Oil painted beauty in the Botanical Building.

I had some creative fun today!

After taking a bunch of photographs in Balboa Park’s wonderful Botanical Building, I applied GIMP’s Oilify filter to selected images. Photos of natural beauty now suddenly appear like oil paintings!

I framed leaves, flowers, color and light. My computer did the rest!

I love to walk.

I love to take photos.

I love to discover new things.

But more than anything, I love creative writing!

To read a few short pieces of fiction that I’ve written, you can visit my website Short Stories by Richard.

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San Diego Iris Society blooms in Balboa Park!

I’m no expert when it comes to flowers, but I definitely enjoy drinking in their beauty.

I spent several minutes yesterday inside the Casa del Prado, walking slowly past tables full of exquisite irises. The San Diego Iris Society is having their Annual Spring Show and Iris Sale this weekend in Balboa Park. The event continues today.

The people I met in the society were all very nice. If you grow irises in San Diego, it would be fun to become a member!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Creativity and joy thrive in Spanish Village!

A happy orange face dangles by a studio doorway in Balboa Park's welcoming Spanish Village Art Center.
A happy orange face dangles by a studio doorway in Balboa Park’s welcoming Spanish Village Art Center.

I can’t get enough of Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. I love to meander through its colorful courtyard patio.

The place is magical. Dreamlike. A refuge. The cares of the world drop instantly away in Spanish Village.

It’s a place where creativity and joy thrive!

A sign tells visitors they've entered a magical world where creativity thrives.
A sign tells visitors they’ve entered a joyful world where creativity thrives.
Walking through Spanish Village, with fanciful architecture inspired by southern Spain, created for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.
Walking through Spanish Village, with fanciful architecture inspired by southern Spain, created for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.
A bright face peeks out from behind flowers near Studio 13.
A bright face peeks out from behind flowers near Studio 13.
A fun work of art hangs near the entrance to Studio 15, home of Doug Snider Ceramics.
A fun work of art hangs near the entrance to Studio 15, home of Doug Snider Ceramics.
Friendly local artist paints a surfboard on the table outside Studio 10.
Friendly local artist paints a surfboard on the table outside Studio 10.
Forest creatures look up from one of several painted benches in Spanish Village. You can find this fun art in front of the Southwestern Artists Association's Studio 23.
Forest creatures look up from one of several painted benches in Spanish Village. You can find this fun art in front of the Southwestern Artists Association’s Studio 23.
Some amazing art glass displayed outside Studio 19, where glassblowers work as visitors watch.
Some amazing art glass displayed outside Studio 19, where glassblowers create beauty as visitors watch.
More beautiful glass.
More fantastic glass.
Carefree people ride bikes through Spanish Village Art Center.
Carefree people ride bikes through sunny Spanish Village Art Center.
Some artwork on the patio pays tribute to beautiful Balboa Park.
Some artwork on the patio pays tribute to beautiful Balboa Park.
A sunflower painted on door to Studio 28.
A cheerful sunflower painted on door to Studio 28.
Come to Spanish Village and your eyes will be filled with creativity, joy and life wherever they turn.
Come to Spanish Village and your eyes will be filled with surprising creativity, joy and life wherever they turn.
I was graciously allowed to take a photo of the art glass inside Studio 25. A skylight turns many pieces into shining jewels.
I was graciously allowed to take a photo of the art glass inside Studio 25. A skylight transforms many pieces into shining jewels.
Back outside, where I took a photo of a colorful door through glassware.
Back outside, where I took a photo of a colorful door through glassware.
One table on the patio is like an enormous, cheerful yellow flower.
One table on the patio is like an enormous, cheerful yellow flower.
Visitors to Spanish Village Art Center are invited to build a spirit totem.
Visitors to Spanish Village Art Center are invited to build a spirit totem.
A friendly artist of the Studio 36 Sculptors Guild interacts with a potential buyer. Their courtyard is overflowing with imaginative sculptures.
A friendly artist of the Studio 36 Sculptors Guild interacts with a potential buyer. Their courtyard is overflowing with imaginative sculptures.
Amusing sculpted creatures greet visitors to the Studio 36 outdoor courtyard.
Amusing sculpted creatures greet visitors to the Studio 36 outdoor courtyard.
A shining jester.
A shining jester.
A simian in a space rocket.
A simian in a space rocket.
Like a joyful dream world where fantasy and imagination have come to life.
Like a joyful dream world where fantasy and imagination have come to life.
Dreamers...
Dreamers…
Come again. Bring friends.
Come again. Bring friends.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

A colorful Frida Kahlo sculpture at Spanish Village!

The colorful, unmistakable likeness of Frida Kahlo now stands at the main entrance to Spanish Village in Balboa Park!
A colorful sculpture of Frida Kahlo now stands at the entrance to Spanish Village in Balboa Park!

Look what recently appeared at the main entrance to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park! An amazing glass mosaic sculpture of Frida Kahlo!

The eye-catching piece is titled Frida. It’s a collaboration between two talented artists who show their work in Spanish Village: Yuriy Akopov and Ilya Idelchik.

According to a nearby sign, Frida is available for purchase at the San Diego Sculptors Guild in Spanish Village’s Gallery 36.

If you think this shiny, very colorful piece closely resembles the world-famous sculptures of Niki de Saint Phalle, you’re correct! Years ago, while he worked with the company Art Mosaic, Yuriy’s own hands helped to create Niki’s fantastic artwork!

A sleek glass mosaic sculpture of Frida Kahlo greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center!
A sleek glass mosaic sculpture of Frida Kahlo greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Lone cherry tree has early blossoms!

A small handful of early cherry blossoms have appeared at the Japanese Friendship Garden!
A few early cherry blossoms have appeared at the Japanese Friendship Garden!

NEWS FLASH!

A solitary cherry tree at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park has made history! It appears to be the very first in the garden to display blossoms this year!

Many more blossoms in the beautiful grove of Japanese cherry trees should be appearing soon!

This branch of one Japanese cherry tree has a few newly opened blossoms in mid-February.
This branch of one Japanese cherry tree has a few newly opened blossoms in mid-February.
All of the many cherry trees in the Lower Garden seem bare--except one lone tree that I found...
All of the many cherry trees in the Lower Garden seem bare–except one lone tree that I found…
Spring must be coming!
Spring must be coming!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Murals by young artivist on United Nations Building.

One of four murals by young artist Caymin Ellspermann on the United Nations Building in Balboa Park.
One of four murals by young “artivist” Caymin Ellspermann on the United Nations Building in Balboa Park.

Four new murals were hung on the exterior of the United Nations Building in Balboa Park a couple days ago. I spotted them yesterday as I walked through the International Cottages.

The murals were all painted by Caymin Ellspermann, who is a talented sixteen-year-old Peace Paint Ambassador with the global UNA USA San Diego’s Art Miles Mural Project. Themes expressed in these artivist murals range from feeding the hungry to protecting wildlife.

Caymin is available for art commissions. To reach him, read the information on the sign containing his biography. (You can click the following photo to enlarge it.)

Caymin Ellspermann is a Peace Paint Ambassador with the global UNA USA San Diego's Art Miles Mural Project. He is an artivist interested in social and environmental issues.
Caymin Ellspermann is a Peace Paint Ambassador with the global UNA USA San Diego’s Art Miles Mural Project. He is an artivist interested in social and environmental issues.
A new mural near the front entrance of the United Nations Building among the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
A new mural near the front entrance of the United Nations Building among the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
A beautiful mural shows a Native American and wildlife.
A beautiful mural shows a Native American and wildlife.
A colorful mural shows people holding hands, with abundant life and food.
A fantastic, colorful mural shows people holding hands, with abundant life and food.
A mural speaks out against hunting protected wild animals in Africa.
A mural speaks out against hunting protected wild animals in Africa.

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Paintings in Balboa Park Conservancy Board Room.

Botanical Building, Leigh Cohn, 2014.
Botanical Building, Leigh Cohn, 2014.

Last year I went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the House of Hospitality that included a look inside the Balboa Park Conservancy Board Room. There was a whole lot to see, and only a few minutes to snap photos.

I did manage to frame with my camera several paintings in the boardroom. They were painted by Leigh Cohn in 2014 for the Balboa Park Centennial. My quick photos provide an imperfect glimpse of the colorful artwork.

I’m not sure what the decorative object is on the small wooden table. I can find nothing about it on the internet. My hunch is it was used atop the old Balboa Park Community Christmas Tree, before the tree became too old and fragile to support ornaments. Just my guess–probably wrong! Please leave a comment if you know something!

If you ever have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour through the House of Hospitality, I definitely recommend it! There are a variety of beautiful rooms in the building that are usually inaccessible to the public. For those interested in Balboa Park’s history, the tour is a must!

Visitors to Balboa Park enjoy a tour of the Balboa Park Conservancy Board Room in the House of Hospitality.
Visitors to Balboa Park enjoy a tour of the Balboa Park Conservancy Board Room in the House of Hospitality.
David Kinney, a Balboa Park Conservancy Board Member, provides a special tour of the board room, in the House of Hospitality.
David Kinney, a Balboa Park Conservancy Board Member, provides a special tour of their boardroom in the House of Hospitality.
Artwork in the Balboa Park Conservancy Board Room includes the fascinating piece on a small wooden table. Topped by a cross, rays of colored glass extend outward.
Artwork in the Balboa Park Conservancy Board Room includes a fascinating piece on a small wooden table.
Topped by a cross, rays of colored glass extend outward from what appears to be brasswork.
Topped by a cross, rays of colored glass extend outward from what appears to be weathered brasswork.
Before the Park Opens, Leigh Cohn, 2014.
Before the Park Opens, Leigh Cohn, 2014.
Tower, Globe and Fountain, Leigh Cohn, 2014.
Tower, Globe and Fountain, Leigh Cohn, 2014.
Lily Pond Facing South, Leigh Cohn, 2014.
Lily Pond Facing South, Leigh Cohn, 2014.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!