Sky Paintings 11: Sky Hue

Sky Paintings 11: Sky Hue

A bit of color to usher in the New Year.  May the hues of 2015 be glorious, delicate, and everything in-between.

I have included some of my favorites.  I hope they are yours too!

Cheers.

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Gehry Unfurled: A Picture Poem

Gehry Unfurled: A Picture Poem

web7Frank O. Gehry is one of our most famous living architects.  NOT to be confused with another famous  Frank of architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright.

web5Frank Gehry, and his Los Angeles-based firm Gehry Partners, LLP, designed LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall

web6The Disney Concert Hall unfurls across a downtown LA block like a giant sculpture.

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20130512_164134It is artfully situated down the street from MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles.

web3Moving around and through it’s voluptuous, curved exterior yields treasures.

web2The speckled stone of the lotus-like  sculpture is in stark contrast to the industrial sheen of the building’s stainless steel surfacing.

web1Incredible to look at, the surface created some issues with reflection, heat and glare, which were resolved, in essence, with a light sand.

web8This magical magnificence is here to experience and enjoy, by All.

Merci a Monsieur Gehry…making of LA, an astonishing play ground.

Meeting LA MOCA

Meeting  LA MOCA

A first-time visit to LAMOCA Grand Avenue yields treasure, magic, and happy surprises.  Who knew downtown could be so fun?

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Nancy Rubins, American sculptor and installation artist, is handily represented outside.

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A meditative room offering communion with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.

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One of my faves, a Louise Nevelson sculpture silhouetted before a Jackson Pollack painting.

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My fave man in black, silhouetted in front of meditative  Mark Rothkos.

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Currently shown: Urs Fischer…welcome to his/our (?) world.

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A show spread across the two downtown MOCA locations, and several galleries of MOCA Grand Avenue.

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Culture disintegrates in a fascinating and visceral way…and its skeletons are revealed.

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Beyond patina.

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He has caught something…we have all felt like that,

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and this.

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Let’s hope this isn’t the sum total of the current  zeitgeist.

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Here’s looking at you, kid.  Outside…playing with our perception of perception, perhaps.

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Time for some lemonade, at Lemonade MOCA.

Check it out!!!

You just…never know.

Something might speak to You…and you… might speak back.

Straight is the Gate: NOT!

Straight is the Gate: NOT!

The Venice Canals are a fantasy-land of visual whimsey.  Art and architecture, design and details, color, form, texture and landscaping intersect with the natural world of earth and water, mingling in a magical way.  Here, the lines between privacy and the public are both diffused and defined.  Visitors stroll past homes that buttress right up to the sidewalk, but often are shaded by trees, and hidden behind hedges, walls and gates, or a combination of all three.

Metal, wood, and foliage flow together  to create both art and utility.  We are are so caught up in observing the material mix, we forget to peer beyond the gate.  Mission accomplished.

Creative cutouts provide contrast to the wood and metal geometry below, and make of this gate a work of art, both two and three dimensional.

No-one is getting past this gate, unless the owner wants you to.  So arrested by its beauty, we forget how formidable it is. Flanked by bamboo, the strength of its materials, shape and detailing stops us in our tracks.

The simplicity of repeated squares which form a pattern is further softened by curving grasses, and enlivened by the use of stones on the ground in front.

A similar repeated shape creates a grid, reflecting the larger tile-like stones before it, creating a starker, and more stream-lined feeling.

What magnificent and magical gates have been in YOUR purview lately?

If you feel so inclined, please share about them with us here.

We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all traversing this thing we call Life, together.

Cheers!

Color Ground

Color Ground
The colors we clothe our buildings in, and the materials we use to build them can have a significant effect on how solid, safe, and grounded they appear.  And, I  might add, in addition to paint color, let’s not forget that the wood, brick, stone, concrete, metal and other natural and industrial materials we build with, have color too.  Add to this the by turns rapturous, earthy, luminous, bold, sublime, and subtle colors of nature, and you have a complex picture of the elements that go into making where we live, work and play picture perfect..or not.

In general, darker, richer, deeper, more saturated, brighter, warmer and more intense colors appear heavier, and thus may seem to “pull downward” towards the, in most cases, ground!  Placing them above a lighter, airier, softer, cooler,  paler, duller, less saturated colors may give the impression of pressing or pushing down upon something less substantial, creating a sense of pressure, ungroundedness, or even danger.  Who wants to feel like the heavier-looking second story might come crashing down through its weaker-looking support, or foundation?

