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Encinitas, January 2017.


Mission Beach, San Diego, January 2017



Beautiful Thinking

By Angie Estes

Each morning, before the sun rises
over the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer
on the Côte d’Azur, cruise ships drop anchor

so that motor launches from shore
can nurse alongside. All afternoon we studied
les structures où nous sommes l’objet, structures

in which we are the object—le soleil
me dérange, le Côte d’Azur nous manque—
while the pompiers angled their Bombardiers

down to the sea, skimming its surface
like pelicans and rising, filled
with water to drop on inland, inaccessible

wildfires. Once, a swimmer was found face down
in a tree like the unfledged robin I saw
flung to the ground, rowing

its pink shoulders as if in the middle
of the butterfly stroke, rising a moment
above water. Oiseau is the shortest word

in French to use all five vowels: “the soul
and tie of every word,” which Dante named
auieo. All through December, a ladybug circles

high around the kitchen walls looking for
spring, the way we search for a word that will hold
all vows and avowals: eunoia, Greek

for “beautiful thinking,” because the world’s
a magic slate, sleight of hand—now
you see it, now you don’t—not exactly

a slight, although in Elizabethan English, “nothing”
was pronounced “noting.” In the Bodleian Library
at Oxford, letters of the alphabet hang

from the ceiling like the teats
of the wolf that suckled Romulus
and Remus, but their alibi

keeps changing, slate gray like the sea’s
massage: You were more in me than I was
in me. . . . You remained within while I

went outside. Hard to say
whether it was Augustine
speaking to God or my mother

talking to me. Gulls ink the sky
with view, while waves throw themselves
on the mercy of the shore.

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 Little brothers and sisters: 

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”

Joseph Campbell

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Still from the film 'Vincere', 2009.

Still from the film ‘Vincere’, 2009.

 

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why

(Sonnet XLIII)


Edna St. Vincent Millay, 18921950

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.



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Thank you mamma for letting me draw on the walls with permanent markers, for drawing our profiles in the moonlight, for the watermelon eaten with spoons on a beach still asleep, for all the walks,  for the picnics in lawns amongst the highways, where you would bring my net, so I could catch butterflies.

I’m still catching butterflies.
I love you.

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Boy on the beach at sunset. Montego Bay, Jamaica, December 2013.

Boy on the beach at sunset. Montego Bay, Jamaica, December 2013.

Sunset. Montego Bay, Jamaica, December 2013.

 Montego Bay, Jamaica, December 2013.

 

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Making Bracelets [Nights at Bassam's]. Digitally manipulated photographs. December 2013.

Making Bracelets [Nights at Bassam’s]. Digitally manipulated photographs. December 2013.


“We all need someone to look at us.  We can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under.
The first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public.  The second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes.  They are the tireless hosts of cocktail parties and dinners.  They are happier than the people in the first category, who, when they lose their public, have the feeling that the lights have gone out in the room of their lives.  This happens to nearly all of them sooner or later.  People in the second category, on the other hand, can always come up with the eyes they need.  Then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love.  Their situation is as dangerous as the situation of people in the first category.  One day the eyes of their beloved will close, and the room will go dark.  And finally there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present.  They are the dreamers.”

Milan Kundera


-the definition of unconditional-


daydreamer
stargazer
we make an unlikely couple
– we sure do –

 

i’ve been in my head
dangerously close to the sun
i don’t have icarus’ wax wings –
mine are made of foil
they will not melt, but burn.

 

turn your journals into songs,
irresponsible happinesses,
stringing beads and giddy smiles…
i always, still, get lost in the immense, dark pools of your eyes
drawn to, swim in, drown.
undeniable whirlpools, deep waters: as far as i am concerned, the whole building tilts towards them.  i can’t escape the pull.
their whites, though, is like the white of clouds
i could stare at them, and calm myself,
like one does with cumuli and strata, cirri.

 

i’ve been making a mixtape –

 

each song was bought and paid for in heart pieces.

 

i have traveled
through winters in fargo,
my freshman years,
nights in Florence,
i have opened lost love letters in california.
for you, it’s always for you.
and if i’m wasting my love
if you are stealing it
I’m a more than willing victim
fake-fainting in the arms of the gentleman thief.
your handling always extracts poetry from me,
you are an expert player – and I am pliant.

 

we don’t live in paris or rome, i know, but i swear on our stolen nights i was walking by the river and looking at the stars —
we are not on park boulevard: we are in heaven.

 

perhaps it was just need that brought us together
we wanted fire
and it was provided.
I am convinced we are each others’ figments of the imagination.
because nothing is ever real when we are together: it’s vivid, surreal pura vida, and exists in air chambers.
or, perhaps what i have with you is reality, only feeling, only present, only now –
the rest is a filler.
time is relative under the bell, we are forever kissing – every action continues in perpetuity.
months go by, but i just held you.
the silence is absolute, and you can’t hear my screams.  I know better now.

 

i wake up with sentences fully formed,
i have not left your eyes or your chest where I slept.
where you let me sleep for the first time.
i am still there.
i am letting the days go by
as one gazes, mesmerized, at colorful and bland socks
tumbling in the dryer.

 

this is what i really want to do,
tell you that i replay your words in my mind,
that i am happy you feel my eyes on your
[caressing] eyes.

 

that you kissed me with lips of pillows and petals
and that i slept in them.
that your skin is made of the most exquisite silk
and that each kiss i gave you was my blessing.

 

i wanted to use our bodies as instruments
make love, no, a symphony.
the words that part us will never come from my lips
or my fingers.
we both know that i am unable.

 

there is an overlap between
freedom and loneliness.
i’m perhaps utterly lost,
but finally at peace.

 

i want you to know,
i would never take a single touch or word
for granted. or your soulheartbody.
the night dissolved in your arms
faded
devotion made touch, flesh, verb, breath-
you are the definition of unconditional.

 

more paper trails for me to burn on,
Love is not warm milk.
i want to
adorn you in precious metals and words
last night’s embers are still glowing.

 

when i die, i will be made into fireworks.





San Diego, December 16, 2013

………


We want what we want.
We love what we love.

From ‘ Beautiful Ruins.’


songlist:

playlist3web


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The Schism Series

The Schism Series I- Digital Manipulation. October 6, 2013.

The Schism Series II- Digital Manipulation. October 6, 2013.

The Schism Series II- Digital Manipulation. October 6, 2013.

The Schism Series III- Digital Manipulation. October 6, 2013.

The Schism Series III- Digital Manipulation. October 6, 2013.

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‘Habana is very much like a rose,’ said Fico Fellove in the movie The Lost City,

‘it has petals and it has thorns…so it depends on how you grab it.

But in the end it always grabs you.’


“One of the most beautiful cities in the world. You see it with your heart.”

Enrique Nunez Del Valle, Paladar Owner

Habana’s real essence is so difficult to pin down. Plenty of writers have had a try, though; Cuban intellectual Alejo Carpentier nicknamed Habana the ‘city of columns,’ Federico Llorca declared that he had spent the best days of his life there and Graham Greene concluded that Habana was a city where ‘anything was possible.’

ARCHITECTURE

Habana is, without doubt, one of the most attractive and architecturally diverse cities in the world. Shaped by a colorful colonial history  and embellished by myriad foreign influences from as far afield as Italy and Morocco, the Cuban capital gracefully combines Mudéjar, baroque, neoclassical, art nouveau, art deco and modernist architectural styles into a visually striking whole.

But it’s not all sweeping vistas and tree-lined boulevards. Habana doesn’t have the architectural uniformity of Paris or the instant knock-out appeal of Rome. Indeed, two decades of economic austerity has meant many of the city’s finest buildings have been left to festering an advanced state of dilapidation. Furthermore, attempting to classify Habana’s houses,palaces, churches and forts as a single architectural entity is extremely difficult.

