And I like the birds too. This one was hanging out behind the shirmp truck.
Of course, north shore is known for the surfing. High surf in the winter brings surfers around the world to the Pipeline. The rest of the year the beaches are pretty calm and there are many beautiful coves in which to snorkel and swim. But what I like is the simplicity of this area, just 45 minutes from Honolulu. "Keep the country, country" say signs in the yards. "No more resorts" says another sign. Turtle Bay is the only resort on this end of the island. Mostly, it is like old Hawaii. Beautiful mountains, fields, swaying palm trees and old homes on the Hawaiian homeland. And shrimp trucks. I particularly like spicy garlic shrimp.
And I like the birds too. This one was hanging out behind the shirmp truck.
Photos courtesy of Michael A. Martin
Contemporary Pueblo people from Hopi, Zuni, and Rio Grande Pueblos are descendants of Ancestral Pueblo people of Mesa Verde. About AD 500 some of the people living in the Four Corners region decided to move onto the Mesa Verde. For over 700 years these people and their descendants lived and flourished here, eventually building elaborate stone communities in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon wall. In the late 1200s in the span of a generation or two, they left their homes and moved away. If you haven't visited, I highly recommend this amazing place. And Arches speaks for itself, second only to Zion National Park in grandeur.
As I traveled the world, taking photos was my joy. I put this montage together to emphasize how diverse we all are. And yet, as we go about our daily activities we are also all alike in many ways.
Whale Sanctuary of San Ignacio Lagoon is one of the only lagoons where the gray whale still comes to breed and give birth. El Vizcaino desert encompasses 248 miles of wetlands, including inter-tidal mud flats, salt flats, sandy beaches, and mangroves that sidle up to the incredibly blue sea. La Freidera camp, where we stayed, used to be a whaling camp where oil was extracted after slaughter. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, protecting the whales. A 10 mile dirt road leads into the lagoon area. It is a 6 hour drive from Loreto, where we also spent three nights, including a boat trip on the Sea of Cortez.
LOOSENING UP with Robert Burridge
Nude models posed in pretzel contortions, challenging 16 of us each morning. Arms flailed, charcoal in hand, scratching 5, 10 and 20 minute poses onto large pieces of paper. February, 2014, I drove from Santa Rosa to Carpenteria, just past Santa Barbara, to attend Abstract
Figures and Collage, a 3 day Robert Burridge art workshop. It took 2 days of driving and an overnight in Paso Robles to get there.
The first two mornings, figure drawing warmed us up for painting in the afternoons. A zoftig young woman stood or sat on a draped chair, inventing positions I had never seen, much less drawn. The hardest were limbs tightly wound, arms or hands clasped, or heads bent at strange angles. And only 5 minutes to capture the correct curve of the hip or butt, the breast or arm. Five minutes or twenty, I am not sure my drawing was that much better.
Each morning and after lunch Bob would wax eloquent about his talent, his shows and awards, painting tips and tricks as well as suggestions for materials at the best prices. We his audience, known as Bobettes, (he even gave us a button to wear), hung on his every word, taking notes on our sketch pads.
We met at the Carpinteria Woman’s Club, a former church. It had one large room with a stage, two bathrooms, and a foyer. Eight foot tables were lined up, four to a side, and each of use was assigned one half table. I had two bins and a pot full of materials, a paint box and brushes, plastic for the table, and a garbage bag to cover my chair. My table mate was left handed, I right handed. I felt cramped, confused and bit out of sorts at first. After standing over the table to draw and paint all day, I was exhausted by 4 pm when we broke up. I walked back to my hotel, barely staying a straight line.
The next morning I arrived refreshed, and charcoal figure drawings commenced again in the morning. Afternoons, the model continued posing as we painted instead of drawing. Some of my paintings looked very Picassoesque, unintended unfortunately. The third day was collage and painting, anything we wanted. Above are some paintings I made there, and the week after I returned, when I painted with a fury, a whole new door of color and form open to my psyche.
AIR WAVES 2013, Reyjavic, Iceland
Have you ever eaten sheep’s face jelly, rye bread ice cream or fermented shark? These are some of the authentic local foods available in Reykjavic,
Iceland. I didn’t try them, although now I wish I had.
Because I love to travel, and I need ways to induce my husband out of the music studio, I convinced him to go to Iceland in October 2013, to hear musicians from around the world perform in venues throughout Reykjavik. Many were from Iceland, some from United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, and USA. A comprehensive 5 day schedule listed hourly performances from 200 different musical groups. Venues were in dress shops, shoe stores, bars, record stores, and in buildings designed for performances of all kinds.
