About Me

My photo
Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas...

Greetings readers,  I hope this time of year finds you all surrounded by the comfort of those you love sprinkled with much laughter and merriment as many of us gather with friends and family for winter celebrations.  With the recent tragic events in my hemisphere, I think we all needed to return to our hearts and hearths - the center point of being grounded in all that matters most.

Sharing some images of things that warmed my heart and hearth this holiday season....

<----Ginger. I think he was staying up to see if he could catch Santa while watching over one of his favorite snoozing humans...

<---- Toby. Master of Ceremonies in our household...

<----Christmas morning brunch - French toast with warmed berries served at a table full of family and a guest. It was so nice to have all of my kids home this year. As they get older and onto lives of their own, these gatherings are quite special....

Many blessings to you and yours as the celebrations continue...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Noah Purifoy: Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum

This past weekend was all about art. Photographers. Painters. Experienced. Renowned. Wannabes. Admirers. Sculptors. Opening receptions. Potters. Assemblage. Art gallery crawls. We looked at art. We talked about art. We encouraged. And praised. And pondered. And all were inspired....

Friends from San Diego came up and we spent a large part of the morning wandering and wondering around Noah Purifoy's installations of assemblage sculpture at his museum out here in Joshua Tree. He began his assemblage sculptures on the desert floor of Joshua Tree around 1989. I remember visiting this site sometime around then or early 1990s. Yesterday, however, after over 10 years, one can see how the elements of the desert have taken their toll on the works. Still, the statements remain - however one interprets them. Thought-provoking to say the least.

Check out Noah Purifoy's foundation web page for background information on this intriguing artist. Then, check out my interpretation, 10 years after my first visit...

I'm a TV celebrity - in my own mind....

Recognize these? Cafeteria trays. There were hundreds of these arranged in Noah's assemblage sculptures.

"Voting Booth". What you don't see are the three toilets on the flip side. 10-12 years later and the sentiments seem the same...

This one is called "From the Viewpoint of the Little People".....it sits high up, maybe 10-15 feet above the ground.

Bowling ball sculptures. They were quite prolific at this outdoor museum.

All image 2012 ©Diana Shay Diehl / Mojave Light Studio

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weekend to-do lists

A beautiful fall day today....not even close to feeling like Christmas is less than 3 weeks away. As I try to grapple with what needs to be done in preparation for family and friends, I also find a gnarly leak in my bathroom that has now seeped under the wall into my bedroom; the window panel to the back sunroom door has popped the seal; and there are critter hair bunnies everywhere. Didn't I just sweep and vacuum, like, yesterday? Oh, and there's the never ending garage that needs a major purging - again. If I didn't have to go out there to do laundry and get critter food - I wouldn't have to see it and push aside the guilt...


I step outside into my backyard, also in dire need of sprucing up, wanting to enjoy the last snippets of daylight and look up to find..........

Fall is seeping into winter. I like this view much better than the damp tiles in my bedroom.....

Monday, December 3, 2012


Have you ever had a day where everything seamlessly flowed? People were nice to you all day which made it easier for you to be nice - probably because you were nice to them to begin with? Someone let you know they were thinking of you - and you had been secretly hoping that they were? There's a vibe in the air you can't quite put words to but if you could - it would just be a string of hearts....

Today was like that for me. I felt realigned clear down to the most minute cell to my core. Of course, it also helped that my students completed one of my all time favorite holiday projects in record time, cleaned up their mess of a gazillion tiny snips of paper, and loved the project as much as I do (photos of that next installment....).

It's late. Past my week day bedtime. I should have finished up my report cards. Instead, I spent the evening designing a new wall calendar and a cover for a journal, and visiting with friends on Facebook. I love the quiet space of my kitchen in the wintry evenings. Candle burning. A cup of hot tea. Comforting sounds of the house - family pets wandering in and out to see what's going on, my son going about his nightly chores - homework, catching up with friends, getting ready for his day tomorrow.

