Friday, April 25, 2014

Georgia O'Keeffe's Leaves and Fruit

I saw the exhibition Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George at the de Young Museum the other day. It was neat to see her early paintings before she went to the dessert--the same hand and sensibility even so early on, but operating on completely different landscapes, completely different flowers, and therefore using a completely different color palette than that of the later work which came to define her oeuvre. The show mostly consisted of medium-sized canvases which I didn't think were being done any great service by being hung in the large--indeed somewhat cavernous--special exhibition galleries on the museum's lower level. A more intimate presentation would have been nice. Especially for the pieces I liked most of all in the show: six or eight quite small paintings, some of leaves and some of flowers. Here are most of them. Aren't they cool?

(Though once again I am reminded how absurdly difficult it can be to find decent even semi-high-res images of less-famous works, even by the most famous artists. And how absurd is that? In our much heralded digital age shouldn't this be something that's readily available to all?)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Continuing Poem Series About the Spring of 2006 Carries On Like This

April 4, 2006
The other cool thing that happened over the weekend was that

I made baguettes

I made fucking baguettes!

Didn’t have an inkling what I was doing
and wasn’t at all sure
right up until the moment of eating
that they might not be a complete inedible disaster
and I was pretty much ok with that possibility

But they were pretty tasty
a bit denser and chewier than perhaps ideal
but still more or less recognizable as bread

Somewhat lopsided

maybe a little pale

at first I didn’t put in enough flour
so for a while I had this mass
of basically runny glue
But I got that sorted out eventually

I especially liked the vision of the dough rising
in the tan bowl with the blue stripe
covered by a moist orange and white striped tea towel

It was like
I don’t know
like the pie on the windowsill
or some other long-gone image
of vanished domesticity

but it was there
in my kitchen
and it was real
and even sort of useful

So very strange

And nice

image source is here

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Airplane Reading

I've got some non-preschooler-accompanied flying time coming up which of course means only one thing: AIRPLANE BOOKS! Here are ones I've selected: the new Donna Leon mystery By Its Cover, Rainbow Rowell's first (and only non-YA) novel Attachments, and what Armistead Maupin swears will be the last Tales of the City book The Days of Anna Madrigal.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lilacs and Eggs

Special thanks are due to Spencer Alley (blog of my esteemed parent) for these dreamy photos of colorful and vernal signs of Spring that were scattered around chez nous this past weekend. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rain Gear Girl

In the winter of 1982-1983, when I was 6 and then 7 years old, California experienced the strongest and most pronounced El Nino of the Twentieth Century. In other words, it rained a hell of a lot that winter. And just when I was at some sort of very impressionable watershed (ha ha) moment in my own development. Because in my memory, when I was a kid it rained all time. Not just that one year but for the entire duration of my childhood. And it made me ridiculously, soggily happy. To this day I cannot see a child all kitted out in rain gear, as Mabel above, without my heart soaring to an extreme degree. Originally I was going to write something beneath this photo about how "aren't we all just made goofily happy by the sight of a little kid in a sicker and boots with an umbrella?" But then I realized, that might just be me.

Friday, April 18, 2014

San Francisco by Jeremy Mann

Interesting. These paintings by Jeremy Mann are rendered in a style I don't usually think of myself as being a huge fan of--but the way they evoke the light and air and texture of the streets of San Francisco shoots them straight through my eyeballs and into some deep reaches of my being. As if there was never a time I had not seen these, and known them. It strikes me that perhaps this is one of several different possible powerful responses to art; more often discussed is the art thing which presents itself to your view as something wholly and entirely new in your experience. But maybe equally intriguing are the art objects--like these paintings for me--that ring a resounding bell of familiarly and kinship inside your brain and heart. Found via Colossal.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Poem Series About the Spring of 2006 Hits Upon A Special Moment Today

April 3, 2006
We got to go visit our dear friends and their brand new baby boy

He is absurdly lovely
beautiful down to his fingernails
and smiley and so clearly smart

And they are so happy
I’ve never seen either of them so happy
it rolls off them in waves

And key to this happiness it seemed to me
was the element of the world
narrowing down
to a single

Of course it helps
that the single point is himself
and that he is really just
so absurdly lovely

But you can’t overlook the simple fact of focus
Of truly being in the moment
that state which everyone is always running around trying to achieve
but which only something this momentous and beautiful
can actually produce over a sustained period of time

And even then
it won’t last forever
they’ll return to work eventually
and have days when they’re scattered and cranky
just like everyone

But they will have this core
the touchtone of this golden time
to return to

Pretty amazing
and not necessarily the exact
miracle of parenthood
you always hear about
but rather a slightly different one

image source is here

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Big Green Skirt

Here's a look I find I've oddly fallen in love with: the gigantic green skirt. What the heck? It's all over my image collections, most often, though not always, paired with pink. Many of these images were originally found via the inimitable Wear Color. All of them strike me as almost impossibly perfect. Above is from The Clothes Horse.

 From Teen Vouge's Paris Fashion Week reportage

From the Topshop Tumblr

From A Lacey Perspective

Ok, not strictly speaking a big skirt but the color combo just fit too well with the rest of this post to pass up (and that's what you get to do when you're the one driving the bus)! From W Magazine.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Mabel sits in a sunbeam with her panda, pretending to cook a pink piece of wooden food (bologna?) in tiny frying pan, most likely either narrating her own doings to herself or singing a little song. This is the way the world goes on.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Art of Japanese Manhole Covers

The other day I discovered on Colossal photographer S. Morita's images of Japanese manhole covers. Did you know that this is a thing? Apparently all over Japan municipalities go out of their way to make the most gorgeous manhole covers they can. Art right under your feet! How had I never heard of this before? Add it as reason number 4,327 on the list of Reasons I Want to Visit Japan.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Next in the Still-Continuing Poem Series Based on the Long-Ago Spring of 2006

March 31, 2006
Bright blue sky this morning

with small white clouds
scudding here and there
and sun for the first time
in a great many days

but pouring rain
by lunchtime
of course

image source is here

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hello New York & Meanwhile in San Francisco

The other night I had the great pleasure and honor of attending a book event for two books by two amazing artists and authors. I've talked about Julia Rothman's Hello NY and Wendy McNaughton's Meanwhile in SF here before, but I must say that seeing these two fantastic women chatting together about their respective books and cities at Haight Street bookstore institution the Booksmith was a real treat.

Photos for this post were liberally borrowed from the Instagram feeds of Julia Rothman, Jennifer Daniel, Stephen Houghton, Lisa Congdon, Peter Perez, Christina Amini, Chronicle Books, and my own self. Thank you all for being such fab photographers and tireless documentarians.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Vacation Report

Last week we went to visit Mabel's Grandma, aunt, great aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends in North Carolina. We even spent a couple of days at the beach, affording the girl her first real glimpse of the Atlantic. Spring is just starting to burst forth back east, and it was a positively lovely time to be there and see the family. Here are some of our inspiring adventures: