Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Oyster Eater --- Day 2/26

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 18 blocks and take yoga class (yea!)

This gem is tiny standout in the current Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Maritshuis show at the de Young.  The pictures below don't capture it's exquisite clarity and perfect details.  Only a bit less than 6 x 8 inches, it exudes energy like a brilliant diamond.

Jan Steen, The Oyster Eater, 1658-1660, oil on canvas, ca 6"x 8"

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

That Girl --- Day 2/25

Walk: de Young (Girl with a Pearl Earring and Rembrandt's Century Exhibits)
Distance: 2 miles and short home yoga practice

Johanees Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca 1665, o/c

No matter how many times you look at her - on book covers, posters, various prints, she really is perfectly pleasing to the eye.  She's presently at the de Young if you have an opportunity to get to 'her' exhibition.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recovery Mode --- Day 2/24

Walk: No; still not 100%
Distance: 0 but short at home yoga practice

Back at it.  Basically, everything from yesterday had to be reprinted.

Monday, January 28, 2013

CIWT, V 1 Stet --- Day 2/23

Walk: Laurel Village+
Distance: 2.8 miles

I believe the last (ie, first) page of CIWT, Year One is now printing!  Began at 10 a.m. and it's now 5:46.

Completely underestimated both the time and the size notebook I'd need to put it in.  So my printing time was interspersed with trips to various office suppliers for bigger and bigger binders.  Tomorrow hole punching. 

I have a student who is a big time professional printer.  I don't know how she does it...

PS - I made a change in CIWT settings which might make it easier for you to post comments.  Maybe give it a try when you feel like it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

No, the movie --- Day 2/22

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (No)
Distance: 2 miles

No, a Chilean film up for an Academy Award is a yes.

And its star - as always - is a total YES!!!

Gael Garcia Bernal

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Again, Derain Pre-"Fall" --- Day 2/21

Walk: No

Unfortunately the fumes did do me in and I'm taking a sick day, but this colorful Derain from the Paley collection is cheerful. The painting is considered Cezanne-like: 'constructive' brushwork, block-like buildup of some of the images, cooler, cool and earthy palette. 

Andre Derain, The Seine at Chatou, oil on canvas, 1906

*(See Days 344 and 345 of CIWT)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Huge Life, Unfettered Spirit ---Day 2/20

Walk: Grace Cathedral
Distance: 2 miles

Spring, 1794
Maruyama Okyo (Japanese, 1733-1795) 
6 fold screen; ink, gold and silver on paper (detail)
From the George Gund III Collection at the Cleveland Museum
Remembering George Gund, 1937 – 2013 | Filmmaker Magazine

I like these quotes from the above column on George:.
Owners of professional sports teams are always interesting people. But I have never met one who dwelled in even the same hemisphere of unconventionality as Gund, who died Tuesday at age 75 in Southern California.

...However, Gund was also one of the most sincere and unpretentious people I've ever met, inside or outside sports. He would just as soon chat about hockey with the team mascot or a fan as with a fellow multimillionaire. Ultimately, that was Gund's saving grace.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thiebaud Closer to the Sea --- 2/19

Walk: Legion of Honor Docent Lecture (Printmaking Techniques of the 17th C.)
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class

To my eye Wayne Thiebaud's palette and perspective has darkened a bit in his early 90's.  Seems appropriate.

A 2006 Crown Point Press print I saw recently at the de Young's Crown Point Press at 50 exhibition seems very poignant.  His whimsy is still there, but he also seems to bring in the fleetingness and eternal passage of life's playground, the lightness of being, and the formless vastness of the beyond.  Maybe none of those things are there, but the print haunts me for some reason.  Can't help but compare it with the robust, tactile, grounded sensuality of most of his work.  Witness the colorful, firm, full-bodied, earthbound bathing beauties below painted around the early 1970's.

And then here is the print that haunts me with its wispy, airy, circus like figures whose birdlike tracks will soon be washed up by the sea beyond.  2006 print, Tide Figures:

Wayne Thiebaud, Tide Figures, printed at Crown Point Press, 2006

And finally here are some retrospective commentaries in video and print:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy to Live in San Francisco --- Day 2/18

Walk: Fillmore Street
Distance: 8 blocks

Because they're Back!

$1.29 Daffodils at Trader Joe's a mile walk away!!

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23: A truck is covered in ice as firefighters help to extinguish a massive blaze at a vacant warehouse on January 23, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 200 firefighters battled a five-alarm fire as temperatures were in the single digits. Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images / 2013 Getty Images
January 23, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois
But what a Stunning photo by Scott Olson, Getty Images from the San Francisco Chronicle!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Drab Not Bright --- Day 2/17

Walk: Mindful Body, Union Square
Distance: 1.5 miles and teach two yoga classes

Longer (much) than expected at dentist and then home just in time to teach two yoga classes. Now CIWT looking forward to totally vegging for the evening. Hope you have a nice one too.

Monday, January 21, 2013

57th Inaugural Cermonies --- Day 2/16

Walk: A little around Corte Madera
Distance: .5 mile maybe, basically a day of rest

Actual swearing in of second term President Barack H. Obama on the prescribed day.

Inauguration Ceremony swearing in on two bibles, by chance, on Martin Luther King Day.

This day of peaceful transition of the Presidency has been one of my favorite days since I was a child.  Haven't missed one.  No matter who was elected. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Swinging, Swaying, Records/Niners Playing --Day 2/15

Walk: Mindful Body, Golden Gate Park
Distance: 2.5 miles and teach yoga class

NO WAY!Forty Niners Win!!!   I watched some of the first half when Atlanta was scoring just about every time they had the ball and then let off a little steam so the Niners got some scores on the board but then pulled ahead again by 10 at the end of the half.  I was considering an art lecture, and made my assessment/decision: Niners are going to lose so the art lecture wins.

Usually when the Niners or Giants win you can feel it in the air.  Lots of energy, some horns honking .  There was none of that on my way home from the de Young so I was even more sure San Francisco had lost.  Until I checked in with SFGate......

It must have been an amazing second half!   Sorry to miss it, but Golden Gate Park was amazing too on this lovely afternoon and the lecture on Crown Point Press, Kathan Brown's Bay Area art treasure, was also excellent, informative - a winner.  Again the travails of living in the Bay Area.  (It would be something if we won both the World Series and the Super Bowl.  Just sayin...)

San Francisco 49ers Games

Jan 20 @FalconsQ1Q2Q3Q4





But my mind has finally recovered from the bathroom refinishing caper and I already had in mind talking about Golden Gate Park this gorgeous afternoon.  Brought to mind impressionist paintings as well as some of the 60's groups that lived near the park and were so much part of that scene: Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Mamas and the Papas to name a few.

These people are dancing the Lindy Hop to Glen Miller's recording of Tuxedo Junction.

Didn't get the song but got the beat of these roller skating dancers.

Man cruising in his 49er jacket.  Boy is he going to be happily surprised when he hears the news - like I was.  49ers Win!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

True Grit ---- Day 2/14

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 10 blocks, teach yoga class, a bit of deck gardening on a beautiful day

Mind still trying to free itself from the refinished tile/tub insult.  Hard to break free when there is a thin, invisible layer of tile dust on eyelashes and everything I touch and walk on.  Such a simple, benign - and necessary - project of short duration.  But disruptive none the less. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

San Franpsy-chic ---- Day 2/13

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 10 blocks and take yoga class

Recentering after a week of bathroom being refinished, my mind is rebelling from having to actually think about things it is used to doing routinely. Now apparently it is resting, blankly gravitating toward "interesting" things like all the white cars populating San Francisco streets. Having considered writing about them,  it remembered some pics of a white vehicle that's sometimes around the neighborhood. Bet there are some people who think all our cars out here look something like this - and others of us who remember when they actually did.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Three Crosses (Rembrandt) --- Day 2/12

