Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Zipper

There's a small farm town about a one hour drive southeast from me, and today while out scouting for subjects to paint I came across this little carnival that was part of a "Tomato Festival". This contraption, which I'm certain would do a number to the contents of my stomach, is called the "Zipper". It was colorful enough, but the way the cages flip and turn while the big arm also flips and turns is much better appreciated from the ground.

"The Zipper" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sea Urchins??

They may look like sea urchins but they're really cactus spines. Definitely something you want to stay away from when walking in the desert. I think the little ones are the worst. They're harder to extract and are the proverbial "burr under the blanket" once in your skin.

"Sea Urchins??" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

French Beauties

Answer to last night's Posting - The flower is a clematis. Here's a full shot of a different variety that contains several rows of petals. Tonight's flower was in a wonderful garden in Tremolat, France (in the Dordogne Region of Southwest part of the country).

"French Beauties" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Up Close

Cropping out unnecessary information can create very interesting photos. Can you guess what type of flower this is? Answer tomorrow.

"Up Close" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Spring Blossoms

Living in a warm climate I'm fortunate to see trees and shrubs share their wonderful blooms earlier than most parts of the country. And what I don't find in the desert, I'm only a two hour drive to parts of Southern California that have a wide range of foliage to enjoy.

"Spring Blossoms" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lanterns in the Garden

Today is Chinese New Year's and as we welcome in the Year of the Ox, I remembered this shot I took last year of the red lanterns at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. They were preparing for the grand opening of the new Chinese Garden being added to these spectacular gardens. I have never seen so many huge lanterns at one time, and this was just one small section.

"Lanterns in the Garden" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

15 Minutes of Fame

I just finished doing the three day Southwest Arts Festival here in the Coachella Valley. It's a lot of hard work, creating enough paintings to show the public, setting up the tent, art panels and all the other "stuff" to make your booth look nice. But last year I was chosen as the poster artist and fortunate enough to have my painting appear on a billboard. What a shock when a friend called to tell me. I had no idea. I now have the panel from the billboard rolled up in my garage. Some day I'll find a use for it.

"15 Minutes of Fame" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Orchids in the Hot House

These beautiful white orchids were enjoying perfect surroundings at the Balboa Park conservatory in San Diego. Normally, orchids are in filtered light and I usually am not fortunate enough to capture them with natural sunlight. But on this particular day I was lucky.

"Orchids in the Hot House" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

High Flyin' Pony

I spent most of the afternoon setting up for an art festival on turf that is normally used by these lovely creatures, polo ponies. It's amazing the transformation from a battle field of thundering hooves to 270 tented booths of artists and their beautiful creations. So for this weekend, it'll be a lot quieter without the polo ponies.

"High Flyin' Pony" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shiny Spurs

I spotted these beautiful spurs while in Los Olivos visiting a friend. I've often wondered, does the horse know how pretty your spurs are and does that make him respond in a more kindly manner than if you're wearing plain spurs?

"Shiny Spurs" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Proud to be an American

No matter what your party affiliation, you must admit that today's ceremonies along with the pomp and circumstance was awesome. It's not often in one's lifetime that we have the opportunity to see a historical moment such as this.

I think it's so appropriate that this flag flies over the fort "El Morro" in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Discovered in 1493 by Columbus, the island was under Spanish rule when the fort was started in 1497 so it's probably the oldest structure in the New World flying the American flag.

"Proud to be an American" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Sunset

I must admit that living in the desert offers some pretty spectacular scenery. We don't get a lot of clouds out our way, but tonight, as I was leaving Staples, I spotted this beautiful sunset. The clouds rarely make it over those tall mountains in the west and I'm sure these were a long way out there, but combined with the setting sun and the palm tree silhouette, the red sky was a knock out.

"Winter Sunset" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mexican Bath Time

Pigeons taking a bath have been the subject for many of my photos. I don't plan it that way, I just seem to come upon them and naturally take pictures. These lovelies were in Puerta Vallarta enjoying the warm sun on a December afternoon.

"Mexican Bath Time" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Hat for Any Need

This haberdasher's in Santa Fe had every type of hat you could possibly want. Note the Tom Mix/Hopalong Cassidy style hat on the left. I personally like the red one with the beautiful beaded roses.

"A Hat for Any Need" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Looking for Dinner

This pelican patiently waited on the dock hoping to spot a tidbit for his next dinner. He flew off shortly after I took this shot so I hope he was successful.

"Looking for Dinner" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chinese Lantern Wannabes

When I spotted these in Bermuda I immediately thought they were a plant commonly called "Chinese Lanterns". Turns out they're not. That's the challenge with trying to identify plants by their flowers. Professional protocol starts with leaf structure since many plants have similar flowers. By the way, I still don't have the name for this unique plant.

"Chinese Lantern Wannabes" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Japanese Garden

It's still feeling like Spring here so why not continue the mood. This shot was taken last year at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom as was the rest of the garden.

"Japanese Garden" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Beginning of Spring

We've had unusually warm weather, about 83 degrees today, which makes it feel like Spring. For some reason, everyone seems to think we need to have lots of non-native flowers and the Iceland Poppy is a popular choice. I must admit they are extremely colorful and vibrant when an entire bed is planted with the full range of colors. Everything from pale yellows and peaches to vibrant oranges and deep yellows makes quite a statement when seen from a distance.

"Beginning of Spring" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tonight's Moon

I missed getting a photo of the full moon the other night when it was at it's fullest for 2009, well, actually, I tried but couldn't get the camera settings right. But thanks to my photographer friends I did it!!! I mean, I am amazed that I was able to get the craters with my small digital camera. Guess it pays to read the manual and know a little about how to make adjustments.

"Tonight's Moon" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Goosey, Goosey, Gander

I was at a friend's house the other day when this conga line of Canadian geese goes by on the golf course. We joke about the "snowbirds" that flock to our pristine valley during the winter months to soak up the warmth of the suns rays, but these literally are snowbirds.

"Goosey, Goosey, Gander" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Too Many People

August is not the month to visit Venice. Just look at all the people in St. Mark's Square. All of Europe goes on vacation in August and I think they all wound up in Venice. This is definitely "standing room only".

"Too Many People" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gaudi Chimneys

Antonio Gaudi, a famous Barcelona architect from the early 1900s, created these delightful chimney tops for an apartment building he designed. No two are alike and there must be over 20 chimneys on this roof.

"Gaudi Chimneys" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not Monet's Waterlilies

Earlier this year, while visiting the newly renovated Getty Villa in Malibu, I spotted these waterlilies. A favorite of Claude Monet, who designed his gardens at Giverny, France to accommodate them, these lilies pale by comparison. Although nicely focused as a landscape feature, there were very few compared to the large pond of them Monet used as inspiration for many paintings.

"Not Monet's Waterlilies" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All Lined Up

I was scouting a local painting venue for an up coming workshop and came across this pool scene. This is classic Palm Springs. The way it used to be. Located at Smoke Tree Ranch, the atmosphere is a like taking a walk back in time. The cabana with the lounge chairs perfectly lined up, ready for tomorrow's sunbathers.

"All Lined Up" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Waiting for a Fare

This colorful driver sat patiently waiting for his next passengers in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I was fortunate to see this beautiful historic district the year before hurricane Katrina hit.

"Waiting for a Fare" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shall We Kiss?

Several years ago I was in the Bahama Islands. While there, I visited the local botanical garden/zoo. It lays claim to having the only "flock" of trained flamingos. Well.... they did get them to do a few things, not exactly what I'd call tricks, but interesting nonetheless. I was able to capture these two in a heart shaped pose.

"Shall We Kiss?" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Venetian Chimneys

I love the chimneys in Venice. All different. Each one very unique in it's design and everyone of them charming.

"Venetian Chimneys" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Afternoon Delight

I spotted this beautiful camellia late one afternoon in Descanso Gardens (near Pasadena) and could feel the glow as the late day sun penetrated the petals. A winter/spring flower, the camellia doesn't grow too well in our desert climate. Thankfully I'm but a two hour drive to spectacular "forests" of this delightful flower in two venerable gardens. The Descanso and the Huntington Gardens both boast 30 foot tall groves of a wide variety of this dramatic blossom.

"Afternoon Delight" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Two-toned Columbine

Today is the start of a new year and this spectacular columbine, full of life and color, represents the beautiful outlook we should have for ourselves. I have a saying which is very appropriate to begin 2009 with..... "If your inner being is happy, life brings you many rewards".

"Two-toned Columbine" © Kathy Dunham 2009