Artists At Work! On the Corner of Campbell & Grant in Tucson, Arizona (LOCALISM FEATURED)

Mortgage and Lending with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) NMLS 223495

Dale Strong, artist in oils, in front of Henry El Kaim's ARTISTS AT WORK art & craft galleryMy Darlin' and I were coming home from church this morning, and I stopped by the office to pick up a list of FHA clients.  (My office is 45 minutes from our home in the Tucson Mountains.)

I'm not usually in town on Sunday, but here we were, traveling west on Grant Road.  As I approached the intersection at Campbell, I noticed a man on the corner, painting a picture. 

It's a busy intersection, and we had the green light, so I couldn't change lanes immediately.  "I've got to go back and take a picture," I said.  "There's a story back there on the corner."  "Don't get us killed," was the quiet reply from the passenger seat, "we haven't had lunch yet."  LOL

The artist is Dale Strong, and he's painting an Arizona Mission series of paintings.  In the 1600's, Father Eusebio Kino founded a number of missions in what is now southern Arizona.  Four of them remain, either in part or completely restored.

Dale Strong, native of Minnesota, PBS Western Artist of the YearDale Strong is an accomplished artist, and his paintings grace the homes or estates of former Vice President Walter Mondale, Luciano Pavarotti, Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, to mention a few.

Dale paints using two flattened ice tea spoons.Dale paints with oils, but doesn't use a brush.  Instead, he uses two iced tea spoons he modified by taping them to a railroad track back 1970's

One of the flattened spoons retains its rounded edge, and Dale uses it to blend color directly on the canvas (a wet-on-wet technique called impasto.)  His inspiration?  Vincent Van Gogh.  The second spoon is ground down to provide an edge with which Dale creates fine lines and detail in his paintings.

Henry El Kaim, owner and operator of the ARTISTS AT WORK Gallery in Tucson, ArizonaCamera in hand, I apologized for interrupting his work, and asked Mr. Strong if I could take a few photos.  What a gracious man!  I explained that you and others on the Active Rain Real Estate Network would be reading this post, so he invited me in to the gallery to meet the owner--Henry.

One of Henry El Kaim's creations in glassHenry El Kaim is a young guy like me.  (1948!)  Henry is an artist in glass, among other media, and when I mentioned that my Darlin' was waiting in the car, he made her a gift of an exquisite little stained glass angel!

Don't visit Tucson without checking out this beautiful little gallery.  Come on the weekend, and you're likely to see artists creating their work outside on the corner!  Here's a link to a map of the location.

I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, AZ Mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Think of me as your Tucson mortgage expert.
Call me if I can help you with a mortgage to buy your next house:  (520) 349-9090

TUCSON REALTORS:  You can hire me to take your First Impression Photos.  (same phone number) 


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Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty
Leolinda Realty - Surprise, AZ
Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona

WOW!  This is great information.  I can't wait to drive down to Tucson and visit your area.  Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.  Mele Kalikimaka!

Dec 22, 2008 01:20 PM #29
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

Nice local story about an interesting guy. I do enjoy this type of local information thanks for going back and taking the time to post this.

Dec 22, 2008 02:18 PM #30
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


You're welcome!  Thanks for commenting.


Just get in the car and come on down!  Merry Christmas to you!


Thanks, and the same to you and yours!


Tucson's a happening place!


What a pleasure to make your acquaintance!  I'll be back to see you soon.  Thanks for taking the time to give me a story, too.


Please call the next time you come down and we'll grab a cup of Joe!


I hear you!


It's waaaarrm here!  Come visit!


Thanks for saying so!  I've become the storyteller.


Come on down any time!


Ooh!  That's cooold!


And you're always so encouraging!  Thanks.


You bet!  Thanks for stopping by.


I really appreciate having another artist commenting.  Thanks for coming.


I'll have to have the honor of writing about your oils one of these days!


Same street, different cross street.  When that happens to me, I tell people that "file guy couldn't locate the file," or "file guy's looking for it.  Come back later."  LOL

Mike in Tucson

Dec 22, 2008 02:48 PM #31
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


Cameras in hand, we Active Rainers are always looking for our next post!!! Thanks,   Fran

Dec 22, 2008 03:25 PM #32

I got a grant from the federal government for $12,000 in financial aid, see how you can get one also at

Dec 22, 2008 09:31 PM #33
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


...and that's the truth!  LOL

Mike in Tucson

Dec 22, 2008 10:21 PM #34
Shawn Davis
Home Crossings, P.C. - Davison, MI
Homes For Sale, Genesee County, Michigan

Good to see there is nice weather of my favorite spots to visit in the Winter is Cozumel, where the artists gather in their town squart to share their work and participate!  Thanks for the map...I may put it on my wish list for a get-a-way spot!

Happy Holidays!

Dec 22, 2008 10:41 PM #35
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Mike - thank you for sharing!!! I am planning a trip out there this coming year and will put this on my list!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

Dec 22, 2008 11:15 PM #37
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


There's almost always nice weather in Tucson.  Come on down to visit!


Merry Christmas back at ya!  Please call and let us know you're in town.

Mike in Tucson

Dec 22, 2008 11:17 PM #38
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I like the way you think. There is a story everywhere we look.  I loved this post, and would love to have one of Mr. Strong's paintings.

