Tuesday, February 28, 2023

White Bears Can Jump --- Day 12/62


Walk: Mailbox

Distance: 1 mile, yoga

Monday, February 27, 2023

Irish Lament --- Day 12/61

Walk: AMC Kabuki (The Quiet Girl)
Distance: 2 miles, yoga

So today Ciwt completed her viewing of  the Oscar Nominees for Best Internaitonal Feature.  Another Irish Oscar nominee, another well acted lament filled with wandering roads, emerald hills, dirty sad homes. But mercifully no lost fingers or dead pets......

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Out the Window to Your Right You Can See... --- Day 12/60

Walk: No!  Cold, Windy, Wet, Snow, Hail, Etc.

Distance:30 miles driving around San Francisco

So today Ciwt's sister brought her husband to sightsee in San Francisco.  Ciwt was tour guide and chauffeur.  I think they could see a few things through the driving rain, thick clouds - if they looked really, really hard.  He probably needs to come back another time...

Saturday, February 25, 2023

182 Years Old and Going Strong --- Day 12/59

Walk: SF Ballet (Giselle)

Distance: 5 miles, yoga

Albrecht and Giselle

Of all the Romantic ballets still performed, “Giselle” is the oldest, and its staying power lies in the romantic grief that has inspired poets, songwriters and storytellers for centuries.

The ballet is 182 years old and still fresh today.  And demanding!  Giselle and Albrecht are two of the most complex, difficult, downright scary roles for any ballet artist.  Today Ciwt was lucky to see Esteban Hernandex and the ethereal, exquiste Jasmine dance those centuries old, still new (and exhausting even to watch) parts.  She thinks a couple of the people around her were in tears by the end.

Esteban Hernandez (Albrecht) and Jasmine Jimison (Giselle) in rehearsal

Friday, February 24, 2023

Well, I'll Be.... --- Day 12/58

Walk: Hoods

Distance: 4.5 miles, yoga


So to loyal readers who live in the ususal snow regions this picture might seem ho hum.  But those of us in the Bay Area look in wonder because this accumulation is just 60 miles south of here.

It missed us, but the forecast is for more ahead, so we'll see.  If it does snow, it will join the few exceedingly rare times snow has fallen in San Francisco. 



Thursday, February 23, 2023

Don't Mention the Hands --- Day 12/57

Walk: Hood

Distance: 2.5 cold, windy miles, yoga

Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792),  Portrait of Omai, 1776, oil on canvas 

So Ciwt was reading a Financial Times article on the present Brtitish effort to keep Sir Joshua Reynolds' Portrait of Omai in their country.* It triggered a memory of  an encounter with another  Reynolds' portraits here at our Legion of Honor.

 Sir Joshua Reynolds, Anne, Viscountess (then Marchioness) of Townsend, ca. 1780

Several years ago Ciwt was standing near a group of museum docents in training listening to one of the trainees give an early presentation of the portrait above. The trainee mentioned all the important things about Reynolds: that  he was the dominant 18th century English portrait painter and first president of the Royal Academy of Art.  That he had steeped himself in antiquity and presented his subjects - all elites by the artist's intention - as timelessly ideal, imperialistic expansive. That he was revered as an artist and neatly all of London wept upon learning of his death.

But then...the trainee proudly pointed out that Anne's lower body way out of proportion and her hands looked like claws. Hearing this the trainer pounced! "Why did you say that?! "You can't say that?!" on and on.  The poor and mystified trainee kept politely defending herself: "Because, it's true." Which only angered the trainer more but which Ciwt could see was an accurate description.  

The trainer never did get around to explaining what the trainee had done wrong.  But Ciwt got it with a shudder: As a docent you are Not allowed to mention anything negative about the museum's works.  Even when true, mum's the word.  

From that day onward Ciwt's eyes go instantly to the hands whenever she encounters a Sir Joshua Reynolds portrait. And often they are claws or entirely out of scale or just weird.  But shhhhhh... 

Lady Bampfylde by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)

Lady Christian Acland, 1771

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Let Me Tell You..... --- Day 12/56

Walk: Trader Joe's

Distance: 4 miles, yoga

So a friend sent Ciwt an article profiling some current high profile Art Advisors, and it put her in mind of a member of that unregulated, wide open field from her past.

