Posts Tagged ‘ Kathi Hilton ’

John Hilton and the Smoketree Gang

Editor’s note–In anticipation of Kathi Hilton’s visit to Palm Desert March 17-20, 2017, we’re featuring Dan Rohlfing’s article about Kathi’s dad, John Hilton, and his own Wild Bunch of friends. John Hilton, who died in 1983, ran with a circle that included Agnes Pelton, Clyde Forsythe, Maynard Dixon, Bill Bender, Nicolai Fechin, Desert Magazine editor Randall Henderson, Zane Grey and others. The article–reprinted from Dan and Linda Rohlfing’s Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery newsletter–shows how the Smoketree School‘s strength was based not on individual celebrity but on a web of relationships. The friends spanned the fields of government, journalism, Hollywood, literature,…

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Henry Mockel: The Philosopher of Flowers

This article first appeared in the Early Spring, 2014, edition of  The Sand Paper, the newsletter of the Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association (www.abdnha.org). Faced with a field of spring flowers, some of us want to run the other way. The names confuse us, the profusion intimidates us. Fortunately for the phobic, Henry Mockel has some advice: Pick just one primrose. Forget the acres of color and find yourself a solitary bloom. Visit it daily. Observe as the colors cycle from morning to night. A renowned botanical artist, Henry once studied a Datura for an entire year. But you…

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The Desert Art Dynasty of John and Kathi Hilton

The Desert Art Dynasty of John and Kathi Hilton

The painter Kathi Hilton Garvin, art dealer Dan Rohlfing and I had just finished dinner at the 29 Palms Inn. The sky was turning pink then blue, like a Technicolor Hilton painting, when Dan suggested that we try to find John Hilton’s old 29 Palms homestead, playhouse to movie stars and desert artists. As we crammed into my Subaru, I wasn’t so sure about this plan. It was getting dark and no one really knew where we were going except that it was out in nowhere. Dan, co-owner of Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery on the Sonoma coast, had never been…

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Desert X Etiquette, Lou Armentrout, Cathedral City Arch, Desert Drawing Club and More

Desert art is in the news this month with the approach of Desert X, the site specific event (February 25-April 30, 2017) that will overlap with the Coachella music festival. A sister event, Joshua Treenial, takes place March 31st through April 2nd in Joshua Tree. While the Smoketree painters connected with the land by camping and roaming on it for decades, many of the arriving artists are out-of-towners who don’t know Tahquitz from Tachevah.     To help them with the local etiquette, the Mojave Desert Land Trust is preparing a guide: Reading the Landscape. The Joshua Tree-based conservation and education…

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Elsie’s Army, Clonard Thomas, Pelton Mystery and More

Elsie’s Army, Clonard Thomas, Pelton Mystery and More

For every desert painter found in books, hundreds more were faithful to the terrain–but are not so well-known as yet. Two such devoted desert painters passed away recently. Clonard Bunn Thomas of Palm Desert died February 10, 2013. With her artist husband Bruce she managed the Aerie Art Garden, a 20 acre retreat in the Cahuilla Hills. Thomas painted with the Coachella Valley Watercolor Society’s “Field Mice” and rendered the local landscape with intensity and openness to abstraction. For painting tips from Clonard and Bruce Thomas, see: http://www.aerieartgarden.com/artistcorner3.html Elsie Grace, 91, died on February 15, 2013.  She taught watercolor at…

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