Actually, it might be the trailing edge of the receding wave. Actually.
There was a time when our daughter started nearly all her sentences — pronouncements? — with “actually.” She was maybe six years old. Actually, if she reads this, she might remember. Remember saying “actually” and remember how old she was.
It was a fun time. They were all fun times and how little it seems we appreciated them. I was thinking about that with the trick-or-treaters tonight. Gone in a blink, a tiny puff of wind, a glint of a raindrop.
There was a science fiction story called “Slow Glass” in which one could look out one window of a house and see the past again, in slow motion, from ten or twenty years before. A wistful notion. Precious, actually.
More pink and yellow, but the dried leaves certainly speak to the severity of the drought here. At the beach. I wonder how many different kinds of plants thrive (more or less) in the cliff faces.
If i were to blur this, it might resemble a Pollock. Nature imitates art imitates nature…these muted colors seem very Asian to me. I especially like tilting my screen to make the blacks blacker. Were I more serious about the technical aspects of photography, I would play with this image and see what happened. But I don’t much do that — yet, anyway!
We spent six hours showing visitors some of the highlights of San Diego: Old Town (their request), Little Italy, the Harbor, Seaport Village, view from the top of the Hyatt, Marina district, Coronado Bridge, Coronado Beach, and The Del. Whew! We had coffee and pastries as well as lunch somewhere in there, too.
The weather was great, the scenery gorgeous, and wouldn’t you think that tree signifies spring rather than end of October?! San Diego satisfies. That would be a great city slogan!
The variety of desert-like plant life at the beach continues to amaze me. I think these were stalks of cat-o’-nine-tails. The pattern of light and shadow is nice, as is the background foliage peeking through. Each time I walk with my camera, I wonder whether I’ll notice something new. No disappointment yet!
I’m not even sure what they are, but aren’t they glorious?! I love the way the colors transition from intense pink and fuchsia to lighter pink to coral to purple to lavender, almost to white.
Georgia O’Keeffe certainly brought floral close-ups to our attention and I doubt she would mind my revisiting them, even with my vision perhaps derivative of hers. But then again, who does anything completely new? And, on the other hand, there are no ties and there are no truly identical copies — in nature or physics or art.
We always add (or subtract or modify) something with our own point of view and our own process. Which is why photography is an art. And why I am participating in my own small, hopefully humble yet meaningful, way. We all have a yearning to make meaning.
This is on the cliff slope at ‘our’ beach. I wonder how it got there. Was it planted for erosion control and just took off? This photo represents only a small portion of it. You look up to a huge expanse of brownish orange dry cliffs and there’s this unexpected patch of green.
Unexpected patch of green — a nice idea, don’t you think?
I think I have posted some of these before. The fascination endures, so here’s another. Who would think to draw this? Why, the receding ocean, of course, pulling the light colored sand away and revealing the dark. Marvelous.
Walking on the beach, with the feel of the wind, the shout of the waves, the scent of the seaweed, the strew of the stones, the insistent cawing of the gulls: it all restoreth my soul.
These semi-buried, hole-ridden-surfaced, strangely shaped rocks, surrounded by the tree-like sand patterns, look other-worldly and nearly animate to me. Skeleton? Shell? Artifact? Nope, just a sea-created rock. The holes may be due to secretions by sea creatures. But doesn’t this look like it could be on another planet? I’m so glad I’m able to walk on the beach again, free of biting insects!
It was also Design Week, and Fashion Week, too! in London while we were there. These small, delicate, very pure pots were in the window of a shop on our way to our favorite coffee place.
I liked their organic simplicity. The group of them had a presence greater than the sum of the parts, I think. The shop had wondrous things displayed and we wished we could spend more time there. But then we could say that about just about everything we did in London!
This is a nice blurry closeup of part of a quilt I made today at a one-day workshop. Going to workshops is a special treat. New artists, new colors, new teacher, new materials, new techniques, new surroundings, new tools, new ideas! It had been a while and I plan to do this more often. The focus was incorporating text into textiles so it was of particular interest to me.
We created 9 3″ squares but didn’t have time to complete them all. Tomorrow, I will be happy to spend some time working more on this!
I like smoky, smudgy drawings in which the process is evident and inseparable from the image/result. I took this image a bit out of focus intentionally to emphasize that quality. Makes you want to squint to try to resolve it.
