Friday, April 9, 2021

Peace Plaza in Spring

I had an appointment near Japan Center, and took a walk through.  It's busy!  On a weekday!  Some beloved things are gone (I'll miss you, Pika Pika!), but others remain with complex monitoring of how many people are inside at any one time.  And hand sanitizer everywhere.
It was reassuring.  I will return!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Cherry blossom riot

The best kind of riot.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Friday, March 5, 2021

White plum blossoms

In my neighborhood, the blossom pattern is:
  • purple-leaf plum trees bloom first; as they begin to leaf out
  • green-leaf plum trees bloom next;
  • single-blossom cherry blossoms then wait until all the fuss is over, so they can be the only ones blooming.
Double-blossom cherries follow that, but I don't have many of those in my neighborhood.  

I still find it funny that I can walk over toward West Portal and still find purple-leaf plum trees with blossoms; it is like going back a month in time!

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Mission Bay shapes

This is a little collection of architectural textures and shapes from my walk today.  Mission Bay has some of our newest buildings, and has almost wholly replaced the industrial warehouses, gravel yards, and shipyards that previously occupied the land, so gives a sense of unrestrained hip-ness in building styles.

Subtle mosaic

The Ferry Building has many things to like, and I like the little mosaics on the columns.

Photo trap

Vacant storefronts within our Ferry Building Marketplace ( are covered in flowers, and no one can resist a selfie there.  (Aside from me, apparently.)  

Same Cupid, new background

The stack of boxes just to the left of the fletching is a stack of luxury condos, and I am entranced by the images on a local real estate listing site for them.  (75 Howard is the address.)   The gorgeous, not-lived-in-looking staged spaces are just superb, and the views are spectacular.  

Embarcadero geometry (& outdoor dining)

What a shapely skyline we have.

Usual mast reflections (photos I always take)

I don't mind being a creature of habit.

February basking

Living in a city surrounded by water on three sides is RATHER NICE.

Lure of the bay shore

The girl sitting in the water and mesmerized by it is basically me at any number of ages.  She's dressed for it!

You can see part of Chase Center and the Bay Bridge in the background.

New beach

Now that this area has been renovated, there is a wide, sandy beach (spreading far off to the right of this photo, and popular with visitors), access to the surprisingly clear (today) water, and a view of many types of cranes in their native port habitat. :)

Geometric base

Somewhere, from perhaps 2005, I have photos of this crane when it was still fully assembled...  I like what they've done to it!  It looks clean, and still has all the motor and bearing parts to move it along a rail near the bottom.  There are plenty of fresh 'DO NOT CLIMB' signs on it, as well. 

Crane Cove arrival

Crane Cove Park (, near 20th Street at Illinois here in San Francisco) has been in the works for a long time, and was completed last year - but I only learned this today.  I've only been to the western side of town twice since the March 2020 health orders came out, so it was something of a shock to look down 20th and see all of this!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Monotype morning (13 Feb 2021)

It's amazing how much paint fun I can have by lunchtime...

Friday, February 12, 2021

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Early February Botany

I was looking at plants during my walk today.  I am ALWAYS looking at plants!  

Without getting technical, these are: (top) magnolia, willow, eucalyptus; (middle row) rhododendron, plum, camellia; (bottom) acacia, camellia, plum (or really early cherry, but it should be plum based on the time of year). 

Soft afternoon sky

During big sporting events, San Francisco's parks are not crowded at all! :D 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Blue themed monotype day

I made ten more prints, but this is a nice sampling of the colors today. 

Roller cleaning

Saturday morning shapes

This is a pleasant way to relax after breakfast...  and to prepare for my particular style of monotype printing.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Monotype backgrounds in copper (31 January 2021)

I always have a stack of single-layer prints that I set up to be backgrounds to later opaque prints.  Here are some of those.  Metallic copper is lovely...

Monotype morning in yellow (31 January 2021)

Beyond yellow ochre, I don't use yellow much.  So, this was a chance to address that.  (I also wanted to finish off a tube from the 90s, which was chunky and so had some unique characteristics in addition to its opacity.)

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Monotype morning (30 January 2021)

It was time to play with shades of green.  I adore greens in watercolors, but have been slow to mix them in acrylics, so I'm glad to have forced myself to try them.

Photo filter playtime

I can see why people play with filters, but....  I'm not really sure what to do with them.  I already have alternative photographic processes already to have fun with wild colors, so this 'takes the edge off' that need that these might otherwise fill?

The windmill does look pretty sweet, though.

Spring in my neglected garden

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Monotype mornings are the best mornings

I've been cutting paper shapes during breaks during the workweek; I was ready when I woke up early this morning to get going with opaque monotype printing on my recently cleaned gel plate.  Yellow ochre works into many of my painting projects, so it worked into most of these prints today.  (It is slightly less opaque than I expected when mixed with metallic gold or titanium buff.  Now that I am using a range of acrylic viscosities, it's useful to notice that.)  The images at the lower right are just the paper I used to keep my roller clean. :)

I'm trying to patiently let the 30 or so in this set dry before I start plotting out the next session.  It's likely I'll cut more shapes today, however.

It's fun to try to use the roller to make patterns, rather than just spreading paint evenly.  

[Long ramble about opacity and how I can justify buying even more paint omitted, because you can't stop me! :D ]

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Rusted and cracked

Delicate cups

Straight path

Tender green forest floor

This may not look exciting to you, but that means you live in a state where it RAINS.  That doesn't happen often here, and when it does, the fresh growth is entrancing...

Trees in fog

I don't need to admit that I took about 100 photos like this today.

Red-orange floral burst

Fancy old US stamps

I hadn't heard of Clara Maass, but Wikipedia says she gave informed consent in a study involving yellow fever-carrying mosquitos, and... it didn't go well.

Bell pepper fist

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Monotype printing day

I've been making monotype prints for a while now.  I usually use opaque paints to make prints on black paper: I enjoy the bold contrasts and deep colors that approach gives me.  

After some planning (and restocking with transparent acrylics), I decided to branch out.  Transparent layers on white paper are also fun!  The thinner emulsion (Golden Open, in bottles) also lifts more easily, so it is easier to make patterns in it with tools.  I used every sheet of paper in the pad, and then played around a bit more with leftover paper from another project.

This was a good way to relax after recovering from a migraine AND having to do a bit of office work!

Gray on gray inspiration

I am one of those people who likes subtle, abstract paintings.  It feels inevitable that you will eventually see a gray/white layered painting from me based on this, and on eucalyptus bark and leaves generally.   (Photo taken on 01/09/21.)

Naturally shaped (not pollarded)

Eucalyptus (from Australia) are a popular tree in California, despite their habit of exploding when they catch fire.  (This is an ISSUE in this new, more flame-filled era.)  They are tall and lovely, and smell nice.  This particular one is also very naturally shaped (relatively unpruned) and perhaps young.  

We pollard certain kinds of trees here (cut them back rather violently to near the main trunk), and that can result in some dramatic regrowth, which is what the older trees in the back show in certain sections.  New, tree-shaped branches grow from the cuts, and since these trees are already prone to looking like multiple trees that start at different heights, that characteristic becomes rather dramatic.  At a certain point, it feels RISKY to walk below a tree with many trees branching out of it over your head.  

But this one feels smooth and safe.  (Photo taken on 01/09/21.)