Random Rodents with Plague

What’s on my mind?

The building of a casino in front of our house in the desert, the bedroom addition being added to our little cabin in Big Bear,  the random rodents with plague found in the neighboring mountain communities, the bread I bought at Trader Joe’s on Monday that is covered with mold today, the planning and implementation of The Joshua Tree National Park Art Show and Faire.



Guess I must not be a TRUE artist because everything else comes first,. Also, I am not starving, I don’t need to sell my slightly used Hasselblad Stellar to buy food for my rare speckled guinea pigs. I do not stay up all night worrying about if my art is au courant, and I love being interrupted to chat with friends.


Thank you Perry Hoffman for creating the above postcard!

On a brighter note, Allen and I will be opening our studios for BOTH weekends of the Hwy 62 Art Tours !The last two weekends in October are a beautiful time to visit the desert, we will share our latest creations with you, some food and drink and a viewing platform to observe the progress (sic) of the casino.

I promise to be in a more cheerful mood by then!


MitaBee ~ Art and Books

Soon to be .....MitaBee ~ Art and Books

I have signed the lease and am hard at work on my new shop. I am moving my studio about one mile north to a sweet little building just 1/2 block from the epicenter of our small town. I will exhibit my work and some of my husband’s , Allen Robison Barter,. There will also be a small bookstore with new and gently used books. There is an outside area with a shady tree where dogs are welcome while their owners peruse the shelves. I hope guests will feel comfortable to stay awhile while I work in my on-site studio. The tentative opening is the end of February, beginning of March.



I am pleased to announce that Allen and I will once again welcome visitors to our studio during the 9th Annual HWY 62 ART TOURS. We are the first weekend October 23 and 24 from 9-5.   I have begun work on several new series and am excited about where they are leading me.  If you can’t wait until the tours, I have art at True World Gallery in Joshua Tree, CA, Woods in the Desert Art Gallery in Joshua Tree, CA, 29 Palms Creative Center in Twentynine Palms, CA and the Glass Outhouse Gallery in Wonder Valley, CA.  If you are local you can pick up a  program at any SunRunner distribution point, and/or the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council Office in Joshua Tree and if you are from out of the area you can order one online or our Limited Edition Collector Portfolio which includes a CD with tracks from all the favorite Hwy 62 Musicians at www.hwy62arttours.com

Woods in the Desert

Joshua Tree, California ~ Woods in the Desert Art Gallery in Joshua Tree is opening for the new season this Saturday, September 25 with an evening artist reception starting at 6 pm. Featuring new collections by Mike Smiley, Wally Pacholka, Robert Arnett, Mita Markland Barter, Rik Livingston, John Greenfield, Scott Monteith, Bonnie Brady and Ed Keesling.

The artists will be showing new pieces as a ‘sneak preview’ of what you may see at their studio during next month’s Hwy 62 Art Tours.
“Come enjoy the evening, art and goodies from Ricochet Gourmet”,
says Andy Woods, owner of The Woods gallery

MitaBee Wall at Woods in the Desert

Woods in the Desert Art Gallery is located at 61325 Hwy 62 (Twentynine Palms Hwy) Suite D, Joshua Tree. After the reception on Saturday, the gallery will be open Tue-Sat 9-5, 760-399-7075.

Holiday Offerings

Here are a few images of what I am working on lately.  I sold about ten of them at the Twentynine Palms Art Gallery Arts and Crafts Fair this past weekend, but don’t worry, I am working on another 20 or so for the event coming up Saturday the 13th (see announcement below).  These seasonal assemblages are even smaller than the petite ones I usually make.   Maybe half the size of a deck of cards!

 I designed them to hang on the wall but they are small enough to hang on your tree if you desire.  They all have a winter/christmas/holiday theme .  I am trying out some new hangers on these also, hammered copper.

Before “It”

The view you see at the top of my page is the view before “it”. My husband and I have lived in the Mojave desert for 30 years, in this house for 25 of those years. We live on a dirt road, off another dirt road. We are surrounded by acres of desert, The Joshua Tree National Park, a few scattered houses and 160 acres of Native American Land. We have woken up each morning to the sounds of our closest neighbors: the coyotes and the hawks, we have watched countless sunrises and sunsets across the expanse before us. We have celebrated full moons, blue moons, solar and lunar eclipses . We have gazed past this land off into the distance above the mountains to trace shooting stars and comets. We raised our sons to be respectful of the land, the Indian Land, the Desert Land, Our Land. Our boys have explored this land with each other and their friends, teaching those city slickers about the pencil cactus and the jojoba, the iguana and the tortoise, introducing many of them to their first natural desert experience, always mindful and aware.

We have heard the rumors for years, “something will come”, but it never did. There were surveyors and studies, once we had an asphalt batching plant on the far northeast corner for 6 months, an ugly, smelly thing, but temporary, to make the asphalt to repave the National Park Roads. This winter the rumours flew fast and furious and then there was a meeting, and then a website, and then a sign, and then people, more people than we have ever seen up here, pacing the land, conducting test drilling, spray painting numbers and sweeping lines across the soil, marking the path of the water and the sun. We attended every meeting that we could and were constantly reassured that “it” was coming but “it” would be done in an aesthetic and environmental friendly manner, with attention paid to the surroundings, the night skies, and the community.

What is”it”? ” It ” is a casino, an rv park, a sewage treatment plant, a 1 megawatt solar plant, a 200 foot wide concrete water diversion channel, and a storage pond, “it” is also, further in the future, a retail store, a bowling alley, and possibly a golf course. We respect the fact that the native people have the sovereign right to do as they wish with their land, and deservedly so. We are not pleased that it will be in such close proximity to us, but we are resigned to it. We felt that the spirit of cooperation was alive and that our concerns and ideas were met with interest and acceptance. We were sure that the 29 Palms Band of the Mission Indians did care about their land and would make sure that what they developed on it, would uphold their trust as “caretakers” of the desert.

The rumors this week are that of the 160 acres, 130 acres will be scraped clear, not a creosote bush, not a cactus, not a yucca left standing, not only that, hundreds of cubic feet of dirt will be gouged out of the higher part of the property and re-situated on the northern part, raising the elevation by 2 feet. There are methods of building and developing that are less invasive, less harmful to the land, granted they are more costly and take forethought and careful planning but this land has been here longer than any of us and it deserves to be treated with respect. True caretakers of the land would investigate every option and make every effort to honor their heritage.