Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Splendid Deprivation --- Day 6/8

Walk: Legion of Honor 
Distance: 1.5 miles, small yoga

Image result for monet paintings tulips

Preparing for a Monet art tour would have to come right in the midst of Ciwt's personal tulipmania season.  Now that she's pending all day in the presence of his beautiful paintings, she feels deprived every time she goes by a bunch of flowers.
Such are the trials of an art tour business.    

Monday, February 27, 2017

Thoughts: Groups --- Day 6/7

Walk: Monday Errands
Distance: 3 miles, Yoga

So last night Ciwt went to an Oscars Party at her new (old) club.  She didn't know what to wear but had heard people came in costumes.  Even if she had one, she somehow couldn't imagine competing with the stars in a beautiful gown.  And she has some bling, but the pieces she would have worn look so real she didn't want people to think she had jewels like that.  (Which has happened in the past without her realizing it with people talking amongst themselves about how Rich Ciwt was).

So....she decided to go as Oscars Worst Dressed.  Fun!! She had a hat like Cher's Image result for cher oscar dresses  in 1998, Red Gloves like Lady GaGa in 2015 Image result for lady gaga red gloves oscars
sunglasses like Celine Dion in 1999 Image result for celine dion oscar tuxedo, and for good measure Ciwt threw on a pair of black sweats in a nod to Demi Moore's 1989 biker shortsImage result for demi moore bike shorts oscars  . For "Worst Dressed" Ciwt thought she looked quite happening.

Okay, she gets to the club and finds...NO silly costumes.  Except hers.  Everyone is dressed to the nines in black and glitter and bling.  ONE person gets what Ciwt's look is all about.  One!  Who knows what the others made of Ciwt's hat, sweats, red gloves - for the entire long, long Oscar evening.

Why is Ciwt telling you this?  As an opening to a sort of True Confessions.  Being different - unintentionally - in groups isn't new to Ciwt.  Taking a humorous approach when absolutely no one else does - or appears to even get it - is also totally un-new to Ciwt.  She goes to group events (when she does) thinking "we'll all have fun and laugh" and gets there to find everyone else is pretty serious.  So there's that to handle - the disappointment about lack of humor (frankly) and the getting through.  And then there is the coming home and the next day - today - vaguely wondering if she did something wrong (again) and fully aware she'll probably do something similar in the future.

This is often how Groups play out for Ciwt and why she likes being 1. alone 2. with Callie 3. with a few trusted fun, funny friends - not in any particular order.  But something in her also feels it is somehow important to challenge herself and continue her 'group work.'

So now, in this 6th year,  you know a bit more about Ciwt.  She can also tell you about a couple of friends from the old days who had what Ciwt thinks must have been the ultimately challenging Only Person in Silly Costumes Evening.

Her friends were petty classy and hobnobing with the ultimate swells out here when San Francisco used to be Ultimately Swell. One of the couples in the Swell Crowd sent out invitations for a "Come As You Are" Party.  (Remember those?; you get a call and then are expected to come as you are dressed at the moment).

Their call came in while they were sitting around in bathrobes.  Oh dear, not their choice of party outfits, but being good sports they decided to really ham it up: rollers, shaving cream, the whole works.  Off they went to the Ultimately Swell house where the butler opened the door and they walked through to find that they were the Only ones in costume.  No one else had a wrinkle in their gown/tux or a hair out of place, and you just know people like that are not going to find the couple in the bathrobes amusing.  It was a very long evening - and a great story for years after.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oscar Who? --- Day 6/6

Walk: No
Distance: A Few Blocks, Yoga

This year's Oscars gaffe involving the Best Picture award may spur the Academy to make changes to the process next year. WSJ's Chris Farley has more, on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: Getty
Just home from an Oscar Party.  Luckily Ciwt stayed to the very end or she would be writing about La La Land.  How strange.  Still don't know exactly what happened.  Catch you tomorrow.

PS - Now it is tomorrow, and we all know the story.  What Ciwt loved was Kimmel's disarming cool and the graciousness, apparent good cheer and comraderie of all the actors. In many ways a Huge happy snafu - instead of how it could have played.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lots of Pretty Palaces --- Day 6/5

Walk: Palace of Fine Arts (Aladdin), Presidio (Visitors Center Opening, City Guides Tour), Legion of Honor (Monet Early Years Show)
Distance: 4.7 Miles

With the reconfiguration of the roads making old walking routes inaccessible or 3 times as long plus the rain, Ciwt hasn't been spending enough time in her favorite (and most beautiful) parts of the city. Today, she made up for some lost time.

