Back in the Saddle: BSOz Rides Again!

Hello? Anyone out there? (Should I pipe in Adele’s Hello for appropriate thematic music?!?) I know it’s been many months since I last sat at my computer to compose a blog post. Many things have happened in that interval. My husband and I packed up and sold our home in Northern California. Our new outpost is the Phoenix area of Arizona. Why not? Change is good, albeit temporarily disorienting.

Desert Botanical Gardens: Saguaros

I’ve had many mini moments to share, but never quite got to the composition phase. Today, Monday, is a writing day. I’d like to share a beautiful spot I’ve come to enjoy here in Arizona, the Desert Botanical Garden. The collection of desert flora and fauna completely blows away the idea that a desert environment is lifeless. Sure at summer’s peak, it’s a tough place to survive, but the adaptations to the arid climate are surprisingly lush, green, and vibrant. I’m always amazed by the desert’s greenness–no, it’s not the intense emerald of the British Isles, but it’s its own shade of wonderful.

Desert Botanical Garden: a relaxing vignette

Here’s the photogenic Queen Victoria Agave. I’m not sure why it’s got a royal title, but does grow like a crown.

Desert Botanical Gardens: Queen Victorian Agave

While strolling through the gardens I came across a gallery opening for Dyana Hesson’s paintings. Wow! She’s a master of catching sunlight and her brushstrokes are so clean and precise. Dazzling, dazzling paintings!

Desert Botanical Garden: Dyana Hesson exhibit

Here’s her show biography–I admit I got a little lazy here with the documentation and photographed it for you.

Desert Botanical Gardens: Bio of Dyana Hesson

Now tell me, does painting called That Way call to mind the work of a renowned quilt maker? I see Jane Sassaman’s jagged edges and lovely curves.

Desert Botanical Gardens: Dyana Hesson's That Way

Now this painting is one of my favorites for capturing the grayed green common to desert plants. Plus Hesson focuses on the juxtaposition of vegetation with dangerous jagged edges and a tender colorful blossom. The painting is called Beauty and the Beast.

Desert Botanical Gardens: Dyana Hesson's Beauty and the Beast

This series of photos builds to a spectacular painting called Sakes Alive, There’s Five!, a depiction of freshly bloomed cactus flowers. This may be a bucket list item for me:  find/buy the cactus plant that blooms with these beauty-queen-worthy blossoms. In the first photo I wanted to show you Hesson’s precision painting.

Desert Botanical Gardens: Dyana Hesson's Sake's Alive There's Five

Look at the way the light falls on the petals. Wow!

Desert Botanical Gardens: Dyana Hesson's Sake's Alive There's Five

Are you ready for the whole image? Here she is, Sakes Alive, There’s Five! I could handle installing such a lovely painting in my home. Could I afford it? Nah. (The painting is very large, but here in WordPress, it’s coming up smaller than the detail shots. Oh well . . . )

Desert Botanical Gardens: Dyana Hesson's Sake's Alive There's Five

Dyana Hesson’s paintings typically start with photographs. With smart phones at the ready, we are indeed one step closer to creating our own artwork in paint or fabric.

Desert Botanical Gardens: Purple prickly pear cactus

Here are a couple of cacti that have purple and reddish varieties. The one above is a prickly pear (another future purchase for my cactus-garden-in-the-making), but I’m not sure of the name of the variety embedded below–it’s a tall one though at 8 to 10 feet.

Desert Botanical Gardens: Cactus

Now here’s something fun. I’ve been to the garden 3 times now and have seen a roadrunner twice. Beep-beep! Road runners are wonderful to watch as they really do call to mind the the coyote’s famous foe in Looney Toons cartoons, but they are much prettier with striking plumage patterns and head comb. I am a fan!

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 9.41.16 AM

Regards from Arizona! I do have it in mind to be a more regular correspondent, stop by!

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4 Comments

Filed under About, Inspirations, Places

4 responses to “Back in the Saddle: BSOz Rides Again!

  1. Mary Nyberg

    Welcome to the Valley. I hope you love it as much as we do! Also, thank you for being a wonderful contributor to the quilt world we love.

    Like

    • Jennifer

      Hello Mary! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. So, where do you shop for quilting fabric? Are you going to the AQS show? I’ve been to Modern Quilting and another shop near Scottsdale Airport.

      Like

  2. Hi Jennifer,
    Eric and I lived in Phoenix for about 5 years in the early 80’s and we loved it. Looks like you are off to a great start in your new home, exploring and learning about the flora. Best wishes

    Like

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