Monday, June 28, 2010

The Road Trip - Seattle

The view from Magnolia

In my last post I talked about getting ready for my road trip to Seattle. The Road Trip continues!

I made it to Portland on day two of my trip after spending a quiet, cool evening in the shadows of Mt. Shasta. It was warm and sunny when I arrived in Portland. I arrived on what turned out to be the warmest day of the year thus far in Portland. It did not stay warm nor sunny for long. Portland does have a reputation to uphold, after all!

I spent three leisurely, fun filled days visiting with my dear friend, Sari. We caught up on all our families news and Sari showed me around Portland in the pouring rain. Fortunately, one of Sari's sons had left a rain slicker which fit me. I came totally unprepared for the weather.

On Thursday, I'm off for Seattle

I’ll spend a few days in Seattle with Garret & John. They totally remodeled their home which should be completed the week I arrive. I’ve received weekly reports on the progress over these past 6 months. Garret & John are artists friends in Seattle with whom we have virtual cocktails every Monday evening.

Garret is coming with me on the return trip. Garret and I will be stopping for a couple of days in Portland to visit HIS dear friend who is also an artist. Three artists visiting: what WILL we have to talk about? I’ve heard so much about Emily from Garret and am excited to finally meet this incredible artist. We plan to drive along the coast back to Southern CA stopping in Mendocino, Monterey, San Simeon (Hearst Castle) and Montecito & Santa Barbara.

I’m looking forward to this trip for several reasons. In addition to visiting good friends, I love the California coast. It is a stunning drive along the coast on Hwy 1 and Hwy 101. I’ve not driven along the coast north of Eureka, CA so this will be a new experience. If it is anything like the Central California Coast, it will be well worth it.

Garret has driven from Seattle to Palm Springs on many occasions but never along the coast. It’s a new experience for both of us. Garret is an artist so I’m sure we’ll visit many galleries along the way. I’m packing several hundred business cards for this trip and hope to run out along the way home.

Another reason I’m excited about this trip is for the change of scenery. Whenever we travel, I’m energized by the change in environment. I love the desert. I love to get out of the desert landscape once in a while. There’s “new” things to see, like green. There are green colors you just don’t see in the desert: forests of green in all conceivable tones and hues of green.

The flora of the Pacific Northwest is awesome. I’m looking forward to driving through the Avenue of Giants. The towering conifers of Northern California never cease to fill me with awe and wonder. These are second growth forests. I cannot image what they must have looked like before we cut them down with wild abandon!

Traveling to a different climate reminds me that there’s a whole world of color and atmosphere totally unlike the desert. You can feel the damp in the air. You can see the damp in the air. Oh, wait! That’s rain! I enjoy experiencing rain on occasion, just not quite as often as those in the Pacific Northwest. I particularly enjoy leaving rainy climates.

I wouldn’t be comfortable living along the Central California Coast permanently. It’s far too cold for me. But it is nice to visit for the change of pace; the change of scenery; the change of light.

I’m looking forward to how the light changes as I head North. The vistas of Southern California are grand; you can see for miles. The mountains are rugged and they LOOK rugged without blankets of forests to soften the terrain. The interplay of sunlight on the mountains changes dramatically. I love to watch it. I’m taking the inland route north which will be new for me. It must be a different experience than the coastal drive and I’m looking forward to new discoveries.

While I’m traveling, you can still check out my website: to see what artwork is available for purchase. Please contact me if you want to buy one of my works or if you have any questions about my work or specific piece. My contact information is on my website and you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you. You can e-mail me at and you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3152.

Thank you for listening

Jerry L Hanson

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Road Trip - He's Off!

Scene along US99 near Tehachapi, CA

I'm leaving on a road trip. I've not been on a road trip for quite some time and I’m looking forward to it. We did drive from Palm Springs to Tucson, AZ this past May but it was a half day drive each way. I don’t think that counts as a road trip. THIS is a real road trip: driving from Palm Springs to Seattle, WA by way or Portland, OR. Then back to Palm Springs along the Washington, Oregon & California coast lines with tourist stops along the way

Normally, I would fly to Seattle, where our friends live. I’m sure a round trip flight would cost less than the gas for my truck; however, I’m delivering a large framed woven newspaper piece to Seattle. The shipping cost is crazy expensive! So, I’m driving it there. Garret, my Seattle friend is then going to drive back with me and then fly back to Seattle.

