A Road Trip Through Eastern Nevada and the Mojave Desert

Great Basin Rabbitbrush
(click to enlarge)

Last fall I took a road trip through the Great Basin country of Eastern Nevada and the Mojave Desert of Southern California.  I’ve added two new images to my active collection from the trip.

The first (above) is an image of rabbitbrush catching the last light of day in a high country meadow.  It was shot in Great Basin National Park, NV.  I was drawn to the way the warm shades of ochre and yellow in the flowering heads contrasted with the cool cyan of the foliage.  To my eye, that combination makes for a harmonious color “chord”.

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A Trip to Southeastern Utah

I returned recently to Southeastern Utah, one of my favorite places on the planet. Over a week, I traversed the stretch between the town of Boulder on the west and the Colorado border on the east. It is an area of wide open roads and just a few small towns, widely scattered and relatively isolated.

I spent the last night in Mexican Hat where people routinely drive one hundred miles to Cortez, Colorado to get to a supermarket and other services that most of us think of as daily essentials.

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Video Based on Boston Pops Commission

I was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra to create a montage of ninety of my images to be projected above the orchestra for two performances during the Spring Pops season.

The music was Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”. The conductor was Keith Lockhart who continues with the Pops and in 2010 added the title of Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra to his assignments. He recently conducted the ensemble in Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Concert.

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Trip to the Great Smoky Mountains

In April I traveled to the Southern Appalachians of Tennessee and North Carolina. I spent a week working to capture the first green haze of emerging leaves as spring progressed from lower to higher elevations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I started and ended the trip in the bucolic gateway community of Townsend, TN (see iPhone photo above).

I was fortunate to arrive at the right time. The lower slopes were just beginning to go past, but the higher ridges were still in the leafless browns and grays of winter.

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Mural Sized Installation at Sharp HealthCare

  • Space
  • Space
  • Space

I recently delivered the largest print I have made to date—84 x 108 inches, or 7 by 9 feet. The piece was commissioned by Sharp HealthCare for their new downtown San Diego medical facility.

It hangs twenty feet above the floor in the building’s three story entrance lobby. It is also viewed from overlooking spaces on the second and third floors.

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Art Santa Fe 2015

In July my wife Karen and I traveled to New Mexico again to show at Art Santa Fe. This was the eighth year that we have exhibited at this “boutique” art fair. Once again, the event brought together galleries from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United States.

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Art San Diego – September 2012


I had a juried single-artist space at Art San Diego from September 6th through 9th, 2012. The fair, in its fourth year, was held in the Balboa Park Activities Center.

Art San Diego casts a wider subject matter net than most other art fairs. There were zones within the exhibit hall dedicated to Contemporary Art, Mid-Century and Modern Art, Contemporary Furniture Design, and Curated Solo-Artist Booths. I had one of the latter.

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Art Santa Fe – July 2011


I exhibited at Art Santa Fe in July for the fifth consecutive year. I keep going back because my work seems to be finding a growing audience in Northern New Mexico—not only among local Santa Feans but also among art-aware people from across the country who come back year after year to spend their summers in the region.

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New House and Studio


In June my wife Karen and I finished what turned out to be a three year project—the designing and building of a house. We did not set out to do that. We intended to find an existing home that would cut Karen’s commute in half and give me more space for my office, studio, and storage.

After a year of looking without finding anything that met our idiosyncratic needs, and egged on by our realtor whose father is a builder in Colorado (“It’s not that hard, just build one”) we did find a property in exactly the right spot and we did just that, we built one.

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Letter from a Cancer Patient

Aspens, Morning Rain
Aspens after Morning Rain (2004)

Received via email from a patient at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center:

Hi Robert,

First off I’d like to start by thanking you. I’m sure this will come as complete surprise to you, but you don’t know just how instrumental you have been in my recovery from cancer, AML (Leukemia) to be specific. I was diagnosed with Leukemia in June of last year and was treated at the UCSD cancer center.

Once I was able to leave my hospital room after 5 months of treatments, I came across Aspens After a Morning Rain in the Moores Cancer Center where I still get weekly treatments. I still sit in front of that picture which I believe you donated and put myself in a better place.

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The 2011 Los Angeles Art Show


Following up on last year’s successful show, I exhibited for a second time in late January at the 2011 Los Angeles Art Show. The venue was the downtown LA Convention Center.

LAAS is an annual juried art fair that brings together more than 100 galleries from around the world. This year’s featured guest country was China. Exhibitors showed work in painting, sculpture, photography, video and printmaking genres.

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“Alpenglow” in Thread


In a revival of an historic Vietnamese craft tradition, an artisans’ project called La Than Imperial Embroidery has rendered one of my photographs, Alpenglow on Hurricane Ridge, in silk thread.

The piece is 7 feet wide, took six needle workers over a year to execute, and utilizes hundreds of distinct thread dyes.

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Los Angeles Art Show 2010


In January my work was featured in the Susan Spiritus Gallery space at the Fine Art Dealers Association’s LOS ANGELES ART SHOW.

It’s an annual juried event that brings together 110 galleries, both domestic and international, exhibiting work from all genres and periods—“from Rembrandt to Ruscha” as LAAS says in their description of the fair. It takes place in the downtown Los Angeles Convention Center.

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“Rare Places” in Los Angeles


My traveling exhibit, “Robert Turner: Rare Places in a Rare Light” was hosted most recently by The G2 Gallery in Venice, California. It ran from September 22 through November 8, 2009.

The gallery opened in March of 2008 in the bustling Abbot Kinney District in this beach community south of Santa Monica. My pictures showed very nicely in their space.

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“Rare Places in a Rare Light” in Cody, Wyoming


My traveling exhibit Robert Turner: Rare Places in a Rare Light opened April 10th at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in the museum’s John Bunker Sands Gallery.

BBHC is a unique group of five themed museums under one roof at the eastern gateway to Yellowstone. They include the Whitney Gallery of Western Art and the Draper Museum of Natural History. Together they examine and interpret the human and natural history of the American West.

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A Second Body of Work

Light Bulb Study
Light Tubes
Archival Pigment on Hahnemuhle Museum Etching Paper
15″ x 40″ print size, 20″ x 45″ framed

While continuing, as always, to pursue the light on the land in my large-format landscape photography, I’ve also begun exploring other ways to bring light, form, and color together to create photo-based imagery.

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