Relic 2: Car Show, Fourth of July, Redwood City

Fourth of July is celebrated in a BIG — and self does mean big — way in Redwood City, California.

Aside from the parade (“the oldest on the Peninsula”), there is a car show.  FUN!

Annual Car Show, Redwood City, Fourth of July

Annual Car Show, Redwood City, Fourth of July

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is RELIC.

“Share a photo of what ‘relic’ means to you:  it could be a photograph of your still-running Honda Accord Hatchback, an historic building in your town, or an old, rusted farm implement poking up through the long grass in a field.”

Which had self thumbing back through the photos she took on the Fourth of July:

The Car Show is held in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade, in downtown Redwood City.  A VERY fun tradition!

The Car Show is held in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade, in downtown Redwood City. A VERY fun tradition!

DSCN6394

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Contrasts 5: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Examples of CONTRASTS from artwork currently on exhibit at the Cantor Art Center, Stanford University campus.

ALL artists succeed by working off contrasts:  contrasts of color, contrasts of shapes, contrasts of mediums (mixed media, collages, and so forth), contrasts of texture.

Here are three of self’s favorites:  Julian Schnabel.  Wayne Thiebaud.  Frank Stella.

Julian Schnabel, USA, b. 1951:  "Portrait of Hope Makler, 1989" at Cantor Art Center, Stanford campus

Julian Schnabel, USA, b. 1951: “Portrait of Hope Makler, 1989″ at Cantor Art Center, Stanford campus

Wayne Thiebaud, USA, b. 1920:  "Lunch Table, 1964" at Cantor Art Center, Stanford campus

Wayne Thiebaud, USA, b. 1920: “Lunch Table, 1964″ at Cantor Art Center, Stanford campus

Frank Stella, USA, b. 1936:  "Nightgown 1990" (On wall)

Frank Stella, USA, b. 1936: “Nightgown 1990″ (On wall)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Extra Extra 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

On the train back to Dublin from Sligo, self’s last full day in Ireland:

The sky, of course:  the sky makes this picture.

The sky, of course: the sky makes this picture.

A painting by Janet Pierce, who self met at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.  Janet’s paintings are currently on exhibit at the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo, through Aug. 9.

The window, of course: The window is the "something extra."

The window, of course: The window is the “something extra.”

The artist herself:

The "Something Extra":  The hand, the smile, the armful of yellow roses

The “Something Extra”: The hand, the smile, the armful of yellow roses

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Seeing a Bird (After Leaving the Chester Beatty Museum)

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The Chester Beatty turns out to be right next to Dublin Castle (Dame Street, Stop # 9 on the Hop On/Hop Off red tour bus), and there is no admission fee.

Self loved the museum.  It’s possibly the most interesting museum she’s seen (yet) in Ireland.

It turns out to be highly focused on the book as a work of art.

There are many, many examples of Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic writing (calligraphy), some thousands of years old.

And there’s also one section on Moghul (Indian) art that seems to be highly focused on animals and all kinds of fabulous creatures.  And that’s why she spent much time photographing birds in a park afterwards.

Which led self to wonder if it was worth exploring the Dublin Zoo.  So just now she googled the Dublin Zoo and found that it is “Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction.”

Which is amazing, because self thought the Book of Kells would have been “Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction.”

The zoo has just welcomed its first “Rothschild giraffe calf.”  Which is amazing.  Not the part about welcoming the giraffe calf, but that the giraffe is actually called the “Rothschild giraffe.”

She wonders if, one day, she’ll see something about a “Wells Fargo elephant” in San Francisco Zoo.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Work of Art 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Crossing the new San Francisco Bay Bridge:  Twilight, Spring 2014

Crossing the new San Francisco Bay Bridge: Twilight, Spring 2014.  Though the bridge has ALREADY been plagued with structural problems, self thinks it is a thing of singular beauty.