I’m making a two day, 1,082 mile dash to Portland, Oregon where I’ll spend a couple of days with my dear friend, Sari. I met Sari on her wedding day shortly after my husband & I got together. We’ve been friends for over 30 years. She’s been through two husbands and raised three children. I’m still with my first husband, no children. Sari always says she’d marry me if she could turn me. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with Sari: we don’t visit often enough. And I’m not turning any day soon.

Then it’s on to Seattle to deliver the artwork.

I’ll be driving alone to Seattle. I’ve not driven for long stretches of time alone for quite a few years. I don’t think those four hour Los Angeles commutes to/from work count. I last drove alone to Tucson nearly 15 years ago. I look forward to stopping along the way to take photos whenever I please. I’ll stop when I’m tired and trust Tom Bodett has left the light on.

While I’m away, you can still check out my website: to see what artwork I have available. Please contact me if you have any questions about my work or a specific piece. My contact information is on my website or you can leave a comment on this blog site for me to contact you. You can e-mail me at or you can telephone me on my studio phone 760-992-3152.

Thank you for listening

Jerry L Hanson

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Pool Party


In my last post, I talked about the Memorial Day weekend being the last fling of the Palm Springs season. It is usually one of the last great outdoor weekends before the desert really heats up. The ambient temperature of our pool is generally around 90 degrees this time of year. This year, it’s been cooler than usual. We had two days above 100 degrees so far this year. Last year, there were about 21. We heated the pool to 87 degrees. Yes, I am a cold wimp.

There are generally at least three pool parties we’re invited to on Memorial Day weekend. And we always have one on the Sunday of this weekend. Jim and Josh arrived along with 40 other of our friends. The pool was 87 degrees and the margaritas were good. Josh was holding court in one corner of the pool telling his incredibly convoluted and funny stories. Jim pulled me aside, “let’s talk.”

I’m an introvert. My first thought was “Oh, God! What have I done?!?”

Jim wanted to talk about Josh’s birthday which was a few days away. And he wanted to look at my new work. Into the studio we went. We spent a bit of time discussing the paintings. He then told me he wanted to purchase one of my paintings as a birthday present for Josh.

Yes! There is a God!

Jim wanted Josh’s reaction to my current work before deciding on the “one.” Back into the water we went. About an hour later, Jim, all casual like, mentioned to Josh that he’d peeked at my new work and though Josh would like to see them. Back to the studio!

Josh has visceral reactions to abstract art. He can verbalize specifically how a particular painting makes him feel and why. He’s drawn to bright colors and pattern. Josh is a talker, remember. He had something, OK LOTS to say about each piece. It was gratifying to know he liked my work. The introvert in me is thinking, “Who in hell’s work is he talking about?” And I had a great time. I must have been grinning like the Chestershire Cat .

When Josh declared the darkest, moodiest painting to be his absolute favorite and the bright, sunny “Icarus” to be a close second, Jim and I were shocked. He loved the dark, moody painting. “It makes me think and most abstract paintings just make me feel: This painting changes every time I look at it. I like that.” Good man! I left them alone so they could talk. And, I had been neglecting our other 38 guests for a while.

Back into the pool. Jim and Josh returned to the pool party a bit later.

Jim pulled me aside again. I was sure he was going to say he would have to pass on Josh’s birthday present idea. That pesky introvert head talk again. What Jim said was, “I want to buy two paintings. Is that OK?”

Is that OK? Damn straight! (Sorry, poor choice of words…) Of course it is OK!

For some reason, he always purchases artwork in pairs. I’m not sure why but I wasn’t about to suggest he abandon that tradition now!

Jim told me which two he wanted. Assured him he could definitely have those two. I would put his name on them. Jim was really excited about buying these two paintings and kept telling me “Don’t tell Josh. He doesn’t know.”

Jim & Josh stopped by on their way home Monday to pick up the two canvases. Josh’s birthday was the next day and he seemed genuinely please with Jim’s present to him. I asked Josh if he was surprised with Jim’s gift. “I may be a Scott, but I’m not a fool! Of course I figured it out! And I love ‘em!”

