One more smile from a Spanish Village artist!

For some reason, I’ve always paused when passing Studio 13 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.

Perhaps it’s the word Ebullience above the front door. More likely it was the organic, seemingly infinite art that blossomed all around the place.

Over the years, I had spoken a few times to ceramic artist Sylvia Mejia, who worked in Studio 13. The first time she showed me the labyrinth she’d painted on the patio in front. The next time she showed me inside. What I found was indescribably powerful. If you’d like to see those photographs, click here.

Well, lately I’d noticed the door is shut, nobody home. And today I saw Studio 13 had been vacated. She’s moved on, I was told.

But I got one more smile. Because in the parking lot to the side of her old studio, next the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad’s fence, like an ancient living guard, one of her wonderful, whimsical sculptures still stands.

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!

Between Heaven and Earth in Balboa Park.

Today I stepped through a door and found myself somewhere between Heaven and Earth.

The fine art exhibition, titled Between Heaven and Earth, filled Gallery 21 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. Canvases on the gallery walls flowed with shadows, mists and dimly seen forms. The San Diego artist who ushered these visions into existence is Catherine Carlton.

Her more mysterious pieces seem to blend earthly scenes with a sense of their spiritual essence. Her creations evoke a subtle emotional response–a feeling that there is more to this world than what meets the eye. Some of her pieces include sacred symbols or bits of verse.

I particularly loved her art made with layered wax containing pigment. Images of rain, lightning, and natural landscapes are ethereal, fluid, and alive. You can see an example in my next photograph.

Catherine Carlton creates this sublime beauty in her art studio at Liberty Station. She particularly loves to produce commercial art, and has painted murals for various local restaurants..

If you’d like to see more of her work, visit her website 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!

Glass artists exhibition in Spanish Village!

Many pieces of amazing glass art can be enjoyed this weekend in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. The public is invited to view the Art Glass Association of Southern California’s 40th Annual Members’ Exhibition in Gallery 21. Unfortunately it ends much too soon on Monday.

I’ve always had a love for lustrous, luminous glass art. Pieces often appear like liquified light, caught for an instant in time. Like carefully hand-crafted jewels, their appearance changes depending on one’s angle of view. One extraordinary piece, as you’ll see, cleverly uses prism refraction to produce many different bright colors.

I noticed that most of the exhibited pieces are for sale. If I had a million dollars, I’d grab them all.

To me every one is magic.

Sunburst, Diana Griffin.
Abundance, Kathleen Mitchell.
Bellora, Michelle Bohannan Sherer.
Gen Z Redhead, Marti Blair.
Drop Vessel, Krista Heron.
Baby Blue Monk, Tom Marosz.

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!

Unusual sculptures rise above Spanish Village!

Check out these unusual, wildly creative sculptures. They were recently placed on columns near the center of Spanish Village Art Center’s large outdoor patio. I had to stop in my tracks to look up during my Saturday walk through Balboa Park.

These five unique pieces are the work of two artists in the San Diego Sculptors Guild, which is located in Spanish Village. I’ve identified the artists in the next photo caption.

I don’t know if there’s a unifying theme. But this art does makes you look twice, to say the least!

From left to right, the sculptures are: Cupid’s Hammer by Sergey Gornushkin, Pinocchio by Yuriy Akopov, Holy Surf by Sergey Gornushkin, Seal the Deal by Yuriy Akopov, and Gotem by Sergey Gornushkin.

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!

Colorful trashcan art painted in Spanish Village!

There’s a very cool project now underway in Balboa Park’s always colorful Spanish Village Art Center. Artists from various Spanish Village studios have begun to paint metal trashcans that are placed around the big central patio!

It appears to me any subject matter is fair game. In this special place, where you can say hello to local artists and even watch them at work, it’s all about creativity!

These are the trashcans I spotted today…

What will appear 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!

Cool photo memories from March 2016.

We’ve stepped into a new month, so it’s time to look back at some of the things Cool San Diego Sights featured five years ago!

Back in March 2016 there was a whole lot going on in San Diego!

The following links will take you to photographs of various events and places of interest that you might enjoy seeing again. Unless, of course, you’re new to my blog. In that case, you’ll see these photos for the very first time!