The signature of Dale Chihuly, Renowned Glass Sculptor, was on every print in self's Seattle hotel room:  February 2014

The signature of Dale Chihuly, Renowned Glass Sculptor, was on every print in self’s hotel in Seattle: AWP Conference, February 2014

The Charles Parsons Gallery in the San Mateo County Museum in Redwood City is full of the model ships Parsons made himself.  Self knows virtually nothing about the man.

The Charles Parsons Gallery in the San Mateo County Museum in Redwood City has 24 model ships by local resident Charles Parsons.  They are a marvel.  Self knows virtually nothing about the man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Inside 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self had no idea that this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge — INSIDE — would turn out to be so much fun to interpret.  Here it’s only Sunday, two days after the theme was posted, and this is already self’s fourth post on the subject.

A long time ago, self bought this wooden painted angel from Roger Reynolds Nursery in Menlo Park (which has now gone out of business). Why she decided to frame it with something she pulled from the garage is a mystery.

In the Backyard, an Angel

In the Backyard, an Angel

Here’s something from Dear Departed Dad’s home island, Negros, in the central Philippines:  the old Gaston House in the town of Manapla has a stone fountain set in the middle of a circular driveway leading up to the main house:

The Gaston House, Manapla, Negros Occidental, Philippines

The Gaston House, Manapla, Negros Occidental, Philippines

And, can you believe it dear blog readers? — after an hour of most painstaking sifting, self found a picture that is quite literally of something INSIDE something else:  in this case, it’s a live lizard inside a glass case in the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

EATING CULTURES Call for Submissions/Bellingham Review’s Annual Contest

The EATING CULTURES submission deadline is coming up very soon (this Sunday, Mar. 9!); self only found out about it today, via an e-mail from Karen Llagas. Thanks much, Karen!

The Asian American Women Writers Association (aawaa.net) is accepting submissions for a multidisciplinary arts exhibition exploring Asian Pacific American (APA) food and foodways (See deadline above)

Artists are invited to submit works that examine the idea, literally and metaphorically, of food and feeding (or the lack thereof) in creating and negotiating personal, gender and cultural representations in both the APA community and U.S. mainstream culture.

Eligibility:  Artists working in literary and visual arts, film & video, sculpture, installation and multimedia arts of Asian Pacific American descent

Venue:  SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, San Francisco

Juror:  Dr. Margo L. Machida, Professor of Art History and Asian American Studies at University of Connecticut

For more information, e-mail:  exhibitions.aawaa@gmail.com or call:  (212) 433-0229

The deadline for Bellingham Review’s Annual Literary Contest is approaching:  BEFORE Mar. 15, 2014.  Here’s some additional information:

Three $1,000 prizes and publication in Bellingham Review are awarded for works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.  Finalists will be considered for publication.  The 49th Parallel Poetry Award is given for poetry; Kathleen Flenniken will judge.  The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction is given for a short story; Shawn Wong will judge.  The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction is given for an essay; Joy Castro will judge.  Before Mar. 15, 2014, submit prose up to 6,000 words or up to three poems with a $20 entry fee ($10 for each additional entry); this includes a subscription.  Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Still More Threes: From the City of Glass

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge prompt is THREES.

This is her third post on that theme.

All the glass art is on display in the lobby of the Sheraton Seattle, downtown:

Crazy Quilt Teapot:  Richard Marquis, 1981

Crazy Quilt Teapot: Richard Marquis, 1981

Fritz Dreisbach:  Untitled from the "Mongo Series," 1982

Fritz Dreisbach: Untitled from the “Mongo Series,” 1982

Self doesn't know who did this massive glass arrangement, right next to the Short Order Daily Grill, is by ----?  TBA

This massive glass creation is by Dale Chihuly.  It’s called “Flower Form 2″ and self thinks it is really special, the only Chihuly she’s ever seen that is not exploding with color.  It’s right next to a sandwich shop in the Sheraton lobby.

After yesterday, when self went gallery hopping around Pioneer Square, she’s been entranced by this city’s profusion of glass displays.

