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In January I collided with two splendid creatures in Balboa Park, Lila’Angelique and Thoth, which together form Tribal Baroque.

I wanted to share some portraits I took of them, in order to share some of the magic of their presence and music.

Nothing prepares you for the beauty that is Tribal Baroque, but here is a taste of what’s in store if you can make it to one of their prayformances in the park.

This is the Facebook page of Tribal Baroque, so you can catch these fairies who are here in San Diego for a limited time.

{more to come…see below}
…….

Four days ago, I spent two hours crafting the perfect posts on my muses, full of links and perfectly ( to me) worded prose.

When I went to publish the post, I LOST everything. It is the first time that this has happened on WordPress, which is usually excellent at saving drafts in progress.

I have been too heartbroken to come back and re-craft my post, but I have new art from Saturday and tonight – yes i started sketching and painting again (!) – and new photographs that I want to share, and life must go on.

Enjoy this images for now.. I will come back in the morning, refreshed, and tell you its stories…
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Thank you for bringing the *triple* rainbow and pink sky ūüėČ :
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All images and text © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Remembrance. Rose-Lynn Fisher, 2013.

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Tears of Release. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Possibility and Hope. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Momentum, Redirected. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Ending and Beginning. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Onion Tears. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Laughing till I’m Crying. ¬© 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Elation at a Liminal Moment. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Timeless Reunion. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Basal Tears. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Change. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

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Tears of Grief. © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

 

A friend of mine, The Book Madam, shared this lyrical work ‚Äď and I could not help passing it on.

Haunting, mesmerizing and beautiful, the Topography of Tears reminds us that there is an architecture to our memories, our grief, our love.

The stark landscapes depicted are aerial maps of emotions ‚Äď tears may spring from the eyes, but they are crystallized by our minds.

Seen at a microscopic level, tears become tangible maps of our heart, site plans of our soul-states.

Our alchemy knows the difference between the landscapes of memory, cascading mirth, the drifting flotsam of grief, and the continents of hope.

 

From the author:

 

The Topography of Tears

 

‘The Topography of Tears is a study of 100 tears photographed through a standard light microscope.
The project began in a period of personal change, loss, and copious tears.
One day I wondered if my tears of grief would look any different from my tears of happiness – and I set out to explore them up close.

Years later, this series comprises a wide range of my own and others’ tears, from elation to onions, as well as sorrow, frustration, rejection, resolution, laughing, yawning, birth and rebirth, and many more, each a tiny history.
The random compositions I find in magnified tears often evoke a sense of place, like aerial views of emotional terrain.
Although the empirical nature of tears is a chemistry of water, proteins, minerals, hormones, antibodies and enzymes, the topography of tears is a momentary landscape, transient as the fingerprint of someone in a dream.

This series is like an ephemeral atlas.
Roaming microscopic vistas, I marvel at the visual similarities between micro and macro realms, how the patterning of nature seems so consistent, regardless of scale.
Patterns of erosion etched into earth over millions of years may look quite similar to the branched crystalline patterns of an evaporated tear that took less than a minute to occur.
Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger, and as complex as a rite of passage.
They are the evidence of our inner life overflowing its boundaries, spilling over into consciousness.

Wordless and spontaneous, they release us to the possibility of realignment, reunion, catharsis: shedding tears, shedding old skin.

It‚Äôs as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.’

 

Rose-Lynn Fisher

 

Check out her other work at rose-lynnfisher.com

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I found and lost myself inside of that night. Collage. Graphite, fountain ink, found objects. San Diego. December 9, 2013.

I found and lost myself inside of that night. Collage. Graphite, fountain ink, found objects. San Diego. December 9, 2013.



These collages are starting to need a change of byline for SketchBloom: Art Therapy. Oh well;)

Above, a work in progress (and, darling aren’t we all?)..not sure which way it will go.

In the midst of nude painting to be done from memory (and I have started sketching, too bad the final product won’t be posted here), there’s been art and feelings on fire.

In the quest for ASCII hearts ( yes, lots of hearts are needed ) I found these lovely images.

All credits to benjscott.com

All credits to benjscott.com

The image above is from http://www.benjscott.com/artscii/. Click to be taken to more exquisite ASCII art images and his program.

The ascii art images above are from http://www.benjscott.com/artscii/. Click to be taken to his program.

This is a program called ASCIIART – which goes beyond recreating images in characters to delving into typography…and…this had me at hello.

I cannot wait to experiment with some black and white art.


Also, a return to poetry, literature and tender music. Maybe a new poem will blossom soon…the ingredients are there once again.

