Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,
As I mentioned on the index page, I am now committed to new website software. This is the first diary where I am using the new system from the beginning and new things are always "stressy" - a word created by a friend in Germany. I had created two other 2019 diaries "as before" and then, laboriously, redid them in the new system. Hopefully, I can do this one right.
To make it easier for me, I am telling a very simple story this time: what is happening in Marianne's art life and what I tried to do to practice my camera operating skills. First, art.
We managed to make it to this month's ArtHop, to look for inspiration for both Marianne's work and even for my pictures. Our first stop was Vernissage, a gallery just a couple of blocks from us run by Ma Ly, an artist-friend who pushes Marianne from time to time to get her work publicized. In March, Ma has set aside some wall space for Marianne's latest.
While Marianne and Ma talked professionally, I checked out the new work. I'll admit I was not really into art appreciation, but I was taken by these ceramic "cells" done by Heather Hubbard, a micro-biologist and potter. Kinda nerdy.
We stopped at several other galleries downtown, but I was completely unenthusiastic about taking pictures. My problem, not that of the artists. Fresno actually has some very good artists showing on ArtHop. I did manage this silhouette of Robert Ogata, another favorite artist in his standard ArtHop form: explaining with his hands. His large works are well above the average and he routinely shows in San Francisco and LA.
Back at home the next morning, Marianne started her day early with a 7:30am Skype session with her artist friend Claudia. They have both signed up for an on-line course in abstract art techniques. So far, they are only on lesson two, and each lesson takes hours and hours. Maybe next time, I will capture a few examples of her "student" work. They are getting better with each lesson.
As for my own "art", this rework of the trotter.ws website had kept me so busy that I had time for anything more than snapshots. So, while Marianne and Claudia did their painting, I decided to just get in some camera exercise.
I had been reading about the snow up in the Sierras and I figured some landscapes were in order. I headed north, on Highway 41, toward Yosemite National Park, but stopped just outside of Fresno where there is a flag-colored barn that is a famous local landmark. It's always worth a shot. After the barn, I went a couple more miles north and took another side road, this time toward North Fork. Pretty soon, I could see the Sierras and tried my hand at a panorama. I like taking these multi-exposure shots, but I am never sure if anyone (including me) will ever look at all that detail.
Farther into the foothills, I stopped to see if cows or rocks or trees would be worth a shot. Maybe?
As I drove farther, I saw lots of grass, but the broad snowy vistas were always hidden behind green hills. I drove along the eastern side of Bass Lake, and should have stopped for nice lake scenes, but by then the road was getting a little snowy and icy and parking became a risk - even for a moment to snap a picture. Next time.
This was the sign on Highway 41, north of Oakhurst. This said I could drive without chains, but as the road climbed higher and higher, the pavement became pretty icy, so I decided that was as far as I should go. One last stop for some winter pictures.
So, that was my Friday photo excursion. Nothing outstanding, but it felt good to be clicking again. While I was gone, Marianne did more of her art as well.
Coming up, we have some real travel - to a lighthouse in San Francisco Bay! Stay tuned.
John and Marianne