Local 2: Street Art, San Francisco

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is LOCAL.


4th St., San Francisco, This Morning

Hundreds of people passed by this sign, probably. How many noticed the art?


So whimsical! A closer look at the art.

Only in San Francisco. So random. Who was the artist?

This was on 4th and King, across the street from the Safeway.


Self doesn’t know why, this made her think of Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “It is only with the heart that one can see wisely.”

Oh, San Francisco. Crazy city. Crazy people. Art is everywhere.

Stay tuned.


Visionary Art in Umm Al-Kheir

Self recognizes that she’s moving soooo slowly through The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. But she is absolutely fascinated by its intimate glimpses of men and women, settlers and Palestinians.

In the chapter on the village of Umm al-Kheir, we meet a man named Eid Suleiman al-Hathalin. Self swears: every time she quotes from Ehrenreich’s book, she has to double-check the spelling of everything at least three times. But she really really wants to get Eid’s name right. He is a true original: a vegan in Palestine (“I love animals, but it’s not that. Meat is very heavy.”), and also a found-art sculptor.

His sculptures, gleaming and immaculate, filled five metal shelves beside the door. There were two bulldozers — one with wheels and one with treads — plus a dump truck and an excavator, all of them Caterpillars and painted a deep, glossy yellow. There was the old Black Hawk I had seen before, plus a white Volvo 420 big rig, and a green John Deere tractor hauling a trailer. Each piece was about two feet long and built to scale with an astonishing degree of perfectionism.

Eid proudly shows Ehrenreich the excavator:

He showed me how the machine’s body detached from the treads, and the cab from the body. The cab was only slightly larger than his fist. “I didn’t forget any details,” he said, “even the ladder here that the operator can use.” It had perfect little side mirrors too, and radio antennae, and its door opened on a tiny hinge and there was a seat inside for the driver, a gearshift in the floor, a tiny control panel panel complete with tiny dials. Eid had carved the chair from a bottle of shampoo and the windows from plastic soda bottles. The mirrors and lights he made from CDs and the reflective panel on the back of the machine was cut from a cast-off license plate. The whole thing was fully functional — the excavator swiveled on its treads, and its arm extended and bent at three joints.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Eid’s dream is “to have one of his pieces added to the permanent collection of the Caterpillar museum at the corporation’s headquarters in Peoria, Illinois.”

Stay tuned.

American Quests

Self loves signage, she does not know why.




An Ed Ruscha, Seen at the de Young in Golden Gate Park

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Other Quests

Liking these WordPress bloggers’ takes on this week’s Photo Challenge:  QUEST

Check them out!

Stay tuned.

Quest: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 23 September 2016

We have a new Daily Post Photo Challenge, dropped today by Cheri Lucas Rowlands, QUEST:

  • What are you in search for? Capture your quest with your camera.

Here are some photos from self’s (huge) stash of photos that she thinks emblemize QUEST:


An Ed Ruscha: Currently on Exhibit at the De Young Museum

And here’s from a handmade book self saw at the Legion of Honor:


Illustrated Book at the Legion of Honor, Text is by San Francisco Poet Wallace Ting

Every new story is a quest. Here are two pages of her draft for “Ice” (forthcoming from Bellingham Review):


Two Pages of Self’s Manuscript for “Ice,” One of Her Dystopian Fantasies

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Edgy de Young Museum

Several weeks ago, self spent a day at the de Young, to see an Ed Ruscha exhibit.

My goodness, it was amazing.

She took a break for coffee in the sculpture garden. Here’s the pedestrian walkway over the café’s outdoor seating. VERY edgy:


Pedestrian Walkway, de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park

Entrance lobby of the de Young: Everything is edgy.


Looking down at the Main Lobby from the second floor: You really see edges!

Finally, an “End” is an EDGE. Of sorts:


Ed Ruscha’s “The End,” Viewed in the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, August 2016

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Currently Reading

Sweet like Sunday morning.

Beginning Ben Ehrenreich’s The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. The book next to it is self’s newest sketchbook, cover illustration by Irina Troitskaya, whose work you can find in The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game (Chronicle Books, 2010)


Sunday, 18 September 2016: Sketchbook and Ehrenreich

Every new book is an adventure.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Poetry in the Galleries/ Legion of Honor

Participants in the Poetry in the Galleries project were 4th through 8th graders from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The students were invited to write a poem in response to an object in the Legion of Honor’s ancient art galleries.

Some of the results were published in a small pamphlet and distributed by the Fine Arts Museums.

Here’s one of self’s favorites:

Black-Glaze Mug, South Italian, mid-4th century BC

Small, insignificantly small.
Ancient people used me for reasons unknown.
I am a black mystery to the future of people.

— Matthew Gallelo, 8th Grade, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Belmont

Stay tuned, dear blog readers Stay tuned.


Anyone with a little bit of money can buy a Louis Vuitton handbag, of which thousands are manufactured each year. Very few people can buy the new Jeff Koons, even if they do have the tens of millions of dollars required.

Brazillionaires, p. 29

Self’s question is: Why would anyone want to buy a Jeff Koons? A Koons was in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence when self was there with her niece, Irene, last November. It was placed right next to a Michelangelo and it was ugly. Hope it was only a temporary installation.

(Side note: In Florence, on the road to the Santa Maria del Fiori, you will pass a McDonald’s. Which was always packed. Self just could not understand it. When all around were great, really great local restaurants. It must be the convenience.)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mirror 2


Dining Table, Park Avenue, New York City, May 2016


Puddle, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Spring 2016


The Iron Lady Herself, British National Portrait Gallery, April 2016: The bottom half of the painting is actually a mirror, reflecting the legs of the viewers. But they look like they’re the legs of the subjects in the Portrait!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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