Sunday, April 28, 2019

I used to paint and draw, so much more often...

I'm packing up my garage for construction work, and keep coming across drawings and paintings from my past.  It's a mix of experiments (successful and not!), abstracts, patterns, and representational (softly realistic) paintings, including studies for larger paintings.

Some of them are kind of interesting.  It makes me wonder if what I could have achieved with practice.  Practice is something I didn't get: a year or two after I made the little studies in this image, I worked more than full time (>40 hours per week) in a law firm AND went to college full time on weekends (full semester case loads, full days of classes on alternating weekends, homework whenever I could).  For years, I focused on my duties, rather than my pleasures.

Then I became part of a long-term couple, and that also required time.  (We don't think about relationships that way, but they really are an investment, and they DO require time, attention, and energy.)

When I did finally get a solid period of time off, I decided I had to pick ONE pleasure to study in depth, and chose photography.  I have no regrets about that: I learned so much!  Photography has brought me great joy, great new friends, gallery shows, and adventure, and I am studying it still.

It just intrigues me to be reminded of all I want to learn in watercolor painting (which I only do now and then during vacations), and wonder when (and perhaps if) I'll be able to get some practice in and make the sorts of images I daydream about.

Art Deco San Francisco

My friends were patient with me, as I stopped along our walk down Chestnut Street to capture a few of the charming facades over the posh shops. The colors and details add enjoyable texture.

2019.04.27 Art Deco Details, Chestnut Street, San Francisco

photos of San Francisco by A.E. Graves

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Conservatory of flowers - and lights

I’ve never our Conservatory of Flowers lit this way. It looks great!

Also,  it is foggy, but there are _no_ snowflakes right now. I admit that fog wouldn’t make a sharp projection. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Is it, though?

Flaming + sunburnt

Weekend in North Hollywood and Los Angeles

My dear friend Kyle was on my weekly social calendar last year, but fled early this year to the sunnier climate of Los Angeles for his next chapter in life. He found a great apartment, and invited me to visit for a weekend of chatting, eating, visiting botanical gardens at their spring peak, eating more, and driving through wealthy neighborhoods while questioning the tastes of the super-rich.

I enjoyed my first ever visits to Griffith Observatory, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and so many other places. It was great fun!

I didn't take as many photos as you would expect. Though more of roses than you could reasonably expect from me.

I now have to spend much more mental energy contemplating landscaping with cycads, and uplighting.

2019.04 Burbank and Beyond, CA

44 new photos · Album by A. Elizabeth Graves

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I’m not done with spring yet!

And I love the delicate reds on those fresh green leaves.  : D

Office park nature scene

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Poppy time, SF Conservatory of Flowers

Springing around outdoors

For any gardeners:
Top row: Iceland poppy, rhododendron, ceanothus
Middle: flowering cherry (single), flowering cherry (double), iris
Bottom: Darwin's barberry, crabapple, rock purslane.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Skies, always skies

Spring in the garden (today!)

My fears for the lilac were well-founded (some branches really are dead), but my wisdom of not pruning until I knew for certain which parts would return really was wise. :)

Also, the camellias are still going.  How I love camellias...

Friday, April 5, 2019

Architectural texture buffet

Thursday evening, four buildings, yet so many SHAPES...

We've been told all along to eat fruits and veggies, but not listening is literally killing us. Unhealthy foods pollute our water, air, and bodies. And we know this.

But here it is again, for those in the back of the room who couldn't hear it the first thousand times.

Bad diets kill more people around the world than smoking, study says

April 5 at 1:27 PM Too much salt - and not enough whole grains, fruits and vegetables - may be shaving years off our lives, a new analysis suggests. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Lancet, researchers looked at people's eating habits across 195 countries to estimate how much poor diets contribute to mortality.

While people may notice extremes in the weather (which are certainly noticeable), they may not notice certain long term changes in seasons (and climate) that plants do. Over millennia, plants have sorts of 'programs' running to keep them aligned with the seasons, so they bloom when pollinators are available, and set fruit after hard frosts would destroy their efforts. That programming can't keep up with the changes in climate. This article, which quotes my maternal aunt, who is a professor and apple geneticist, is a good read.

Climate change is already hurting fruit breeders, and consumers could soon feel the pain

March 28 In Mark Demuth's research orchard in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the peach tree twigs glow a soft red-brown under the strengthening late winter sun. The peaches are emerging from hibernation, he says, as he points out which of the stirring buds will open as leaves and which as blossoms come early April.

Favorite crane revisited

San Francisco Hunters Point Gantry Crane, image by A.E. Graves, taken February 25, 2019

I take SO MANY photos of this crane, which looks so dramatic with my beloved San Francisco Bay as its backdrop, especially in dramatic weather.

It turns out there is a site just devoted to appreciating this crane. Because, of course there is. This crane DESERVES to be appreciated.

The photos on the website are also quite lovely, and made with appreciation and awe.

#crane #gantrycrane #sanfrancisco

Hunters Point gantry crane

It's 730 feet long--longer than AT&T baseball stadium, taller than the Statue of Liberty, and weighs as much as the Eiffel Tower. Built to swap gun turrets on battleships, the crane can lift over a million pounds.