There are advantages and disadvantages being married to a musician. My life is filled with strumming guitars, snatches of lyrics, the click of a keyboard, magazines selling mysterious musical gadgets, and occasional gigs in nightclubs. However, the obsession with how notes can be intertwined differently, how reverb and volume can be manipulated, and rarely hearing a song from beginning to end is annoying and sometimes boring. But I enjoyed the wide variety of music all around Reykjavik.
The Harpa Media Center was the primary venue for Air Waves 2013. Harpa is
a multi story glass building on the water, lit up at night with multi colored
windows. Walkways to it are lit like runways, arching over flowing water. A huge ice floe is poised in one pool, its reflection in the water doubling its glowing white beauty. As our hotel was close to the Lucky Record Store we made this our primary venue, getting there early to get a seat on one of two small couches. A free expresso machine made it feel like home. We heard Gaelic strummers, and violently angry Icelanders screaming epithets and giving the audience the finger over their electric guitars, and electronic music where no one was playing any instrument or singing, just turning knobs and bouncing to the beat.
I had previously read a book Boomerang, travels in the new third world
by Michael Lewis, who discussed the collapse of the Icelandic economy in 2008, after rampant speculation during the financial bubbles occurring all over the world. Previous income in Iceland came from cod fishing, and later aluminum smelting. Iceland, apparently, has recovered well from this collapse, and now appears thriving on tourism. Buses full of visitors travel to the hot springs known as the Blue Lagoon, the Northern Lights tour, and the Golden Circle tour of geysers, Guillfoss waterfall, and the geothermal plant high in the snow covered
mountain. Iceland is heated by, and all its electricity comes from, underground thermal pool, heated by volcanic magma. They make great use of their natural resources. Thirty degrees was common most of time we were there, and I wore a fur lined trapper hat, boots, and four layers of clothes. But inside a room or building it was toasty warm, and then most layers were pealed off and lugged around.
The Icelandic women were beautiful, long shiny blond or black hair, high cheekbones, good figures, often pushing a baby carriage or steering around a toddler. The women without children walked in groups together, rarely in a couple. The men were unshaven, light hair, eyelashes and eyebrows, often wearing a long piece of hair in a top knot, the rest short. They also herded together in groups, many drinking long into the night. I heard that their
Parliament had several factions, but one was all women, the rest men. Men and women did not seem to relish displays of affection, or spending a great deal of time together.
As a whole, Icelandic people did not appear emotionally effusive. They rarely
smile or express effusive emotion, but their kinship for each other is evident
in warm greetings and a kiss on the cheek. With only 300,000 people on the island, it is said they are all related and know each other. There are only limited numbers of first and last names, but everyone knows who is who. Most men’s
last names end in “son” and women’s in “dottir,” i.e. Martinson or Martinsdottir.
I relished the beauty of the lava fields, covered in a yellow-green lichen, that go on for miles, surrounded by volcanic cones, and snow covered mountains. Most of the citizens live in Reykyavik, with a few towns here and there, by the very blue sea, surrounded by lava fields. Minimal to no trees are visible, having been burned by volcanoes, stripped by the Vikings for building, or with difficulty thriving in freezing cold wind and temperatures. Northern Lights come late and are elusive.
The white twirling wisps, shape shifting quickly over the city were all we saw on a 5 hour hunt for them. Photographs, however, revealed a much richer green color then visible to the naked eye. The blue lagoon is a vast geothermal pool in the middle of the lava fields, steam rising from it as many folks from all over the world crab walked to keep water at neck level, smearing mud on their faces to cleanse the pores.
We left there with clean pores and soothed muscles. We greatly enjoyed
this country on the crossroads between Europe, Canada and the USA.
Showing at a gallery in San Francisco was a goal of mine. There were no openings at the MOMA or de Young, so here I am at 43rd and 3rd, near DogPatch in a small gallery. It was fun to be shown there. Paolo was a great guy and there will be more to come. My works are the unframed ones. This picture illustrates well my frustration with frames. Breaking glass, glare, smudges, specks, chipped frames and on and on. But works on canvas are OUT THERE. No hiding, boldness unleashed. If I ever try to frame something again, slap my hand, OK?
But I love to work wet on a high quality water color paper. How to show it without a frame. Wall hangings are one great way. More fragile but so free of all fetters.
Reception for ART AT THE SOURCE MAY 16, 2013 at Sebastopol Center for Arts. Preview art by 160 west county artists. That's one artist for every 10 people. I think we are preaching to the choir!!
Jamaica is a beautiful island, but the disparity between rich and poor is so great. People with money (usually white) live in enclaves with gates and walls. They do business in their own arenas. The jamaicans live in apparent poverty. Bob Marley, who died at 36 of melanoma that started on his toe, was half white (german) and contracted "the white man's disease." His music revolutionized the island and its people, and ultimately the world.
Life is a blank canvas on which we paint our impressions, experiences, wisdom, compassion, and laughter.