Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Cloud Lifts off the Mountain

                               The Cloud Lifts off the Mountain watercolor on Yupo 26x20

 The mountain was Mt. San Jacinto.
When the Santa Ana winds howled through Fontana CA where I grew up, the smog was ripped away and suddenly we could see the mountains that surrounded the valley. Off in the southeast was Mt. San Jacinto sitting like a ship in a harbor. Just on the other side of it is Palm Springs.
When I got my drivers license at 16 the desert was a frequent destination as long as I was back on time. A few years later I read somewhere about some canyons south of Palm Springs which were palm oasis you could hike in. I soon explored them and have continued to do so.
So in between two of the northwests recent snow storms, we flew to Calif. for some warmth. That normally parched desert was so wet, grass was growing beside cacti. Some plants were already blooming but the big show is just beginning now. It will be spectacular!

 The view from our Air BnB. It was in the Mesa neighborhood right up against the mountain.

 A view up into Tahquitz Canyon. I wrote about my first visit here when it was finally opened to the public.

Tahquitz Falls. This is a special place.

Grassy desert.

Coachella Preserve. I lived near here the winter of 1980. It was private property then but my landlady knew the caretaker and I was allowed in.  Because of the principles of evaporative cooling, one can be comfortable here on a scorching hot summer day. I may try to paint this pond with its confusing reflections.

 Murray Canyon. I had painted these rocks in 1980 and wanted to see them again. This involved crossing the creek many times. I trudged through the water with sneakers on. Much better than risking my new knee by falling off a stepping stone.

 This was a 360 photo John took with his fancy camera. It is the greenhouse at the Moorten Botanical Garden. I have driven by it dozens of times and never went in. This visit we did.

                                              [untitled] oil on Multimedia Board 12x12

 Another new one and I`m struggling for a title. The big black thing is a root ball of an evergreen that toppled in a windstorm. You see them often in our forests but are they ever called something else? "Root Ball" is not a great title.

                                                                Wil Wheaton

 A friend posted a link on Facebook to an essay by Wil Wheaton on depression. It`s a moving account of his disease when it began in childhood. Mental health is still not given proper respect even though we have mass shootings seemingly daily. Consequently, it`s not diagnosed in kids until they have suffered horribly. My own began in adolescence and it was terrifying. My parents, god bless them, listened to me and did what they could. Viable medications were still many years away so they got me involved with the local art center and I took classes.
 For adults. Like now, the people with time enough to paint are often retired. So I was this frightened kid plopped into a bunch of mostly women elders. They helped save my life as I had never been in such a dark place. Soon I had my role in life and I`ve been grateful for this answered question ever since. It is so unnecessary for children to bear depression anymore. Yes it`s serious medication but it works.
Anxiety and depression often intertwine. If you know an anxious child, ask some questions.

 No one tells me anything! Last I heard Joni Mitchell was on her deathbed clinging to life. I`m mostly repelled by celebrity but she is, or was an important artist. I`ve been hoping she pulls through as I`ve searched in vain for updates.
Looks like she did! And holding hands with David Hockney no less! There`s some good news! Hockney draws as well as anyone but I sure wish he would turn down his color!

                                                               by David Hockney

                                                                 by David Hockney

You never know who`s watching.

                                                           cartoon by Jeff Stahler

paintings in my studio for sale [updated]

prints on Fine Art America


Libby Fife said...

Go "Root Ball!"

I love the desert, the idea of it. I think we may have gone to Tahquitz Canyon several years ago when we were in Palm Springs. I am not a hot weather person but a little warmth would be just fine right now! Glad your new knee and some prudent decisions got you through the water. Rock hopping is dangerous!

You were lucky to have astute parents. Depression and anxiety are insidious conditions which go undiagnosed and untreated. Certainly when I was a kid no one talked about children having issues. You just coped the best you could.

Hope all else is well. Thank you for the post:)

E.M. Corsa said...

I've been looking for news on Joni also; thanks for that. It brought a smile to my face this morning.

Such an alien looking place to me; one I would love to visit.

I love boulders/rocks as much as I do clouds. And I've seen your paintings of them. DO MORE PLEASE!

Mitch said...

For the title, how about "Fallen Giant" or "Did Anyone Hear It?"
Glad to hear you were out of the cold and in such a beautiful warm place. Love the recent work you've been doing,!

Maureen said...

I've just read a book on depression titled 'Lost Connections' by Johann Hari. It's fascinating, science-based, and an easy read. I'd be interested to know what you think of it.

Hockney is moving to France. I agree re his colors. Hard on the eyes!

Unknown said...

Going down there soon, Randall, it's uncanny that we have not bumped into each other yet in real life! The superbloom is taking place about a month earlier (March as compared with April) than I remember but we will be there.

Beautiful painted view of the desert canyons in "The Cloud Lifts off the Mountain"!

RH Carpenter said...

What gorgeous photos! And a lovely painting - root ball, yeah, not quite right. How about earth essence? Since the root ball is the essence of the tree, right? I’m sure it has some botanical name to describe it. Anyway, those photos are just shouting to be painted using your gorgeous color palette :). So sorry you had to suffer from depression and anxiety as a child. I, too, went through a lot of stuff and felt all of it was bad. But how strong it makes one to go through it - I think someone who hasn’t suffered a little isn’t quite whole and, certainly, cannot feel empathy for those who do suffer. So glad you came out the other end but I know depression can lurk inside at all times without good support, love, and lots of art :).