Cuban building – rather like its music – is unusually diverse. Blending Spanish colonial with French belle epoque, and Italian Renaissance with Gaudi-esque art nouveau, the over-riding picture is often one of eclecticism run wild.

Brendan Sainsbury


















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Click to see my architectural shoots over at ArchistDesign | Studio. All projects by Architectural Concepts in San Diego, CA.


Apparently this is my year. The year of the Water Dragon.
I am happy to say, I am finally completing my architecture website.

This other digital studio has been on the back burner for about a year , but it looks like 2012 is the antithesis of  procrastination.

A year that quickens…like a strong sun that vanquishes the fog.

I have added some photography work for my friend and mentor Margit Whitlock at Architectural Concepts. Photographing these well-executed design projects was a joy.

Still few portfolio items to add to the site (and three new projects on the boards!)
Will keep posting updates as they happen, and hope to finish in few weeks.


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“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?” 

Vincent van Gogh




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San Diego, November 25, 2011. Third Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.

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San Diego, November 25, 2011. Third Avenue bridge and context (canyon).

Bridge, De-constructed.

” In recent years , the modern understanding of social responsibility as functional program has been superseded by a concern for context. But contextualism has been used as an excuse for mediocrity, for a dumb servility within the familiar. Since deconstructivist architecture seeks the unfamiliar within the familiar, it displaces the context rather than acquiesce to it. What makes it disturbing is the way deconstructivist architecture finds the unfamiliar already hidden within the familiar context. By its intervention, elements of the context become defamiliarized. In one project, towers are turned over on their sides, while in others, bridges are tilted up to become towers.”

Mark Wigley

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October 2011

Strangers

by Huda Ablan

 

1.

No one belongs to the path

except a pocket

stuffed with the leaves of the night.

It keeps steps in stock

from a shop at the crossroads of the will,

patched with the skin of an old dream.

When yawning,

it invites them to a dance

with few feet and much madness.

When hungry,

it devours their warm, ripe whispers.

When thirsty,

it drinks their cries washed with holy water.

When lonely,

it forsakes its lenght and shrinks

to a remote corner of the heart

leafing through pictures of those

who have passed away

ensnaring with their song…

It will cast glances,

and tremble with the silence.



2.

No one belongs to the rose

except its melting

in the hand of a sad lover

who plucks it from slumber

every morning

and plants it in the vase of a tear

overflowing with pain.

He teaches how love sings

and how to breathe the secret

hiding behind the eyes

so it may reveal itself

without words.



3.

No one belongs to the heart.

Immersed in opening its chambers–

Shut tight with red forgetfulness–

It stirs the beats of a love

over which a curtain has been drawn

for a thousand nights,

and shakes a cup of blood

freezing as it faces circulation.

It alone

stabs the rug of a wound

made ready for crying

and prays

facing death.



4.

There is no one in the house

is dozing cracks obscure

the rounded journey of a small sun.

In the enclosure of the spirit

its walls bend in the face

of blows from the winds.

Its warmth ages and shrinks

in the coldness of waiting.

With the eyes of the absent

it soaks up warm places that flow

at the very edge of the passage

and melts in the shudder

of an endless beckoning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     .

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Three Cups. Summer 2011.

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Image via deliglam.com. Click for more.

Scenes from Parapluies de Cherbourg

Thank you Dianna.

Here's to us (Paris is a state of mind) . October 2011.

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Ink on hand.book paper. Paris, 2011.

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It has been ten long days since my last post, ten days of travels, of letters written and not sent, of (re) search.

In the middle of it all, I experienced the ‘biggest blackout in the history of San Diego county’. Thursday, September 8th, 2011, power went off for millions of people in Southern California, Baja California and Arizona. No ATM’s , shuttered stores, nowhere to buy food or water in a world where, when the machines stop, the city stops. The blackout lasted for almost nine hours, from 3.30 Pm till just before Midnight, and it was all it took to plunge my two neighborhoods in an atmosphere that was at times apocalyptic, at others, surreal, magical, “european”. Beyond the novelty, even excitement, felt by some there were people trapped in high-rise elevators, in trolley cars over canyons, in mid-rise buildings without water. It was a time where everything stopped and a battery radio and candles (my only emergency preparedness) help whiled away the hours. It was a movie. And a dream.

