Thursday, September 14, 2017

Maynard Country

September 14, 2017
   This is our last day in Maynard Country. Had a great little road trip yesterday, taking in Zion, Pipe Springs and Bryce Canyon. Amazing country.

Blooming flowers in Zion National Park at dawn

Daybreak On the road in Zion

BBB in front of a clever play on words on the side of a gas station in Kanab, Utah.

Daily Whip Out: "Maynard" From a photograph that hangs in the living room of his cabin.

Maynard's art studio where I am finishing up work on my Wild Bill book.

Maynard's cabin and studio are located about halfway between Zion National Park and Bryce National Park, in Long Valley, on the southwestern edge of the Escalante Desert.

   After Maynard's death in 1946 (he died a month before I was born), Dixon's wife transferred the ownership of the cabin to a painter named Milford Zornes who lived and worked here for 33 summers. There is a small catalogue of Milford's paintings in the cabin and I have enjoyed seeing his work, as well. He was very prolific and lived to be 100. He was also a teacher who had good observations on art, like this"

"An artist's job is to know what to leave out."
—Milford Zornes


  1. Bob, those flowers are Sacred Datura, also known as Jimsonweed or Locoweed. They are poisonous to humans and livestock.

    The name Jimsonweed came from Jamestown, Virginia when soldiers ate some and hallucinated for 11 days. Funny account below:

    "In 1676, British soldiers were sent to stop the Rebellion of Bacon. Jamestown weed (Jimsonweed) was boiled for inclusion in a salad, which the soldiers readily ate. The hallucinogenic properties of jimsonweed took affect.

    As told by Robert Beverly in The History and Present State of Virginia (1705): The soldiers presented "a very pleasant comedy, for they turned natural fools upon it for several days: one would blow up a feather in the air; another would dart straws at it with much fury; and another, stark naked, was sitting up in a corner like a monkey, grinning and making mows at them; a fourth would fondly kiss and paw his companions, and sneer in their faces with a countenance more antic than any in a Dutch droll.

    "In this frantic condition they were confined, lest they should, in their folly, destroy themselves - though it was observed that all their actions were full of innocence and good nature. Indeed they were not very cleanly; for they would have wallowed in their own excrements, if they had not been prevented. A thousand such simple tricks they played, and after 11 days returned themselves again, not remembering anything that had passed."


  2. Dixon was known for painting throughout the High Desert of Southern California, when traveling back and forth to New York in the early days of his career 1910-15. (Specifically Lucerne Valley and Big Bear) One of his paintings was found in a storage shed in Lucerne Valley while it was being cleaned out in a bank foreclosure. The clean-up guy put his "collected stuff" in a yard sale in Apple Valley. I bought it for $50 in scattered bills in my purse and loose change in my car's console. That was in 1998. I didn't know what I had but it sang to me. When I got home I realized where I had seen that name before. In my bedroom, I had a framed print of a monochromatic stylized work of Maynard Dixon's "Traditions." (a group of robed chiefs standing in council). For the next year, I studied Dixon's creative moodiness and his history, his wife's murals in Big Bear, and their studio in San Francisco. I learned of his painting for food when times were tough. I took the painting to Palms Springs Art Museum to see if it was real. They felt it was but could not give me provenance. I went to Mark Sublette's Medicine Man Galley in Tucson, he vetted it, and found a buyer. I was tickled. In 2016, my daughter was walking through the same PS Art Museum and stared in amazement, then shot a photo of it on her cell. I called the museum and sure enough, they had received the work from one of their patrons who had purchased it years earlier. In their museum's newsletter the museum's manager said "some lady came out of the high desert with a crazy story about finding it in a shed...

  3. PS -- Thanx for sharing the other photos that you had on your blog. It was my first visit there and surprised me to find that he still carries a lot of interest in the western circles. I think he's awesome. i guess you do too.


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