We traveled south for the holiday to the tiny rural town of Boulder, Utah. There we stayed at the Boulder Lodge, an eco lodge. We had our Thanks Giving dinner at Hell's Backbone Grill, where if you don't have a local accommodation they won't give you a dinner reservation. They do three seating's for dinner over two days and serve 30 items of which you may have all you would care to indulge in. The company is always interesting, the meal is served family style and it is truly a magical experience.
Beautiful landscape, like something from another planet , or right out of a John Wayne Western.
Spots of color that almost seemed placed by a designer.
A road that must have been a wonder to construct.
I oft times wonder if the weather gods make cosmic jokes? In the past whenever we planned a party or a get together at the house during the winter months we have had a huge storm, That is until the last two parties. I always seem to wait with baited breath, for last minute calls from friends, too much snow we're staying home. But with our drought, or global warming, or just fickle weather gods, that has not been the case.
So given the way things have been going weather wise we planned a road trip to a small out of the way town in Boulder Utah. There is a really great little restaurant there, " Hell's Backbone Grill", they only takes reservations for Thanksgiving if you have local accommodations. We made reservations at the lodge, last January, as we are taking the dogs and they have limited dog rooms available. The thought of hiking in red rock country,in late fall, was just too good to pass up.
This week we have been seeing weather alerts, huge storm coming, weather warning for all of Utah, beware if traveling over the holiday! Some say bad weather all day on Wednesday,(it's a four hour drive, some of the time on back roads and going over passes. ) Some say leave early won't hit till afternoon??? We will start out earlier, just to be safe it can be so hard to say what will happen. Many of our winter storms that have been predicted over the last couple of years have just fizzled out, they seem to split over the top of us and hit Montana or Colorado.
Happy Turkey Day All!
I work with many different photos, both my own and ones from my clients. It is funny but some almost beg to be painted, while others I stare and stare at to find a starting point. I can always pull out the painting, but if I have a good photo to work with, the painting almost paints itself.
“The object isn’t to make art,
it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”
I get up all raring to go and get busy with chores and projects and painting and such. Then I make the mistake of sitting down at my computer, I think it is secretly a black hole hiding in my kitchen. It sucks up all the spare time I have and more.
It starts very mundanely I will be checking email, seeing how my Facebook art page is doing. Looking for messages from clients. Then before I know it I am flipping back and forth from Facebook to email to Facebook and then I will think I need to get something done. So I start on the breakfast dishes and some laundry, then I hear that ping..... maybe it's a message maybe it's important I stop, for just a minute to check and I glance at the clock and I have lost..... oh no, 2 hours! Holy Cowly! What happened I only sat down for a minute, or so I thought. Gee I guess it wasn't just a quick round of solitaire on the computer.
Then I get up and take the dogs for a stroll and when I get back I realize, it's cold and I need a small break and to check in on the computer. Yikes! There went another 2 hours. What is happening, my will power is gone, it's become an ADDICTION, oh no!
Is there a computers anonymous group someplace?
Skunk Cabbage in Bloom
Sego Lily, Utah's State Flower
Prickly Pear Cactus
Flowers are fragile and they come and go quickly, but they are resilient and generally return when we have grown tired of the long cold winter.
I always feel when tragedies like the terrorist attacks in Paris, or a school shooting like Sandy Hook, or the Twin Towers, that the world will be somehow different, the sun won't shine as brightly, sun rises and sunsets won't be as brilliant, people will care for each other and the world around them more, and yet it doesn't ever seem to really change anything other than the lights of those people who die are extinguished.
When I hear of these events, I feel hollow inside. Sometimes the tears flow and won't stop and other times I just feel numb.
Maybe this is why I read the funnies everyday, to try to start the day with something to smile about. I listen to NPR and hear what is going on in the world, but is it necessary to feel all the bad things happening in this day and age. I find I am drawn to fantasy literature, walking my dogs, watching the cats, seeing a comedy. Doing things for others.
But there is always knowledge that the sun will come out tomorrow and shine and life will go on, maybe someday better, but it will move on.
This week we are volunteering with Adopt-A-Native-Elder for their annual fundraiser Rug Show at Deer Valley. This is an amazing organization that has been helping the Navajo People of the 4 Corners and surrounding areas since 1986.
These people are some of the most amazing artists, weavers, jewelers, basket makers that you will ever meet. We have been involved with them since the mid-90's. ANE supports these people by sending food, clothing and medical supplies to the reservation. It also gives them a venue to sell their art to people who would have no other way to see it. People come from all over the world to see and purchase rugs and jewelry at this show and volunteer as well.
Many of the weavers live in houses with no electricity or running water. It is almost like a third world country within the U.S. but I don't believe most people are even aware of it. The weavers, predominantly women many in their 70's -90's live by themselves, herd sheep and cattle and live off the land. They shear, spin dye and weave the wool themselves mostly by candle or firelight.
When they come to Deer Valley each year they see friends and relatives from the other ends of the reservation that they haven't seen for sometimes since the last Rug Show. It is a gathering to relax, chat and see old friends. The art they sell here will support them thru the winter months and is generally their only income. The program sends down food boxes and supplies as well as Christmas stockings and support. In the spring and fall their are food runs to many areas on the Res., a caravan of caring.
This is such an amazing group of people to be a part of to watch the generosity of people and the delight in a different form of art.
Sometimes when I am working on a painting I find that life gets in the way. This is not necessarily a bad thing just a delay in painting, chores, yard work, friends. It is at times difficult to prioritize life. There is always something important to do. But I get it done and pick back up where I was.
Last night I was determined to finish the painting and I think I did, barring a few last brush strokes.
I am a painter of animals. There has always been a connection for me and this is how I share it.