Art exhibit paints colors of Southern California!

Earthlab, 2017, by artist Eva Struble. Acrylic and oil on canvas. Optimistic and energetic colors depict small San Diego farms.
Earthlab, 2017, by artist Eva Struble. Acrylic and oil on canvas. Optimistic and energetic colors depict small San Diego farms.

Today I enjoyed some stimulating artwork at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park. Their current exhibition is called High-Key: Color in Southern California, and for a very good reason.

Palm greens, desert tans and ocean blues are primary colors in our region’s sunny landscapes.

Additional vibrant colors live in our diverse urban centers. Like neon and surfboards, lowriders and pinatas, our local culture is saturated with bold, bright color.

High-Key: Color in Southern California can be enjoyed at the San Diego Art Institute through August 12, 2018.

If you visit Balboa Park this summer, you might want to check it out!

Visitor to the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park absorbs the exhibition of High-Key: Color in Southern California.
Visitor to the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park at the exhibition of High-Key: Color in Southern California.
Chaparral (II), 2018, by artist Audrey Hope. Canvas and hand wound rope. Swaths of colorful fabric are suggestive of San Diego's natural landscape.
Chaparral (II), 2018, by artist Audrey Hope. Canvas and hand wound rope. Swaths of colorful fabric are suggestive of San Diego’s hilly, arid natural landscape.
Green, Red-Orange, 2018, by artist Michael James Armstrong. Acrylic sheet, fluorescent light, spray paint.
Green, Red-Orange, 2018, by artist Michael James Armstrong. Acrylic sheet, fluorescent light, spray paint.
Untitled, 2018, by artist Joshua Moreno. Watercolor, watercolor pencil, gouache, marbling, spray paint.
Untitled, 2018, by artist Joshua Moreno. Watercolor, watercolor pencil, gouache, marbling, spray paint.
Cleaning Portrait; Whisk #1, 2017, by artist Claudia Cano. Acrylic on paper. A cleaning tool used by a hardworking Mexican immigrant laborer.
Cleaning Portrait; Whisk #1, 2017, by artist Claudia Cano. Acrylic on paper. A cleaning tool used by a hardworking Mexican immigrant laborer.
More artwork splashed with the vibrant colors of Southern California.
More artwork splashed with the vibrant colors of Southern California.
Rhubarb Moon, 2018, by artist John Oliver Lewis. Porcelain, acrylic.
Rhubarb Moon, 2018, by artist John Oliver Lewis. Porcelain, acrylic.
Paradise Prototype, 2018, by artist Allison Wiese. Cast sugar. Patterned concrete blocks were popular in Southern California architecture in the 1950s and 60s.
Paradise Prototype, 2018, by artist Allison Wiese. Cast sugar. Patterned concrete blocks were popular in Southern California in the 1950’s and 60’s.

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!

Photos of San Diego Scottish Highland Games.

The 45th Annual San Diego Scottish Highland Games gathers the clans and the public together for a weekend of fun at Brengle Terrace Park in Vista.
The 45th Annual San Diego Scottish Highland Games gathers the clans and the public together for a weekend of fun at Brengle Terrace Park in Vista.

This morning I headed to the 45th Annual San Diego Scottish Highland Games and Gathering of the Clans. The big Southern California event is held every year in Vista, in San Diego’s North County, at Brengle Terrace Park.

This was my first visit to any sort of Scottish Highland Games, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

What an absolutely amazing experience!

How can I adequately explain what I saw? When I arrived I quickly reviewed the thick program, put it in my jeans pocket and just wandered about. The many sights and sounds were almost more than my brain could absorb. There was laughter, smiles and good times in every direction. There were exciting athletic games, traditional Scottish music and, of course, tasty food. And lots of history and culture, too!

I’ll let my many photos do the talking. Read the captions to learn more. If you can, head to Brengle Terrace Park tomorrow, because the weekend event continues through Sunday!

