Archive for July, 2008

South America, Spain and Gaudi

Posted in Art, dreams, nature, socialization with tags , , , , , on July 31, 2008 by darcyarts

I have recently see some really great footage from South America on the new season of Anthony Bourdain’s travel/food show. This is Uruguay.

I love food but even more i love seeing places I probably will have to miss this lifetime.

Nice planter! Uruguay has plenty of wide open spaces and very few people. It appealed to the my craving for quiet and solitude. And they have beach for days.

These photos are from a blog site called What a Relief at Travel Blog. This is another thing I love about TV and the internets. Virtual travel. It is a blessing for the monetarily less-endowed.

As you can see, like Cuba, they have plenty of beautiful classic American cars.

From what I was able to see on the Bourdain show there are alot of pink buildings which is always a pleasant thing.

So now it’s like, when I find some money, will I move to Bernal Heights or Uruguay? Decisions, decisions.

The Bourdain show from Colombia wasn’t bad either.

These two photos are from Cartagena and also from Travel Blog.

There is something so right about the way these buildings are painted.

Like I’ve recently said, I grew up a mile from Disneyland where I got to see the high art of fantasy environments. When I see the grace of these places in South America I just wonder how most Americans went so wrong when it comes to design.

You can see these colors in Bernal Height and some other other neighborhoods in San Francisco.

They are NOT garish. These are colors found in nature, so why be afraid of color, home owners?

Check out Purple Houses for some cool bold homes. This girl makes her own way.

Traveling is something I have always craved. There are things in the world that I would love to see up close and personal.

Stunning in pictures and on film but I imagine standing within or before one would be a transcendent experience.

For that I would have to get to Barcelona. I know there are ways to finagle these things.

See the Gaudi Pool at Flicker.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s artists were inspired by forms they saw in nature, the curves the organic structures.

That movement is known as Art Nouveau.

Crafts people made some beautiful things but Gaudi was audacious in the scale of things he constructed.

Here is an archway in Parc Guell.

These things excite me in the same way that Eucalyptus trees manage to do. their beauty and grace make me swoon. I really wonder what would happen if one lived within one of these buildings.

Thes last two pix are from this photography site.

After seeing these things for the first time, in my first modern art class, I was stunned. I wondered why, from that moment on,  all buildings weren’t made this way.

This level of beauty must have a deep and positive effect on the human psyche. Don’t we deserve to live in such environments? Shouldn’t everyone have access to intense natural beauty?

No more square boxes. round out those edges, mofo and give me cream!

Update 25/09/09

I purchased a double volume set of books on Gaudi this year.  Gaudi: Complete Work by Isabel Artigas. It’s only $25 now at Amazon and well worth the money.

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Out of the Past

Posted in dreams, film, nature, socialization with tags , , , , on July 30, 2008 by darcyarts

Recollections received from generations past grow hazy as time moves a body farther away.

My recollections are hazy enough. When I try to recall the things my grandmother told me over the course of our time together I realize how insubstantial those recollections are.

Kathleen’s mother, Marie was a dreamy yet stubborn woman. Both my grandmother and great-grandmothers were Tauruses. Taurus gets the stubborn tag and rightfully so but that stubborness comes from their solidity.

They are what they are and that’s why I like them. My son and my daughter are Tauruses. My sweet honey pie partner, Frank, is a Taurus.

My great-grandmother, Kathleen’s mother Marie, for reasons unknown to my grandmother, left her, for prolonged periods, with her grandparents.

She lived with us when I was a child and I loved her very much. I sensed she had lived a pretty rough life. She was stoic and spiritual but funny and down to earth, too. Taurus is an earth sign.

Marie’s father was a baker. He owned a bakery in southern Illinois and wore a big white hat.

He was Kathleen’s grandfather and sold six loaves of bread for a quarter. I’ve heard that a thousand times.

Other oft repeated bakery lore has a very young Kathleen habitually crawling into the bakery’s candy case and making off with all the prizes from the Cracker Jack.

Kathleen delights in that story but sadly, more than anything else, what sticks with her is that she was not wanted by her mother or her grandparents.

