RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


16 Comments

Memories of 2019

JANUARY

I picked two photos from each month of 2019 to represent my year in photography. Just like last year, some months I had too many choices and some months it was hard pickings.  So these aren’t necessarily my very best photos but I tried to show a variety of different places.

The photo above is reflections in a puddle at Culver City Park at the end of my street. We had a lot of rain last winter after a seven-year drought.


Red hot poker plants at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. Some friends bestowed upon me a gift membership for which I am very grateful… and I am able to take a friend with me which makes it a doubly wonderful gift!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

FEBRUARY

I was clearing junk out of the garage in February as I was planning to move. That didn’t happen but it allowed me to get rid of a lot of stuff. I took a photo of this painting with my point & shoot before I drove it over to Goodwill. I must have painted this in the 1970s! I hope somebody bought it and is enjoying it. I may print it out and hang it on a wall to give it a new life.

A random photo of the boys. Frankie The Monster, who of course bagged the most comfy spot. And Freddie The Giant Cat who is so laid back and always lets Frankie get what he wants.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

MARCH

The Broad is a contemporary art museum in downtown LA. This was a booth by Yayoi Kusama constructed of mirrors. My selfie is on the right. My friend BG was standing at the other side of the booth so you can see her face in some of the other circles.

I’m not usually good at doing things on the spur of the moment but my friend LA decided she wanted to see the wildflowers. So as long as she was driving I said okay. Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore is about 85 miles from Culver City. We went on a Wednesday and made pretty good time. It was a fabulous day. On the way home we came as close as I have ever come to being killed in an accident. In my mind I was already dead. Make the most of every day because you never know when it will be your last. It just wasn’t our time.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

APRIL

Next door to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) is La Brea Tar Pits with ongoing excavations. The site goes back to the Pleistocene Age. The extinct animals discovered at La Brea Tar Pits were trapped in the asphalt between 11,000 to 50,000 years ago. Outsiders always accuse Los Angeles of having no history… excuse me, we go back a lot further than most places in the US!

I don’t think this is quite what they had in mind when they named the Palms neighborhood of Los Angeles, adjacent to Culver City. But I always enjoy looking at this utility box on my walk to Sprouts Market on the LA side of Venice Blvd.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

MAY

I made several trips to Echo Park Lake this year. Paddling around on these swan Paddle Wheelers is now one of my favorite things to do in LA. It’s relaxing and good exercise at the same time with splendid views of the downtown skyline. I hope can cajole more friends into going with me in 2020. Wanna come along?

I’ve been wanting to visit the South Coast Botanical Gardens for many years. Finally made it in May. It was really delightful. We only saw a small area as my companion wasn’t able to walk far. But I’ll definitely be back to see the rest of it.

___________________________________________________________________________________

JUNE

My friend SB and I were waiting at the harbor to take the boat back from Santa Catalina to San Pedro. This couple walked by. I loved the way they looked so I asked if it was okay to take their photo. She had made their matching outfits with fabric she had bought at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. She said she often made them matching outfits. How adorable is that?

I am a member of the Natural History Museum and it’s a short train ride from Culver City so I often pop in there, often on my own if nobody else is available or interested. This lovely guy was on display in the special exhibit on Antarctic Dinosaurs, the 25-foot-long, “cold-crested killer,” Cryolophosaurus. The exhibit featured an ongoing scientific expedition from the NHM and Chicago’s Field Museum as they dig for fossils today. La Brea Tar Pits is also part of the NHM.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

JULY

Rode the Amtrak train to Ventura with a group of friends. We hiked up the trails in the Ventura Botanical Gardens which is still recovering from the December 2017 Thomas Fire. Lovely views from the top. Ate lunch on the pier at Beach House Fish then walked along the pier watching people fishing.

BG and I made an overnight trip to Santa Barbara. Stayed at an historic estate, drove around the area, ate dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant, Due Lune Cucina, across from the beach as the sun was setting. Next day ate lunch on the pier before heading home. Wonderful experience.

________________________________________________________________________________________

AUGUST

Mount Rushmore has been on my bucket list ever since I saw the movie North by Northwest with Cary Grant and the marvelous James Mason. So now I can say been there, done that! It was a trip to look up and see those monumental faces… it’s impossible to imagine how that can be achieved. As you are chiseling away you would only be able to see a miniscule part of what you are working on. Amazing.