The event attracts people from around Southern California. Visitors are immersed in Scotland's unique and colorful culture.
The event attracts people from around Southern California. Visitors are immersed in Scotland’s unique and colorful culture.
Dozens of Scottish clans participate in the yearly gathering. Their proud history is on display in many tents on the grass.
Dozens of Scottish clans participate in the yearly gathering. Their proud history is on display in many tents on the grass.
These friendly Celtic beauty queens smiled for a photo at the information tent.
These friendly Celtic beauty queens smiled for a photo at the information tent.
Gentlemen in kilts enjoy their Scottish heritage and each other's company.
Gentlemen in kilts enjoy their Scottish heritage and each other’s company.
The Scottish Clan and Tartan Information Center had different plaid tartans on display, many with ancient origins.
The Scottish Clan and Tartan Information Center had different tartans on display, many with ancient origins.
The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society was present. I forgot to go see the dancing in the park's Recreation Center. I'll remember next time!
The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society was present. I forgot to go watch the dancing in the park’s Recreation Center. I’ll remember next time!
Sweeney's was selling some Irish Soda Bread and Scones, freshly baked!
Sweeney’s was selling some Irish Soda Bread and Scones, freshly baked!
These friendly ladies are the Sassenachs of San Diego. They are big Outlander fans and have a cool blog! Check it out at sass3journey.com
These friendly ladies are the Sassenachs of San Diego. They are big Outlander fans and have a cool blog! Check it out at sass3journey.com
Musicians on the Main Stage include The Ploughboys.
Musicians performing on the Main Stage include The Ploughboys.
Strong athletes compete on the Brengle Terrace Park's baseball field. The Scottish Heavy Athletics include Weight Toss, Weight Throw, Hammer Throw, Braemar Stone and Caber Toss
Strong athletes compete on the Brengle Terrace Park’s baseball field. The Scottish Heavy Athletics include Weight Toss, Weight Throw, Hammer Throw, Braemar Stone and Caber Toss.
Heaving a heavy stone as far as he can!
Heaving a heavy stone as far as he can!
The athletes talk and rest before each takes their turn.
The athletes talk and rest before each takes their turn.
Another stone flies! The ancient sport--Braemer Stone Put--was used for challenges of strength by early Highland Chieftains.
Another stone flies! The ancient sport–Braemer Stone Put–was used for challenges of strength by early Highland Chieftains.
World Champion and multiple record holder Vern Alexander lets fly! Many champions are participating in the 2018 San Diego Scottish Highland Games!
World Champion and multiple record holder Vern Alexander lets fly! Many champions are participating in the 2018 San Diego Scottish Highland Games.
A seal at the Scottish American Athletic Association table. Strive for Perfection. Settle for Excellence.
A seal at the Scottish American Athletic Association table. Strive for Perfection. Settle for Excellence.
This guy was retrieving a hammer that he'd thrown far across the baseball field.
This guy was retrieving a hammer that he’d thrown far across the baseball field.
Here comes another attempt at a record!
Here comes another attempt at a record!
Some of the throws nearly went over the outfield fence!
Some of the hammer throws nearly went over the outfield fence!
Not far away, someone checks out the tent of Clan MacLellan.
Not far away, someone checks out the tent of Clan MacLellan.
The Scottish American Military Society was present for the annual gathering.
The Scottish American Military Society was present for the annual gathering.
I saw many maps of historical Scotland, some showing heraldic coats of arms.
I saw many maps of historical Scotland, some showing heraldic coats of arms.
Many beautiful crafts bore images of Scotland and the Scottish people.
Many beautiful crafts bore images of Scotland and the Scottish people.
Real men wear kilts! Instructions show how you can make your own Scottish style Great Kilt.
Real men wear kilts! Instructions show how you can make your own Scottish style Great Kilt.
A Scottish drum major practices on the field, with flags flying in the background.
A Scottish drum major practices on the field, with flags flying in the background.
The 42nd Black Watch Color Guard is the official guard for the San Diego Scottish Highland Games.
The 42nd Black Watch Color Guard is the official guard for the San Diego Scottish Highland Games.
Gentleman at the Scottish Plant Badge Society tents answers the question of a curious visitor.
