Thursday, June 25, 2020

Floating holiday of monotyping

I had an actual VACATION DAY that would expire if I didn't use it.  So I used it, in that fanatical way that I use days off.  It was FUN, and I learned new things.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Bowl brush

I prefer this style of "bottle brush"for its upright-ness, and the rounder, fuller shape of the shrub.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Bay breezes with distancing

Yes, the wind still picks up in the afternoons, creating whitecaps.  Yes, people really were keeping their distance from each other.  No, I don't own a watercolor paint that is the exact color of the bay in these images, and I am trying to resist buying one, because I should be able to mix it from my various blues.

Socially distant daisies

You can tell something is wrong in this picture, because the sun is shining, yet you can see the lawn.  

Pandemic times are the strangest times.

PofA in the sunshine

So, we still have coronavirus restrictions in place, and under those restrictions, we shouldn't GO anywhere.  The instructions say things like, if you can't walk there, you shouldn't go.  This sounds like a dare (if you know me), but I haven't taken it that way, and so my world has been pretty small.  I've ventured out no more than 3 miles from home in any direction, in a city that is 7 miles wide and 7 wide the other way.  (Saying 7 long and 7 tall doesn't sound right, because I am describing a square.  Argue with the screen if you want - I have the comments turned off.)

However, a friend flew 10+ hours into town for a funeral for an immediate family member, and those same pandemic restrictions applied to the series of events associated with a funeral, which made the funeral not really happen,.  Those of us who would ordinarily attend to support him unable to do so.  (Based on what we know of funerals in Italy, these are sensible precautions, and we respect them.) 

So we had a picnic, because that is something we can do while staying about six feet apart and wearing masks, aside from the eating times.

The sun was shining.  I was nearly 7 full miles from home.  I was able to speak with my friend about his loss.  It was a good use of time.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Vividly [an ambiguous color]

One of the visible limits of digital sensors is their struggle with intense red-violet-fuchsia colors, which never seem quite right in the image.  This is pretty close to how it looked, though I believe that is because it was in part shade.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Holiday colors

If I go too long without painting, I kind of forget how, and have to teach myself again with simple exercises.  It's awkward, really.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Feeling “mallow”

I hadn't really noticed the tiny hairs in the center between the petals before...  The buds are interestingly shaped as pods, and the petals are rolled up beautifully...  I keep thinking that it must be difficult to grow such delicate, separate layers when they are so tightly wound, but plants are great at it!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Triangle testing

I exhausted my supply of letter-sized photo paper, and finally got a new order in.  What better way to test it than with some abstract, software-derived, photo-based compositions?

Conclusions: the paper is good. 44 lbs / 165 g weight holds the ink much better than my prior selections.  I wish I'd increased the resolution of some of these abstracts sooner (I had intended to print them very small when I first started generating them).  I've used a couple as the back of stationery recently, and if I keep that up, I should really consider having my printer do a run of them for me, because this is a lot of photo-quality, archival ink!  Yes, I really do sit around, converting photos into triangles.  Yes, it is rather therapeutic, now that you mention it.  

Friday, May 15, 2020

Halos of detail

I like to show the flowers on these succulents as a sort of carpet, but they are interesting up close as well!

Early summer color

Yes, I left the house today. 

Yes, it felt strange.  I've been indoors engaging in self-quarantine / shelter-in-place to quite successfully minimize the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infections for TEN WEEKS now, going out only for essential supplies, and just twice for exercise.  So, I am well-supplied, but also in terrible physical shape!

Here are some plants within half an hour's walking distance of my house, from various domestic gardens in my area.  

Unfurling of the bottle brush

I've always founds plants in the Callistemon family to look rather "messy," as many shrubs that grow upward and then have hanging branches look to me.  (Yes, I'm in some European-style garden, talking to other plants with similar structure in an encouraging tone: "Weeping willow, pull yourself together!") 

I do like the way the buds unfurl to show all those wild stamens, though.  The complexity of those buds, with so many separate bits growing together, coiled tightly, is impressive. 

So here is a set of three images showing the buds when they first begin to open, as the stamens spread, and when they are completely out.  I like them more up close than I do from afar!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Cupping the sun (succulent-ly)

Cotton swab buds

So soft!

Fancy protea


Golden light

Boathouse and hills

San Francisco has some great public parks!  Which are largely closed, but not REALLY closed.

During the health order, we are supposed to stay within walking distance of home.  For those of us who used to walk 7 miles a day, that is limiting, but not completely oppressive...  though I miss many of my favorite walking spots that are usually a streetcar away.  (My streetcar stopped running during the health order.)

There are signs up all around this lake encouraging us to take precautions: to exercise alone, to not play sports that involve sharing a ball, and to keep at least six feet away from others.  We did a reasonably good job, I think.

Wide open spaces

I left the house and went for a long walk for the first time in... seven weeks?  Yes, I think so.  SEVEN WEEKS.  I had been a 10-11k daily step count person before the pandemic.  But staying at home, that dropped down to 2-3k. 

I've missed the outside world.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Altering reality: adventures with photo software

In the evenings, to take my mind completely off of my job, I have been using the same digital software I use to make holiday cards to play with architectural and geometric images.

I have been having fun.  Perhaps too much fun.  (As if there is any such thing.) I'm learning new things!

Here are links to recent experiments: first up, a very new version of New York City's most dramatic PATH station, with an imaginary (and very still) reflecting pool:

Digitally Altered: Oculus

Digital fun with New York City's most dramatic PATH station.

Fun with some beautiful plaster columns carved by Moroccan artisans in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Digitally Altered: Moroccan Plaster

The Metropolitan Museum in New York has a spectacular Moroccan courtyard (indoors), which has some remarkable plaster work created by craftsmen on site. (Many of their impressive installations were created by living artists who were paid to do the work, which makes me heart sing.) The detailing is completely beautiful.

And lastly, some heavily modified Korean palaces and temples I photographed in Seoul, and modified a few nights ago here at home.

Digitally Altered: Grand Palaces and Temples

To relax after work, I turn wide pavilions into narrow ones. These images were taken in Seoul, in both the Gyeongbokgung complex and (for one particular set of details) on the grounds of the Buddhist temple headquarters. I've exaggerated the colors with filters to break my subdued color habits.