Sunday, May 28, 2017

Roman Holiday Anniversary

I never tire of the drive up the coast to San Francisco...
Stopping for a break at Pigeon Point...
Watched Ethan celebrate his first birthday...
Awesomely enjoying his birthday cake...
Andy and I wolfed down our slices of yummy cake...
Ethan showed off his walking skills to my dad...
Headed over to dinner with Grant and Susie...
We were celebrating our trip to Rome several years ago...
Explored a bit while waiting for our reservation...
Attended a play after having munched on fabulous cheeses...
The curtain is about to rise...

Weekend Meet-Up

Early arrival at dinner rendezvous, means there's time to explore...

Sad that one of my favorite stores has closed...

Yard decor in a fishing village...

This stored once had some unique finds...

Indeed, it does...

Overcast weather on a pre-summer evening...

Corn tamales with green chile sauce...

Hope to see these kids again soon...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Distillation

Heading into the city for the Monet: Early Years Exhibit...

On the way into the Legion of Honor...

Yesterday, I had a treat with Lisa and Michelle, two fellow teachers from my school. We visited the Legion of Honor to see an exhibit of Claude Monet's early paintings. Several years ago, I started becoming deeply interested in Monet's work. When I was younger, I always thought that his work was just socialite fodder. Maybe I had only seen his work in books. The Orsay Museum began to change my mind. When you view Monet's work in person, it is radiant. He completely understands the quality of light, and how to capture reflections. 

This exhibit focused on early work, when he was just beginning to make the move from tight realism to abstraction. Almost every painting had small sections or parts that were loose and brushy. There were places where he was starting to try to let go of subject. But, unlike his later work, there were also still areas that were calculated and tightly rendered. He seems to have been drawn by water and by snow. As a plein air painter, living in Northern France, he was surrounded by water and weather. Each painting that had snow or water, seemed to contain the ingredients of abstraction.

The dates on the paintings were helpful. Within about a ten year period, he started really experimenting with paint, and was firmly heading down the path towards his later work. The timeline on the wall, and the quantity of work, reinforced my notion of creativity. You have to put in the time. You have to work on your art every day (or at least try to). As you work continuously, you produce a lot of clunkers, but you also have small, almost negligable breakthroughs, making signpost pieces along the way. Without constantly working, or creating a body of work, it's difficult to advance towards what you're ultimately trying to express.

I was also struck yesterday, by the amount of rejection that Claude Monet faced with his work. People continuously denying him the right to exhibit. He continued to persevere, despite living in poverty for the early years of his life. When I walked into a purple room, and saw his humble fish still life, I started to get weepy. This painting always cuts to the heart of what it is to be a maker for me. Everything around us is beautiful and radiant, even in death. Everything is a wonder. Monet understood this, and could not resist taking time to notice the unnoticeable.

I feel inspired to keep on making, and to keep on observing and noticing. 


Studying light and working towards abstraction...

Light on fabric...

Very tight, very early work...

A wildflower cottage that Monet loved...

Always has been my favorite...

A body of work leads to the consolidation and distillation of ideas...

The water in the corner is completely abstract...

He entirely stops mixing paint with the trees and the water...

Gorgeous Roman glass near the cafe...

Tasty lunch and a fabulous pear tarte...

Greek ceramics casually placed near the restroom...

The drive home...

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Birthday Present Rush

Decided to go out on the prowl for birthday presents...
Saw some very old horses...
And, some religious statuary...
There were mounds of baskets...
And, lots of busts and funerary vases...
Fell in love with a mirror...
Cheery enamelware was everywhere...
More statues from churches...
Headed off to Monterey Peninsula College...
After loading these birthday goodies into the car...
And, found some work by my friend Oscar...
Returned home to get some glazing done...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Busy Weekend

Molars and their dice shaped bases...

The bust needs it's bottom to be attached...

The bottom gets paddled on to the end coils, once it has firmed up...

There will be a pole, connecting the various pieces...

This experiment broke, so it's ripe for rebuilding...

Starting over...

Meanwhile, the bust spends a bit of time sunbathing...

Hopefully, this one will survive...