Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt: Square…and Rememberance

This weekend, we have another combined Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt. The theme this week is square. Geometric shapes, including squares, abound at CatSynth HQ. But with the exceptionally gorgeous weather, we turn our attention once again to the patio:

The patio is covered in square slate tiles on which Luna enjoys rolling around. We are still doing some work to fix things up for spring now the construction is in the past. New design ideas to emphasize the industrial and geometric aesthetic.

This weekend we are also joining our friends the Three Tabby Cats in Vienna ~ Kashim, Othello and Salome ~ in a Weekend of Remembrance. We participated when they hosted a similar weekend back in 2007, lighting a candle like this one.

As we have made more friends online, so we have also lost many friends. We said goodbye to Mickey only a few weeks ago. Last year, we lost DJ Kikovas, the feline companion of our friend and fellow electronic musician Vivi Pedraglio. We also said goodbye to Tali and Sniffie. It is interesting to look back and see the diverse collection of people, mixture of musicians, engineers and cat lovers, who cross paths in these stories. We have also lost many heroes in music, art and mathematics in this same period of time; and some personal friends. We remember them as well.

Our thoughts for all our friends who lost love ones (human and non-human) over the past year, and for those who are struggling in the current storms in southeastern U.S., recovering from the disaster in Japan, and living through the seemingly greater number conflicts around the world.

Weekend Cat Blogging #308 is hosted by Samantha and Clementine at Life From a Cat’s Perspective. They are dedicating their post in remembrance of Praline.

Photo Hunt #263 is hosted by tnchick. This week’s theme is SQUARE.

The Carnival of the Cats will be up tomorrow at Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Work completed: Flora Davis, For Luna

The piece I had commissioned from artist Flora Davis was completed in late June:

The metal surfaces of each box are glued and covered in a protective layer, and the sides are finished with a metallic paint.

The piece now also has a title: For Luna. It seems appropriate, as both Davis and I have cats named Luna. And of course it is a nice tribute.

You can see previous articles documenting the progress here and here.

It was exciting to see it complete and take it home. The final step will be to display the artwork. Combined with the companion cat painting Zeus, the five boxes can be arranged in any number of ways. Here are but a few examples:

I have yet to settle on a final arrangement.

Angular and Architectural (901 Market Street, San Francisco)

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the opening for an exhibit entitled Angular and Architectural in downtown San Francisco. The title itself features elements that reappear in my own photography as well as my viewing and appreciation of art. Plus it was conveniently on the way home from work.

901 Market Street is one of those typical older office buildings one sees downtown (this building dates back to 1912). It is an imposing stone building, a bit heavy and a bit ornate. The inside, however, features an open modern atrium, very clean, full of light and space, and a perfect “canvas” for an art exhibition, particularly one whose theme is architecture and geometry.

What made this particular exhibit stand out was the pairings and combinations of different artworks, among the best combination arrangements I have seen in a while. Many of these combinations involved paintings by John Haag paired with sculptures by Rebecca Fox and Yong Han. We have seen Fox’s and Han’s metal sculptures before at Open Studios and elsewhere, but Haag was a new discovery. Here is one of his paintings, Midnight Seranade, coupled with one of Fox’s sculptures:

[Click to enlarge image.]

The black-and-white of the painting matches the dark color of the sculpture against the white background, along with the thick bands of black and gentle curves.

Here we see another painting, this time coupled with one of Han’s sculptures, last train of thought:

[Click to enlarge image.]

In this painting, the strong angles and thin lines in the painting match the sculpture, and both have a somewhat Art-Deco quality.

Here is one more set, with the sculptures framing the painting from either side:

[Click to enlarge image.]

The curved shapes and bright red in the last painting bring up the red elements in the two sculptures to either side.

This exhibit reminds us how the placement of disparate works in exhibition is itself a creative act, finding elements across artists and media that somehow work together.

Work in progress (Flora Davis) Part 2

Work continues on the art piece that I recently commissioned from local artist Flora Davis. Please refer to the first article in the series for more background about the commission and some images of the piece in its initial phases.

Since then, things have progressed. The metal surfaces are now cut to the appropriate sizes for each of the boxes and ready to be glued on:

Here they are after the surfaces were glued. The sides of the boxes have also been primed for painting.

It’s great seeing the boxes and the metal surfaces come together for the final piece. They do look like what I imagined. I have to admit, the stark white against the textured metal surfaces is a little jarring, but this is just an intermediate phase. The final paint on the sides will be metallic.

Work in progress: Flora Davis, newly commissioned artwork

This is the first of several articles showing the work in progress on a piece I recently commissioned from local artist Flora Davis. I had first met Davis at Open Studios in 2008. I purchased a small cat painting at the time but also reflected on how it might be interesting to combine it with her more recent work that explored abstract metallic surfaces, including series of metal boxes. When I met her again this spring, I proposed the idea of doing a series of metal boxes to be placed together with the cat painting Zeus, and we are now going ahead with it!

Part of the process was choosing the sizes for boxes and then the materials/textures for them. Here are the initial sized boxes along with the cat painting:

As one can see, they range in size from only a few inches to almost as large as the original painting.  In the final piece, they can placed in any number of arrangements around or near the painting, the idea being for one element to overwhelm the others, and to maintain a sense of straight lines and the square shapes without conforming to a single grid.

Next, it was time to select the exact squares from the various metallic surfaces:

The metal surfaces are quite complex and rich in color and texture.  This one with the turqoise/green patina was perhaps the most complex, and thus I wanted it for the smallest of the boxes.  Overall, the colors and textures of the various surfaces tended towards browns, greens and reds that picked up elements of the painting.

Here are some of the metal textures seen in place with the boxes and the cat:

With all the materials and dimensions now specified, the next step will be to cut the surfaces and adhere them to the boxes.    We will see the results in an upcoming article soon!