Friday, September 30, 2016

Primordially Eternal* --- Day 5/223

Walk: Errands
Distance: 3 miles, Home Yoga

Egon Schiele (Austrian, 1890-1918), Danae, 1909, oil and metal on canvas

Is this Egon Schiele painting creepy or what?  A docent friend off to Delaware and Philadelphia on a docent museum tour texted it to Ciwt from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Schiele Egon Schielewas a master at erotic, sensuous creepiness and the Greeks were even better at it with their myths. Danae's story is so dark and convoluted Ciwt can't begin to understand it but believes Schiele has captured its harsh, unsettling essence.

Perhaps he was uniquely qualified.  He was a supreme, prolific graphic talent who produced some of the finest examples of drawing in the 20th century.  And, with his insatiable sexual appetite he was certainly no stranger to the dark and convoluted; his brief but licentious lifestyle was marked by scandal, notoriety and a tragically early death from influenza.

"Art cannot be modern. Art is primordially eternal."  Egon Schiele

Thursday, September 29, 2016

In Which Ciwt Makes Her Decision --- Day 5/222

Walk; Marin Driving Day
Distance: 8 blocks, Home Yoga

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No to Golf Club.  Yes to art tour business and other activities.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

That's Done --- Day 5/221

Walk: Mill Valley
Distance: 8 blocks, Home Yoga

Some people love going back to school and tracking down and visiting old classmates, even when they haven't been in touch for years and live across the continent. Ciwt is in the sorority that finds that exhausting and needs to regroup.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jan Steen Household --- Day 5/220

Walk: Legion of Honor (Homework - 4 Docent Tours)
Distance: 1.5 miles, Home Yoga

Marriage of Tobias & Sarah painting (c1673) by Jan Steen at Legion of Honor Museum. San Francisco, CA.
Jan Steen (Dutch,1626-1679), The Marriage of Tobias and Sarah, ca 1673, oil on canvas, 41 x 50 1/4"

The Dutch revere spotlessly clean, tidy and organized homes. In the thousands upon thousands of interior paintings executed in Holland's stupendous Golden Age, you would be hard pressed to find even a suggestion of dust or disorder. Image result for dutch interior paintings

Except if you were viewing one by Jan Steen. He ranks in Dutch popularity next to Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals - probably because the Dutch also love humor. Steen treated life as a vast comedy of manners, and the warm-hearted, ribald chaos - and downright messiness with a frying pan and greenery strewn around the floor - in The Marriage of Tobia and Sarah was likely comic relief after all the spic and span.

To this day, nearly 400 years after Steen painted, there is a term for a lively, untidy home; they call it a "Jan Steen household."

Monday, September 26, 2016

Time Out for a Laugh --- Day 5/219

Walk: Computer Tech Day, plus too hot!
Distance: Home Yoga

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Ciwt, still a German car lover, thinks it's a great time for a good Laugh.  (please press link)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Here, Take My Kleenex --- Day 5/218

Walk: Cinema Club (A Man Called Ove - Swedish, subtitled)
Distance: 2 miles 

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Ciwt's Cinema Club has begun its Fall 'Semester.'  Which means on seven Sunday mornings she goes to seven pre-release, high quality/usually foreign movies with several hundred other film buffs.  And, at the end of each movie, guided by a world-class moderator, she listens to (learned) audience members expressing their reactions/thoughts about the movie.

It also usually means  - especially if the movie is emotional - Ciwt has been quietly unmoved by aspects of the movie most members (who speak) loved.  Specifically, if one sad thing happens after another, Ciwt kind of checks out whereas the majority of the Cinema Club members (who speak) get deeply drawn in, passionate and Love the movie.

At first Ciwt found this disparity surprising, but, after ten or more 'semesters,' she knows what's coming.  She also knows - from speaking to just a few people -  if she expresses her (excellent!) thoughts, the emotion-loving people will get upset and censoring.  Emotions often 'trump'....

So, it was not surprising to Ciwt that today's mildly melodramatic movie won over the audience as did the international best-seller book it was based on.  But, what was nice for Ciwt, was that she liked the movie very much herself. This was largely because of the Superb! acting by the two leads - both of whom won Sweden's version of Best Actor and Actress Oscars.  AND a gorgeous Norwegian Forest Cat who reminded her of her cat, Matisse.  (Awww, okay Ciwt does get drawn in to some emotions).

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Child in Charge --- Day 5/217

Walk: No
Distance: Home Yoga

Image result for Raising dogs on a country estate 

Today Ciwt flashed on her childhood goals of living in the country, writing mystery novels and raising dogs.  "Well, never too late," she thought.  So she started surfing the net.

First article up was 10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone (in the country), and Ciwt dove right in.  1. Be extra vigilant with home security, 2. Learn to use a weapon, 3. Take a women's self-defense class, 4. Learn to use tools....  Enough already.

The second article talked about country realities like post offices closing right and left - along with fewer and fewer accesible food and medical options.  Then there were the articles about being careful about what you say, never making it obvious your house belongs to a woman alone, learning to change a tire, lack of transportation and gas stations, really, really peculiar neighbors - or absolutely none along with scary noises at night.

Where was the article about the bucolic, problem-free country estate bathed in sunshine and splendid solitude where the pleasures of Ciwt's own and her dogs' company was a constant delight?  Ciwt looked and looked but, didn't find it.

At least she didn't start by adopting a bunch of puppies....Image result for Raising dogs on a country estate

Friday, September 23, 2016

Take Any Seat --- Day 5/216

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (Snowden), Trader Joe's
Distance: 3 miles

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Whenever Ciwt is seeking bombastic, possibly truthy biography, she knows she can count on Oliver Stone. Apparently many others feel the same - and avoid him like the plague.  For instance, a decade ago she and a visiting movie-buff friend raced off to the opening showing of Stone's W.  The movie had gotten so much advance hype (another Stone forte) we thought we'd be lucky to get a ticket. Well, Ciwt and her friend were the only ones in the theater..

Stone is a little more slick and plodding than usual (one could even say boring) with his Snowden which is unfortunate because it works against Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Oscar-worthy performance. In many ways Levitt was as constrained by his director as the actual Edward Snowden is by the real world.  But that probably is of little consequence because, once again, Ciwt was the only one in the theater.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Club Quandry Continues --- Day 5/215

Walk: Marin Driving Day: Belvedere, San Rafael
Distance: 6 blocks and Home Yoga

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Ciwt's Country Club growing up

Ciwt is noticing no matter where you go, they tend to be quite the same in many ways...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Too Far for Ciwt? --- Day 5/214

Walk: Golf Club for bridge afternoon
Distance: Just a mile and small yoga

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Did Ciwt mention that her potential golf club also has regular bridge games?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fallen for Fall --- Day 5/213

Walk: de Young Museum
Distance: 1.6 miles (according to Ciwt's iphone pedometer she's had for years but didn't know it until meetings with her wonderful tech person), small home yoga

Official Fall is so subtle in San Francisco.  Here's the de Young today for instance.  It has always been Ciwt's favorite season, and the good news (for her and most of us out here) is she gets to live in it year round out here.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bear Gait* --- Day 5/212

Walk: Tech Training, Errands, Donation Drop-offs and Nails
Distance: 1 mile

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Robert J Williams ( Instagram artist-illustrator), I'm Here if Things Go Wrong, watercolour

Ciwt is waiting out our San Francisco heat wave (aka unseasonably warm and delightful fall weather elsewhere).

*Even though Pooh Bear isn't Polar, Ciwt thinks it's kind of  interesting to know: Their bulky build and swinging gait cause polar bears to use more than twice as much energy to move at a given speed than most other mammals. The average walking speed of a polar bear is 5.5 kph (3.4 mph). When being chased or charging prey, polar bears can run as fast as 40 kph (25 mph) for short distances.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Watch That Tee --- Day 5/211

Walk: No, Sunday details
Distance: 0, Long Home Yoga

So yesterday before her play, Ciwt stopped into the Apple flagship store for an age reality check .  Not only was she a bit older than the entire crowd, she was out of uniform.  Taking a look at one of the photos she took (mercifully with her iphone), you'll see that everyone - absolutely everyone except the poor misguided soul in the flowered shirt and a few others including Ciwt - is wearing a short-sleeved cotton tee, maybe with a hoodie. 
She also took a look-see at the newest Apple Watch .  She actually tried to take a workshop, but things kept breaking down with the presentation screen (hmmmm) and she had to run off to her play.  From the little she saw of it though and heard from current owners, it is seeming like (another) must-have item.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Royal Theater --- Day 5/210

Walk: A.C.T. (King Charles III)
Distance: 5.5 miles

If you're a theater person, Ciwt says see King Charles III.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Cats At Home --- Day 5/209

Walk: No, Playing Dr. Vet with Callie
Distance: 0, Long Yoga Practice (partly to recover)

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No more dreaded cat carrier for Miss Callie.  Ciwt has decided to graduate her to at home vet house calls.  So far, so good - at least when Callie is getting soft and relaxing looking acupuncture and cold laser treatments along with lots of petting.  But then there are those procedures Ciwt doesn't usually see when Callie is whisked away to 'the technicians in back' and she waits in the lobby reading or surfing on her iPhone until Callie is brought back out to her.  Ciwt has now assisted with some of those procedures where clinics don't want the owner present and thinks 'good thinking on their part.'

