Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Walks and Lunar Castaways.

   Here are a group of pictures from a couple of different summer walks. Summer walks in the evening are always pretty because the lighting. I like when the light stretches out shadows as the sun sets. And the time between light and complete sunset always last longer, so instead of dark there is a comforting dark blue glow well into the nine o' clock hour. One of the treats of living so far North is that at certain times in the summer it is still light out at ten pm! But I always dread the Winters when the sun starts to set at four.

Long Shadows

Quiet Streets.

Poor Crow Did Not Live Past Summer.
    When I took a picture of this crow, all his crow companions started a frenzy of loud crow caws. They swooped over my head and I could hear the mighty rustle of their black feathers. I took only one picture and politely moved along.

best thing I ever
  I found this on the ground during my walk. it says 'best thing i ever'. Best thing I ever... what? It is an incomplete thought that inspires curiosity because 'best' is not a word to use willy-nilly.

Pointing Past the Sky

The Street at Night is Empty

A Walk Past Over Grown Patches of Weeds.

   Last night I watched a really interesting Korean movie called "Castaway on the Moon." I watched it begrudgingly at my boyfriends insistence. My relationship with foreign movies is that I rarely want to watch them but when I do I am usually quiet happy that I did. This is because I normally like to work on art or craft projects while watching movies or TV. But foreign films command my full attention due to the subtitles. I was definitely glad that I watched 'Castaway on the Moon.' It was an odd and charming film (a favorite mixture of mine.) The movie is about a suicidal man and a reclusive woman (maybe suffering from agoraphobia) forging a strange relationship in very unusual circumstances. It reminded me a bit of one of my all time favorite movies, 'Harold and Maude.' In 'Harold and Maude', Harold benefits more from the relationship with Maude. He is the one who has detached him self from fully connecting with society and regains a certain amount of faith in humanity again through his connection with Maude. In 'Castaway on the Moon," both characters do not relate with society and have chosen to isolate themselves. They both help to redeem the world in each others eyes. Before watching the movie I only knew that it was a quirky love story. I don't want to give too much away in description of the movie because I appreciated the process of watching the movie and figuring out what it was about as I watched. But I definitely recommend it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fox Dreams

  I've recently finished a few more illustrations for my ongoing 'Miniature Story' project. Here is one of them.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stomp, Stomp, Stomp.

   When my friends were visiting from out of town, one of the places we went was Georgetown, which is a neighborhood I do not visit very often but when I do I always take tons of pictures.

    I learned something interesting recently, which is that elephants 'hear' through their feet. They do not actually have ears or hearing sensors on their feet, but they pick up vibrations through their feet and communicate this way. When an elephant in danger stomps his foot or toots his trunk, other distant elephants pick up the sounds through vibrations in the ground. This gives me a good idea for a sci-fi story about a race of humanoids on another planet that do not have vocal chords. Instead of speaking they have learned to communicate through stomping and feeling vibrations. So when they have conversations, they do various stomping dance moves that make different feeling vibrations and thus hold different meanings, similar to our words.
    Elephants amazing ability reminds me of another interesting animal fact. While watching "Life of Mammals" I learned that raccoons use their hands as almost their second eyes. Their hands are extremely sensitive and raccoons use around the same amount of their brain for the sense of touch that we do for sight. Scientists think that racoons can construct a picture in their head using touch.  Learning about the differences in the way animals use their senses to perceive the world is always interesting. If I could chose a super power I would want to be able to shape shift into an animal at will. Then I could see what it is like to have the ability to smell as well as a dog or see in the night like cats. Also, I would want to turn into a bird so I could fly and a fish so I could swim in the sea.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Animals and Obsidian

    Here are pictures of an owl, bird and a moth that are in my sketchbook. I used watercolor and cut out pieces of colored paper to make them. I have an entire stack of colored card paper and have been experimenting with different ways to use the paper in art and craft projects.