She was a beautiful girl and she married and had babies early by today’s standards. She was 18. By the time she was 20 she had two kids. In the Dead of winter, 1934, she and my grandfather, Harry Mahoney, drove west from Illinois to California.  

This, I believe, is that car a few years later. Harry is standing with my uncle Pat and my dad Jim, sporting the goggles.

Another oft told story:

On the drive to southern California, land of sunshine and citrus, Kathleen had to get out on the running board of this old car and wipe the snow off the windshield so my grandpa could see the road.

My grandparents lived in various suburbs of Los Angeles. For a while my grandfather delivered movie film reels to theaters. He rode this motorcycle to do so.

This is south Los Angeles in the 30’s. Look at those dusty wide open spaces. It looks like some dried out farm community in dust bowl-era Oklahoma but with a lot less trees because it’s the desert.

Today, this neighborhood and everything within a hundred miles in any direction is jammed with homes, strip malls and roads.

My grandparents lived in South Gate, Lynwood and Compton where I was born.

I am straight out of Compton, yo. Know what I’m saying?

Come On In My Kitchen

Posted in Art, dreams, etsy, music, socialization, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by darcyarts

 

This morning I can breathe! The air is so clear compared to the smoked mushroom soup we’ve had to suck into our lungs for the last month.

It feels fresh and the greens are growing and dude, I’m stoked to be living my life.

I hear the smoke is due to fall back into the valley again but I wont’ think of it now.

The container garden is doing well. We’ve had plates of garden produce to add to meals.

Roma tomatoes, Early Girls (yummy), Basil and one red chili pepper which is very mild. For breakfast I cook eggs and salmon with sliced chilis and basil.

We have these yellow peppers. I do not know what type they are though some are big and fat.  

 

 I feel so unworthy to speak of vegetation after reading chuck b’s whore-ticulture.

Here is just one wonderful page full of delights.

It starts out with pix of items being packed up before redecoration begins and then chuck b gets to the flora.

Everytime I go there I get lost in chuck b’s world. It’s enchanting. Here is his fresh blog My Back 40. Scanning the pix on the first post I found my favorite flowers — Naked Ladies!!!! They smell heavenly. I’m sure in the other world the whole place smells just like Naked Ladies or Amaryllis Belladonna (thanks, chuck).

As a child we lived near Disneyland. What a Psych-Fest it was but even in the midst of all that sparkle and fantasy I would always find my way to the Main Street gift shop. They had candles that had that scent. I would pick them up, breath deep and trance right out.

The first time I encountered the aroma of an Amaryllis Belladona I was ecstatic. There was that beautiful smell after so long.

This picture of Amaryllis is from the blog southernbulbs.com

Here are some pictures from my kitchen:

This is my new lamp fixture. It is beautiful glass in someof my favorite colors. I have fixed it over the light bulb portion of this way-too-country fan/lamp combo. It is a great improvement. It cost $5.50 at my local thrift store.

Succulants sit in one of the kitchen windows. When these plants were outside I had the jade plant in a planter beside the aloe vera. by the end of the warm weather, when I brought them inside, the jade plant had creeped into the aloe vera planter and put down roots. Now the pots are joined.

My Josh Homme painting hangs on the wall above this great fish made by Shasta High’s art club, the Mad Mudders.

Orange things and pink things, purple onions, garlic, yellow peas, chop sticks and packaged condiments from Panda Bowl (Homer drool).

 There are shelves on either side of the window over the kitchen sink. I have pix and knick knacks on them. Musicians and Hindi god figures and candles.

Eno, a shell and a yellow light. Eno’s web presence.

Bob Dylan and Brian Jones, a candle decorated by the fabulous musician Jessica Pratt.

 

I love this picture of Jim Morrison with a juicy watermelon.

Oh . . . do you think it’s suggestive? Naughty boys rule.

It definitely looks like an invitation to sensual pleasure, and summer delights.

There are dried flowers hanging near him in this window.

If you look carefully at the photo with the deserty palm plant (I’m no vulture for horticulture) you can see my candle decorated with an image of John Waters in a beauty salon. The cat is Tipsy.

Let the light in and breathe deep.

Time is an illusion and while we are counting. a world is woven from the things we forget.