One day years ago Ciwt was working as manager of an art gallery when a newly divorced woman with a large settlement from her doctor husband came in.  She did not know one thing about art - pink from purple, Manet from Michelangelo, etc. so Ciwt and the two owners spent a few hours informing her as best we could.  It is doubtful she retained much as she just kept exclaiming "Art is so wonderful!". Other gallery owners we learned had had similar experiences and we all shook our heads.  

Well, two weeks later the woman showed up again - with a client!!  She shamelessly and brashly paraded this unwitting client through the gallery regaling her with complete but authoritative nonsense about the works before her.  The owners and Ciwt stood by with our mouths agape at this ego and ambition.  Ciwt doesn't remember if the newly minted Art Advisor sold her client anything that day, but she does know that advisor is still in business 40 years later.

The topic of Art Advisors is complex, and there is a lot to talk about.  Certainly somewhere in the conversation would be : Collectors be advised!  The 'business' of art is wild and often not particularly pretty. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Absolute Oscar Shorts Winner --- Day 12/55

Walk: No!  Even grown men were grabbing onto something to stay standing in today's ferocious wind.                Plus it is cold. 

Distance: 0, yoga

Nawelle Ewad in Cyrus Neshvad's excellent short film The Red Suitcase

Stand back Alfred Hitchcock.  Another master of suspense was at work in the Best of the Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action.  His name: Iranian born, Luxembourg based director, Cyrus Neshvad.  His movie: The Red Suitcase.

At the start of this film the audience doesn't quite understand what is happening.  A young woman in a burka headscarf is reluctant to cross the bridge into the airport from the arrival area.  She keeps peering beyond but pulling back.  Eventually this catches the eyes of two security guards who ask to see her passport.  We then learn she doesn't speak a word of the language where she has landed and our knuckles tighten.  When the guards find a way to communicate with her, they grab for her suitcase.  She hugs it tight and our knuckles tighten even more.   From then on the audience white knuckles through nearly every breath this young woman takes as she thinks on her feet from moment to moment until the movie ends in a way that keeps the viewer engaged for days after.  At least if that viewer is Ciwt.

The Red Suitcase is a masterful, highly intelligent short movie on an ancient, important, universal topic by a passionately caring and skilled director. Ciwt has learned Neshvad is at work on his first full length movie, and she plans to be one of the first in the theater when it is released.    

Monday, February 20, 2023

Presidents' Day 2023 --- Day 12/54

Walk: Asian Art Museum, Opera Plaza Cinema (Oscar Nominated Shorts:Animation)

Distance: 5.5 miles

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Kind of Lively LIve Action --- Day 12/53

Walk: Vogue Theater

Distance: 4.5 miles, yoga

So Ciwt and her movie-going, Oscar-watching (maybe) friend on the opposite coast are getting each other to the shorts.  Her friend has seen them all, and Ciwt is scheduled to see her last group, animation, tomorrow.

And she's not looking to those animated showings in the least.  In years past many of the shorts have been excellent and a few have been positively brilliant and memorable.  But that spark is missing this year in the two categories Ciwt's seen (with Live Action being better than Documentaries), and she hears that she could 'happily miss' the animated ones.  Too bad; she was hoping the shorts would be so good she could get excited about or at least not dread Oscars 2023.   

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Lawsuit*#@! --- Day 12/52

Walk: Hood and Curbside Cafe

Distance: 3.5 miles

Ciwt worked and worked to complete her first jigsaw puzzle ever.

And then they left one piece out of the box 👿

Friday, February 17, 2023

Long Doc Shorts --- Day 12/51

Walk: Vogue Theater (Oscar Nominated Shorts: documentaries)

Distance:  2.5 miles, small yoga

Ciwt came out of the theater after watching the Oscar Nominated Short Documentaries feeling like she had been relaeased from some sort of confinement.  All five were technically excellent but for Ciwt there was a certain flat sameness to all of them.  They felt over long, ultimately dreary and kind of 'Nicely done, but so what?'  

Thursday, February 16, 2023

More Magnificent Winners --- Day 12/50

Walk: No, cold and tired.  Home puttering instead.

