Mike's 47 and a surprise from Morocco

This week started out very hot, like it usually is in Phoenix this time of year, topping 105ºF (40ºC) most days. After months of this, all of us in the valley start to drag ourselves through the motions of the day, spending much of the time in an unpleasant sweaty state. Anyway it all changed on Wednesday, which also happened to be Mike's birthday!

It was cloudy and rainy and a balmy 87ºF (30.5ºC)!!  We were so excited! We headed over to the Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the American West. An amazing art museum just over in Scottsdale.

This is a sculpture in the entrance.

This is a blurry shot of Naomi as she raced off into the exhibit about movie westerns. This is the last we saw of her for about an hour.

A more "in focus" picture of me in the same spot.

This is a recreation of sculptor and painter, Joe Beeler's studio.

This is a collection of saddles, guns of many sizes and even cowboy boots.

The museum was MUCH larger than I realized it would be.

Upstairs was this painting by NC Wyeth, one of my favorite artists of all time, and tragically it's an awful picture of this amazing painting. (I guess you'll have to go to Scottsdale!)

This statue is from the sculpture garden and was so realistic it was spooky.

Mike walking through the sculpture garden (in the rain!!)

I have to say this museum was well worth a visit. We'll be coming back. 
After this we wandered through downtown Scottsdale and found some dinner.

Then we came home and enjoyed some delicious cake. The weather on Thursday was not as great (back around 100ºF), but all week my students, and everyone I spoke to, remembered fondly the day of rain, always with a look of wonder and magic, like if they'd seen a unicorn walking on a rainbow.

This week I've been working on masks pretty constantly, but every once in a while I get an exciting custom order like this.

And this.  They're masks from Maurice Sendack's "Where The Wild Things are".

I shipped them off yesterday, but they were a blast to make!

On Friday I received an incredible surprise from Tétouan. The school in Morocco, Jacnito Benavente, that installed my sculpture (Night Over Tétouan), sent me an honorary diploma! I'm so excited. How cool is that?!


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