Gentleman at the Scottish Plant Badge Society tents answers the question of a curious visitor.
Different native plants are used by the Scottish clans as badges, or emblems.
Different native plants are used by the Scottish clans as badges, or emblems.
Some rousing entertainment draws an audience to the stage inside the beer garden.
Some rousing entertainment draws an audience to the stage inside the beer garden.
Lots of Scottish food could be enjoyed, including meat pies.
Lots of Scottish food could be enjoyed, including authentic meat pies.
Two gents stride across the grass to another area of the park, where pipe bands, drummers and bagpipers compete.
Two gents stride across the grass to another area of the park, where pipe bands, drummers and bagpipers compete.
Different age groups compete in solo piping, drumming, and drum major for trophies.
Different age groups compete in solo piping, drumming, and drum major for trophies.
Someone stands in the distance practicing bagpipes. The distinctive sound could be heard all around the park!
Someone stands in the distance practicing. The distinctive sound of bagpipes could be heard all around the park!
The House of Scotland Pipe Band from Balboa Park joined many other groups from around Southern California for the annual competition.
The House of Scotland Pipe Band from Balboa Park joined many other groups from around Southern California for the annual competition. (I love it when they perform at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.)
Good times everywhere I turn!
Good times everywhere I turn!
A small group practices on the green.
A small group practices on the green.
This larger group has just finished their practice up on the hillside.
This larger group has just finished their practice up on the hillside.
Elsewhere in Brengle Terrace Park, people were watching Sheep Dog Trials!
Elsewhere in Brengle Terrace Park, people were watching Sheep Dog Trials!
A shepherd uses a whistle to command a sheep dog to herd four sheep.
A shepherd uses a whistle to command a sheep dog to herd four sheep.
People sit on the grass and watch the fascinating herding competition. Some dogs were really good; others seemed a bit confused.
People sit on the grass and watch the fascinating herding competition. Some dogs were really good; others seemed a bit confused.
Four sheep are successfully directed into a pen!
Four sheep are successfully directed into a pen!
Back at the athletics competition, I saw men attempting to toss a 42 pound weight over a pole vault bar, and women doing the Sheaf Toss over a bar with a pitchfork.
Back at the athletics competition, I saw men attempting to toss a 42 pound weight over a pole vault bar, and women doing the Sheaf Toss over a bar with a pitchfork.
A female contestant readies to toss the sheaf with a pitchfork.
A female contestant readies to toss the sheaf with a pitchfork.
Another lets fly!
Another lets fly!
This tough looking guy is going to try to fling that heavy weight over a bar high above him.
This tough looking guy is going to try to fling that heavy weight over a bar high above him.
I don't recall if this guy made it!
I don’t recall if this guy made it!
As women compete in the Braemer Stone Put, the Caber Toss competition is beginning!
As women compete in the Braemer Stone Put, the Caber Toss competition is beginning!
Those big wood poles are called cabers. They're tossed with the objective of flipping them end-over-end, landing as straight as possible.
Those big wood poles are called cabers. They’re tossed with the objective of flipping them end-over-end, landing as straight as possible.
That looks super heavy. One guy went backwards when he lost his balance.
That looks super heavy. One guy went backwards when he lost his balance.
A caber goes flying. I saw one successful flip, but I don't recall which photo shows it.
A caber goes flying. I saw one successful flip, but I don’t recall which photo shows it.
Guys retrieve the heavy caber after an attempt on the baseball field.
Guys retrieve the heavy caber after an attempt on the baseball field.
There goes another caber!
There goes another caber!
A young generation of Scots keeps history alive at the San Diego Scottish Highland Games.
A young generation of Scots keeps history alive at the San Diego Scottish Highland Games.
Good times, warm conversation and fellowship.
Good memories, conversation and fellowship.
Drummer for the Wicked Tinkers gets the crowd enthused as he works his way through the beer garden.
Drummer for the Wicked Tinkers gets the crowd enthused as he works his way through the beer garden.
A wonderful time is had at the 45th Annual San Diego Scottish Highland Games.
A wonderful time is had at the 45th Annual San Diego Scottish Highland Games.

