Wednesday/ the Pike Motorworks Building

Wow .. the new Pike Motorworks Building looks quite nice, I thought as I walked by on Tuesday.

The black lettering used to say ‘BMW SEATTLE’, and it was a single-level BMW dealership and garage until 2013 or so, when BMW moved out. The property was then developed into one of the largest apartment buildings on Capitol Hill, with an acclaimed microbrewery called Redhook Brewlab in the old BMW garage space. The Pike Motorworks Building is now owned by Boston-based TA Realty.
Artwork on the apartment. Hmm. Let’s see. Yes, smelling a rose (top right), would send (intoxicatingly pleasant) electrical signals to the brain, as would biting into an apple (bottom right). And the brain and heart (middle right) are both part of the central nervous system. Does the brain send electrical impulses to the heart to make it beat? No. Hearts get their impulses from the sinus node, a small mass of specialized tissue located in the right upper chamber (atrium) of the heart.

Friday/ another Grimm for my book shelf

I saw this Grimm’s Fairy Tales book in Hamburg and loved the pictures in it .. but it was so heavy, and a little pricey.
Luckily, Amazon had a used one for me that I could order (from a book dealer in England; shipping only $4), and earlier this week, it landed on my porch.

Childrens’ and Household Tales, from the Brothers Grimm. The book has been around a long time (gold medal award from 1965 on the cover). The stories inside, much longer. The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859), were scholars best known for their lifelong dedication to collecting and publishing ancient German folk tales. Their groundbreaking books with these tales were published in seven different editions, between 1812 and 1857, and immortalized such unforgettable characters as Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Rapunzel, and Snow White.
Some of the Grimm’s tales start with beautiful double page color prints (that tell the whole story). The illustrator is Werner Klemke. I love the dark forest with the little bird, and the wily wolf, in Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood).
The Two Brothers. Once upon a time there were two brothers, one rich and one poor. The rich one was a goldsmith and black of heart, the poor subsisted by binding brooms, and was good and honest. The poor brother had two children, two twin brothers that looked as similar as two drops of water. The two boys would go to the rich brother’s house now and then, and sometimes got something to eat from the garbage.  ..
.. and much later in the story, there is a bear and a lion. I still have to get to this page! and besides, I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone.

Monday/ First Light’s art installation

Here is another picture from Sunday, of the art installation on the corner of 3rd Ave. and Virginia St. at the sales office of the future First Light condominium tower.

The artwork is a demonstration of the ‘curtain’ of cords and discs that will be installed around the lower floors of the First Light condominium building. The condo tower is only slated to open in the summer of 2022, though. A sign nearby says 60% of the units have been sold to date.

Wednesday/ last day in Oslo

Today was my last day in Oslo.
I will return to Amsterdam tomorrow, and then go home on Friday.
I made it to the Munch Museet (museum) today, and hey! I found the Tintin book I was looking for in a great bookstore called Tronsmo.

This colorful passageway is on the way to the platform of the Stortinget T-bane station.
Man! A sight for sore eyes: just about every Tintin book on display in Tronsmo bookstore, and yes, all in Norwegian. When I find Tintin books in a foreign language, I try to buy ‘King Ottokar’s Scepter’, and they had one. Norwegian is a Germanic language, and a Germanic language speaker can definitely recognize some of the titles.
Eeeee! Here’s The Scream (one of them*), the famous work from Expressionist artist and Norwegian, Edvard Munch, a pastel done in 1893. The original Norwegian title: Skrik. It seems to me The Shriek or Fright would be a better translation than The Scream. The pastel was dimly lit, and I did not retouch this picture from my iPhone. *There are two pastels (1893 and 1895), and two paintings, of The Scream (1893 and 1910).
I like this one from Munch, called Erotikk i sommekveld Eng. ‘Eroticism on a Summer Evening’ (1893).
One more: Høysommer Eng. Midsummer (1915). Munch was a prolific painter, and bequeathed a large collection of his paintings to the Norwegian government upon his death.
This is one of many large sculptures from Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland in Vigeland Park.
Norwegians need their milk and bread like all the rest of us.

Sunday/ the Deichtorhallen

There was a persistent rain today, that made walking around without an umbrella, and not getting really wet, impossible. So I checked into the Deichtorhallen (“the levee gate halls”) art & photography museum.
These halls were built from 1911 to 1914 as market halls, on the grounds of the former Berliner Bahnhof railway station (Hamburg’s counterpart to Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof). Wikipedia says they ‘constitute one of the few surviving examples of industrial architecture from the transitional period between Art Nouveau and 20th century styles’.

