Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thursday evening 2/2

I'm probably into this more for the clouds than anything else, but I'm okay with admitting that.  (I think I'm easy to please, subject-wise.)

Thursday evening 1/2

Sunsets are kind of easy-crowd-pleasers, yet it always makes me happy when other people get so excited to witness one IN REAL LIFE.  They are suddenly really paying attention!  It's good for them. :)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday clouds

We have had ALL the seasons over these past few days, sometimes two seasons per day!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

London is still Londoning

I've been to London on business several times (five?), and have rarely had time to just SOAK in it.  So, as my third city to meet my third friend, pre-Brexit London seemed like a fantastic choice.

Ultimately, she didn't come, but I had a great time, in a mix of hot-to-rainy weather, mostly indoors.

The UK (or at least the British element of it) brings to mind images of tea and teacups, the Queen, British New Wave bands (I can finally visit without having ABC's Tower of London, the Clash's London Calling, or the Smith's Hairdresser on Fire on endless loop in my head), and various other icons from an earlier era. 

Yet, London is an extremely modern, international city, and so I focused this trip on experiencing ultra-modern things: contemporary art by living artists (Studio Olafur Eliasson, whose work is always so fantastic, have a show at the Tate Modern!! YES, I did plan around this!)  , design award shows focused on making the quality of life better for us, and on the constructs that AI systems create, and street art.

There are so many flavors of London to experience!

2019.09.19-23 London, UK

Photos of London, UK by A. Elizabeth Graves

Amsterdam is also lovely

After a lovely time in The Hague, I took the train to Amsterdam. 

I see Amsterdam all of the time in movies much as you likely see my hometown of San Francisco in movies: as a backdrop for international intrigue and the occasional car chase. :)  I was sure that the same few parts of town were always in movies (true!), and wanted to branch out and escape the crowds. 

Happily, I had a German friend with me (CM), and she had always stayed in the tourist core and was ready and eager to branch out and see the shiny NEW districts.  So we had a pleasant set of adventures.

2019.09.13-19 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Photos from a first visit to Amsterdam, Netherlands by A. Elizabeth Graves

The Hague is lovely

Yes, I left my travel-heavy global position at the end of last year, and have been posting LOCAL photos (mostly) since then.  Also, I've used my time off to take care of others after their surgeries, or to have dental surgeries of my own.  (INSERT NUMEROUS SAD FACE EMOJI HERE)  I haven't taken a real vacation all year... until this month!

I wanted to use miles I earned during my business travels to enjoy myself, booked everything in April and May, coordinated my visits with three friends in three different countries... and then the airline I was relying on had a labor dispute, and cancelled my flights. 

I managed to rebook and still take the trip, so I am lucky.

My first stop was The Hague, which has always been famous in my mind for the tribunals where global justice plays out.  It is also a charming city.  Here are some touristy photos from my first visit, during stormy weather.

2019.09.10-13 The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands

Just over fifty photos taken in The Hague, Netherlands by A.E. Graves

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

New high rise district anchor

The area around Market and Van Ness streets is getting taller, and in a very shiny way.  I travel in that area now and then, and it is going to change a lot more in the coming years, so I am READY!

And the building with a folder paper boat top

(I realize that only people who folded paper boats will know what I mean, but I'm okay with that.)

Getting used to the new, tall tower

You never realize how much seeing a skyline that matches your memory of it is a habit, until it changes and you keep trying to match what you remember.

I don't mind Salesforce Tower.  I don't.  It just keeps surprising me by being there.


It's tempting to be giant and just push them in, to see if they work like buttons.  Or maybe I've just had too much coffee...

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Wind (enhanced)

Reflections modified by the wind (and by me desaturating the image and adjusting the contrast, but the wind did the hard work).

Afternoon shadows on the skyline

Before the fog rolled in...

Silver on concrete

How have I not posted photos of this sculpture before? Was I too enamored of the fountain? (Short answer: yes.)

Mission Bay - Black, White, and Gray

I have one more gallery to share today: from another autumn walk, this time in the Mission Bay neighborhood.  Which wasn't a neighborhood when I was growing up: it was an industrial district.  So much has changed...

