Thursday, March 30, 2023

Lone Ranger No More --- Days 12/91,92, 93


Distance: 3, 3.5, 6.7  lope/run

So Ciwt has been sort of the lone ranger in museums since they reopened out here after covid.

She has a website for her art tours with a link or people to contact her if they are interested in a tour.  And for the past covid years she has received pretty many email contact responses.   These would be samples:  "Hi, with my website design, I can help you get many more people on your tours," "Have you thought of putting a video on your site? With it, people will flock to your business."  "We are here to help!!!"  Oh then there have been the predictable sexual enlargement type ones."  But no tour requests.

Until lately!  Recently Ciwt has been opening her contact form to actual tour requests which really makes her happy.  For her little business of course but mostly because SF and the art world is coming alive again.  People are traveling and they want to go to museums.  This is wonderful and a relief.  Other worlds besides art are opening as well; it has been a long, slow reawakening out here in California.  

Monday, March 27, 2023

Tame Flowers --- Day 12/90

Walk:  Hood

Distance: 5.7 miles

So every once in a while a friend from out of town calls to ask Ciwt what flower shop she recommends to send birthday, anniversary or thank you arrangements to someone. And it always takes Ciwt one minute to say "Bloomers!" a long time, quiet neighborhood fixture that serves the carriage trade of individuals, hotels, anywhere where exceptional flowers are wanted, really.  And, usually within days of Ciwt's recommendation, she hears from the out of towner thanking her and saying whoever received their Bloomers arrangement was thrilled.

Getting ready for Easter

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Wildflower Season --- Day12/89

Walk: SFMOMA (Tours prep)

Distance: 5.6 miles 

Granville Redmond (L.A. 1871-1935), Malibu Coast, Spring, @1935, oil on canvas

So, they say were are going to have an exceptional wildflower season after our (still) stormy winter.  Wonder if it will rival the gorgeous hills and dales of preeminent wildflower painter Granville Redmond.  

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Dance Saturday --- Day 12/88

Walk: AMC Kabuki (John Wick, Chapter 4)

Distance: 4 miles

So, it wasn't her SF Ballet Saturday.  But it just as well could have been.  To get a break from from the 'esoteria' of art tour planning, Ciwt decided to take in John Wick, Chapter 4.  Her guess is that the movie script for dialogue was no longer than two pages (or about 9 pages of run time).  The remaining 2 hours and 40 minutes is taken up by non-stop fight scenes so skillfully choreographed and executed they were really like high(est!) energy dancing.  Everything, Everywhere, All at Once fans will probably love it; Ciwt dozed off once or twice but was glad for the getaway.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Excuses, Excuses --- Days 12/85, 86 & 87

Walk: After the Storm, SFMOMA, SFMOMA

Distance: 7 miles, 4.3 miles, 5.5 miles

So Ciwt is up to old tricks skipping some CIWT days.  But she's been thinking about her readers and she has a good excuse.  After several very spare covid years in the art tour business, she suddenly has three! tours  coming up.  All on the same day.  And...the museum has completely rehung its art.  

In other words, the dog ate her creative energy........

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Daffies in the Park --- Day 12/83

Walk: Lafayette Park

Distance: 1 mile, Yoga

Ciwt can only dart out between atmospheric rivers to walk in her new park. So today she was surprised and delighted to see the daffodils have sprung up while she's been inside out of the wind and rain.

International Living --- Day 12/82

Walk: Dentist and all over the place

Distance: 6 miles

So one way the management of Ciwt's new building alerts us to building happenings is by posting notices in the elevators.  A few days ago they were about short water shutoffs and today there was this  announcement: Persian New Year.

Having no idea what that was, Ciwt sat down at her computer to learn.  Turns out it is called Nowruz (meaning new day in Persian) and marks the beginning of the Persian or Iranian New Year.  It is celebrated worldwide in March at the spring equinox when winter changes into to spring in the northern hemisphere.   This year Nowruz lasts from March 20 to March 21 in California.

