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Featured Artists 2013

Joshua Tree National Park Juried Art Exhibition 2013

Fifty artists from California, across the nation, and as far away as England, were juried into the inaugural juried art exhibition for the Joshua Tree National Park Art Show & Faire, December 6-8, 2013, in Twentynine Palms, CA. Artists juried into that show are featured here.

Recipient of the JTNP Artist of Distinction Award 2013

"Rocks, Joshua Tree #3"

John Tierney - Durham, England
John Tierney has lectured in criminology at Durham University in northeast England and has published articles and books on criminological theory, most recently: Key Perspectives in Criminology  (Open University Press, 2009) and Criminology: Theory and Context  (Longman, 2010). Retiring from the university in 2010, he has devoted more time to oil painting and portraying the urban landscapes of Los Angeles, New York, Helsinki, and the desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park. Influenced by Edward Hopper and David Hockney, Tierney’s work has attracted a following of collectors and admirers around the world. Also adept at songwriting and the guitar, in 2009 he recorded an EP of his original songs, The Silence and the Stars , and performed live at Hotel Café in Hollywood. He divides his time between England and visiting his three sons in Los Angeles, New York, and Helsinki. john-tierney.com

Recipients of the JTNP Artist Award 2013

"High Blue Turquoise Seam"

Robert Fogel - Haughton, Louisiana
Robert Fogel, creator of evocative abstract metal sculpture, was born in Spokane in 1947. He received an M.A. at University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 1975. He was a biology professor for 25 years with a deep appreciation for nature, especially landforms and rocks that exhibited nice lines, textures and color. Many of the sculptures evoke, for him, interesting rock formations, ghost towns and other natural features observed during 25 summers hiking in the West. Metal was chosen as a medium because he had experience working in machine shops in his teens, and he loves its versatility and strength. Fogel was selected in 2013 for the Northwest Louisiana Juried Artists Roster, Shreveport Regional Arts Council, by San Diego-based art critic Robert Pincus. Ten of his pieces have been juried into shows during the past two years, one was among 69 finalists selected from 619 entries for Art Melt, Louisiana’s largest juried art show. Two are finalists in the Meadows Museum North Louisiana Artist’s Triennial Competition. His studio is located in Haughton, Louisiana, near Shreveport. rfogelart.co [Yes, that’s co, not com]

"Storm at Twilight"

David Greene - Twentynine Palms, California
A self-taught artist, born in 1957 in Zanesville, Ohio, David C. Greene made his artistic debut as a caricature artist at “Ameriflora 92,” an international floral show in Columbus, Ohio, in 1992. In 1993, he joined Acme Art Co., a non-profit alternative art space in Columbus’ Short North Arts District. He worked as a volunteer for seven years, serving on the board of trustees for three years, including one year as president. His artwork was shown in central Ohio galleries and museums, and is in the Ohio Arts Council permanent collection, as well as collections in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Before moving to California in 2006, Greene was artistic director and designer of the “Signature Series” hand-painted ceramic bathware for Mansfield Plumbing Products. Since moving to Twentynine Palms, his paintings have appeared in group and solo shows, notably his Mojave Noir series and Movie Star Zombie works. In 2008, he was commissioned to paint six murals for the Holiday Inn Express (now Hotel 29 Palms), and in 2013, he painted gigantic murals on water tanks in Pioneertown and Wonder Valley. He and his wife, Lorilei, are annual participants in the Hwy 62 Art Tours. dcgart.weebly.com


John Greenfield - Yucca Valley, California
John Greenfield has his B.A. in Geology with an Art minor. His ceramic sculptures reflect his interest in mineral structures and erosion processes. He has shown his art at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, College of the Desert, Desert Art Center in Palm Springs, A Roadside Attraction in Twentynine Palms, and Woods in the Desert Gallery in Joshua Tree. For the past seven years, he has participated in the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council’s annual Hwy 62 Art Tours.



Karine Swenson - Joshua Tree, California
Karine Swenson grew up in a family of musicians and learned to play the piano and the violin. Her earliest memory of art was sitting at the kitchen table with her sisters, coloring and making crafts, and loving the box of 64 Crayola crayons with built-in sharpener. In college, she happened to visit a friend in the painting studio. The smell of turpentine and the sight of the paint captivated her. That was the moment when she knew she wanted to paint. Music still plays a crucial role for her: she always listens to music while painting. Her desire is to create work with the power of Mozart combined with the originality and freedom of punk bands she listened to in the ’80s. Swenson lives in Joshua Tree, where the desert landscape and the animals influence her art. Her work is represented in California galleries including Metro Galleries in Bakersfield, Art of Framing in San Diego, JTAG in Joshua Tree, and every year since 2008 in the Hwy 62 Art Tours, plus galleries in Colorado and Hawaii. KarineSwenson.com

