Sunday, November 30, 2014

One Window, Different Views --- Day 3/317

Walk: No
Distance: 0, small home yoga, much reading.  Thankful for long Thanksgiving holiday of rain,                           quiet, books in company of Callie

Open Window at Collioure, 1905, 21 3/4" x 18 1/8",  oil on canvas

French Window at Collioure, 1914, 46" x 35",  oil on canvas

This window was in Matisse's room at Collioure, a French fishing port he returned to again and again over the decades.  The light filled painting on top was done shortly after he first arrived at Collioure during a summer he and Derain spent months together, painting side-by-side. It was entered in the Paris Salon that year where its vibrant, childlike forms and unnatural colors were received with outrage.

Matisse painted the lower painting while back in Collioure and probably trying to assimilate his dark and complex emotions and forebodings about World War I. (The poet Louis Aragon called French Window 'the most mysterious picture Matisse ever painted.').  The picture was not displayed publicly during Matisse's life time, and was finally shown in 1966, more than fifty years after it was painted.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Issy Studio --- Day 3/316

Walk: Presidio Golf Course, Laurel Village
Distance: 3.8 miles, home yoga (2 small)

Matisse painted two important and famous portraits of his Issy studio which was an unusual turn for his protective and private character.

Henri Matisse, Pink Workshop, 1911, 70 5/8" x 87", o/c      (Pushkin Museum, Moscow)

Henri Matisse, Red Studio, 1911, 71 1/4" x 7' 2.25", o/c      (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Matisse's Issy House --- Day 3/315

Walk: Fillmore Street, Trader Joe's 
Distance: 3.5 miles and home yoga practice

House of Henri Matisse, Issy-les-Moulineaux

Maison d'Henri Matisse a Issy-les-Moulineaux, France (1909- ca1929)

The house is surrounded by a large garden with ponds and a greenhouse.  Matisse erected a large pre-fab studio on the grounds (which he brought with him during his travels to ensure a place to work on his often enormous canvasses ).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Best Holiday --- Day 3/314

Walk: No
Distance: 0, Thankful for a peaceful day with Callie reading about Matisse 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Special Sidewalks --- Day 3/313

Walk: Presidio Heights, JCCSF
Distance: 2.6 miles and stationary bike




On her walk this morning, Ciwt began to notice some of the special gardens people have created on the sidewalks in front of their homes.  Some of them were positively Versailles-like.  A gift to themselves and to those of us who walk around the city.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Judging the Soup by its Cover --- Day 3/312

Walk: Trader Joe's, Mindful Body
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class

Ciwt's local paper did a spread on soups today.  In concentrating on copying them Ciwt - who Loves! soups - found they don't photograph all that appealingly.  Which brought her mind to soup Tureens, which she also loves and photograph much more handsomely.

The most expensive on record was this Germain Royal Soup Tureen which sold at Sotheby's 13 November, 1996 for $10,287,500 million.  It was designed by French silversmith Thomas Germain in the Rococo style popular at the time, made in 1733 as a gift for Louis XV and weighs 30 pounds. Besides quality, it's price is surmised to relate to the fact the tureen is one of the few remaining Parisian silver soup tureens and therefore very rare.  Sotheby's described the tureen as "an object steeped in history, that survived the melts ordered to pay for the Seven Years' War and the French Revolution."

dominick and haff antique silver aesthetic japanese style tureen

But Ciwt found herself more attracted to this superb rectangular hand chased sterling silver tureen by Dominick and Haff, circa 1881.


But then there are these beauties.  Oh dear, what is Ciwt to select with her millions?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Glitzy Pleasures -- Day 3/311

Walk: Rabata Sushi, Fillmore Street
Distance: 2 miles and home practice

Tonight Ciwt learns which couple's name goes on the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy for winning this season's Dancing with the Stars.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

LINES - Day 3/310

Walk: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Distance: 1.5 miles and small home yoga

Ciwt is looking forward to Alonzo King's LINES ballet tonight.  She was also interested to read on his blog that he is a devotee of the late Paramahansa Yogananda whose name comes around often in her yoga teaching life.

