floral inspiration

This Geogia O’Keefe painting is at the SFMOMA right now. Her vivid flowers, her gentle landscapes, her colors, the vibrancy…

It makes me want to get painting again now! no excuses! (like where to set up the easel, how to not make a mess, where to store the canvases, blah, blah blah)

Also makes me think of taking a trip out to New Mexico – to Abiquiu… drove through there once – so beautiful. Maybe one day I’ll sign up for an art class there…. there’s an idea.


eye on the street

eyeonthestreetOne of the many amazing images that came to life over the weekend, at the San Rafael Italian Street Painting Festival. It’s a privelege to be able to watch these many artists at work. Thank you, and thanks to the City of San Rafael.

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beautiful chihuly & dizzying disney

It’s definitely worth seeing the Chihuly at the de Young in San Francisco. It’s closing soon – and I’m so glad I got to see these pieces. My friend Max reminded me… for anyone who can make it on Saturday September 27, I understand that the newly rebuilt Academy of Sciences, across the way in Golden Gate park will be open and free to the public. Check out http://www.calacademy.org/.

And I finally got to the Disney Concert Hall in LA – my first Gehry – just gorgeous. I recommend the audio tour of the building and grounds – fun and informative. The sweeping curves, inside and out, the various materials – some surprising –  work so well in this magnificent structure that evokes the sails of a tall ship.

I really like this mosaic fountain dedicated to Lillian Disney by Frank Gehry. According to the audio tour,  brand new Delft china was smashed to create this, as they couldn’t locate the “cheap stuff.” Hmmmmm. It’s outside in the garden area, on an upper floor – the outdoor space is really quite interesting, with nice sitting areas, shady trees, interesting plants, and more wavy walls. I’d like to see a performance in the community-oriented amphitheater sometime.

latest libeskind & buff bikers

I visited the brand new Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco yesterday. Nicely done. (So much nicer than Libeskind’s Toronto ROM addition…. what a relief!). Great William Steig collection. And a “yod” room – what a delight! …. they’ve started to get some hebrew letter musical presentations together. Interesting concept. It would be fun to hold an Otiyot Chayyot class in there sometime! (Hebrew letter body movements, loosely based on Tai Chi). I only wish the museum curators would be more careful with their explanations…. with typos in the hebrew/english translation – can’t they find someone (me!) to proofread this stuff?

I’m including another photo here, you might have to look carefully… there was a mostly-nude biking group heading down mission street and into Yerba Buena Gardens…. a kind of surprising scene – as interesting to watch bystanders’ expressions as the bikers…. not sure what point they were trying to make, but as a performance piece, since for me it was an art outing, it was perfect.

jacques brel is alive and well & living in marin

I just saw the most wonderful performance of Jacques Brel is Alive & Well and Living in Paris at the Marin Theater Company, in Mill Valley. I highly recommend this fantastic production. The singers/actors did a fantastic job of conveying the depth of emotion inherent in Brel’s songs, in virtuoso performances.

Since this is a design-oriented blog, I’ll make a note here about the great graphics the Marin Theater Company uses for the posters – on a very consistent basis, for example, their current season, here. They always have spot-on graphics – both appropriate to the content, and tremendously attractive – these have been an ongoing inspiration. This production took me back to my youth in Toronto, where I was first exposed to this wonderful music, thanks to my parents – when this music was first introduced to the English-speaking world.

more images from israel