I am pleased too! I received a simple two line note: “I’ve hung both pieces and they are beautiful! Please come and see them any time you like.” You know I will, Jim & Josh.

These two paintings are no longer available. See what happens when you delay? However, you can see all my artwork available for purchase (excluding “Icarus” & “Winter Rain”) on my website at . If you want more information on any of my artwork or to make a purchase, you can contact me by replying to this blog, e-mail me at (best option) or telephone my studio at 760.992.3157.

Thank you for listening!

Jerry L. Hanson

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Last Fling

"Winter Rain"

Memorial Day is always a bitter-sweet holiday for me. In my last post, I went all sappy and maudlin talking about it so this post is about the sweet part!

Because Memorial Day is also the unofficial end of the “season” in Palm Springs. There are lots of visitors for the long weekend; it’s the last party before snow birds fly from the heat of the desert. Sweet! The pace slows down. The roads are free from traffic (such as it is in Palm Springs). CostCo is no longer mobbed every weekend.

On this last party weekend, the freeways into Palm Springs (there aren’t many) were packed Friday with visitors streaming into town. The revelers descend in mass. Hotels are fully booked. Restaurant reservations are impossible to get and the local watering holes (OK, bars) are packed. Everyone we know with vacation homes in Palm Springs had called to let us know they were in town. So we throw a pool party every year for Memorial Day – on Sunday. Other friends have their parties on Saturday and Monday. We have Sunday.

On Fridays, we go to our favorite Watering Hole where many of our friends tend to begin their weekend. The place was packed! No one in their right mind would order anything in a martini glass. You simply can’t maneuver the crowd carrying one. It looks elegant but you spill the darned thing all over the place! I cannot count the number of martini’s others have dumped on me. Oops! Excuse me! Damn!

At The Watering Hole, we ran into friends from Los Angeles in for the long weekend.

I’ve not seen Jim & Josh for months. It was good to catch up. Josh is from Scotland. Even though he’s lived in the US for decades, he still has a thick Scottish brogue. I love to hear him talk and he is a talker. He can keep you entertained for hours just by asking him, “What’s new?” So I did. “Josh! What’s new?” and he was off and running! Josh always has something that relates to you. He was telling me about two paintings he & Jim had just purchased. He described them in such detail; I could picture them in my mind.

At one point he said, “They remind me of your paintings. You know I love your work.”

Well now!

Four or five months ago, I would have let a comment like that pass without comment.

No more. I asked him, “Why haven’t you bought one of MY paintings?” Ballsy thing for me to say. Without missing a beat, Josh said, “we can’t afford you.”

What???? I told him he could and we should talk.

“We will” he said.

Then he was off and running in a different direction, but I was caught up in that moment. That moment I realized I’d actually put myself out there and spoke up. This was a milestone for me .

I am an artist: I want people to appreciate my work. I want people to buy my work!

So if you or anyone you know is in the market for either color fields or my ‘green’ woven work, please visit: or contact me at or telephone my studio at 760.992.3157.

Thank you for listening!

Jerry L. Hanson

Friday, June 4, 2010

Taco Asado UP!

Hanging the artwork at Taco Asado

My May 17th post was about my creating two weavings for an art show to be hung at one of our favorite restaurants in Palm Springs: Taco Asado. The show is titled “Los Amigos de el Taco Asado” For those who don’t speak Spanish, it translates as “The Friends of Taco Asado”

We hung the show last night.

I’d asked many of my Spanish speaking friends what “Asado” translates as in English. Most told me “barbecued’ or “roasted.” I looked it up.

Asado [ah-sah’-do, dah]


1. Roasted; dressed.

· Asado a la parrilla -> broiled; grilled

2. Cross, angry. (Ante Meridian & Latin American) (m)

3. To be broke. (Caribbean) (m)

I loved the three different definitions! Roasted, Dressed. Cross, Angry, To be Broke. My pieces for the show are titled “Serape Asado Uno” and “Serape Asado Dos”

Then I looked up Serape:

Serape [say-ra'-pay]


1. A narrow blanket, worn by men, or thrown over the saddle. (Mexico) (m)

Again, I liked the translation: narrow blanket, or saddle blanket.