It is considered a holy and joyous occasion and traditional customs of Nowruz include fire and water, ritual dances, gift exchanges, reciting poetry and more. People start preparing for Nowruz with a major spring cleaning of their homes, by buying new clothes and purchasing floweres, particularly hyacinths and tuips. Then on the holiday they welcome family, friends, neighbors and offer feasts always containing seven important elements: Sabzeh (wheatgrass grown in a dish), Samanu (sweet pudding made from wheat germ, Senjed (sweet dry fruit of the lotus tree), Serkeh (Persian vinegar), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic) and Somaq (sumac).

It is an ancient holiday with deep roots, much lore celebrated all over the world - and, it looks like, some residents of Ciwt's building.  Interesting to learn...

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Joan, Ciwt, SF, Cont. --- Day 12/81

Walk: Park in Rain (it's back)

Distance: 1 mile

Invitation to Joan Brown show "The Self" at Paule Anglim Gallery saved by Ciwt since 2005

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Joan, Ciwt, SF --- Day 12/80

Walk: Park, SF Ballet

Distance: 4 miles

Joan Brown (San Francisco American, 1938-1990), Dancers in a City #2, 1972, enamel paint on canvas and fabric.

When San Francisco artist Joan Brown was a student at the SF Art Institute in the late 60's, one of her teachers, the (wonderful!)  painter Elmer Bischoff, remarked that she was either “a genius or very simple.”

Ciwt doesn't think she was either of these, but she has been taken by Joan Brown's paintings ever since moving to San Francisco in 1969.  Maybe because, besides capturing herself (again, and again and again) Brown also the giddy, fragmented, slightly fin-de-siecle energy that was the San Francisco Ciwt moved to. A lot of us didn't know where we were going, but we were going fast - and in (jazzy) style.  Whimsical, funky, maybe/probably partially lost. 

Sometimes in n Brown's paintings there's an exuberant screwed up-ness and companionships (with dancing partners, books, cats, the shifting Bay waters she swam and almost drowned in) are haunted by hints of loneliness.  To a one they are about herself:  "me, me, me" suggesting to Ciwt that painting ME was the deep ballast that gave her a reliable sense of self. A bit like San Francisco whose identity at the time rested partially on the fact that it wasn't as self-serious as New York.

Or maybe Ciwt just likes Joan Brown because she loved cats and yoga.  Her main cat, Donald, was also a sort of business partner.  The IRS audited Brown with a particular eye on her claim that Donald was a deductible expense.  She, in turn, argued that Donald was a live-in model and therefore his expenses - such as food and veternary care - should be deductible.  After showing them Donald painting after Donald painting, the IRS ruled in Brown's favor, and thereafter Donald became knows as "Donald the Deductible."  

Joan Brown, Joan + Donald, 1982, oil on canvas

Joan Brown, Grey Cat with Madrone and Birch Trees, 1968, enamel on canvas

Joan Brown, Tempus Fuget, 1970, oil, enamel paint, feathers and glitter on canvas

During  the late 1970's Brown became increasingly interested in spirituality and New Age ideas.  (Again, a reflection of San Francisco at that time of the Grateful Dead,  Alan Watts, Werner Erhardt's EST, Esalen, and countless consciousness exploring practices and beliefs). In 1990 she travelled to India and was helping with the installation of one of her art obelicks tragically a concrete turret from the temple floor above collapsed and killed her.  And, as her artistic spark went out, it felt like San Francisco too was losing its own in  the midst of new skyscrapers and tech money.  

Friday, March 17, 2023

Genius Will Out --- Day 12/79

Walk: Hood

Distance: 5.5 miles

Daniele da Volterra, Portrait of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, ca 1545

As is often the case with people of genius, Michelangelo had squirky ways.  He was often dissatisfied - with himself, others, life in general - and known for his critical, volatile moods.  He apparently lived in virtual squalor rarely changing his clothes or even bathing. It is even said that his clothes had been worn so long they had to be cut from his body when he died  This in spite of the fact that he died a rich man, with a fortune of at least $35 million U.S..

None of these habits or any other offensive ones he may have had bothered his public in the least.  Maybe because of his 'interesting' personality Italians adored Michelangelo, both during his lifetime and after.  He was known as "Il Divino" and everyone was hungry for colorful facts about him.  And it seems another of his quirks was that - even though quite reclusive - Michelangelo privately enjoyed his fame.  It is likely what led him to publish not just one but two full length autobiographies in his lifetime, to paint his opinionated self into the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and to meticulously record the many aspects - from insight into the work to timeline and pay - of the majority of his government and papal projects.