First at the famed Palace of Fine Arts, left over (and restored!) from the 1915 International Exposition.  Image  She was actually inside where they have a large, nice theater watching the children's play, Aladdin, (about an important palace) to support a member of her new club.  (Awww...)

Then on to the nearby Presidio and opening of its new (palatial) Visitor's Center.  Ciwt thought she'd be doing them sort of a favor by showing up since 'nobody' would be there.  Well...  (Line of people waiting to get in)  

Brief time in part of a City Guides Presidio History Tour and then it was on to today's final Palace, the Legion of Honor, for the opening day of the Monet, The Early Years Show.  Ciwt was sure this would be a mob scene.  Well,....  Wrong again.
(Actually, not a fair picture.  There was a good - and respectful - turn out and this photo was just a few minutes before closing.  Nice show.  Large paintings so good (enough) viewing even when crowded. Ciwt thinks; we shall see as the show goes on.  Monet is a Total crowd pleaser and the museum is geared up for throngs).  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Teeny Tulipmania --- Day 6/4

Walk: Fillmore
Distance: 3.5 miles, Teeny yoga

Phase One Ends

Phase Two Begins

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sun, Yes!! --- Day 6/3

Walk: PGCC, Fillmore 
Distance: 4.5 and mild exercise class

Image result for chilly rays
Catching chilly rays between rain storms  --  just like Ciwt.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

BFFs --- Day 6/2

Walk: PGCC, Union Square
Distance: 5 miles, small yoga

Image result for monet la grenouillere and renoir
Claude Monet, Bain a Grenouillere, 1865, o/c

Image result for monet la grenouillere and renoir
Auguste-Pierre Renoir, La Grenouillere, 1865, o/c

They were lifelong best friends and painted together when they were both undiscovered and penniless.  These two paintings were done side by side and represent the beginning of Impressionism.
Pretty cute, Ciwt (and others) thinks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Now CIWT is Six --- Day 6/1!

Walk: PGCC
Distance: 1 rainy mile, small home yoga

Image result for now we are six poem

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday in the Rain with Monet --- Day 5/365

Walk: No
Distance: Long Home Yoga

Image result for rainy weather paintings by monet
Claude Monet, Etretat, Rainy Weather, 1886, 2' x 2.4', oil on canvas

Claude Monet is known to have painted 'en plein air' - outdoors - which often leads people to believe he always did that with every canvas.  Not so.  Monet had a variety of painting techniques and often produced canvases from memory using oil sketches he had made 'en plein air.'  And other times he painted entire works inside his studio with no outside work at all.

Makes sense to Ciwt.  On this day, she certainly wouldn't have wanted to have to do her Monet research in the wind and rain. And she can only imagine the difficulties of keeping a canvas and easel upright and the paint and brush usable - as well as staying dry and warm - standing seaside in a howling Normandy coast storm.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Arty Birds --- Day 5/364 (2 more days..)

Distance: 2.3 miles and home yoga

Try as it might - in the midst of its winter doldrums - Paris is just so charmingly photogenic.  And nobody knows it better than the birds of that lovely city.  Ciwt couldn't help but notice the sophistication of their perches.

There was this guy at the Luxembourg Gardens

And this one at Notre Dame

And in the Tuilleries on the way to the Louvre

And on the sidewalks among the pedestrians and statues

And (on Ciwt's only sunny day in Paris) at The Show at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Claude Monet, Les Dindons, 1877, oil on canvas
And, of course, there were the ones that get to hang on the wall at the Musee D'Orsay..

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Outrunning --- Day 5/363 (3 more days)

Walk: All over the place
Distance: 6+ miles

Image result for running ahead of a rainstorm

Ciwt was out running errands and outrunning cabin fever as well as the next storm that's about to blow in.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fall is for Old Masters --- Day 5/362 (4 more days to Year 6!)

Walk:  No.  (Wind and Rain ..Again)
Distance: 0, Nice Rainy Day Yoga (and reservation booking - see below)

Johannes Vermeer, ‘The Milkmaid,’ circa 1657-1658.
Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, 1657-1658, oil on canvas, 18" x 16"

Next up for travelling Ciwt is Vermeer and other old masters coming from Paris to the U.S. in the fall and then on to Ireland.
Thinking of her trip to commune with Henri Matisse Canvas Art Prints - Dance (II), 1910Ciwt is certainly Hoping Vermeer will be there. If he isn't, this time she has a good friend back there to laugh with!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Study Hall with Tulips --- Day 5/361

Walk: A Dock Sausalito, Legion of Honor
Distance: 1 mile, small yoga

Preparations begin for Ciwt's next art tour on Monet and Rodin.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bridge --- Day 5/360

Walk: Hi-Tech Nails, Golf Club for bridge
Distance: 1 mile and home yoga

Image result for perfect bridge hand
Image result for perfect bridge hand

Ciwt was busy today playing cards and doing yoga.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Club Show --- Day 5/359

Walk: Union Square (SF Playhouse: The Christians)
Distance: 1 mile

Partial View of Ciwt-curated photo show at her 'new' club

Not her idea but a club activity she was able help with (a lot).  Good way to add new dimensions to the club's offerings and to get to know more about members.  Here are a couple of favorites (with unaoidable reflections in the glass).




Monday, February 13, 2017

Expertise --- Day 5/358

Walk: Monday Errands, Clay Theater (Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animation)
Distance: 2.2 miles, small yoga

Image result for matisse red room
Henri Matisse, The Dessert: Harmony in Red (best known as The Red Room), 1908. 
oil on canvas, 70.9" x 86.6"

This wonderful Red painting which was in Paris for the show Ciwt went to see is considered one of Matisse's masterpieces.

It also has a host of scholars who have written or lectured about how inventive it was for Matisse to have painted the red color last, defying the classic manner since the renaissance of painting the ground color first.  On and on these art experts go about how the red comes right up to the blue in some sections, how brave and quietly defiant Matisse was to have painted in such an unorthox way, how inventive, how sly.  On and on as Ciwt said.

Well, not so fast, experts.  When Count Schchukin saw and contracted with Matisse to buy The Red Room, it was entitled Study in Blue.  Because it was blue - everywhere you see red.  But after Schchukin returned to Russia and before the painting was sent, Matisse decided it would work better in red.  And voila.

So the painting Schchukin took possession turned out to be red.  His reaction: uncrate it and proudly hang it on his wall beside his growing collection of Matisses.  This trust in an artist is nearly unheard of.  Most collectors would have a fit, demand their money back, maybe even take the artist to court if a painting they had paid for arrived totally changed. Such was Schchukin's deep understanding and belief in Matisse that he knew Matisse's/the artist's process was of supreme importance.  No over analyzing for him.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dullness Prevails --- Day 5/357

Walk:Cinema Clu (A Week and a Day)
Distance: 2 miles 

Ciwt is creatively tapped out for today (Maybe cuz of dull, dull, super dull movie at Cinema Club)....Hope to catch you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Good News Items --- Day 5/356

Walk: Opera Plaza Cinema (Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action)
Distance: 3.8 miles

Finally...the good news about Ciwt's unfunny 2nd day in Paris.  You know, the one where the iconic of all iconic paintings wasn't at the art show she traveled abroad to see.  Ciwt had read about a special film about the painting (at the time wondering why they were having it and the painting).  When the film was the only access to the painting, she went rather pessimistically into the room where it was showing.  Well!!  It was a large room with enormous walls acting as screens for the painting, it's companion Music Image result for music by henri matisse and video re-enactments of aspects of the painting, the collection, the relationship between Matisse and Count Schchukin, the art/historical situation in Russia at the time the collection was being assembled, and other engaging and informative aspects of the Icons show.  To Ciwt's visual memory, the colors of both paintings were absolutely true, and the even larger size was stunning. Without being pollyanna, Ciwt can say that she had a deeper (although different) encounter with the painting than if she had simply looked at it.  She also appreciated the hush in the room; all the viewers as respectful as Ciwt herself - which can actually be said of the whole show.

The second piece of good news was that the Matisses that were there were spectacular.  She is of the opinion that at least 70% of the Best Matisse paintings before his last period, the Cutouts, are in Russia - originally in the Schchukin collection.  And there they were!  
   One after another, joyous Rooms of them!

The third piece of good news is that The Painting hangs in St. Petersburg in the Hermitage permanant c ollection. So, if you ever hear of Ciwt going to St. Petersburg, you know what she's up to.  Let hope though she goes on a day when the painting is there (not out for restoration or something) and maybe she's with someone with a Great sense of humor!