I will leave you with a hastily taken iPhone shot of our sunset this evening. The view below is the open desert and sky I am blessed to see every day that I leave and return to my home. This is my neighborhood - a brief walk from my driveway to thousands of acres of wild lands. Breathing space.

Cotton candy skies tonight............ Yes, it was exactly these colors.

Thank you for my day. My heart is filled with gratitude.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December DISCOUNT for art purchases

As an incentive to make holiday shopping a little more palatable, Mojave Light Studio is offering a 20% discount for anything purchased at our Fine Art America site during the entire month of December. This includes products ordered for our private clients.

HOWEVER, the discount applies to the cost of my prints only- not materials Fine Art America uses in completing the order if one wants more than just a print. None of that goes in or out of my pocket. Oh well. At least it's something off, right?

Please use coupon code: ZGKBGD at check out.

Find us at Fine Art America, Diana Shay Diehl

Check back often as we add more images.

Spread the word!

Out of procrastinating comes....

'Tis the season for......report cards, holiday planning, prepping the house for guests and festivities. I am a tried and true procrastinator - which means my report cards will be completed, well, before the deadline as will, maybe, everything else.

What did I do with my anything-but-sit-for-a-few-hours-and-fill-out-bubbles-on-the-computer time?  I created a web page to sell some of my favorite images! I've been searching for viable and quality ways to have my works produced in other means than my own printer as well as a place for my clients to purchase their portraits for themselves and other family and friends.

Welcome to Fine Art America! - a world wide site with some pretty incredible artworks from all over the globe. Please visit and share what you think as I continue to develop my galleries and offerings.

No photo today. I need to get back to my report cards.......but not until after Toby and I take a walk on this blustery and cool late-fall day.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Absence of color...

I cannot believe it is December. What happened to November?

Just a simple post for today. I was playing around with a new photo processing program. Being partial to black and whites and softer tones in that vein, I rather like this redo of a summer sunflower. Without the distractions of the vibrant yellows, one may better notice the intricate patterns Mother Nature weaves into her little miracles....

Have a beautiful first of December.

<------- Here is the original shot, taken with my iPhone....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Respite from the Usual Fray

A belated happy Thanksgiving to my American readers. If you can step back from the corporate commercial side of the holiday season, this time of year is filled with a combination of busy time preparing for family and friends visits and quiet time as we reflect on and appreciate all that is good in our lives. My week "off" from teaching this Thanksgiving week was just that. I chose not to get caught up in the big spending push of "Black Friday" and all that ensues. Instead, I chose to use this time for rest, spending snippets of time with my adult children, tend to a few piles of accumulated stuff at home, and take many walks in this unseasonably warm weather. 

Tomorrow, the work fray continues..........

Here are a few quick snap scenes from my week:

 <--------The Automotive Museum in San Diego, California. My son wanted to visit this during our day at Balboa Park. Me? Not so much. But, since he appeased me by allowing me a few hours at the Museum of Photographic Arts, I obliged and was pleasantly surprised. In this shot is Louie Mattar's Fabulous Car that made 2 non stop long distance drives in the mid 1950's. This car could change a tire, refuel, change oil, do laundry, cook, had a toilet and shower, tv/radio, wet bar....all the comforts of home without ever stopping! In the 1950s no less! It even had a hookah. Interesting.

I see this bridge every time I walk from where I stay, around the bay, to the other side where my favorite cafe for morning coffee is. It goes across Mission Bay to Pacific Beach --------------------------------------->

<---------------Soaking up the lush green surrounds while in San Diego. It does a desert dwelling body good.

My hike yesterday was on my favorite trail out of Black Rock Canyon in Joshua Tree National Park. This is the Panorama Loop Trail with vistas galore. The view below is looking north back down the trail. We were probably 3 1/2 miles into the hike. It was warmer than usual for late November. Sweating is a good thing, right?

