Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Artist In Me Is Calling

Not that I AM an Artist, but I would sure LIKE to be.  What better place to find something interesting to do than an Artist Festival in Tubac just a few miles from the border of Mexico.  If you have never been to this one, put it on your calendar.  There are two every year and they are amazing.

The entire little town is blocked off and filled to the brim with easy-ups full of every kind of art imaginable.  This happens to be the Grumpy Gringo Cigar Shop where husbands can be dropped off if required.  I'm not sure the husbands will appreciate that since the guy really was pretty grumpy looking.  Just to prove it, the small signs says NO PARKING FOR TURQUOISE ANGEL, which happens to be the business just across the street.
If you need transportation from one side of town to the other, or anywhere in between for that matter, you can take the horse drawn wagons.  
These big guys are of course my favorite.  I was happy to see all the horses were very well fed and taken care of.  Sometimes that is not the case.  The little town of Tubac was originally a Spanish Colonial Garrison established in 1752.  This was one of the stops on the Camino Real to the settlements in California.  Take a look around ... many of the original adobe buildings remain in use to this day.
Apache's attacked the little village until it was finally abandoned, but in the 1930's and 40's, it saw a resurgence when it became an art colony.  Painter Dale Nichols opened an art school in 1948 and restored some of the buildings.  In 1964, the first Art Festival was held.  Lucky for me because they have lots of really great stuff!!

Most of the businesses are not local, some coming from as far away as Iowa for this four day event.   This gentleman makes his own flutes and plays beautifully.  My wallet stayed put ... I already have four flutes ..... love them.  I would like to get some kind of small speaker system that has a microphone you can attach to the flute, but the information I had has disappeared.  It makes the music sound amazing!!
All of the stores were also open, taking advantage of the crowds ... and believe me, it was CROWDED and it was only Thursday!!  This store specialized in Mata Ortiz pottery, authentic turquoise jewelry and beautiful intricate blankets.  
I think this was my favorite.   I've always wanted to get a hammock and this one was just fantabulous!!
There were lots of metal artists from the rusty old fire pits to these beautiful suns for your fireplace.  There is even the most amazing pieces of cactus made from metal, but my Jeep was just too small.
Jewelry was everywhere!!  If you're looking for absolutely anything, they have it!!  There is the usual and the unusual.  Here's what I picked up ... it's a 1969 King Frederik pattern silver fork, made into a bracelet.  They advertise it as "antiques", but 1969 certainly isn't antique to me!!  The tines of the fork are twisted around a larimar stone and it has a very strong magnetic clasp.  Here's the thing that makes this the best ... see that tiny silver chain?  Should the magnet come apart, the chain keeps it on your wrist.  I've lost a couple of bracelets without the chain.  
More flute makers playing ... I LOVE the music.  Mine doesn't sound quite as good, more like a sick coyote, but I'm completely self taught.  If I ever find that speaker system, I'm sure I will magically improve.
Many artists were actually practicing their craft, like this gentleman who advertised "authentic Indian paintings".  There really were some beautiful southwest paintings in many of the booths.
You can't miss some of Tubac's buildings.  I might not like this shade of purple on the house next to mine, but here it's gorgeous and fits in perfectly.  There are many birdhouses attached to the center of the building, on sale for $170 each.  No one said an art festival is cheap!!
In this booth the gentleman was weaving rugs and doing a magnificent job.  I let the stranglehold on my wallet go just a little and bargained for a very small one.  In the interest of "too many pictures", I'll show you that one later.
This is Chucks Blue Bike ... the sign says Ride On Chuck, RIDE ON.  A group of very secretive senior citizens including Chuck Hill, Lincoln Wilson of Old World Imports, a couple of retired doctors and some illegal Mexican labor, have built an off-road bike trail on BLM land sort of near the Border Check Station just north of Tubac.  It's a very challenging single track along the old bandit trails of the border.  Sounds like something I'd like to do ... but not this trip.
The puppies were out in big numbers again, even though it was a very hot 85 degrees in the sun.  Most all the businesses put out water for the fur babies.
Finally exhausted after almost three hours of walking and with feet feeling like I was walking on hot coals, we went back to the car and drove through town to La Paloma, our favorite pottery shop.  They have everything imaginable here at fairly good prices.  Just ignore all those "no left turn" signs and police roaming around.  You really CAN drive here.  It's just too far to walk!!
I'm proud to say that nothing went on my credit card and I still have cash in my wallet.  Not much, but cash none the less, which is pretty good for me when in Tubac!!

In the meantime while Dan's away, the gals will play.  Oh ... and don't forget Tuesday is Valentine's day.  Run to the store and pick up something for your sweetheart.  You can even stay home and order flowers on-line.  There's no excuse!!!

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