Thursday, December 31, 2015

iT'S STreeT arT THurSDay in eaST HoLLYWooD - New Year's Eve, December 31, 2015

Dear Street Art Lovers, and other Gentle Readers,

An early Happy New Year wish to all of you. We've got a portrait mural for you today of a Los Angeles poet, Charles Bukowski.

Artist Nathan Anderson, Charles Bukowski Tribute, paint on wall.

It's nice to know I share turf here in East Holly with this guy. Actress Barbara Hershey is the only other artist I know who claims being from around this peculiar part of town. Bukowski was from Germany, but around Fountain and Normandie is a dedicated district for him. I'll put a mural from that particular area next week.

Here's the rest of this portion of the mural with a quote from him.

And here's the maker's mark for Nathan Anderson. He's got a website, so make sure to check him out -

Down the wall just a bit further to the east, the artist has rendered a stack of Bukowski's books, propped up as it were against the building's side door.

And here is a full street context shot:

You can find this up in Los Feliz village on Vermont Avenue, just north of Hollywood Blvd. I believe this is at the corner of Kingswell. This used to be camera shop and two of my friends from high school, Nestor Vargas and Dan Bootzin, had a mural here for years advertising the photographic arts. They were my Kouheis in music and art. Ya wonder what happens to those people. Never shot a picture of their mural though. It was fun.

My Ex was a reader of Bukowski and his circle. Never got into reading his stuff because of that. Couples are funny that way sometimes. One person gets into something or a particular writer, and the other kind of feels it's an intrusion into their turf to follow too deeply into it. Only when they start endlessly sharing and prompting you for reactions can you then feel like you've been given permission to enter.

Now that I no longer have a horse in that race, I have since read some of his poems. There's a lot about physical suffering from the insults to the body, a topic to which I have become highly sensitive of late.

Here's one poem I will share that other middle-age people who have faced many new years, and crumpled in the face of their relentlessness might appreciate as we stagger into 2016:


washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
out again
I write from the bed
as I did last
will see the doctor,
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
"are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your
exercise, your
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel
"yes, it's boring,"
I tell him.
"If you think it's boring
out there," he tells me, "you oughta be
back here."
so here I am
propped up against my pillows
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
something is
walking across the
oh, it's just
my cat

Happy New Year to you all! The daily picture blog will reassert itself on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Until then, Love and Peace,

Friday, December 25, 2015

"Asian Madonna and Child" - Christmas Day, December 25, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

A Merry Christmas to all of you.

Artist Doctor Dragon, Mother and Child and Tigress and Cubs, paint on Chinese Restaurant.

This has got to be one of the weirdest murals (I know, I know, I keep saying that ...) that I've come across, but it's so well executed.

It's an Asian mother, cross sectioned in her late pregnancy, and also in a nursing scene with her recently born baby, but with the baby's mouth likewise
wise cross sectioned and Mom's breast and muscles rendered in standard biomedical illustration fashion, milk ducts and all.

For those who find the exposure of nursing mothers objectionable, I have no idea how they'd feel about this woman. I'm wondering if the artist is maybe a med student? He has a website

Echoing the nursing mother and child theme, the artist has rendered the theme in tigers, which always makes for a really flashy painting. Lotus flowers abound amid all of this fecundity.

Back many years ago, when I used to paint, I got really into Renaissance portraits, and I wanted to paint a Chinese Mary and Christ child. I started, but never finished the project since other things always intervened.

This is not quite what I wanted to do, but I certainly like this piece a lot.  This is not in East Hollywood/Little Armenia. This is almost in West Hollywood, on the back side of the Kung Pao Bistro restaurant at Santa Monica and Fairfax. It's the only Chinese restaurant in Hollywood that I think is worth going to. The yardstick of comparison I use is how well do they prep a plate of shrimp chow fun (if they even do one at all, most restaurants don't bother).

It's too long to bet in on panoramic shot so here are two:

And here's the context shot:

To me, rather than Chinese (this being a Chinese restaurant), this girl is more likely Thai or Burmese or Lao. She looks like she's got some Indian heritage in her. But whoever she is, she's lovely.