Art Exposition 2013 Featured Artists


Janis Commentz - Yucca Valley, California
Janis Commentz has created paintings since childhood. As the daughter of an artist, she had access to many mediums: watercolor, pastel, acrylics, and oils. Growing up by the ocean and making trips to Laguna and Carmel fed her love for the sea and images of the ocean. “The desert is more of an acquired taste,” she says. “After 35 years of living and teaching in the high desert, I have grown to enjoy the open space, the incredible sunlit vistas, sunrises and sunsets, and the unique flora. I am also fascinated with the human form. As a student, I frequently asked friends and family to sit still for me to draw. After a long hiatus from life drawing, this passion led me to create the Morongo Basin Life Drawing League, now in its 7th year. Recently retired from teaching high school art and English, I now have time to play with new techniques.” Commentz’ award-winning paintings have been featured at the 29 Palms Art Gallery and in the Hwy 62 Art Tours. JanisRCommentz.blogspot.com

"Ship of the Desert"

Bill Dahl - Yucca Valley, California
Bill Dahl is self-taught in the craft of photography, having spent the early years creating black-and-white images in a conventional darkroom. He now enjoys the advantages of the digital workflow for all the creative flexibility it offers. His photographs of natural and urban landscapes have appeared in juried shows and won awards in Santa Barbara, Ojai, Yucca Valley, and Twentynine Palms, California. BillDahlPhotography.com





"Joshua Road"

Dave Eckenberg - Yucca Valley, California
David Eckenberg is the co-owner of Tumbleweed Photos, a studio in Yucca Valley established in 2004. His love of photography began at the age of 14 when his dad gave him a camera, and it continued through college after which he was recruited by the entertainment industry and worked in post production. It was during this time that Metromedia Channel 11 in Hollywood sponsored his first solo exhibition. A photographer and graphic artist who has a passion for nature, color, and design, Eckenberg can be found out on the desert at dawn photographing the landscapes, trees, and plant life he loves. He also enjoys combining the beauty and elements of nature with his creative technical skills in computer graphic arts. His photography skills include portrait, family, pets, corporate, artist product, graphic design, restoration, and artist prints. He is the photographer for Morongo Basin Humane Society and Palms N Paws Animal Shelter, past president of the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Joshua Tree National Park 75th Anniversary Advisory Committee and Joshua Tree Gateway Communities tourism committee. tumbleweedartgallery.com

"Joshua Tree Rocks!"

Mike Fagan - Yucca Valley, California
A Southern California native, born in Englewood in 1940, Mike Fagan and his wife, Cyndie, moved to Yucca Valley several years ago, to a 5-acre compound overlooking Joshua Tree National Park. Fagan says: “We traded the high life and low country for low life and the high country, and are the happier for it.” They are avid collectors of American paintings and pottery from the first half of the 20th century. Fagan’s love of the simplicity of the Arts and Crafts movement has inspired his art and influenced his pottery making over the past decade. “In retirement, I pursued my interest in the arts by learning the Native American technique of making earthenware pottery from local desert clays, ultimately building a straw bale/adobe studio we call the Mojave Pot Shop. With camera at the ready, while searching the desert for clays, I began recording areas photographically—the national park became a favorite scenic destination.” MagicOnTheMesa.com

”Sunrise at Skull Rock”

Rikk Flohr - Apple Valley, Minnesota
Rikk Flohr is a Minneapolis-based professional photographer and teacher. He specializes in photographic imagery and digital-based artistic techniques, often combined into his vision of the world around him. Flohr has served as Artist-in-Residence for Badlands National Park in western South Dakota three times. He writes about composition and photography on his popular blog, “Holy Crop!” He teaches workshops across the United States and Central America. RikkFlohr.com

”Royal Family 2”

Natalie Franco - Alhambra, California
Natalie Marie Franco is a Mexican-American fine art photographer based in Los Angeles. Her work explores people and environments on an intimate scale, adopting a voyeuristic approach of shooting. In 2006, Franco made her artist debut in CMYK Magazine’s “top 21 fresh artists” in the U.S and Canada. Her work has been recognized in SNAPIXEL Magazine, F-STOP, LA Weekly, the Huffington Post, and the International Photography Awards and Prix de La Photographie in Paris. In 2012, she received a City of Los Angeles award, and this year Franco had her first solo show, “The Hours: Reflections on an Ephemeral World,” at SPACE Gallery Pomona. She is currently working on a new collective series about the modern day Middle East, The Latino Collective and is a contributing writer for Latinos Behind the Lens. NatalieFrancoPhotography.com

”Bill Keys”

Ethan Garcia - Yucca Valley, California
Ethan Garcia was born in Yucca Valley in 1991. He works predominately in the medium of pencil/ink (drawing) and oils (painting), specifically portraiture. His work is inspired by the unique details of human facial expressions and the emotion conveyed and/or evoked based upon a single moment captured in time. While Garcia started drawing as a child, and was predominately self-taught, during his freshman through senior year at Yucca Valley High School he participated in art classes taught by the popular hi-desert art instructor, Bruce Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton furthered Garcia’s drawing skills and techniques in addition to introducing him to different mediums such as painting and sculpture. Under Hamilton’s tutelage, Garcia excelled, and proved that art is something he is meant to do. (His juried drawing is a portrait of pioneer Bill Keys, cattleman and gold miner who arrived in 1910 and raised a family at the Desert Queen Ranch in what is now Joshua Tree National Park.)

