Writeup – Gubler’s Orchid Festival

There is something fantastical about the Gubler's Orchid Festivals that I cannot help but look forward to. The beauty blooming within the humid rooms that are nestled in the middle of the desert is something magical in and of itself. The depth of scent each orchid exudes sets the senses at ease. The smiles of the children that are seeing all of the colors on the tables. Or maybe that is simply what I am experiencing!

The Orchid Festival was held on October 1st and 2nd this year (2022). Chaparral is so lucky to be a part of this event! Thanks go to Nancy Miehle for maintaining such a wonderful connection with Chris Gubler.

For years now, Chaparral Artists have been able to set up inside where the Orchid classes are held. It allows us the ability to hang a few pieces of member-created art on the walls and provide half-tables to those members wishing to showcase or sell their creations. Members wishing to show their work just need to manage their table and help manage the Chaparral table(s). Our big goal during the Orchid Festival is spreading the word about Chaparral and to hold the raffle that is responsible for funding art supplies for kids-paint events and members art creation events. In fact, the Orchid Festival is our biggest fundraising event during the year! We sell raffle items that are donated by members of the organization and sell special wood sets that were donated to us in the 60s. We also provide painting opportunities for kids and adults alike. For those interested in honing their painting skills, we offer advice while painting along with participants, but often our painting volunteers just have to keep the table tidy and the paint brushes clean! 

The Orchid Festival is by far the best environment we have to share our artistic experiences with the public while raising funds for Chaparral. And better yet, the orchids are amazing! There is a lot to do for volunteers and visitors during the festival too. The event has grown immensely over the years. Non-profits share information about their organizations and food and children's games draw families to the event. I thank everyone who offered their time to Chaparral that weekend. Some volunteers were able to help set up on the Friday before, and spend all day with us during Saturday and Sunday, while others could only offer a few hours. I want to make sure to thank you for whatever time you could provide. The event can be a whirlwind of excitement every year, but there are always lulls of quiet in between. I was excited to see familiar faces and work alongside volunteering members and friends.

I look forward to the event every year, and I hope we continue to attend for many to come!

Nancy Miehle deserves extra kudos for creating something extra lovely as well... this year there was a contest for the best decorated donation can. Those cans sit within the store and outside by the food court. Because of Nancy's eye for color and subject, Chaparral Artists won the prize this year for the bright and beautiful Orchid themed decoration!

Writeup! Historic Show at the 29 Palms Art Gallery

Author:   Raini Armstrong
Date:       January 4, 2020

The 29 Palms Art Gallery, in 29 Palms California, has a beautiful historic show on display through January 2020. I attended the reception this evening, and it was lovely as always. Usually, I would share with you a short summary of the show. Then I would mention the Chaparral Artists that were displaying a piece or two, but this show didn't feature any current members' work. Instead, this show featured works of founding members of the gallery! So, I get to share something special, a tip-of-my-hat to 29 Palms art history.

Several artists are being featured in the Historic Show this month including Ada Bigler, Ann Elsasser, Audrey Gillick, John Hilton, Anne Lear, Lee Lukes Pickering, Kirk Martin, Henry Mockel, Marjorie Murphy, Irene Scoggin Bertrand, Anton Thessel, Phillip Weber, John Whytock, Irene Zimmer, and more.

John Hilton has the most art being featured, and the art speaks for itself in the mood it conveys about the Mojave desert. Hilton's style has a slight three-dimensional quality to it, the scenes painted in soft hues of pink and yellow, drawing your attention to the sweet punch of dawn light over extensive vistas. His subjects of focus are the local desert beauty all around us, from distant dunes to towering mountains and palms. If you visit the gallery, take time to enjoy all the art, as some of it is conveys subtlety easily missed if you don't stand in front of each piece for a time.

Other arts featured by the 29 Palms Art Gallery highlight many beauties that the desert has to offer, from blooming cactus to abandoned homesteads. Not all the work is desert-themed, of course. Several pieces break the mold and feature incredible expanses pitting snow-peaked mountains against the dark forest, waterways, and pastureland.

Two oils present captivating scenes that include contrast, grandeur, and subtle detail that are sure to make you smile. These large framed art pieces were created in the 19th century and have been beautifully restored. Anton Thessel's "Harz Mountains," provides the viewer with an almost lonely scene, deep in the mountains where the boulders vie for attention from the life-like spruce. I was reminded that I am merely a small creature in a vast world. As I enjoyed the nuances of the scene, sounds of the forest sneaking into my thoughts, I noticed the tiny creatures, some even cloaked in the shadow of large trees.

The piece titled "Alpine Falls and Grist Mill" by Phillip Weber revs the imagination in a way that I remember classic Disney films did for me. Lights and darks dance together in the details of lichen-covered boulders. The tiny blossoms found peppering the forest floor provide contrast with the surrounding shaded world. And the grandeur of the relatively dark forest from the distant glowing mountains, with a pocket-sized town between, are all food for the imagination. The mill is arguably the anchor for a storybook mind because you cannot help picturing going home to the embrace of the surrounding white noise after your daily travels.

