Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two Degrees of Separation

It is Saturday here...and was a lovely sunny and warm late summer day. I did various weekend chores and errands. And then painted !

I worked on the first of the first set of three 2-degrees-of-separation paintings I will do. I showed those compositions, which were shown in January 16th's post called Creating New Compositions:

These paintings compositions taken from a piece of one of the paintings I have created...which themselves were paintings of a still life. So these new ones are two degrees separated from the original subject, or that is how i think it works !

The first one I did of this set was the sunflowers inspired one. Here is the painting it is taken from.

I have a bit of fine tuning to do on this new composition tomorrow. Then I need to start on another of the series, or if I am very productive, perhaps I can get both of the remainder of this first set underway !

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sunday in Santiago

It was Sunday in Santiago. I was walking off a bad case of jetlag after another delayed flight the previous day turned into night, late night...and got me to my hotel so late I did not get my hoped for "catch up" rest. But how could I sleep away the day ? I missed breakfast due to the late arrival, so I got a strong cafe instead and planned a little outing to go out and get a bit of sunshine and fresh air. At the end of summer on a brilliantly sunny and hot day, the city was not really very busy. People were away on one of the last weekends of summer.

I took the Metro subway train to the centre of the city and into an area I hadn't been before...and had a nice long walk, along some rather quiet side streets. It was definitely feeling like a sleepy Sunday.

After a quiet solitary walk, I began to see people carrying bags of produce. And by and by, I came across a street market, which ran along a street perpendicular to where I had been walking. The market covered about 8 or more blocks of the street. It was a lively surprise on a quiet day.

Many of the market dealers had shaded awnings of black and white cabana stripes over their stalls and also used chalk board style signs for their produce or wares prices. One announced lemons for sale as "juicies". The prices looked not too bad. I love looking at the produce, it was stunning and vibrant. The greens, oranges, and reds are just outstanding. I snapped photos as I walked along the market, up one side then down along the other.

At one very crowded area of this market, I saw this character, a street musician who was singing into a microphone connected to an amp, with his sign thanking his street audience for appreciating his work ! I told him I did, put some coins into his cup...and asked if I could take his snap (he said yes !).

At the end of the market, I found the street sign--Esperanza. That's Hope Street, for you who are not spanish speakers

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Summer Afternoons

I have had a long week, working and also recovering from a cold I got when in South America. Took more out of me than I had thought...and blog posts slowed to a halt because of it ! But happy to be back on deck, finally feeling better !

To wrap up South America summer time, check out the ultimate summer refreshing drink. Cold Agua de Coco, aka Coconut Water (for those of you unfamiliar, this is not the same as coconut milk !). This is the real thing, not bottled, no additives or extra ingredients...100% natural. Green coconuts are chilled in a big cooler and when you buy one the guy whacks off the top with a couple swift blows from a sharp knife. You get a straw to put in the hole and then sip the lovely coconut water.

I recall drinking this when I lived in Brazil and it was a lovely thing to enjoy again. A great choice in the hot summery tropics. Cool and refreshing. Not overly sweet (it actually has a bit of a salty flavor), with a texture just slightly thicker than regular water.

More and painting posts coming soon. I am reading some books on principles of color and painting light and shadows. But for now, I head out to enjoy the rest of the Sunday summer's afternoon. Leaving you with a photo of my favorite timber birdcage, and a message to an imaginary bird who has flown off on a little journey, searching for something special (nice trees ? companion bird ? fab nesting materials ?....???). A message also to share with everyone still enjoying late summer vacation, or maybe dreaming of a warmer season to come.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Back To Summer

After spending two weeks in the chilled Northern Hemisphere seeing sunshine not many of those days (maybe only one !), I was relieved to return to summer. After having to spend an extra day in Washington DC, when airport cancelled flights due to snow, I got to travel and made it to Brasil.

It was my first trip back there in over 30 years, so very exciting for me to see it while meeting new colleagues and friends in my company's offices there. First I was in Sao Paulo and worked a lot while there. Then off to Rio de Janeiro for a few days work.
It was sunny and very hot, 41 C the Friday I ended my workweek. I had spent the week getting the pathways of my mind back working smoothly with speaking portuguese, which I was pleased to use all week long, and even for a fair few of my business meetings.

Here are just a few snaps of some sights, top photo shows a view across street from my hotel, which faced Copacabana Beach. Then on right, a scene from Ipanema Beach, with lots of people enjoying sunshine and the ocean and some shade under bright beach umbrellas. And left, a shot of the famous patterned mosaic sidewalks.

Next post I will wrap up my stop in Brasil with a few scenes from my last day there, a rare outing on last Saturday for this trip, that had me working or in transit nearly every weekend the past month.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Year of Tiger

Hi There...just got back after lots of travel and heaps of work. Did not have much time to keep up with anything else really. But in order to catch up I will do a few travel themed posts. First, China.

I was in Beijing, in what definitely felt like the dead of winter. Their coldest in some 45-50 years. It was cold, but after dark is when it felt bitterly cold ! I was lucky to escape heavy snows they have had there this season, though it did snow a bit the day I left. But did get out for a bit on Sunday with a friend and saw a bit of Beijing. Here is a scene from a lake called Hou Hai. It is now frozen solid and there were hundreds of people skating and in chair sleds sledding on the ice. And here you see some junks that are at a marina, well, they are frozen in place at the moment. I loved the colored flags there, makes a nice composition.

Another interesting and colorful composition was this pair of Beijing Police bicycles in an old part of the city.

And I did a bit of shopping for some chinese new year cards and decorations, which was fun to do. This restaurant has lovely cut paper decorations on the windows in very cheerful and lucky bright red.

Gong Xi Fa Cai
Happy Lunar New Year. Hoping Year of Tiger is a very good one for you !

Next post will go to another destination.