Distance: 0

Winner, Travel Photographer of the Year 2022. Tacande, La Palma, Spain: footage of a ravaged mountainside with a single tree withstanding the lava flow during an eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano
Matjaz Krivic / www.tpoty.com

Commended, Deserts to Rainforests. Šardice, Jižní Morava, Czech Republic: Early morning light paints the waves of the so-called Moravian Tuscany in South Moravia.   Photographer: Jaroslav Hora / www.tpoty.com

Winner, Best Single Image in a Deserts to Rainforests Portfolio. Salar de Arizaro, Puna de Argentina, Argentina: "El Cono Arita," a spectacular geological formation where erosion has shaped an almost perfect cone that seems to be lost in a vast desert of the Salar de Arizaro   Photographer: John Seager / www.tpoty.com

So, a friend of Ciwt's and loyal reader 💓 asked her a question Ciwt couldn't answer.  "How in the world does The Atlantic choose a winner?  They are all magnificent."  Here is a link to the rest of the awesome winners

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Travel Photo Winner! --- Day 12/49

Walk: Hood

Distance: 4 miles

Najin with friend and caretaker, Nanyuki, Kenya.  photo by Matjaz Krivic

So, The Atlantic has announced the winners of its Travel Photographer of the Year 2022 and Ciwt thinks this Grand Winner is very dear and touching.  It was taken by Matjaz Krivic at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki, Kenya.  

According to the magazine's write up, the rhino in the photograph is one of only two Northern White rhinos left in the world. Her name is Najin, she's 33, and resting under a hot afternoon sun with her friend and caretaker Zachary Mutai.  

The Northern White rhino is all but extinct: the last two males died several years ago and the remaining two females are too feeble to bear babies. But their eggs have been artificially fertilized by sperm from the late males and being kept frozen.  The hope is that surrogate rhinos from another subspecies will begin to bring the Northern White back into abundance.

Ciwt has her fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

February 14 --- Day 12/48

Walk: Hood

Distance: 3 miles

So, Ciwt kept getting little messages about sweets, flowers, romantic getaways in her inbox and noticing little articles in online papers about same.  Finally she clicked - Today!  Is Valentine's Day. Wishing a happy one to all her appreciated readers.

Monday, February 13, 2023

They Are Coming: the Oscars --- Day 12/47

Walk: LP Nails, AMC Kabuki (Avatar:The Way of Water)

Distance: 3.5

So to honor her Oscar watching tradition as well as support the silvr screen, Ciwt is getting in as many nominated movies as possible.  And today she went to the second one she has left early.  The first was Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (see Day 12/30) and today it was Avatar: the Way of Water.  

She left before seeing a drop of water so you'll have to go yourselves to learn about that.  But she did stay long enough to guess this must be what video games look like: colorful, fantastical, superficial nonstop action, killing, fighting, good guys with animals, bad guys with machines, end of the world, up to good guys to save it. That sort of thing from beginning to end (probably).  If you are a grandparent, your grandchildren will love you if you take them.  Otherwise, drink water (maybe with some scotch in it) at home.

Now, here's one she stayed all the way through.  Belgium's nominee for Best Foreign Feature, Close, is an exquisite study of deep friendship between young boys.  Warning: it will stay with you for a long time after you leave the theater.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

They Come to Say Thank You and Goodbye --- Day 12/46

Walk: AMC Metreon

Distance: 5 miles, yoga

Tiit Helimets, San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer, 2005-2023

So, this season there have been many empty spaces at the Opera House where the San Francisco Ballet performs.  But yesterday afternoon every single one of its 3,146 seats was filled. People had come from many places (the woman next to Ciwt had made the 4 hour drive from Tahoe) to honor, say their very fond farewells and godspeeds to transcendent principal dancer, Tiit Helimets.  

Tiit is one of those very rare talents so superb he has lifted ballet, his art, to another level.  Not just with his dance gifts but with his humility, graciousness, kindness, absolute love of and commitment to his dream of learning and giving all in his power to his beloved dance.  To follow that dream he left his native Estonia - where he made history as the youngest male dancer ever to perform the role of Siegfried in Swan Lake - to join the Birmingham Royal Ballet.  Part of his courage to embark on such an undertaking was a video he'd seen of as a young man of fellow, but much older, Russian, Rudolf Nureyev.  Nureyev's example of defecting in pursuit of more dance freedom sank deeply into young Helimet.

