Beyond the Canvas
Layer upon layer of nostalgia.
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Palm Springs is an odd place. It's a place of visual layers, a landscape that is both supremely monotonous and exceptionally soothing. Layers, I wouldn't know how else to describe them. The sizzling asphalt roads, the patches of perfectly-manicured lawns, the white walls of the low-rise houses, the skinny palm trees, the rocky backdrop of the San Jacinto mountains and, finally, the sky. I have seen it all turn pink at sunset and it was breathtaking. Those layers of clouds and the dark silhouette of the mountains alone were worth the trip.
It's a rainy Sunday, and I have accidentally just come across the work of Alice Tye, cue the pang of nostalgia for the colours and the vibes of the California desert. I'm thinking maybe Alice saw the layers, too. That formal neatness, that TV show-like serenity, that subtly unreal atmosphere, as if no one actually lived behind those walls - my thoughts are all perfectly captured in her oil paintings.
The last time I was in Palm Springs I clumsily misjudged my timing and the heat was so severe leaving the house was something of a health hazard. What an absolute pillock. The layers were shrouded in haze, blurred to the point of near abstraction in my eyes. On my last evening, I was treated to the most glorious display of lenticular clouds at sunset. The clouds draped across the sky reminded me of a murmuration of magical birds, while a single plane trail darted upwards. Layers.
It is all about these tiny, yet defining fragments of moments, the ones you know are going to stay with you for a long time. Whether 10,000 miles away from home or just around the corner, soon the haze will lift and there will be 'layers' for all of us to fall in love with.
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La Jolla Road #1 (2015)
Magical layers at Indian Wells - March 2018.
A murmuration of clouds at La Quinta - September 2019