Some quotes from a book I am finally finishing (quotes that became a poem): The Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.
Freedom and loneliness overlap, look in the mirror, my face, these words reversed.


Hearing his name caused him to turn back again

looking into her eyes was like standing by a door slightly ajar

how could you not push open the door

see what lay inside?

And that door seemed to open a little.

and the glimpse he had beyond the door tortured him

he wanted to say more, to say everything on his mind, but he couldn’t.

It wasn’t a question of language.

He doubted the words existed in any language.

He  forced himself to look away from her then.

It was like prying a magnet off steel.

It was as though, outside of that room, there could be such a thing as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

And then there was her.

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This photo was taken by my dear friend and photographer/artist extraordinaire Maha Comianos.

She is currently exploring the creative side of architects in her Archi * Artist Series, among many other artistic endeavors.

Check out her inspired work at:
http://www.studiomaha.com

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For my birthday, my blogsister Ghadah dedicated a page to me ‚̧

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The Screen Woman. Digital Collage. Text from "A Year in the Merde" by Stephen Clarke.

 

 

Photo from Inspired Goodness.

 
Founded in 2008, Inspired Goodness is a custom invitation and paper goods studio
located in Brooklyn, NY.
 
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Notable books:
 
 
 
 

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The Fl√Ęneur: A Radical-Chic Icon

The Fl√Ęneur. Ink on trace paper. February 26, 2011

The Fl√Ęneur and his turtle in the streets of Paris. Digital collage. February 26, 2011. Background photo from San Francisco‚Äôs artist David Blumin. Click for his website.



Then I heard the phrase ‘Walk with a turtle’ on NPR, during an interview with Council of Dads’ author Bruce Feiler–and had an epiphany: I, too, had been a fl√Ęneuse in my early years. When I was 9 years old I used to tie a red ribbon to the shell of my turtle Stefania/Stefano (we are still not sure) and take her for ‘walks’ around my building and in the field of olive trees nearby. This cannot just be explained by mere coincidence or a sense of equanimity (i would take my giant schnautzer Zorro for walks- or rather, he would take me- and treated Stefania/Stefano to the same). By walking the city (ok , in my case the field of olive trees) at the pace of a tortoise, we are bound to pay attention to life around us, to read the city–not just skim it from the wheel of our car or glancing up from smartphones while we traverse sidewalks. Having a turtle as a guide nudges us to stop rushing. I am reminded of the buddhist monk in the documentary ‘Baraka’, slowly pacing the street with small steps , at the sound of a bell–in the midst of a hyperactive Japanese metropolis. The realization of possible multi-layered readings on the figure of the flaneur prompted a small research.

Historical evidence of The Fl√Ęneur? Or just man waiting for his wife? Undated image from: storify.com/virtualdavis/flaneur

The¬†¬†Fl√Ęneur

The term comes from ‘fl√Ęner’, which means to stroll in French. From this verb Baudelaire coined the word¬† fl√Ęneur, a person who walks the city in order to experience it.¬†¬†The¬†fl√Ęneur¬†is¬†driven ¬†by an ¬†insatiable ¬†hunger ¬†for ¬†passion;¬†he¬†¬†seeks ¬†the ¬†streets and ¬†the ¬†city ¬†life ¬†for they ¬†provide ¬†inspiration ¬†and ¬†cure him of the malaise and loneliness¬†¬†of ¬†being human.¬†He practices mindfulness, or¬†conscious dilly-dallying. In US they would call him a ‘loiterer’, surely shoo him away…or perhaps fine or even jail him (I always tell my students there is no such thing as the word ‘loitering’ in Italian….what else would we do in Piazzas!?). My friend Bruce and I were discussing the¬†fl√Ęneur¬†few days ago¬†and he reminded me of¬† the symbology of the turtle and this quote from Rumi:

The soul needs as much time to wander as the feet.

Rumi

 

Baudelaire writes of the fl√Ęneur:

 The  crowd  is  his  element,  as  the  air  is  that  of  birds  and  water  of  fishes.

 His  passion  and passionate  spectator,  it  is  an  immense  joy  to  set  up  house  in  the  heart  of  the  multitude, amid  the  ebb  and  flow  of  movement,  in  the  midst  of  the  fugitive  and  the  infinite.

To  be away  from  home  and  yet  to  feel  oneself  everywhere  at  home;  to  see  the  world,  to  be  at the  centre  of  the  world,  and  yet  to  remain  hidden  from  the  world

impartial ¬†natures which ¬†the ¬†tongue ¬†can ¬†but ¬†clumsily ¬†define. ¬†The ¬†spectator ¬†is ¬†a ¬†prince ¬†who ¬†everywhere ¬†rejoices ¬†in ¬†his ¬†incognito. ¬†The ¬†lover ¬†of ¬†life ¬†makes ¬†the ¬†whole ¬†world ¬†his ¬†family, ¬†just ¬†like ¬†the lover ¬†of ¬†the ¬†fair ¬†sex ¬†who ¬†builds ¬†up ¬†his ¬†family ¬†from ¬†all ¬†the ¬†beautiful ¬†women ¬†that ¬†he ¬†has ever ¬†found, ¬†or ¬†that ¬†are ¬†or ¬†are ¬†not ¬†-¬≠‚Äź ¬†to ¬†be ¬†found; ¬†or ¬†the ¬†lover ¬†of ¬†pictures ¬†who ¬†lives ¬†in ¬†a magical ¬†society ¬†of ¬†dreams ¬†painted ¬†on ¬†canvas.

 

A Process of Navigating Erudition

From Wikipedia: Fl√Ęneur is not limited to someone committing the physical act of peripatetic stroll in the Baudelairian sense, but can also include a “complete philosophical way of living and thinking”, and a process of navigating erudition as described by Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s essay on “Why I Walk” in the second edition of The Black Swan (2010).¬†¬†A Sunday Time review called¬†The Black¬†Swan¬†¬†one of the twelve most influential books since WWII.

Benjamin ¬†in his Arcades further describes the fl√Ęneur utilizes the city,¬†¬†which becomes an¬†¬†extension of¬† his residence:

The ¬† street ¬† becomes ¬† a ¬† dwelling ¬† for ¬† the ¬† fl√Ęneur; ¬† he ¬† is ¬† as ¬† much ¬† at ¬† home ¬† among ¬† the facades ¬†of ¬†houses ¬†as ¬†a ¬†citizen ¬†is ¬†in ¬†his ¬†four ¬†walls. ¬†To ¬†him ¬†the ¬†shiny, ¬†enameled ¬†signs ¬†of businesses ¬†are ¬†at ¬†least ¬†as ¬†good ¬†a ¬†wall ¬†ornament ¬†as ¬†an ¬†oil ¬†painting ¬†is ¬†to ¬†the ¬†bourgeois ¬†in his ¬†salon. ¬†The ¬†walls ¬†are ¬†the ¬†desk ¬†against ¬†which ¬†he ¬†presses ¬†his ¬†notebooks; ¬†news-¬≠‚Äźstands are ¬†his ¬†libraries ¬†and ¬†the ¬†terraces ¬†of ¬†caf√©s ¬†are ¬†the ¬†balconies ¬†from ¬†which ¬†he ¬†looks ¬†down on ¬†his ¬†household ¬†after ¬†his ¬†work ¬†is ¬†done.


Some of the questions I have been thinking about are : Can the fl√Ęneur be a fl√Ęneuse? Must he or she always haunt the city aloof and alone, or is ‘Fl√Ęneurie’ an activity that can be enjoyed in small groups, maybe of separate actors, each with his or her own turtle?

The fl√Ęneur is enjoying immense popularity on the Internet and blogosphere,¬†among the hipster¬†and (pseudo)intellectual crowd. ¬†He is radical chic, a gentleman stroller whose eccentricity is afforded to him by indipendent wealth. He is a man of leisure who can make a statement about the bondage of work and busyiness: he is above it and does not need it.
On the other side of the coin, we might re-evaluate the ‘homeless’ people, the figure of the¬†clochard (sounds better in French doesn’t it) as fl√Ęneurs without¬†means, but with the same intellect and intent. ¬†They also make the city their living room and library.

In “American Flaneur: The Cosmic Physiognomy of Edgar Allan Poe“, James V. Werner describes how ‘¬†highly self-aware, and to a certain degree flamboyant and theatrical, dandies of the mid-nineteenth century created scenes through outrageous acts like walking turtles on leashes down the streets of Paris. Such acts exemplify a fl√Ęneur’s active participation in and fascination with street life while displaying a critical attitude towards the uniformity, speed, and anonymity of modern life in the city.’

Hmm…Sounds like The Situationists.

A¬†new¬†interpretation¬†of¬†the¬†activities¬†of¬†the¬†fl√Ęneur¬†appear¬†in¬†the writings¬†of¬†Guy¬†Debord,¬†the¬†d√©rive¬†also¬†being¬†a¬†protest¬†against¬†the¬†processes¬†of¬†consumption¬†and¬†capitalism:

One of the basic situationist practices is the d√©rive [literally: ‚Äúdrifting‚ÄĚ], a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances. D√©rives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll.

In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones.

–Guy Debord

While the flaneurs practiced ‘aimless wandering’, the Situationists devised processes to purposefully get lost.

There is no English equivalent for the French word fl√Ęneur. Cassell’s dictionary defines fl√Ęneur as a stroller, saunterer, drifter but none of these terms seems quite accurate. There is no English equivalent for the term, just as there is no Anglo-Saxon counterpart of that essentially Gallic individual, the deliberately aimless pedestrian, unencumbered by any obligation or sense of urgency, who, being French and therefore frugal, wastes nothinincluding his time which he spends with the leisurely discrimination of a gourmet, savoring the multiple flavors of his city.

Cornelia Otis Skinner.

Elegant Wits and Grand Horizontals, 1962

Watching is the chosen pleasure of fl√Ęneur. He is an ‘urban stalker’, as Susan Sontag defines him in her 1977 essay On Photography.¬†¬†Modern fl√Ęneurs, let’s arm ourselves with cameras or a moleskine .¬†Let’s pretend we are all ‘The Sartorialist’ and many, many other envoys on particular missions. Would you enjoy the streets of your city if¬†you thought you were spying on someone, an urban detective, privy to secrets no-one else can know? What would¬†the intelligence gathered from today?¬†What stories could you tell(or draw)? What stories would the city reveal to you. There is so much life out there. And buildings are lessons.

Let the urban voyeurism begin.
Here are some useful links:

And, finally, my very own books for Parisian flanerie.

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The Creative License by Danny Gregory. Click for his blog and links!

Everywhere I turn these days i see the word Creativity..could this be a sign …cause I have not been posting that much???

This post is more like…four…but so be it.

The back of the book. Do you dare to be creative?

A dear student let me borrow this fantastic book: The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are. What a wonderful title. So this post, like the book is dedicated….

From Danny Gregory's book The Creative License.

This book is full of helpful suggestions, assignments and encouragements for artists, wannabe-artists and artists-to-be.
There are helpful tools, techniques and a great section on negative space. The style reminds me of Michael Nobbs and his ‘Start to Draw Your Life’ [find link to download his e-book here]
I love this quote:

I believe in the energy of art, and through the use of that energy, the artist’s ability to transform his or her life and, by example, the lives of others.

Audrey Flack

Inspired by the ‘sketch your life’ vibe,I finally got around drawing something that has been giving me JOY lately:

Ink and watercolor on paper and tracing paper. A bit of digital manipulation. Feb. 09,2011.

Yes! These magnific Illy concoctions have come to a freezer near you…I love these babies.
I also picked up the Oprah magazine…i do enjoy this publication…as a reader said ‘it brings a little magic into my life’. I devour news and ‘serious’ books ( I love novels, but have started a stack of non-fiction and architecture-related books in the past four years …and I am determined to finish it by the end of the year)…so sometimes Oprah reminds me to feed my spirit. Go ahead and judge:P
This month’s issue caught my eye, for the focus was creativity.
This is the un-quiz I am taking…designed by filmmaker Miranda July and Artist Harrell Fletcher, creators of the website Learning to Love You More. Click for creative assignments!
The results will be uploaded at oprah.com.
If you are so lucky to have an Ipad, you can check out Oprah’s own sketchbook app, SketchBook O.
Here are:
7 WAYS TO SPARK YOUR CREATIVITY:
(from designer Anna Rabinowicz)
1. Read Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
2. Go Outside
3. Start a collection
4. Touch Stuff
5. Travel Solo
6. Go Analog
7. Grab every opportunity
(read about this on this month’s issue of O, the Oprah Magazine)
One of the things I am always reminded of when I read Oprah is to give gratitude. It has been difficult lately, between my hypercritical mind, a full-out technological meltdown and a string of missed yoga classes. Nonetheless, I would like to give a shout out to these three creative individuals who are an inspiration!
1. Ghadah Alkandari @ prettygreenbullet: my blogsister, who elevates blogging to a religion, source of daily inspiration. I love you, woman.

Ghadah Alkandari, Goddess of Daily Goodness. This is her post from February 5,2011. Click to Ghadah.

2. Abbey Ryan @ abbeyryan.com

From Oprah's February Issue: the blog abbeyryan.com. She has posted an oil still life every day since 2007. WOW! Click to find Abbey.

3. St. Loup and his Secrets and Lies
Always thought-provoking…my virtual literary cafe’.

From St. Loup's Secrets and Lies: Maurice Ronnet Le feu Follet - Luis Malle (1963)

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Reissued Dec.10, 2010


From the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego site:
For the first time in history, the majority of the world‚Äôs population lives in urban communities. The urban setting and its corresponding lifestyle are major sources of inspiration in contemporary culture. This is an historic revolution in visual culture, in which the codes and icons of the everyday‚ÄĒfound on the streets in graffiti, signage, waste, tattoos, advertising, and graphic design‚ÄĒhave been appropriated and used as an integral part of contemporary art-making. The urban landscape inspires and serves as both a platform for innovation and a vehicle for expression for many artists. The city itself, its buildings, vehicles, people, and advertisements, are not only the surface where the art is applied. The city fuels the practice.

A multifaceted exhibition that explores the dialogue between artists and the urban landscape, Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape features works both in the Museum’s galleries as well as at public sites throughout downtown San Diego.

The exhibition includes a diverse range of 20 artists from 10 countries that are linked together by how their work addresses urban issues — Akay (Sweden), Banksy (U.K.), Blu (Italy), Mark Bradford (U.S.), William Cordova (U.S.), Date Farmers (U.S.), Stephan Doitschinoff [CALMA] (Brazil), Dr. Lakra (Mexico), Dzine (Puerto Rico), David Ellis (U.S.), FAILE (Canada), Shepard Fairey (U.S.), Invader (France), JR (France), Barry McGee (U.S.), Ryan McGinness (U.S.), Moris (Mexico), Os Gemeos (Brazil), Swoon (U.S.), and Vhils (Portugal).

Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape is curated by guest curator Pedro Alonzo and MCASD Associate Curator Lucía Sanromán.

Bologna-based Blu took 10 days to film the stop-motion graffiti film 'Combo'. If you enjoyed the opening animation of the Monthy Python movies, you will LOVE this.

If you only see TWO works from this show, lucky you, they are only a click away. You MUST check out these videos. Guaranteed to blow your mind.

1. Blu. Combo. 2009
2. Blu. Big Bang Boom. 2010


Thursday, December 2. Thursday always seems a good day to start a revolution. And we are already in December, so why not set to flame this problematic year?

I have taken an unjustified leave of absence for sketchbloom, but life and the mind have been in a state of ‘good’ intensity. Lots of good words, good books…hopefully good thinking… GREAT conversations.

So I missed Nablopomo, Nanowrimo, annhilated my phone (hence no internet)…but I am still here. New replacement phone is here, and I am plugged in.

There are lots of possible revolutions. There is one going on right now (subject of next post), maybe I was waiting for just this.

I am going for a revolution of the mind.

Two weekends ago ¬†I went to see ‘Viva La Revolucion’, the incorrectly titled but intriguing show at MCASD. That is our museum of contemporary art in downtown San Diego. GO.

This show will last till January…then it will be gone.

SO what is it all about? Well, the relationship between urban (graffiti art) and the built environment. SO here you see, there is a nexus of what I am trying to do (or say) occasionally.

What do you think of the Space Invader project?

The Space Invader Walk. Video. 10 Minutes. Invader, best known for his use of ceramic tiles to recreate the Space Invader video game. The walk in downtown San Diego, once mapped, reveals the outline of a Space Invader. A sort of Urban Etch-a-Sketch. The artist uses GPS tracking technology.


Here is a trailer of the Space Invader Walk.

Banksy. West Bank barrier, Bethlehem. 2007

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the uber-famous Banksy. Always eye opening to see his provocative work.

Just really wanted to poke my head in and say ‘ I’m back, have a nice ‘night’- because more than two weeks of silence (and silent art) pain me.

Then leave.

 

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In the courtyard of Space For Art, Barri Logan, San Diego. Sept. 4, 2010.

Art installation by Curtis Bracher. Click on image to be taken to his website.

The studio of May-Ling Martinez. Click her to see her blog.

May-Ling welcomes us.

Some of her pieces. Like 3D drawings! There seemed a current of 'retro' inspired pieces at the Space for Art. May-Ling is drawn to black and white drawings, attention to lineweight and retro ads.

My friend/twin Richard (we are both born on Sept.12!) and one of May-Ling's works.

Gothic Cathedral. Crutches, Xrays, Pipettes, Test Tubes. 9'L x 7'W x 8'H Artist Statement: This piece addresses the 'illuminations'- the questions, convergences, and contradictions of spirituality and science...

Flying buttresses, crossing and apse.

Roof expression of the apse and crossing.

The nave and aisles, their paving beautifully detailed.

Another noir work by May-Ling, guarding the door to the courtyard.

Misgivings in Barrio Logans, ghosts stories, ominous hands that prey (still too close).

Misgivings II. The burnt witch.

Pardon the quality of the photos, my Panasonic camera is still out of commission, hope to get it back in working order soon!

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A rare Renée Magritte. La Poitrine. 1961

Renée Magritte. Irene.

Renée Magritte. Le tombeur des lutteurs. 1960

Renee Magritte. Eulogy of the Dialectic.

Renée Magritte. Personal Values. 1952

In my search, I stumbled upon Myriam Mahiques, who shares some thoughts on Magritte, and Immateriality in Painting and Architecture.

Instances of Surrealist Architecture and Urban Design:

Click on the images for more details and to see source.

"39GeorgeV" is an urban surrealism manifesto. It sheltered the renovation of an Hausmannian building in Paris, during year 2007. It's a life-size photographic work based on the original building, printed on canvas, enhanced with bas-relief.

The Manifesto of the 39GeorgeV project.

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels. Installation of the new Magritte Museum 2008/09

From the exhibition:Painting the Glass House: Artists Revisit Modern Architecture.The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum,Ridgefield, CT.

“]“]

Frankfurt's Bockenheimer Warte Subway Station. From '10 Of The World’s Most Impressive Subway Stations'

Iphone painting by Steve John.

Son Of Mac. Magritte-inspired Apple Macbook art vinyl decal.

Magritte-ispired art vinyl decal for Apple Macbook.

Book : Surrealism and Architecture edited by Thomas Mical



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So you already know I heart Japanese Stationery stores.

Here are more lovely pens and things from Jetpens.

Some of these, like rubber stamps – or writing letters sealed with rubber stamps- don’t exactly fit my life right now, but isn’t it fun to imagine such settings?

Thanks go to my (enabling)  friend Andy who shared Jetpens with me.

Click on the images for more details.

Brush Pens

Lamy Mechanical Pencil

Midori Animal Shape D-Clips

Woman-shaped clips by Sun-Star

Rubber Stamp by Kodomo no Kao Ouchi Mininature House : A Chair and Ciao!

The beautiful packages of Kodomo no Kao Ouchi Miniature House Rubber Stamps.

Round index tabs by Metaphis

Sun-Star 7-Blade Shredder Scissors

Acid-free, refillable adhesive tape from Tombow- for the gluing perfectionist (wow).

Kokuyo Systemic Special Cover Refillable Notebook

PlePle Choco Wrap Pencil Case

Lamy fountain pen, extra fine nib, aluminum body.

My favorite: Pen-Style Scissors.




Here are some photos of 
Jet Pens aficionados.


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After some meetings today I stopped by the library, Futo coffee in hand, and indulged in my favorite Architecture periodicals: Domus, Architectural Review and Harvard Design Magazine. An article on Surrealist Houses launched an expansive search on the Architecture of René Magritte; will share some of the findings here.

I've had Magritte (and collages) on my mind. Digital Manipulation on a photograph by Vijay Raghavendiran.

I am also thinking about watercolor these days: in both Freehand Drawing and Rendering and Delineation classes we are working with loose techniques. Here are some images that stopped me in my track during my quest.

Winter in Florence-La Pioggia- Watercolor and Ink. Professor George S. Loli, Dept. of Architecture, University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Starry Night over the Rhone. Vincent Van Gogh. 1888.

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A beginning of something. Acrylic and marker on canvas. July 2010


Here are some quotes that are inspiring me these days:

‚ÄúAnd now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.‚ÄĚ

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Le Petit Prince

From Becoming Minimalist { thankyou Andy}

“What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence.¬† The only consequence is what we do.”

John Ruskin

So Powerful. I believe in ‘As a (w)oman thinketh so is (s)he’, and in the power of intention, but sometimes us thinking types need a call to be spurred into action. This is it.¬† { thankyou¬† Student}


“Your treasure house is within; it contains all you’ll ever need”

Hui Hai, Ancient Chinese Sage

From Zen Seing, Zen Drawing { thankyou Frederick Franck}



Ps. I added something new to my previous Chairs post.

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Pilot Pen V5 (aka Pilot Precise Extra Fine) on office pad. August 3, 2010.

Drawn with Pilot Pen V5 (aka Pilot Precise Extra Fine) on office pad. August 3, 2010.


The Man with Many Pens

by Jonathan Wells



With one he wrote a number so beautiful

it lasted forever in the legends of numbers. With another


he described the martyrs’ feet as they marched

past the weeping stones and cypresses, watched


by their fathers. He used one as a silver wand to lift

a trout from its spawning bed to more fruitful waters


and set it back down, its mouth facing upstream.

He wrote Time has no other river but this one in us,


no other use but this turn in us from mountain lakes

of late desires to confusions passed through


with every gate open. Let’s not say he didn’t take us

with him in the long current of his letters, his calligraphy


and craft, moving from port to port, his hand stopping

near his heart, the hand that smudged and graced the page,


asking, asking, his fingers a beggar’s lucent black,

for the word that gave each of us away.



More poetry from the New Yorker


I confess: I am weak for love pens and other writing instruments.

I have had a fascination with pens (and office supplies) since I was 4, when I would help organize my mother’s supply center at work.¬† I was very scrupolous ūüôā¬† In college, buying pens at the Varsity Store on Campus, or better yet, at Mathison’s,¬† was therapy.¬† Above you see my sine qua non pen.

And, one more thing  for today: my blogsister Ghadah at PrettyGreenBullet gets an A.

Ghadah Alkandari. Isograph and Marker. Hand Exercise from 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' (Aug.2,2010)

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I hope everyone’s having a fabulous beginning of August.
I am really trying.

How are you doing, fabulous?

I plan to go to some movie under the stars, or at the park, or on a roof, like Cinema Paradiso. A good black and white movie, preferably a noir Hitchcock, would be the cat’s meow.

I am officially suffering from wanderlust.  If I could be in five places at once I would be home in Calabria (Southern Italy), in Cuba, Ibiza and Greece and of course right where I am, having a Summer of Art with my students. They really need to get this teleportation thing going, so I could just zip away for the weekend, or we could just do three days of plein air sketching in Florence!

Le Corbusier said that we need to see with new eyes. How true; in Architecture, drawing, and, most of all, in life.  Looking is not seeing. SO part of the renewal  is to give your eyes something different to contemplate (i.e. do something new!).  I pledge to pick up my local weekly and get out of my comfort zone (even my beloved neighborhood! I know, hard to believe). Yesterday, to start the month right, I trekked couple of hours to the beach (with my sketchbook, of course!)

Pacific Beach. August1,2010. Ink on paper.

To develop new eyes, and to stretch different parts of the brain, we have been working in class from “Drawing on The Right Side of the Brain.” One of¬†its famous exercises¬† is to draw an object¬†without looking at the paper, preferably without lifting your pen or pencil. I tried it out with my hand.

The fingerprint/pattern was inspired by a) this fascinating article on The NewYorker on fingerprints, art and forensic science and b) paying attention to things we don’t even see anymore, or take for granted. Here is our uniqueness. We are all snowflakes, and just as fragile.

Felt Tip on paper. August 2, 2010.

Draw your hand without looking at the paper, take a photo and send it to me (sketchbloom at gmail dot com) or linkback.

I am curious.

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Happy August!

Ever the optimist, here is the first post of the month. I’m giving a shot at posting daily (again), we’ll see how it goes.

Here is the happy Nablopomo August Badge. The theme of this month is ‘Green’.¬† For me, it will mean renewal more than sustainability (a sort of spa for the mind), but I might find some interesting green homes to feature. Of course green is the color of envy, but we shan’t talk about that ūüėČ Here are couple of badges for good measure.

So as promised, here is my surprising discovery in the environs of Newport Beach (Costa Mesa): The LAB Anti-Mall.

I loved it! Local public art, local businesses and public spaces.

The Gipsy Den, which I covered in a previous post (it’s updated with photos now, yay), lies therein.

Enjoy, and I hope you get the chance to visit.
By the way thank you for all the views (dear readers :)), I am striving to post more often and it’s great to know this thing I do is being followed and shared.

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Happy June!

I hope the long weekend was restful and re-newing for all. I was fortunate enough to enjoy the beautiful weather in San Diego, and explore the Torrey Pines coast and beaches, and hike a cliff (!) For someone like me , a city creature, who believes in the great indoors, this is no small feat. I love seeing the water, just wish I had a Vespa to do this more often.

Torrey Piney Cliff. La Jolla. Photograph, digital manipulation. June 31, 2020

Today I got some good, official news from my University, NewSchool of Architecture and Design: I have been appointed full-time lecturer. I am incredibly excited to continue teaching on a more permanent basis, and to progress in my academic career, to continue sharing and learning with my students. This summer I am slated to teach First Year Studio, a combination of advanced architectural drawing and visual communication techniques, along with Rendering and Delineation and [roll of drums] Freehand Drawing. Needless to say, incredible opportunities to continue drawing, rendering, watercolor and coffee paintings…all of which I will share here.¬† As some of you may know, there is still some paperwork to go through in regards to my visa, the support of everyone at my school has been incredible, but , like every good movie, there is suspense at the end. Keep sending good energy.

