Wednesday, October 31, 2007

One More Halloween!

I didn't know if Mom would be up to wearing a costume
today -- after all, she is almost 104 and tires easily. However, when the subject of Halloween came up a couple of weeks ago, she asked about how she was going to dress. As I've mentioned in a past post, Mom was always one to dress up if there was an occasion.

Anyhow, this year she costumed light -- in a splendid cow-bedecked sweat I found over at the Noah thrift for all of one buck! Complete with a working cowbell in front and a braided tail at the rear. As a finishing touch, big homemade spotted ears to take the place of her usual earrings.

The occasion: another Trick or Treat event at Las Fuentes for kids from the nearby Y after school program. Mom and her fellow residents really enjoy seeing the youngsters in their wildly varied costumes.

Later: there was a string of Halloween pumpkin lights, among other decorations at Casa Sanchez, where I had dinner this evening...

...a dazzle of lights at That House on Park which goes all out to decorate for as many holidays as possible...

...and big blow-up characters on the balcony of one of the nearby faux Victorians. And, yes, that looks like Itt up in the tower, more than a little deflated.

Of course, there are, these days, a handful of folk who take the night of Oct. 31 more seriously, as Samhain, the pagan harvest festival and official beginning of winter. I saw these decals on a recent walk around town (all on one car, BTW.) Ironically, a couple of local churches that view the Halloween celebration as a pagan holiday scheduled harvest festivals in its place.

However, for the rest of us, the night is a time to thumb one's nose at all manner of scary critters and creatures. It's only fitting that in Prescott, a Halloween witch wears blue jeans under her black cape. Perhaps she's thinking rodeo...

All Hallows' Link: A New England neighborhood explorer and photographer has discovered an interesting trick of the light that she calls Alien Eyes. I'd be curious whether anyone has seen these x-marks-the-spot reflections in our town.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A new arts and crafts show

This time, the tents were pitched over at Yavapai College -- on the sidewalk next the performance hall and down the hill in the sculpture garden. Logical since the sponsors were Friends of Yavapai College Art.

The Skull Valley bolo tie and rock art guy was there as were members of the Mountain Artists Guild.

All manner of crafts -- and a mysterious hand reaching under the necklaces! A muchly tattooed lady, known either as Sally or Betty, also resided with the beads.

About the time I was admiring the dolls, I got the old "no pictures" call. It's really hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that there are people out there so bereft of ideas that they copy the real artisans' work, but apparently that is the case.

However, my neighbor's son allowed me to photograph his paintings.

The most civilized aspect of the entire show -- a table of goodies for the tired, famished and thirsty. The picture here is a reflection in those remarkable big glass doors of the performance hall. Note photographer.

Down in the sculpture garden, the booths were less crowded together ... and the photographer was more welcome!

I got a kick out of the cactus made from welded horseshoes. Then one look at the fibre arts booth and I wanted it all!

Jewelry Guy's arrangements certainly caught my eye.

So -- how to call it? I'd say this show was an unexpected and welcome encore to the summer scene at the Square. The setting is a very pleasant change and there is plenty of room for more artists and craftsmen. Now all that is needed is a lot more publicity!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Grace notes to a warm autumn

It's only too easy to be consumed by autumn color, especially if one makes photographs. And so the first of two posts, one concerned with back lighting, and this, containing just a few small seasonal touches... beginning with my last "rose" of summer -- a moss rose on the porch.

Out back there is this curiosity -- a small oaklet that is growing in the heart of a stump cut-off. No idea whether an acorn landed fortuitously or the stump itself has one last spark of life. I'd like to think it's the latter.

A lonely fallen fall leaf...

...and a sycamore in the process of change.

A squaw bush leaf trio in fall dress...

...and the Arizona color of autumn -- golden aspen.

A linkable: Just returned from visiting Not Dead Yet, where Judith has posted a Gilbert & Sullivan sort of verse about insurance rates she found among her late husband's papers.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A walk through the sculpture garden, I

One look at the granddaughter posing with this frog told me I had to spend more time than a cold, pre-Christmas Nutcracker intermission allowed to enjoy the sculpture garden at Yavapai College. I had that chance Saturday, which was a sunny and warm fall day. The amphibian Leaps and Bounds is the creation of John Skurja of Skurja Art Castings. FYI, the garden is on the southwest side of the performance hall.

Community Gothic is a dour contrast to the cheerful frog. It seems to me that this uptight family would be much more comfortable in winter than in warmer times (below). The pamphlet guide to the garden suggests viewing Richard Marcusen's sculpture at night when the work casts dramatic, enlarged shadows on the wall.

Just before I photographed Helix by Tom McClure, a mother had to shoo her little boy off the big, bright aluminum piece. I can see that it would be a temptation to any lively youngster!

This abstraction is Seated Woman by Michael Anderson. Curious -- from the angle below, I get it. The cold winter picture above, taken from the other side, shows merely one more modern sculpture.

A piece of me said, "come on now, you can't be serious" when I first saw this array of flagstones. But I followed the instructions from creators Rebecca Davis and Roger Asay and walked through and around the runes, took pictures -- and kept taking pictures! It was hard to make a selection for this post.

Color is beginning to develop on the side faces of The Gathering, a fountain formed from copper by Gary Slater. It is the centerpiece of a pleasant circular arrangement.

As you can imagine, the wind is a necessary partner to the three whirligig towers in stainless steel and copper, created by Lyman Whitaker. I especially liked the view that suggests that they might be one with the trees. More views below.

Though not part of the sculpture garden, there were two art works on the back side of the performance hall as I continued the walk. The plaques above are dedicated to Viola Jimulla, a past chieftess of the local Yavapai Indian Tribe.

And I know nothing about this creation which features wood and a lot of gears. But it is certainly eye-catching.

And, finally, I couldn't resist creating a sculpture of my own with the camera. In reality, the object above is a microwave dish atop the building. There's more to the garden than I've had time and space to present here; it's a lovely example of desert landscaping, which will have to wait for another post.
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