Girl surfs with dolphins in Imperial Beach!

I like the message in one newly painted mural that I spotted last weekend as I walked through Imperial Beach.

A lady surfer is catching a wave with a pod of dolphins, and written above are the words: “From the land to the sea, we are connected, you and me…”

This mural can be found near the corner of Palm Avenue and 3rd Street, on a wall behind the Pacific Realty parking lot. The art was created last month “for Katy” by Marissa Quinn (@marissaquinn).

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!

Art explodes in James Watts’ studio window!

Three years ago I enjoyed an amazing tour of artist James Watts’ studio in downtown San Diego. See those photos here.

The small creative space (home of what he calls on his Instagram page The James E Watts Institute of Artistic Behavior) is one of the most fantastic and inspiring places you’ll ever visit. Every inch is crammed with inexhaustible imagination and obvious love of life.

Whenever I walk down Seventh Avenue past the James E. Watts Studio, I peer into the front windows to see what works he has chosen to display.

This morning I was delighted by an explosion of art…

Choose happy.

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!

An unusual Old Master mural in Normal Heights!

An unusual mural was painted in Normal Heights this year. It can be viewed on Adams Avenue, in a nook where this Prince mural used to be, and across from this Kobe Bryant mural. It was painted by local street artists Hasler and Shark, who also created the nearby Kobe Bryant artwork.

I say this mural is unusual, because street art is usually more like graffiti or contemporary artwork–abstract, extremely bold, and with a typically rebellious vibe. One doesn’t expect to see the recreation of a traditional Old Master painting.

The image that dominates this mural is of Italian artist Caravaggio‘s religious painting Saint Jerome Writing, 1605–1606. Words spray painted in the background are the Caravaggio quote: “All works, no matter what or by whom painted, are nothing but bagatelles and childish trifles unless they are made and painted from life, and there can be nothing better than to follow nature.”

Caravaggio usually painted realistic human forms, with dramatic lighting that emphasized emotion. His very popular work would influence other famous Old Masters like Peter Paul Rubens, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Rembrandt.

I wonder what Caravaggio would think if he visited San Diego today and looked around. Probably that he’d been transported to an alien world!

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!

Delightful entrance to The Village Hat Shop!

How many shops have an enormous hat sheltering their front entrance?

The Village Hat Shop in Hillcrest does!

They also have three great murals above windows that are brimming with fantastic hats!

Back in April, when I was researching the artist who created a civil rights mural in Mountain View, I learned that Rik Erickson of Murals Fantastic had also painted these three small but very delightful murals at The Village Hat Shop.

The Village Hat Shop was founded in 1980 in San Diego and now has several locations around Southern California.

If you’re a hat lover, you might enjoy paying a visit!

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!

Oil Painters of America comes to Escondido!

What is Left Unsaid, by artist Daniel Gerhartz.

An extraordinary exhibition of oil paintings by some of America’s finest artists opened at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido a couple weeks ago.

Yesterday I headed into the Center’s Museum to check out dozens of superb pieces that were created by members of the Oil Painters of America.

The Oil Painters of America has several thousand members who excel at representational oil painting, an art that has seen some decline in modern times. According to this page of their website: “Oil Painters of America was founded in 1991 by Shirl Smithson primarily to focus attention on the lasting value of fine drawing, color, composition and the appreciation of light…”

Think of those old masters in a fine art museum. Some of the exquisite works I saw yesterday appear to belong right beside them.

Contemporary art can be amazing, other mediums can be fantastic, but if you want to find a profound sense of humanity and subtle emotion in a canvas, this type of painting is hard to beat.

The exhibition is titled the 30th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils. The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is privileged to have these works on display. I noticed many of the pieces are for sale.

I loved so many of these fine paintings, it was hard to select a handful to give you an idea of what you’ll see when you enter the museum.

Whatever you do, be sure to pass through the California Center for the Arts’ Museum doors by May 16, 2021, when this fantastic exhibition of traditional oil painting draws to an end.

Taos Light, by artist Huihan Liu.
Considerations, by artist John Michael Carter.
Carpe Diem, by artist Jeff Legg.
Mother, by artist Kathie Odom.
Port Clyde Harbor, by artist Jim Carson.
Saffron In Blue Ridge, by artist Brandon Gonzales.
Into the Sun, by artist Sarah Kidner.

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!

Girl walks with many dogs in La Mesa!

During my walk in La Mesa last weekend I spotted a girl strolling with numerous dogs down the sidewalk!

Happy dogs of every type were walking with her past Village Antiques, as a curious cat watched from the shop window. And all of this was happening at the corner of La Mesa Boulevard and University Avenue . . . on a painted utility box!

I saw that this fun but somewhat faded street art was created by Margo Parks and Yvonne Rose.

As I tried to do a little research about the artists, I made a big discovery. This street art is part of a larger La Mesa beautification project called the Walking Art Trail.

The Walking Art Trail was created by the La Mesa Arts Alliance (LMAA) in partnership with the community. Local artists painted a variety of utility boxes around La Mesa, and a brochure which you can see here shows the locations of each colorful box!

Back in 2017 I photographed a number of these painted boxes without realizing they were all part of a larger project. You can see my photographs here.

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Even more Young Art: Outside the Frame!

The San Diego Museum of Art’s unique project Young Art: Outside the Frame continues to expand!

Today I spotted even more SDG&E utility boxes that are being painted for the outdoor exhibition of youth art!