Later in 2005 Tiit followed his dream even further, off the European continent and to San Francisco Ballet which already had the reputation of being courageously cutting edge, of moving ballet into the future.  Once again, he joined as Principal Dancer, the highest rank in ballet, but the European star found he had much to learn.  European ballet is classical - certain movements are done certain ways in perpetuity more or less - so Helimets' muscle memory was in that tradition.  To learn a more personally  and dramatically expressive techniques was a grueling undertaking physically, mentally, emotionally.  And to be doing that under the spotlight as Principal Dancer almost always injured from the demanding new movements is unimaginable to Ciwt.  To do it as a gentleman with elegance, graciousness,  generosity and helpfulness to his company, well....

Tiit naturally a exudes grounded gracefulness that has the audience asking each other "who is that guy?" even in a minor role or crowd scene.  He is also deep into character at all times and  has a dual dedication to character development.  Soon upon arriving in San Francisco he realized just doing the technical work, however perfectly, was not enough for him - or the audience.  He felt the need to create characters that would engage the audience, characters whose story they could understand and feel.  From that realizationcame a legendary number and variety of major and minor roles he created from scratch or bent to his understanding.

 Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried and Von Rothbart)

Even more legendary was his partnering. Not only did Tilt make his partners look good, he made them feel safe and confident to dance at their highest level.  So many of his partners express their deep relief when told they would be dancing with Tiit. The more demanding and precarious the role, the greater their relief.. "I will be safe.  It will be okay.  Yes!"  For the audience it was beautiful to watch - seamless, graceful, one with his partner, but to the ballerinas it was a godsend.  

Sofiane Sylve and Tiit Helimets in Lifar's Suite en Blanc

And just when you think Tiit can't get any dearer, you learn of his loving relationship with his talented 12 year old daughter, Chloe. His newest partner if you will.  Spend a few minutes warming your heart by going to Tiit's instagram page* and watching some his short videos as he carefully, kindly, exactingly teaches and partners Chloe.  Or read his feelings about dancing Don Quixote last year:  “After having danced the beggar boys, seguidilla, toreadors, Espada, and Basilio in Don Quixote, I must admit that the best part of being in this show was to be Don Quixote because I got to be on the stage with my daughter at the same time.” 

San Francisco Ballet principal Tiit Helimets with his daughter Chloe
backstage before a performance of Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Seasons.

Tiit's future is bright with his daughter, and his wonderful wife, Molly Smollen, whom he met while partnering her in Brimingham!  There are dances and characters to create, young dancers to mentor, guest artist engagements to go to, future awards to accept.  Tiit will keep his dedication to dance - and therefore the art itself - growing, and he will be respected and embraced by all who will meet him.  But, still, it is very sad for Ciwt and the others who got to the Opera House yesterday to wave farewell and let him go into that bright future.


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Nice, Likeable (and More) Children --- Day 12/45

Walk: SF Ballet

Distance: 4.4 miles, yoga

John Singer Sargent, Neapolitan Children Bathing, 1874,  11" x 16", oil on canvas

Did you ever summer at the beach as a child?  Or just go occasionally or take your children or grandchildren?  There is something everlastingly relaxed, self-absorbed and innocent about those times.

John Singer Sargent, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose,  1885-86, 5' x 5.7' oil on canvas 

What about a white dress?  Did your parents dress you in one?  Was it your favorite or did you secretly hate it and, at the same time,  have to worry about getting it dirty?  Did your family have Japanese lanterns in their garden?  Or lilies?  

John Singer Sargent, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, 1882, 7.3' x 7.3',  oil on canvas

And then innocence begins to fade, children begin to individuate, each in his or her own way.

No matter who you are, where you are from, the chances are you can relate to these three paintings by John Singer Sargent.

They seem to capture a moment - at a sunny beach, in the fleeting minutes of twilight (and perhaps innocence), at a well appointed home where children are sheltered but disconnected from each other.  They are at once snapshots of a bygone era still actively alive in viewers' memories and emotional connections today. 

Each of these 'moments' was in fact at least a year in John Singer Sargent's artistic life.  They were preceded by many pencil sketches, several preliminary oil studies. The positions of the figures were changed over time. Older girls replaced the younger ones Sargent had in mind because their features were not as changeable and they were able to hold poses.  And Sargent had to request a friend to grow lilies in a pot as he finished one of the paintings because the season for that flower had ended.
And before all that was Sargent's intense study of Velasquez at the Prado, friendship with and admiration of Monet's impressionism, awareness of the way Degas (also a friend) brought intimacy and immediacy to his works.  There were years of practicing and developing a uniquely fluid brushwork, and aquainting himself with the details of costume, furniture, flowers, and, of course, the play of light.

