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Fall…memories….

It was probably a Sunday, because it usually was…September 23 of two years ago…hiking in the mountains of Little Cottonwood Canyon, just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah…the Wasatch Mountains in Fall.  I would say that it feels like a lifetime ago…with so many changes since then, but it was in my life…then…consistently, richly…and now it is in memories only.

Fall memories in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, 2012

City Paint Phoenix 2 – Hair Pollution

It’s been a few weeks since I started the City Paint Phoenix series, but here’s the second installment…all images were taken the same morning as the first of the series, City Paint Phoenix 1 – “Old Man Phoenix.”  I don’t have a single image of the entire mural, as I would have had to stand a couple of dozen feet further away, and doing so would have brought me fully into the morning sun, so please try to imagine these first six images linked together from left to right, and you’ll have the entire mural.  This piece of art is on the west-facing wall of a salon named, “Hair Pollution,” at 1524 E McDowell Road in Phoenix proper.  I’m not sure how long the mural has been on this wall, but I found various links to it on-line, dating from 2012…when the paint was much less faded by the Arizona sun.

The second collection of photographs are close-ups or isolation shots of the various components, elements of the greater mural that struck me as significant in their singularity and caused me to wonder at how and why they might or could be related in such a way that would cause the artist, Joerael Julian Elliott, to combine them in this presentation.  By the way, if you follow the link to the artist’s website, you’ll find (among other fantastic and wonderful things) a photo of the mural in its full form if you click on the “Public, and then the “Street” tabs.  Also, please remember that you can click on any image to be taken to a slide-show that provides an even closer look at each photograph.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this second showing in the series of City Paint Phoenix…a representation of some of the street and building art that I’ve found during my commute and wanderings in my new and old home of Phoenix, Arizona, USA.  If you’d like to see earlier postings, from both Phoenix and Salt Lake City, you can scroll to the bottom of this page and find the Categories widget…click on Street Art – Graffiti, and you’ll be taken to a continuous scroll of those earlier posts.  Thank you for visiting….

field work

There was a time when I wondered why it was called “field work,” but I never asked about it, and after a while, it didn’t matter.  It became one of those words that just was, it represented things that were both inside and outside of its clear meaning; it was a job thing that those who did the work knew about and those who didn’t might wonder about for a while and then not, after the conversation or topic was discussed or reviewed, or maybe not…it came to be understood for what it was, we were out of the office looking for people…out in the field, sometimes literally, literally out in or near the fields, maybe sometimes just driving past them, watching brown skinned people bent over in their labors plucking and pulling some vegetable or other from the irrigated desert something, hauling it in sacks, placing it in waxed and sun-warmed boxes that lay in rows between the rows, becoming heavy with their loads of that some thing or other…and sometimes I’d pass other fields and become so transfixed with what grew there that I had to pull over and get out and look at them, at it, at what was growing there, to ponder those things up close and with my flesh and senses in a way that I could never do sitting behind a desk or absorbing intended meanings by reading someone else’s printed words about what they had beheld out there on the side of the road when they were there…watching harvested carrots tumble from a truck into a bin and then carried loudly away on a conveyor belt into a tin-covered shed with blue-jeaned and white-shirted black-haired young men scurrying about…intentional, purposeful in their scurrying as fighter jets from the nearby air base passed, screaming loudly overhead…jet noise, the sound of freedom.

These became my fields, my stretches of irrigated and corrugated earth that smelled like a warm and freshly opened bag of sour-cream and onion potato chips when the onions were being harvested, or expanses of red and pink and yellow and white blossoms lying restless in the breeze atop their green bushes of rose leaf and thorn that stretched to a near horizon of Phoenix’s western desert, or the rows and rows upon more of the same of white cotton bolls rich against their brown and dried plants of late summer, soft and marvelous in my gentle and searching fingers, waiting to be harvested by rolling machines that were loose from chains and whips and had drivers with air-conditioned cabins and cup-holders…rolling, plucking, chopping and raising the desert dust again to fly perpetually away in the breeze and gone…they became my fields that live in my memories and my printed words…and maybe even in my heart, as these things sometimes do.

I was back in the field again the other day in the place where I started doing this county-level work so many years ago…and while I did drive past fields and fields, some sown and most fallow or raw in their desert form, most of my time was spent in the figurative field of city streets and neighborhoods, apartment complexes, and doctors’ offices, visiting and searching, finding some people and taking a small tube of their life’s blood from them, finding another some by going door to door in an apartment complex asking, do you know Tom, do you know Tom, I’m looking for Tom, have you seen Tom today…not finding some other people, but finding people who knew them, people who loved and dreaded their homecomings when they get out of jail this weekend, people whose lived lives are worn in their tired and wrinkled faces and hands, in their faded tattoos that spoke of prior affiliations or devotions…of tears shed for lovers and sons who were sent away, and in the sweaty palms of anxious little sisters and daughters who carried their futures in their swollen bellies and were shyly proud of being the only one who had never been to jail…they wore those lives on their persons and in their slurred and whispered words that echo still in fresh memories that are only a few hours old and are reminders yet of other fields and visits…and other found and unfound people.

Verde River Canoes

It is near amazing to my green and mountain-loving heart to see such greenery smack-dab in the middle of the Arizona desert, but there it is.  I made this image from the bridge crossing the river during the same excursion with my little one in which we were not allowed to share the trail with the uncompromising rattlesnake….  Wishing a happy Friday to everyone…..

Verde River Canoes

the fecund mother?

another rendering of archetypal mother…maybe…that’s what I thought, anyway, when I came upon this pine cone nestled into the curve of an old branch on the forest floor

enveloped pinecone

desert rain….

the storm from the other night started with only the massing of clouds that covered the stars and then the quiet flashing of lightning in the dark eastern sky

within the passing of ninety minutes or more, or less, the rain was blowing sideways onto the bedroom windows and sliding glass door and there were striking flashes of blue-white light and delayed or immediate crashes of thunder that I could feel rumbling in the bed posts

when I looked outside I could see the rain coming down in a torrent from the street-light-lit sky and hear the thrashing of the wind and rain against the house

I cannot say how long it lasted, as I fell back to sleep while it was still underway

in the morning I found the feeble sun shining weakly through some lower clouds and only a few patches of barely blue sky

moments later, the clouds had lowered and the sky was covered with a pewter thickness

the air was wet and cool and carried the scent of a rain-washed desert in its breezes

it was heavy laden with creosote and wet leaves and grasses that had pooled in delta-like triangles and linear forms of sediment along the raceways of temporary streams that ran in the desert night

on my walk along the desert trail, I found those leaves and seeds and twigs and other desert-floor detritus collected in large swaths of poultice-like gatherings and saw the sand in its colors drawn in lines and slides of black and brown in the shapes of tiny gone rivers from the night’s collected rain

it looked like an ocean’s beach after the tide has gone out or after the ever waves have receded each in their cycle and turn, lines and drawn angles and arrows of black grains pulled over and through the surface of the deeper gray-brown sand of the desert’s bed

the quail were fewer in number that morning, as were the wild rabbits that I usually see…only one was out with his white tail and long pink-tan ears, hastily retreating into the desert there

no lizards raced across the trail and into the scrub beneath the trees and fresh washed bushes along the way, but the ants were out in their multitudes, opening their flooded caverns again, collecting the blown and washed seeds and stems from their surround…after the desert rain

City Paint Phoenix 1 – “Old Man Phoenix” at the Garfield Galleria

If you’ve been following or visiting my blog for the past few years, you will likely remember the City Paint series of posts that featured street art, graffiti, and building art that I found during my explorations of Salt Lake City, Utah.  As you might also remember, I am no longer in Salt Lake, as my family and I have returned to Phoenix, Arizona….

In an effort to re-establish or re-orient myself in the locale and to introduce you to a bit of my new and old home town, I will begin sharing similar artwork that I find during my official and unofficial wanderings of Phoenix’s neighborhoods.  I offer those two categories of wanderings for anyone interested, only to state that part of my responsibilities with my new (and old) employment here in this pan of desert is to venture into the wide city and county looking for individuals who might need to visit our clinic for one reason or another.  During my searchings for street addresses and hang-outs, in addition to my lengthy commute to and from my workplace (and occasional recreational and photography-oriented explorations), I can’t help but notice the markings and decorations of buildings and alley walls that I pass along the way.

While I have noticed a striking difference in the style of art between the Phoenix and Salt Lake City offerings (although not necessarily with this first post), I still find the Phoenix art to be as creatively compelling and worthy of respectful consideration…for not only is it born of artistic minds and hands, it is also wrought with a richness of symbol and story and meaning that is so much greater than the simple results of the stroke of a brush or spraying of a can of paint.

So…please join me in this new venture of appreciating the street art, graffiti, and building art of Phoenix, Arizona, USA…as you have joined me in Salt Lake City.  This first selection is from the side of a building at the Garfield Galleria…316 West McDowell Road in Phoenix proper.

Garfield Galleria

If you’re interested, you can read more about the Garfield Galleria at this link…and if you’d like to check-out the artist, Coxy, you can click on his name to be taken to the street art page on his web-site.  If you venture beyond that linked page to learn more about him, be fore-warned that some of his work is rather graphic…body parts…etc.

Garfield Galleria Face

As always, thank you for joining me here at Scott’s Place…for visiting and sharing a bit of your time with me…and if you’d like to see more from my City Paint series, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Street Art – Graffiti under the Categories widget.

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