View Full Version : Anyone from Phoenix/Scottsdale area? Need some info too!

Adriana Meiss
10-12-2011, 03:07 PM
I'm very excited because I'll be taking a plein air workshop in Scottsdale with Marc Hanson at the end of this month. I'll be staying with my niece who lives in Chandler. According to the web driving directions it's only 15 miles/20 minutes from my niece to the art school.

Anyway, on the two weekends I'll be there the plan so far is to go to Sedona for an overnight trip and visit the Sonoran Desert Museum to see some wildlife. As this will also be my very first time in the southwest, perhaps someone can help me with the following:

nearby places (no more than 1 hour away or so) I shouldn't miss that offer good views for picture taking or plein air painting.
the best galleries to visit.

-->And if there is a WC member from the area, perhaps we could meet somewhere for a cup of coffee or even to paint!

Thank you,

10-12-2011, 04:44 PM
Places to visit:

The Tonto National Forest, Roosevelt Dam and the Indian Ruins, Apache Trail, Montezuma's Castle,Tuzigoot, and the view from Fountain Hills are all great landscape adventures. If you have time, Tubac is an artist colony south of Tucson where you can also see San Xavier Mission. I recommend that you skip the Biltmore and Taliesin. Biltmore has been rebuilt so it's lost it's originality, and Taliesin is very expensive along with being chunked up into tours of various sections - like Hearst Castle. You pay $35 per person, you see two rooms and then have to pay another $35 to see two additional rooms. Fool me once ...

The best museums are the Phoenix Art Musuem - with Bierstadt, Moran, Parish, Dixon, etc, and the Heard Museum which houses the Goldwater Kachina Collection. They are close to each other so you might be able to see both on the same day.

Sam's Cafe in Phoenix is very good for Mexican and Mei Lei's is the place to go for Tai. Scottsdale and Tempe have lots and lots of good restaurants.

Don't forget that it is 102 degrees in Phoenix with a lot of refected light and heat bouncing off of the desert floor. I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of applying sunscreen every 2 hours, a really good hat, sun glasses, breathable clothing with a long sleeve cover up, convertable cargo pants, comfortable/breathable trail shoes, and water-water-water! A lot of the plein air landscape classes trek to the mountains, so take that into consideration.

Speaking of trails - stay on them. Critters are still out because of the heat.

When you go to the Desert Museum, try to get there early in the morning - beautiful, but, also very hot. You will need good walking shoes.

And, from Chandler to the Art School in Scottsdale, without traffic, is about 30 minutes. The 101 is pretty fast, but the Art School is in downtown Scottsdale, so you have exit off 101 and use surface roads with local traffic and stop lights.

Have a wonderful trip. I am heading down to AZ on 10.18. If you would like to meet for coffee, let me know. I can probably round up a couple of artists - non WC - and we can chat. Jann

10-12-2011, 05:01 PM
Good info. Hubby and I are leaving Friday for a week in Sedona. Thanks.

10-12-2011, 05:43 PM
if you decide to go to Tubac,, let me know as I am only 45 min. from there. and the San Xavier mission isn't in Tubac, it is off of I-19 on your way sounth from Tucson before you hit Green Valley. if you decide to go there let me know also as I have been wanting to painting there since I went there several years ago when part of it was under construction. I got some good photos then, but would love to see it with the construction finished. not sure I could actually stand to paint there but, they do have some vendors with drinks and stuff, although that may only be on the weekends.

Lucky you to be in a workshop with Marc Hanson! He is on my list of of workshop instructors I want to work under. I'm hoping to take one with Michael Chelsey Johnson in Tubac in January. Also near Tubac is the Tumacacori Mission that is a nice place to visit and paint too. I haven't painted at these places but i know many others who have.

So, PM me if you will be near Tubac. they have lots of galleries and places to eat or get a coffee etc.

Have fun!


10-12-2011, 05:56 PM
and if you are going to paint in that area, bring nineteen shades of brown and a few sticks of 'brownish fuchsia'........enjoy and watch those 'critters'.....:thumbsup:

10-12-2011, 06:14 PM
Actually weather the end of October is usually quite lovely. High 80's day/mid 50's night temps are the norm. We do sometimes have a mid 90's day temp but the evenings are cool.

I agree that if you are taking the 101 to or from Scottsdale weekdays any time before 9a or after 3p it will take you at least 30 min. I make the trek every other Sat with no traffic and it takes me 20 min.

Have a lovely time in your class!

10-12-2011, 06:53 PM
Oh, I forgot ... Us Seattlites do not know the difference between mid 90 and 100 degrees. Once it get above 80 in the PacNW, our brains dry out and we loose our ability to process any sensation beyond being really hot. And then there is that PHX ideology wherein any temperature below 109 is just warm - it's not hot until it hits 110.