There is true enduring life here, but it is quiet.  And, as Ciwt might say,  it is nice and it is likeable.  

Friday, February 10, 2023

Likeable --- Day 12/44

Walk: West Portal

Distance: 3 miles, Yoga

John Singer Sargent, Women at Work, 1912, oil on canvas

If Ciwt earned her keep as a professional art reviewer and described the works of one of history's greatest artists as "nice" and "likeable,"  she would be looking for a new job.  But since she is her own 'employer' and sole writer of CIWT, she will go right ahead and say those things about John Singer Sargent's art.

To explain a bit: You know how "he/she/it's so nice" was the complete kiss of death when someone wanted to introduce you to a blind date?  But then many years later, when you've matured, you really value nice people, maybe wish you'd gone on that date. Niceness and likeableness are qualities with integrity; they endure.  In the face of all life presents it takes character to stay those ways, and they shine through when some of the flashier types don't any more.  

The professional and paid art critics would point out Sargent's loose, bold, innovative brushwork.  They would speak of his works' lifelike passages that pause or sparkle or nearly break the viewer's heart with their delicacy.  Of course they would mention the way Sargent assimilated the techniques of the masters he revered: Goya and Velasquez especially.  Sargent worked at that; he was a registered copiest at the Prado and learned directly from their work - as well as Hals in Belgium and other artists across the continent. They would go on to say that Sargent then went on to innovate, to bring his own skilled, exacting, interested, honest eye and talent to his art.  And the critic would be spot on about these and other descripitons of Sargent's artistic proficiency. So really Ciwt is just adding "likeable" and "nice' to all that has been deservedly said of John Singer Sargent's artistic output - from portraits, to landscapes, to architectural, costume, ornamental and botanical renderings.

In the works of the Legion of Honor's current show, Sargent and Spain, Sargent recorded aspects of that country he held dear. Instead of the often seen toreadors, romanticized bullfights and alluring festival dancing, Sargent painted Spain's architectural details, courtyards, landscape, everyday life.  A virtuoso pianist, banjo and guitar player himself, when he did paint dancing scenes it was the passion of the music, and the perfomer's messmerizingly intricate movements he captured.  

John Singer Sargent, La Carmencita Dancing, 1890, oil on canvas

The Spain he brought to life whether in oil, pen and ink, watercolor, was common in its lovely uncommoness, simple, earthy.  And in all its everydayness, his Spain is likeable and very nice to take in. 

Courtyard, Casa del Chapiz, 1912-13, oil on canvas


Thursday, February 9, 2023

At 8:15, then 9, then 10:5, then, omg, 11..... --- Day 12/43

Walk: Back and forth between homes and appointments

Distance: 5 miles

Ciwt got a few too many things on her calendar today.  Now she rests....

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

No More Portraits!! --- Day 12/42

Walk: Legion of Honor (Sargent and Spain Exhibition*)

Distance: 2.5 miles

John Singer Sargent, Driving in Spain, ca 1903, watercolor over graphite

Late in his storied career as the foremost portraitist of Gilded Age personages, John Singer Sargent
announced "No More Portraits!"  There was much ado, begging and attempts at bribing from potential subjects, but Sargent stuck to his word.   As his subject matter expanded so did his audience including viewers today who delight in his paintings of clothing, ornament, flowers - and particularly his beloved Spain where he traveled often and extensively over 33 years.

And, Ciwt might add, arduously.  Travel in John Singer Sargent's day - by ship, rail, horse, mule, carriage or a combination - was not easy or reliable and speaks both to Sargent's fascination with Spain as well as his dedication to his craft.  In the watercolor above you get an immediate sense of how it might have felt riding beside him in a horse drawn omnibus as he arrived at one of the many Spanish 
towns he visited.

Today was the Press Preview of an exquisite, comprehensive, first ever (after its just finished run at  the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.) exhibition dedicated to Sargent in Spain.  Like most people Ciwt really only knew Sargent as a portrait painter and didn't know quite what to expect.  Well.......Stay tuned!

