Thursday, September 23, 2010

Provincetown 2010

Dave at my favorite coffee place.
They Also Faced the Sea
...a mural project on the wharf.
Schooner Alabama with Black Dog flag for tours during the regatta weekend.

I am back home after a restorative trip to Boston and Cape Cod. I bought a small poster from my current favorite P-town artist, Peter Clemons. He can be found at
Dave and I got to spend some time with the very unassuming and funny man himself. He took us upstairs at Backshore Gallery to see the view from there.

During this trip we had at least three conversations where we found that we knew people in common. That's either magical or scary--or both.

Today is the first day of fall. Welcome fall! Thank you for this time of new beginnings.

Friday, August 20, 2010

a change in the light

Here we are in late August already, the storehouse of summer days almost spent. From where I sit, by the Bay, I can see that the sun has moved south somewhat from its northerly apex at the beginning of summer. In the evening the light has changed, the rays are yellow, golden, portending the fall months.

The days are still fog fog fog, until noon. Sometimes the sun never comes out. The hot bright days are still to come, when the interior has cooled enough so that the sea air and fog are not pulled daily through the Golden Gate. Weather here has been unusually consistent. I won't say that the fog is getting to me, exactly. I've always, philosophically, considered it to be an extended version of dawn. But I do welcome the hint of change I am seeing in the evening light these days.

And of course all his talk of weather and light and change is metaphorical as well as meteorological. Don't we all, at moments, if we admit it to ourselves, long for change? It's one of the things that makes us human.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

summer fog

I may be living in one of the few places that is cool just now. At least here in the N Hemisphere.

In fact, we are having more cool weather than usual, and a jacket worn daily is the norm this year. Right now, at 10 on Saturday, it's quite gray and cool. Here at the Blue Dot, a capacity crowd is having coffee, breakfast, and talk. Only a few of us are absorbed in computer screens, newspapers, books.

I'm still playing Constable, and doing cloud studies, which I paint in words. Technically they are fog studies. The other evening I was able to get over to the bay at 8 pm, to witness a forbidding wall of fog travel over the water toward the east. It was rolling fast, and there were at least 10 shades of silver and gray, changing by the second. There was a break in the clouds and the sun, still a bright yellow, came though and lit the water blindingly. And as the fog bank moved further, covering the sun again, I noticed large sections that looked like they were underlain with a sepia wash. Then the fog deepened and I was left in a deep directionless gray light, looking out over the ice plants and squirrel dens in the foreground, wondering what symbolist painter had done scenes like these?

I'm sure I'll remember soon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

You are Here!: summer

Thought I'd blog a few notes from my walking and looking journal:

Valiant bumble bee determined to get nectar from mustard plant, swaying in the wind.
The mustard a beautiful acid yellow.

Fog until noon.
I'm at my spot [by SF Bay]--12:27 pm.

Fog turned now to delicate clouds, filling about half the sky.

Bay a very dark teal.

City gray/silver, emerging from the fog.

Light shifting. constantly changing.

(Did I mention the gulls look like planes coming down?)

Lots of changes. Every minute is different today.

Walking. Helicopter circling.

(The gulls fly to the lamp posts, then poise above and parachute down with their wings.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

workin on my projects

The "walking and looking" project I have been working on has stalled a little. By the way, the working title, as I may have mentioned, is You are Here!

I had been observing a bi-colored blackbird and having a great time. (Have you ever really watched a bird? A lot of what they do seems like a random expenditure of energy.)

The reason it has stalled is that someone mowed the field, cutting down the globe thistle, so my blackbird friend has removed to fairer shores. (I think.)

So this is just to remind myself that the stalling, or quiescent phases are part of "the project" too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

red brick streets

Just back from Boston, spending most of our time in the South End.

It's an odd feeling to be enveloped in red bricks. The side walks are the same dark terra cotta shade as the buildings, giving a sense at moments of being in a large red room. I've heard the lanes of Mykonos described in this way as well.

The freeze/thaw of winter is over, and the sidewalks still speak of motion. You can see they're not really flat, but shifting in gentle waves. Sometimes a brick will pop out of the grid and simply float there. Often, someone has moved a brick and there it sits, free, but a hazard to walkers.

The South End is beautiful but hospitable only to those who are sharp-eyed and sure of step.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Looking at fennel

Pardon the lack of a photograph, but this is being posted in a hurry, on lunch break.

I'm working on a "project" of sorts, but it just slowly coming into focus, so I don't know how to describe it, and I certainly don't know where it will take me.

For the past few years I have been noticing the wild fennel here in the bay area. It tends to grow in vacant lots, places where the ground has been used for something else.

(These vacant lots are the urban equivalent to we used to call no-mans-land when I was a child living in the country-- fallow places where there is seemingly nothing but potential. Maybe that's why I liked them so much: they are forlorn but resounding with hope.)

In my project area (which I call "You are Here!") there are these wonderful young fennel plants. Right now, due to the wet spring, they are healthy and of the most beautiful watery green color.

But the amazing thing is that you can smell them, with their spicy anise/licorice scent, before you see them. Marvelous.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April is here

Hi all.

Sorry to be away so long.

T.S. Eliot wrote (I think in The Wasteland) that it is the cruelist month, but I don't know if personifying months is a good idea.

On the other hand, maybe I have just grown away from Eliot. (I used to love reading his poems in college and I still remember beautiful moving passages in Four Quartets.)

I don't have a lot of time for introspective reading these days. I need my introspective time for walking and looking at things.

Several months ago I wrote that my greatest regret was not having been a "working artist." Well, I've decided to address that issue and begin to art. And that is what I am doing.

How will this blog figure into that effort? I don't know. That has yet to be seen. I hope you will stay tuned.