Sedona is going to be a more comfortable temp than PHX. Tuzigoot, Montezuma, and Jerome are all in close proximity. And ... there is the Frank Lloyd Wright church in Sedona - Chapel of the Holy Cross. Fantastic view! I am not Catholic, but I still found the building and adornments to be quite inspiring. I had the same sensation when I visited the Mosque of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Seplecur in Jerusalem. One does not have to practice the specific faith of a holy place in order to feel the spirituality.

San Xavier is "on the way" to Tubac, and if I am not mistaken, the scaffolding may still be surrounding the bell tower - I may be incorrect. I read something about the mission fund running out of money. But that was in 2010, and I have not kept up.

As far as stick colors are concerned, brownish fuchsia is a must have. You will also need a variety of dusty greens, olive greens, ochres, cobalt blue to blue green, yellows, and lots of shades of blue violets and violet greys. A V100 would also be helpful.

My personal favorite time of the day for desert color is just before sunset when the desert turns so red that it looks as though it is on fire. And then there is the moon rise and the clearness of the night sky when one can see a bazillion stars. Hmmmmm.

Safe travels. J

10-12-2011, 09:07 PM
j thanks for the info. We went to Israel and Jordan earlier this year, so I am familiar with those churches. I will be sure and see this one as well.

10-13-2011, 02:38 AM
Japonaise, I didn't mean to sound snotty about the San Xavier Mission. i re-read what I wrote and it does come out that way so i'm sorry. I haven't been there in years so I thought they were done with it but if they ran out of funding i can see why the scaffolding would still be up--kind of a disappointment. but really there are many things to paint just there in the courtyard etc. I don't know the Phoenix and Scottsdale are at all.

Adriana, the Sonoran desert Museum is in Tucson so that is a drive from Phoenix. But it does bring you closer to Tubac<G> And j is right go early in the morning and wear good waling shoes. And I also would like to say that sunscreen is a must and a big hat, good shoes(comfortable and good for walking(sometimes hard to find).

I hope you have fun. You have lots of great suggestions here so I'm sure you will be able to fill your time with wonderful things to see and do.


10-13-2011, 08:02 AM
Adriana.......if you plan on driving on the 101, you can practice by coming down to Manhatten and taking the BQE out to LI @ 5PM......same driving conditions........seriously.......:thumbsup:

10-13-2011, 11:03 AM
My fav spot is Prescott (say "press-kit"), on the way to Sedona. Also the historic town of Jerome is just fascinating. Also, never try to touch a prickly pear. You'll spend HOURS trying to extricate almost invisible needles. Probably a no-brainer to anyone except me :lol:

Adriana Meiss
10-13-2011, 01:33 PM
Wow! Thank you all so much for all the info an ideas!
Jann, you seem to know the area like the palm of your hand!
I've been taking notes of all the suggested places to visit.
I'll be there from the 28thof Oct to Sun Nov 6th. The workshop runs from the 31st to the 4th from 9-4. I decided on a late night flight back home so I could do more exploring that Sun. If you are going to be in the area during those dates, I would love to meet you!
I'm a thermo-wimp as my husband calls me, because I cannot deal very well with temperatures above 80. Before signing up for the workshop I did research on weather and asked people about the temperatures during early Nov and everybody said it's not that hot then. Of course, what's cool to some people might still be very hot to others. Anyway, I'll be prepared. I bought and umbrella for plein air painting too and I'm planning on bringing a wide brimmed hat. I'll make sure to have plenty of water with me too at all times.
Sherry, Have fun in Sedona!

Sara, I didn't know you were from there! For several years now I have been wanting to take a workshop with Marc. By chance he mentioned it on FB and since my niece has been inviting me to visit her for quite some time, I thought this was it. If I'm in your area I'll make sure I'll contact you!
I hope you can take the WS with Michael Chesley Johnson. I've been looking at his paintings to determine what colors I should bring with me.

Averagejane, Thank you for the info. It seems that it'll be better off for me to hit the road very early each morning. I wouldn't mind being in Scottsdale and hour or so before the classes begin.
Blue, please, please tell me you are kidding about the traffic ...:eek:
My worst traffic experience was years ago going from Newark to NYC at rush hour. It certainly left a very strong impression on me!
I'll have to see if I have a 'brownish fuchsia' among my colors!

Chua, Thank you for the info and the warning about the prickly pear! It wouldn't have been a no-brainer with me either. I love plants and have this inherent need to touch them! I see myself hugging a saguaro!

10-13-2011, 05:41 PM
Sara: Your statement was just fine. Your comment caused me to rethink my opinion of "hot" and for some of us, anything over 80 is hot. In the desert, 80s and 90s are nice days - 100s, not so much.

Sherry: A "me too" for you having a wonderful visit to Sedona.

Jane: Prickly pear - awful. Cholla - the worst! They look so fuzzy ... And, Prescott is a great town.

Blue: Really? the 101 N is not as bad as the BQE to LI. Now, the I-10, that's another story. Horrible.