Dec 22, 2008 11:24 PM #39
Real Estate Virtual Assistant & Agent
Christine Wade - San Marcos, CA
Proud to Serve Your Real Estate Needs

I love posts that feature local artisans, I think it is a great way to bring awareness and appreciation to your community!

Dec 23, 2008 01:34 AM #40
Dale Strong

Dear Mike,  It is very heartwarming to read all the replies that you have had on the article you wrote. One thing which was never mentioned which I think is very remarkable, is that Henry El Kaim, the owner of the gallery that features my work and where I paint outside on the street corner, lost the fingers on both hands.  He lost them fighting in the 1967 Israeli war when a bomb exploded and took these fingers off.  With just stumps, he does meticulous, beautiful stained glass work.  He is a very interesting person who speaks 7 langagues fluently. As for people interested in my work, I would be happy to receive calls at 520-529-3890 or they can e-mail me at  I moved down to Tucson in May of this year and found it to be the most cultural, musical city in the United States.of any place I have lived. For instance, on the 1st Monday of December 9f every year since 1973, they perform the Messiah in a sing-in which is one of the oldest in the United States. With the Members of the Tucson Symphony, professional soloists and the combination of lmany community members of the professional choruses in Tucson,  this chorus numbers over 850 voices! It is the most phenomenal sound any person could ever experience! In fact , another chorus, directed by Eric Holten (who has a PHD in conducting)  cosists of only professional music majors from the University of Arizona. This is a city that a person must put on their map as the most interesting city of the Great Southwest.  I seems to me, that there is an art gallery everywhere you turn in addition to the Tucson Museum of Art. As you know, Mike, we live in the midst of a cultural mecca.  I am so blessed to be here and also to be so close to the Artists colony of Tubac , Arizona. Dale Strong

Dec 23, 2008 04:13 AM #41
Cheri Welty, CRS, e-PR), GRI (Century 21, Summit Realty) Buena

Mike: Thanks for sharing.  It is always such fun to see how someone has painted a scene that I have painted myself.  This mission is located just south of Tubac, AZ.  It is one of my favorite missions to paint.  Thanks again.  Cheri

Dec 23, 2008 09:02 AM #43
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


If you're not a member of Active Rain, may I send you an invitation?  I'd like to see you blog about your paintings.  Realtors are such a talented group of people!


You're welcome!  Thanks for coming by to comment.  See you soon on your blog.


As you can see, people really appreciate what you and Henry, and the other artists at ARTISTS AT WORK do.  Thanks for telling us more about Henry El Kaim.  I'm looking forward to my next visit.  Tucson is a wonderful town.  City, actually.  My wife and I chose to move here more than 10 years ago.  The company I worked for at the time wanted me to move "out west."  They didn't care where, so long as it was within striking distance of a major airport.  We chose Tucson, and never looked back!


Amen!  Thanks for commenting.


Call him up!  I think you should have one.

Mike in Tucson

Dec 23, 2008 02:44 PM #44
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Hi Mike, I almost missed the party on this excellent Localism post. I always like writing about local stuff in Austin and congrats on the feature!

Dec 23, 2008 10:25 PM #45
Darin @ One Source in Wisconsin!

Hey Mike!

How do I get a job out there??  LOL  .....I passed this blog on to my dad.  My parents will appreciate it, as they like alot of localized artists etc.....

Thanks for taking the time!

merry xmas!


One Source Mortgage, LLC

Lodi, Wisconsin

Dec 24, 2008 02:29 AM #46

Dear Mike, Thank you again for listing me on your blog.  I did mention to you that I am working on painting a series of Missions in AZ. This is such a beautiful state with Tucson being the Jewel. Mountain, deserts, folage and these historical Missions.  The first one I painted was Tumacacori Mission which is about 70 miles south of Tucson. This Mission was the first constructed in 1691by the Spanish Government when This was still part of Mexico. The second Mission constructed the next year is San Xavier Del Bac located about 30 miles south of Tucson.  Tumacacori Mission is being perserved as a ruin, where San Xavier was restored and is still being used as a cathedral.  The fourth was St Augustine persidio in Old town Tucson.  I have these three painted now and am heading for the fourth Mission in Cooledge, Az called the Casa Grande Mission.  This was not built during that expansion of the Spanish but rather by the Hohokam Indian civilization 1,000 + year prior. This is being maintained as a ruin. Arizona has everything and Tucson has a beautiful touch of everything. I sure urge anyone to come visit us.  Dale Strong

Dec 26, 2008 10:11 AM #47
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

How cool was that Mike? I loved how you went back and found the story you knew was there! Camera must be in hand with you at all times huh?

What a talented man Dale Strong is and with the unique set of tools he uses to create his works of art.  God has gifted each of us with something and it's so inspiring when I see what others have been gifted with.

Thanks for sharing!

Dec 28, 2008 03:21 PM #48
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Pat Daniels, worship team leaderKaren,

He sure is!  (Dale, I mean)  I do have the camera with me all the time--even in church.  People have gotten used to me taking photos of people "up front" like this one.  I play with the photo in photoshop, make a card, and send it with a "thank you" note.  People need to be appreciated.

Mike in Tucson

Dec 28, 2008 08:07 PM #49
Doreen McPherson
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe - Tempe, AZ
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~

Wow, I'm glad I came back and read the comments.  Dale thank you for sharing the information about Henry El Kaim.  What talented men.

Dec 30, 2008 03:34 PM #50
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