I dreamed I had a ticket to go to France. Then I realized I couldn’t make the trip.

I dreamed beautiful musical instruments kept being delivered to our mailbox and Frank would bring them in. One was a handmade, one of a kind Bass for him.

I had a wooden handcarved guitar thing with two drone strings. One heavy and one light. The heavy one was on the outside.

What if your name was Peter Coyote.

Charlie Before He Was a Heppie

Posted in Art, etsy, socialization with tags , , , , on July 28, 2008 by darcyarts

It was the summer of 1969 a few months before I began my adventuring and wound up at the desert commune. I had spent most of my life dreaming nature and rock’n’roll and even though I knew bad things happened I was pretty much focused on imagining a wonderful world.

I lived with my grandparents, my dad’s mother and father, and he was staying with us. It was very odd. Like having a strange uncle suddenly in your space. Too close for comfort.

Rumour has it that when I was a small child, I was attached to some father figure.  I’d come to live with my grandparents after I recovered from tuberculosis. I was found once, sleep walking, pounding on the front door, yelling for “Daddy.” I can’t imagine that it was James Mahoney for whom I pined. When would I have formed such a bond? I went to the hospital when I was a year and a half old and before that he was never around. It must have been a past life memory I was acting on.

Here’s a picture of my dad with my granny.  Trouble was never too far behind or ahead of Jim. He fancied himself a cholo. It was the 50s. He was into drugs, bennies and pot, and drinking.

I know this look she’s giving him. I can hear her saying “I hope you’re proud of yourself, Jim.” Responsibility was not his thing.

One thing they had in common both of them liked to dress up.

On this particular day in the summer of 1969 my girlfriend Pat Stinson had spent the night and we were in the kitchen. My dad was sitting at the formica table looking at the paper. On the front page was a picture of Charles Manson

“I knew Charlie before he was a heppie,”  my dad said, in his low-key mumble. He  always said “heppie” intead of “hippie” because non-conformists were hep before they were hip.

It was a matter of fact. He and Charles Manson had spent some quality time together in the jailhouse at Terminal Island, a low security prison near Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

 

 Pat and I didn’t say a thing. We tried to be cool. One slim degree of separation was unnerving. Do we look like potential Manson followers?

My father was never much of a criminal. Neither was Charles Manson. He was at Terminal Island from ’56 to ’58 for stealing a car, a ’51 Mercury, according to the wiki.

 Jim Mahoney routinely messed with people’s heads.  It’s something he and Charlie learned in a jail.

The most arresting thing about the picture of the long-haired Charlie was the look in his eyes.

He looked pissed but there is also that deep sadness of the fucked-over child, a wounding betrayal of trust.

He would work his menancing look and  become, for the cameras, exactly what he was expected to be  — a crazed fiend. In many an interview Manson attempts to address the psychology of perception vs reality. His raps pretty much fell on deaf ears as the press went for devil-drama instead.

 Charlie practiced working up his crazy look for years. He was obviously bent but it was also for protection behind prison walls. He’d been abandoned, abused and institutionalized, like so many others. But he just managed to find himself in a time where there were plenty of suburban children were open to his jail raps and psych plays. It was all talk but Charlie found he could actually manipulate some of these nasty, spoiled novices. They enacted his revenge against a society that had broken his heart and treated him like trash.  

“Just like hypnotizing chickens . . .”

“Lust For Life” Iggy Pop

 Charlie sky-rocketed to infamy after convincing a pack of  suburban brats to ritually slaughter a number  of wealthy, beautiful people at a home on Cielo Drive in L.A. 

“Look down at me and you see a fool. Look up at me and you see a god. Look straight at me and you see yourself.”

“You can’t kill me I’m already dead.”  Charles Manson

 

 

This is not Devendra Banhart.

This is a card made by Camuscanoe at Etsy.

Alcatraz, My Friend

Posted in Art, dreams, socialization with tags , , , , on July 25, 2008 by darcyarts

This building sits near the  prison on Alcatraz Island. It looks a lot like something from one of my dreams. 

I had dreamed that Frank and I were driving down a street in San Francisco. We were looking for a hotel and didn’t want to spend too much money. We passed this place (see sketch) and it was called “Home.” It was very charming and seemed a good choice. We drove on and passed a similar one called “Friend.” 