Happy Christmas. See you in the New Year.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Malibu morning picture of the day - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's Christmas Eve Eve in Southern California, and here's the lookout on the coast.

We're taking a look over the hills, reaching into the canyon today, with just a hit of ocean on the bottom right in our main view. This is the basic geography of coastal Southern California past Santa Monica, a series of hills dropping off into the sea, with various canyons draining out into the ocean.

The tectonic plate of the sea floor is descending under the North American continent, causing these hills to rise up and of course, earthquakes happen to relieve tension now and then while this collision of sea floor and continent play out over millennia.

Image result for munch landscapesImage result for yellowstone volcano eruption predictionSpeaking of the American continental geology, you all know that Yellowstone is just one big ol' North American volcano waiting to blow up one day, right?

And when it happens, it'll be curtains for everybody in the Western U.S. But that's OK. A lot of people will be left and they'll get to look at spectacular sunsets and sunrises for at least a year thanks to all the particulate matter.

A lot of people think the Fauvists artists of the 19th century just went crazy with orange paint because they could.  But geologists think they painted crazy orange sunsets because, thanks to extremely active volcanoes at the time, the skies WERE crazy orange.

Image result for mt. rainierGeologists just wonder whether that will happen first, or will Mt. Rainier erupt and destroy Seattle and Portland first. I'll bet on Rainier but nobody's taking bets.

But enough of that. I'll stop thinking about tomorrow because I'm an old fart not long for this world anyway. Let's do end that cheery note as I depart for a long Christmas holiday until January 4. So, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"Xmas Rose South Hollywood Style" and Malibu AM pic of the day - Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

Artist Random Act 2010, Hollywood Daisy, paint on commercial building.
From our "Out of Bounds Gallery" just a simple picture I on a wall recently. Because Hollywood is the kind of place where big-ass daisies pop out of the grungy sidewalk onto industrial walls. My neighborhood's version of a Christmas Rose to you.

This work is pretty subtle. I don't think you even notice it unless you are walking right by it, and it's in a part of Hollywood that doesn't get much foot traffic except for locals going to the corner liquor store.

The petals are almost lost against the white background, but the artist has chosen a cool palette to make them pop out as much as possible.

We are about to go on our one week winter break here at my employer with maybe one more day for which I will post the Malibu pic, but there are no guarantees that I won't call in sick tomorrow. So here's wishing you a fine Christmas and New Year's. There may be a blog posting in that time, but I'm not counting on it. So tune out but come back after January 1 for your coastal check-in and another year of great L.A. street art.


It's rainy, cloudy, and cold in L.A. for a change. Dig it!


Monday, December 21, 2015

Malibu morning picture of the day - Monday, December 21, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's Monday and here's you're picture for today.

The 2nd view is like unto it; the clouds got a feathery perm this morning.

We got just a little rain in Hollywood on Saturday night. It remains cool for L.A.

If you were looking for a picture on Friday, it didn't happen. This boy was down and out with a GI ailment, but I'm back in the saddle for a short work week.

If Monday morning was destined to be orange, last night at sunset was destined to be pink. You never get tired of the stark contrasts at these liminal times of the day.

Time to get to work. Hope you have a great start to Christmas week in this 4th week of Advent Season.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

iT'S STreeT arT THurSDay in eaST HoLLYWooD! with Malibu morning pic of the day - Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

The last few days it been very cold in the morning here in L.A. 30s and 40s, and when you take the bus or drive around in a top-down convertible like I do, you really get to experience it.  Because I have been feeling kind of frigid, it made me want to bring out this mural that I recorded this last summer.  It has a very cold feel to it for me.

Artist unattributed, Russian Male Duet, paint on brick.

I don't know what nationality or ethnicity these two guys are, but for some reason I am thinking they are Russian. Now, this is Little Armenia and the locked parking lot where you find this off Hollywood Blvd. is very near a couple of overtly Armenian murals so these guys may be Armenians, but it hard to say definitively.

At first you think they are engaged in some kind of combat, but no. I'd say they're collaborating on some kind of mystical project, only hinted at by the floating red ball that has mesmerized the man on the left, and which the fellow on the right is either controlling or seeks to control. A wizard maybe?

The fellow on the right is certainly dressed for cold weather, and the fellow on the left seems to have some kind of fur hat since the black mass on his head seems to be more than hair.

You cannot get straight-on shot of this mural. Access to the yard is only by unlocking a gate. The best I could do is go to a neighboring parking lot and hold the camera over my head to peer over a brick wall.

This is certainly one of the most enigmatic murals to be found in East Hollywood, but doesn't looking at this picture just make you feel cold?


Absolutely not-a-cloud-in-the-sky, crystal clear day on the coast. Cold and breezy however.

OK gotta pay the rent. Have a wonderful Thursday.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Malibu morning picture of the day - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

Here's my visible Wednesday. How's the view out yr employer's door?

Oh, and here's a second view. Catalina Island was especially visible today.

I heard a famous fashion blogger on the radio in interview the other day and she said none of her family or friends read her blog, so was saying strangers know more about her interior life than people who are "closest" to her. This is the paradox of being related to a writer. Rarely do you ever bother reading their stuff. They'll tell you the treatment and you think, "OK I guess I'm good to go."

I also wonder if there's a fear on the part of acquaintances that a hyper-realized version of themselves may be in the writer's work. Yeah, it's a danger. Whether they tell you or not, your writer friends are mining your life and words for material, and they'll never tell you or ask permission. You hope they never become famous because you don't want to become a Wikipedia page because a famous literary sleazeball character was based on you.

I emerged from two days of tax continuing education of the last two days. Sixteen solid hours of studying the finer points of the U.S. tax code. I hope I'm smarter.

The desk is all backed up, so I need to get to work. See you tomorrow!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Malibu morning picture of the day - Friday, December 11, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

OMG, we're in double-digit December already? How did that happen? [hyperventilates] Must ... have ... blue sky ...

OK, breathing ... much better. Here's some deeper blue.

Do you have too many things to do by year end? If so, sorry. But we do the best we can, eh?

Hey, I was listening to a radio panel where a female lifestyle critic was scoffing at the idea behind Spike Lee's Lysistrata movie, that women are the gatekeepers of human sexuality. I guess she hasn't asked a woman for a date lately. Or maybe, all the "wrong" men keep asking her out. OK, so it's a bargain and a negotiation between consenting adults, but the party with the right of first refusal (women), does possess a certain advantage of allowing access.

She's cute, I think I'll ask her out.

Ran into this car (not literally) which has adorned herself to invite such attention and offers.

Hey, I hope you all have a nice weekend in store, and may the "right" person come to you bearing the "right" proposal and it all works out!

I will be ensconced in tax continuing ed courses Monday and Tuesday, so sadly, there will be no Malibu skies to share. But we'll be back. Don't worry

Your parting shot, a pano.

Love til the clouds roll by,

Thursday, December 10, 2015

iT'S STreeT arT THurSDay with Malibu AM pic of the day - Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dear Street Art Lovers and everyone else,

Can we talk about Latino Supermarket Art for a minute?

Artist Roberto, Salvadoran Market Girls Triptych, paint on mom-n-pop. (center panel)

Right panel
Well of course we can because it's MY friggin' blog... and it's not like any of you really write to me. I suppose if I abandoned Google Plus and went to WordPress we might actually get some conversation going, but it's taken so long for the few dozen of you to find me.

Today we look at the murals that adorn the front the building which houses Villalobos Market in my barrio, a Salvadoreno market. Most of the art that I find on Latin markets in my neighborhood are pretty crude depictions of farm animals, as if a 10-year-old had painted them. Here at Villalobos on Santa Monica at Hobart, not so. I find these depictions of Salvadoran country life quite skillful and beautiful.

Gotta say, the artist needs to work on the scale of his fruits and veggies.Those are some of the biggest carrots I've ever seen--and a lime slice as big as half a pineapple? We're talking' Blue Ribbon winner size produce here.