”Juniper Study”

Michael Gordon - Long Beach, California
Michael E. Gordon is an award-winning fine art landscape photographer. His black-and -white “Desert” series portrays, says Broughton Quarterly, “stunning ethereal beauty from terrain where others see only a bleak landscape.” Gordon’s photographs have been widely published, and his fine art prints are in international collections of the U.S. Embassy, Kaiser Permanente, Milken Family Fdn., and The Wilderness Society. He served 20 years as volunteer ranger in the San Gorgonio Wilderness, and he serves on the Board of the Mojave National Preserve Conservancy. His photographs have been instrumental in campaigns of The Wilderness Society, Campaign for America’s Wilderness, National Parks Conservation Assn., Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, and have helped to shape wildfire management, solar energy policies, and federal Wilderness designation and expansion. Gordon is co-founder of Visionary Photography Workshops, and teaches for Julia Dean Photo Workshops, L.A. Michael-Gordon.com

”Peaceful Awakening”

Gretchen Grunt - Twentynine Palms, California
Since the age of nine, Gretchen Grunt knew her journey in life was that of an artist. Formal art instruction began in grade school during summer breaks at Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. After high school, she attended Cuesta Community College, San Luis Obispo, CA, and dove into every medium in their fine-art department: life drawing, painting, ceramics, mixed media sculpting, and bronze casting. She finished her degree at Sonoma State University after intensive study in traditional printmaking methods of etching and lithography. Printmaking would play a powerful role in her future artistic endeavors, and purchasing a hand-crafted Griffin Etching Press inspired her to start teaching printmaking. In 2003, she moved back to her hometown and established 29 Palms Creative Center & Gallery, offering art classes, art openings, live music and performance art, and art studios for other artists. She has served on the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council board, and instructed art classes at Copper Mountain College and the Desert Institute of Joshua Tree National Park. In 2011, she began an online MFA program at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. GretchenGrunt.com

”Window Rock”

James Hammons - Joshua Tree, California
Beyond the past “isms”—Impressionism, Modernism, Pointillism, Realism—is Enchantism. James Hammons’ “Enchantism” provides clues to the past, the liminal, dreamy edge between the now and the future, the moment realism explodes into the theoretical, where images are still recognizable, yet are at the moment of deconstruction into the often-perceived “I don’t get it” abstract. An art critic writes of Hammons’ work: “The observer has the opportunity to transcend boundaries, if even for a moment’s notice. Looking at Hammons’ art doesn’t so much remove one from the existing moment to peer into what could be, but instead one is watermarked by images into remembering how fantastic our potential was, and can be again, if we truly listen to Psyche , and become stewards of our own creative passions.” (Prof. Brenda Littleton, CSUSB). Enchantism is a mystical, though real, supernatural place between the ancient Shaman and Carl Jung, who stated “enchantment is the oldest form of medicine.” Hammons holds two degrees from University of Redlands and an MFA from University of Southern California. JamesHammonsArts.com

”Joshua Tree”

Kathy Harmon-Luber - Idyllwild, California
Kathy Harmon-Luber is a fine art photographer whose work has been exhibited at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood, Patricia Corriea Gallery in Santa Monica, David Lawrence Gallery in Beverly Hills, Gallery 825/LA Art Association and Barnsdall Municipal Art Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as USC, Cal State Chico, Palm Springs Art Museum, and galleries in Southern California, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. Her work is shown in Idyllwild at Skye Gallery, Courtyard Gallery, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Artspresso Gallery, and Café Aroma. Named 2012 Artist of the Year by the Art Alliance of Idyllwild, she has many national awards and her images have been published in Life Images Magazine, Inland Empire Magazine, Best of Photography, New Mexico Photographer, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. “My passion for photography is rooted deep in my childhood love of nature. An explorer at heart, I have traveled with camera in hand, desiring to possess the fleeting images of the mystery and radiance of nature.... Somewhere along the way, my images have become a meditation on film, and the line where nature ends and art begins was crossed.” KathyHarmonLuber.com

”Painted Sky”

Laurie Hernandez - Excelsior, Minnesota
Laurie Hernandez began her photography career at an early age, helping her father develop and print black-and-white photos. After earning a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science, she worked in the computer industry, allowing her to travel the world extensively. Intrigued by the visual arts, she turned her professional attention to photography and digital art. An award-winning artist and photographer, she leads photography workshops in Costa Rica, on the north shore of Lake Superior, and in the Badlands of South Dakota. She has photographed all over the U.S., in Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Her company, Worldesigns, LLC, provides photographic artworks both commercially and privately. Her photographs have been published in books, cards, calendars, advertising, and fundraising literature. worldesignsphoto.com

”View from Barker Dam”