This is a side view of the Deichtorhalle (‘levee gate hall’) that houses the art collection ..
.. and a view of the Deichtorhalle that houses the photography collection.
The ceiling of the art collection hall is in itself a work of art (as it should be, right?).
‘Freundinnen (Friends)’ (1965/1966) by Sigmar Polke, large oil on canvas made with raster scan dots. The artist used a paint pistol and a template to create the overlapping dots in different colors. This results in moiré patterns: large-scale interference patterns produced when an opaque ruled pattern with transparent gaps is overlaid on another similar pattern.
This giant work of mixed media on paper covers an entire wall in a small room. It is also by Sigmar Polke (1968-1971) with the strange title ‘Die Fahrt Auf Die Undendlichkeits-acht (Der Motorfahrrader)’ Eng. The Ride On the Eight of Infinity (The Motorcyclist)‘.
I thought the photography hall’s pictures were weird. (Should they be?). It had a lot of interesting/ ugly human face photos, and new-born babies, and other strange, strange pictures. I liked this scary hare staring down the camera, though. The artist was not noted, only that it is a gelatin print on paper, of a hare, made in 2000.

Friday/ U-bahn stations

Here are my favorite U-bahn station photos, so far.
There is a brand new station at the end of the U4 line that I will go and check out tomorrow.

Messberg station on the U1 line.
The entrance hall at Rathaus station on the U3 line.
Jungfernstieg station on the U2 and U4 lines.
Hauptbahnhof Süd station on the U3 line.
Berliner Tor station on the U2, U3 & U4 lines.
Niendorf Markt station on the U2 line, northeast of the city.
Emilien Strasse station on the U2 line.
Schlump station on the U2 and U3 lines.
Sierich Strasse station on the U3 line. The train cars are model DT5’s, made by Alstom & Bombardier. The DT5’s were put in service in 2012 and were the first cars to have air conditioning and gangways between cars. And yes: there is a DT6 in the works, that will be able to be operated without a driver.
Here is an inside view from my seat in a DT5 car. Hamburger Hochbahn AG, founded in 1911, operates most of the underground train lines in Hamburg.
The entrance hall to Saarland Strasse station on the U3 line features squares and rectangles.
I love the blue glass panes at Hamburger Strasse station. (Yes, people living in Hamburg are Hamburgers! – but not the kind that we eat!).
I had just stepped off the train at Gänsemarkt station on the U2 line, and there it went, sucked in by the end of the tunnel.
Aw. Live a dream – a career in the Hamburg police force, says this recruitment poster for the Hamburg police force.
Shades of blue and gray at the Überseequartier station on the U4 line.
And here is the platform of Überseequartier station on the U4 line.
This is HafenCity Universität station. The color of the boxes of overhead lights changes all the time.

Saturday/ book store treasure hunt

My friend and I went on a second-hand bookstore treasure hunt on Saturday.
I am looking for a few out-of-print Afrikaans books from my childhood.
It looks like I will have better luck scouring the offerings of  local online booksellers – but it is still fun to browse through the shelf inventory of second-hand booksellers!

Here’s the inside of Bikini Beach Books in Gordon’s Bay. It has an unusual, somewhat unorganized, selection of local and international books and publications.
Here’s a prize book that my friend had bought online for me. I just love the artwork on the cover, as well. ‘Fritz Deelman and the Space Ships from Mars‘ by Leon Rousseau. The protagonist is a James Bond of sorts, an international agent working for the South African Special Forces. The book was published in 1957, so even before man first set foot on the moon.

Friday/ a dystopian Seattle

Tintin pursues a gang of counterfeiters in The Black Island (it’s in Scotland, hence his Scottish garb). It was originally published in French as L’Île Noire in 1937 by Belgian cartoonist Hergé.

Check out Tintin’s gangster look, and Snowy’s spiked collar! Here’s my effort at cataloging the Seattle icons in the mural. Clockwise from bottom left: pink ‘Toe Truck’ from Lincoln Towing Co., now on display in Washington State Museum of History and Industry | I don’t know the upside down blue boat or its driver | to its left a Route 8/48 bus stop sign | and a purple starfish trying to survive (Puget Sound has had a massive starfish die-off tied to global warming) | the Kalakala ferry that operated on Puget Sound from 1935 until her retirement in 1967 | red container cranes from Port of Seattle | building of Rainier Brewing Company (operated 1878–1999) at south end of town, next to I-5 | Chubby & Tubby (operated 1946–2003) was a Seattle institution, offering bargains in hardware, housewares & garden supplies | Coca-cola vending machine from John St | skeleton biker is prob. from Bethel Saloon, a popular biker bar in Port Orchard | Dick’s Drive-in burgers & milkshakes (founded 1954), has three popular locations in the Seattle area | George Washington Memorial Bridge, commonly known as the Aurora Bridge, opened in 1932 | Deano’s 24-hour grocery store on Madison St closed in 2007 | endangered Puget Sound orca below the bridge | the iconic Pink Elephant Car Wash sign off Denny Way | not sure where the Sink or Swim bottle & buoy is from | sea lion eating clams could be from Elliott Bay. [Mural by Ton Chan & Lawrence Genette].
The newest incarnation of the restaurant & bar space at 1407 14th Ave is called Bar Sue. The mural in front of the bar is definitely an homage to the seventh volume of the Adventures of Tintin, called The Black Island.

