Abstraction

For this post I will be focusing on art, or more precisely, abstraction in the art of painting. I remember my first art pieces. Scratchy attempts at landscapes which I would give to my Grandmother as gifts. These attempts at art were feeble at best. I could not then, nor can I now, draw a stick figure. She would shower me with compliments though, and the compliment's effect was, an artist was born. I still make scratchy attempts, but the scratches have become a tiny bit more sophisticated. While still just a boy, I was entrancingly drawn to the art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The changes in art were amazing to me. From the silky perfection of the realist's of the Renaissance period (i.e. Peter Paul Rubens, Michelangelo, Rembrandt)  to the "atmospheric" Impressionist painter's (i.e. Manet, Pissaro, Van Gogh) there was a major shift in the way artist's portrayed our world. An even greater shift occurred with the Surrealist's (i.e. Dali, Ernst, Magritte) and in my personal opinion, the most dramatic of these shifts, was the complete disassociation from realistic imagery shown by the Abstractionist's. Two of my favorites, whom were considered pioneers of the abstract movement, were Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. Abstract art developed from three main movements in early and late 19th century art, Romanticism, Impressionism, and Expressionism. These art forms gave birth to abstract art of which there are a myriad of descriptive terms. Geometric Abstraction, Lyrical Abstraction, Fauvism, and Cubism are various forms of abstract art from various periods of time. My own work vacillates between Geometric Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism, depending on whether I am trying to express a feeling, (Abstract Expressionism) or just creating "eye candy", (Geometric Abstraction). In this post I have included examples of each. The first piece, "4T" (oil on canvas, 36x36 in., 91.4x91.4 cm) is an example of Geometric Abstraction. It was a rather laborious painting, taking nearly 3 years to complete through various fits and starts. I will not go deeply into it's meaning. I will only describe my thoughts of it's creation. I was attempting to visually describe the Underworld, the Ether, and the thin crust of physical existence betwixt and between. The next piece, "Goodbye Kitty" (oil on canvas, 29x22 in., 73.7x55.9 cm) is representative of Abstract Expressionism. This particular painting came hard and fast, taking a few hours to complete. It is representative of a difficult time, a "psychic regurgitation" if you will. Our cat had died and I had left my marriage, both within a short period. The former left me with a great sense of loss and despair, the latter, relief and release. The final piece of this post is entitled "War" (oil on canvas, 18x14 in., 45.7x35.6 cm) and is another example of Abstract Expressionism. It was painted during the time of the "War on Terror". I generally refrain in my personal blog from religious or political discussion, but to convey the meaning of this piece I must rescind. I feel a vehement denial towards war. Period. If you look closely at this piece you will see the spirit of war spreading it's wings, leaving death and destruction in it's wake. On close inspection you may even notice the skull and a loose interpretation of  "The Reataliator". Till next post, be well!        
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The Forest

The forest of Nisene Marks State Park is my subject for this post as it is one of my favorite mountain biking places and happens to be very close to my home. Prior to 2004 it was legal to ride the single tracks here, the most impressive in my opinion being the Hoffman Trail. For those whom are not mountain bikers, a single track is a narrow mountain biking trail that is approximately the width of the bike. It contrasts with double track or fire road which is wide enough for four-wheeled off-road vehicles. In addition it is frequently smooth and flowing, but it may also exhibit technical rocky sections, stream crossings, tree roots, super steep slippery slopes etc. You get the idea! Single track riding can be quite challenging from a technical standpoint and requires skill and bravado. Sadly, it is currently illegal to ride these trails, although hiking is allowed. It is my hope that in the near future these trails will be opened to mountain biking once again. It is currently in the works!  The forest of Nisene Marks' history is briefly but concisely described here at Wikipedia. As I mentioned in a previous post my deck overlooks the Loma Prieta peak of the Santa Cruz Mountains and I stated this is where the epicenter of the Great Quake of 1989 was. Well it just so happens the exact epicenter, (37.03° N 121.88° W), of this quake resides in this very forest. It is clearly marked and can be hiked or biked to. As a state park it offers camping and day use. You can find details here, at the Santa Cruz State Parks website, or here, at the State Parks area of the ca.gov website. This forest is magical and deserves a visit whether just for a stroll under the redwoods, or for an exhilarating bike ride! One of my favorite things to do while in the forest is hop off my bike and drag out my camera to take images of these fantastic surroundings. I have included a few here for your enjoyment, the first of which depicts a bridge bearing the name "Margaret's Bridge". I have included this image because my Grandmother's name was Margaret and every time I go over this bridge I am struck by fond memories. You will notice there are some "macro" shots, as this area of photography greatly interests me. I am kind of a "pattern junkie". I just love random patterns in nature and art. Also one image is of the bench at the Sand Point Overlook which faces a rewarding vista of the Monterey Bay that pops into view after climbing through a densely forested 7 mile/11.2 kilometer trek to the top of the fire road. I "found" my initials carved into this bench amongst many others. Enjoy! Till next post, be well!
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Painted Faces