Shelley Hull - Denver, Colorado
Shelley Hull’s artworks have been exhibited throughout Colorado and the West, including the 2013 Rocky Mountain National Watermedia in Golden, CO; “All Things Colorado” in Fort Collins; the 15th Annual Contemporary Exhibition in Grand Junction; International Watermedia Legacy, Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, in Colorado Springs; Aquarius National Watercolor Exhibition in Pueblo; H2012 in Denver; and shows in other Colorado cities as well as the 16th Annual Open ISAP International Exhibition 2013 in Paso Robles, CA, and Expressions West 2012 in Coos Bay, OR. She has a B.A. in Painting from Yale University and an M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art. Her awards include a 2013 Jerry’s Artarama Award from the International Society of Acrylic Painters Exhibition; 2012 Merit Award, Aquarius National Watercolor Exhibition; and 2006 Artist-in-Residence, Mancos State Park, CO. ShelleyHull.com

”Desert Colors”

Snake Jagger - Morongo Valley, California
Snake Jagger’s style is Whimsical Surrealism. While dedicated to the subtle exposition of his personal philosophy, he doesn’t take himself too seriously and is comfortable working with his tongue planted firmly in cheek. His work is surrealist, but there is no hint of the Daliesque allegory. Rather, his work draws compositional inspiration from Rene Magritte—juxtaposing mundane objects in a manner that convinces viewers to accept the entire image, regardless of its disparities, as a wholly realistic depiction. Once the mind’s eye has recorded the presence of these incongruous objects, it’s almost impossible to imagine the painting existing without them. His goal is to reshape/reinvent the world, inviting viewers along on the journey. “We only have one world and we cannot allow ourselves to squander its resources. Working together, we can perfect this world’s beauty and potential. We can leave it a better place for all generations yet to come.” SnakeJagger.com

”Do You See What I See?”

Shirley James - Yucca Valley, California
A self-taught artist, Shirley James’ background includes a commercial art course at Cleveland Institute, attending Skadron Fashion Institute in San Bernardino, employed as an interior decorator, an assistant art instructor, and Public Social Services worker for San Bernardino and Riverside counties. She retired in 2000 to devote her time to art, practicing drawing and painting and taking classes at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree. Developing a fascination for pyrography, she has gained recognition for her pyrographic depictions of desert landscapes, especially the Joshua tree. She has won awards for her landscapes, portraits, and pyrography, and a Joshua Tree National Park award for the best representation of Joshua trees at the 2011 Chaparral Artists Harvest Show. She received a 2013 grant from The Puffin Foundation, Ltd., for “The Joshua Tree Chronicles” to document individual Joshua trees in pyrography on Joshua tree wood and to promote pyrography as a fine art. sejamesartist.com

”Gneiss View”

Mark Junge - Yucca Valley, California
Mark Junge paints Southwestern desert landscapes, using transparent layers of acrylic paint to achieve the luminous glow of Dutch landscape artists and the detailing of 19th century American Hudson River School masters. “Through the clear night air, we see a million pinpricks of suns far away. Our footsteps crunch against the gravelly desert floor as lizards flit in the blink of an eye and disappear under elfin shrubs. A startled jackrabbit bolts across the landscape. The deep, fluorescent-blue dome of the sky inescapably surrounds us. This Spartan, thirsty and (sometimes) prickly world is a place where one can be alone—totally alone. If the wind is still, one can hear—nothing, the silence broken only by the occasional, gurgling ‘cawing’ of a nearby raven in flight. It’s a place to think, to recharge one’s batteries, to leave the troubles of our world as we enter another.” Junge has created award-winning paintings for more than 35 years. SouthwestSpaces.com

”Gentle Slope”

Gerhard Kammer - Studio City, California
Gerhard Kammer learned watercolor as part of his architectural schooling, as well as tempra illustration, charcoal and pen-and-ink drawing. He obtained a Master of Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1974. His designs have been built in China, the Middle East, and across the U.S. After 40 years of honing design skills, in April 2011 he retired from architecture to pursue fine art. Kammer began painting in 1994 at his hand-built Joshua Tree studio. He now lives in Studio City and Joshua Tree, painting the desert and Ventura Harbor area. He has exhibited his award-winning work in prestigious exhibitions, from the San Diego Watercolor Society 33rd International Exhibition, the National Watercolor Society Member Exhibit, and the 44th Watercolor West Juried Exhibit, to the Coachella Valley Watercolor Society and the spring Joshua Tree National Park Art Festival. GerhardKammer.com

”Decaf Tortoise & Espresso Hare Tea Party”

Anahita King - Joshua Tree, California
Anahita King works in ceramics and plein-air painting in watercolors. “For me, the delight in working with clay is being fluid enough to let the clay capture spontaneous gestures. I work just a bit faster than my logical brain can keep up with, so I remain in the magical moment of creativity.” As for plein-air painting, she says: “I have a daily morning meditation; plein-air painting becomes an extension of that time.” King also teaches art students, giving them art tools to put in their lifelong toolbox, from soft-slab building in clay to color-mixing for the desert in watercolor. “I have a great love for many disciplines; friendly math and chemistry pops up in ceramics, and rhythm and motion in painting. Most of all, I love to spark another person’s inner drive to create something they may not have known could come out of their hands and imagination.” AnahitaKing.com