".....Yogic master and Avatar Paramahansa Yogananda understands from atom to cosmos the entirety of the search for the Absolute, and details it with mind-boggling wonder in the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi.
Autobiography of a Yogi is the Rosetta stone on the art of living. It has answered every question for me on art and how to live life. There are no words to describe the high realms of the writing, but more potent is the expansion that results from its consumption."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Community Meetings --- Day 3/309

Walk: Waldorf School (Alta Plaza Park Renovation Meeting), Rose's Cafe
Distance: 1 mile and home yoga



Community meetings, an ancient practice Ciwt is trying to get better at.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Intimate Momentousness* --- Day 3/308

Walk: Opera Plaza Cinema (Citizenfour), Trader Joe's, Fillmore Street
Distance: 5.8 miles and, oops, forgot yoga home practice


Ciwt loves a good thriller and this one is even though the bones of the story are well known.  She also loves a good psychological study, and Citizenfour fits that bill too.  She walked out of the theater spooked, tense bordering on paranoid after being so close to the actual Snowden events, but, even after spending 2 hours with him being entirely forthcoming on the big screen, Ciwt still has no real idea who Edward Snowden is. Something about that is also chilling and fascinating.

*Ciwt likes this phrase from a Village Voice review

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What Big Cut Outs You Have, Grandmother...Day 3/307

Walk: Small Novato, Ross
Distance: 6 blocks, home yoga

Here will be Ciwt soon enough. Those 'little' cut outs she has seen in posters and looked through glass cases to view in books sure have a different impact in such a large size.  Somehow she didn't know until just now large-scale versions existed, and she's excited about encountering them. (Matisse rules!  More Matisse to come on CIWT of course. Meanwhile she is still recovering from her harrowing yesterday of online bookings and thankful she isn't a travel agent).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

OK, Henri, I'll Get There --- Day 3/306

Walk: No.  All day on computer and no yoga either.  But worth it.

Henri Matisse, The Horse, the Rider, and the Clown, 1943-44. Maquette for plate V of the illustrated book, Jazz, 1947

She wasn't going to do it.  She poo-pooed the whole idea for months.  But, it's so so hard staying away from the one you love.  In Ciwt's case, Matisse.  So today she braved all the '8 people just looked at this hotel,' 'only 2 more seats left' and other flashing signs.  She hung in through the continually changing, often disappearing airline fares. And she emerged victorious -  with both airline reservations and hotel reservations and a Callie sitter for her beloved Matisse's cut outs show at MoMA in January!

Monday, November 17, 2014

A City of Their Own --- Day 3/305

Walk: Just up and down stairs
Distance: A block or two, home yoga practice

A friend of Ciwt's was going to leave for Sacramento at 5:00 a.m. Sunday to see the overwintering Monarch Butterflies at Natural Bridges Beach.  She invited Ciwt, but she was busy with Cinema Club thus sparing her or anyone else her 5 a.m. self.

In winter the Monarchs form a "city in the trees" at Monarch Grove which is filled with winter-flowering eucalyptus trees and protected by the state from human encroachment. The trees provide a food source for the Monarchs and also provide shelter from the wind and safe places for them to cluster together for warmth.

Then around mid-February they fly off to the valley regions west of the Rockies where its companion plant, milkweed, is found in abundance.  They drink nectar from milkweed flowers and lay eggs on their leaves.  Milkweed also contains a toxin that is ingested by the caterpillar then remain in the butterfly when born providing protection from predators that would otherwise eat them.

Who knew?  Wonder if my friend made that drive.  It must have been enchanting if she did.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Reminder: The Prince Comes To You! --- Day 3/304

Walk: Cinema Club (Human Capital*), SF Opera (Cinderella)
Distance: 4.5 miles

Oh, look, Cinderella married the Prince!

Ciwt went to SF Opera's Cinderella this afternoon, found it delightful and humorous but opted to leave the fairy tale to be home before real dark after the witty but long first act. Plus the opera reminded her home is where her prince will show up.

*Italy's Oscar submission for 2015 Oscars and a very good movie.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Tough Go Shopping -- Day 3/303

Walk: The Hood passing and talking with familiar faces ending in Laurel Village
Distance: 2 miles and home yoga

Ciwt - like so many of her neighbors - is sensitive to the quiet sound of old San Francisco soul on its way out. So, Matisse junkie she is, she treated herself to a poster of his Open Window, Collioure, 1905.  She has no idea where it will go; maybe just leaning against a sofa.  But she knows it is sure to bring her joy.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Here to Stay --- Day 3/302

Walk: Laurel Village, T. Joe's , California Shell
Distance: 2.5 miles and home yoga practice

