Cool Blue River

June 11, 2016 at 11:50 am | Posted in Art Studio | Leave a comment
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The River by Joan Desmond

©Joan Desmond, The River.

Insert Catchy Title Here

December 27, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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for this post about a body of work. An unfinished body of work it is. Yet, today I’m having trouble seeing the beginning, and the parts that came after. All because I couldn’t remember when, when, when, I painted this acrylic.

Day/Night by Joan Desmond, acrylic on canvas 24" x 30".

©Joan Desmond, Day/Night. Acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″.

I recall the name Day/Night. It’s about opposites in many ways. The visual thinking I see and recall easily. It was a time of exploring tensions between geometric and organic, of the vertical and horizontal, color polarities, all that stuff. When was that?  For me, painting is usually a process that morphes into something else with a little of the old, and a bit of a new direction.  There are breakthrough works, exploring works and new direction works, it’s always ongoing when the immersion is there. But the dates don’t stick.

You’d think I’d have records. Surely I have records somewhere. It wasn’t the only undated, unrecorded, un-moored painting I found while looking around. This would not be an issue if one documents things. So that’s the catchy title angle. Document, date, ’cause you forget. You forget so much. The sanity you save may be your own.

Winter Lights

December 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Art Studio | Leave a comment
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Winter Lights 2015 by Joan Desmond

©2015, Joan Desmond, Winter Lights.


September 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Poetry | Leave a comment
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 Shine by Joan Desmond

© Joan Desmond, Shine.



Within a universe

of a trillion stars

I breathe, therefore I am

I think, I’m a thinker

I love, I’m a lover

I walk, I’m a walker

I stumble

I fall

I rise


Within a universe

of a trillion stars

I sing, I’m a singer

I dance, I’m a dancer

I drum, I’m a drummer

I paint, I’m a painter

I stumble

I fall

again I rise



the soul knows

when I started

where I traveled

how I came

to this

brief twinkle

Within a universe

of a trillion stars


-Joan Desmond 2015

Are You Well Versed?

April 15, 2013 at 10:23 am | Posted in Art Studio, Poetry | Leave a comment
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Microscopic by Joan Desmond 2013

©2013, Joan Desmond, Microscopic.

We are halfway through National Poetry Month, which highlights this literary form. See also April Is Poetry Month. So have a go at it. Pull out that anthology. Read some words, maybe craft some rhyme, and verse up your month.

The wind blows the dirt

It flies in furtively

through window screens

disguised as fresh air

it scurries

over furniture


under couches

I chase it down

scoop it up

and throw it

in the can

Then, once a week

it is tranported


in the back

of a white truck

twenty-five miles

or so

I take it to the dump

release it

into the landfill

and there

the wind blows the dirt

The Wind Blows the Dirt by Joan Desmond 2013

Boots Up For Art

August 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Art Studio | 1 Comment
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It’s 22” tall, 30″ in diameter at the widest point, and a weighty 75 lbs. or so.

It’s a painted concrete boot!

You may have heard of  Chicago’s 1999 “Cows On Parade” which started the public art phenomenon in the U.S. Since then there have been public displays of artist’ painted horses, dogs, cats, lizards, fish, cranes, guitars… about anything imaginable with themes often reflecting geographic locations, local history or regional culture. These art projects highlight community creativity and can raise funds for area non-profits.

Many of the sculptures used are cast fiberglass, manufactured specifically for this type of undertaking. However, Shirley Davis, of  The Kern River Valley Art Association found concrete boot blanks in Kingman, Arizona, considered size and price and thought they would be “A do-able public art project” for this region. History here reflects early California mining, and ranching; one of the towns, Kernville, is home to the annual Whiskey Flat Days with a Wild West theme, so a western boot design is fitting.

Still, I never thought I’d be painting one. Or that it would be so engaging and fun!  Or that I could drum up a pretty good rhythm on its partially hollow shape!

The boot was given to me already primed. Then interior/exterior gloss enamel of two or more coats was used on the surface, making it very reflective in photos.

The design is asymmetrical. I love the interesting, visual tensions created with that approach. Also, I had a blast mixing hues, there are seventeen various tints and shades used; they contrast and create tension in the design also. Use of color pulls together the four distinct sides of the boot. An idea that developed while working on it was that various color areas represented different musical genres. There are painted notes on the front.

Kick Up Your Heels is the title of the boot. Have fun, create, dance, and make music!

The boots are for sale to area merchants for public display. Money derived after costs will go to local art education programs organized through the KRV Art Association.

A reception will be held this Friday, September 3, 2010, at the Odd Fellows Hall in Kernville, CA from 5-8 p.m., with all of the colorful boots on display.

Still touching sky-Art by Don Jones

July 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Friendship | Leave a comment
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From fine drawings to clay globes, to his new, colorful sculptural forms, I’ve been a long-time admirer of the creations by artist Don Jones. I first met Don at the California State University at Bakersfield in the 1980’s where he was the Art Tech of many skills.  Amid the mix of Conceptual Art and Process Art trained instructors, Don, (and also Mike Heivly) gave much appreciated, concrete, technical input. Don told me then he considered being a classical guitarist but that his 5 hours of practice a day just wasn’t enough to cut it. In those words a lesson I’ve remembered, dedication, practice, do the work, do the work, do the work to get good!

Following is Don’s take on his artistic path.

My career as a full-time serious artist began in 1978 when I moved to Santa Fe NM and started my drawings of the sky.  They were of colored pencil that I blended using rubber cement thinner.  The finished look was smooth and polished.  I did these for 4 years and did ok considering.

My next chance at a career took me to Bakersfield where I worked as an all-around fine Arts tech at CSUB. I was not so good at that job and moved back to New Mexico. I opened up a gallery/frame shop that really needed more money and a better location (to make it successful).

However, I had a major flash of inspiration at that time:  I thought that if I could just combine my skills in clay with my love of the sky, I could make a living and do something unique. Originally, I got interested in clay as a student at the University of Utah in 1965.  I couldn’t throw worth a crap and it made me mad. So I spent hours and hours in the lab and eventually became very good. So good in fact, that they hired me to teach beginning and advanced ceramics as an undergrad. Then I got a teaching assistantship to Montana State U in Bozeman in 1967 and earned a Masters in ceramics in 1969.

The result (of applying sky drawing concepts to clay) was a successful wholesale/retail business selling closed hand-thrown forms with skies on them. Some examples.

This worked out well until 2004 when I just couldn’t make another one and I burned out.  Maybe I get bored easily or maybe I’m too curious about other media and other ideas.

After two years of banging around at retail jobs I moved to Rapid City where I thought I could retire and paint landscapes with all the other old guys in the Black Hills.  I painted 50 oils and sold some at a gallery but gradually realized that there are (many) painters out there a lot better than I am.

Deep in the back of my mind was a series of forms that were curved and had something on them, but I hadn’t explored that yet.  Last year (2009) I decided to make some of these which involved inventing the process.  At first I did oils on the surface such as this one above.

Then I decided that the forms themselves were good enough alone or in combination.  I started with wall sculptures using Nepalese Lokta paper for color. Here is one under construction.

And some finished pieces:

I am now working in more extreme curves for the second series of these. A video of more of these pieces may be seen here: Pthalo2


contact Don Jones for more info, or to purchase his work via email: djartist (at)

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