”Hidden Valley”

Noreen Lawlor - Joshua Tree, California
Noreen Lawlor paints and sculpts the desert landscapes and the creatures who inhabit them, including humans. She works in various mediums, including watercolor, etching, acrylic, and sculpture. She frequently produces the same image in several different mediums to see which best connects the feeling inherent in the place or face, as she sees it. The artist says: “I like to play and let the thing kind of create itself through me. Sometimes, I get lucky and get to show some rocky terrain or the eyes of a bobcat so you see a bit of the spirit.” Lawlor has lived in the desert for eight years. She has participated in the annual Hwy 62 Art Tours, and her work has received awards and been shown in galleries throughout the Joshua Tree Gateway Communities.


”Misty Moon”

Anne Lear - Twentynine Palms, California
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Anne Lear attended Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, received a B.S. at University of San Francisco, and received her M.A. from Notre Dame University. Retired from a 43-year career of teaching art in elementary and high school, Lear moved to Twentynine Palms in 1994 after visiting family members in the area all of her life. She became active in local art groups and is a member of the Twentynine Palms Artists’ Guild, Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, Chaparral Artists, and San Diego Watercolor Society. “The desert is an endless inspiration for my paintings of scenery, animals, and plants. Sunrises and sunsets are never the same in the desert. They inspire gorgeous coloring. The materials I use are oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouache, and airbrushing.” As for collage, she says: “Collage is painting with paper. My pictures are made mostly of cut or torn colored areas from magazines. These paper scraps provide a ready-made variation of colors that would be difficult to mix with paint.” Lear’s work has been exhibited throughout the Morongo Basin, and her art is in the permanent collection of Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree. AnneLearArtist.com

”Orange Cactus Flowers”

Deane Locke - Yucca Valley, California
Deane Locke grew up dreaming of becoming an artist. In recent years, she was finally blessed with the time and opportunity to pursue her passion for painting. “I take great pleasure working with watercolors and pastels. I utilize my camera for everything that I find interesting—the strange, the beautiful, and everything in between. My subject preferences seem to lean toward barns, blooms and birds—nature in general.” Locke’s art education includes working with professional artists in the San Diego area. When she relocated to Yucca Valley, she studied with watercolor artists Elsie Grace, Audrey Gillick, and David Musser at Copper Mountain College. “Each teacher has taught me a diversity of unique techniques and styles, helping me explore many different approaches to watercolor painting.” Locke is a member of Chaparral Artists, 29 Palms Artists Guild, Morongo Valley Art Colony, Desert Art Center, and Watercolor West. DLockeFineArt.com

”Blue Blotched Lizard
in Cottonwood Springs”

Sandra Lytch - Twentynine Palms, California
Sandra Lytch was born in Roseburg, Oregon, in 1954 and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. As a child, she attended Kachina Art School in Phoenix, and as a teen she studied with a Dutch realist painter. Due to her artist father’s influence, she was inspired by Mexican muralists, especially Orozco and Frida Kahlo, and travelled often with her family to Mexico in the 1960s-70s. In the late 1970s-80s, Lytch was influenced by landscape painter Merrill Mahaffey during life drawing instruction. She obtained her B.A. in Studio Art at Arizona State University. “I work with acrylics, oil, watercolor and pastel—but like to think of myself as a multi-faceted artist; always willing to experiment with new materials. I am primarily a figurative painter, but recently have made in-roads into landscape.” In 2009, Lytch moved to Twentynine Palms and became active in the desert art scene, and currently serves on the board of Twentynine Palms Artists Guild. sandra-lytch.artistwebsites.com

”Juniper with Moon”

Terrence Mayes - Twentynine Palms, California
Photographer Terry Mayes works for Marine Corps Community Services in Twentynine Palms. A 1972 graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography, with a major in Industrial and a minor in Color photography, he has worked as a corporate and advertising photographer. His work with MCCS is 35mm digital. His personal work is film, using Hasselblad and Cambo Wide 4X5. He scans his film with a Leafscan 45 and uses Adobe PhotoShop and NIK software on a MAC computer.


”Bobcat Eluding Coyotes”

David McChesney - Joshua Tree, California
David Jesse McChesney is a 13-year resident of Joshua Tree and has been photographing the national parks and America’s wilderness since 1973. He has photographed 55 national parks and many national monuments, lakeshores, scenic rivers, etc. He has been published in 80 countries and has authored two photographic books, Muir Roots: At One with the Wild and The Mojave Desert: Miles of Wonder . He does presentations for nature, environmental, and conservation organizations, preserves, museums, nature centers, libraries, educational institutions, art associations, and photography groups. His work is seen at national parks, wildlife refuges, museums, and world birding centers. He leads nature/wildlife tours and has used his photography to assist conservation, environmental, and wildlife organizations in their efforts to preserve natural wonders and wildlife species. outmywindows.com

”Pine City Siesta”