*Sargent and Spain, Legion of Honor Museum, February 11 - May 14, 2023.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Oh, Really? Yawn... --- Day 12/41

Walk: Hood Open Houses

Distance: 7 miles

Another CIWT uninspired day for Ciwt.  Busy checking out the For Sale opposition near her home. So boring, so expensive.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Nevermind --- Day 12/40

Walk: Monday Errands

Distance: 4 miles

Sometimes  monday errands can sap Ciwt's creativity.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Personally Missing the Skills --- Day 12/39

Walk: AMC Kabuki (Missing)

Distance: 2 miles

Ciwt was in a movie mood, and the only one that worked for her schedule was Missing.  Turned out to be a tech chase thriller that it was all done by an 18 year old girl with a cell phone.  And for Ciwt who still uses one finger to punch in her iphone numbers the teen's virtuoso tech display was positively chilling.  Different universes, hers and Ciwt's.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Where Are We? --- Day 12/38

Walk: SF Opera House

Distance: 4 miles

Remember when you used to get kind of lost watching a ballet?  Dancers all over the stage, but what were they trying to tell us?  Luckily there was a story to the ballet so you guess those ballerinas trying to wedge their big feet into small shoes were Cinderella's stepsisters, or the wildly spinning black swan was up to no good.  But that was then..

Now...the San Francisco Ballet is celebrating its 90th Season! with a festival of premieres by nine contemporary choreographers.  And there is rarely a storyline in sight.  Intentionally.  The 'new wave' it seems is unconcerned with stories and focused on non-stop, thrillingly precise, demandingly courageous (Ciwt needed to hold her breath during some mid-air catches) free form.  Solo performances are random throughout the ballet and short lived; no more nearly stopping the action so that an artist like Nureyev can leap again and again, round and round the stage.  

It is taking Ciwt a while to get 'with the program.' To her, some of the new dances go on a without particularly engaging her.  But then there was a new Bolero dance that will be impossible to forget whenever she hears that piece of music.  She assumed no dance could enhance Ravel's compellingly perfect score.  But, she was wrong.   So onward to who knows where with San Francisco Ballet.

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Mysterious Wild - and Man --- Day 12/37

Walk: Errands various

Distance: 2 miles 

Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1830, oil on canvas

In the midst of all the city moving particulars that occupy Ciwt's life these days, she misses - maybe romanticizes -the grandeur of nature.  So her thoughts turn to one of the very first Romantic artists who did just that: turned to nature and away from the Enlightenment ideals of his time.  Reason, order, logic weren't for him. Nature -  wild, unbridled, vast. unknowable -  was.

What Ciwt finds most intrguing about Friedrich's works is, well, the intrigue.  Most painters in the German romantic landscape tradition concentrate exclusively on the overwhelming power and magnificence of Nature.  
Gustav Grunewald (German), Niagra Falls, @1830

Even standing right in front of Gustav Grunewald's enormous diptycht of Niagra Falls at the de Young Museum the viewer needs to look hard to find the teeny man standing on the cliff at upper right or the two figures on the hill lower right.  Same goes for the people trekking along the trail lower right in  Frederic Edwin Church's even more enormous and dramatic rainbow painting down the hall.  If one of that group wasn't dressed in red, the viewer might not notice them at all.   
Frederic Edwin Church, Rainy Season in the Tropics, 1866 

This is typical of most romantic paintings of the outdoors.  Man is portrayed as diminutive or even absent or just alluded to by a curl of smoke coming from a distance cabin compared with NATURE.

But not so with Friedrich's art.  As spectacularly grand and mood-setting as his nature is, Friedrich has made man a partner with it.  And the man is the painter himself.  It there the intrigue for Ciwt begins: Why is he there? What is on his mind? Who is he with?  What's going on with him?

Caspar David Friedrich (German), Two Men Contemplating the Moon, 1825-30, oil on canvas

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Dreaded Jobs Come Last --- Day 12/36

Walk: Storeroom/Public Storage

Distance: 2 5 miles

As Ciwt gets deeper into the process of selling her home of 40+ years, today was storeroom clean out.......

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Snow Monkeying Around --- Day 12/35

Walk: Curbside Cafe on Fillmore Street

Distance: 2 miles

Approximately 150 Japanese macaques live in the mountain valleys of the Jigokudani Yaen-koen monkey park in Yamanouchi, Nagano prefecture, Japan. Also called snow monkeys, the wild macaques are well known for spending their winter months keeping warm and relaxing in the waters of a natural hot spring. For years, the park has been a top destination for tourists, and its popularity is now rebounding as Japan has relaxed some of its COVID-19 restrictions.

"I didn't come to this hot spring to have my picture taken all the time."