Contemporary San Francisco in Black, White, and Gray

Monochrome architectural images from San Francisco's Mission Bay District by A.E. Graves

San Francisco's Mission District in Red

I'm sharing selectively from my new WordPress photo site, where I now have some fancier galleries working.  Here is a small collection of images using Lomography Redscale, shot during the fierce sunlight and cold shadows of autumn.

San Francisco's Mission District in Red

The Mission District, my favorite neighborhood, in Lomography Rescale: photographs by A.E. Graves

Infrared Hawaii

I mentioned that I set up a WordPress blog for my fine art photography back in July, but I haven't told you that I have posted to it.  And so, I'll share:

Aloha from (Infrared) Hawaii

Infrared photos from Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, by A.E. Graves

Friday, August 16, 2019

Thursday, August 15, 2019

I have started another photo blog

No, really.  Not a joke.

I'm trying to show a little more life on my fine art photography portfolio site, where my frivolous photo diary posts here don't quite fit.  Also, I want to share collections easily, without doing lots of coding to get a gallery set up properly.  We'll see if I keep it up! :)

Words About Images at

Posts about photography experiments (also known as play), with a fine art bent by A.E. Graves

Sunday, August 11, 2019

So much growth...

When my parents come back to visit, they barely recognize entire neighborhoods, which are changing every week... 

All of this makes me so glad I used to take walks in the mid 00s to photograph warehouses and gravel yards that used to be in this (Mission Bay) area...

New piers

We are getting new piers at the Ferry Building...  it is interesting to watch how they are made.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Like glamorous lungs...

The piece in the SFMoMA Far Out show made me want to learn a bit more about Neri Oxman, who is... many things.  Here is a nice profile from Elle (not where I would expect to go to read about a sculptor/architect with a Ph.D. from MIT):

Neri Oxman Has All the Answers (

The designer and architect Neri Oxman carefully makes her way up the steps to the stage of MIT's Kresge Auditorium. It's late February, and Oxman, a tenured professor at the school who wears a black top, black velvet pants, and high black patent leather stiletto, is nearly seven months pregnant...

Friday, August 9, 2019

Night lights, construction-style


SFMoMA Thursday night favorites

So yes: Snøhetta stairs; two scenes from Far Out: Suits, Habs, & Labs for Outer Space (another Apollo 11 tribute), one of various interpretations of spacesuits, the other (the one that looks like lungs) Neri Oxman's Qamar (Moon) Wearable; and lastly, the 7th floor women's restroom, because THOSE COLORS!  (A similar photo kicked off my revival of this blog.)  I find the highly saturated new restrooms irresistible.  Especially the violet one.

Aside: I was there with KP, and he knows several people who have work in the exhibit.  And he didn't know this.  So, Public Service Announcement: If I ever have work of any kind in SFMoMA, I WILL TELL YOU.  I WILL MAKE SUCH NEWS INESCAPABLE.  I WILL ANSWER THE PHONE WITH, "HELLO, HAVE YOU SEEN MY WORK AT SFMOMA - IT IS ON DISPLAY NOW!!"  I WOULD CALL BACK TELEMARKETERS TO YELL THIS TO THEM.  I WOULD EVEN LOG BACK INTO HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, AWFUL FB TO TELL PEOPLE, THAT'S HOW MUCH I WOULD SHARE IT.   And, you would come to see it, possibly more than once, of course.

Not shown here, but also much enjoyed: New Work by Erin Shirreff ( 

Thursday leanings

I know, I know: I've taken too many photos of the stairwells in the new Snøhetta expansion of SFMoMA.  But... but...  Look at those lines!!  It is too tempting.  (Also, if I drew it, you'd think I was just making up the top center part, wouldn't you - admit it!)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Teleidoscopic salad

I've used a teleidoscope to generate a wide range of subtle geometric patterns... which was a great way to learn that my friends don't really like subtle geometric patterns.  (Haha!)  For my friends who like conventional postcard topics (sunsets, tropical flowers, famous landmarks), these images are a bit busy AND too abstract for them.  So I'll just post them here.

Teleidoscope 3

From the imaginary series, Images Made in My Living Room while Working From Home with Bronchitis.

Teleidoscope 2

The lace leaves show well in this image, with the sun shining through both layers of curtains...

Teleidoscope 1

This was produced opticially, rather than by software; it is a teleidoscopic image of light shining through a curtain, with the ball lens placed up against the weave of the fabric.

Kaleidoscopes are popular with children and artists, and contain colorful objects that create patterns inside the device; teleidoscopes are outward looking, and mirror a snippet of the real world within three mirrors.  The teleidoscope was patented in the 1970s, and isn't as common as much older and more established kaleidoscopes, but interest me from a pattern-making point of view.  Also, working with a ball lens is novel...

Friday, July 26, 2019

Studying the screw

Machined things need special machines to manage, of course.  (This machine is at the SF Museum of Craft and Design (, though I'm not going to say much about the show, which isn't what I'd expected.)

Such a beautiful night

Just beyond the fog line, it was a stunningly beautiful evening...

I have an album of images from my walk here: 2019.07.26 Evening, Mission Bay to Embarcadero (

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Adorable house of the afternoon

The colors!  The details!  The highly selective application of gold!  This is so charming.  It is just off 24th Street in the Inner Mission, and little hearts came out of my eyes while staring at it.

Yes, it is narrow.  Our lots in SF are long and narrow.  But the houses make great use of the space inside!

The Mission is a visually rich neighborhood...  No wonder I wanted to take up photography.  How could I resist all of this?

Vivid neighbor

This is quite the storefront! (On 24th Street, in the Inner Mission.)

Grand Entrance

This is the fabulous entrance to Precita Eyes (

(Sunny) Balmy Alley

I feel lucky to have grown up in the Mission District, where the cultural influences of Mexican Muralism ( manifest in fantastic ways!

If you want to go on a mural tour or learn more about murals, Precita Eyes is the local center for fantastic knowledge about existing murals, and active community projects to create new ones.

Precita Eyes: New Projects

New Projects

Happiness is a refreshed mural

I'm always happy to see a bright, well-maintained mural!  This is La Rumba no para (honoring Chata Gutierrez) - A Walls of Respect Mural by Carlos Gonzalez.

Also: it looks so fantastic in the SUNSHINE!!  I was happy to get out of the fog and visit the Mission, where the sun shines more often.

Old buildings with colorful edges

Sure, I trained in architecture after modernism, but I don't generally think 'ornament is a crime' (though I'd like to press charges over the entire Baroque era).

And I really like the old buildings in the Mission district, with their visible seams, signs of age-related settling (a condition I surely am also suffering from), and both their bold and faded colors.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hooray for a Great Women's World Cup Football (Soccer!) Final!

I was out in my women's kit, and two people chatted me up about how great today's game was. And both were young men! Hooray for young San Francisco men being cool about the women's game! (I love this town!)

Ants in schools

She is WINKING at us!

Mission Letters

Stamps for good people

This mural, relating to people who are working to help refugees, is part of a bigger project.  You can read more about it at


There are people doing profound good in the world. Their stories don't get told much. We tell them through unique gatherings and art.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Book: Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by Caroline Criado Perez

I purchased this book, Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by Caroline Criado Perez at my local independent bookseller in April, and am finally getting to read it now.

IT IS EXCELLENT.  And the cover design, shown above in this collage, is BRILLIANT.

This book hit the shelves near the time of the NASA spacesuit debacle, which was PERFECT timing.  (If you missed it, try the Engadget piece, An ill-fitting spacesuit cancels NASA's first all-female spacewalk.)  Women exist: what a surprise!

I've long known that women are excluded from decisions and plans relating to our environment.  After all, I trained as an architect, and was told to always design everything to suit a six foot tall, able-bodied man.  I was told this is so my designs would suit "everyone," but this couldn't explain why I spent so much of my time pulling items off high shelves for other women throughout my life.  (My size privilege as a tall woman is still one that I use for others with great awareness, by OFFERING my assistance normal-sized, pensive women staring upwards at out-of-reach-for-them-items.  I am beloved by many a grandmother to this day.)  It didn't explain why some of my colleagues had to suffer through sitting in chairs which didn't allow their feet to touch the ground, or why my wheelchair-using colleagues were not being well accommodated.  It didn't explain why my female relatives had to wait so long to have common medical conditions diagnosed, or why popular medications fail to work for me or others in my family. But there is a pattern to it all, and data shows the pattern.

