Sonoran Scenery

Tucson cacti

Tucson cacti say hello

I recently got back from a trip to Arizona where I checked out Phoenix (good tacos), Sedona (amazing rocks) and Tucson (cacti everywhere). Of the three, I liked Tucson the best. They say Tucson is the "Austin of Arizona" and I can see why. It's a mid-sized university town, relatively progressive, and sunny most of the time. Even with the sun, the Sonoran desert is surprisingly green. I enjoyed taking photos and sketching the diverse plant and animal life there.

I've been slowly chipping away at the art. It's been more challenging than I anticipated to create complex art pieces. But I'm figuring it out and I feel that I'm on the right path. I have a few pieces in the works that I hope to have done by early next year.

Misha Mars work in progress

Some work in progress...

  • In between Phoenix and Sedona is an aging 70s utopia called Arcosanti started by Italian architect Paolo Soleri. It was fascinating to see his futuristic concepts come to life. His plan was to curb suburban sprawl by building UP. 
  • Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home where he taught architectural students during the cooler months. The school recently moved to Cosanti and Arcosanti because of clashes with the Frank Lloyd Wright foundation. 
  • Jacob Hashimoto makes mini kites and then paints them to form complex art installations. 
  • Jen Stark creates psychedelic sculptures using bright colors and multiple layers of paper, metal, and acrylic. 
  • Stanley Whitney paints abstract blocks of color. You can see the Roman architecture influence in his work from his time spent in Italy.
  • I'm enjoying Robert Greene's Mastery. He uses entertaining stories from history to inspire you to keep working on your own mastery journey. 
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami explores the relationship between physical activity and mental stamina.
  • Some call Foundation a beautiful screen saver but I'm really enjoying it. It's a departure from the books because they had to make a lot of changes to adapt it to the screen. 
  • Home has some great interviews with architects and independent home builders. I especially liked the Hong Kong architect who creates modular apartments and the house that was built inside of a greenhouse.

I learned it on my own, the pay-as-you-go method. It takes a lot of time to acquire a skill this way... but what you learn sticks with you.
—Haruki Murakami
Engaged in the creative process we feel more alive than ever, because we are making something and not merely consuming... In doing this work, we are in fact creating ourselves.
—Robert Greene

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