Hello World! So in "My First True Post" I gave a little history of myself and my immediate family. I mentioned that I have a Granddaughter, Cali Gray Rose. In this post you get to visually meet her! Her middle name "Gray" has been in the family for more than 7 generations; my Daughter is Tanya Gray, her Mother Gray Campbell, her Mother Jean Gray and so on. The title of this blog is "Painted Faces" and of course I will include some history. Face painting has been performed for millennia by humanity as a form of ritual, decoration, or just plain fun. It is still performed regularly amongst tribal societies, and as you can see here, amongst modern societies as well. You can find Wikipedia's description here. (WARNING: This link has some adult content! Please act accordingly!) When visiting Cali in Florida for her third birthday, we decided to go to Busch Gardens. It was very fun! If you ever find yourself in the Tampa Bay area it is well worth the visit to this theme park! As we were leaving we passed a face painting kiosk with a wonderful young lady whom was packing things up for the day. We talked her into staying late and painting Cali's face. My exhausted Granddaughter picked out the "kitty" face and was very patient through the process! I was really laughing when she first glimpsed at herself in the mirror. She just stared and made the funniest faces! The poor girl who painted her face had to literally pry the thing from her hands! I was lucky enough to capture the fun on camera, and get to reap the rewards of revisiting this magical time again and again! Enjoy! Till next post, be well! -b  
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Crystal

I awoke this morning with my normal exuberance, not the grumbling at having to arise as some do, nor with the groan of those whom have imbibed the night before, nor with the moan of foreboding of one finding it hard to face another day. I arise with thankfulness at the thought of having another day on the planet Earth, and joy at the prospect of learning and living and loving again! So I jump from my king sized tempur-pedic cocoon and pad to my deck with a hobble likened to an old man due to a stabbing pain from plantar fasciitis of my left foot. The pain is short lived though, and the comical old man gate melts away like ice cream in the tropical sun. I am greeted this morning with a crisp rain scrubbed view off my west facing deck of a scene I can only describe as "crystal"; as if I were in a snow globe which had never been shaken, or viewing grandmas' china cabinet, the morning sun bursting in rainbows off myriad prisms of cut glass. Whilst looking to my right I am greeted by the gorgeous site of the sun dancing atop the Loma Prieta peak, the highest of the coastal Santa Cruz mountain range, it's soft shoulders surrounding the site of the epicenter of the the earthquake of 1989, I am struck with a childhood memory. I remember paddling upstream in my Dad's baby blue canoe in the Northern Peninsula of Michigan (alternatively known as the "Upper Peninsula" hence the term Uper, pronounced "you-per" of the folks that hail from here) , the cool crisp north eastern forest dense on both banks. The talk of gurgling water as it flowed through a felled tree's branches eagerly parlaying it's message to those who would listen. In my small hands a short piece of fiberglass holding a Zebco 202 reel and some 50 yards of 12 lb. test mono-filament line whisked over my head throwing just upstream from the felled tree a shiny chrome spoon lure which fell with a magnificent "bloop". Seconds later, the reel's drag whining, the pole bending at an absurdly obtuse angle, the realization that I had a big one on the line was imminent. The culmination of an exquisitely laborious fight, one of mad dashings, brilliant leaps, and even some sly fakes at relinquishment was the landing of the largest, most beautiful fish I had ever seen. A 17 1/2 lb. Coho Salmon. A Very tasty memory spurred by a crystal clear morn! Thanks Papa-San for the great memory! Till next post, be well! -b
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Images

This post is in answer to "Mom's" request in her reply to "First True Post". Her request was, "Are you going to post pics?". It just so happens that this request sparked the content for my next post, "Images". First I must explain that "Mom" in this post is a DEAR friend of mine and mother to my "Brother" Dan. I am unfortunately displaced from my paternal Mom and Dad by approximately 2339 Miles / 3764 Km. Another unfortunate gap in distance occurs between "Mom", (whom I will refer to in future posts as MomS) and myself, although less, (approximately 424 miles/ 682 Km) still puts a damper on the frequency of physical visitation. But I digress. First the image you see in the header of this blog is from a wonderful hike in the south island of New Zealand, specifically on the trail from the Luxmore hut to the Iris Burn campground, otherwise known as "The Traverse" on the Kepler Trek in the Fiordland National Park. I spent 3 weeks in New Zealand for my 50th birthday, which had the added perk of finishing in Tahiti. I timed the vacation so that I would spend my 50th on the south island of New Zealand, then fly to the north island on the same day. After a wonderful birthday celebration there, I left the day after my birthday only to cross the International Dateline and land in Tahiti on my birthday again! Hmmm, turning 50 twice! Does that make me 100? You can see more images of my trip and other follies on Flickr at this link. So now on with the show! This is for you MomS! All of the pet images were taken today at my home in California. To see a description of the "Fish's", see my response to Stephens post. Pardalis will soon have his own blog......he is just itching to bust out and talk to the world. He has alot to say! Until next post, be well! -b  
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First True Post

Howdy Folks! This is my first true post. There will be many more to come Universe willing. A little background is due here. I was born Robert O Bauspies Jr to Mr Robert O Bauspies and my dear Mother Janice in February 1960. I have two sisters, Laurie and Melissa, A lovely daughter Tanya, and an even lovelier granddaughter Cali.  I am a Radiologic Technologist, an avid golfer, and have many hobbies including abstract art, biking both pedal and motor, surfing (when conditions are perfect for an old guy), aquarist, and tortoise keeper. My fish of which I have 3 are named "Fishy". The star of my pet show though is my Geocheloni Pardalis, or more simply, Leopard Tortoise. His name is Pardalis, (which means Leopard in Latin) or "Pard" for short. Soon Pardalis will have his own blog site and that's when the fun really begins. Check back for his blog debut in the very near future! Many kudos to my buddy Sean Millis at Circle Dog Media (circledogmedia.com/) for his patience and guidance in getting me off the blog ground! Till next post, be well. -b
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Hello world!

Howdy Folks! First Blog so be patient...many surprises to come!
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