Walk: Legion of Honor (Rembrandt's Century lecture), CPMC (all good)
Distance: 3 miles

Christ Crucified Between Two Thieves: The Three Crosses. 
Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 1606–1669)
Drypoint printed on vellum; second state

15 x 17 1/4 in. (38.1 x 43.8 cm)
Today's art history lecture was on the Rembrandt's Century show which will run right next to and concurrently with the Girl with a Pearl Earring show at the de Young.  When this slide came onto the screen the lecturerer, James Ganz, Curator of the Auchenbach (Prints) at the Legion, said "This is Rembrandt's masterpiece.  This is amazingly complex - in subject, in viewpoint, as well as a technical marvel."

Obviously this captured my attention.  Rembrandt - The Rembrandt's masterpiece?! But I also thought, well perhaps Dr. Ganz is overly enthusiastic because the print is part of our collection.  So, I went to the Metropolitan Museam of Art's website where I read: The Three Crosses is one of Rembrandt's finest works in any medium and it represents the culmination of his virtuosity as a printmaker.

The art reviewer part of me wants to say something, but clearly what is necessary/appropriate is to spend time viewing and re-viewing such a work letting it speak.

Here's a smaller version in case the whole image above doesn't make it onto CIWT.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Furthur Ticket 508 --- Day 2/11

Walk: Trader Joe's, Mill Valley
Distance: 3 miles

Nota Bene: Do Not give up on Furthur tickets!  Actually getting your mitts on one of their tickets can be/usually is quite an adventure - initiated by a continuation of The Grateful Dead's unorthodox ticketing process.  They 'drop' surprise announcements then have byzantine ways to contact them - with tonight's show at Sweetwater (where Bob Weir is a co-owner) hitting new heights.

The announcement was sudden and quite close to the concert dates. Four concerts. You were given one day only to FAX (!?) your requests in, and told you would hear the next day if your request had been  honored.  Fax! Luckily I didn't have to rely on a company fax and could just put my request form in the machine at home then go out and have a life while it re-dialed and re-dialed.  Came home to find it had actually gone through.  People come to these concerts from all around the world so I can't even imagine how jammed those lines were or how many countries were represented. 

But the next day was a letdown when I got my email saying "Sorry; we had more requests than we have space."  I'll say - supposedly the room holds 300.  So I was hardly surprised.  Until yesterday that is when I got another email saying if I was still interested, they had a ticket.  This too is not completely uncommon and always lurching in Furthur/Grateful Dead land; some bizarre situation where at the very last moment a ticket drops out into the world.  It's very possible that the 'Head from Tokyo I stood in line with one NYE is hopping on a non-Dreamliner airplane at full fare right now to take advantage of his 'windfall.'

So off I go tonight to a beautiful, small venue in Mill Valley where a band that often plays stadiums and concert halls for 8,000+ people will play for 300.  According to my 'letter of confirmation' which I must show in person with ID to get in (and cannot hand off to anyone else), I am ticket 508, so not sure how that comes down.  Such is the world of Furthur.

PS - They also announced yesterday (the day before) they will be live streaming three of the four concerts.  If you want to tune in, here's some information:

PPS: Kind of an interesting article about the logistics and sensitivity of bringing the "psychedylic circus" of Furthur that travels with multiple tractor trailers of sound equipment and any number of 'Heads into a small community and venue. Basically, good luck.  Think I better go over really early to see if I can find parking.  If not, goodbye ticket expense and I'll be watching the stream.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sleek Surfaces --- Day 2/10

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 8 Blocks and teach yoga class

Well, let us hope you will hear from ciwt and her cat tomorrow.  I had my tub and tile surround re-enameled today, and, yikes, had forgotten about the powerful fumes the process produces.  Windows cracked in every room as well door to deck.  Fingers crossed.