This engagingly written book covers a lot of topics and features abundant data (with abundant, end-noted citations), showing how excluding women creates harmful, life-or-death issues. She cites studies which show that women who have heart surgery don't heal as well, because they are still expected to provide caregiving to others, while men heal well because they RECEIVE caregiving.  (Single women without families heal measurably better!)  Doctors look for typical male symptoms for heart attacks, rather than those of women, which doesn't lead to good medical outcomes...   Certain lifesaving, pacemaker-type devices aren't given to women, because they are recommended and configured for male heart rates... Women die in car wrecks at a significantly higher rate and suffer worse injuries in car accidents generally because car safety features are built for and tested on people (and models of people) larger and differently weighted than they are.  And study results can differ dramatically in male and female mice - and the goal should be to test both and sex-sort the results, rather than only use male mice, but this is... controversial to male panels who approve what studies get funded.  *heavy sigh*

She covers social phenomenon also: yes, it is documented that living with your husband ADDS SEVEN HOURS OF HOUSEWORK to YOUR week, if you are a woman, over what you'd do if single!  (I know this from real life, but it's nice to see it in structured studies.)

This is a fantastic, timely book.  

Gray-greens I adore at the Asian Art Museum

The interiors of San Francisco's Asian Art Museum ( as adapted by the brilliant architect Gae Aulenti, are delightful and soothing, and evoke a very different mood from when the building served as the City's Main Library (which is now in a newer building across the street).  It's a brilliant adaptation, and while surrounded by ancient works from across the Pacific, feels a world apart from the City that surrounds it, while engaging with it in interesting ways (in the entrance; in the cafe and on its patio; and especially in the escalator corridor, where the balcony at the top protrudes beyond the building and over the harsh urban streets).

One of the interior elements that especially impresses me is the staging: the choices made for the backdrops of the art.  Different regions have different colors, but those colors!!  They are colors that make me want to mix new greens from all of my various watercolors (but especially the antique Japanese set).  They don't distract, but I really do love them.  

Sunday, June 30, 2019

I finally wrote up my 2018 sabbatical. It was... a lot of intense, creative living, packed densely into a few months.

It doesn't take as long to read about as it took to experience in real life, I swear! ;) Each image represents many days (or weeks) of activity.

It's a nice way to wrap up writing about my global project, which both inspired me and disrupted my usual artistic practices.

040 : living : sabbatical : Living in Self-Directed Time

A Heavily Illustrated Overview of Abundant Sabbatical Events/Contents, In the Order They Occurred.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Pattern play

(Four interpretations of a single photo of my home office curtains, modified and processed to my liking through Fragment (  

3D imaginary objects in the deYoung Tower

I somehow haven't played with Pixite's Matter App ( until today...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Visiting the deYoung 3/3

I feel lucky to have access to such a wide range of art.  Growing up in San Francisco and taking AMAZING field trips with my public school to our great local science and art museums, I always felt bad for kids who didn't get these kinds of experiences - not just at these great institutions, but to go with classmates who came from so many different places and felt like a sample of the world...  I recall wanting to set up some kind of exchange program, so rural kids could visit us, and we could visit them as a group/class, too...

Visiting the deYoung 2/3

A stairway in the deYoung in the near-solstice summer sunlight. 

I thought that I could get away from Herzog & de Meuron when I left Basel, but no.  ;)  They worked with Fong & Chan to create a very different museum than the pseudo-Egyptian building that appears in my old sketchbooks...

Visiting the deYoung 1/3

Oceanic art has been really appealing and impressive to me, in a much deeper way than it was in the past...  I think making abstract drawings changed my appreciation for this approach to symbolic representation...

I feel so lucky to get to see it!  And still fondly think of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, which has an outstanding collection, including many works made recently by living artists just for them.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tuesday also had record-breaking heat

Local iris

Wednesday morning

Cloud cover is such a delight when the weather gets a little too warm...

Tuesday, June 11, 2019