What a nice surprise: I was invited to paint live for a few days in the atrium of the San Diego History Center, representing Noel-Baza Fine Art and their gallery there. Very flattering (and only a little panic-inducing!)
The San Diego History Center is in Balboa Park, near the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. They are currently featuring all things Centennial: all about the great expo of 1915, for which our wonderful park was built. Part of that celebration is a show of artwork that appeared at that famous expo one hundred years ago, and a gallery run by Noel-Baza Fine Art of works by contemporary San Diego artists. Very grateful to be included in that, too.
There I was, painting away, enjoying the comings and goings of families and groups of school kids, old folks, art lovers, history buffs, kind volunteers and staff, and a huge gaggle of History Center new members being given a tour. Only managed to finish two little pieces, but got a good start on a third one. Fun to work so small after a couple of years of working large. (Wish I had been living large all that time, but we do what we can!)
Go check out the artwork; the current group of historical works will be switched out in July. The contemporary works are frequently changed out as well, so there’s regularly something new. Fun to see how old and new takes on San Diego have changed… and not.
Strolling down the beach on a still day, blowing bubbles and watching them bounce as they landed along the strings of footprints. Went looking for the perfect bare print to land a bubble on. But human ones, even children’s prints, dwarfed my bubbles. (Besides, there was something so Robinson-Crusoe-finds-Friday about that… ) I just kept on, blowing bubbles to see which way the air was moving, watching for the detritus of the tide: gull prints and kelp strands, seaweed, shells, and abandoned sand toys.
And then there appeared a string of big, perfect paw prints. I blew bubbles until one crossed the path of that print, dragging its rainbow shadow across it. I thought of all the dog walks that beach has seen, all the quiet, solitary strolls with that ideal companion. Now memorialized with a beautiful bubble for scale (and for fun).
Just a soap bubble? I don’t think so. I see added magic for even the most beautiful setting: a breath made visible as a swirling, rainbow orb. The sun catches it, making its transparent edges into prisms. Makes me hold my next breath, waiting for it to catch a breeze before it explodes into a shower of rainbow drops.
The beach may not need accessories, but these jewels make every place more beautiful. High on my list of Favorite Things.
The delicate hem of the waves, torn away and left stranded on the strand…
Not my soap this time, just the remains of the foam from the wave break. I read that here in San Diego, that foam is likely to be from the kelp that grows in huge forests offshore and gives off protein-rich agar and other goodies into our seas. That organic matter gets churned up with the motion of the waves, and makes that frothy, ephemeral edging.
Just the surf, dressing itself in homemade, iridescent lace.
Tourmaline Beach is often striped by sparkly black ripples (the children of wind or tide? Probably both.) My soap bubbles rode the wind, dragging their dark-ringed shadows along those ridgy zebra stripes, and gently settled into the tide line. There, they clung to the wet sand for a remarkably long time before exploding into showers of drops.
But oh! Those rainbow shadows! Who knew something that transparent would make such a substantial shadow? The skin of soap that makes the air bag that is a bubble must be remarkably thick, despite its delicacy.
Funny how much you see when you narrow your focus and take time. I love that. I learn so much from each painting; I learn to see all over again.
Here’s looking at you, World. It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.