I can't help but think of those enamel workers living and working at and around the Louvre Palace when Louis XIV had moved the King's official residence from it to Versailles.  All those craft professions - enameling, gilding, varnishing, working with rock and saw dust, painting with lead based paints, and others - were so dangerous.  Lethal really. Many of the craftspeople to the King and aristocracy died young, and it took years before the most hazardous of these techniques were banned.  One wonders if the bans were honored absolutely; probably not.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Argo Unchained! --- Day 2/9

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 8 blocks and take yoga class

I am Really Happy about/for:

Chrisoph Waltz
Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (Django Unchained)

Quentin Tarantino 
Best Original Screenplay (Django Unchained)

Daniel Day-Lewis
Best Actor, Drama  (Of Course!) (Lincoln)

Ben Affleck
Best Director AND Best Movie  ARGO

PS -  Also happy for Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actress/Musical or Comedy and Adele, Best Song

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Golden Globes Predictions --- Day 2/8

Walk: Mindful Body/Trader Joe's/Laurel Village
Distance: 2.8 miles and take yoga class

So 'my' time of year has arrived - Film Award Time. Promoting myself to film critic for the day, I will now make my list of probable and hoped for winners of the Golden Globes movies tonight.

                        Hoped For                  Probable
Drama:           Argo                            Lincoln
Musical:         Silver Linings..           Silver Linings..
Director:         Affleck                       Spielberg
Actress/D:         ?                                   ?
Actor/D:         Day-Lewis                  Day-Lewis
Actor/M:        Black                           Cooper
Actress/M:     J. Lawrence                 J. Lawrence
 Actress:        Helen Hunt                   Helen Hunt
  Actor*:        Waltz                           Waltz    *They all deserve the award.  Maybe Waltz-Hoffman tie
Screenplay:    Kushner                       Kushner
Foreign:         Royal Affair                Amour
Animated        ?                                    ?
Song:             Skyfall                             ?
Score:            Life of Pi                     Lincoln

Hope Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are great as hostesses

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Scrambled or Fried? -- Day 2/7

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 8 blocks and teach yoga class

The pieces of some days never click together. This one began with watching a webcast of the funeral/memorial service for a close cousin in Montana.  Kind of odd on the face of it but actually a very nice and useful concept applying technology this way.  Getting to freezing, snowy, windy Montana on teaching day just wasn't doable so it was nice to 'be there' in this way. 

Then on to teaching yoga where I have a problem of not knowing which room I'll be in each Saturday until the yoga teacher training ends.  Don't get me on this, but it is no small feat to move my students from room to room and recapture the yoga mood after they have set up. This too shall pass - at the end of February.

Then home for a long debrief/reliving childhood and beyond with my best friend growing up who had also watched the webcast.  And after that a call to give birthday wishes to her long ago-long gone boyfriend. Finally, a call from a bathroom refinisher to say that the postponed job is back on for Monday 8 a.m..

Meanwhile had turned on the Baltimore/Denver football game which was supposed to be a Denver rout and is now in overtime.  And the 49ers playoff game has just started.  So, now I'm hostage to football and my mind is even more like Johnny's brain on drugs than ever.

So, Ta Ta from CIWT til tomorrow.

PS - I like that I can see the Candlestick Park Lights out my windows off in the distance. Go 9ers!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Royal Treasures from the Louvre -- Day 2/6

Walk: Legion of Honor (docent tours focus on Royal Treasures from the Louvre), Mindful Body
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class

It is challenging coming home from the simplicity of a yoga class to thoughts of the excessive but exquisite finery from the personal collections of Louis XIV, XV, XVI, Marie Antoinette and Cardinal Mazarin.  This afternoon was my third trip through the Royal Treasures from the Louvre exhibit at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and with each visit it is easier to disengage from the extreme juxtaposition of how the French royals lived compared with the rest of the French people - or with virtually every society since.  By now I'm free to admire the scrupulously precise craftsmanship that went into the breathtakingly fine pieces of hard stone tables, vases, porcelain, silver, furniture of that time. 

When my eye first caught the hard stone vase below, it honestly took my breath away.  Dainty but quite literally perfect.  Stunning. Standing about a foot high. This is the kind of achievement that can only happen when the finest craftspeople from the face of Europe are brought together - as they were by Louis XIV - to create treasures.  For the vase below, the work would have involved the most talented of at least the following craftspeople: gemologist to find the stone, a lapidary to cut and polish, a metal worker to form the metal, an enameler, a silversmith.  It may have taken thousands of man hours, even years to bring to fruition.

Judgement aside about the decadently lavish lifestyle of the last of the Bourbons, the craftspeople who attended to their 'needs' were some of the most brilliant as well as artistically and technologically proficient in the Western European world and the beauty and quality of their works are perhaps equalled since then but  not surpassed.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Skin --- Day 2/5

Walk: Legion of Honor, Corte Madera
Distance: 1.5 miles

Have you ever been at a museum and seen a centuries old painting whose colors look bright, clear, sparkling.  The sky is intensely, gorgeously blue and the foliage burgeoning spring green, the whole scene is crystal clear.  Well, probably you are looking a painting that has been very poorly cleaned by a conservator.  So much of the old varnish with its layers of naturally accumulated dust, dirt and other grime has been removed that the soul of the painting has been lost.  The painting has been 'skinned' as they say in the art world.

Today's Docent Lecture at the Legion of Honor was on the painting techniques (and materials) of the 17th C. Dutch painters as well as how the paintings have been preserved by conservators since then.  In a word, very carefully.  Done right in these days, the painting is studied by modern infrared and other camera equipment for an understanding of the condition of the different underlying layers: starting with what it is painted on (usually canvas by this time in history), then moving up through base, ground, under drawing, paint and varnish.  Concurrently much research is done on the historical times and techniques surrounding the painting, the intention of the artist and other significant variables.  Every attempt is made to preserve the soul, the integrity of the art.  Dirt and shifting of color are considered natural and removed as minimally as possible - often by the most delicate process of soft fabric and human spit.

Very important paintings - such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring - are often restored in public so that people can see each dab of spit and assure themselves of the care the conservators are taking.  Imagine the pressure the conservators of the Sistine Chapel were under in its public cleaning a 33 years ago.  There were probably decades of meetings with national and international committees of scholars along with Vatican representatives. While the chances that the Sistine Chapel was 'skinned' are infinitesimal (I think), there has been raging debate among art lovers, art critics and scholars ever since the restoration was completed.  This is where angels fear to tread so I will tip toe away thankful that I wasn't endowed with the patience, manual dexterity, detail orientation and other qualities of a world class art restorer or conservator.

Michaelangelo, The Sistine Chapel ceiling, Daniel section , ca 1530 before and after restoration (1980)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rearrangement Reaction --- Day 2/4

Walk: Round and round friend's houseboat
Distance: 8 blocks and private yoga practice

Had fun with a friend today rearranging furniture at her home.  What we arrived at could qualify for a photo shoot: balanced, symmetrical, harmonious but with playfulness and life.  One big piece of furniture had to be eliminated, but, even that had a happy ending when a very nice close neighbor spoke up for it and will take it away tomorrow.

There are those of us who rearrange like this and those who go out and 'solve' by buying.  If rearranging can be worked I feel this is where environments start accumulating soul.  As a piece one place 'evolves' into another place close to a piece which used to be downstairs or in another room, the environment takes on a freshness and at the same time an easy and lived in look.  Because, of course, the pieces have been lived in.  Chair cushions have inviting creases instead of being stiff and new, wooden patinas have mellowed and aren't mirror crisp and shiny. 