The mural shows several Seattle iconic signs and objects awash in seawater. I guess it could be seawater that had swept over the city from a tsunami .. or the elevated sea levels from Earth’s melting ice caps.

Some signs are from beloved businesses that had closed years ago, and others are from places that are very much still around.

 

Wednesday/ a kaleidoscope of colors

Here is the result of another experiment to make artwork with my Wild Gears.
• Draw a wheel-in-a-wheel-in-a-ring pattern with a black needlepoint pen on white paper.
• Scan to create a .jpg picture (I used my document scanner).
• Color electronically with a basic editing utility such as Windows Paint 3D. (Yes, hand-coloring it would look more authentic .. but man! that’s a lot more work. Maybe next time).

Thursday/ red & blue

Here’s one more spiro-graphy twirl, for now.
The design took several attempts to get a clean drawing without any slip-ups. It was done with repeated wheel-in-a-wheel-in-a-ring runs.

Blue: Align Hole 1A in Wheel 42 inside Ring 63 in Wheel 135, all inside Ring 180. Draw 1A-2A-3A-4A. Align Hole 1B at the top and draw 1B-2B-3B-4B. Red: Turn 90º and repeat.

Wednesday/ on a (gelly) roll

I bought another fistful of Sakura Gelly Roll® pens at the Blick Art store as I walked by it on Broadway, today .. and came home to realize that I had bought some duplicates (of course).

So! Time for a phone picture that I can have handy next time, to make sure I know which colors I already have.

My first attempt at a picture of my pen collection. Not good enough, though – the same color can come in medium point or fine point ..
.. so I rolled them out on the sheet of paper to show both the color and the size of the pen point.

Tuesday/ my first new spirals

Here are my first colored spirals with the Wild Gears. I’m still getting used to the gears. They are a little harder to use than Spirograph, but they can produce very different results.

Smooth-finished, heavy paper (card stock) works best, and I have discovered Sakura Gelly Roll® pens which even come in metallic colors.

Wheel 35 in Ring 96. Hole No 1 Pink for 2 cycles & No 1 Black fine point for 7 cycles. (These are the technical details of how the pattern was produced, more for my own reference than anything else).
Wheel 45 in Ring 64. Hole No 1 Black fine point with final cycle in Silver gel.
Wheel 45 in Ring 64. Hole No 1 Orange fiber tip with final cycle in Black needlepoint.
Triangle 69 in Ring 96. Hole No 1-2-3-4-5-6, Black fine point No 12-13-14-15.
Alright. Let’s do something complicated, that could never be done with Spirograph gears. What’s going on here? I started out at bottom left with Hole 1 in Wheel 32, as close as I could get it to the Ring 140. As I rolled Wheel 32 counter-clockwise with the pen in Hole 1, (all the while inside Ring 56), the big Wheel 126 starts to roll counter-clockwise as well. So this is a trace of a fixed point (Hole No 1) on a small disk (Wheel 32) that rolls in a circle (Ring 56), all of which is part of a larger disk (Wheel 126) that rolls inside another larger circle (Ring 140). Whoah!
Here is the end result, drawn in 0.7 mm black liner. The Wheel 32 made 18 rotations in the Ring 56 while the Wheel 126 turned in the Ring 140, and then ended up in the same place.

Friday/ here come the Wild Gears

I discovered a manufacturer of Spirograph-like gears online, and ordered a few sets of gears. It started out as a Kickstarter (publicly funded) project in 2013, based in Vancouver.  The gears are laser-cut from acrylic.

So! I’m just getting started, and I will have to pick a few of my favorite patterns and add colors in and embellish them.

Here is the ‘unboxing’ moment. The gears are still clad in brown paper sheets stuck onto them (to protect them from scratches and to make for easy shipping). I bought two large sets and two small sets.
Here is the set called Hoops. So this provides a large number of different sizes of rings for all kinds of patterns on their inside, or outside, or both.
This is called the Encyclopedic Set, because it has gears with 12, 13, 14 .. all the way up to 30 teeth. The smallest Spirograph wheel has 24 teeth. Just for fun, I ran the 12 gear in all the holes in the main sheet after I took the geared wheels out.
This is a special 120 tooth gear with odd geometric shapes to experiment with.
The tiny 12 tooth gear. I will have to find a needle point pen to use in the tiny holes.
A few doodles with the odd shapes gear.

