Archive for May, 2010

This is the first of what hopes to be a series of posts featuring inspiring work of artist friends and friendly artists I meet online. I would love for SketchBloom to be that magical place a recent reader mentioned, a place for art, poetry and Beauty- found and created. This aims to be refuge from the nonsense and pettiness of the world ( yes, of course my nonsense and pettiness too…), a celebratory lens that focuses on the visual bounty all around us, the aesthetic choice: to, yes, stop and admire, even smell those white roses and jasmine…remember how it used to be…look  not just see the jacaranda trees….small moments of mindfulness.

Tonight I would like to share the work of Maha Bazzari Comianos, a designer, photographer and painter currently residing in San Diego, with a background that encompasses Northern California, Palestine and Saudi Arabia.  I only shared a coffee with this effervescent woman, fully engaged with life as only talented people can, and can tell you: here is a beautiful person, a soul fully alive.

Maha’s art, in her words:  visual creativity and self expression – synthesizing painting, photography and design to express and cultivate emotion – thriving to intrigue your inner self.

Here are just a few of my favorite pieces of hers.

She has an extensive collection of works online, you can find Studio MAHA on Facebook and on JPG Magazine. Enjoy.

Image via Studio MAHA. 2010

Ladder. Painting via Studio MAHA. 2010

Image via Studio MAHA. 2010

Image via Studio MAHA. 2010

Maha Bazzari Comianos. Image via Studio MAHA. 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All images in this  post under copyright by Studio MAHA and are published with permission of the artist.


Read Full Post »

Spiral Shadows. San Diego. May 2010. Panasonic Lumix Camera

Spiral Shadows. San Diego. May 2010. Panasonic Lumix Camera

Read Full Post »

Lily Pond. Balboa Park, San Diego. May 2010. Panasonic Lumix Camera.

Two Lilies. Balboa Park, San Diego. May 2010. Panasonic Lumix Camera.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes,

but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust

Read Full Post »

Graphite on paper. May 2010

Here is a flower for you from my new
I usually would not mention such details, except for the fact that I will be able to post from the road now and the 5 megapix camera is spectacular. You can say that I am happy today.

Bankers' Hill, San Diego. Photograph from HTC Hd2 Phone. May 20, 2010

There are huge, full-bodied roses around the corner, yellow in yesterday’s  moonlight.Their scent was a a promise of a life untroubled, full of beauty, and grace.   I wanted to show them to you, but today they were gone. And the finality of life hit me.

Read Full Post »

Jealousy Ouverture I. Digital Manipulation. May 2010

Jealousy Ouverture II. Digital Manipulation. May 2010.

Entwined. Digital Manipulation. May 2010.

Jealousy as an Object. Digital Manipulation. May 2010.

Read Full Post »

Diagrams from Graphic Thinking for Architects and Designers by Paul Laseau

The image above aptly illustrates the process behind diagramming, which is one of summarizing and and rendering a concept more abstract, more immediately communicable. Abstract in this sense is intended as ‘ reduced to the essential’.  Diagrams are, according to Joe Nicholson:

1. a simple drawing showing the basic shape, lay-out, or workings of something

2. a chart or graph that illustrates something such as a statistical trend

3. a line drawing that presents mathematical information

A leap of faith here, and some poetic license, can bring you from the diagrams above to these sketches, inspired by yoga poses.

The link? The day after my landscape /yoga explorations, Joe showed the above slide on a presentation. Serendipity.

Ink on Paper, digital manipulation. May 2010

At-one-ness. Ink on paper, digital manipulation. May 2010

Using CAD as human landscape generator. May 18, 2010


Read Full Post »

Ink on paper. May 2010.

Coffee is my aeroplane (The Mondays). Ink on paper. May 2010

I too am having one of those days weeks.  Monday with Les Misérables. Something about the number 17, a confounded number that brings misfortune and mishaps in Italian lore.

Coffee is one of those rituals that encourages pondering, aids concentration–perhaps even mindfulness– and never fails, at least for this aficionada, to lift the spirit.  

Sometimes, some days, a trusty coffee travel mug may just be your aeroplane.

Read Full Post »

(Follow the) Butterfly, Bone, Koa, String(s). Ink on trace paper. May 2010

Koa and Bone. Graphite and Watercolor. May 16, 2010

Some of you may remember my koa and bone set; here it is in ink and watercolor. The ink version is the one that surprised me the most: I noticed that by scanning the back of the drawing, the bracelet/string become more realistic, acquire thickness. The translucent properties of the trace paper and the shadows/distance/spaces created in the crevices lend this effect…something to keep in mind for the future.

We wander at night and are consumed by fire

I have been thinking and reading about Situationism:  there was once a time in which we were all Situationists.  I remember, as a teenager, roaming in the deserted streets of my neighborhood, on the ‘marina’ side of a small Calabria town. The whole neighborhood was a seasonal development and, in winter, my family (comprised of my mom, dad, and yours truly) was the only one living by the sea. Sometimes I would take off with my moped, the latest Stephen King tome and explore the abandoned villas, hide in construction sites, or walk over dried river beds– before exams, I would memorize historical dates while jumping from summer cabin to summer cabin, in the spring, when the grey beach and the deep sea were laying dormant, awaiting the summer sun, awaiting the brilliant cobalt colors and the golden heat…like they are probably doing now.
The Situationists would be proud of this roaming, untouched as it were by what they called ‘the consumer experience’.
Today I was an urban bedouin again, gathered in my scarves, on my pilgrimage (when you travel by bus it does feel like a pilgrimage, especially on Sundays) to the sea. Only grey waters reflecting grey skies today, but the sound was what I sought: this is my church and this is where I worship.

Read Full Post »

The Tarot Players, Fresco by Unknown Early 15th Century Master, Milano, Casa Borromeo

I finished the audiobook for Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol’ (good yarn, interesting theories-some heard before- anticlimactic ending) and painted for a couple of hours.  Since I am specialized in becoming engrossed in whatever is not on my to-do list (one of my dear,wise  students told me that ‘It’s not so much that one works well under pressure: it’s that under pressure, one works) I picked up one of my history/travel books on my city, Milano, and found this treasure, which is a fresco in the ground floor of Casa Borromeo- most of the house was lost in the 1943 bombings.  This work captivated me, perhaps because of the gossamer, otherworldly manner in wich the tarot players are depicted, perhaps because this work is now more than 500 years old yet it has a very contemporary dynamic in the parts left ‘bare’ and reminds me, for example, of Ghadah’s girls (especially in the rendition below)

As for music,this has been the soundtrack of today (Flume especially…and the whole acoustic Transmissions Series archive is candy to the soul…thankyou Suzie…).

A friend of mine also shared some wonderful poetry from the spanish poet Antonio Machado.


To know yourself – is to remember

the miry canvases of past dreams

and to walk with open ears

on this sad day.

For the greatest gift of memory

is the bringing back of dreams.

Antonio Machado

Poem via Bruce Matthes

Read Full Post »

“I have a strong will to love you for eternity.” Milan Kundera. Earth Henna, Eucalyptus Oil. May 2, 2010.

Read Full Post »

Words are Swords. May 9 2010. Ink on paper.

It is said that the tragedy of Hamlet is consumed between
‘words’ and ‘swords’. Words, words, words murmur the duelling characters…

Some may say words are swords, of the most insidious kind, and that that which is uttered – or written- has a potential for far more damage than a weapon meant to plunge in an enemy’s body. In Italian there is a saying, its origins in the Gospel, ‘ Chi di spada ferisce, di spada perisce’ [Qui gladio ferit gladio perit] . In English it is translated as ‘He who lives by the sword, perishes by the sword’.  As for those who live by the words, we also (must) suffer by words.

As a writer, a wordsmith, a poet – and more importantly, as a sentient human being – I have pondered today the reach of words, their lasting impact as means of communication in the analog and digital age.

Wounds are healed yet words remain. It is a theme that I will continue to explore, as more images are conjured up on the topic as I am posting this.

Thoughts in the alley:
Can you stop a bud from blossoming?
You can only marvel at its perseverance.
You can choose to admire its beauty,
while contemplating the poignancy of its helplessness.

Word Machine. May 9,2010. Ink on paper.

WordBombs. May 9, 2010. Ink on paper.

The scene of the crime. May 9, 2010. Ink on paper.

Read Full Post »

The meaning of art. Graphite on paper. May 2010

Today I found Emerson, Rainer Maria Rilke and Whitman of  O Captain! My Captain! hanging out by a student’s desk. (what color is poetry?)  Hemingway was smoking a pipe on the corner, looking at William Carlos Williams. Yeats and Frost were conversing on the road not taken, and Sandburg was thinking about stopping by the City Lights bookstore, North Beach, San Francisco.

Just yesterday I was thinking that my desire to teach can all be traced back to seeing ‘Dead Poets Society’ at 16, English class, Mister Hanneman’s. That was Breckenridge, Minnesota.

I wish I could watch that movie with my students, at the beginning of each quarter: it is veiled under architecture, and art, and history…but the meaning and the message is always poetry, always life.

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Henry David Thoreau

Make your life extraordinary.

Read Full Post »

Waiting for Godot | Static Head. Digital Collage. May 5th, 2010

What have you been doing? I’ve been reading about Utopian Architecture and speaking Art with my wonderful students. I’ve been breaking LCD monitors and buying inferior ones on Craigslist (which does not have a return policy). I have decluttered my place, simplified my life (hello facebook/Big Brother withdrawals), embraced yoga and precariousness. I have been watching Weeds, and pondering its message on the contemporary (post-modern?) condition, worthy of a dissertation– I swear sometimes (some of) San Diego feels like a collection of ticky tacky boxes and ticky tacky condos. Now that my beloved nokia is out of commission and I embrace,nay, celebrate my coffee addiction I am feeling a kinship to the soccer mom protagonist, with my coffee mug and old motorola flip phone {argh}.

I have been making lists, and will get there…someday…somewhere. …work in progress…

I have been listening to Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol” and marveled about how close the initial message is to Wayne Dyer’s.  The image above is inspired by a passage in the book: incidentally today I had coffee with a true-to-life Myth and Symbols professor.
Life has been serendipitous.

Mainly, I have been waiting for Godot.

Read Full Post »

Bracelet, ring and necklace made of koa wood, bone, string. May 4, 2010

Still thinking about the versatility of wood, building material and jeweler’s materia prima.

This is the drawing (soon watercolor) I mentioned, long time coming, but, also, lots of slanted plumerias…I had to keep at this drawing , for some reason I kept leaving it and coming back to it, and carrying this wooden artifacts in my messenger bag everywhere, looking to finish the work. Perhaps I felt it like an ‘assignment’ and part of me rebelled to it, working on other drawings and ideas instead (which I am happy to say gave me material to now go back and post more regularly.) Perhaps it was the repetition that disturbed me, or it taking longer than i thought. Do you ever give yourself artistic assignment you regret but complete out of discipline–or stubbornness? It is very strange how art is a dichotomy between what is enjoyable and what is necessary, or what we arbitrarily consider necessary. I guess it is a way to give some sense of structure to our work.

I did not allow myself to post anything until I finished this blessed necklace, so you might see a series of plumerias, but I see a struggle XD.

Some say you should not do it once it ceases being fun. I think I would like to set a record for finishing what I started, and this is just an outward offering.

Speaking of flowers, here is walking around Mission Hills in San Diego, with my friend Theresa. Beautiful homes, canyons (we do live in an enchanted land- afternoon light through leaves-shimmering like a blessing), juxtaposed to sceneries right out of the incorporated town of Majestic/Agrestic. Passing by an It’s a Grind at the bottom of a horrific ‘Mediterrenean-Style’ condo on the way to Hillcrest made me chuckle and made me sad at the same time. I am sure the name contains the word ‘Tuscan’ somewhere.

The walk was a spontaneous one, not one of my photo expeditions, so here some unorthodox shots from my cell.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: