Discovering new beauty around every corner.

Extraordinary beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.
Extraordinary beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

I believe the world is fundamentally beautiful. Beauty permeates everything. From atoms to galaxies–and everything in between.

Beauty awaits open eyes wherever we happen to walk. Perhaps you’ve noticed this is an important theme of Cool San Diego Sights.

Yesterday I finished writing a short story that is very dark. It concerns ugliness that arises from human vanity. So now I find myself in a difficult situation.

I’d rather not have a depressing story welcome readers to my website Short Stories by Richard. I want to outshine the darkness with light.

A bright, magical story is now taking form under my pen. But finding the right words to approximate eternal truths can be a puzzle. I’m stuck for the moment, wrestling.

All living things require watering. I know that with fresh eyes and a little patience the story will grow and mature.

Until these two new short stories appear, you might enjoy reading my published works of fiction here.

Wind-sculpted rare Torrey pines at Cabrillo National Monument.
Endangered, wind-sculpted Torrey pines at Cabrillo National Monument.
Radiant beauty along a Little Italy sidewalk.
Radiant beauty along a Little Italy sidewalk.
A beautiful fountain in a small Bankers Hill garden. A sculpted boy with watering can.
A beautiful fountain by a sidewalk in Bankers Hill. A sculpted boy with watering can.
Painted sunflowers grow upon a transformer box in Coronado.
Painted sunflowers grow upon a transformer box in Coronado.
Natural beauty discovered in busy downtown San Diego.
Natural beauty discovered in busy downtown San Diego.
More beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden, a welcoming retreat from life's often stressful complications.
More beauty at the Japanese Friendship Garden, a welcoming retreat from life’s often stressful walk. I think I might go there today with my small notebook and pen.
Moving forward down life's path through wild natural beauty atop Mount Laguna.
Moving forward down life’s path, through wild natural beauty atop Mount Laguna.

Javier Marín and the human search for identity.

Visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art enter Gallery 15, where many human figures sculpted by Mexican artist Javier Marín stand horizontally upon a large wall.
Visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art enter Gallery 15, where many human figures sculpted by Mexican artist Javier Marín stand horizontally upon a large wall.

Yesterday, during my walk through Balboa Park, I stepped from the Panama 66 outdoor cafe into Gallery 15 of the San Diego Museum of Art . . . and look what I saw!

Upon one large wall stand numerous small sculptures of the human body, created by Victor Javier Marín Gutiérrez, a Mexican artist whose celebrated work has been exhibited internationally.

The organic sculptures stand on the wall in poses of naked expression, casting dynamic shadows that crisscross in every direction. There is anguish and joy and perplexity and care and simple, wonderful being. There is flesh and there is soul. There is that ongoing internal search for human identity.

According to the San Diego Museum of Art’s website: “Javier Marín’s work, above all, is about beauty, a particularly human beauty that reflects what the poet José Emilio Pacheco described as ‘the terrible miracle of being alive.’”

Looking across at the wall containing many small sculpted human forms is like gazing down from above upon the mass of naked humanity. It’s like a Creator gazing down upon his living, breathing, dancing Creation.

This astonishing wall is an example of the Javier Marín sculpted work now on display in the San Diego Museum of Art’s free Galleries 14 and 15.

The exhibition will be officially kicked off with a special event on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Culture & Cocktails: Art of the Body includes a VIP pre-tour with the artist himself.

The exhibition will continue through March 3, 2019.

Javier Marín's fleshy sculpted forms include every sort of human expression.
Javier Marín’s fleshy sculpted forms depict every sort of human expression.
Gazing at representations of our mysterious selves.
Gazing at many representations of our mysterious selves.

UPDATE!

I saw even more amazing Javier Marín art during a later visit to the museum, and here are some photographs!

The first photo showing sculpted elements of the human body intermixed, is of a piece that can be viewed in Gallery 14.

IMG_4362z

The next two photos, taken in the San Diego Museum of Art’s first floor rotunda, are of several large, truly stunning sculptures that are described: Untitled I, II, VI. Polyester resin and iron wire, 2004.

IMG_4449z

IMG_4455z

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Endless scenes of beauty in Balboa Park.

Children gaze at the beautiful fountain and sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, in the courtyard of Balboa Park's House of Hospitality.
Children gaze at the beautiful fountain and sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, in the courtyard of Balboa Park’s House of Hospitality.

It’s difficult to find words that adequately describe Balboa Park. Endless scenes of beauty open up everywhere. Every walk is a different voyage through wonder.

Many of these photos were taken recently. A few have been residing in my computer waiting for the perfect moment.