Adriana: The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is in Tucson and the Desert Botanical Garden is in Phoenix. Both are great! The Sonora has a very nice aviary and picarys run through the washes - kind of fun to watch but don't stand in their way.

And I forgot to mention that you will need a lot of tints and shades of red. Scottsdale has a small, but well stocked, art store on Scottsdale Blvd. However, since you will be in Chandler, you can also make a pilgrimage to Jerry's Artarama in Tempe. Hours of fun!

I will be in AZ through 11.5. If you have time before your workshop, let me know.

Safe travels.

10-13-2011, 08:28 PM
Unfortunately Jerry's Artarama in Tempe is sadly lacking in the pastels dept. I am there weekly for demos/classes/just to spend money! Watercolors, acrylics and oils are better represented in this particular store.

Chuas.....we actually do call Prescott press-cot. I have a summer home there and it is a lovely and quite arty town. Not as pretentious as Sedona. I so miss the Sedona from years back when it was crystal/new age but not so touristy.

10-13-2011, 09:20 PM
Jane: Do you live in PHX or the area? We have a little art group that meets over the winter months - pastels, water colors, CP and water CP. Let me know if you want to join us some time. J

10-14-2011, 03:39 AM
While in Sedona, don't miss Oak Creek Canyon. The trees should be changing. Lots of great PA sites there. Wear light colored clothing, as it reflects the heat. Dark colors will make you HOTTER.

Arizona is the most beautiful State of all. Enjoy your time there.


10-14-2011, 10:58 PM
Adriana, Sara, Jane and Sherry:

Found this online - just in case you are interested.


10-14-2011, 11:44 PM
Thanks Jann. We will be there from the 16th through the 23rd so I should be able to seena little of the event on Sat.

Adriana Meiss
10-15-2011, 05:20 PM
Thanks for the warning. I'm planning on bringing enough supplies with me.
Jan, Thank you for the link. I'll miss the paintout but might be able to go and see the exhibit on its last day.
Carol, Thank you for the tips. In Oak Creek Canyon, are most nice spots for PA painting far away from a parking lot? I ask only because I need to know how light I should pack. My PA set up is kind of heavy: backpack with pastel box, tripod, umbrella, etc) and it would be nice to know ahead of time if I should consider something much lighter/ efficient.

10-16-2011, 02:00 AM
Hi Adriana,

i only recently moved back here. this past year i lived in Minneapolis, MN where most of my siblings live(we were born and raised there all 11 of us) and my kids live in Rochester, Mn so it was only an hour and a half drive for them, i didn't have a car at the time. Before that i lived here and I also lived in Albuquerque for about 9 months in 2010. I had a boyfriend who liked to move a lot. but he left so i first went to Mpls. to be near family and friends there but it wa the worst winter last yer in decades with the snow and the cold so I knew i needed to move back here. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis among other chronic illnesses so living in Mn was tough. I have lots of friends here in this small town i live in near the border:) i plan on staying here now for as long as i can.


10-16-2011, 02:45 AM
Adriana: You can PA from the parking lot at Bell Rock. If you want to walk in a little, the trail is dirt and uneven, but all the views are so panoramic, you are certain to find a spot close to car. Your camera is a very important tool as there are lots of washes, gnarly trees, very cool rock formations, vistas of ridges and towers ... I can go on and on. Use a big gig empty SD/memory card and you will have enough material to stay busy for all of 2012.

Oh, and get to Bell Rock early. The parking lot fills up very quickly. And, the view point has nice public restrooms. Nothing like painting en plein aire pretty much hassle free.

Safe travels. Jann

10-16-2011, 09:58 PM
Adriana (and anyone else coming to Sedona) - Definitely check out the Sedona Plein Air Festival. I'm happy to be one of the 30 invited artists. Stop by one of the public events, or on the painting days, ask at the Sedona Arts Center where we are. Artists will either be phoning or texting in their locations to SAC so you can find us. I posted a blog entry on the schedule today, so if you go to it, you can get an idea of the event. I'd love to have you stop by! http://mchesleyjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/sedona-plein-air-festival-2011.html
PS Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions about the area. I'm not here on WC much these days. [email protected]

Adriana Meiss
10-17-2011, 11:34 AM
Sara, I hope the change in environment has help you a lot. I do not like the heat at all, but sometimes the cold winters here make me want to reconsider...

Jan, Thanks. I'll even buy an extra battery for my camera just in case.
And, the view point has nice public restrooms. Nothing like painting en plein aire pretty much hassle free. You bet!:lol:

Michael, Thank you so much for the offer. I have been debating whether I should go to Sedona during my first weekend there or my last one. This event has decided it for me. Unfortunately, I'll only be able to be there the very last day, but with some luck, I'll meet you then! --wish I could have seen you painting though! On the plus side, if I like the area so much I could go back there again on my last weekend!