|SF Bay Bridge -West|
|On the Overpass-Octavia approaching Market|
|return trip to freeway approach|
The first two pics show what I worked on over the weekend. In transitioning to working with watercolors and gouache more, the learning curve is very steep and centers around the handling of the paint. One of the tips that I read suggested mixing up a pool of color that is more than is needed. Well, hell! How much do you need anyway and how do you gauge that? LOL! But, it's true and a good idea. The bonus of working with oils and acrylics is that colors can be premixed. Same with gouache if you are using it opaquely. Watercolors are still a mystery to me in this area. How long does a mixture last before it dries up? The other aspect that is interesting is the application of the paint on the paper. Is it wet-into-wet or wet-into dry? I love the look of a pool of color that has been applied to wet paper and allowed to dry. It's tough to do that on a large scale though. Yesterday I tested out wetting the area first with water and then applying the paint. If you go in with more concentrated color this works very well. I understand also that you can use ox gall as an additive to help things flow more freely. I haven't tried this yet. In any case, my conclusion is that practice is the key here. Otherwise, the discussion is just academic right?
Trip to SF:
The last three pics show a portion of my trip to SF last week. San Francisco is kind of an interesting place in lots of different ways. Driving there can be scary though. The streets are very narrow and many are very steep. You absolutely have got to pay attention. I have gotten lost several times over the years while trying to find a freeway approach. Rich has told me many times that the whole of the city is rather small and laid out in a logical grid type fashion. Since I was driving by myself I decided to get a handle on things. Looking at the map showed me that Golden Gate Park, where the DeYoung museum is located, is a rectangle surrounded by a one way loop, roughly speaking. Once I saw this I figured out how to exit the park, find a leader street back to the freeway and also how to right myself if I managed to get lost. That first pic incidentally is a shot of the new section of the Bay Bridge. It's really an elegant structure of sorts. You can see the remnants of the old bridge going in the opposite direction I guess. They are dismantling a portion of that side.
The trip was a good one and I enjoyed the exhibits at the museum. I mentioned last time that the photo exhibit of the building of the Bay Bridge during the 30's was excellent. That alone was worth the lengthy drive.
Memory and Identity:
All the time in the car makes you think. As I drove through the area where I grew up I realized that my associations with those places and their history is very strong. I love where I live now, love the landscape and the history here, but I am not from here if that makes sense. In that same vein, my identity with where I grew up is firmly rooted in the 1970's and 1980's and not any later time frame. I view myself as someone from that area and I include all of the associations that come with that view. It's true that San Leandro has changed so much but I still see it through the prism of when I grew up. I left San Leandro in the early 90's and lived in a variety of places until I got married. In a broader sense, it's the history of the Bay Area itself, specifically Oakland, San Francisco and San Leandro that is of interest to me. And that interest is rooted in the early to mid part of the 20th century, specifically WWII and the years that followed. All of this explanation leads to a question. Does anyone else have this type of association? You live in one place but identify with another? I am curious and you know how that goes:)
OK, this was lengthy so thanks for reading. Hope everyone has a good start to the week.