Overall, more is known about Michelangelo's thought, life and work than any other artist from his amazing Renaissance time.  And how great is that!!  Lucky posterity.  

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Genius Vs. Genius --- Day 12/78

Walk: Union Square

Distance: 4 miles, yoga

A couple more Michelangelo facts that Ciwt found interesting.  One today, one tomorrow.

First, that Cistine Chapel ceiling.  

Apparently the main artist who recommended the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564) to the Vatican was actually a rival.  His fame was such that, like Michelangelo, he had and has the honor of being known simply by his first name: Raphael (Italian, 1843-1520).  Today Raphael's reputation in art history is essentially on a par with Michelangelo but he must have been uneasy - if not downright jealous  - about the supremely talented younger artist. working in Rome as he was.  

Knowing Michelangelo to be mainly a sculptor, Raphael and a few fellow Renaissance painters convinced Pope Julius to hire Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel.  Their intention was nothing short of                       sabotagin his career.  Actually Michelangelo himself had strong doubts about whether he had the necessary skills for the project and delayed accepting the commission.  As the world knows, eventually Michelangelo did take the job; it took him an uncommonly laborious four years painting lying down on scaffolding but he created one of the world's most magnificient masterpieces.


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Caveat Emptor --- Day 12/77

Walk:  Yes! 

Distance: 4 miles, Yoga

Michelangelo (?), Laocoon and His sons*

So today Ciwt learned that Michelangelo was a forger early in his career.  He carved a cupid statue in the style of the ancient Greeks, and when his Florentine patron saw it, he told the artist it could fetch a lot more money if it appeared to have been buried.  So Michelangelo did what ever you do to make a marble look like it has been in the ground for several centuries. When it was 'unearthed' the scupture was bought immediately by Cardinal Raffaele Riario for the Vatican's collection. 

Apparently the Cardinal soon figured out he'd been sold a fake and his money was returned.  However, he was so impressed with the sculpture that he had Michelangelo brought to Rome.  And the rest was the David, the Pieta, the Cistene Chapel ceiling and other of the greatest works in art history.  So, sometimes crime pays off - Big Time.

*It is also suspected that the supposed Ancient Greek masterpiece Laocoon and His Sons dug up in Rome in 1506 was actually by Michelangelo.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Wondering What to Do in the Rain? --- Day 12/76

Walk: No, Another Atmospheric River with Wind 🍃🍃🍃

Distance: n/a, Yoga

Now, there's an idea!   Ciwt is finding it difficult coming up with rainy day activities in all the 'atmospheric rivers' out here.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Ciwt Picks Oscar Attire 2023 --- Day 12/75

Walk: Monday Errands
Distance: 1.5 miles
Cate Blanchett in Louis Vuitton

Michael B. Jordan also in Louis Vuitton

Malala Yousafzai in Ralph Lauren

Cara Delevingne in Elie Saab

Andrew Garfield in Fendi

Ciwt thought it was a very good (traditional) year for Oscar fashion.  Difficult to narrow down favorites, but these are a few (after Angela Bassett in Moschino - see CIWT yesterday).  What about you?

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Oscar 2013 on CIWT --- Day 12/74

Walk: Hood

Distance: 3 miles

Angela Bassett at 2023 Oscars

So, a nice, orderly Oscars, probably aound Ciwt's 40th  Happy, non-political speeches, glamorous attire, not overly long.  Ciwt would have preferred some other winners, but, oh well.  And her absolute favorite gown was worn by the one and only Angela Bassett.

Stay tuned for more fashion favorites.  Now off to bed.....

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Petites Need Not Apply --- Day 12/73

 Walk: Hood

Distance: 3 miles, yoga

The Fall Fashion Shows have spoken.  Pity the petite older woman (like Ciwt) when that nippy season arrives this year.  Wonder if any of the stars will be wearing some of these looks at the Oscars tomorrow......