A total of 25 utility boxes are being painted around downtown by professional artists, taking their inspiration from the San Diego Museum of Art’s biennial exhibition of local student art, which this year is titled Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet. The super nice people at Mindful Murals are coordinating the various artists.

The past few weeks I’ve posted photographs of many other boxes. To see them, and to learn even more about Young Art: Outside the Frame, click here and here and here and here and here. To see how some of the finished utility boxes compare with the original youth art that is now being exhibited in the museum, click here!

The first of the new boxes I spotted today are located on Broadway just east of Park Boulevard. Three stand together in a group. It appears the middle box hasn’t been started yet. I don’t know who has painted the boxes on either end, but I’ll provide an update when I learn!

The fourth box I spotted today is on A Street between Tenth and 11th Avenue, directly in front of the Shell gas station. It’s by abstract artist T. Jay Santa Ana (@tjaysantaana).

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!

Museum’s environmental youth art, reimagined on the street!

The San Diego Museum of Art’s new exhibition Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet has opened!

At the title suggests, the museum’s biennial Youth Art exhibition has an environmental theme this year. Students from schools all around San Diego County have contributed.

There’s a new twist this time, however!

Professional artists, coordinated by Mindful Murals, are reimagining 25 works of this outstanding youth art by painting SDG&E utility boxes from Balboa Park down Park Boulevard into downtown San Diego. Every utility box “recreates” a canvas painted by a young person!

I’ve already photographed many of the utility boxes. So I was excited to see all the great original youth art hanging on the San Diego Museum of Art’s walls!

Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to compare some of the original art with the painted utility boxes? Of course it would!

The professional artists painting the boxes were encouraged to interpret the student canvases in their own unique way. You can see significant differences. (And painting an outdoor utility box that will be seen momentarily by passing motorists and pedestrians is very different than painting a canvas with a fine brush.)

To view photos of many more utility boxes, click here.

So, without further ado, here come the comparisons!

Plastic, Not Dinner, by Anjolie Ly, Westview High School. Large numbers of turtles are killed each year when they mistake plastic waste for jellyfish.
Artist Brise Birdsong. A more perfect ocean environment.
Strong Together, by Chloe Katz, Art Studio Light.
Artist Amanda Saint Claire, mentoring Katie Flores.
Turn Off the Light, by Anqi “Cici” Mei, Solana Pacific Elementary.
Artist Nhuy Reid.
2050, by Sheridan Liew, Sherry Art Studio/Canyon Crest Academy. A future of severe environmental pollution might look like this.
Artist Lucy Helle.
Wind Farm at Sundown on 8 East, by Arianna Larios, Homeschool.
I don’t know the artist at this moment! When I learn, I’ll provide an update. UPDATE! The artist is Sean Hnedak.
Oceana, by Alice Zhu, Westview High School. A girl’s serenity contrasted with her hair as an oil spill.
Artist Alyssa Stewart.

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!

More Young Art: Outside the Frame!

Today I noticed that two more SDG&E utility boxes are being painted for the San Diego Museum of Art’s cool project Young Art: Outside the Frame!

These two boxes can be found on Park Boulevard, just north of the City College trolley station. They are located in front of several large colorful murals by @ladieswhopaint that I blogged about here.

These are two boxes of 25 total that will be painted. To see five other boxes that I’ve already spied, and to learn more about Young Art: Outside the Frame, check out two recent blog posts here and here!

The box you see in the first few photos is being painted by professional artist Alyssa Stewart. She showed me a copy of the original artwork that was selected from many pieces in the San Diego Museum of Art’s upcoming Young Art exhibition.

The second utility box is being painted by artist Lucy Helle. Check out her Instagram page here. She also showed me a copy of the original youth art she is working from.

I plan to post more photos as I discover more boxes, and update as boxes are completed! Stay tuned!

UPDATE!

I swung by a few days later and these two boxes appear to be finished!

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!

A peculiar Brain/Cloud seascape in La Jolla!

Stand by the water at La Jolla Cove and look up toward the buildings on the hill above you. Is that the ocean up there, too?

See that lone palm tree painted on a building with a cloud shaped like a brain hovering above it? That’s one of the Murals of La Jolla, and it’s the creation of an internationally famous conceptual artist, John Baldessari. His Brain/Cloud (with Seascape and Palm Tree), 2011, can be viewed up close by diners at the George’s at the Cove restaurant.

John Baldessari explained: “A brain can look like a cloud if you manipulate it in the right way. We see things in clouds. It looks like it’s hovering almost from outer space. I like banal images and I can’t think of anything more banal than a palm tree and an ocean.”

In the present day, with the rising importance of artificial intelligence and cloud computing, this curious image might suggest something quite different!

Born in National City, Baldessari grew up in San Diego. According to Wikipedia: “In 1959, Baldessari began teaching art in the San Diego school system. He taught for nearly three decades, in schools and junior colleges and community colleges, and eventually at the university level. When the University of California decided to open up a campus in San Diego, the new head of the Visual Art Department, Paul Brach, asked Baldessari to be part of the originating faculty in 1968…” He passed away last year.

Baldessari’s work has been the subject of over 200 national and international solo exhibitions, and his awards are numerous. His provocative art often poses unusual questions, poking at accepted norms, directing the viewer’s perception and mind in unexpected directions.

In the past I’ve photographed a couple other representations of his art, which you can see here and here.

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!