The late, great John Steinbeck – Nobel laureate, California native and a definitive voice of The American West – wrote that The Mojave Desert is “a big and frightening one. It’s as though nature tested a man for endurance and constancy to prove whether he was good enough to get to California.” As much as any desert is about survival, it’s also symbolic of rebirth and renewal. Like a blank canvas, the white sands stretch as far as the eye can see. Artists have long been bewitched by it’s energetic impulses, quiet mysticism and other-worldly landscape.
Along with some two thousand species of plants, the Mojave is home to the hottest place on earth, the dunes of Devil’s Playground, a Rainbow Basin and an Owl Canyon. Ghost towns, hot springs, crochet museums and Ed Ruscha all have their place in the desert. It’s a magical and mysterious place that defies definition and is without a doubt a sight to see in this lifetime.
With our FvF contributor, filmmaker and photographer Claire Cottrell in tow, Los Angeles-based artist and former FvF guest Lauren Spencer King takes us on a weekend trip to see some of her favorite desert haunts.