Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wonders of My World

How fortunate am I to live in a community where learning is built in. Last Sunday's Morning Symposium was a lecture on the Seven Wonders of the World. The scholarly video presentation informed me that there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of lists of the seven wonders. The first list was all man-made edifices in the area of Turkey. Of them, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are the only one to have no actual witnesses, although there is evidence they once existed. Today even the Chinese have developed lists, only their's has 20 wonders, most in China of course.
I wonder what your own list would contain?
I keep trying to make my own list, but always get down to things in nature. Memories, mostly, and not listed in priority order. Among them, a tidepool on Samish island, the night sky over the Grand Canyon, the glow of copper in a black pit in Arizona, a dewdrop in my Oakland garden., the clouds in gathering thunder storm in New Mexico.

Spurred by our wonderful spring rains this year, the California poppies continue to go  mad. Acres and acres of them almost burn the retinas. Around every corner is a new display. I have never seen such a proliferation.  Its a new wonder to add to my list. I tried to paint last week's blog photo but I could not do it justice. Maybe I'll try again, but not this week.
Next weekend is Open Studios here, and along with 25 other artists I will be showing my watercolors in my home. Its a great time to meet and greet other Santa Rosans.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Biorhythms Messed Up

Do you believe in biorhythms? I remember when they were the "in" thing, and with my friend Eva , after a distressing day teaching school, we would go to Altas Bates Hospital in Berkeley, where in the basement they had a biorhythms machine the public could use. One could punch in their birthday and like a horoscope out would come one's predictions for that day. It also seemed to confirm our worst suspicions for our bad luck that day.  Then we would go out for frozen yogurt, which was always soothing.
Yesterday my biorhythms must have been bad, for no sooner had I entered the hiway 12 traffic heading to my personal trainer appointment than I saw a large flying object to my right heading directly for my car. No, it was not a drone. It was probably a turkey or a turkey vulture, although it had the coloring of a red tail hawk. WHAM it smacked into my car roof, like a hunk of concrete. There was no safe way to stop, so feathers flying I kept on to my destination, quite shaken up. "RIP, my feathered friend. "
Upon arriving at my destination I misjudged the distance for parallel parking, and banged into the front bumper of a new model blue truck. Was this my retribution for ending the life of a feathered friend? The kindly disabled owner did not admonish me. He now has white paint on his dented bumper and I have royal blue scratches on the right side of my Malibu, and we.ll see how much the charges are before I decide to let insurance handle it. Oh yes, I also have talon marks on the roof of my car. I hope today will be a more serene one. I'm off to paint California poppies, which should also be calming to my slightly shattered nerves. The poppies near my house are exploding right now. More gorgeous than any fireworks display.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Blissed OUT

Last Thursday afternoon I had an hour an a half massage which was so intense I came home and forgot to watch the Bernie\Hillary debate leaving me speechless at Current Events the next day, so I talked instead about the N. Carolina trans/bathroom discrimination issue. Men's bathrooms which have no waiting line but are always so filthy on the few occasions I have resorted to using one I am sorry. I guess unisex bathrooms are the answer, but there would surely be a long line of them to accomodate us all.
When friend Beth from Alameda came up to paint last Sunday we were invited to another artist's garden to view her iris. Beth's eyes got so big! There must have been a hundred in bloom. I don't think Beth had ever seen my iris garden in bloom in Oakland. Just as large, but spread out over an acre. The kind men who bought the property gave me a few of my own bulbs, having no idea which colors they were. Last year only two came out, but this year it looks like I'll have half a dozen. A couple of them are posted here. It soothes me to see them.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Comes Change

An unseasonal and significant rain has descended in the night and this morning the new limbs on the Japanese maple in my back yard are  bumping their arms on the  ground. Yesterday on the way to the Art Board meeting (where I declined, reluctantly,  to serve another term)  I snapped these pictures of a pink dogwood making an enormous statement.  I imagine it looks dejected and weather beaten today today.
Change comes when we least expect it. Last Tuesday seeing a new opthamologist I got shocking and scary news about my eyes. Seems I have vitelliform dystrophy, quite advanced in the left eye. It is a genetic disease caused by lack of nutrition to the macula, not macular degeneration but in the same family. (How can anyone as well rounded as me be lacking in nutrition?) Im taking special eye vitamins now to try to slow the process. The condition has not affected my vision so far, but I could loose the vision in the left eye in a twinkling. Then on Thursday I got unexpected good news about my heart. Seems that when one has had a pacemaker and an ablation there is a tendency for the heart muscle to get lazy at pumping Well, mine isn't. Yeah. I guess life is always full of checks and balances. Certainly nature is .

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Accepting Differences

Friday my friend Karen, who grew up in a Mormon family but is not Mormon, did me another favor by explaining that if one truly believes abortion is a crime, it follows logically that the mother is a criminal and deserving of punishment. She had to repeat it in five different ways for me to finally understand, but now I do, though it contradicts everything both of us believe. Thanks, Karen.

As I write, I am midway through a watercolor class with Dale Laitinen which I arranged here. Dale is a prominent California watercolorist and a seasoned teacher. He is pleasant, but not vibrant or personal. Perhaps he is depressed because his house and paintings burned in last summer's fire. Anyway, after scheduling several classes here with prominent male teachers I think I am ready for a woman's touch. (Any suggestions?) Friday night Dale  he did a live demo for the public which was enthusiastically received. Yesterday I painted on a full sheet for the first time, a goal I have had for years. Contrary to my taste, I followed his color palette and technique. Certainly not my cup of tea, but learning is extending boundaries. Others in the class thought mine was the best, but I thought it just a step above ugly. To the left is the abstract I did on a full sheet of a Bali waterfall. In the postcard photograph which inspired me an almost naked Bali girl is sitting bathing on the edge of the pool, but you wont find her here unless you have a vivid imagination.