I want to start June with NaBloPoMo, which is short for ‘National Blog Posting Month’. This is a fabolous site for bloggers, with lots of resources and networking opportunities; it is also associated with BlogHer.¬† The official National Blog Posting Month¬† is November (and prizes are given!), but every month members can be part of mini-nablopomo…which means I will do my best to post art and writings every day this month.

This month’s theme is ‘NOW’…a great reminder to ‘take life in one day packages’ as I recently read in a quote.

NaBloPoMo also offers interesting writing prompts for this month, Monday to Friday. Today’s prompt is:

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Well, it may not surprise you that I used to gather my friends in the cortile of my house in Milano, a small band of four and five year-olds and set up storytelling classes…I was the ‘teacher’ of course:). I remember planning for each class and thinking of what story I would create for my ‘students’. We only met like four times (it is hard to keep a schedule when you are five and there are so many games and toys to play with).¬† I distinctly remember looking at books in elementary school and wanting to be a ‘researcher of legends’.

PS: This is my 100th post, a year and three months after I first started SketchBloom, and exactly seven months after its official launch. Here’s to many more!

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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

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


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'I'll Carry You, You'll Carry Me'. ArtWalk in San Diego, Little Italy. 2005

Daydream, delusion, limousine, eyelash

Oh baby with your pretty face

Drop a tear in my wineglass

Look at those big eyes

See what you mean to me

Sweet-cakes and milkshakes

I’m a delusion angel

I’m a fantasy parade

I want you to know what I think

Don’t want you to guess anymore

You have no idea where I came from

We have no idea where we’re going

Lodged in life

Like branches in a river

Flowing downstream

Caught in the current

I’ll carry you

You’ll carry me

That’s how it could be

Don’t you know me?

Don’t you know me by now?

Street Poet from Before Sunrise


With San Diego , it is often all or nothing.

ArtWalk¬†took place this weekend in Little Italia and some lucky folks got to witness the Chihuly Exhibit at the¬†Salk Institute, which is San Diego’s strongest claim to architectural relevance..

Photos courtesy of Professor Joe Nicholson.

Here is The Sun lit up at night.

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UPDATE 06.04.2010: See no.5
1. You can build a cuff that becomes a coffee sleeve.
image via thedesignblog.org

image via thedesignblog.org

Made by Contexture from reclaimed architectural veneer offcuts….

can I just say W-o-W

2. You can make wooden rings and jewelry.

image via contexture

These here are bentwood rings,  wedge-shaped bands made with contrasting Benge and Maple layers. Also made with reclaimed architectural veneer offcuts glued cross grain for strength -from Contexture

image via coconut jewelry

Wood and Nautilus ring from Coco Loco Jewelry

Or you can have a beautiful parure of Koa Wood and Bone jewelry, shaped into plumerias, the flower of Hawai’i.

(I do have the three above-i with chord ties instead of clasps, which I think are more in harmony with the wood-…watercolor coming soon:))

3. You can take a hint from the Renassaince painters and make a painting made in wood.

Images from Renaissance: Brunelleschi to Michelangelo

Yyou can build a cuff that becomes a coffee sleeve.


4. You can use a barrel (!) and make furniture with it Рgive it up for local San Diego artists:)  Check out barrellymadeit.com, their store is located in my very own neighborhood of Hillcrest, Uptown San D.

The concept behind barellymadeit.com

all images via barellymadeit.com

4. You can create a unique Vespa!

Made in Portugal. Click on the image for the site of the artist + more photos.

Do you know of other interesting use of wood in architecture, art, furniture and industrial design?

Do share!  I will keep updating this post.

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Third Street Homes. Final. Watercolor, graphite, Prismacolor pencils. March 16, 2010


I finished my Third Street Homes ‘portraits’¬† (thankyou
Planetary Folklore for the great quote).

Since the last iteration I refined ground and sky, went over the watercolor with Prismacolor pencils to give the homes some texture, bumped up the contrast, pushed the darks a bit and, finally, worked on the vegetation and added the framing branches. You can see the first and second step here. C’est fini.

Speaking of buildings, here is an artist who goes around the world fixing crumbling buildings with Legos. (!)

The topic of these first three Artuesdays has been watercolor, and I would like to share the work of some very talented folks who are inspiring me for future paintings, in subject matter or technique:

Small Oil Paintings

Linda Halcomb

A Painting Today

Art and Design Studios

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