 This is the top of the ridge. A hard hike up, up, up. You can see my valley town in the distance.

And here the terrain changes back to pinion pine, joshua trees, and scrub oak as we happily descend back to the trail head.  Nothing like a heart pumping hike to balance out all the holiday splurging - not on Black Friday deals but on great company and scrumptious food.......

I hope you and yours, wherever you are, enjoyed the warmth of family, friendship, and simpler times.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Walk in the Park...

Balboa Park, San Diego.... I love this place. Museums of art and history and science. Views of the city and Coronado Bridge and San Diego Bay and all sorts of gardens. If you stand still and listen, you'll hear languages spoken from all over the world. There is way too much to experience in one day - or two - or a week.

Today, we just wandered around for a few hours and this caught my attention.

Lights ©Diana Shay Diehl

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Walking the human...

My dog took me for a walk late this afternoon.....

He, intent on finding the elusive jackrabbit he smells on every walk.

Me, intent on watching the changes in the sky........

<------------ from this.......

              ........to this ------------------------------ >

<------------------- to this.

We found some things in our desert that we didn't like........

We've seen this exact sign in all kinds of different places on our walks. Someone has an interesting sense of humor being this sign is nowhere near a road or the trail we started off on......

Toby even posed for me by one of my favorite, stubby joshua trees. They grow thick and stocky where I live, not like some of the thinner, taller, scragglier ones in the national park....

Yep. It was a good romp. The dragging tongue says it all..........

All image ©Diana Shay Diehl

Look up

This is our morning sky of late..... a quick cell phone capture from my front porch before the shower and hot tea. Take a deep breath......can you smell the creosote, sage, and pine lingering in the freshly rained air?

I hope wonder, much love, and an underlying sense of peace pervades your day.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Unexpected Joys...

Love and healing come in all forms. I am overwhelmed by the generosity and love that finds it way upon my doorstep..... Can I ever send enough love back your way?

"On a day when the wind is perfect the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty. 
Today is such a day."  ~ Jalaludin Rumi (1207 - 1273)

Gifts of healing love.......

Spend some time with dogs outdoors on a free run. Then you'll know pure, unadulterated joy....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Shadows and Light

This time of year, I like the way the light streams in from the west into my sunroom and kitchen. Every dust particle and critter hair illuminated by the golden glow of mojave light in the dead of fall. The rest just falls into the shadows. 

"There is something about shadows because 
you make your own mind up about what is lurking in them." ~Richard O'Brien (?)


Monday, October 29, 2012

Art touring...

Our community just experienced the annual Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours. This happens every fall around the end of October when over 100 artists open their studio spaces for folks to wander through, be inspired, make new friends, run into old ones, and - hopefully - take home a piece or two to bless their own spaces with.

Some years, I try to hit as many studios as I can. I've yet to experience all of them. Other years, I barely make it out to visit my favorite artist pals. This year was one of those years. I think I made it to less than 10 in all - not even making it fully east to some of my favorite folks. Just wasn't in the cards this go 'round...

The art tours is such a special venue. It's way more than checking out art for your own inspiration or to adorn your abode with. It is a holistic experience that includes taking in the expansive beauty of our unique desert, meaningful conversations with artists and patrons alike, making new acquaintances, reconnecting with former ones - full days of being intrigued, surprised, entertained, or just quietly soaking it all in.

Over the years, I've experienced the tours alone and with company. Sometimes I just want to meander on my own, not particularly feeling like engaging in conversation but just getting a feel for how each artist expresses their life experiences through their medium. Other times it's nice to have someone along who can open you up to new and different perspectives. I did both this year - one day with a friend, another solo. And while I didn't make it to many studios, the experiences were delightfully rich for me. I ran into several 'old' friends and had some much needed catching up time with lots and lots of hugs. I got to know some acquaintances better. And, I met some kindred spirits along the way I know I will enjoy sharing creative exchanges with in the future.

I didn't take photos on all my excursions. Here are a few from my first weekend outing. If you ever get this way in late October, I hope you can make time to experience our Open Studio Tours. And, if you are a 'local' - I hope you will make time next year to indulge your senses and expand your perspective with a meander among the creative spaces tucked here and there in this special place I am happy to call my home....

The studio of Tina Bluefield. If I'm short on time, this is the one studio I try not to miss. Tina's art is both soothing and inspiring to me. There is such peace and tranquility in her space, her art, and her person. I always feel so good when I visit Tina. She is a lovely soul and it shows in what she does. Check her works out here: http://www.tinabluefield.com/

I met Moira Fain in my former hiking group. Hailing from New York, Moira recently migrated to the tranquil open spaces of our high desert. Moira is an artist in illustrations, assemblage, collage, and sketch.  For the art tours, she expanded to making modern metal mobiles - everything cut, polished, painted, twisted, and perfectly balanced by hand. I love her new studio space. Spacious, clean, open, very fresh. And she's a pretty cool person to hang out with, too! To give you a feel of Moira's past accomplishments, you can check out her works here: http://moirafain.com/

The studio of Steven Rieman is absolutely stunning. He is an amazing metal sculpture artist among many other things. Everything he does is in perfect balance. In this shot, I ran into 2 fellow artists and important behind the scenes folks who did major work putting the art tours together. It was nice to see them out and enjoying the tours after many months of hard work. One of the perks of attending the tours is definitely the social aspect... You can check out more of Steven's amazing talent here: http://www.riemansculpture.com/

This photo doesn't do the studio space of Melissa Spurr and her husband, Peter,  any justice. Melissa's photography is stunning. Lively, quirky fun, rich colors. I'm happy to say I have a piece of her work hanging in my own home. Art is both a luxury and a necessity. The tipping factor, to me, is when I establish a relationship with the artist - I can appreciate their artistic energy that much more and then will I find the means to bring that into and grace my home. If artists really want to sell their works, they need to make those connections with people and Melissa has a natural ability in connecting genuinely with people.  It didn't hurt to have Hansel and Gretel there to greet and engage the guests either... You can check out more of Melissa's works at her website here: http://www.atomicbloom.com/
2012 all images ©Diana Shay Diehl

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Time well spent

This is such a busy time of the year in my desert - open studio art tours; cooler weather for hiking about; and prepping for the multitude of holidays and special occasions that fall brings.  Instead of partaking in local events, I escaped for the day to share some time with my two older kids this weekend. They both live on the coast of California. One literally lives on the ocean in a, some jokingly say, 'very big houseboat'.  The other lives a 3 minute drive away from his after-work-daily-surf spot. They have such busy lives - work, school, budding careers, time with friends - I was grateful that they carved some time out that afternoon to spend with me - sharing the highlights of their new world. The chores could wait.

Healing waters of the ocean coupled with time spent with those you love most who also love you back....

2012©DianaShayDiehl / La Jolla Cove

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 6: Things that make me smile...

It's the simple things in life.  Always make time to stop and enjoy the flowers...


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 1

Marquise du Deffand was thought to have said: "The distance is nothing. It's only the first step that is important." (Okay, so I thought the quote was quite apropos for my day...then, I read up on the supposed author. If you like scandalous history, she might tickle that fancy....)

Anyway, I spent some time today browsing through old photo archives. I like this one. I have a print of it framed. It reminds me of a trip to the other side of the world that has left a lasting impression on my heart.... You are looking at Kingfisher Bay off the coast of Queensland, Australia. You can only get to Fraser Island, also Great Sandy National Park, via ferry or private boat.

Hope your day was a beautiful one. Be grateful.

Fraser Island boardwalk / Kingfisher Bay, Queensland, Australia 2007©DianaShayDiehl

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Big C

Interesting phenomenon....when one is given a potential death sentence, then does one begin to think about living.  I've denied my reality long enough. Tomorrow I begin treatment. I should be sleeping but my mind is racing - part fear, part excitement that I am, according to my consultation team, now on the road to healing.

