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    Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

    The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the nation's largest Catholic church.  You don't have to be religious to appreciate the beauty of certain places of worship (all mine just happen to be outside: forests, beaches, reefs, mountains, rivers, and so on).  Here's a slideshow of some pics I took while visiting the Cathedral last month:


    Space Palm Trees and Beach Scene Terrarium 

           Here is a slideshow of a sculpture that I made mostly of objects I collected on California beaches.  The palm tree trunks are metal, and the leaves are beetle wings.  With the exception of some shells that I purchased from Paxton Gate, the sea creatures are from the beaches.   The sculpture is now sitting on my mom’s living room table.



    Katsushikia Hokusai, Images from Hokusai: First Manga Master

    I checked out the book Hokusai: First Manga Master from the library last week and below are scanned images of some of the pieces I enjoyed most from the book.  Hokusai, one of Japan's greatest artists, is probably known best for his woodblock print The Great Wave.  He lived from 1760 - 1849.  Although all of the pieces scanned below are presented in black and white, Hokusai painted in color, and so I suspect many of these original pieces were done in color.  (Right-click to view the images in full.)





    The de Young Museum of San Francisco

    What follows are two slideshows of photos of paintings taken at the de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco.  The first slideshow features some of the beautiful paintings of the museum’s collection, and the latter slideshow features paintings by J.M.W. Turner that were showcased as part of the Painting Set Free exhibit.  The de Young’s permanent collection alone is well worth a visit to this massive museum in Golden Gate Park.  (Right-click to view the images in full.)




    The Nicholas Roerich Museum

    The Nicholas Roerich Museum features the sweeping, fantastical, and phantasmagorical paintings of the eponymous dead Russian artist, and is a located in a beautiful brownstone house in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.   Inundated by natural light, the three-story house contains over a hundred of Roerich’s original canvas paintings.  Roerich lived from 1874 – 1947 and was essentially a Renaissance Man (painter, writer, engineer, archaeologist, theologian, and gigolo).  With his wife he traveled the globe, perhaps more so than any other major artist of his time, and it is clear from his motifs (and probably from the many books he has written) that he was a very spiritual person.  His paintings of Himalayan mountain scenes are vibrant and rich in color.  He often incorporates metaphysical or mystical elements (faces in cliffs, ancient petroglyphs carved into rocks, monks radiating light) into his paintings, which provided an added dimension of mythological profundity and surrealism.  Next time you're in New York, pay a visit to this museum, which could use some more visitor support, although admission is donation-based (other than the old lady at the desk, no one else was there when I went...).  Right-click on the images to see them in full.