The building above is grounded not only by its strong, dark burgundy red garage door, but also by the heavy foliage and hedge shrubbery which nearly obscures its foundation (the lower part of the structure upon which the rest of the building rests). The cream-colored concrete, red roof tile and strongly patterned brick provide contrast and a  variety of color and materials, but, particularly because of the grounding effect of the dark green, highly textural foliage, do not seem too heavy for the foundation to bear.

The UMG (Universal Music Group) office building in Santa Monica, CA is grounded by a strong, deep, earthy brick-red, which seems to support the pale pink upper above, though the entire structure is punctuated by a multitude of windows. Palms, parkway and other landscaping in front also support this grounded effect.

A similar outcome is achieved by juxtaposing a more saturated hue of reddish pink stucco foundation with the softer and paler ocher-colored wood siding above.  Lush vegetation sporting luxuriant red and pink flowers trailing over a natural wood fence add to its heavier, grounding effect

These interior gymnasium walls are grounded by the deep blue protective covering at their base. Given the wild shapes and over-sized   lines, shapes and patterns used in the room’s design, the consistency and “reliability” of the blue may also serve to keep young athletes players focused and grounded as they play.

Here is the outside of the same building, swathed in corrugated stripes.   Notice that the stripe closest to the ground is darker blue, and the one at the top, lighter.

This fun and fascinating building combines all manner of materials, from wood siding, to brick, to concrete,

and even verdigris decorative details above the door. The mass of flowering vegetation in front,  while nearly obscuring parts of the facade,  add to the fancy of the place, while connecting it to the earth, the  ground.  In moody weather, the mix of weathered materials and enveloping foliage may lend an air of mystery and perhaps even magic to the place.

Here, an artist’s self-styled, whimsical touch creates grounding through the application of  bright color, repeated shapes, and sense of a garden planted  at the base of the house. The playful, optimistic feeling  is further enhanced by the use of complementary colors  yellow and purple.

The largest sphere in this extraordinary mural seems to be sitting right on the sidewalk!  It could be coming right out at us, the viewer, but at least the building doesn’t look like it is about to leave the ground!  The tiled trompe l’oeil technique is used to great visual and grounding, effect here.

When we walk past this extraordinary building in LA’s Venice Canal District, our eye is drawn past the foliage, across the manicured back yard, and over the amazing sunken pool under the blue-framed overhang, through the space between the orange posts, to the electric apple green accent wall behind them. Brighter, more vibrant, and more saturated than the natural greens , and applied blue and orange surrounding it, this wall looks  strong enough to carry this unusual structure’s  visual weight.

This wild building on Wilshire in Santa Monica is one of my favorites.  An eclectic mix of materials, hues and shapes, it seems break all the “rules”, yet somehow, it works!  This could be due to a counteracting balancing effect of the mix of elements. The undulating curve of the upper wood facade/detail is counterbalanced by the strong concrete support/column next to it, even though the wood is a strong color, and an even stronger visual element. Our eye is drawn upward from the glass, and warm blue and green (reflecting sea, sky and grass?) colors behind it to that grand sweep of wood,

which is also supported by the metal detail/support that follows its shape and movement below.  The whole building feels like a

huge kinetic wave, appropriate architecture for a beach town on the edge of the Pacific. The foliage, and its concrete base below also add grounding.  Amazing!  Fidelity, you got it going on, architecturally!

The “Bagel Nosh”  in Santa Monica, hosts a marvelous display of mouth-watering treats. Where does our eye go right to here?  No, there isn’t a spotlight on the center of the case.  That’s just the natural color of these bright golden-yellow jalapeno-flavored bagels. The strong, rich, saturated color just grabs our attention, and holds it there…it’s up to you to decide whether the taste of these treats warrants their attention-grabbing status.

  We walk upon the ground,  perhaps that is why our  shoes are often brown and black…colors of the earth.  We usually want to feel grounded when we tread upon the earth, a firm foundation, a solid base.  But, maybe not all the time.  Perhaps sometimes we want to whirl, twirl, leap, float, and feel  “ten feet off the ground”.  Don’t we long to take risks, to take  flight, as much as we long to be safe, secure, and grounded?  When you want to feel fun, fantastical, floating, and fabulous, try on a glittery, glowing, or gossamer pair of footwear, and see if it helps your grounded spirit to soar!