 

Wednesday/ ready to draw hypocycloids

Alright!
My new set of Spirograph has arrived, and I’m ready to draw up a storm of hypocycloids: the lines formed when tracing a point on a disk, while running it inside a circle.

The red tray below has the original classic 1967 Spirograph set. The green ring is from the new ‘Shapes’ set. The ‘Shapes’ set comes in a cheapy hexagonal box and it has putty to fix the rings to the paper (yuck) instead of pins. I’m old school, and I still prefer the pins. I suppose in 2019, parents will sue the toy company if kids stick the pins in their fingers, or in their siblings!

Tuesday/ new Spirograph set .. can’t wait

Here’s a spirograph set I had ordered on Amazon. It should land on my porch by tomorrow night.

It sports 12 outrageously shaped, geared wheels: barrel, trapezoid, pentagon, heart, egg, square, hexagon, star, teardrop, ellipse, shield and star.
The biggest reason for getting it though, I think, is the perfectly round ring (168 teeth outside/ 120 inside), that I expect to be able to use with the 18 round wheels that I already have.

For more than 50 years, Spirograph enthusiasts had two rings to work with: the 150/105 and the 144/ 96. Now there is a third one.

Sunday, sans sun

It was a gray Sunday, with a little rain, here in the city today.
I did run out to go check on the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s gradual disappearance (on-going demolition), and the new buildings under construction nearby.

Looking south from the upper deck at Pike Place Market. No Mt Rainier in the distance, just low clouds.
Looking north. There’s the Norwegian Bliss at the Bell Street Cruise Terminal (Pier 66), just getting ready to set sail for a round trip to Skagway, Alaska. It will be back early next Sunday morning.
The neon sign at Pike Place Market is almost as iconic as the Space Needle. It has been there much longer (since 1935), and was designed by architect Andrew Willatsen.
Nearby is The Emerald, a 40-story, 265-unit condominium high-rise. The mural artwork is for outdoor store Fjällräven (Swedish for arctic fox), around the corner.  (Scientists recently published an article that tells of a female arctic fox that had trekked an astonishing 2,700 miles from Norway to Canada, across arctic ice, in just 21 days).
And how is the new Rainier Square Tower on 5th Avenue progressing? I believe it still has 15 to 20 floors to go before topping out.
I always walk by this building on the way back from Pike Place Market and even though it now sells discount clothing, it has a storied history. It was built in 1940 as a major West coast store for the F. W. Woolworth Company. These the waning days of Art Deco architecture, but the building still has many Art Deco traits. The terracotta and lighter cream colors go together nicely, and I love the styling of the clock with its horizontal ‘wing’ accents.

4th of July 2019

It’s America’s 243rd birthday.
I plan to ignore the TV coverage of the military parade in Washington DC, and the ‘Salute to America’ speech by Trump! .. but here’s a little impromptu artwork, done with the help of a 1967 Spirograph set that I had recently bought on EBay.

Monday/ warm weather on the way

We have warm weather on the way for the city: we will touch 90 (32 °C) on Wednesday.
Time to let cool air in at night and in the morning, and keep the shades on the windows down in the day! (I don’t have central air-conditioning in the house).

These beautiful red poppies are on the north end of 18th Ave here on Capitol Hill. They made me look up Monet’s famous painting with the poppies! See the next picture.
Claude Monet (1840-1926) | Poppies | 1873 | Oil on canvas
From the Musée d’Orsay website: When he returned from England in 1871, Monet settled in Argenteuil and lived there until 1878. These years were a time of fulfilment for him. Supported by his dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, Monet found in the region around his home, the bright landscapes which enabled him to explore the potential of plein-air painting. He showed Poppy Field to the public at the first Impressionist exhibition held in the photographer Nadar’s disused studio in 1874. Now one of the world’s most famous paintings, it conjures up the vibrant atmosphere of a stroll through the fields on a summer’s day. Monet diluted the contours and constructed a colourful rhythm with blobs of paint starting from a sprinkling of poppies; the disproportionately large patches in the foreground indicate the primacy he put on visual impression. A step towards abstraction had been taken. In the landscape, a mother and child pair in the foreground and another in the background are merely a pretext for drawing the diagonal line that structures the painting. Two separate colour zones are established, one dominated by red, the other by a bluish green. The young woman with the sunshade and the child in the foreground are probably the artist’s wife, Camille, and their son Jean.

Wednesday beers

We were at a pub called Stout on 11th Avenue, for our beers tonight. I like the artwork behind the main counter. (It seems to me to have some communist propaganda poster undertones. Maybe if it had a slogan or a message, it would have said ‘Work hard, drink beer!’).