In 2009, my sister visited me in Arizona, and we went to the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. I used to have a lot more photos at higher resolution, but many of my photos from the early 2000s were victims of a transitional period where I made some mistakes with photo storage. So, here are the seven survivors from that amazing exhibit of glassworks in a desert environment that was in full bloom for spring. The glasswork was gorgeous during the day but also impressive when it was lit up after sunset.
This is the last day of my acquaintance with the state of Arizona. Tomorrow morning, I will be on an airplane traveling thousands of miles away.
I thought about writing out the complex series of events that led to my relocating to the southwest two decades ago, and all that happened since. About the epic thunderstorms and the thirty-three-hour hellride that kicked off this chapter of my life in brutal fashion. About all the wonderful adventures, musical collaborations, friendships, and romances I enjoyed in Arizona. About the losses and disappointments and tragedies. About the unexpected successes and abject failures.
Then I realized we’d be here all damn month before I even got properly started, and I have a plane to catch! So instead, I commemorate this day with Sinéad O’Connor’s hauntingly beautiful song about her divorce, because she says more about how I feel right now in a handful of verses than I could express in a hundred thousand words of written history.
Goodbye, Arizona. I enjoyed the best years of my life with you. I loved your weather, the friends you brought me, and the opportunities to achieve and experience more in my thirties and forties than I thought possible after my chaotic twenties. I’m sorry it got so shitty at the end. We both deserved better.
Inspiration for Sedona Sunset comes from the color of the sky and mountains in the Arizona desert in the last glow from the sun setting behind them. Deep violets, blues, purples, and Payne’s grey express both the natural splendor and the warmth of this popular Arizona destination.
Renowned for its scenic views and spiritual vibe, Sedona attracts many seekers and explorers. Yet, its ancient hills, streams, and rock formations give it a timeless quality that endures long after its visitors move on.
The edges all around this 1.5 in. deep professional wood frame are fully painted and varnished, making this piece attractive from any point of view, without an additional frame. Numerous coats of high-gloss acrylic varnish give it a glassy finish and bring out the brightness in its dark but vibrant tones.
It’s hard to believe we came to Phoenix nearly ten years ago now. That first season, we had a lot of time on our hands and a limited but fixed income for a few months. We squandered that time wantonly doing two things: sightseeing around Arizona and reading endless stacks of comic books from the Burton Barr public library. Here are some shots of places along the state roads we wandered that season.