Friday, August 8, 2008
For the first nine days of August I traveled with my friend Melissa in Arizona. After arriving in Phoenix we spent the first night with old friends Sydney, Catherine, and Pico. Pico, the newest member of their canine family is a small brown chihuahua who is willing to flirt and cast coy glances at visitors, but absolutely no petting is allowed. Melissa may win his affection when she paints his portrait later in the month. After a mouth watering breakfast at the most delicious French restaurant with yummy croissants, we toured a couple of the galleries in Scottsdale that specialize in Russian artists and visited Arcosante. Before leaving Phoenix we fortified ourselves with genuine New Mexico cuisine, stocked up on art supplies, and then set our compass north for Show Low. Melissa's friend, the Amoses, let her use their house while they are in Maine and this will be her base for the month and mine for the week.
After spending a day reconning the area for painting spots, we settled on Hwy 73, about 30 miles into the Apache reservation for our first plein aire painting site. Show Low is at 6,000' and the reservation has several views of plains leading up to distant mesas. The painting day was successful, but we made the decision not to paint there again due to the remote nature of the area and the poverty that is pervasive in the area. The reservation is especially poor and Show Low has suffered in general due to the gloomy economy.
Our next painting sites were at the Salt River canyon and a view off of Hwy 60. We spent yesterday afternoon painting a model who was a recent transplant from Charlotte, NC lured by the cheap land. The session was a pleasant one on the back porch, but was cut short by an afternoon thunder storm.
Today it is time to pack up, ship art supplies back to TN, visit the pool one last time, and head back to Phoenix to Sydney and Catherine's house . I will get to ogle Sydney's extensive antique glass bead collection and Melissa will get to covet the beaded cowboy boots one more time. Hopefully Catherine will greet us with some of her famous margaritas!
This is the last post from Keith's, Coffee Mania, and Show Low, AZ, the town's who's time has not yet come