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!

Dancing with joy at a big Greek Festival!

Early this afternoon I headed to St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church on Park Boulevard to enjoy their annual Greek Festival. Wow!

Tables and tents in the parking lot behind the church were overflowing with yummy Greek food, laughter, smiles and good cheer. Under the big tent the music, song and dancing was nonstop. Everyone clapped to lively traditional Greek music as people spontaneously jumped up and joined hands to dance. The spirit of “Opa!” was alive!

Kids in colorful Greek costume also danced. I believe the group I watched were called the Delphinian Dancers. They were showered with money during the performance, flowing from the large audience’s sheer joy and gratitude.

The festival continues through the weekend. If you like good times, you must definitely go!

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!

A favorite garden, so close to perfection.

Today I enjoyed one of my favorite places. I took a slow walk through the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

Beauty is cultivated and revered in this very special garden.

It’s almost like heaven–so close to perfection.

After strolling along the clear stream in the Lower Garden, I headed up out of the canyon and paused for a few moments in the Exhibit Hall. I sat on a bench, near a window overlooking the Dry Stone Garden. Several participants in an afternoon Japanese Tea Ceremony were quietly practicing.

Refinement and elegance.

Deeper meaning.

A joy for life.

So close to perfection.

This afternoon I also enjoyed a visit to Balboa Park’s lush Botanical Building. When I got home, I used my computer to convert photographs of plants and flowers into colorful oil paintings!

You’ll find those images on my other website Beautiful Balboa Park. To see those unique “oil paintings” you can click here!

Help the House of Mexico build their cottage!

The House of Mexico had a table in the Plaza de Panama during the 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration.
The House of Mexico had a fun display in the Plaza de Panama during the 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Yesterday during the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park I walked around the Plaza de Panama checking out a variety of colorful tables. At the House of Mexico’s table, I learned how these good people are raising money to build their own casita at the International Cottages. The necessary permits have been obtained, now they just need to raise more money for the construction!

The House of Mexico has been a member of the House of Pacific Relations since 2004. Their mission is to promote the beauty, history, and culture of Mexico, San Diego’s close neighbor to the south.

If you’d like to help this cultural project, by becoming a member or perhaps by making a tax deductible donation, please visit the House of Mexico’s website!

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!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Photos of Cinco de Mayo in Balboa Park!

Talented floreador Miguel Bautista performs rope tricks in Balboa Park during Cinco de Mayo!
Talented floreador Miguel Bautista performs rope tricks in Balboa Park during Cinco de Mayo!

Today was the first time I’ve gone to a big, festive Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park. What fun!

In the early afternoon I wandered down El Prado to absorb the general flavor of the event, but I spent most of my time watching cultural performances in the Plaza de Panama. The day’s highlight in my opinion was the noontime equestrian parade and rope handling entertainment.

I’ve included some fascinating info in my photo captions!