Left panel.
There is basically a triptych where yet again the subject dictated by the male gaze, the focus in each of the three parts is a young woman of child-bearing age. But there's nothing wrong with that, is there. Is just that SO MUCH of art and street art in general is that.

These are obviously a commercial commission. The subject matter directly relates to the inventory found just inside the doors. Although I have to say, these are probably the fairest skinned Salvadoran women I have ever seen in my life. And we're talking about a scene of girls who work in an outdoor market, so this artist is working in the realm of ideal feminine beauty rather than within verismo.

There is nary a bit of social commentary or irony in this art. So we have public facing illustration, and truly luscious it is.

On second thought, there is sure as hell social commentary here. I guess the fact that they are light-skinned Indian girls sure says a lot about Central American standards of beauty. They apparently have the same ones as North Americans. And their mamas or bosses? The older women in the picture ... faceless, anonymous, background props. NPCs as they say in the game world--non-player characters. They're a little darker, but not quite as dark as the folks going in and out the door. So there you go.

On the other side of the entry doors to this market are scenes from the farmyard.

No mass-produced livestock here in this picture.
And here is a very well-fed bull, guarding entry to Villalobos Market. These kinds of cattle always seem scary to me when you encounter in person, like at a county fair.

As I have said, in Latin neighborhoods, many of the markets have painted imagery on the outside walls. I'll have to photograph some to post by way of comparison. These pictures by Robert do represent the genre at a level competency that far exceeds the typical level of craftsmanship and artistry.

And here is a rolling pano shot of the market girls:


Low clouds and blue today.

Hey. gotta jump in a staff meeting. Have a great Thursday.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Malibu morning picture of the day - Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

Our midweek skyscape gives us feathery textures don't you think?

All that whiteness make for a pretty bright scene. It's also a little later than usual, taken around 9:15 AM.

And if that's not enough for you, here's the "hotspot" a few clicks to the left, with the sky showing us her "ribs."

I was up late last night composing potential ad copy for civic prayer breakfast book that my employer is springing for. My eldest daughter has this impression that I'm a decent liturgy writer and she reads this blog so I'm going to share these things here.

In case you don't know, civic prayer breakfasts are PR activities conceived by politicians to get all the local clergy in one room to have an ecumenical prayer for the safety, protection, and prosperity of the jurisdiction, whether it be district, city, or county. As such, you have to dial out the specifics of religion so that everybody in the room can feel only slightly uncomfortable with each other. The Hollywood Bowl Easter service is kind of like this. If you every want to go to an observance of Jesus' resurrection which avoids mentioning him entirely, that my friends, if YOUR kind of service.

A Prayer for the City

Let us shine light where there is darkness; Let us serve justice when wrong must be answered; Let us grant mercy when compassion cries from want.

So incline our hearts toward the mind of Christ, To know to love even when we would choose naught; Make us learners of love even as we try to teach others.


A Prayer for Our Leaders

To those who have been called to authority.
Set in office by the will of the people,
Ordained and placed by Your hand,
Give to them wisdom beyond their years,
Discernment that surpasses education,
Integrity enough to make enemies and diplomacy to reconcile them,

Most of all, grant them hearts for service to do what is good;
To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with You.

(Micah 6 unattributed)


A Call for Peace in Our Time

Let a world come to be O Lord;
Where justice will be born of insult;
Where peace must follow from violence;
Where understanding needs follow ignorance.
And help us to say “Here I am” to make it so.


A Word on Tolerance from a Founding Father

Let us remind ourselves in this time of challenge, of what it means to be American and to live in a Christian nation:

“Religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, that all men should enjoy the fullest toleration in the exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, unpunished and unrestrained by the magistrate, unless of under color of religion any man disturb the peace, the happiness, or safety of society, and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.”

–James Madison, Chief Architect of the U.S. Constitution and Fourth President of the United States


We Are All Children of God

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
-Psalm 133:1

To all with whom we share Los Angeles as “home,”
Let us together be instruments of God’s peace.

(St. Francis quote unattributed)

If you find yourself if need fast prayer, help yourself. But if you find yourself needing some for an ad in So Cal before March, don't use #1, we're going with that one.

Love and peace to you all,