And there’s that exciting aspect of mystery: what is this, anyway? I didn’t photograph the label, so I don’t know! Perhaps a garland of garlic cloves? The sense of the hand, the charcoal’s (?) texture and soft blackness, the interconnectedness of the forms: they are so immediate and compelling. Drawing at the visceral level is powerful!
I couldn’t invent that if I tried. Texture is so important in our lives. Even if our sight or hearing is failing, the sense of touch is there. I can’t show you how this rock surface felt, but I think you can imagine it.
Had lunch with a friend. We hugged. Some family came to visit today and we all hugged. Those hugs give texture to our lives. I remember a singer-songwriter from the ’80s, Charlotte Diamond. She wrote a song called “Four Hugs a Day [that’s the minimum]” and it made an impression. I think I’ve given/gotten at least 12 today. A good day!
I lived in Kansas longer than I’ve lived anywhere else (although CA is catching up, with northern CA for 16 years and more than 3 here in southern CA) so I just couldn’t resist this.
There are things about the Heartland I loved: the wonderfully genuine friendships of 20 years, the openness of the landscape, the accessibility of cultural institutions, the friendly cheerfulness of people who aren’t spending all their money on housing nor all their time commuting, the wonderful communities we found in the arts, (at the great galleries and museums and music venues and theaters,) and, finally, the Barbecue and darn good restaurants all ’round!
I like watching baseball more than most other sports. Its grace and complexity and pace are all appealing. So — go Royals, on to the World Series!
Tonight the sky did not look like this. Another night, it did. There was quite a pink sunset of a sky tonight but I didn’t have the opportunity to photograph it. So this sky is from the archives. Many people saw this sky. We can all look up and see wonder. Although, wonder is in short supply among adults, it seems. I could use a bit more wonder in my life. Perhaps this blog is my attempt to notice and present wonder. Yes?
Isn’t this wonderful? People spin it and then weave it or knit it or crochet it…and I think it’s gorgeously lovely just in its raw state. I can’t wait to incorporate it into something. I will have to think about how to preserve its integrity: texture, color, line…you can’t tell how soft and fluffy and light it is without holding it, but maybe I can somehow convey that. Sheep are marvelous creatures just based on this amazing stuff they give us!
Or not so raw. I went to a fiber festival today and found the materials at least as seductive as the finished products. There was a lot of knitting and weaving, some gourds, some sewn objects…and lots and lots of wool and silk and every fiber in between. It was a feast for the eyes and hands. I was there only a bit more than an hour, not nearly enough time to soak it all up. There was also a gem and mineral show, which I mostly zoomed through, with a few pauses at mica and some granite with round blue inclusions of azurite.
I bought some wool to use in art pieces — three kinds of sheep fiber. Mostly curly, un-dyed. I like the natural stuff best, as much as I like color. Now I will pet it and hold it and stretch it and pull it and poke it until I decide what to do with it. It’s just a few ounces, so it will be incorporated as accent — into I don’t know what!
I love this sculpture and I will hereby try to say why.
It is made from found objects, from detritus. Nope, that’s not why. I’ve seen other sculptures like this and they had no appeal.
The materials are intrinsically ugly but they are beautiful collectively. Or at least, they are mundane. And dirty. And broken-down. And ragged…but the collection is a balancing act. It defies gravity. Well, sort of.
There is a huge variety of texture and a rhythm to the repeating shapes. Yep, that’s more like it.
It has a sense of humor with underlying seriousness. How do we as a culture create so much junk? And where were all these materials before they were junk? And what happened to make them junk? Could we prevent that? And how did he choose these materials? Where did he get them? What ones did he NOT choose?
Ah, it asks important questions. I like art that challenges me.
But what makes it so compelling? I looked at it, walked around it, talked with some art teachers about it, pondered it, wished I could poke it — for at least 30 minutes, and I wasn’t done.
Yes, when the art is really strong, you are never done looking. There’s always more to see.
How many times did the artist try something like this before coming up with this one? Are there other versions? Now I have to do some research…
Nicholas Hlobo, a South African artist, made this work shown at the Tate Modern. Stitching on paper. Paint and textile. I love the combination. There are also references to traditional Xhosa belief. One doesn’t have to be familiar with that to appreciate the beauty.