I much enjoyed being able to see these two pieces of art among the varying styles of Guild members over the years. I hope everyone finds an opportunity to appreciate the works on display at the 29 Palms Art Gallery before the end of January!

Hype Alert: Same but Different show

Chaparral artists organize up to six shows per year, two open judged shows in the spring, two in the fall, and two themed shows. Our last show of the year is one of the themed shows called “Same but Different.” This is a member-only opportunity that will feature a selection of semi matching pieces by either the same artists or collaborating artists.

This show has been consistently one of the most inspiring, exciting, and somewhat confusing shows that Chaparral has come up with. The show provides members the freedom to come up with their own themes or show works that came from a shared workshop environment. The theme was born out of the desire to share group works. Often, Chaparral photographers and painters would attend paint out sessions, photography outings, and sign-up for painting/photography classes. After group events such as these, artists realized that they couldn’t always share their works at judged shows due to the similarities of their entries, and the art didn’t always fit the upcoming themed show opportunities. So, the Same but Different show was devised. 

One of the most remarkable things that shine through, when artists get together to paint or photograph the same scene or set out to reproduce the same concept, is uniqueness. Each artist comes in with their own style, their personal preferences, and they bring their own history to their representational efforts. 

The Same but Different show offers an opportunity to share this artistic uniqueness of seemingly similar subject material with the public. It might even provide a time to share the results of a group learning process, and best of all, it offers an opportunity for members to collaborate together during the year.

This year, the Same but Different members-only show will be at Rainbow Stew beginning on December 12. It will display until January 15, 2020. 

For those members still in search of a subject, the show committee and Photography reception attendees shared their interest in the following topics: 

Keys Ranch cars
Dense Fog Scenes
Burrowing Owls
Joshua Tree National Park rock walls

Remember, collaboration with other members is not a requirement, you might already have a subject in mind and have many beauties to share with the public! If you have a small collection of similarly themed works, or you work in multiple mediums yourself, bring in your ‘same but different’ representations.

Intake for the 2019 Same but Different show is on:

Thursday, December 12 (4:30-6pm)
Friday, December 13 (12:30-2pm)

The show reception provides a time to share stories category inspirations. Did you simply love a photograph and ask to paint it? Did you bring in several of your own pieces that were inspired by a location? Share this info with us on:

Sunday, December 15 (1-3pm)

Writeup! Joshua Tree National Park Art Expo

The 2019 Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition is just around the corner! September 14 & 15 mark the days of the celebration. This local festival is an exciting affair that provides entertainment, gallery art, live art demonstrations, and better yet, the chance to purchase art directly from the artists.

Chaparral members are demonstrating in the afternoon at the 29 Palms Art Gallery during both days, and Tami Roleff was accepted into the gallery itself! Congratulation go out to you, Tami!

Chaparral Artists have participated in the celebration and weekend festival in previous years, holding several booths to represent the artists of the organization. Through the management of 'Kids Paint!' tables, live painting demos, and art sales and information sharing at the festival grounds, Chaparral had fun mixing with the fantastic artists and patrons, both local and visiting from afar. One of the most inspiring stories comes from the 2018 festival when a visitor fresh off his adventures at the Burning Man event, visited the booth. He had stories abound from the exciting experiences he collected and was on the lookout for a unique journal to record his stories in. After sharing some beautiful moments with our members, the young man found a Joshua tree wood bound book that fit his needs perfectly.

Chaparral Artists donate their time and experience to create art-items that the organization can sell to raise funds for upcoming art shows and youth painting events. One of these gift items are the journals/books bound by Joshua tree wood pulp blocks that had been donated to the Chaparral Artists in the 60s. Joshua Trees are a protected plant, so the wood that was given is very precious. These woodblocks went unused until Chaparral decided to make something creatively useful of them. Members painted desert scenes on the woodblocks, and blank paper pages were bound with them to create books.

This year, Chaparral Artists will not hold a booth and sell gift item, due to other commitments. However, Chaparral members are representing their organization through demonstration and gallery presentation. 

Of the 347 art submissions, from 137 artists around the world, a photograph by Chaparral member Tami Roleff was juried into the gallery exhibition. Such news was terrific because of the prestigious nature of the exhibit - only 57 artists were selected to show their Joshua Tree National Park inspired art.

Demonstrations of painting styles by Jeni Bate, Jennifer Grandi, and Raini Armstrong will be shared during the festival on both days at the 29 Palms Gallery - just a short walk from the festival grounds at the 29 Palms Inn.

Jennifer Grandi will demonstrate her pastel art form on Saturday, September 14.

Raini Armstrong will demonstrate watercolor painting by the creation of night sky scenes on Sunday, September 15, in the morning (10am-1pm).

Jeni Bate will demonstrate her grand mixed media style of painting on Saturday, September 15, in the afternoon (1pm-4pm).

Join our Chaparral members over the weekend to celebrate this year's Joshua Tree Art Expo!