 It is not so unusual to have conjured a building near a federal prison. I was raised by my grandparents and our “family vacations” were often visits to places where my dad or uncle were incarcerated. We traveled to San Francisco once to visit my uncle Pat. He was doing 15 years in San Quentin, which is actually in Marin County.

This is my sister Colleen and I on that trip to the cold north. It must be  about 1958. I don’t look too happy about to be there.

It’s always freaky to visit places that your closest relatives are embarrassed to talk about. You’re in the midst of doing the shit and no one’s saying much. I’m sure, as small children, we must have inquired about our destination repeatedly. I wish I remembered their replies. 

We actually went camping and stuff, too.

It was a strange childhood. Most of it was pretty calm, safe, sunny-southern-California suburban but we always knew something was fishy.

The whole hush hush routine is a joke. Kid’s have a built-in bullshit detector.

The real contradictions didn’t start until the imprisoned pigeons came home to roost. That made the 60s even more interesting and at time frightening than you might imagine.

Ever see that Alfred Hitchcock film “Shadow of a Doubt” with Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright?

I’ll explain about all this in more depth later.

On the positive side my dream sketch also resembles this sweet house in Bernal Heights.

 I’ve decided I’m meant to retire to Bernal Heights and that somehow by some amazing trick of fate or goodwill from all the spirit beings who care for me, some stranger will walk up to me one day when I least expect it and offer to let me live in this beautiful neighborhood.

I dream and dream.

More buildings and gardens in San Francisco can be found in this great blog Whoreticulture.  It has a nice post on a place to find cool old recovered building materials in S.F.

This person’s bio is also very inviting. It was written by a male, chuck b., a chemist and a garden lover. It looks like chuck routinely takes photographic tours of great environments. Check it out. Here’s his new blog – My back 40.

I have decided to get to work on a portrait of Charles Manson for a blog post I have coming up. 

I’m not trying to freak you out. Honest.

I better get to work.

The Return

Posted in music, socialization with tags , , , on July 24, 2008 by darcyarts

 This is me in San Francisco, 1979, after Frank and I had returned from our “honeymoon” period in Santa Barbara.

 I decided we should go back to S.F. after a monstrous thunderstorm caused a flood of rain water to pour through the central light fixture in our ceiling. Our cozy little room on the Pacific Coast Highway was flooded out.

The landlord said we could stay in another room down the hall. It had just been repainted and freshened up after the former tenant, an elderly male, died there of Cancer.

We stayed there a few nights but it wasn’t the sunny corner spot our room had been. I couldn’t handle it. Hey, I’m very sensitive to spiritual detritus.

Besides, I had grown restless and used the torrential downpour as an excuse to beat it. It seems I have always used psychic or physical disasters as a reason to change venues.

There is quite the spiritual patina in San Francisco. I can always feel layers and layers of lives lived in those old buildings. It was like I was constanly picking up on this low level hum. 

I asked Frank to pose in front of the poster of Jim Morrison we had in our room. You can tell he’s a little perturbed.

This time in San Francisco Frank and I joined a fresh communal living experience. We moved into an old Victorian home on Waller Street not far from Market Street. One of Frank’s best friends, Steven Durkee, lived there and had told Frank about the extra room while we were still in S.B.

 

 

 

 

 

Steven was smart, sweet, funny, brutally honest and possessed of an old soul.  We got along famously, probably because of our shared moon in Scorpio placement.

This is Steven’s boyfriend, David Brunson. He spent alot of his time in Mexico but had come up be with Steven for a spell. Here is Frank with our big-daddy host, John.

Frank has on his lovely faded gaberdine jacket. I think we found this in a thrift store in Santa Barbara, a great old shop on the west end of State Street. You’d never find one there now. I’m sure store front rent is far too expensive these days.

I’m not sure what John is writing but it looks like a big, hairy reminder of something like a cardinal rule.

I think you can see my bra hanging from the hook on the closet door behind John, scarves too, and a pair of black gloves. Hmmm. Maybe the cardinal rule was keep your closet door closed.

Our little corner of the house overlooked Waller Street.