We arrived at Old Faithful in Yellowstone in the evening. The glow of the setting sun was a magnificent backdrop to the geyser. This was my second visit to the park. This time we had the privilege of staying inside the park at the Old Faithful Inn. You just walk out the front door and there is Old Faithful right in front of you. Magnificent.

______________________________________________________________________________________

SEPTEMBER

Second Home Pavilion was a temporary exhibit which I visited on one of the hottest days of the year at Hancock Park between LACMA and La Brea Tar Pits. I asked the young lady sitting at the entrance how she was doing and she indicated not too well. I enjoyed walking through the colorful maze of tunnels.

BG and I hung out at LACMA visiting several galleries. At Mary Corse: A Survey in Light we had a little fun as we became the artwork.

___________________________________________________________________________________

OCTOBER

The celebration of El Dia de los Muertos is one of my favorite times to visit Grand Park. This year there were about 40 altars all personally and culturally relevant to Los Angeles honoring those who have passed over. It coincides with halloween and is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.

 

Several friends met at the Sunset/Vermont Red Line station and rode the shuttle up to the Griffith Observatory. Half the group attempted the hike to Inspiration Point but it was too hot for me so I sat and chatted with the other half at the cafe and enjoyed the views. The hikers only made it half way before being forced to turn back. So I was glad I didn’t attempt it. I’ve suffered from heat stroke before and have to be careful.

__________________________________________________________________________________

NOVEMBER

GM, EA and I made reservations for an early lunch at Perch on the 15th floor of the Pershing Square Building. I had eaten there previously and talked so much about it they wanted to experience it too and weren’t disappointed. Perch LA is a French-inspired rooftop bistro with unobstructed views of Downtown Los Angeles for guests to experience the feeling of floating along the skyline. The elevated spaces offer outdoor fireplaces, rooftop fire pits, indoor and outdoor dining experiences, and lounge seating to experience the city skyline views. The food isn’t bad either! This is just one of the many views when you walk around the outside area.

Several members of the Culver City Art Group met at the Getty Center to visit the exhibit Manet and Modern Beauty. You gotta love the staircase with the Manet image leading up to the exhibit. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the artist but I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of his paintings… many I was not previously familiar with.

_________________________________________________________________________

DECEMBER

A friend is a member at Descanso Gardens. She very graciously picked me up at Union Station and drove the rest of the way… I took the E (formerly known as the Expo) Line to the Red Line… one of these days, probably not in my lifetime, the E Line is supposed to go all the way to Union Station. The gardens were beautifully decorated for the holidays. Of course I imagine it is really spectacular all lit up at night but it was pretty good during the day too.

Last but certainly not least, I led my 3rd Annual Downtown Holiday Decorations Walk ending with lunch at the Biltmore Hotel (at left). There were 13 participants… all women this year… but not too surprising. This lovely Christmas tree was located at the southeast corner of Pershing Square. Lined up correctly the star appears between the US Bank Building (Library Tower) and the Deloitte Building (the Gas Company Building). I had to pay those pigeons to take flight just at the right moment!

Thanks for bearing with me. Some months there were a few more photos I really wanted to include… but I had to keep to two from each month and not cheat… you wouldn’t have known if they didn’t appear in the correct months but I would have known!

I wish you all a very healthy, happy and adventurous 2020!


11 Comments

Feline Friday – #100 – Rauschenberg boxes, Freddie Mercury and Firefighters

Rauschenberg

Today I was at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). This artwork by Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) caught my eye. I immediately thought WOW! The cats would love this piece. They could jump around in all the open boxes and scratch their claws on the cardboard. I guess everything is in the eye of the beholder as I have to admit I never really appreciated Rauschenberg’s art before! I wonder if he lived with cats? I should build something like this for Freddie and Frankie!

As I am a fan of the band Queen and Freddie Mercury, I recently saw the movie Bohemian Rhapsody about their rise to fame. When Queen became famous, I was amused to learn that Freddie bought a mansion large enough that each of his many felines could have their own individual rooms! That made me love Freddie even more. And if you should be wondering, yes, my Gentle Giant cat Freddie is named for him. (Don’t get any ideas, boys. All three of us have to share the same bedroom.)

pictures-of-cats.org

Lastly, but by no means the least important, a million thanks to the brave firefighters who risked their lives to rescue animals along with humans during the recent and ongoing horrendous fires in California. This photo says it all!

As this is the 100th Feline Friday post (woo hoo!) I was going to hire a band. But with everything going on in California and the world and my personal life this past few weeks, I decided that a quiet, unobtrusive recognition was just fine! Thank you all for hanging in there!


14 Comments

Feline Friday – #99 – a hodge podge of catching up

freddie in picture frame

We apologize for being absent from the blogging world for quite a while now. But Freddie, Frankie and Roslyn have all been dealing with life.

Roslyn is far too busy getting ready for the Culver City Art Group 23rd Annual Holiday Art Show. So she asked me, Freddie, to upload this Feline Friday post because we know you all must miss us so much.

And, by the way, she’s been showing her art work from collages to acrylic paintings to ceramics to photography in just about every one of those 23 shows. Yes, it’s tiring.

So I, Freddie, have stepped up to help her. Between Frankie and me, I am the reliable one. The photo above is of me helping her prepare one of her frames. Cat hairs? Of course, cat hair on everything is the signature of her work. Everybody knows that!

I have a lot of photos to show you from the past few weeks, so here we go!

frankie and freddie

This photo shows how Frankie and I assist Roslyn at the computer. That’s me curled up between the keyboard and the monitor.The most ergonomic position for a cat. Frankie, the fuzzy grey head in the foreground, is in the sling Roslyn bought for him so he can sit in her lap. I would have liked a sling too, but okay, a 17-pound cat wouldn’t fit too well in a sling…. I get it.

frankie

As soon as Roslyn comes home she throws her bags and hat on this chair. Frankie is making sure next time she goes out she has plenty of cat hair with her. You know the saying: Cat hair. Don’t leave home without it!

Freddie

There is a misconception that I don’t like Frankie that much. I was here first and six months later he showed up. It’s true, he can be a bully. But it’s only because he had a tough life before he came here. So I like to nap close by him. So here I am on the chair just a few feet from his. I know he likes my company too.

freddie box

Everybody knows the rule is the bigger the cat, the smaller the box. I was contemplating how I could squeeze into this very thin box. I am sure if I flattened myself out my total mass would equal the dimensions of the inside of this box. Where’s my calculator so I can figure this out?

 

freddie and frankie

It was a VERY hot day and Roslyn refused to turn on the air conditioning inside the house because she is SO cheap! So we sought refuge under the little table on the front patio. Roslyn tried to crawl under there with us but we said no way girl, we’re not sharing. Go stuff your head in the fridge or turn on the a/c. Humans can be infuriating!

frankie

This was a team effort. I am very good at opening cabinet doors, even the ones with magnetic earthquake safety closures. I open the doors on all the cupboards in the house and then Frankie and I shovel everything out. It’s so much fun to see the expression on Roslyn’s face when she comes home and finds all the contents all over the floor. She took this photo minutes after she had thrown everything back into the bathroom cabinet under the washbasin. I don’t know how Frankie has the nerve to do this stuff but he always gets away with everything…

frankie

Frankie hugging another of Roslyn’s bags…

frankie

This was so much fun. While Roslyn was out at the farmers market I opened the door of the coat closet in the entryway (Roslyn uses it to store all her tools). Frankie knocked down the shopping cart and somehow dragged it out of the closet, blocking the front door. When Roslyn came home she couldn’t open the front door! Hee hee hee. She pushed and shoved and finally moved whatever was blocking the door far enough in so she could get in with all her bags of vegetables. Of course then she realized what had been blocking the door was her wheelie shopping bag with a cat sitting on it. Good thing it was the scrawny cat sitting on the shopping cart because if it was me, she would never have been able to push it back far enough to get in the door!

frankie

One of my favorite Frankie escapades. Roslyn was taking her shower when she had the uncomfortable feeling someone was spying on her. Sure enough, she saw this eyeball staring at her through the shower curtain. Shades of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho… this even gives me the chills… Frankie can be scary…

Freddie

I will end with one of my tricks. Sometimes when Roslyn is working on the computer in the morning, I hide out and wait until she goes down to the kitchen for another cup of coffee. She has no idea I’m even in her office. Then I pounce on her chair. When she comes back upstairs I’m busy washing myself very nonchalantly like, oh, did you want this chair now? I thought it was vacant!

Roslyn will be back to posting on her blog and commenting and liking all your blog posts probably mid November. Until then, it’s lights out for us. See you later!

 

 

 

 

 


4 Comments

Culver City Art Group 23rd Annual Holiday Art Show

culver city art group

It’s that time of year again! Every year I swear I’m not doing this next year, and then I do. It’s the only time I exhibit my photographs/artwork in person.

So most of my time right now is devoted to getting my photos ready to display. Printing them out on my Canon 100 13″ x 19″ printer to my exacting standards is harder than you can imagine!

If you’re in the area (Westside of Los Angeles), come on over!

Culver City Art Group website

 


10 Comments

The UK – Worthing, Sussex – day eight – morning: The Sistine Chapel

English Martyrs

I’m skipping ahead to day eight but I’ll be back to pick up days six and seven… sorry, there’s no avoiding it!

Yes, I’m looking at the Sistine Chapel ceiling. No, I’m not in Rome… still in Worthing!

English Martyrs

I’m at the English Martyrs Catholic Church in Goring-by-Sea.

English Martyrs

The ceiling is at 2/3 scale of the original Michelangelo painting in the Vatican. The colors match the newly cleaned ceiling in Rome.

English martyrs

The work was painted by Gary Bevans, a sign writer who is a parishioner of the church. He is a natural artist with no formal training. After a parish pilgrimage trip to Rome in 1987 to attend the Beatification of 85 English Martyrs, he gained permission from the Vatican and the bishop to reproduce the ceiling in Worthing.

english martyrs

Several years ago my friend JM and I enjoyed a two-week, two thousand-mile trip of Italy. Our first visit to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel was very rushed so our tour guide could get us to the gift shop! So as J and I had planned some extra time in Rome at the end of the trip, we visited the Sistine Chapel again on our own. We sat for a good hour looking up at the ceiling. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

English MartyrsWith this reproduction you are much closer to the ceiling and it’s easier to see the details, even at 2/3 scale. It’s certainly impressive.

English MartyrsThe project took five and a half years to complete in the evenings and weekends. Gary also had to continue his full time day job. And spend time with his family!

English MartyrsIt was most certainly a labor of love.

English Martyrs Three volunteers were working in the church when I was there. They were all really lovely people. One of them gave me a tour of the church and told me the story of the ceiling. As I told them I was considering moving back to Worthing, they gave me some recommendations for real estate agents to talk to (which I did) and some ideas for the neighborhoods that might suit me the best.

English MartyrsI enjoyed the visit to the church and recommend it to anybody who might be visiting the area. I didn’t get a photo of the outside of the church. The building was not what I expected… not the least bit pretentious… I would describe it as a country church. I almost walked past it.

English Martyrs

The English Martyrs window. The Roman Catholic martyrs of the English Reformation were men and women executed under treason legislation in the English Reformation between 1534 and 1680.  In 1571 legislation was enacted making it treasonable to be under the authority of the Pope, The standard penalty for all those convicted of treason at the time was execution by being hanged, drawn and quartered. Lovely.

More images from the church:









English martyrs

This painting is a modernized version of da Vinci’s the Last Supper. Local people from the parish were used as models.


15 Comments

California Art Club at the Natural History Museum

I had previously visited the California Art Club 107th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at the Natural History Museum with my friend SB when we stopped by the Butterfly Pavilion a couple of weeks ago. I liked it so much I suggested it as an activity for our Culver City Art Group
It’s so hard to get people to leave home. One other member, aside from BG and myself, showed up.
Too bad as they missed a super exhibit. I have to say I have never seen so many wonderful paintings in one place. The exhibit ended today. I only wish it went on longer as I would have visited it a third time!
Not only inspirational for painters but for photographers (like myself) as well.The composition is the same for a painter and a photographer. I get a lot of ideas from looking at paintings. This road cutting through Death Valley makes the painting. You probably can’t see it but there’s a car on the highway with red tail lights.
I love this bridge at Yosemite. I’ve taken a few photos of it!I enjoy taking photos of chairs and benches so this appealed to me.
Market Street in San Francisco, one of my favorite cities.california art club

This painting at the entrance to the exhibit was one of my favorites. After the exhibit we ventured outside where members of the California Art Club were painting scenes of the gardens.

BG recognized Xavier Gonzalez, a very talented artist who used to be a member of the Culver City Art Group. He was invited to paint with the California Art Club.

We stopped to talk to this gentleman, Donald Townes, who was painting a very colorful scene. You can see another spectacular ocean painting of his here.

One last painting of Malibu from the vineyards in the hills.

I’m a member of the Natural History Museum and I find it money well spent as I enjoy the permanent exhibits and the temporary exhibits like this one!


4 Comments

Super afternoon at Hauser & Wirth

hauser & wirth

Detail of capitol of pillar

Four members of the Culver City Art Group shared a lovely visit to Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, an art gallery in the Arts District neighborhood of downtown LA. Three of us, B, K and me, rode the Expo Line to the Red Line to the Gold Line and met R there. She drove. Maybe next time we can get her on the train!

Mark Bradford

The first exhibit was artwork by Mark Bradford. I’ve seen his work at another art museum and fell in love with his images. See my blog post about that exhibit here.

Mark Bradford

Some contemporary art I can walk right by and other work sucks me in. His images are definitely of the latter variety.

Hauser & Wirth

The gallery was originally an old flour mill built from 1896 to 1929. Fortunately the gallery has left a lot of details from that time.

old flour mill built in phases from 1896 to 1929

Bradford’s work is very complex. It’s spectacular from a distance but you need to view it close up to really get it.

hauser & wirth

Looking up at the skylight in the first gallery

hauser & wirth
I can’t help it, I was as captivated by the details of the building as I was by the art work!

hauser & wirth

Shadows and reflections on the window screen.

hauser & wirth

No visit to an art gallery or museum is complete without lunch. We ate at Manuela, opened since my last visit. For a look at the original post, April 2016, click here.

hauser & wirth

My choice for lunch was the polenta with mushrooms and egg. Delish.

hauser & wirth

Can’t go wrong eating outside on a beautiful Southern California April day!

hauser & wirth

Love nasturtiums. Just some of the edible plants and veggies growing in the planter garden used by the restaurant.

hauser & wirth

Metal gate

hauser & wirth

Building on view from across the street.

  hauser & wirth

Manuela raises their own chickens for the egg dishes.

hauser & wirth

Very happy birds…

hauser & wirth

The beauty of old brick and peeling paint.

hauser & wirth

Geta Bratescu

hauser & wirth

Metal exit doors

hauser & wirth

The galleries are spacious.

hauser & wirth

Sometimes it’s hard for me to distinguish the artwork from the architecture…. or maybe there is no distinction.

hauser & wirth

hauser & wirth

hauser & wirth
So happy somebody had the vision to incorporate the details from the old factory. This is very satisfying to me.

hauser & wirth

Let’s not omit the wall in the Ladies Room!

hauser & wirth

hauser & wirthI’ll leave you here. Just a great day of visual delights with good friends who love art as much as I do!


11 Comments

Culver City Art Group… we did it again!

culver city art group

As some of you know, the Culver City Art Group held our 22nd Annual Holiday Art Show on November 11. Every year I convince myself this is my last year and every year I come back.

Once again our show was located at beautiful Playa Vista Centrepointe Club.

I’m going to toot my own horn here. It’s not easy. I’d rather talk about somebody else’s work than my own but I have to get over that!

The ribbon in the photo above was for Body of Work: Photography. I never expected this as I really admire the other photographers in our group. On the other hand, I’m not going to let myself down and say I didn’t deserve it!

These three photos above are, from left to right, 1. White Sands, New Mexico 2. Sleeping Lion, LA Zoo 3. Canoes for rent with the Casino in the background, Catalina Island.

The small photo in the center is of Pharoah, my cat who passed away in July. He was represented as I gave a memorial award in his honor.

Culver City Art Group
The other side of my exhibit with another photo of White Sands and a photo of the William Jefferson Clinton Pedestrian Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas.

I also won first prize in the Members’ Theme, “Let There Be Light.” I was on my way to take a photo and got distracted. But you can see it here at Photos I’m Showing at the Culver City Art Group Show.

