I want you to know I was a Mesa High School Jackrabbit. Forget the Tigers, Lions and Hornets. I'm a jackrabbit. This guy took a 15 minute grooming break while I shot many photos on my iPhone.
Coming into Phoenix, Arizona. My humble beginnings. Each time I return I am a new version of myself; older, wiser, more in love with life.
I finally shot some of the motel signs along Main Street in Mesa. Shot them in Toy Camera, that is.
These signs were here when I was a 12 year old baton twirler with the East Mesa Jr. High marching band. We marched in a parade behind people in Western regalia riding horses.
While we were in Arizona this time the heat was between 101 degrees and 107. It was wonderful; thank goodness for air conditioning.
We visited the Heard Museum and as I walked into a Navajo hogan tears splashed down my face. I love this Valley of the Sun, despite painful memories growing up here and a fierce desire to escape.
I was always wrong for this place. Wrong religion, wrong political persuasion. The only way I fit in was with the diversity of cultures. I always loved the mixing of peoples: tribal, hispanic, anglo. A rich soup of color and flavor. The passion stirred well into the stoicism.
How many times have I eaten here and with how many companions? This restaurant has been here since 1960 or so. Their cheese and onion red enchiladas are perfection.
Of course we visited the house I grew up in and that my family owned for 42 years. It is in the heart of the barrio now sheltering a new generation of desert dwellers.
Okay, enough memory lane. A huge part of the experience for me. And remember how I said this would be my last year to teach in Arizona? Pah! I take it back. I'll submit again next year. It was so much beyond my expectations in terms of rich reward. The people at Art Unraveled filled my cup to overflowing.
So the first class I taught was "Stencil Self Portraits" and the classroom lighting and my haste led to some dodgy photos so please look past that and appreciate the work that came out of the students.
We worked from photographs of ourselves or our family. But mostly of ourselves.
The last thing we did was a coat of wax medium to glow and help integrate the elements.
Some people (hi Maija!) did more than one piece.
I also said I wouldn't teach stenciling again because of the chance of a windy day but when I see results like these I can't help but want to endure the concern.
Home again for less than a week and then off on another adventure. I have 2 more classes to report on and lots of laundry waiting. Oh, and the e-mails? sheesh! I'm off at a run. Be well and thanks for stopping by.