Honoring Sally Ward and Louise Tennyson

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UPDATE:  Louise Tennyson Goble died on July 15, 2010, in Palm Springs. She is survived by her husband, Floyd Goble of Palm Springs, and son Gary Pierce of New York City, along with other relatives.

This June CDA recognizes two classic desert painters associated with the venerable Desert Art Center in Palm Springs. Sally Ward turned 101 this month, and is still painting. She moved to Tucson in 2006 and is now living at the home of her daughter, Sue Ward.

Sally Ward

Sally Ward’s friend, Louise Tennyson, had a gallery in downtown Palm Springs in the 1980s and is known for her sweeping landscapes characterized by John Hilton-style pastel tones. A large Tennyson landscape hangs in the meeting room of the Indian Wells City Hall. In recent weeks, Louise Tennyson has been hospitalized and is in poor health.

Louise Tennyson

The Montana-born painter Sally Ward moved to Palm Springs in 1973 and became part of a pack of avid desert painters who roamed the dunes and boulders. Louise Tennyson joined the pack in 1976.  The two friends often painted with the late and noted painters Darwin Duncan and Karl Albert.

Louise Tennyson can tell you all the best places to paint, having long led the Desert Art Center’s paint-outs. Decade after decade, painters have returned to the same choice spots. Shaver’s Well in the Mecca Hills, for instance, is a favorite of Tennyson’s as well as Jimmy Swinnerton’s before her. And Sally Ward can show you how to keep trying. “I try everything to get that light,” she said not long ago.

We thank both painters for their dedication to the desert and their contributions to the Smoketree School.

2 comments for “Honoring Sally Ward and Louise Tennyson

  1. I am so deeply saddened to learn of the death of Louise. We have been friends for 20 some years. As a matter of fact, when I first moved to Rancho Mirage, I purchased a large Tennyson oil and decorated my home around it. Louise was a good friend and she so loved to laugh and loved her dogs. We had many wonderful times together which I will never forget. I have since moved to Michigan and have a “Tennyson” hanging in my bedroom. Deepest sympathy to her family and to her many friends. We have lost a wonderful and gifted friend.

  2. We are just past the anniversary of Karl Albert’s death March 11th, 2007. It has been 11 years since his death and it never gets easier… I was sorry to hear of Sally Ward’s death and tried to meet up with her in Tucson, where my husband and I (daughter of Karl Albert) moved two years ago… The timing was not “right”. She shall be missed… I heard stories about the two of them from Karl… He loved the fact that they painted so well and with such individuality! She shall be missed! Diane Wittman Punteri Tucson, Arizona

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