Traveling to San Diego this month for fun, I had a wonderful opportunity to explore galleries and museums. I was excited to check out the latest art around the area. What I found, however, was the proverbial mixed bag. My first outing was to visit the La Jolla Contemporary Art Museum. Being interested mostly in viewing 2D paintings, my review of the collection was 'just OK'. Two Georgia O'keefe paintings and one Maynard Dixon sparkled amidst 'contemporary?' Ashcan painter, George Bellows (1900), Bierstadt, Moran, Inness, etc. early American works which were so dark I was seriously prompted to look around for a restorer. That plus my understanding of the term 'contemporary', left me in a quandary. Visiting galleries in downtown San Diego with a dear friend, we looked at current art in 5 galleries. So disappointing. Both of us were hoping to find at least interesting art but that didn't happen. Others may debate the place of graphic design, cartooning, or psychedelic illustration in fine art, but I think I have a clear grasp of the difference. The afternoon was saved by the Fish Market on the wharf, where we were sated with clam chowder, great bread, sauteed baby artichokes and calamari. Delicious!
Balboa Park was a fabulous photo op with great ideas for genre paintings and mixed media. Ocean Beach was filled with many satisfying hours of sketching. I love the Jungle Java Coffee Bar!! Thanks, Brian and Brenda, for a vacation beyond my most imaginative dreams!!
Returning to SLC, I was treated to a 24 hr. period of great art experiences (traveling Leonardo da Vinci exhibit...phenomenal!! and a really inspired book exhibit at UMFA). THEN, an out of this world symphony at Abravanel Hall featuring Hillary Hahn. She is an amazing performer in every way. Don't miss hearing her if you have the opportunity! Thanks Kathy and Marie for LOTS of fun!!
Home now and giving my easel a real workout! :-)
I’m pleased about the fair and effective solution in the Obama administration standoff against the American Catholic hierarchy regarding the inclusion of birth control in their medical-employee health care benefits. Balancing the “religious liberty” of church officialdom against those of their diverse employees is more complex than right-wing politicians make it seem. For me, it’s important to keep health-care reform on track, especially given its very lengthy phasing-in period — so conducive to calamity-howlers. Too many of us are prejudging its “terrible cost” (compared to what? ill-considered wars?). But do we remember that our current patchwork, profit-rich health care system is, at 18 percent of GDP, the most expensive in the world — even while leaving millions of us exposed to medical or financial ruin? As a retired health-care chaplain, I can’t help hearing the pain of those unemployed or indigent who are caught in the gaps.
A dead beetle lies on the path through the field. Three pairs of legs folded neatly on its belly. Instead of death's confusion, tidiness and order. The horror of this sight is moderate, its scope is strictly local, from the wheat grass to the mint. The grief is quarantined. The sky is blue.
To preserve our peace of mind, animals die more shallowly: they aren't deceased, they're dead. They leave behind, we'd like to think, less feeling and less world, departing, we suppose, from a stage less tragic. Their meek souls never haunt us in the dark, they know their place, they show respect.
And so the dead beetle on the path lies unmourned and shining in the sun. One glance at it will do for meditation — clearly nothing much has happened to it. Important matters are reserved for us, for our life and our death, a death that always claims the right of way.
...2 July 1923 - 1 February 2012 Polish Poet, essayist, translator, recipient of Nobel Prize in Literature 1996.
The quote "Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" by Twyla Tharp, best describes the attraction to every part of the painting process for me. Having painted for nearly 25 years intermittently while raising 3 valuable citizens, I took up the endeavor nearly fulltime in 1990. Soaking up art history and technique books, taking workshops with Coleman Cohen, Gifford Nicolaides, Susan Gallagher, Michelle Chrisman, J. K. Drummond, Leo Neufeld, Joe Lorusso. My inspiration is whatever touches my heart. I admire the work of The Boston Women's Artists Guild, the California Impressionists and such contemporary artists as Greg Kreutz, Susan Lyon, Thomas Buechner, Clyde Aspevig. I keep my drawing board occupied with plans for still lifes, floral portraits, and scenes from travels; keeping my enthusiasm vital and fresh.