The festive 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park was the scene of great pageantry and life today!
The festive 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park was the scene of great pageantry and life today!
Many traditional Mexican costumes, crafts and entertaining activities filled the Plaza de Panama.
Many traditional Mexican costumes, crafts and entertaining activities filled the Plaza de Panama.
Ballet folklorico dancers with the community group La Fiesta Danzantes de San Diego entertain a crowd in Balboa Park during Cinco de Mayo.
Ballet folklorico dancers with the community group La Fiesta Danzantes de San Diego entertain a crowd in Balboa Park during Cinco de Mayo.
Buoyant traditional Mexican music is provided by City Heights Mariachi, an ensemble that welcomes all ages. They are actively seeking trumpet players!
Buoyant traditional Mexican music is provided by City Heights Mariachi, an ensemble that welcomes all ages. They are actively seeking trumpet players!
Many people in diverse and colorful garb were in the audience.
Many people in diverse and colorful garb were in the audience.
The noon Equestrian Procession is entering the Plaza de Panama! The group is called Escaramuza Charra las Golondrinas.
The noon Equestrian Procession is entering the Plaza de Panama! The group is called Escaramuza Charra las Golondrinas.
Riders on horseback wear various traditional costumes. The caballero with the American flag is in the gala dress of a charro.
Riders on horseback wear various traditional costumes. The caballero carrying the American flag is in the gala dress of a charro.
Circling in the Plaza de Panama so that all can enjoy.
Circling in the Plaza de Panama so that all can enjoy.
The equestrian group's floreador performs elaborate rope tricks for the crowd.
The equestrian group’s floreador performs elaborate rope tricks for the crowd.
Great agility and showmanship on display.
Great agility and showmanship on display.
Performing more amazing rope tricks up on the back of his horse!
Performing more amazing rope tricks up on the back of his horse!
This cool lowrider was on display. It's a 1958 Chevy Del Ray Sedan Delivery painted with cool flames!
This cool lowrider was out in the plaza. It’s a 1958 Chevy Del Ray Sedan Delivery painted with flames!
Several Balboa Park museums and organizations had tables in the plaza where kids could create Cinco de Mayo-themed artwork.
Several Balboa Park museums and organizations had tables in the plaza where kids could create Cinco de Mayo-themed artwork.
Many food trucks were lining El Prado!
Many food trucks were lining El Prado!
When not on the main stage, City Heights Mariachi did some more entertaining along El Prado.
When not on the main stage, City Heights Mariachi did some more entertaining along El Prado.
At one o'clock there was a Traditional Dress Showcase with models wearing regional attire from different Mexican states.
At one o’clock there was a Traditional Dress Showcase with models wearing regional attire from different Mexican states.
The various traditional Mexican dresses were from the Olga de la Vega private collection.
The various traditional Mexican dresses were from the Olga de la Vega private collection.
I believe this was said to be a dress from the Michoacán region. The shawl is an important aspect of the attire--it is used to send social signals.
I believe this was said to be a dress from the Michoacán region. The shawl is an important aspect of the attire–it is used to send social signals.
Dress from the Mexican state of Guerrero, if my notes are correct. Images in the fabric include flowers and jaguars.
Dress from the Mexican state of Guerrero, if my notes are correct. Images in the fabric include flowers and jaguars.
Color and pageantry filled the Plaza de Panama during the 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park!
Abundant color and pageantry filled the Plaza de Panama during the 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park!

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!

Photos from 2018 San Diego Shaka Fest.

Canoes head out into Mission Bay during the 5th Annual San Diego Shaka Fest, a celebration of Hawaiian culture, arts, and athletics.
Canoes head out into Mission Bay during the 5th Annual San Diego Shaka Fest, a celebration of Hawaiian culture, arts, and athletics.

Yesterday I walked along the east side of Mission Bay. For a few minutes I lingered at De Anza Cove to take in the rich color and Hawaiian vibe at San Diego Shaka Fest.

Many youth were racing outrigger canoes out on the water, and entertainment on the grass included dance and music.

Here are some photos. Read the captions to learn more!

The San Diego Shaka Fest at De Anza Cove is hosted by the Na Koa Kai Canoe Club. There was a outrigger canoe regatta, stand up paddle race and Polynesian entertainment!
The San Diego Shaka Fest at De Anza Cove is hosted by the Nā Koa Kai Canoe Club. There was a outrigger canoe regatta, stand up paddle race and Polynesian entertainment!
Many youth would participate out on the water.
Many youth would participate out on the water.
Some stand up paddle boards are ready on the sand.
Some stand up paddle boards are ready on the sand.
A team walks their outrigger canoe out into Mission Bay.
A team walks their outrigger canoe out into beautiful Mission Bay.
The SUP Race Course in Mission Bay heads down to Fiesta Island.
The SUP Race Course in Mission Bay heads down to Fiesta Island.
Hundreds of visitors to the event enjoyed entertainment and an assortment of vendors.
Hundreds of visitors to the event enjoyed entertainment and an assortment of vendors.
Lots of crafts and colorful clothing could be found at Shaka Fest.
Lots of crafts and colorful clothing could be found at Shaka Fest.
Hawaiian music and dance in sunny San Diego!
Hawaiian music and dance in sunny San Diego!
Whether family by blood or friends by choice, we are ohana.
Whether family by blood or friends by choice, we are ohana.

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!