The good news:
     Treatment is noninvasive.
     "It" is isolated and at a Stage 1-2 - for now.
      I'm tired mostly but nothing really hurts.
     Including surgery - which is minor considering - the 'inconvenience' of several times a week hospital/dr visits will be over by the end of this calendar year.
     Treatment is holistic meaning I am encouraged to stay active, meditate, eat/drink as I should and mostly do, use acupuncture for additional healing, clear my life of all that is useless to me, and add more time for those people/things I love. (Isn't that how we should live anyway?)
     I don't need to take off months of work, for now. My students are the highlight of my day.
     I have a lot of angels in my corner.
     I plan on being a very, very old woman who still hikes to the top of mountains - with or without grandchildren in tow.

The bad news:
     Well, I don't really have any - yet. Nor do I really expect to. Unless you want to count the cost of gas driving over an hour to the treatment center and the time it will take. I don't think my insurance covers the cost of gas....darn it.

I've shed many a tear and gnashed my teeth for a bit over this development. Now that the fog has lifted, I can clearly see the fair weather friends as they flee. And standing in their wake are those who have been quietly there all along, no matter what a putzy grouch I've been. What a gift this has become. I am finally free of trying to make anyone happy but me. I don't have to be ultra responsible for anyone any more. I don't hafta if I don't wanna.....

No photo today. And this will be the last I will ever say about this. From the moment I click send and take this weary body to bed, my Life begins.

I am starting over.

I will leave you with this great story that circulates around Facebook quite often. A friend posted it just today. Apropos, don't you think? It's a great reminder of how to balance our lives with the essentials. My only regret is that I didn't balance mine better all those years ago...


The Mayonnaise Jar and the Two Beers

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began,
 he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

~Author unknown

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Invisible Connections

While enjoying the lowest tide of the year, I watched these 3 women walk the length of the beach to the bluffs at the end and back. They stayed close the entire walk. Heads bent in conversation, occasionally stopping in unison to examine and appreciate tidbits found at their feet or gaze out to the distant mountains. The scene emitted deep appreciation - for where they were and who they were together. It warmed my heart to be in the wave of all that. You never know when your act of connectedness, acceptance, and appreciation for what is may touch the life of another soul. I thank these women, unknown to me, for touching mine.

Friendship. And what a beautiful place to share it in.....

2012©Diana Shay Diehl / Bishops Beach, Homer, AK

Saturday, October 13, 2012


5000 views today. I am honored. Not bad for a teeny little out-in-the-wide-open-beautiful-boondocks blog. Thanks for sharing the journey so far.

Also today, I FINALLY put some of my prints and calendars into an art/collectibles shop here in my town. Signed the contract and all. I figured if I didn't make a more concrete move then I might never. Enough of the talk of ideas. Time to put it all into real time. The creative spirit needed a push off the tuffet.

This little guy, whom I've shared his story way earlier in this blog, needs to be resurrected. I've got my last 5x5 metallic prints out for sale. He yearns to be big and bold again to continue his tale...

"Coyote Pup", 10x10 image / 16 x 20 framed, Southwest Art Show
3rd Place winner ~ photography category. ©Diana Shay Diehl

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Snippets from the natural world...

A simple post today. This is of a desert fan palm (Washingtonia filifera), a very young one just unfurling its leaflets which will make up a leaf frond or fan. You can see how tightly packed they are with the corrugated look to the leaflets. They become quite straight, stiff, and smooth once the opening process is complete - like spears spreading out from a center point. You can see 'older' leaves in the bottom right corner. The Native Americans used the fibers for weaving baskets and sandals. These palms can live from 80 - 250 years. This 'baby' will far outlive me....


.....post on March 26 has this same shot as I did a piece on a wildflower shoot last spring....