Slow Art, Some Lettuce and a Tangerine – San Francisco


Foods have a special significance during Chinese New Year because of the way the Chinese word for it sounds. The Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like rising fortune, it is common to serve a lettuce wrap filled with other lucky food. Tangerines and oranges are passed out during Chinese New Year as the words for tangerine and orange sound like luck and wealth.

Slow Art relates to creating art in a slow way. This practice is about being mindful of detail, valuing the history inherent in re-usable materials, putting time into creating small items. The practice encourages the maker to be naturally meditative as they create.

Early in the morning I decided to write some thank you notes.

Why not make  original drawings of items bought at the Farmer’s Market the day before?

While propping them up on the table to review,  the sun came up – gorgeous light!

I ran to get my camera. Here is the result.

A very productive day and it was only 7 o’clock in the morning.

I kept a dozen drawings with the thought of printing notecards.

Maybe they are the beginning of an Artist’s Book.

Where shall I get them printed?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Dragons Visit the Neighbors – San Francisco Chinatown



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San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. Celebration in honor of the Lunar New Year has been going on for over a week.  As the San Franciscans go about their business, there are intermittent firecracker pops in the air. We are surprised by a dragon dancing on a corner somewhere in the city. After the Climate Change Rally last Sunday my friend and I walked home winding our way through Chinatown. Hearing music we ducked into an alley. A  group had gathered around two small dragons. There were two dancers in each costume. We watched as the leader knocked on each door. The occupant would open the door and give the  leader a small red envelope which contained crisp new dollar bills. The lions danced, the cymbals clanged. It’s loud. It’s chaotic. It’s scary. It’s fun.  Firecrackers are thrown. One hit my leg as the dancing dragons moved on to the next neighboring door.

The first photograph in the above series was taken through a storefront window where the main dragon is on display until Saturday, the day of the Chinese New Year Parade. The Golden Dragon is over 201 feet long and is always featured at the end of the parade as the grand finale and will be accompanied by over 600,000 firecrackers! The Golden Dragon was made in Foshan, a small town in China. The Foshan dragonmasters formerly made all the costumes for the Cantonese opera, and the Golden Dragon bears many operatic touches, such as the rainbow colored pompoms on its 6 foot-long head. It is festooned from nose to tail with colored lights, decorated with silver rivets on both scaly sides and trimmed in white rabbit fur. The dragon, made on a skeleton of bamboo and rattan, is in 29 segments. It takes a team of 100 men and women to carry the Golden Dragon. This is also considered an honor to be chosen for the grand finale.

Click on images to see detail. See the red wax in the guy’s ear? The guy has drums and cymbals on a cart with wheels.

Knotted and Frayed – San Francisco


Walking the hills of San Francisco I came across this public art installation in Chinatown. The piece was created by Alex Moses and Susan Breed. Taking my iphone out of my jeans pocket I made a series of photographs. Great reflections were happening as people walked past.