Click the following links for lots of photographs…

Mountain men, a gunsmith and a blacksmith.

Irish pride on display at big St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

Photos of International Mariachi Festival in National City.

History comes alive during tour of Spanish Village.

Photos of National City Depot museum and streetcars!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Valentine’s Day love in Balboa Park!

Love could be seen everywhere in Balboa Park today!

On signs, on banners, on balloons, on surprising canvases, even on hands! But mostly on the faces of those passing through the park on a sunny Sunday in February.

Perhaps that’s because today is Valentine’s Day…

Many vendors set up in the Plaza de Balboa near the Bea Evenson Fountain had love-themed crafts and goodies for sale.
Two love birds on a banner, beside the Balboa Park Visitors Center front door.
A heart-shaped balloon in colorful Spanish Village.
Artist Susan Mae Hull of Studio 23 was creating beautiful Valentine’s Day cards in Spanish Village Art Center. I noticed her delicately brushed images include animals from the Chinese Zodiac.
A henna tattoo artist on El Prado could put your heart on your hand. (Or maybe you can wear your heart on your sleeve.)
Artist Jean Pierre made all sorts of colorful hearts and had them for sale near the International Cottages.
One of Jean Pierre’s many bright hearts.
Love balloons could be found everywhere!

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!

Hearts appear before Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is now less than a week away.

In the past few days I’ve noticed hearts popping up everywhere I walk. Hearts can be spotted in shop windows, on doors and signs…and shining from the faces of those who know love!

The final two photographs were taken in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. The artists were kind enough to let me snap the pictures.

Come to think of it, if you’re looking for a special gift that’s truly heartfelt and one-of-a-kind, Spanish Village would be an ideal place to 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!

Edward Moores paints Point Loma sunset beauty.

A color-splashed sunset in Point Loma materialized before my eyes this afternoon.

I was walking through Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park, when I paused to watch an artist working on a canvas in front of Studio 26. He was painting the Bessemer Path along San Diego Bay in Point Loma. The scene that flowed from his hand was suffused with sunset light.

I soon was talking to Edward Moores, who has been a local artist in Spanish Village for over two decades. He has lived in San Diego most of his life, and you can see a deep love for the city in his paintings.

Ed showed me inside his Studio 26 and I recognized many San Diego places that he has painted. I saw the Hotel Del Coronado’s elegant Victorian boathouse. I saw Balboa Park’s light-filled Lily Pond. When he learned I lived on Cortez Hill, he brought out a wonderful sketch of the historic El Cortez!

Marveling at his careful dabs and streaks of color, I was privileged to see our beautiful city through his eyes. He described his art as somewhat impressionistic. It flows from a place inside him. He said no work of art is ever really finished.

I found the visions and moods he creates to be both subtle and powerful.

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!

Holiday scenes in Balboa Park before the lockdown.

Tomorrow another “stay at home” order goes into effect in Southern California. It’s late 2020, the year of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Today many people were enjoying Balboa Park one last time before the lockdown. As I walked through the park this afternoon, I saw a few holiday decorations, but nothing like you’d see during an ordinary year.

A few visitors were dressed for the occasion–I even saw Santa Grinch skating about in the Plaza de Panama! I also saw good old Santa wearing a face mask driving his sleigh between the plaza and Organ Pavilion; a big Santa Bear at the Japanese Friendship Garden; and lights, Christmas trees and ornaments in the Spanish Village Art Center.

I also walked past the Taste of December Nights event in the large Inspiration Point parking lots. All I saw were lines of cars pulled up to a couple dozen food trucks.

Speaking of trucks, see those two photos of a red vehicle parked in front of the San Diego Automotive Museum? That very cool old 1922 Mack Water Truck has returned to its old spot after a long restoration. I wrote a little about this antique water truck on my now dormant blog Beautiful Balboa Park. Read more about it here!

Even though everyone in San Diego is encouraged to exercise outdoors, now that we’re entering a stay-at-home period, my walking adventures might become less frequent for the time being. Fortunately, I have lots of interesting photos still in my computer, so stay tuned for many more surprising blog posts!

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!