And Marion Wong, who helps me (but does most of the work!) with the buffet table, gave me her memorial award for my “Sleeping Lion” photo which was a lovely surprise and much appreciated.

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/photos-im-showing-at-the-culver-city-art-group-show/

I presented my memorial award from Pharoah to Barbara Golbin (the pink ribbon next to her painting). Pharoah always loved flowers. Indoors or out, if there were flowers around, he would curl up next to them or stand and wait to have his portrait taken.  He is certainly missed.

Following are some random photos of the show:

Three of our exhibitors. Claudia Dose, Pamela Waddell, Barbara Golbin (our President).

culver city art group
Complete list of winners:

Main Show

1st     Nick Kolesniko                Voyage

2nd   Eileen Brabender            Glowing Roses

3rd     Maria Kurtz                    Golden Sunset

4th    Jim Drummond                Horses

5th    Judith Shellenberger         Yosemite Falls

HM    Beth Pfaffinger              Hill with home

HM    Marion Wong                  Zion #2

HM    Diane Bulgatz                Fantasia

Members Theme: Let there be Light

1st     Roslyn Wilkins               Shadow, White Sands

2nd    Regine Legler                 Dreams of Yesterday

3rd     Young Prasad                Good Luck

Best Body of Work

Barbara Owens – Water Color – Jack Richeson certificate

Ray Chavez – Oil – Jack Richeson certificate

Pam Waddel – Acrylic – Jack Richeson certificate

Roslyn Wilkins – Photography – Paul’s Photo certificate

Memorial awards

Young Prasad  to Maria Kurtz

Roslyn Wilkins to Barbara Golbin (for Pharoah)

Marion Wong to Roslyn Wilkins

Achievement award

Allison Foster  to Claudia Dose and Beth Pfaffinger

Congratulations to EVERYBODY. Just showing your work is an achievement!


22 Comments

Marché de Noël

marche de noel

Last weekend I participated in le Marché de Noël, a holiday boutique in aid of Ecole Claire Fontaine, a French art and language school in Venice for two to seven year olds. A French friend from the Culver City Art Group invited me. I figured it was a way to put my photos out into the world, so why not?

I displayed some of my earlier work in the form of 20″ x 16″ (51 cm x 41 cm) canvas prints I had made up when there was a promotional sale some years ago. At the time I was so excited about getting back into photography I went a little crazy. But I still love those photos, even though now I see all the mistakes, and they adorn my walls. It was nice to see them out of the house and in a different setting. I didn’t sell any but I did get some very positive feedback.

I sold quite a few of my photo greeting cards which more than covered all the expenses of making them and other expenses for the day. I met some interesting people who tried to speak French to me. Unfortunately all those DVDs fell on deaf ears. Well, I can speak and understand French “un peu” in a controlled situation when I know the context, like walking into a store and asking how much is that scarf? But when somebody walks up to me and starts speaking, I get flustered and intimidated. So I had to keep saying, sorry I don’t understand you!

marche de noel

I liked this photo of me standing next to the red arrow. It means to me that I have to keep moving forward with my photography and not get discouraged.

It was this time of year five years ago that I bought my Canon T3i, a very basic DSLR. At the time I questioned whether this was a good decision. I thought I was too old to start up a new hobby. Every photographer in the universe was way ahead of me. I almost gave up before I started. But then I told myself that in five years I would be five years further along the path. And here I am, indeed, five years on and not doing too badly!

I was really happy that several friends showed up at this event to chat. E and her sister walked all the way from Santa Monica. S took several buses from Westwood. L fought beach traffic and spent 2o minutes looking for a parking space. So I appreciate the effort they made.

The photo below is of a gentlemen who set up his art next to me. He is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, so of course I told him that is where my mother was from. Along with Spanish he also speaks fluent French and English. How do people do that?

marche de noel

He told me he clips photos of people out of magazines that interest him in some way and paints them. I really loved the portrait in the center of the man with turban and beard. The beard was like flowing water. He told me the story of each one. He said he knew he wouldn’t sell anything. He just wanted people to see his paintings. Really, when you are an artist that is what it’s about.

The “ecole” was a lovely setting to be in for the day. I’m glad I decided to be there. Life is good!