If only she could bring home a vase or something of that nature, to remember this trip by.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Claremont, Day 2: Plan for the Day

The plan for today is to visit the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.  Self is so glad that son and Jennie were down for that, as she’s been wanting to visit the museum for a while, ever since she read a write-up about it in the Wall Street Journal.  The article focused on a new exhibit called “Becoming Los Angeles.”

The exhibit, which covers “14,000 square feet of gallery space . . . tells the city’s history primarily through a display of 250 objects and images, from canoe carvings of the Gabreleño-Tongya people to a Stratocaster guitar (As the first museum in the city, this one became the repository for family heirlooms, keepsakes and homely artifacts that might otherwise have been lost to history — and in that catch-all function alone broadened, from the outset, the definition of a natural history museum.”

There are “six major sections” that comprise “key moments in the Los Angeles story.”  There are “artifacts from the Indians who cruised the islands off Los Angeles in sewn boats and first greeted Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542,” and “a series of paintings” of the first “Spanish missions in California . . . by the British landscape artist Edwin Deakin.”

There’s more, lots more, but self has to check on her on-line writing class students.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Diane Arbus at the Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary St.

Self has never been here before.  Even though, she understands after talking to Stella K, it’s a landmark building for photographers and visual artists.

Each floor is divided up into gallery spaces.  Self headed straight to the 4th floor, because that’s where the Diane Arbus photographs were.

Here’s what the exhibit consisted of:  Stark black-and-white portraits.

No, portraits is too kind a word.  All right, stark black-and-white dissections of personality, assembled by theme:

The Mysteries That Bring People Together

The most striking photograph in this group was of an elderly couple, both naked, seated in a living room, staring frankly at the viewer.  The bodies were unspeakably not attractive.  The caption read:  Retired man and his wife at home in a nudist camp one morning, New Jersey 1963.

There was also:  Woman and a dwarf backstage at the circus, New York City, 1959.  The woman (of normal height) and the dwarf were locked in a passionate embrace.  What self remembers best were the looks of absolute disdain being cast in their direction by three men standing at the edge of the frame.

Winners and Losers

There was a large close-up of a baby’s face, a loser at a Diaper Derby.

There was a portrait of a muscle man at a body building competition.  Self doesn’t know why this particular photo was the lowest-priced of all the photographs in the exhibit:  Only $8,500.

People Being Somebody

Self was most struck by the portrait of students at a Santa Claus School in Albion, New York.

Interiors:  the Meaning of Rooms

There were shots of movie theaters and derelict hotels and . . .

Self didn’t get everything.

Many pictures were set in lounges and pool halls.  There were more than a few photographs of transvestites, midgets, and female impersonators.

There was not one iota of sentimentality in any of the pictures.  Self was particularly struck by how wrecked the faces of the old people looked.  They looked like shells draped in clothing.  (In contrast to the many elderly women portrayed in utter isolation, reclining on beds while draped in stoles or mink coats, the nudist couple looked quite cheerful)

Afterwards, self wandered over to the books section.  Many beautiful books of Arbus’s work, some costing a hefty $100 (Oh, did self forget to mention that one of the photographs in the exhibit was listed at $90,000?).  Self bought the cheapest book, an oddity entitled Diane Arbus:  A Chronology.  A book about or written by Arbus, without one single photograph.  Instead, when she browsed through it, the book seemed like a diary of some sort.  Years mark off the sections, and within each section are passages like (for the year 1971):

She places an ad in the newspaper for the class she has decided to teach, posts a notice about it on the bulletin board of The Museum of Modern Art, and mentions the prospect to friends and acquaintances.

Do you know, the tone reminds self of — one of her own short stories.  Self likes to write in just such a blank, detached way.  In fact, if self were to pick out a story at random from one of her oeuvre, dear blog readers would detect the resemblance immediately.  Fascinating, simply fascinating.  Self wants to find out if there is a Santa Claus school somewhere in the Bay Area.

Stay tuned.

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