Art can remind us that Life is Beautiful.

Flowers have been painted on one side of a utility box on Bankers Hill.
Flowers have been painted on a utility box on Bankers Hill.

Life is essentially beautiful. Art can remind us of this truth.

Art that affirms life’s essential beauty can be simple or complex. It isn’t small, or cynical. It generously finds wonder with every brush stroke.

Art can remind us all that this world contains wonders beyond count.
This world, and our lives, contain wonders beyond count.
A simple phrase. Life is Beautiful.
A simple phrase carefully written: Life is Beautiful.

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!

Photos of amazing orchid show in Balboa Park.

Please forgive me. I’m taking it easy this weekend after all that wonderful Comic-Con insanity. So my walk today was slow and simple: meandering through Balboa Park.

I lingered a long while in the Casa del Prado, where the San Diego County Orchid Society is having their summer show and sale. (It continues on Sunday.)

I discovered amazing beauty everywhere.

Feeling lazy, I didn’t take notes. Just photos of a few blooms that caught my eye.

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!

Broad City fans paint big coloring book at Comic-Con!

A scene from Broad City comes to life inside Comedy Central's enormous coloring book during 2017 Comic-Con.
A scene from Broad City comes to life inside Comedy Central’s enormous “coloring book” during 2017 Comic-Con.

Have you ever stepped inside a coloring book? You can at 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!

The Comedy Central series Broad City has a cool, free attraction where people can paint the walls of a room with colorful scenes from the show! It’s paint by numbers! It’s a brilliant idea that inspires fan interaction! Take a look!

Anyone can enjoy this Broad City special attraction during Comic-Con. If you share a photo with a certain hashtag, you can win a prize.
Anyone can enjoy this Broad City special attraction during Comic-Con. If you share a photo with a certain hashtag, you can win a prize.
People look at the colorfully painted walls, or take up a brush and contribute with their own creativity.
People look at the colorfully painted walls, or take up a brush and contribute with their own creativity.
Some of the bright artwork inspired by the wacky Comedy Central show Broad City.
Some of the bright artwork inspired by the wacky Comedy Central show Broad City.
Photo of finished artwork on the floor.
Photo of some finished artwork on the floor.
SpongeBob SquarePants checks out the dazzling Broad City coloring book room!
SpongeBob SquarePants checks out the dazzling Broad City coloring book room! He must think the luminous colors are like bright fish underwater.
The paint seems to magically glow in the dimly lit room.
The paint seems to magically glow in the dimly lit room.
More humorous images inspired by the popular Comedy Central show.
More humorous images inspired by the popular Comedy Central show.
Artwork painted by fans.
Artwork painted by fans.
Someone adds color to the Season Premiere.
Someone adds color to the Season Premiere.
These kids are contributing, too. It's color by number.
These kids are contributing, too. It’s color by number.
Fan of the Comedy Central show Broad City paints a wall during 2017 San Diego Comic-Con.
Fan of the Comedy Central show Broad City paints a wall during 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!

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!

Beautiful sycamores at Los Peñasquitos Canyon.

Early this morning, while it was still cool outside, I headed up to Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. My intention was to take a brisk hike around some trails near the old Adobe Ranch House. But then my eyes encountered California sycamores along one trail. And my camera came out. And then the sun came out. My hike slowed to a walk. With many long pauses.

Beautiful photos frame and emphasize the infinite beauty that surrounds every one of us. Taking such photographs does make one pause. And love life.

You might also enjoy some photos on one of my other fun blogs, A Small World Full of 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!

To read a few small stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Combat veterans create art to bring hope.

A unique work of urban art on a car wash in Normal Heights speaks to the struggles of combat veterans.
A unique work of urban art on a car wash in Normal Heights. It speaks to the struggles of combat veterans.

Painful. Hopeful.

Those two words might describe some artwork on the side of a car wash in Normal Heights. You can find this thought-provoking mural near the corner of 33rd Street and Adams Avenue.

A nearby plaque invites curious eyes. Thank you for your service, it reads.

The mural is the work of seven post-911 combat veterans. A project of Combat Arts San Diego, it helps to spread awareness about the therapeutic benefit of creating art. And it shows the unconditional love that is provided by service dogs.

Creating art helps us to sort through conflicting thoughts and emotions. Art is an outlet for pent up pain. Art connects people. Art stirs the heart. Art provides meaning. Art offers hope.

This mural was created by seven combat veterans working with Combat Arts San Diego. Art-making benefits those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This mural was created by seven combat veterans working with Combat Arts San Diego. Art-making benefits those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Art over fear.
Art over fear.
A warrior. A jumble of emotions. Isolation. A true best friend. Hope.
A warrior. A jumble of emotions. Isolation. A true best friend. Hope.

UPDATE!

Wow! Shortly after posting this I received additional info concerning this great project and a group photograph of those responsible!

I learned:

“There are hidden things in the art piece. If you look hard enough you can see Army written and Navy and others… If you look at ART in the middle on the left you will see from the A…rmy attached to it. Then on the right towards the bottom you will see the N in friends…you will see Navy… In (the word) Isolation – the A..ir Force is on the A. Just below the O in Isolation you will see some letters D E S P..if you look close at the S you will see a U in the bottom of the S and then the MC on the other side of the S. Look close.”

I also learned that the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution raised funds for the project from their National Society.

The following photo includes Elizabeth Washburn, the leader of Combat Arts, two Vets who worked on the mural, and a few smiling local members of the D.A.R.

Group picture with Artists, Elizabeth, and San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution members.
Group picture with artists, Elizabeth Washburn, and San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution members. Photo provided by Kathleen Winchester.