 


11 Comments

A quick visit to San Francisco from Coit Tower to Pier 39

coit tower

In July I visited my good friend Judy who moved from Orange County in Southern California to Walnut Creek in Northern California a few years ago. Every year I said I was coming up to visit but you know how that goes. So this year I said this is it, I’m going.

I flew into San Francisco International Airport and took the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train to Walnut Creek where Judy picked me up. Simple! Why couldn’t things be that easy and civilized in Los Angeles? By the time we get a direct connection into LAX I probably won’t still be on the planet! Good thing I live fairly close to the airport so it’s a relatively short ride by taxi.

coit tower muralsI had read about the renovations of the 1934 murals at Coit Tower so I wanted to visit there as part of my trip up north. Fortunately, Judy was willing. So one day we took BART back into the city. I love San Francisco. Although it’s totally different from London, when I’m there I feel the same vibe.

coit tower murals

The bad news was the line for the elevator up to the top of Coit Tower was long. The really good news is that while you are waiting you have the opportunity to see the fabulous murals up close.

coit tower murals

Also some nice views out of the doors at the ground level. Of course, Coit Tower is at the top of a steep hill. So even though you may be at the base, there are still commanding views of the bay.

coit tower murals

So it was a toss up which was more fabulous… the spectacular views or the amazing murals.

coit tower

How often do you have choices like that?

coit tower murals

And on top of everything else, I had the privilege of spending time with my lovely friend Judy!

coit tower murals

From the website: The murals inside the tower’s base were painted in 1934 by a group of artists employed by the Public Works of Art Project, a precursor to the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and depict life in California during the Depression. When violence broke out during the 1934 longshoremen’s strike, controversy over the radical content in some of the panels became quite heated. Some of the most controversial elements were painted over, and the tower was padlocked for several months before the frescoes were finally opened to the public in the fall of 1934.

coit tower murals

The artists (including Maxine AlbroVictor Arnautoff, Ray Bertrand, Rinaldo Cuneo, Mallette Harold Dean, Gordon Langdon, Clifford Wight, Edith HamlinGeorge Albert HarrisOtis OldfieldSuzanne Scheuer, Hebe Daum, Jane BerlandinaFrederick E. Olmsted Jr., Jose Moya del Pino and Frede Vidar) were committed in varying degrees to racial equality and to leftist and Marxist political ideas strongly expressed in the paintings. (Wikipedia.)

coit tower

When you get out of the elevator at the top of the tower there are a few more steps. Then some good views of San Francisco. I was having a little problem with my vertigo but managed to get a few good shots with my point & shoot anyway.

I purposely left my DSLR at Judy’s place that day as before I left LA I read that a 70-year-old photographer had been murdered near Coit Tower recently for his camera equipment and I wasn’t taking any chances! Apparently there are roving gangs of thieves in San Francisco attacking tourists for their photography gear. I have a very basic Canon DSLR but in the moment a thief may not have time to check out my model number!!!

coit tower

We had walked up to the tower but were in no mood to walk all the way down. We saw car after car (presumably Uber or Lyft) arriving to pick up groups of people. But we had already determined we could get back down to the waterfront for just a few cents by public transportation. And pretty soon the bus arrived. I don’t understand why anyone would want to pay taxi fare when the cost of a bus ride is so cheap. Most people are too hung up on riding in cars!

Some info from Wikipedia: Coit Tower, also known as the Lillian Coit Memorial Tower, is a 210-foot (64 m) tower in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San FranciscoCalifornia. The tower, in the city’s Pioneer Park, was built in 1933 using Lillie Hitchcock Coit‘s bequest to beautify the city of San Francisco; at her death in 1929 Coit left one-third of her estate to the city for civic beautification. The tower was proposed in 1931 as an appropriate use of Coit’s gift. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 29, 2008.

pier 39

The bus took us all the way down to the waterfront and we had a nice walk to Pier 39. It was pretty crowded.

I really enjoyed seeing all the sea lions and the crowds of spectators appreciating them too. We had a lovely seafood lunch and afterwards another nice walk to the Ferry Building and back to the BART station.

Along the way we saw these vintage trolley cars still doing their duty.

san francisco

I’ve always loved San Francisco and just wish it was possible to visit more often. It’s just a matter of time and money!