Eva Montville - Joshua Tree, California
A professional sculptor for more than 45 years, Eva Montville’s artwork has been exhibited in the United States and the Middle East since the 1960s. Her artistic expression is rooted in her love of nature, especially the desert. “I grew up in Egypt and lived about half of my life as an adult in North African and Middle Eastern countries, which has influenced my work and helps explain my deep connection with the forms and spaces of the desert. When I first came to Joshua Tree in 1987, I felt I had come home.... The park has inspired and informed my work. It is where I feel most deeply connected. My art is an attempt to bring something of this back with me. My sculptures reflect the beauty of the earth forms I love in nature, and are also metaphors for inner landscapes. I want each sculpture to look like something you might find on a walk in the wilderness, an object worn by wind and water.” EvaMontville.com

”JTNP Barker Dam Heights”

Darlene H. Morris - Yucca Valley, California
Darlene Hansen Morris began her art career when she received her first box of Crayola crayons at an early age from her artistic mother. Taking art classes, she sold her first watercolor painting to the high school secretary, and her work was exhibited in the annual student show at Balboa Park in San Diego when she was a high school senior. In subsequent years, she continued her studies with artists Annette Paquet, Roger Folk, Gerald Brommer, Katherine Chang Liu, Morten Solberg, Louise Cadillac, and Pat Dews. Her work has been exhibited in Southern California since 1983 and juried into shows at the San Diego Watercolor Society, Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League, Fallbrook Art Association, San Diego County Fair at Del Mar, La Jolla Art Association, and Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. Morris works in acrylic, collage, mixed media, oil, watercolor, and digital photo-collage imagery. Her attraction to architectural forms led her to study architectural drafting and rendering, which increased her understanding of structure and strengthened her work. She teaches watercolor and mixed media techniques at Twentynine Palms Art Gallery and Copper Mountain College. dhmorris.net

”Desert Stroll”

Janet New - Yucca Valley, California
Janet New is a Virginia native who became a California transplant in 2006. Her hobbies were landscaping and water sports, hard hobbies to pursue in the desert environment of Yucca Valley. “During my first year here, I went into a shop in Yucca Valley and saw a collection of gourds carved and wood burned. My past experiences with gourds had been very fleeting and only existed during the fall season as decorations. I thought, ‘I can do that and maybe it would ease some of my home-sickness.’ One class turned into another, and I have been wood burning and carving gourds ever since.” This became New’s new hobby, taking a piece of nature and turning it into a work of art. She currently designs gourd art for friends and family. “No two are alike, just like the gourds that Mother Nature supplies me to work with.”


”Rainy Drive in JTNP”

Noemy O’Hara - Twentynine Palms, California
Noemy O’Hara moved to Twentynine Palms in 2010, trading her life in the Arizona desert next to the Colorado River for a new life in the California desert next to Joshua Tree National Park. “Since childhood, expressing myself artistically, whether through music (I come from a family of musicians and singers) or some form of visual arts, was like breathing to me. I both loved it and needed it! I am primarily self taught in all of my artistic mediums—singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument, drawing, painting, etc. However, without the gentle guidance of some instructors during my primary school years and college, I probably would not have been exposed to such a variety of ways to express myself artistically.... After my school years, life in the ‘real world’ seemed to over tax my time and resources to put into my arts. So I was very happy that after one year of marriage, my husband, Cory, and I moved to Twentynine Palms, which has such a rich artistic background and culture. Here I have been able to rekindle my love for painting, drawing, and most recently photography and a touch of graphic art.” NoemysArtisticEye.com

”Skull Rock Paper Picado”

Jenifer Palmer-Lacy - Los Angeles & Joshua Tree, California
Born in Oklahoma, raised in Texas, Jenifer Palmer-Lacy first stopped in Joshua Tree in 1979, and much of her work has been in response to the desert landscape. Usually drawing and painting in plein air, she sometimes works for several years to complete a project onsite in watercolor, acrylic, luminous acrylic, and/or Prismacolor pencil on canvas or paper. She also studied papel picado with Berta Sosa in Highland Park, California, and creates portraits in cut paper finished with spray paint, depicting images from Hollywood icons to Skull Rock in Joshua Tree National Park. She earned a B.A. in Art and a Masters in Humanities at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Her Masters’ thesis project features a panoramic view of the ridgeline of Elysian Park as seen from the Los Angeles River and includes a park cultural history.