    I recently checked a book out from the library called "Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights" by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins. It is fun to skim through and is full of fancy topics such as trapeze, the pouf and carousels. One entry I thought was interesting was obsidian. Obsidian is black but when you hold pieces of it up to the light, it becomes translucent and you can see light shining through it. This is because it is not actually a stone but pieces of natural volcanic glass. Magical properties are attributed to obsidian and Aztecs believed that looking into slabs of obsidian could reveal the future. An English scholar from the Elizabethan age named Dr. John Dee was also fascinated by the seemingly mystical qualities of obsidian. He had an obsidian mirror which he used as his personal diving stone. It was a much coveted mirror and Dee was offered vast sums for his mirror by five emperors. But Dee rejected all offers preferring to keep his stone. Twice the honorable Queen Elizabeth visited Dee and both times he entertained her with his delightful and mysterious obsidian mirror. But Dee truly believed in the power of the mirror. He searched for specters and prophecies lurking in the black mirror but could not find them. He eventually met a swindler named Edward Kelley who said that he could decipher the prophecies in the mirror. Even though the foundation of their relationship was based on deceit, they became great friends. They were even involved in wife swapping after Kelley claimed the obsidian mirror suggested it.
    I like rocks and other treasures of the natural world such as obsidian. My grandma use to live in Arizona and she would sometimes bring me bits of obsidian when she visited me. She called them 'Apache Tears' and told me the story behind the name. The story is now foggy in my mind, but here is the basic gist of it according to my memory. Once there were two young Apache lovers. Their parents did not approve of their love and said they could not be together. Overcome with such grief, the young man jumped off a cliff because if he could not be with his love, he did not see the point of existing at all. The young woman saw what her love did and ran to the top of the cliff. She looked down and saw his body and began to sob. When her tears hit the bottom of the cliff, they turned to Apache Tears.
    I tried to find this story on the internet, but all I could find was a similiar story about a tribe of Apache warriors that fought bravely but were slain. The women were overcome with grief and sorrow and cried. Their tears turned to Apache Tears (Apache Tear Story found Here). I am wondering if my grandma made up the story about the two lovers or if somehow the story got confused in my mind. The Apache Tear story I remember is a bit reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Henrietta Hopes the Sea Monster Will Learn the Error of His Ship Meddling Ways

     Henrietta curses the day she fell in love with a sailor, but the heart knows no logic. While her sailor explores the dangerous seas, Henrietta stays on the sandy shores. But the seas near her home are occupied by a large and mischievous sea monster. He is not a blood thirsty sea monster, but he gets an inoridant amount of joy from picking up ships and flinging them around in the sky. Henrietta worries about the mental state of her poor sailor and the rest of the sailors if confronted with the sea monster. She is tired of living a life of inaction and has decided she must devise a plan to teach the sea monster to stop meddling in the fragile lives of human sailors.
    Henrietta has spent so much time gazing longingly at the sea in hopes of seeing her sailors ship. All of this time spent at the shore has given her ample opportunity to befriend the sea birds. She always brought bread crumbs with her to the shore, so befriending the sea birds was an easy task. Henrietta told the sea birds about her predicament with the sea monster and this is when she shared her plan. Whenever the sea monster picked up a ship, Henrietta proposes that thousands of sea birds should descend upon the sea monster, landing on his delicate head. They should then peck at his head until he stopped toying with the ship. The sea birds agreed to this plan. They too are tired of the sea monster because he scares ships away from landing on the shores. The sea birds quite enjoy visits from ships because it means they get to swoop down to the decks and nibble from the fish and other delights brought in by the sailors. Now, they just have to wait to see if the plan will work.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fremont and Baby Ducks

    Here are some photos I took while in Fremont and at the Sunday Fremont Market. It was the day after the Solstice Parade so it was an extra special Fremont Market. The Solstice Parade is a celebration of the summer solstice. People dress in wacky clothing and make floats and parade through Fremont. There is also a naked bicycle ride in which people paint their naked bodies almost like a painted on costume and proceed to ride their bikes as a mass herd. Some people find this to be very offensive. I think it's awesome! People are very creative in the ways they paint themselves, plus I admire their boldness.

    The other day while at work I met a kindly man doing woodwork on a boat. His name was Rusty, and he had rusty colored hair and a rusty colored mustache the shape of a walruses droopy jowl. He had the type of voice that sounds like it originates from just below the throat rather than deep inside the chest like most voices. Rusty had a great love for the ducks that swim around the lake. When I met him he had a family of ducks huddled around him. He threw them crumbled bits of chips and we watched the baby ducks and their mother nibbling at the chips. Sometimes the ducks would dive three or four feet down to catch the bits of chips that were drifting toward the bottom of the lake. I liked Rusty's enthusiasm for the baby ducks because it matched my own. Often men of his generation are not excited by baby animals... or at least they pretend not be excited by baby animals. But Rusty had a great appreciation for those little ducks.