There Are Places I'll Remember All My Life. A colorful banner near door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
There Are Places I’ll Remember All My Life. A colorful banner near door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
Gigantic bubbles form like magic in the Plaza de Balboa.
Gigantic bubbles form like magic in the Plaza de Balboa.
The House of Charm's tower rises above the Alcazar Garden.
The House of Charm’s tower rises above the Alcazar Garden.
A twisted, wonderful Australian tea tree on Balboa Park's West Mesa.
A twisted, wonderful Australian tea tree on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.
Walking through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Walking through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Wedding photos are taken at one end of the beautiful Lily Pond, or reflecting pool.
Wedding photos are taken at one end of the beautiful Lily Pond, or reflecting pool.
Sunlight reveals natural beauty at the House of Hospitality.
Sunlight reveals natural beauty at the House of Hospitality.
People head up toward the Casa del Prado's outdoor courtyard to enjoy another special event in Balboa Park.
People head up toward the Casa del Prado’s outdoor courtyard to enjoy another special event in Balboa Park.
I took this striking photo yesterday at the San Diego Fern Society Show inside the Casa del Prado.
I took this striking photo yesterday at the San Diego Fern Society Show inside the Casa del Prado.
People relax and picnic on the lawn near the Botanical Building.
People relax and picnic on the lawn near the Botanical Building.
A scene of great beauty in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A scene of great natural beauty in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Visitors to Balboa Park walk toward the Plaza de Panama.
Visitors to Balboa Park head toward the Plaza de Panama.
Walking along. More things to see.
Walking along. More things to see.
Gazing toward Balboa Park's Pepper Grove from the pathway inside the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Gazing toward Balboa Park’s Pepper Grove from a pathway inside the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Abundant beauty at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Abundant beauty at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Resting at tables in the Plaza de Panama near the front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Resting at tables in the Plaza de Panama near the front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
San Diego sunshine highlights arches at the Casa del Prado.
San Diego sunshine highlights arches inside the Casa del Prado.
Sitting along the colonnade at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Sitting along the colonnade at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during an outdoor concert.
Walking past the magnificent facade of the Casa del Prado Theater.
Walking past the magnificent facade of the Casa del Prado Theater.
Bright flowers near a window at the International Cottages.
Flowers brighten a window at the International Cottages.
A leisurely walk through Spanish Village.
A leisurely stroll through Spanish Village.
The amazing tile dome of the California Building, home of the Museum of Man.
The amazing tile dome of the California Building, home of the Museum of Man.
The Bea Evenson Fountain lit at night.
The Bea Evenson Fountain lit at night.
Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.
Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you love Balboa Park, too? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

Alfred Mitchell’s fine paintings of San Diego.

La Jolla Cove, Alfred Mitchell, oil on canvas, circa 1950.
La Jolla Cove, Alfred Mitchell, oil on canvas, circa 1950.

Today, with great thanks to my docent friend, I enjoyed several exhibits at the San Diego Museum of Art. The first exhibit, and perhaps my personal favorite, was a small collection of landscape paintings by Alfred R. Mitchell.

Silent Light: Alfred Mitchell features deeply beautiful work by an artist who spent most of his life in San Diego. Along with several other local artists who obtained national stature, including Maurice Braun, Arthur Fries, Charles Reiffel and Donal Hord, he was a founding member of the Contemporary Artists of San Diego. He also helped to create the La Jolla Art Association in 1918 and the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego in 1925. The latter institution is known today as the San Diego Museum of Art!

Here are photos of four pieces that I particularly like. My poor old camera doesn’t do them justice. Each painting is infused with light and indescribably rich color. Each seems a perfect memory–a brief moment in the life of this world made timeless.

You might recognize these particular four locations. They are all by the ocean in La Jolla. It’s a place of great natural beauty where I love to walk.

Silent Light: Alfred Mitchell can be enjoyed through August 19, 2018. If you’ve fallen in love with the landscapes of San Diego, you’ll be awed by these extraordinary paintings.

Cliffs South of La Jolla Shores, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, circa 1930.
Cliffs South of La Jolla Shores, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, circa 1930.
Bathing, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, undated.
Bathing, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, undated.
La Jolla Coast Walk, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, undated.
La Jolla Coast Walk, Alfred Mitchell, oil on board, undated.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Four beautiful sculpted faces in Balboa Park.

A beautiful sculpture in the Balboa Park Club building. Four Cornerstones of American Democracy,1935, by artist Frederick Schweigardt.
A beautiful sculpture in the Balboa Park Club building. Four Cornerstones of American Democracy,1935, by artist Frederick Schweigardt.

Today I took my usual Sunday walk through Balboa Park. On a whim I ventured into the Balboa Park Club to see if many people were folk dancing, and I paused inside the grand foyer to once again admire the room’s monumental mural and central sculpture.

The latter is called Four Cornerstones of American Democracy. It was created by Frederick Schweigardt in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Each graceful figure represents one of four ideals.

While I’ve walked past this sculpture many times, today I was really struck by the simplicity of the four bowed faces. They convey both beauty and strength.

If you want to see more of the grand foyer, and learn a bit about its history, I blogged about it a couple years ago here.

School.
School.
Home.
Home.
Church.
Church.
Community.
Community.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

Photos of fun street art at Rio Vista!

A beautiful face watches motorists from an electrical box. Street art at Rio Vista in Mission Valley.
A beautiful face painted on an electrical box.

This morning I jumped off the trolley at the Rio Vista station, which is located beside the San Diego River in the heart of Mission Valley.

I knew I could find some fun street art at the Rio Vista shopping mall.

I headed down a sidewalk and there it was!

Another nearby transformer has been painted with a mermaid.
A transformer box has been painted with a mermaid. An example of the street art at Rio Vista in Mission Valley.
More boxes at Rio Vista in Mission Valley decorated with fun artwork.
More nearby boxes decorated with fun artwork.
Long blue hair like waves of water.
Long blue hair like waves of water.
Shark street art, with credits to Brise Birdsong, Helen Divas, Angelica Nunez.
Shark street art, with credits to Brise Birdsong, Helen Divas, Angelica Nunez.
A sea turtle swims though Mission Valley.
A sea turtle swims though Mission Valley.
I see some jellyfish, too!
I see some jellyfish, too!
Two hummingbirds touch beaks.
Two hummingbirds touch beaks.
Colorful bird-of-paradise flower street art.
Colorful bird-of-paradise flower street art.
Artwork painted on an electrical box at Rio Vista depicts a lady smelling red flowers.
Artwork painted on an electrical box at Rio Vista depicts a lady smelling red flowers.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

The natural beauty of Sweetwater Marsh.

Early this afternoon I enjoyed a short walk through Sweetwater Marsh. I’ve already blogged about a guided hike through the marsh here, where you’ll find a bit more detailed information.

My solo walk today was for quiet introspection. And the absorption of natural beauty.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!