Ciwt was all day phone-conferencing and Wow! how convenient was that?  Callie at her side, Doing yoga (shhhhh..) and other stuff around the condo as she listened, No $$, No Airplanes!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Way Multiplied --- Day 3/301

Walk: A-Dock Sausalito, San Rafael, California Shell Service, Mollie Stone's
Distance: 2 miles

This is the kind of shop - unexpected, right next to a Triple A service garage and a few blocks from some of the most prime mansions our City by the Bay has to offer - that gives SF its character, that pulls you out of whatever reverie has captured you, walks you right into warm melodious memories and reminds you the future is full of imaginative, joyful promise.  We're in a time of massive change here, overfilled with tech money and faraway investors and surrounded by developers.  Ciwt believes the city is also full of people who value these simple visual pleasures and services, and she hopes we will be able to shape new sensibilities as much as possible to do it Our Way.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Masters Exploring Originality --- Day 3/300

Walk: Laurel Village, Presidio Parade Grounds
Distance: 4 miles and small home yoga practice

Henri Matisse in his Paris studio (ca 1895?)

Ciwt loves learning this passage from Guy de Maupassant obsessed Matisse during his dramatic artistic shift toward what would later be called Fauvism.

What you have to do is look at what you wish to express long enough and with enough attention to discover an aspect of it that has never been seen or described by anyone before.  There is something unexplored in everything because we have grown used to letting our eyes be conditioned by the memory of what others have thought before us about whatever we are looking ...To describe a blazing fire and a tree on a plain, we must stay put in front of that fire and that tree until for us they no longer resemble any other tree or or any other fire.  That is the way in which you will become original.

                                                                                                Guy de Maupassant, preface to Pierre et Jean 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Settled In --- Day 3/299

Walk: CPMC, Laurel Village, Mindful Body
Distance: 1.5 miles and teach yoga class

Lorna Strotz, Foggy Morning, 9 x 12", watercolor on clayboard

Foggy Morning (See Day 3/285) looks just right now with Ciwt's books.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Eyes of the Beholders --- Day 3/298

Walk: Fillmore Street
Distance: 2 miles and home yoga practice

Roland Pedersen, (to be researched; ca. 1960 o/c)

Years ago Ciwt had this print - or one very much like it - at home on trial.  At home its human remoteness was upsetting and unsettling.  Even the nature was linear, stark, sort of wizard-of-oz. So it went back to the gallery.

It came to mind at the Richmond Art Center the other day while taking in a show of Richard Diebenkorn's drawings. Clearly there is a connection between the artists, and certainly they knew each other with Diebenkorn in Berkeley and Pedersen receiving his MA there and studying with Hans Hoffman.

At the de Young Diebenkorn Berkeley Years show a year or so ago, Ciwt learned there were many people who refused to enter the show or follow docents on their tours.  Ciwt guesses some of those people may have been alienated by Diebenkorn's art in a similar way Ciwt responded to Pedersen.

For some reason, Diebenkorn's art has an entirely different effect on Ciwt.  The color and brushwork are more complex, the nature looks softer, more appealing, and the figures - while unknowable  -also look less hard edged and communicate an interior world.    Your take?

Richard Diebenkorn, Girl on a Porch, 1959, o/c

*For more Diebenkorn thoughts, see CIWT Days 2/162, 2/279, 2/280

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pipes and Drinking Pitcher --- Day 3/297

Walk: No, Day of Rest and Reading 

Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, Pipes and Drinking Pitcher, 1701, o/c (Louvre)

This is the first painting Henri Matisse ever copied at the Louvre.* He came back to it again and again because he simply could not achieve the blue of the fabric lining.  It looked pink to him one day, green another.  He tried everything he could including using a magnifying glass to study the texture of the paint, the grain of the canvas, the glazes, the objects themselves. But still the blue eluded him.  It was the only copy he ever had to abandon reportedly saying "It is a truly magical painting."

This would have been @ 1895 at which point Matisse was painting 'traditionally' making much use of greys, blacks and somber earth tones.  Ciwt is fascinated to think this single painting may have begun to awaken in Matisse his supreme love for and deep emotional and imaginative pursuit of color.