I suppose one could translate “Serape Serape Uno” as First Poor Little Blanket” and “Second Poor Little Blanket”. I’ve taken linguistic liberties, of course.

And, as I think about it, living in Palm Springs one would indeed roast if one wore a blanket in this heat.

Now, I have no idea what this all has to do with Taco Asado other than we hung our “Los Amigos do el Taco Asado” show the other night and our nondescript, no nonsense, no frills, little restaurant now looks like an art gallery. Tony and his staff had taken down the usual decorations and we walked into a room with pristine walls. It was our blank canvas to cover with over 17 works of art.

After yet another wonderful meal at Taco Asado, we hung our show. We did wait until all but one family had completed their meal. We kept their 4 children entertained while the parents ate. They were a rambunctious bunch! I think Mom & Dad were enjoying seeing the artwork as it went onto the walls: the children watched our every move. OK, perhaps they were just overly confused and suspicious of these Gringos redecorating their favorite restaurant.

And we had a good time. We finished our work, cleaned up our mess and stepped back to survey our work. The restaurant was transformed! We’re going back to night for dinner in the Taco Asado Gallery.

If you are in Palm Springs or the Coachella Valley, stop in at Taco Asado (440 S. El Cielo, Palm Springs). Come see what Los Amigos de el Taco Asado have “cooked up” for you to enjoy while you dine in this gallery. The food is outstanding, too! I recommend the ceviche.

All of the artwork on display is available for purchase from the individual artists. The artwork will be on display throughout the month of June.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day has been important to me ever since I served in the United States Air Force from 1971 to 1975. I was discharged less than one month before the fall a Saigon. I had just completed my military career (such as it was) in South East Asia. I was discharged, flew to Tucson, Arizona and watched in horror as Saigon fell.

I spent two and a half years briefing and debriefing pilots flying over the Ho Chi Min Trails. I targeted the Ho Chi Min trails. I maintained secret libraries for the intelligence dept.

I knew in my heart we were not winning this war. That was hard to swallow. After my first year in Thailand, I’d told my father, “We have no business being in Viet Nam.” My father looked at me and said, “I trust President Nixon. How can you question our leaders? ” I knew our conversation had hit a point of no return. I shut my mouth and swallowed my pride. I left the next day for another stint in Viet Nam.

During my second tour of duty in South East Asia, Watergate exploded in the media, Spiro Agnew resigned. Gerald Ford became Vice president. Richard (I am not a crook) Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford became our first non-elected president. Meanwhile the body count continued to rise as more and more American GI’s died in Viet Nam. Both American and Viet Nam citizens died in alarming numbers. Part of my job was to keep count.

I returned to my parent’s home after my second year in South East Asia. My father, pulled me aside and said, “Son, I owe you an apology.” “Why???? “ I asked. He said, “I’ve always trusted our elected leaders to do the right thing. This Nixon shit has destroyed my trust in our country. I’m sorry I was so hard on you.” I was shocked! I know how difficult it is for my father to admit to being wrong but not for this reason! I also “got” the importance of his realization. I told him that Nixon’s resignation, Watergate, the investigations, etc. renewed MY faith in our elected leaders. We became stronger, as a country, for owning up to our mistakes and doing what is needed to rectify the problem. This was democracy at its best.

And then I returned to South East Asia for a third tour.

I was discharged from active duty on February 15, 1975, one month before the fall of Saigon. I settled in Tucson, Arizona and never mentioned to anyone that I was a Viet Nam Vet. It was more than 30 years before I would volunteer this information. I didn't fully appreciate my father's apology all those years. My father apologized for chastising me I yet I stayed in the closet as a Viet Nam Vet. No more.

Thirty five years after my discharge, I am PROUD to say that I am a Viet Nam Vet. I served my country in an unpopular war. I came home healthy. I knew many men and women who did not

I knew many men and women who served in Viet Nam. Many of them lost their lives. I know many of the names on the Viet Nam War Memorial in Washington DC. I’ve been to the memorial several times and the memorial haunts me still. Powerful

Yesterday was Memorial Day, a day to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service to our country. It’s a day for me to remember my high school and college friends who are eternally young; who never had the opportunity to “be all they could be.” AND they were, indeed, all they could be.

These are my heroes.