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!

Amazing youth exhibition at San Diego Museum of Art!

Senna Osawa, Tamayo Watermelon, mixed media, Second Grade, Kumeyaay Elementary.
Senna Osawa, Tamayo Watermelon, mixed media, Second Grade, Kumeyaay Elementary.

Look what I discovered!

The San Diego Museum of Art has a free exhibition of art that was created by local school students. It’s called Young Art 2017: Beyond the Ordinary. You can find it in the hallway that leads from the museum’s outdoor sculpture court to the restrooms that are often used by diners at Panama 66.

Every two years, a new exhibition of Young Art is presented by the museum. All I can say is once you step through the door your jaw will drop! Dozens of outstanding, truly amazing works of art line the walls and fill a few display cases.

Inspired students from Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade, from schools throughout San Diego County, have created all sorts of fantastic still life artwork, including paintings, drawings, mixed media, photography and ceramic sculptures. Some of the students have written a sentence or two explaining their thoughts and creative process.

My quick photos of these few examples barely scratch the surface. I just chose some of the art that I personally like. Funny–perhaps my favorite piece was created by a talented young artist in Kindergarten!

If you visit Balboa Park, you must take a look!

Beyond the Ordinary. Young Art 2017. Amazing, inspired artwork in a free exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park!
Beyond the Ordinary. Young Art 2017. Amazing, inspired artwork in a free exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park!
Catherine Zhao, Message in a Bottle, painting, Twelfth Grade, Westview High School.
Catherine Zhao, Message in a Bottle, painting, Twelfth Grade, Westview High School.
The Great Fruit Bowl, a drawing by many Christ Church Day School Second Grade student artists.
The Great Fruit Bowl, a drawing by many Christ Church Day School Second Grade student artists.
Fizzah Arshad, Tea, drawing, Ninth Grade, Otay Ranch High School.
Fizzah Arshad, Tea, drawing, Ninth Grade, Otay Ranch High School.
Arissa Diaz-Lelevier, Multi-media Still Life, mixed media, Eighth Grade, Stella Maris Academy.
Arissa Diaz-Lelevier, Multi-media Still Life, mixed media, Eighth Grade, Stella Maris Academy.
Mirabella Komniey, Pitcher, mixed media, Fifth Grade, Vista Grande Elementary.
Mirabella Komniey, Pitcher, mixed media, Fifth Grade, Vista Grande Elementary.
Emma Cecil, Enticement, painting, Twelfth Grade, Torrey Pines High School.
Emma Cecil, Enticement, painting, Twelfth Grade, Torrey Pines High School.
Camryn Melendez, Apricot Sunrise, drawing, Eleventh Grade, Westview High School.
Camryn Melendez, Apricot Sunrise, drawing, Eleventh Grade, Westview High School.
Eric Pak, Flora and Skull, painting, Twelfth Grade, Westview High School.
Eric Pak, Flora and Skull, painting, Twelfth Grade, Westview High School.
Karina Spinazzola, Lemons and Lilies, drawing, Eleventh Grade, Westview High School.
Karina Spinazzola, Lemons and Lilies, drawing, Eleventh Grade, Westview High School.
Anh Huynh, Distilled, painting, Twelfth Grade, Westview High School.
Anh Huynh, Distilled, painting, Twelfth Grade, Westview High School.
Caden Glazner, Time for Tea, painting, Third Grade, Del Sur Elementary.
Caden Glazner, Time for Tea, painting, Third Grade, Del Sur Elementary.
Joy Zou, Tea Time, drawing, Eleventh Grade, Westview High School.
Joy Zou, Tea Time, drawing, Eleventh Grade, Westview High School.
Bella Anderson and Cate Hunsberger, Medieval Lunch, painting, Seventh Grade, Coronado Middle School.
Bella Anderson and Cate Hunsberger, Medieval Lunch, painting, Seventh Grade, Coronado Middle School.
Skylar Britt, O'Keeffe Flower, mixed media, Kindergarten, Kumeyaay Elementary.
Skylar Britt, O’Keeffe Flower, mixed media, Kindergarten, Kumeyaay Elementary.
Jenna Vo, Magritte Floating Still Life, mixed media, Fourth Grade, Kumeyaay Elementary.
Jenna Vo, Magritte Floating Still Life, mixed media, Fourth Grade, Kumeyaay Elementary.

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!

More short stories about light and darkness.

My writing blog Short Stories by Richard continues to grow. It now features 17 short works of fiction.

Many of the stories concern magic–or elements in life that seem to be magic. Most of the pieces contain both light and darkness.

I already posted a summary of my first six short stories here.

These are the next eleven–click the links to read:

One Strange, Shimmering Dream follows one man’s fantastic pursuit.

A Small Fountain in Green Park is about love and cherished moments in our brief life.

Irresistible Gravity is about futility and self-questioning.

A Dance in the Lightning takes a dangerous peek at ultimate reality.

Waterfall Tears interprets a moment of grieving.

An Old Man on a Bus contains unexpected defiance.

Dew on the Grass is about keen perception.

How to Paint Angels tells a story of despair, then sudden miraculous inspiration.

Final Real Magic is about youth and the uncertain nature of magic.

The Piano Player Sat Down produces a bit of strange, musical magic.

The Child and the Koi is a short fable about opposing primal powers.

Thank you for following my blog! Today I’m going to a Mariachi Festival in San Diego’s South Bay. Photos should be coming later!

Have a fine Sunday and keep on smiling!

Richard