Saturday, August 30, 2008

dry creekbed

This was one of those days where I just had to get away to be alone, out in the woods with nature. Before going back to the truck to get my sketchbook, a small armadillo wandered up close to me, obliviously rooting for whatever it is they root for. Next, a line of 5 male turkeys comically filed past, also unaware of my presence. They looked like subserviant office workers dutifully heading off to work for the day. This sort of "oneness" with nature does help calm the soul. And, my souvenir is a few chigger bites.

Friday, August 29, 2008

after the storm

After the storm in the Mojave Desert, the sky lost it's thunder. The sky was like a blanket in the evening, covering the mountains for a much needed rest.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

T-Shirt contest

Last month This American Life (Public Radio International) held a tee shirt design contest. This was my submission. After a month of Sundays, the final design was finally announced.
Not being the winner, I was slightly dissappointed, but it was a great challenge nevertheless. Kudos to Jon Shkiele for the chosen design!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mojave Desert storm

Somewhere near Needles, California. On the roadtrip from Texas to Las Vegas, this was the furthest point west before heading north through the desert. The scenery was strange, the sky was spectacular.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Route 66

The final two of the set of four. The Palomino Motel is in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The Sun 'n Sand Motel is a few miles west in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
Now it's on to painting the four of color!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Route 66

Western Hills Motel is in Flagstaff, Arizona, the Turquoise Tepee is in Williams, Arizona. There are still remnants of the old Route 66. Hopefully corporate America will not pound their cookie cutter trademarks over every last one of these uniquely individual American icons.

Note: I just could not bring myself to put the actual wordage offering "WIFI, HBO and weekly special" on the Western Hills sign.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

south of Santa Rosa, New Mexico

New Mexico, Land Of Enchantment. The motto on the state license plates is oh so true. As depicted in this slightly overworked sketch, the skies are always full of drama and excitement. The air always seems cleaner and clearer. Of the places I have visited, Hawaii has the same characteristics.
Santa Rosa is east of Albuquerque, on Route 40, still part of the old Route 66. North of here you quickly climb up into the Sangre de Christo Mountains close to Sante Fe.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

miles and miles of Texas

Cowboys, crops, cattle, oil and gas. This is just about all you see for miles and miles in West Texas. This is somewhere near Levelland (appropriately named). There is also a fair amount of healthy looking banks in the area.

Back in 1957, there was a famous UFO sighting near Levelland. If you're hankerin' to learn more about it, go here:

Sing it Bob Wills!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Neon Albuquerque

As I posted on August 7th, this is a scuplture above the freeway in Albuquerque. On the return trip from Las Vegas, we drove past this sculpture in the dark, around 5:00 a.m. It was lit up, giving the desert mountain a neon glow. Remembering back, this had a dreamy, surrealistic feel.
I try not to mix Photoshop with art, but this seemed appropriate.

east of the Grand Canyon

This is nearest to Cameron, Arizona. The canyon becomes flatter, almost like cracks in the flat land with the river carved below the rocks. This was sketched at one of the Navaho Indian jewelry stands. Heading south toward Flagstaff, the land flattens as you pass through the Painted Desert. Then further south, the landscape dramatically changes once again. You rise up into the wooded (and scortched) mountains around Flagstaff. The temperature north near the canyon was 20 degrees warmer than the cool mountains. This part of the world really is amazing.

leaving Las Vegas

The graphics for slot machines is not unlike candy wrapper art. They draw you in, making you want the bad stuff hidden behind the pretty package. I love the wrappers of candy and slots. It's a nice place to visit, but I am happy to be gone from Las Vegas!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Grand Canyon

A sidetrip excursion on the drive from Austin to Las Vegas. This time of year the park was packed with visitors. It is definitely worth the visit!
The route taken was from Flagstaff up to the canyon, then eastward around the rim. The drive south through the Navaho Reservation in the Painted Desert is of my favorite places in the U.S.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Las Vegas slots

If you can't win 'em, sketch 'em! I've been to Las Vegas many times, always to work conferences and conventions. Being here for a couple days is fine, but a week or two at the big resort casinos is outragously expensive, noisy and crowded. Other than that, it's a great place to visit!

the lesser seen signs on The Strip

I sketched these on the far south end of Las Vegas Boulevard. Not much of the old Las Vegas can be found these days. At least I couldn't find them while walking. The Laughing Jackalope sign is the stuff nightmares are made of. It looks like it was drawn on a napkin by a drunken patron of the bar & grill. Mr. Jackalope is wearing an eye patch. Who knows why.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

rocket science?

This is a giant silver sculpture up on a mountain above the freeway in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There are sculptures of all kinds along highway 40 (old Route 66) through New Mexico. It's good to see the government supporting the arts!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

TeePee Trading Post

The road trip from Texas to Las Vegas took three full days.  This was sketched along Route 66, somewhere around the borders of New Mexico and Arizona.  Both states are really beautiful.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

the continental divide

A quick sketch of the Continental Divide somewhere outside Gallup, New Mexico. Today is the final drive from Flagstaff, Arizona up to Las Vegas. More sketches to be posted after arrival. This road trip has been fast and furious!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

road trip!

My old career has raised it's ugly head. Today I leave for Las Vegas to be PowerPoint Graphics Girl for a corporate conference. The good news is...a warm & sunny road trip from Texas, through New Mexico and Arizona, then north to Las Vegas. Next will be a few days of sitting backstage in a cold, dark ballroom. I suppose it's good to touch base every once in a while with a humbling 20 + year former career (although the burnout factor had ill effects on my health and almost caused a nervous breakdown or two).
Art to come from sights on the road!
(this backstage art was sketched from a convention-past)

Friday, August 1, 2008

farmers' market harvest

Unlike a large grocery store, you can predict the offerings of locally grown food. When the peppers or tomatoes or squash come in, they are everywhere. Slowly these disappear, replaced by a another variety of sqaush, or the introduction of eggplant. The changing of the weather or the season is a predictable, slow transition. This pattern is like the in and out breath of nature.