But still 'at home' is a nice luxury for both Ciwt and Callie - even if their mutual exchequer might be a bit shocked at the end of the month.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Windows --- Day 5/208

Walk: Marin and Driving Errands
Distance: A few blocks, small home yoga 

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Henri Matisse, Open Window, Collioure, 1905, o/c, 21 3/4" x 18 1/8"

Friends just had new windows installed in their home, and Oh My, what a difference - even though their place was airy and light-filled in the first place.

The experience of really seeing light reminded Ciwt of Matisse (of course).  He had grown up in the Northern part of France, where the light is filtered and dim and then moved for his art studies and career to Paris where the light is still quite dark.  His early palette was reflective of his understanding of light and color Related image with Woman Reading, 1894 being typical of his somber colors (and possibly mind set) at the time.

Then in the summer of 1905 Matisse traveled with his friend Derain to Collioure, a small town on the Mediterranean Coast.  And, once again, Oh My!!   He had been south to St. Tropez the previous summer where his painting style and palette opened considerably with the pointillistic Luxe, Calme and Volupe, 1904 being the most famous example. Image result for luxe calme et volupté  But, by the next summer, even he was shocked by how deeply the Southern light had affected him and his sense of color.  Suddenly he was painting with startling, fully saturated colors layed down in a dazzling stacatto of definite brushstrokes.

The small but explosive Open Window represents the very inception of the change in Matisse's art. It marks the beginning of his lifelong quest to control the disruptive, demanding 'sticks of color' on his paintbrush and harness them to joy and spirit. And it marks the absolute beginning of modern art.

Oh, My.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

On a Clear Day... --- Day 5/207

Walk: Presidio
Distance: 3.5 miles, small yoga stretch

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Ciwt had almost forgotten the way you can see forever from the Presidio.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Coming Up Roses - Unfortunately --- Day 5/206

Walk: Up and Down Stairs (Tiredly)
Distance: 1/2 Mile and Small Yoga

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It happens every year in early fall like clockwork, but Ciwt forgets.  For a few weeks she gets so tired she nearly falls asleep walking or doing yoga.  So she takes an anxious, annual (but she's forgotten)  trip to Dr. Internet: nervous exhaustion? (from what? since her life is pretty unnervous), depression? (even though she's happy), diet?, advanced old age (so soon?), or of course!! leukemia?.

Then she remembers!: Rose Fever, ie, sensitivity/allergies to fall pollens, and it will clear up in another week or so.  (she hopes....)Image result for dried rose

Monday, September 12, 2016

Can't Say Exactly Why --- Day 5/205

Walk: Hood Errands
Distance: 2.5 cold windy miles, Home Yoga

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Henri Matisse, Girl with Green Eyes, 1908, oil on canvas, 26" x 20"

We all have those favorite things for which there is some but not complete accounting.

Forty years and more, and still  this is Ciwt's favorite painting at SFMOMA - maybe anywhere.  It's famous for several reasons: that straight ahead bold stare, the patterning being as strong a subject as the person, the colors, the fact that this just is not how portraits were done until Matisse painted a few in his brash fauve style.

But for Ciwt those aren't the reasons she is so deeply involved with it.  What they are are a mystery to her; attraction has its own reasons as they say.  She used to go to the original SFMOMA when she was new out here and just look at it.  Then she bought a poster which eventually faded, and she named one of her cats Matisse after the girl because the cat was pretty and had green eyes. Then she bought a small, excellent copy, framed it and put it on her desk by her computer. Finally (for now) a fabulous, full size reproduction hangs in her bathroom.  Girl with Green Eyes is like a part of her for some reason, and she's so glad the original lives right here in San Francisco where she can look time and again and watch each of Matisse's brushstrokes and color choices come alive again.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Busy Transitioning. --- Day 5/204

Walk: No, Too busy after a fashion
Distance: o, small home yoga

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Staying Flexible --- Day 5/203

Walk: No Thank You

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So, even with the most lovely art tour clients, here are things that can happen:

- Ciwt's computer can eat pre-tour itinerary emails so she has to hand carry itinerary downtown to clients' hotel.

- On the first day clients can arrive really early, try to get into the museum on their own, get temporary free passes because the museum doesn't quite know what to do with them, go upstairs to eat and call down to Ciwt who is waiting in the lobby with tickets at the agreed upon arrival time.

- At the end of the first day clients can tell Ciwt they would like to start an hour later the next day if that's okay with Ciwt's schedule...

- Clients can get so engaged, ask so many questions and make so many comments, that they go quite a bit over scheduled time both days.  That was Ciwt's call, actually;  she very much enjoyed their interest.

- Ciwt can get small sinus/(stress?) condition.  Ommm...

Friday, September 9, 2016

Artless --- Day 5/202

Distance: 2 miles

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Art tours excellent and over for a while. Now Ciwt will take 5 to enjoy a museum-less life.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Paws Up --- Day 5/201

Walk: SFMOMA (surprise)
Distance: 1.5 miles, small yoga stretches

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All good on first half of Ciwt's two day modern art tour!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Can You Type? --- Day 5/200

Walk: Four Seasons Hotel (drop off itinerary - that was eaten by Ciwt's computer) for tomorrow's art tour clients
Distance: 1 mile, small yoga

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And so we begin....Maybe Ciwt shouldn't have used Callie for clerical help...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ground B&B --- Day 5/199

Walk: SFMOMA (of course.  Tours in a couple of days)
Distance: 3.5 miles and home yoga

Ciwt's building neighbors who come and go by night.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day Labor Memories --- Day 5/198

Walk: Vogue Theater
Distance: 1 mile, Home Yoga

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No Labor for Ciwt on this day.*

*She actually had jobs like this....

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Take Your Pick --- Day 5/197

Walk: Trader Joe's, Legion of Honor
Distance: 3 miles

Vintage orange crate labels from the current (blah) Legion of Honor Show The Wild West: Plains to the Pacific

Beginning in the late 1880's the U.S. was evolving from a local market economy to mass merchandising, rail systems were being built and color lithography was becoming more affordable. The first rail cars full of orange crates were being shipped from Southern California to the East - often arriving in winter when the sunny images on the labels were like looking through a window to the West and Sunny California.

Growers and canneries' sales and reputations depended in no small part on their labels.  Labels needed to identify the product and attract the buyers' eye in the first place and then, if the buyer was satisfied with the quality of the product, to assure the buyer he was getting the same good brand in the future.

The importance of citrus labels - hence the amount of artistry that went into them - continued strong until the late 1950's when corrugated cardboard boxes were introduced.  Since all the needed information could be printed directly onto the cardboard, labels began being phased out. Today only grapes still ship in wooden crates and account for the very few fruit labels used today, but the label design is greatly simplified, usually into block letters on a colored background.

Those old labels sure are purty though, and some packing warehouses never threw them out, so now there are a goodly number of dedicated fruit crate label collectors.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Serendipity in Stainless --- Day 5/196

Walk: No, Home Research, compiling all those tour notes

People enjoying Barnett Newman sculpture, Zim Zum 1,on SFMOMA's Living Wall Terrace. (Sept. 2016)

Ciwt likes this image of she seems to have taken when she was collecting thoughts on one of her recent research visits to SFMOMA.

Friday, September 2, 2016

In Which Ciwt becomes your Flu Watchbird....--- Day 5/195

Walk: Union Square, Walgreen's Laurel Village
Distance: 3 miles

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Ciwt gets a flu shot early every year.  So far, so good.  If you're a flu shot person, or want to start, this is a good time to just walk into a Walgreen's or other local dispensary and get one for the 2016-17 season.  15 minutes, no side effects, no flu (hopefully).

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Inside/Outside --- Day 5/194

Walk: Skin Doc (all good!!), Marin Driving Day
Distance: 1.5 miles, Home Yoga (after Callie had 2nd home acupuncture - Yay Eastern modalities)

A lot of what Ciwt likes and admires about the Snohetta-designed expansion of SFMOMA isn't visible.  The lively quietness, not the brittle, echoey kind.  And the way the galleries are grand and spacious but at the same time soothing.  She's never trapped here; there is a marvelous flow that accommodates crowds without her being aware of more than a few nearby people and never causes her to bump into them. The light is amazing.  Wherever she is there is a continuous illumination that somehow duplicates gently filtered daylight.  And the real thing - the outside - is always right there through wall size, uncovered windows in the exterior hallways and the galleries themselves. Through them the city with all its circles, angles, surfaces, architectural styles (along with the machinery that is changing it drastically) becomes part of her art viewing experience and enlarges her sensibilities.