What buildings, architecture, food or footwear have YOU experienced lately that feel grounded or the opposite?

If you feel so inclined, please share about them with us here.

We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all trying to ground ourselves  yet take flight within this thing called Life, together.

Stay grounded, but don’t be afraid to fly!

Sighting Santa Monica II: Pictogram

Siting Santa Monica II: Pictogram

Behold the visual poetry of a surprisingly mufti-faceted beach town…

First things first….bagels on Wilshire….

Mosaic mural juxtaposed with slatted building…packs the punch

Beach architecture…Santa Monica style…

Ahhh…do we have both the male and the female principal equally represented?

A different take on the design of the Hanukkah Menorah…

Curvilinear…indeed!

What sightings have YOU had lately?

If you feel so inclined, please share them with us here.

We love to hear from YOU.

Remember, we are all sighting this thing called Life, together.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO YOU FOR THE NEW YEAR!


Compliments of the House…and Sky

Compliments of the House…and Sky

L.A.’s beach towns offer an abundance of local, architectural, and natural color.  Recently, I have noticed a predominance of the complimentary pair, blue and orange.  In architecture, the urban landscape, and nature, this pair dances together with energy and grace, delighting our eye, and enlivening all of our senses.  Check out the images below,  for a visual feast that will may leave you full, yet ready for more!

Compliments of Venice’s Abbot Kinney District.

Compliments of the streets of Santa Monica!

Compliments of the  Canal District of Venice.

Compliments of Nature, Marina Del Rey.

What color compliments have YOU noticed lately in your environment?

If you feel so inclined, please share about  them with us here.

We love to hear from YOU.

Remember, we are all complimenting this thing called Life, together!

ENJOY!

LA Stories V: Navigating the Venice Canals 2

LA Stories V: Navigating the Venice Canals 2


Venice, like Los Angeles, like really most anyplace when you get up close…is a study in contrasts.  Seeming contradictions, unless you both look closely and widen your view. Even in the storied Venice Canal District, one sees the fascinating contrasts which give the place its unique texture and flavor, and perhaps aren’t such contrasts after all.

Architecture, Design, and Landscaping….

A cottage, its blue body and white trim punctuated with an energetic red door, nestled into trees and foliage,

and a stately stone and glass structure graced by palms.

Color…

Warm, vibrant, high contrast hues,

vis a vis earthtones, neutrals, black and white, and bricks….

And whether it be
warm and winsome sculpture,

hand-painted tiles,

or mosaic-ed columns,
The angels, are in the details!

Here’s to the beauty of contrasts, in all its forms.

What magical neighborhoods have YOU explored recently? What angels in the details have YOU discovered?

If You feel so inspired, please share about it with us here.

We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all comparing and contrasting our way through this Life, together.

Cheers!

LA Stories III: The Balm of Palm

LA STORIES III: The Balm of Palm
What says “Southern California” more succinctly than palm trees?  Yes…they also bespeak the tropics, surfing,  Miami Beach, and the essence of relaxation itself, , even paradise,  but when in LA, the Balm of Palm is King…er. Queen?

Here are some of my favorite recent “Palm Psalm” sitings in Santa Monica and Venice…so sit down with your favorite drink, tropical or otherwise, , relax, and listen to the palm leaves rustle….

Palm-lined boulevards are the norm in Santa Monica

Reflections of a palm darkly…in downtown Santa Monica

Follow the palm-lined road…

Biblical implications behind Yahoo Center, Santa Monica?

Headed down Colorado Boulevard to the Santa Monica Pier…looking left!

The leaning tower of palm…

The Washingtonia robusta palm trees line Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica

Abbot Kinney, I presume…Venice!

“Who you lookin’ at?”  Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica

The storied Venice Canals…

So, what are we to make of the abundance of LA palms?

Well, according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “In historical times palms have been symbols for victory, peace, and fertility. Today, palms remain a popular symbol for the tropics and vacations”.  Hmm…from victory,  peace and fertility, to the tropics and vacations…go figure.  Sounds like So-Cal to me!

What do Palm Trees mean to YOU? Have You relaxed under any lately?

If You so choose, please share about it with us here.  We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all relaxing into this thing called Life, together.