”Black Moon”

Drew Reese - Joshua Tree, California
Photographer Drew Reese was born in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1947 and was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he later studied photography at San Francisco State and UC Berkeley, and exhibited his work in group shows in the Bay Area. A Joshua Tree resident since 2000, he is co-owner of Spin and Margie’s Desert Hide-a-Way in Joshua Tree. Reese says of his art: “I am a desert landscape photographer living in Joshua Tree, California. Most of my work is done in Joshua Tree National Park and beyond... My challenge is to see the ‘familiar’ in a unique way.” Reese’s work has been shown in desert exhibitions at the 29 Palms Art Gallery; Hi-Desert Museum in Yucca Valley; True World Gallery, Red Arrow Gallery, and JTAG/Joshua Tree Art Gallery in Joshua Tree; and in the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council’s annual Hwy 62 Art Tours. His work was also exhibited in the OCCA Group Show 2012 at the Orange County Contemporary Art Museum, and in the annual juried ACE Show 2012 and 2013, The Artists Council Exhibition at the Palm Springs Art Museum. DrewReesePhoto.com

”The Lorax Tree”

Tami Roleff - Yucca Valley, California
Tami Roleff inherited the photography gene from her maternal grandfather, who taught her that no special occasion or celebration could start until the photographic documentation had begun (thereby proving the event actually happened!); and she inherited her first SLR camera from her father. “I’ve been taking photos for nearly 40 years, starting with the 110 Instamatic camera and eventually moving on to 35-mm film cameras, point-and-shoot digital cameras, and finally, in 2010, my first digital SLR camera, a Nikon D3100.” After using point-and-shoot digital cameras for 10 years, she received the DSLR for Christmas and realized she needed to re-learn how to take photos. “I set myself a challenge of taking a photo every day. I also took several photography classes with well-known photographers in the area.” Eventually, she entered local photography shows and began collecting ribbons, including the Joshua Tree National Park award at Morongo Valley Art Colony’s Fall 2011 Show, for Best Photo taken inside the Park. “I’ve really enjoyed my personal challenge of taking photos every day, a challenge I’m still keeping years later.” TamiRoleff.artistwebsites.com

”Rock Pile #1”

Jean Scobie - Yucca Valley, California
Jean Scobie, 69 years old, grew up in Banning, California. She spent the last 25 years in Humboldt County, California, working in banking, and in 2012 she moved to Yucca Valley to be near family. Since then, she has been working on ceramic mosaics for installation in her new desert home. Recently, she was inspired to do some painting with her sister, enjoying having a companion to paint with, and has begun to produce works in acrylic on board and canvas, representing Joshua Tree National Park. “I’ve been taking all my visitors through the park, and taking pictures of the fantastic rock formations.”


Aaron Scott - Twentynine Palms, California
Aaron Scott is well known in the High Desert of California for a unique masonry style. His ornamental masonry is easily recognizable to those familiar with his work. A Master Mason for nearly 40 years, Scott continues to create unique works in masonry, as well as expanding his artistic interests to sculpting. His work is now showing in a gallery in Prescott, AZ, and he will soon have pieces in another gallery in Prescott. Many of his desert critter sculptures were exhibited in 2013 during the annual Hwy 62 Art Tours in the Joshua Tree Gateway Communities.


Esther Shaw - Yucca Valley, California
Artist Esther Shaw has been living and painting in the desert since 2004. Her works are in response to the pulse of life, the rhythm of the season, and cycle of the sun. Her technique involves a loose application of oil on canvas, an interesting surface, and an image that will move the viewer. “For me, the very act of painting is as important as its content. I value the essentials of the painting process, yet I must also work in an improvisational way, offering another view to which we can examine the world.” Shaw was raised in Boston and graduated from Massachusetts College of Art, BFA, with a painting major. She followed with graduate classes in art at University of Arizona, Tucson, and in education at UC Irvine. She worked as an architectural illustrator for 20 years and as an art teacher for public schools and community colleges, including Copper Mountain College. Shaw has been an exhibiting artist with SCA Project Gallery, Pomona, CA; studio holder of Santora Arts Building, Santa Ana; and owner of The Spezzano Gallery, Long Beach, 2009-2010. EstherShawsArt.com

”Yucca Schidigera”

Mark Spangenberg - Greensboro, North Carolina
Mark Spangenberg is known as a contemporary realist. He received a B.A. in Illustration in 1985 at Art Center College of Design, where his instructors were illustrating for the movie, advertising, and transportation industry in Los Angeles. In 1980, he enrolled in a fresco painting class in Salzburg, Austria, with master artist Robert Scherer from Bolzano, Italy, where he was introduced to painting into fresh plaster (true fresco). This personified his goals in pursuing an art career. Born and raised in Twentynine Palms, Spangenberg has worked as a billboard painter; has assisted with fresco painter Benjamin Long IV and Charles Kapsner; and has done portrait, mural, historical, landscape commissions, TV courtroom sketching assignments, and teaching at the Sawtooth School of Visual Art in Winston-Salem and the Art Alliance in Greensboro, NC.” His mediums are oil, charcoal, pen and ink, and he has extensive experience with true fresco. MarkSpangenbergFineArt.com


Olive Toscani - Twentynine Palms, California
Olive Toscani lives in Wonder Valley, a few miles outside of Twentynine Palms to the east. “I love living here in the Mojave Desert, and I find inspiration and solitude on visits to the Joshua Tree National Park. The mountains, the sky, rocks, wildflowers, and the many visitors to my home—birds, roadrunners, bobcats, jackrabbits, snakes, and lizards—all inspire and color my work,” the artist says. Toscani works in a variety of mediums: sewing, clay, mixed media, and most recently painting, exploring both acrylic and oil. She is a former dancer, and has made and cast jewelry amongst other explorations. Besides loving the quiet desert life, she also is fascinated by “the entertaining and ever changing cast of local characters, seasoning the social scene and adding to the artistic mix in our high desert.”