This is my aesthetic anyway.  I do it with my cars which I pamper for at least a decade until they really have reached the end of the line.  Also homes; it is very difficult for me to unattach from homes - which CIWT readers may have noticed in some of my entries containing pictures of ones I grew up in.

There are many others who are exactly the opposite.  They rent: homes, furniture, cars.  Or they 'flip' houses.  Or they are forever re-decorating.  There was a very wealthy woman where I grew up who completely redecorated her entire large house - fabrics, furnishings, who know what else - two times a year, every year.  Her children grew up to be very odd - and this constantly changing/replacing environment must have played a big part in that.  How secure can you feel when your mother so routinely replaces things? What will she do with you when she's not pleased?  I think they might have lived in perpetual agitation which went with them the rest of their lives.

So, guess I'm a Buddha contrarian:  Judicious attachment is good. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

And Jasper Johns Too ---Day 2/3

Walk: Trader Joe's, Mindful Body
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

Concurrent with the DeFeo retrospective at SFMOMA (see Day 2-2) is a Jasper Johns retrospective.  DeFeo's show runs the gamut but contains most of her major oils and her seminal work, The Rose.  The Johns show on the other hand is comprised of mostly minor works owned by Bay Area collectors (eg, many multiples/prints) and a handful of encaustics and oils, one in the SFMOMA permanent collection and a few lent by the artist.

From the first time I was presented with Johns's rich, deep, enigmatic but riveting encaustic flags, targets and numbers, I was hooked.  This was at New York's MOMA somewhere in the late 60's or early 70's.  But going to our MoMA yesterday, I was perplexed because I wasn't all that stimulated or drawn in.

Don't know what that was about.  The absence of paintings for one.  His paintings are just so visceral, they take you beyond the intellectual aspects that are their reasons d'ĂȘtre according to the artist.  I guess.  For another thing, by now we/I've seen so many multiples/prints, particularly of the numbers, they'd lost a lot of their power to interest or amaze when I saw them again in this retrospective.

Much of the Johns show is wonderful because it is wonderful to see so much of Johns gathered together. But it doesn't enliven my early hook.  An edited quote from one reviewer might capture some of this distancing:

The central narrative of this excellent show — comprising some 90-plus works, some new and never before exhibited — is Johns' continuing inquiry into the relationship between what an artwork is as an object and what it depicts.

The first two galleries are dedicated to Johns' Numbers works, which bookend his nearly 60-year career. The numbers stand in for the other early works, the flag and target paintings that made him an immediate star in the late 1950s and announced the arrival of the post-Abstract Expressionist era....

The thing about numbers, of course, is the same about targets or flags. Namely, a painting of a flag is in fact a flag (distinct from how, say, a painting of a tree is not actually a tree). Letting this sink in and acknowledging that Johns is interested in the literal facts (pun intended here, too) of painting and sculpture helps frame how you encounter the rest of the works on display. From start to finish of the show, Johns' works slowly build in visual and textual intricacy, but tend to circle around this same main refrain.

Huh?  A painting of a flag is in fact a flag?  Guess that goes for a print of a flag too.  Do I care?  I just want to see a gorgeous painting!  Boo Hoo!

Jasper Johns' 0 through 9 (1960) and Bushbaby (2005)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jay DeFeo Thoughts --- Day 2/2

Distance: 1.5 miles

There is something about Jay DeFeo's (1929-1989) art that has never called to me.  She has a large retrospective now at our MOMA and I believe there is to be a show soon at the Whitney, so she is getting major exposure and obviously calls to others. The three docent friends I went with all liked, even loved her art. I find her work among other things dull, graceless, too rooted in technique which is low on my list of what interests me in art.  The soul that comes through seems depressed, darkly interior, somehow missing something.

But that is me.  Maybe you'll have an opportunity to form your own opinions at one of her shows or upon encountering one or two of her works somewhere.

