along with the demos and teaching, art processes and tips etc. that I publish on this blog, I am going to start sharing my work – photography and painting, glass and jewelry, and whatever seems to be the art du jour.
And I have not taken the time to get my shop (WOW! Gallery) functional and complete. That is now a priority so our in-person visitors at the brick-and-mortar gallery downtown (Santa Fe), can do some shopping from home.
When that job is complete, there will be the opportunity for you to shop the gallery as well.
And speaking of the gallery, I am working there today and better get going.
Have a great Sunday!
P.S. I post almost everyday on Instagram and Facebook in case you want more – photos and illustrations and short posts. Because Facebook owns Instagram. most of the Instagram posts also go to Facebook, but not all.