Studio Address

14010 N. El Mirage Rd
El Mirage, AZ 85335

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pacific North West

   Few weeks back I had the opportunity to travel North with my family.  We spent a little over two weeks and drove 3600 miles.  We Spent the first two nights in Yosemite National Park, where we were greeted with rain on the last evening.  Picked up camp the next morning, after a somewhat sleepless night due to the conditions, ....   Warmed up with breakfast at a cafe by the lake then proceeded  to make our way North, via the Tioga Pass, topping out at over 10,000 feet with much snow on the ground.  Had intentions of visiting Bodie, however, timing, adverse conditions and a road under construction said otherwise.  Planned on making it to the Shasta area, however Susanville became the next stop for a warm shower, soft beds and all the other comforts that come with a room.  After a good nights rest we were on our way, stopping in Shasta for a picnic under a tree, with Portland our destination we made haste.  Arrived in Portland after 9:00 sometime, we were greeted with a dinner that was prepared for our arrival, Thank you Layne and Stephen for your hospitality.  Spent the next couple days relaxing in Portland, then headed up the Columbia River Gorge toward Spokane, our next stop.  On the way hiked up several trails and observed rushing water making its way off of the steep slope to the river below.  Some of the most amazing waterfalls are in this area.  Steep short hikes, and tight switchbacks get you to the reward.  As we drove East the gorge gradually became shallower and shallower until the river spilled out into a hilly grassy covered landscape.  Not what I expected....after couple hundred miles of this terrain a city appeared from nowhere, Spokane.  We spent several days in the area taking in the sites and visiting with family, Thank you Chris and Erin for being such wonderful hosts.  One day Erin took us out into the country where I captured many images of decaying barns resting in infinite golden grassy hills.  Check out some of the images from our trip....Happy Trails!

 Flickr Set

Monday, May 16, 2011

Walking Home Stories

  Last weekend I had the opportunity to join Laura Milken's on a small stretch of road while on her 2000 mile journey to walk home from Tucson to Michigan .  I learned about Laura's journey from my dear friend Debra.  Thank you Debra.  Debra's daughter Hannah also joined us on the trip.  The trip   took some careful coordinating and timing to make possible, due to Laura's walking schedule.  A couple weeks prior we had various communication with Laura via  phone, email, Face book etc.....we had learned the dates and locations that Laura would be closest to our homes.  Debra thought that it would be a great idea if we were to meet up with Laura as she approached Globe, as I was working on a photographic project of the Toastmaster Cafe it seemed appropriate.  We both agreed that we would camp as close to Globe as possible since there were no actual campgrounds in Globe, Roosevelt lake, 25 miles away was the best choice.  Laura had planned to meet up with some friends from Tucson around the same time.  These friends would be driving a motor home and help support her during her first week.  The motor home provided a way for Laura to discard some of her heavier gear, as well as be joined with a walking companion for two 15 mile days.  We learned that Laura would be staying just outside of Globe the night before we would arrive.  We determined that we would meet up with her at the lake to spend the night, drive into Globe in the morning and continue where she left off the day before.  We arrived at the Windy Hill Campground  around 7:30pm, met Laura and her Tucson friends at the campsite.  We set up our tent, grilled some turkey burgers on the Coleman stove and shared stories by the campfire till late in the evening.  Our tent slept three comfortably, however, we did not get the best nights sleep.  Looking back I thought we might as well have stayed up and gazed at the heavens instead of rolling around in the tent all night.  At one point I got up, nature was calling, and exited the tent.  As I made my way to the restroom I looked up into the sky.  The Milky Way was staring back at me in all of its glory, its milky appearance stretched across the sky, horizon to horizon.  What a beautiful sight, I wanted to share my discovery with the girls, in hopes that they would take a look, however I did not bother them fearing that they needed as much sleep as possible.   We could see the Milky Way through the mesh ceiling in our tent, although the view was not quite the same as outside, we made due.  We must have managed to get some sleep, since Hannah accused us the next morning of snoring .....I do not recall doing so.  We were awakened at dawn by the sounds associated with lakeside camping;  a speed boat and an owl being the most dominant.  We were also greeted by small birds perched in the tree just above our tent.  We got up made breakfast, consisting of fried bacon which possibly awoke the others, due to the sound and the smell. Eggs, granola, yogurt, fruit, coffee and juice rounded off the mornings feast.  We all ate, had good conversation and shared photos via I-phone.  We tossed the Frisbee around as we packed up our gear and broke down the tent.  We left the campground headed back to Globe, created a shuttle by dropping off the car in Old Town Globe.  We jumped in the motor home and headed to where Laura had left off prior.  I knew that it would not take long to get to the drop off and enjoyed friendly conversation while Abba songs played in the background.  The motor home came to a stop and we all collected our gear and spilled out of the vehicle onto the gravel beside the hwy.  We all said our goodbyes took some pictures and proceeded to walk down the hwy.