Friday, March 10, 2023

Re-Ready Teddy --- Day 12/72

Walk: Walgreens Rx

Distance: 1.5 miles

A medical student is accompanied by a child who brought a plush toy to be treated at the Teddy Bear Clinic ("Clinique du Nounours"), a facility that helps children cope with their fear of medical examinations, in Brussels, Belgium, on March 7, 2023.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

More Jazz --- Day 12/71

Walk: No, yes another atmospheric river

Distance: n/a, Yoga

Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43, 50" x 50", o/oc

Stuart Davis, Swing Landscape, 1938, 86.75" x 173 1/8", o/c

U.S. Postage Stamp, 2011, paper and ink

So many artists around the world were - and are - influenced by the improvisation, freedom, and rhythm of America's only wholly original, utterly American art form.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Jazz --- Day 12/70

Walk: Hood

Distance: 3.5 miles

Yoshida Chizuko (Japanese, 1924-2017), Jazz, 1954, Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper

Many artists have been inspired by jazz, but, to Ciwt, none have done better capturing the immediacy, the energy and unexpected playfulness of jazz than Yoshida Chizuko has in this early woodblock print 

Chizuko (1924-2017) trained as an oil painter and exhibited long before marrying Yoshida Hodaka and into the most renowned fine art family in Japan in 1953.  After meeting her husband, Chizuko began to explore printmaking and quietly became one of the country's leading female abstract printmakers. Overshadowed by the famous Yoshida brothers, she actually produced the most avant-garde artworks of all the Yoshida family members in the mid-twentieth century.  She also cofounded Joryu Hanga Kyokai, or the Women's Print Association, in 1956, pushing the boundaries of the male-dominated printmaking field in Japan.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Dust Was in the Air --- Day 12/69

Walk: No (Ciwt has a cold from the ongoing cold)

Distance: n/a

Bernd and Hilla Becher (German), Blast Furnace, Youngstown, Ohio, United States, 1983, gelatin print

Driving hurriedly by outdated, technically obsolete buildings can be a  rushed downer for Ciwt.  But when she stands and looks at the photographs of the late German photographers, Bernd and Hilla Becher, she is always moved. The care, the ingenuity, the craftsmanship, the shapes and lines, the people, the times - almost all gone.   

In one of their last books of photographs they wrote: "Once we were in northern France, where we found a wonderful headgear (the top of a blast furnace) - a veritable Eiffel Tower,  When we arrived the weather was hazy and not ideal for our work so we decided to postpose taking the photos for a day.  When we arrived the next day, it had already been torn down, the dust was in the air."

Monday, March 6, 2023

I Heart My Bike --- Day 12/68

Walk: 'Country Home'

Distance: 5 miles

💘 Seeing this obviously treasured bike on her walk from her old to her new home today lifted Ciwt's spirits.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

More B and A (See Yesterday's CIWT) --- Day 12/67

Walk: 'Country Home'

Distance: 3.5 miles, yoga

Second place, Behavior - Birds. A red-billed oxpecker rests on a warthog in Zimanga, South Africa. 

© Tamas Aranyossy / World Nature Photography Awards

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Beautiful and Arresting --- Day 12/66

Walk: Union Square Women's Day Tulip 🌷 Festival

Distance:  5 miles

First place, Underwater. A couple of Harlequin shrimp perch on a blue sea star in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

© Adriano Morettin / World Nature Photography Awards

Again, how do the Atlantic Magazine judges ever pick a winner with such beautiful and arresting entries?  Please go to the site* where the photos are larger and much more vivid.

Winners 2022 World Nature Photography Awards

Friday, March 3, 2023

What's That White Stuff? --- Day 12/65


Distance: 5 miles, yoga

A very rare sight

She knows, she knows.  You can't really see it, but those hills across San Francisco Bay from Ciwt's window are snow capped.  

Ciwt's sister was visiting Napa during its recent snow and the 25 year old girl who waited on her at a restaurant said she had never seen snow before.  A 35 year old would have said the same thing. 

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Winter White --- Day 12/64


Distance: 5.5 miles

A Portland friend who is a sort of 'Amaryllis Mom' sent a picture of a white amaryllis that just bloomed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Six --- Day 12/63

Walk: Orpheum theater, Max Opera Plaza

Distance: 5.5 miles, yoga

So Ciwt is busy researching the lives of Henry the Eighth's six wives after seeing the musical about them today.  Quite clever and high energy.  But it was really more like a concert with each 'wife' taking front stage and singing separately. Most of those loudly mic'd words blurred together for Ciwt.

So...Six, The Rating: Six