Posts Tagged ‘ Anza-Borrego ’

Katherine McKay: California Roaming

Katherine McKay: California Roaming

Ed. Update–We are sorry to report that Katherine McKay died of cancer, in Richmond, Calif., on October 12, 2011.   Editor’s Note—We’ve been telling you about the early desert painters; with this essay by Katherine McKay we shift into the present. This is the first of an ongoing series about (and sometimes by) artists who are now exploring the deserts. Although I am based in the San Francisco Bay area, the entire state of California has become my home. Since 1989 I have been traveling for part of every year to the deserts, mountains and seacoasts of California.  I live…

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Early Painters of the Borrego Desert

Early Painters of the Borrego Desert

Around 1930 a young botanist from Chicago came to the Borrego desert to dig in the sand and collect native plants. At some point hunting for tansy-mustard and tidy-tips wasn’t enough for her, so she took out her easel and began painting the dunes and smoke trees. Last month I picked up one of her 1930s Borrego paintings on eBay for $99. When I hung the painting on my bedroom wall, it immediately connected me to Edith Purer herself (she became California’s first woman ecologist), as well as to the plants, topography and mood of Anza-Borrego.

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