 We followed Laura, walked alongside her and talked about different things for the next 6 miles.  We all took turns doing this.  I also ran ahead, climbed up on hills beside the hwy, ran across to the other side, in order to document the journey from different perspectives.  The images are available on my flickr page.  On another note, I wore the wrong shoes (worn out Chuck Taylor's), and my feet were killing me after about 3 miles.  The black asphalt was hot and unforgiving.  This gave me perspective.  I knew that Laura had just completed 1/20th of her journey (100 miles), and that she had a long way to go.  I thought to myself that you have to buy a special kind of person to attempt this sort of thing.  I am so glad I got to meet Laura and be part of her adventure.  Perhaps someday I could do something like this. I have always wanted to hike the PCT.  Some day!.......You can also check out The PCT Hikers Handbook for more information and advice from an experienced distance hiker.  Ray Jardine has hiked the PCT in its entirety three times.  Ok, back to our trip.......We made our way into town, stopped in front of the Toastmaster for a photo opportunity.

We walked by a church, which provided Laura with a motel room for the night, had some lunch, found the car, said our goodbyes wished Laura good luck and headed home.  I am glad Debra and I were able to be a part of this journey and the time we spent together was special.   It meant a lot to all of us, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity.  Laura is an inspiration......... Please check out Laura's website, watch live video feed, and read her blog as she makes her way home.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Save the Icehouse


The Icehouse has been one of my favorite creative spaces in the valley.  It has much history and has been providing a space for creative individuals for decades.  It would be a tragedy if this space was to disappear.  I am concerned about its fate......however, on Friday May 27th there will be an exhibition to help save the Icehouse.  Over 100 artists including myself will be in attendance, displaying there artwork which we will be for sale, with all are part of the proceeds going to save the Icehouse.  There will be hundreds of people in attendance, music and food will also be available.  If you have not been to the Icehouse, this would be a great time to do so...The space is amazing!  Here are some links to information about the Icehouse.

Please come out and join us, mingle with the artists and purchase a piece of artwork for a good cause.  See you on the 27th.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In the News

Surprise resident unveils new dimensions in ‘Mysterious Light’ exhibition


Valley  photographer  and  Sur-prise  resident  Thomas  Schultz will unveil his latest body of work, “Mysterious  Light,”  at  a  special artist  reception  from  6  to  8  p.m. Friday  at  the  West  Valley  Arts Council’s gallery,13243 N. Founders Park Blvd. in Surprise. The  reception  is  free  to  the public  and  will  feature wine, hors d’oeuvres and music. Schultz  has  been  following  the decay  of  the  landscape  for  over three  decades.  Using  his  camera, he  documents  the  interaction  of he  human  resolve  and  a  harsh, unforgiving  environment  in  the Southwest  along  deserted  highways  and  forgotten  towns.  Drawn to the decayed and abandoned, his images evoke feelings of loneliness and  despair  immersed  in  sublime beauty.  His  newest  exhibition  is  no  exception.  Comprising  earlier  work as well as his most recent project, 20  large-scale,  color  photographs depict vast landscapes juxtaposed with once glorious metal relics.  “The  photographs  on  display capture  and  record  a  condensed moment  in  time,”  says  Schultz.  Each image contains multiple moments in time layered upon itself.”  Last  spring,  Schultz  attended  a night photography and light painting workshop  at  the  now-defunct Pearsonville  Junkyard  in  the  Mojave  Desert,  assisted  by  an  artist grant  from  the  West  Valley  Arts Council.  The  junkyard,  full  of hundreds of rare cars, trucks and buses from the 1950s-1970s, provided  Schultz  with  a  unique  environment.  Coupled  with  full  moon exposures and light painting techniques, Schultz created a series of haunting images documenting the abandoned  and  rusty  American automobiles  and  another  piece  of Americana  on  the  verge  of  extinction  —  the  junkyard.  Earlier  this year,  the  yard  was  liquidated  and almost every vehicle is now gone. “Mysterious Light” is open from 9  a.m.  to  5  p.m.  Monday-Thurs-day  and  9  a.m.  to  noon  Fridays through May 20. For information, call the West Valley Arts Council at 623-935-6384  or  visit