 Our wordly goods were few. The better to quickly change venues. Money was scarce though I soon got a job as a file clerk in an insurance agency downtown.

The best part of that gig was getting there. I looked forward to the trip down Market Street each morning in a green bullet-shaped car. Out at Third Street and up to Grant to the Cafe Trieste and a very stimulating cafe latte.

“Ciao, Bella! Cafe latte?,” asked the lovely barista.

“Yes,” said I, double thrilled to be greeted so warmly and to have become a regular.

Sometimes the juke box would be blaring a sentimental Italian song about “Mama” even though it was 7:15 a.m. People sat at the mismatched tables, dressed casually. They were reading the newspaper or engaging in conversation, enjoy the atmosphere and the best coffee in town. It was as close as I’ve ever been to Europe.

The bad part was leaving by 7:45 to make my walk to Montgomery Street and the insurance agency. This was my first encounter with mind-numbing boredom. After a few months I realized people who do this kind of work for a living could resort to very bizarre fantasies and behavior just to cut the stagnant mind space. It was awful. Getting up early also meant I couldn’t hang out late with the boys or get into much trouble Monday through Friday.

It was Thanksgiving soon after our arrival.

Left to right, there is John’s young boyfriend, Mark. John at the head of the table. Kevin, Bruce and Steven’s shiny head of hair.

 John was a pretty good cook. We had the full feast including a big turkey. The dining room  was in the back of the house. We ate by candlelight.

Bruce, sitting in the chair in the kitchen, was a very bright boy. He had a degree in biology which he earned by the time he was 19. He was a provider of psychotropic substances like mushrooms and other herbal remedies. He rode a motorcycle and was into leather.

This is Rick, I think. I’m having trouble recalling, but he made very special brownies which he is showing off in this picture, also taken in the kitchen. The sign partially obscured by his head says “Baby Meat.”

There was a lot going on with this many people occupying two floors. It was a very nice house.  John lived in the upstairs room.

There was an odd little diner across Market Street that always made me feel as if I had stepped into a time warp. It looked like a place that could have been in Montana or Wyoming.

They had great breakfasts and cool little jukeboxes at each seat. One of the hipster wait-people managed to get really interesting music. I always liked hearing “Warm Leatherette” by the Normal. It just sounded so good and it was such a weird juxtaposition in that little wood-paneled hunter’s cafe. In San Francisco the hunters were just a different breed.

WARM LEATHERETTE

See the breaking glass
In the underpass
See the breaking glass
In the underpass

Warm leatherette

Hear the crushing steel
Feel the steering wheel
Hear the crushing steel
Feel the steering wheel

Warm leatherette

Warm leatherette

Warm leatherette
Melts on your burning flesh
You can see your reflection
In the luminescent dash

Warm leatherette

A tear of petrol
Is in your eye
The hand brake
Penetrates your thigh
Quick — Let’s make love
Before you die

On warm leatherette
Warm leatherette

Warm leatherette
Warm leatherette
Warm leatherette

Join the car crash set

 A view, shot in the early morning, from the bathroom window. Hot.

I’m All That

Posted in Art, etsy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 23, 2008 by darcyarts

I received an interesting request from fellow Etsian NB. He asked to use an image of myself that I have recently posted on this blog. He does Warholesque portrait pix.

 

He did something really cool with it and he can do it with any picture of a face.

I love faces and so, in my estimation, this rocks.

It is never a bad thing to be able to see yourself rendered in cartoon fashion. Doesn’t it make you want to get immortalized in andy.nb fashion?

You know you need this.

You see? It’s a special magic that NB can yield and what’s more, you can see the process (and my face!) in action on YouTube.

NB can also do solo pix of just one of you or your baby children.

I love, love the baby picture vectorized portraits cuz I love babies all of the time.

It’s too cool and I applaud NB for getting these interesting looking pieces out to the public.

I’d stop here but NB has also added beautiful silhouettes. 

Isn’t this cool? You can also get one of your pet. Aw, pupper!

I really love the scrolly, viney stuff at the botton of the image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I want to also point out a few new items from cbtscloset.

This cool froggie-like donut.

This Casio keyboard is cool.

 Look at this cool design of a Sugar Skull in resin.