*Rigorously copying works of the masters is a traditional and fundamental learning method for artists. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Joan Brown: A Small Remembrance --- Day 3/296

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (NTL: Of Mice and Men)
Distance: 2 miles and home yoga

Joan Brown (1938-1990), Joan and Donald, 1982, o/c

   Joan Brown, The Dancers in a City #2, 1972, 84 x 71 3/4", enamel and fabric on canvas

On her trip to The Richmond Art Center yesterday Ciwt had an opportunity to view intimate and loose works on paper done by Richard Diebenkorn during his Berkeley years (1953-1966).  And to remember Joan brown, the only woman who was sometimes at the regular, weekly Berkeley drawing group of artists that came to be known as the Bay Area Figurative Movement (primarily David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Frank Lobdell, Nathan Oliveira, James Weeks among others).  Brown herself is historically placed in the 2nd generation of that movement.

Joan Brown, After the Alcatraz Swim, 1976, enamel on canvas

In the 1970's Brown produced autobiographical works based on actual and imaged events.  She was a swimmer in amateur competitions; in 1975 she and a group of others nearly drowned during a swim to Alcatraz when a passing freighter swamped them.

Then in the late 1970's Brown became increasingly interested in spirituality and New Age idea.  She made a number of trips to India, withdrew from painting and concentrated on public sculpture.  She died in 1990 while installing an obelisk at the Sai Baba Eternal Heritage Museum in Puttaparthi, India.

Friday, November 7, 2014

All Written Out for Today --- Day 3/295

Walk: Richmond Art Center, Mindful Body
Distance: 1.5 miles and take yoga class

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good Whirl --- Day 3/294

Walk: Corte Madera
Distance: Just a few blocks, home yoga

Mini whirlwind around here.  Catch you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Low --- Day 3/293

Walk: Union Square, Trader Joe's, Sundance Kabuki (Nightstalker)
Distance: 4 miles

The near darkness of now earlier dusk was appropriate lighting for coming out of  Nightcrawler.   Jake Gyllenhaal was enough shades of Anton Chighur and Travis Brickell as well as his own soulless 'businessman-journalist'  that Ciwt felt a little creepy herself shooting this darkening sunset

 silently illuminating

her withering winter maple   even on her own deck!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Always --- Day 3/292

Walk: Union Square, Polling Station, Fillmore Street, Mindful Body
Distance: 4 miles and teach yoga class

Monday, November 3, 2014

What, Not Perfect? --- Day 3/291

Walk: Apple Store Corte Madera, Fillmore Street
Distance: 1.5 miles and home yoga

Sob, some Apples are rotten.  Ciwt's not yet one year old* iPad Air actually went kaput and so did it's charger cable.  That was  written up as two separate issues.  Ciwt felt Soooo disillusioned because she'd fallen under the Apple/Prince Charming spell  .

But, wait!  *Because she was still under Apple warranty, she was able to spend 3 hours with an Apple  phone technician, then another one hour in person with another Apple technician, and now she has an entirely new 1. charger cord  and
2. iPad Air , 3. 90 Day replacement warranty on both.  And, along with those, a private educational seminar by her Apple technician about dropping the concept that Apple is perfect.  (He handles many hardware failures/replacements and is paid minimal retail wages just like you read in the NY Times a while back).  And adopting the new, more realistic concept that its service is exceptional, and, with any other product, 'you need to look in the mirror because you will be your own technician.'

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Great SF Day --- Day 3/290

Walk: See below
Distance: 3.5 miles

Big day for Ciwt.  Starting with Cinema Club showing of a documentary about the Penn State scandal.    Then on to Indian food at the refined, quiet and delicious
Dosa Restaurant.   Onward to Trader Joe's for the impossible to spell and even more impossible to live without Alstroemeria lilies. 

Finally Ciwt walked 8 blocks to the JCCSf where she had an opportunity to see clips of Frederick Wiseman's dance films and then hear him interviewed by Alonzo King and audience members.
   Some good walking as well.......

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Orange is the New City Hall -- Day 3/289

Walk:  Sundance Kabuki (came 1 week early for NTL Of Mice and Men so say Gone Girl)
Distance: 2 miles and home yoga

Ciwt loved looking out her window and seeing our City Hall all in orange during the playoff and the World Series.  Plus it was nice to be able to look away from the nerve wracking, focused, tenancious fight to the finish.  Yay sports when they are played with such grit and purity.

And, one more time,  YAY GIANTS!!!   Giants' pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, waves to fans along the confetti filled route, as the world champion San Francisco Giants celebrate their victory with a parade through downtown San Francisco, Calif., on Friday Oct. 31, 2014. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle