my yesterday   12 comments

Posted at 1:04 pm in Arizona,Art,being alone,birds,desert,friends

the completed “Nevermore Cat” painting

Back to some chronological leaping around. A couple of days ago, I added to the account of our November travels through Utah. Today, I’m jumping forward to yesterday. I would like to share some photos taken over the past forty-eight hours, illustrating what the dogs and I did in lieu of celebrating christmas. The night before last, I presented good friends with a 12 x 16 inch canvas of the “Nevermore Cat”. As most of you know, it is based on Paul Gauguin’s 1897 painting Nevermore. In 2008, I had created a smaller version on some canvas board, but decided to make a larger version on a stretched canvas, this time working from a better photograph of their cat. My friends were surprised and pleased when I handed over the finished painting. (Note: Click on all photos for larger views).

an unusually deserted view of Main Street in Bisbee

Yesterday, I spent the morning working around the place and then playing guitar for awhile. Around noon, a friend called to ask if I might like to go for a walk around town. I’m always game for that as Bisbee is a place unlike any other. For those who harbor an appreciation of art, architecture, building materials, texture, and history, there is much to see. I never fail to see something new each time I go for a stroll with my camera. Yesterday proved to be especially nice as there were so few people out and about. That’s a rare thing as there are usually dozens of tourists wandering around the streets on any given day.

giant fly-on-the-wall above the entrance of the Sam Poe Gallery

My friend and I are both art and architecture junkies, so our attention was drawn to stone, tile and ironwork, old doors and windows, cast-iron manhole covers, metal rain gutters, crumbling concrete walls, graffiti, hand-painted signs and lettering on brickwork, and a bunch of other stuff that I can’t even begin to go into here.

large panel of an agave and kangaroo rats

As mentioned, each time I wander around town, I see something that I’ve never noticed before. Yesterday’s coup was the above panel of an agave and kangaroo rats, and its twin, a panel of a yucca and a horned lizard.

ironwork gate and figures by Benjamin Dale

For some time, I’ve been meaning to stop and photograph the wonderful gate and figures created by metal sculptor, Benjamin Dale. If you have spent any amount of time walking around Bisbee, you will have encountered his work. More examples can be found on his website.

Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw

Our afternoon walk-and-photo session was cut short when we ran into friends who were heading over to Whitewater Draw to visit the Sandhill Cranes. My friend and I decided to join them, tossed our binoculars and cameras into the van, and made the short drive to the playa where the cranes gather between foraging forays. On this occasion, they were on the east side of the playa, affording a very good view. We remained for an hour or so before heading back to town. I arrived home in time for my evening walk-about with the dogs before making our dinner – leftover stir-fry from the previous night. Not your traditional holiday fare, but then, who keeps track of this kind of thing anymore? Not I.

Sage looking over the garden gate

Written by bev wigney on December 26th, 2010

12 Responses to 'my yesterday'

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  1. Hi, Bev!

    I was thinking about you yesterday, wondering how you would spend the day. I’m delighted – thank you so much for sharing it with us! Your painting of the Nevermore Cat is wonderful – would have surprised Gauguin. It has all the rich beauty of colour and pattern of Gauguin’s painting, and the cat’s distant gaze matches that of his young woman.

    Neat to see some of the treasures of that interesting town Bisbee – wish I could see it myself!
    Wishing you a healthy, creative 2011, Bev!

    Aleta Karstad

    26 Dec 10 at 1:41 pm

  2. Looks like a wonderful way to spend Christmas day, bev. I love seeing Bisbee like that, quiet and deserted. The local art works are really quite beautiful, creative and imaginative. Very cool stuff. There’s something about the town that seems very much like you. I don’t even know why I say that, since I’ve never met you, but when I see these photos, they give me a sense that you feel at home. And to have Sand Hill Cranes as part of the day, well, that’s just the best gift!

    The Nevermore Cat is totally excellent!

    robin andrea

    26 Dec 10 at 4:15 pm

  3. Sandhill Cranes have alluded me these 57 yrs of my life–Im not sure how Ive allowed that, but it gives me so much to look forward to–one day seeing them lift up wings a flappin, long legs dangling then streamlining themselves into airborne torpedoes and taking to the air–
    BISBEE looks to be a super spot to live–has that old western looking flavor with the buildings being close together, and the art galleries would be right down my alley–
    Is the painting oil, acrylics? A fine Job, I love to draw and paint my subject is usually Ponies n horses–Thats a great view is that from your winter rental?


    26 Dec 10 at 4:32 pm

  4. Aleta – Thanks regarding my painting and the well wishes! I always think of how much my friends and family would enjoy this town. A few have been down to visit. Too bad it is such a long way from my northern home!

    robin – It was a good day for me. Different than how most people spend christmas, but it was actually more the way I prefer to things to be – quiet and low key. I think you’re right about the town – it does feel like home to me – almost more than any other place I have ever stayed.

    Sondra – Yes, you must get to see Sandhill Cranes somewhere. Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico would be one good place, but the area from Willcox playa down to Whitewater Draw here in Arizona is also excellent. Yes, the cat painting is in acrylics. They are my favourite medium as I like paint that dries quickly, has very little odor, and cleans up with water. I sometimes work in watercolors, inks or pastels, but acrylics feel the most comfortable to me. And yes, the photo of Sage was shot in the garden looking down the canyon from the house where I spend the winter. It’s a wonderful view.

    bev wigney

    26 Dec 10 at 5:04 pm

  5. What a fabulous way to spend Christmas, and what a wonderful place to spend it! I’m glad you had a great day, Bev. One day, we may visit the town while you’re in Bisbee. It would be nice to have the opportunity to compare my virtual perception of you with the real thing. I have a strong sense there would be very little disconnect. Like Robin, I think I know you, though we’ve never met.


    26 Dec 10 at 7:14 pm

  6. John – Yes, I thought it was a nice way to spend the day seeing as I am alone. No point staying in when there is good stuff to go out and see! (-:
    You should definitely come and visit. Kind of a long drive, but not much of a flight to Tucson. Well, the door is always open should you ever decide to trip on out here.

    bev wigney

    26 Dec 10 at 8:11 pm

  7. A lovely way to spend Christmas! Your painting is such a nice gift – lucky friend. Nice shots of the city – a place I knew nothing about until you introduced me in your blogging. We don’t always do traditional holiday activities on Christmas Day. In fact, we canceled our plans and stayed home and watched a documentary on Yellowstone wolves. We napped after eating delicious food which had no theme whatsoever! Lazyyyy.


    26 Dec 10 at 11:49 pm

  8. Hey bev. After reading I feel like I spent the day with you. I too love to just explore the beauty around me, sometimes man-made, other times natural, found art. I wish I had your talent. I used to paint when I was very young, but gave up long ago. As soon as this rainy season ends I’ll get started on my gardening. Right now my back yard is an open canvas. Sort of like how my life feels at times.

    Best wishes to you. One of these days I’ll have to get to Bisbee myself



    28 Dec 10 at 7:53 pm

  9. Sky – Watching a documentary on Yellowstone wolves sounds rather nice! These days, I don’t mind the odd lazy day too.

    Dan – I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ll be doing with the yard at your new place. Yes, I know what you mean about your life feeling like an open canvas. Mine feels like that too sometimes. Best wishes to you too, and yup, you should try to get to Bisbee some time. It’s a very interesting little town and if I happen to be here, the door is always open!

    bev wigney

    29 Dec 10 at 12:54 am

  10. All lovely, Bev, and I am drawn at once to the cranes. Lifelong crane lover that I am, I sometimes think that I might have been a crane in a previous life. I loved the pic of Sage at the gate too. Happy New Year to you and Sabrina and Sage….


    29 Dec 10 at 5:18 pm

  11. OH just tripped back over to see what your response on the medium used was and I totally agree with the acrylics as my favorite also. When you mentioned Bosque del APache NWR I thought it sounded familiar and checked my Bucket List book and there it is on page 2…I am adding Willcox-Whitewater Draw to that list also…the Crane and the Road Runner are 2 MUST SEE that I always seem to just miss–so gotta see them.


    6 Jan 11 at 10:22 am

  12. Sondra – I stopped at Bosque del Apache NWR on my way south this time, but found a lot of people there and decided not to do the “driving tour” that winds through the reserve. The Willcox-Whitewater Draw area is a very different kind of place. During the day, the cranes fly out to forage in the area – there is a lot of range land and irrigated pastures in the Sulphur Springs Valley, so they have many good places to forage. You can watch them flying out and returning to the playas at certain times of the day. During the day, you will see them flying in circles up overhead, or foraging down in the pastures along the roads in the valley. The actual viewing area is on BLM lands. Whitewater Draw has a sort of lagoon system where you can park and then walk along high berms to view the cranes and also ducks, geese and others. There are usually some Vermillion Flycatchers hunting from perches along one area of the berms. It’s a nice quiet area and many local people as well as visitors, come there to stroll or walk their dogs on the trail along the berms around the lagoons. If you happen to go, check out the hay barn that is now used as a picnic area. There are often one of two Great Horned Owls sitting up in the rafters. Also, there is a grove of trees west of the barn where one can sometimes find Barn Owls. As for Road Runners, they are seen quite a bit in the whole Sulphur Springs Valley area. I pretty much always see a few when I drive from here (Bisbee) over to Chiricahua Nat. Monument. I’ve also found their footprints around the house when we’ve had a bit of snow in winter. Good luck in getting to see the cranes and road runners! (-:

    bev wigney

    6 Jan 11 at 10:50 am

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