Incision  192" x 288"

Untitled  371" x 448"

One wall in SF MOMA show of works from the late 50's - early 60's.  (To me DeFeo's art photographs with more vitality and presence than the actual pieces which are executed in very thick layers of very dull and lifeless paint in drab/earthy colors.  The lighting gives them sparkle here that isn't as apparent - or apparent at all - in person).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Charlie --- Day 2/1

Walk: Not much
Distance: 5 blocks and putter on deck

Some days you feel pretty smart, on top of things.  Then there are others that are waaay beyond you.  Yesterday an important cousin died.  Important in the sense that I spent many, many days/years in his company until our late teens when 'grown up' life took us into it.  Then we were in touch infrequently, but when we did connect it was as if no appreciable amount of time had elapsed.  We just knew each other irrevocably.  In the later years I trusted him more and more valuing his counsel whether he championed me - or the other guy which he was forthright in saying.  That latter probably garnered my respect most of all; I am not a person by whom 'no' is easily received, but when he said it, I listened and acted.  Besides wisdom, level-headedness and a hard-working, community/family-oriented character, he had mirth even in his seriousness.  And ultimately it was through his kind, humorous lightness that he opened the way for me and others. He had many friends who, as his son put it, 'meant mountains' to him.  A cousin, citizen, family man, soldier, rancher and friend.  The world is dimmer on this day.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Grand 1st Anniversary!! --- DAY 365

Walk: Mindful Body (2)
Distance: 16 blocks and teach yoga class

CIWT is one year and counting.....See you tomorrow.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Small Mix ---Day 364

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (ZeroDarkThirty), Mindful Body
Distance: 3 miles and take yoga class

Yesterday I mentioned commenting on how artists mixed oil paints before tubes came into existence and the enormous freedom tubes of oils afforded artists that lead to the various plein air schools.  That was yesterday, and with a little time reflecting on the vastness and complexity of the oil paint history and process, I realized it would be too much of an undertaking for now.  Maybe down the road...

I had been waffling about going to ZeroDarkThirty, but there I was at the theater for the first San Francisco showing today.  Kathryn Bigelow is something else, and the movie is up to her supreme/Oscar winning Hurt Locker standards.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Carel Fabritius (1622-1654) --- Day 363

Walk: Legion of Honor, Corte Madera Nordstrom
Distance: 1 mile

At today's docent lecture on the upcoming exhibition - Girl With A Pearl Earring, Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis - a couple of things particularly caught my attention.

The first was more information on how oil paints were actually mixed pre-tubes which I may write about at a later date.

But the main and most exciting discovery was a 17th C. Dutch artist I had not heard of: Carel Fabritius (1622-1654) whose self-portrait is here.

Fabritius studied at Rembrandt's Amsterdam studio when he was in his late teens and many consider him Rembrandt's most gifted student.  He made his short career in Delft where he is thought to be the only Rembrandt student to develop his own style.  Unlike Rembrandt whose brushwork was gestural and who used dark backgrounds with his subjects spotlighted, Fabritius used cool color harmonies to create shape in a smooth, luminous style of painting.  He became interested in the technical aspects of painting moving away from Renaissance perspective and chiaroscuro and explored complex spatial (almost trompe d'oeil)  effects as in A View in Delft, with a Musical Instrument Seller's Stall (1652).  He also taught himself to control a heavily loaded brush producing the haunting and technically proficient The Goldfinch. (1654)

Sadly, Fabritious's life was cut very short when he was caught in the explosion of the Delft gunpowder magazine in 1654.  The explosion destroyed a quarter of the city, along with Fabritius's studio and many of his paintings, so most of what he had produced by age 32 was lost along with him. One could speculate that Fabritius's name might be as well-known as Rembrandt and Vermeer were it not for this catastrophe.

Carel Fabritius, View of Delft with a Musical Instrument Seller's Stall, oil on canvas, 1652. 

Carel Fabritius, The Goldfinch, oil on canvas, 1854