Before I share what I have been working on in the past few days, here is my dispatch from the Blackout and some urban moments caught on camera.

PS: From http://www.nakedtranslations.com/en/2004/entre-chien-et-loup  nakedtranslations.com:

Entre chien et loup is a multi-layered expression. It is used to describe a specific time of day, just before night, when the light is so dim you can’t distinguish a dog from a wolf. However, it’s not all about levels of light. It also expresses that limit between the familiar, the comfortable versus the unknown and the dangerous (or between the domestic and the wild). It is an uncertain threshold between hope and fear.

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The night we saw the stars.

Full moon, venus, motherlight.

Flaws and flames

Not multiplied

It is so quiet

we can hear ourselves

If the end of the world comes

I want you to know

We are fine.

By Moon Light.

 

Read ”La Noche que Volvimos a Ser Gente”or “The Night We Became People Again” by José Luis González, a short story on the big blackout in New York City.

If you are left with a battery powered CD player when the world ends- and speak italian- you could do worse than listen to Caffe’ Letterario.

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Entry for ONE LIFE | An International Photography Competition.

I decided to participate ( characteristically last-minute) to ONE LIFE, an international photography competition, in the ‘City Imagery’ category.

Click here (or on the image above) to see the entry at a higher resolution and, if you like what you see, vote and share my photograph.

The prize is $10,000 or a trip around the world. Guess what I would pick.

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In Tea Veritas. New York City. June 2011.

Well, this is no good! August is almost here and once again balmy summer days flew by with traveling, urban escapades and some R&R…while the postings have been mighty sparse.

I have been a curious tourist in my own city and state, and, in between summer courses,  the roamings included a visit to Joshua Tree National Park, Much Ado Abouth Nothing, a tour of the Getty Villa in Malibu, an evening dreaming of Cuba and its Architecture and finally, a retro movie under the stars. There have also been some further experiments with jewelry design. And many caffe’ shakerato’s. And many of foreign movies.  And declutterings, of tangibles and intangibles. I have been busy.

I am back from my adventures for good now, just in time to be blindsided and crushed by Amy Winehouse’s death (more on this later).
I have some shots to share from my travels, the challenge now is not to turn this into a photography blog (after all it is called *sketch* bloom) so i will be back tomorrow with more sketches and plan to alternate photos with drawings and collages for the next few posts.

It’s good to be back, renewed and energized.  I hope this month was good to you too.

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City of Salt by Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. Image via amazon.

“Here is a splendid volume from the Terry Gillam school of fictional photography… The book comes in a sturdy slipcase and features complex landscapes, painstakingly created, and digitally peopled by actors playing out scenes which conjure up a mystical Middle Eastern civilisation. Enigmatic, but beautiful.”
AG Magazine

“This is a beautifully structured text with an imaginative use of words and photography. This wondrous book of tales is a complex work of art that will be read throughout our generation.”
Focus: Fine Art Photography Magazine

“City of Salt… creates and documents alternate realities in miniature, accompanied by narratives inspired by Sufi tales, Italo Calvino and more.”
Michelle Wildgen –Publishers Weekly

 

The City. Image via kahnselesnick.com. Click to enlarge.

Suspended! Image via kahnselesnick.com. Click to enlarge.

 

Two Streets. Image via kahnselesnick.com. Click to enlarge.

 

The Flyer. Image via kahnselesnick.com. Click to enlarge.

 
From Amazon:
 
Panoramic photographs of fantastical landscapes make a bizarre Baedeker to alternative realities in City of Salt, by Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. The second volume, after Scotlandfuturebog, in an intended trilogy of such otherworldly guides juxtaposes those scenes with similarly inspired texts: Sufi tales, the writings of fabulist Italo Calvino, and parables by the artists themselves. The strange deserts, marshes, sandy shores, villages, and fields are often traversed by wandering figures, frequently in peril or precariously alone. Kahn and Selesnick’s process combines sculptural and photographic media. The artists first construct the intricately detailed worlds in three-dimensional miniatures and dioramas, then digitally photograph the scene and populate it with characters in allegorical, though intriguingly puzzling, tableaux.
…………………………..
 
I ran into this gorgeous, oversized, substantial book few years ago while visiting UCSD’s excellent Architecture library. Words and images weave imaginary tales and create an escapist landscape. May days verge on the surreal, time is suspended, perhaps in a cruel, paradoxical loop. To travel through time, for once forward instead of backwards…to harness the days as though wild horses, bridle their energy. May seems to slip through my fingers, each time. I am lulled by the calm (before the storm? No, before more tense calm.)
Dreams and collages await. I find the only cure for restlessness is mindful awareness, in brilliant execution of each undertaking- as small as it is, as humble as it is. Ambition can paralyze you in May, when mid-year approaches and mental harvests take place. Each day we need to reconcile heaven and hell within us. Refusing to attemp the feat, or lack of acceptance of our opposite instincts,  is the only way the battle is lost. In numbness lies defeat.

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Photography and Digital Manipulation. March 6, 2011.

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Photograph- Digitally retouched. December 18, 2010

Photograph- Digitally retouched. December 18, 2010

This is a continuation of my experimenting with words from the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco.

Lastly, an irregular haiku:

How quickly

the lizard

loses its tail!

San Diego, December 16, 2010

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Bearing fruits

Acrylic on canvas. 2007

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10 AM Roy de Vries- Learn to paint with Windsor & Newton Oil Bar

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Roy was our first mentor, We started the day experimenting with oil bars, a mix between big oil pastels and oil paint. They allow for playfulness and immediate gratification, while lending themselves to interesting blending and the joy of an oil painting without all the cleanup and threatened muddyness.

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First experiment with oil bars. Can't wait to pair this up with a poem.

  

11 AM Valerie Henderson- Hands on Monoprint Workshop

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'Stretching' the ink onto the plexiglass.

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Removing the ink, working on negative space and texture with toothpicks and cutips.

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The result: the spent plexiglass, the image and its ghost. I love prints and textures. Ready to be a designer for Ikea now;)

  

12 PM Lisa Starace- Screenprinting Demo
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1 PM Marcy Gordon- Water Color.

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Learning new watercolor techniques: wetting selecting areas of the drawing, alternating petals in this case, allows the water to have 'boundaries' and results in more controlled bleeding and blending.

 3 PM San Diego Guild of Puppetry- Overhead Shadow Puppetry: Tips and Techniques.

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Shadow puppetry ...what a magical workshop. Here are my first movable 'puppets': a chicken and a worm/dragon. This was pure fun and I started thinking about shadow puppetry for architectural application (a city skyline to start a journey into form exploration).

The back of the puppets. Lots of work goes into making the moveable parts seamless and invisible.

 

4 PM Chris Warren- Laptop Musicianship.
5 PM Jennifer Bennet- Collaborative Linoleum Print.

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My first linoleum print since art school. Miss carving.

 

 8 PM Colette Plush- A Visual Interpretation of a Sentence.

My starting sentence.

We followed a pretty elaborate process in choosing various hardware and found objects from various mounds, according to the number of words, adjective , verbs, the color of our sentence...

The end product.

I attended these workshops two Sundays ago at SD Space for Art. It was incredible, a whole day of art, a sort of ‘intervention’ that every creative should undergo at least once a year.

I apologize for the delay in posting this, and for going a bit M.I.A.  Fall Semester has started at my school and while there is new energy and new purpose in the air — and I’m excited for the History of Architecture class– there just seemed to not be enough hours in the day lately.

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