I’m not sure why having Art on the street has become so popular and necessary. It supposedly draws in tourists with their all important tourist dollars. Maybe it is for the locals to admire, or just something to spruce the place up. Well for whatever the real reason might be, there is a lot of art on the streets in my town, at least in certain parts of town.
Wow, is this the latest from a pop artist, like J. Koons? It’s certainly looks to be done in his style. No, it’s merely a prop for a tourist shop and one doesn’t have to make a special trip to a museum to see this. It’s on display every day. (Note the lovely reflections in the window behind this fowl).
How about this interesting hand? Is it part of a gallery display costing big bucks in Santa Fe? No, it’s another bit of street art for a shop.
Surely this is a bit of art? I mean it is reminiscent of the works of both Pop and Surrealist artists. Sorry to disappoint art lovers, it is yet another example of tourist art, designed to draw one into a shop for souvenirs. (You don’t want to forget seeing a Sasquatch on the street and the stop sign surely compels one).
But not to despair, there is actual Art for the intrepid tourist to discover. This artwork has a tiny solar panel at the top so it actually lights up at night (in a sort of Pop meets Surrealist way). And as one can see there were tourists strolling along, so I guess all of this art drew them in.
I like to draw and I like deer (but I don’t really know how to draw them). But there was a ‘photo of the day’ in the newspaper (yes, I read a physical newspaper) recently of a rather nice looking stag, so I decided to try to draw him.
So I made this drawing in my sketchbook with a watercolor pencil and I liked it so well that I decided to do another version of it.
This one was done with watercolor pencil and ink on a postcard. I was going to send it to a friend, but I thought it turned out rather well, and I was afraid that I could never do another one quite as good (probably true).
So I decided to try and draw this image in different ways. Here he is in watercolor and ink with a red stripe outline against a dark background.
And here’s the opposite, a dark deer against a light background. (I don’t really like the way this one turned out, I think I should have used a different color for the light and made the darker bits darker. Oh well, that’s another drawing.)
This was a different sort of image, abstract blobs of color against a pale gray background, outlined in black pen. The antlers are a helpful clue, one can guess that it’s a deer.
I found it interesting to try different ways of doing the same image, and I hope that I learned enough to make another ‘good’ drawing. Perhaps I will send the postcard to someone, someday (but not today). 😉
Spring snows are much different from Winter snows because they are usually quite ephemeral. The overall temperature has started to warm up, and snow doesn’t stick to the roadways as much. But, there was a rather severe blizzard on March 13th this year, which is sort of unusual. There was not a lot of snow, but there was tremendous wind speed, and it was dubbed by meteorologists as a “bomb cyclone”. Which is a fancy way of saying that the atmospheric pressure dropped more than 24 millibars (whatever these are, but apparently it is quite a bad thing), and this intensified the wind. Of course people did not take the warning about the storm seriously and bad things did happen: about a thousand people were stranded in snow drifts along the roads, a friend was in a 44 car pileup, etc.
I could just about see the house across the street, so I was staying home. And I had to dig through a bit of a snowdrift to be able to leave two days later.
Because this was such a huge storm, when the next one approached, people tended to get a bit hysterical about it.
Here’s the morning of the next storm, it was warm and clear, looking to be a beautiful day.
Right on schedule these lovely big snowflakes started to fall. But the blizzard bit failed to materialize here in town, it stayed up north, then moved to the east. This storm was only a “baby bomb”, which really sounds sort of cute and cuddly.
This was the only aftermath to the storm at my house, I had to scrape off the windshield before I could go anywhere, so it was not too bad (much to the disappointment of the local tv newspersons).
I know by now that you are wondering why I bother to stop in at the pub. It’s across town, it’s expensive and it is hard to find a parking place there. But there is an attraction to the place, it is called “The Golden Bee” and every time one stops in the bartender will throw an embroidered bee at one. Now most of the time it is just a regular bee, but they do feature a number of special bees throughout the year. And I try to show up for a pint on those special days.
So this is the very newest bee. In fact I got the first ones that they handed out. They have a big space symposium every year, all sorts of government types and defense contractors show up, so they make this special bee to commemorate the event. I had to get these before the conference started because the place is packed while all these free-spenders show up.
These bees are from: a big conference (they will make a special bee if your event is big enough), St. Patrick’s Day (no green beer is served here), Christmas and the Senior golf tournament from last summer (it was on TV).
This is what I usually do with the bees, I put them on the dashboards of my cars (the rocket bees are from previous Space Symposiums).
They do end up all over the house, these ones are in my sewing room.
And this is the lamp in my bedroom.
And these bees are hanging out in the dining room. There are so many bees in my collection that you might be thinking that I go there an awful lot (really, I don’t). But, these bees represent years and years of stopping in (also it’s a lovely place to take out-of-town guests). So I won’t actually have to go there again until July 4th, Halloween and Christmas. Hopefully by then they will have a new delicious cider on tap. 😉
My faithful dictionary defines pub as an informal British term for a public house; inn; tavern. And there is one actual pub in town, imported from London some years ago. Of course this means that London has been short a pub for many years now. But with the commercialization of real estate in London they lose pubs constantly, so I suppose it is a good thing that this pub landed here where it is appreciated.
These pub fittings were originally shipped off to someplace in New York City, and about 58 years ago they came to rest here in town as part of the fancy hotel. The original pub was rather small, and a few years ago the new owners expanded the place so that they could get more tourists in. Apparently they have evening sing-alongs with a piano player, but in all my years of stopping in I have never been to this (also I have a terrible singing voice).
Here’s a bit of the lovely main bar. There is not an infinity of bars, but there are a lot of mirrors about the place to bring in some light (it is properly dark for some serious drinking).
The antique and the modern sit side by side, the television at the top is almost always turned to a sports channel (yawn). Quite often it is tuned to golf, as the pub is part of the hotel, which also has a golf course nearby.
They have lots of period details to evoke that Olde England experience.
Are these the sort of things one might find in a pub in situ? I doubt it. One might expect to see beer advertising and photos of the patrons perhaps. But this sort of thing does add a certain quaintness to the place, and we are paying extra for this experience.
The Fuller’s tap had this lovely griffon on top, so I asked the barmaid to take a picture of it for me. It perhaps best symbolizes the very nature of this pub, a mishmash of various bits and pieces put together to make a new sort of animal.