”Unusual Reflections”

Margie Trandem - Yucca Valley, California
Margie Trandem is a photographer living in Yucca Valley, CA. She provides photography services for special events, shoots real estate and pet photography, and has recently begun exhibiting her nature and landscape photographs in exhibitions in Twentynine Palms and the Joshua Tree Gateway Communities. “I received my first camera from my father at age 8 and began shooting flower photos immediately. Although I have taken photos all my life, I did not seriously consider publicly sharing photos until last year. Perhaps the passing of my father had something to do with it. We were very close, and since I get the photography gene from him, it is a way to stay close. I hope you enjoy my photographs and if they make you smile or make you remember something, I am happy.” Facebook Pages: Snap Shots by Margie


Ellie Tyler - Joshua Tree, California
Award-winning, fine-art nature photographer Ellie Tyler hails from Altoona, PA, and resides in the desert community of Joshua Tree, CA. Throughout her life she has cultivated a deep appreciation for the power, mystery, and beauty of the natural world. Tyler’s images reveal a simplicity of line, boldness of color, and strong sense of harmony. Keeping true to the integrity of her subjects, she never enhances or manipulates her images. It is her belief that to do so would diminish the inherent beauty already crafted by nature. These qualities have become her “signature.” Most of Tyler’s work is created in the early morning or late afternoon hours when the light is at its most dynamic. She conducts workshops in the Southwestern U.S. and travels across the region capturing images that grace the homes and offices of patrons worldwide. Tyler has worked and studied with nature photographers David Muench, Bill Fortney, Tom Till, Carr Clifton, and Kathleen Norris-Cook. Her photographs have appeared in Sierra Club Books, National Geographic Books, Amphoto Books, and Sunset Magazine. She is a member of the North American Nature Photography Assn. (NANPA), and her work is distributed through Earth Images of Joshua Tree, CA. EllieTyler.com

”Standing Tall”

Alita VanVliet - Joshua Tree, California
A California native and lifelong artist, Alita VanVliet works out of her studio in the high desert town of Joshua Tree, CA. Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s in the San Francisco Bay Area, she tagged along with her father, an architect and potter, and was encouraged by mentors and instructors. Her studies included fashion design, landscape design, ornamental horticulture, illustration, painting, Yoga and meditation. She holds two design degrees and is a member of the National Acrylic Painters Association, Santa Cruz Art League, Twentynine Palms Artists Guild, and is currently Exhibits Director for Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. VanVliet has won awards in her 30+ years as a designer/artist, including “Artist of the Year” from the San Benito Artists group. In 2011 she was selected as one of eight artists (out of 300+) included in the “Midici Circle” private studio tour during the Santa Cruz County Open Studios event. A self-proclaimed “nature’s painter,” her work is forever evolving. Her current collection is titled “Nature and Spirit.” The artist’s use of bold color and her unique painting style makes for a collection that is rich in texture, depth, and luminosity. AlitaVanVlietArt.com

”Midnight Desert Sky”

Nichole Vikdal - Yucca Valley, California
Nichole Vikdal has loved pottery all her life. From playing in the mud as a kid to her first thrown pot in college, she was hooked. She has made Yucca Valley her desert home for the past 20 years. Her true passion is crystalline glazing, a process where crystals are grown in the glaze during the firing stage, similar to how geodes and gems grow in nature. The patterns she creates are often found in the beautiful desert, which she uses for her inspiration. Because there is no way to predict where and how the crystals grow, each piece is completely unique. In the pottery world, the “success rate” is much lower for this glaze than others, often resulting in poor color, no crystals, or breaking under the intense heat. Due to the time required to master the glaze, the great care in its mixing and firing, and the low success rate, she is one of the few potters today who use this glaze. Vikdal makes her pottery on a wheel using porcelain clay and mixes her own glazes from raw materials. She is a member of the Associated Artists Inland Empire, Chaparral Artists, Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, Twentynine Palms Artists Guild, and exhibits throughout the desert. Facebook.com/kiln2perfection

”Desert Bighorn”

John Whytock - Yucca Valley, California
John Vincent Whytock was born in Glendale, CA, in 1950. Interested in art from an early age, in 1961 he was selected by Laguna Beach Art Museum to participate in an exhibit of local artists. In 1979, he was an in-house illustrator for a company in Orange County that produced health films for Saudi Arabian TV. After two years, he was head of the video department and lead artist on staff. He went on to paint for a large mural studio in Costa Mesa, producing works for the hospitality industry. In 1986, he won a national competition to paint the Ranch Room Museum mural at San Juan Capistrano Mission. Since then, Whytock has painted hundreds of murals and custom art works for international clients in various industries. An established fine artist and muralist for more than 30 years, he has also designed and illustrated book covers, movie posters, video programs, and commercial art, and his award-winning fine art has shown at galleries across the country. JohnWhytockArt.com