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mysterious Light Photography Exhibition

Mysterious Light
Photography Exhibition

April 8-May 20 

Artist reception
April 29th, 6-8pm 

Musical Performances by:

 Masato Tachi 
Michael Hernandez

West Valley Arts Council
13243 N. Founders Park Blvd.  Surprise, AZ

Gallery Hours: Mon-Thurs 8:30-5pm, Friday 8:30-noon

Meet the artist, musical performances, food music, beer/wine.
Free and open to the public.

Mysterious Light: 
Thomas Schultz

  Since time immemorial man has looked to the heavens for answers to the questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? And What will become of me?

  "It is certainly interesting to know that we come from the stars, but even more interesting is the realization that we're part of the cosmos, [and] although we may only be a speck in the immensity of the universe, we are the Great Father's children, and our destiny is linked to that of creation. Every being has a role to play, a destiny to fulfill, and so every bit of existence is transcendent." ~~~Don Isidro, Mayan Sage

  The photographs I display here are each literal photographic time capsules ~ a moment captured and recorded under the light of the moon. Seemingly ethereal, they depict a time and a subject, though time itself also serves as a subject.  Each still depicts a measure of the now....and the now...and the become what is shown: a singular event within an extended passage of time.  Each image portrays this time lapse; we need only to expand our vision to see beyond and into this space. In these individual time segments, the possibility of multiple dimensions can be conceived, and that these captured moments create perhaps a dimension unto itself in an idea of condensed time.  This concept makes one question the relationship of time and space, and of co- existing realities.

  Our belief systems are based on experience, knowledge and intuition, therefore we “know” what we see and feel. It would be easy to take reliable objects like the sun, the moon and the stars for granted, especially in a world so far removed from itself. What I feel is now more than ever we need to use our intuition and our knowledge to return to nature, to live in the moments, to see past our accepted reality.

  “Reality is the vision we have of what surrounds us, but there are other, much more subtle realities which are more important. As humans evolved, they lost this ability to perceive and are thus disconnected from the cosmos; in a state of neglect they seek to fill with material goods. This only condemns them to self- destruction and is the reason a return to the Natural Order is imperative." ~~~Ramon Carbala, Mayan Mam

  The primitive natives of the Malay Peninsula believed the firmament was solid. They imagined the sky as a great pot, held over the earth by a slender cord. If the cord broke the pot would fall and the earth would be destroyed. They also imagined the Sun and Moon as women, and the stars as the Moon's children. Legend tells us the Sun long ago had as many children as the Moon, and fearing that mankind could not bear so much heat and brilliance, they both agreed to devour their children. The Sun kept the bargain, but the Moon hid her children. The Sun was very angry and sought to kill the Moon. As she pursued her, the chase of Sun and Moon became a perpetual one. 

  It is our perceptions of time and space, which root us to a milestone, a memorable event, a singular moment. In any lapsed segment of so-called reality, we can sometimes see beyond what we previously knew to be possible, or what we imagined was reality, from just the moment before. Before, that is, it slips away into another, and another, and another; the sands of time in an endless hourglass, eons unfolding into eternity and a greater abyss of space.