I resumed knitting today after a year’s hiatus. It felt good. My hands know what they need. I also made six cards. Now, if only I could begin a series of cohesive work that would capture my longing and yearning, while calming my frantic flight towards a focus…
Today’s walk yielded these entangled branches with their scraped and peeling surfaces, emerging from a field of tightly trimmed foliage. How could you get that wonderful texture into a sculpture? Paper on wood? Imagine trying to get some malleable soft metal to layer like that. I think it’s very very beautiful.
In contrast, our back garden, which is our responsibility, was inherited from the previous tenants. It had become quite overgrown, and we came home to find our talented friend down the street had cleaned and pruned and dug up and trimmed and…wow, it looks SO much better.
We might even go out and get some new succulents to accompany the palms and cycads. They’ll need a lot less water than the leggy white roses that were there in a tangled overwhelming jungle of canes with a few lone blossoms peeking out. I’ll miss the roses a bit…but they aren’t suited to be mixed with the other plants that need less water and less light.
And my indoor orchids survived their three weeks with a good watering the day before we left, and pans of water sitting around under their feet. It had all evaporated or been drunk by thirsty roots by the time we returned, but all the green leaves were still there. Do you think if I gave them orchid food they might bloom again?!
One of the more subtle pleasures of seeing art in new-to-me museums is seeing less familiar work of iconic artists. Giacometti has always been one of my favorites, and this more modest piece beckoned me with its charm and sadness. I feel a deep world-weariness in these attenuated textured sculptures, whose mood also reminds me of Modigliani. Modigliani’s women always seem like portraits of my insides and my outsides simultaneously. And Giacometti’s fingers are so tenderly, hesitantly, determinedly present in his forms.
Makes me want to hug them. And Van Gogh, too, while I’m at it. How much beauty — of both form and spirit — they have brought to the world!
More contemporary ceramics seen in London. I love too-muchness like this. How did she ever get those thousand leaves in there, unbroken, undisturbed? No, I had no desire to count them, just to marvel over them. If I’m having a dry spell in my own art-making, I can at least admire the energy, determination, and ingenuity of others. Yes?
I saw a lot of ceramics — from various countries and time periods — in the museums during our trip. I miss making pots. There is a magical sensation in the clay rising with the rhythms of wheel and hands. Every once in a while I take a class so that I can cooperatively move my hands that way again.
These asymmetrical bowls speak of wheel and of not-wheel, of roundness and not-roundness, of continuity and and dis-continuity. Their delicate green glaze seems to enunciate those apparent contradictions with subtlety and grace. I thought they were special. So did a curator, fortunately!
The age of the buildings is a constant reminder of time and how the cities of this country are so old compared to those of the US. I loved the combinations of materials and the juxtapositions of the modern and the ancient.
There’s a poetry in walls and surfaces, in their colors and textures and crumbling and mosses and cracks and blotches.
You could look up at a series of facades, or out a window at a jumble of humble small houses with skyscrapers in the background and ugly commercial buildings of the 60s in between, marveling at the people and activities that had produced them. In Great Britain, one’s sense of history and time is acute. And so much is familiar in a “I’ve heard and read about this all my life” sense. I can just imagine what it will be like when we go to Italy!
Great little bonuses on our trip and this was one: A Kaffe Fassett show at the American Museum (!) in Bath. As a knitter and sort-of-quilter, I couldn’t miss this. It was a joyful explosion of color and great fun. The American Museum also features period rooms from the US, and later I got to see period rooms from London at the Geffrye Museum. A parallel experience, as in “deja vu all over again!”
Now, if I could only get rid of this crummy virus (make that Yucky Virus!) so I could think about what art I’d like to make…coughing and trying not to cough is consuming me right now. Tired of it. Art is so much more fun!
This was an extra-special treat that we wouldn’t have known about without a tip from niece Sarah. The flower market itself was amazing and the shops around it were full of charm. A special treat was a homemade American style (with a British twist) donut made by a friend of Sarah’s — from Leawood, Kansas of all places! Lemon curd filling. Vanilla custard. Chocolate. Richly decadent. As were the colors of the market. So very lovely!
Renoir from the Courtauld on our last day in London. We saw ten museums in twenty days, two in Bath and eight in London. Art, archeology, design, fashion, textiles, history, cultural anthropology, and documents/text. I loved the British Library. Actually, I loved it all. And we barely scratched the surface. You could spend months — no, years — and not see it all. What treasures for the eyes and the soul.