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.

Creativity and Joy, with a dancing brush!

Creativity and Joy: Dance of the Brush with Jean Shen and Students.
Creativity and Joy: the Dance of the Brush with Jean Shen and Students.

Extraordinary works of traditional brush painting are on display in the Exhibit Hall of the Japanese Friendship Garden. The exhibition is titled Creativity and Joy: the Dance of the Brush with Jean Shen and Students.

Jean Shen is a Master Chinese Brush Painter whose works have been shown throughout Asia and the United States. Her paintings are collected internationally. Many of her pieces, and many pieces painted by her students, are available for purchase at the Japanese Friendship Garden during this exhibition, which runs through January 28, 2018.

You must see these fantastic brush paintings in person. They depict aspects of nature and life, and express joy, rhythm and vitality. In addition to half a dozen works created by Jean Shen, you will discover a variety of intriguing paintings in different styles by sixteen of her students.

Become a member of the Japanese Friendship Garden and you can simply walk into the garden and enjoy inspiring art whenever you please!

The yellowish quality of these few photos is due to the indoor lighting and inadequacy of my old camera. They merely give you a small taste of the beauty that awaits you.

Creativity and Joy is on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden's Exhibit Hall until January 28, 2018. Many beautiful works are for sale.
Creativity and Joy is on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Exhibit Hall until January 28, 2018. Many beautiful works are for sale.
Where Have We Been, and What Lies Ahead? by artist Jann Pasler.
Where Have We Been, and What Lies Ahead? by artist Jann Pasler.
Playtime by artist Carmen Mannarino.
Playtime by artist Carmen Mannarino.
Salad Days by artist Nannette Bauer.
Salad Days by artist Nannette Bauer.
Jeweled Hummingbird by artist Cindy Pon.
Jeweled Hummingbird by artist Cindy Pon.
Uma by artist Dot Kimura.
Uma by artist Dot Kimura.

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!

Passion, life and inspiration in Balboa Park.

Walk around beautiful Balboa Park and you will discover passion, life and inspiration. Everywhere.

Please enjoy some photographs that I took over the weekend.

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!

Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? To read a few stories about life that I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

A few scenes of life in beautiful Balboa Park.

People relax and enjoy life in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park.
People relax and enjoy life in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park.

Every day, Balboa Park presents countless beautiful scenes of life. Life that is thriving, full of love, hope, enjoyment, curiosity, and a sense of freedom. I could post a million photographs. But today I’ll share just a few.

Flowers like bursting fireworks in one of Balboa Park's many gardens.
Flowers like bursting fireworks in one of Balboa Park’s many gardens.
Curious visitors to Balboa Park check out a small fountain near the House of Hospitality.
Curious visitors to Balboa Park check out a small fountain near the House of Hospitality.
A duck and lily pads in the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
A duck and lily pads in the Balboa Park reflecting pool.
Beautiful flowers and palm fronds along El Prado, beside the reflecting pool.
Beautiful flowers and palm fronds along El Prado, beside the reflecting pool.
And even more blooms.
And even more blooms.
My camera gets a friendly wave from the engineer as the fun Balboa Park Miniature Railroad emerges from tunnel!
My camera gets a friendly wave from the engineer as the fun Balboa Park Miniature Railroad emerges from tunnel!
A priest in long black robe ambles past Spanish Colonial Revival Style arches with friends. A perfect day to celebrate life in Balboa Park.
A priest in long black robe ambles past Spanish Colonial Revival Style arches with friends. A perfect day to celebrate life in Balboa Park.
The Japanese Friendship Garden expansion has grown out to become unbelievably lush. When it opened, the canyon still appeared a bit barren.
The Japanese Friendship Garden expansion has grown out to become unbelievably lush. When it opened, the canyon still appeared a bit barren.
Plaque near trunk of the Pan-American Friendship Tree in Balboa Park. It was planted on April 14, 1952.
Plaque near trunk of the Pan-American Friendship Tree in Balboa Park. The tree was planted on April 14, 1952.
And this is the huge Pan-American Friendship Tree today. Life thrives in Balboa Park.
And this is the huge Pan-American Friendship Tree today. Life thrives in Balboa Park.
A family flies a kite on the grass.
A family flies a kite on the grass.
Visitors apply their life's hope to a chalkboard inside the Casa de Balboa. When I Grow Up I Want To Be . . . Me
Visitors apply their life’s hope to a chalkboard inside the Casa de Balboa. When I Grow Up I Want To Be . . . Me

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!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Watch and learn glassblowing in Balboa Park!

Student learns glassblowing. Classes are taught just outside Studio 19 in Balboa Park's Spanish Village.
Student learns glassblowing. Classes are taught just outside Studio 19 in Balboa Park’s wonderful Spanish Village.

Would you like to watch skilled artists engaged in actual glassblowing, while you stand just a few feet from the action? Do you want to learn how to blow glass yourself?

If you’re in San Diego, head on over to the Spanish Village Art Center in beautiful Balboa Park. That’s where you’ll find the studios of over 200 local artists, including Studio 19, the home to some amazing glass artists.

Just outside Studio 19, on the colorful patio of Spanish Village, visitors can watch these glassblowing wizards or their students at work. Chances are you can observe the amazing action up close if you stop by on a weekend afternoon.

If you’d like to learn glassblowing, sign up for a fun class! Simply contact Studio 19. You can find their phone number here.

Vases made of colorful glass on display near Studio 19, home of skilled San Diego glass artists.
Vases made of colorful glass on display near Studio 19, home of talented San Diego glass artists.
Softening glass in the reheating furnace, or glory hole, which runs at a temperature over 2000 degrees! It's so blazing bright, protective sunglasses are used!
Softening glass in the reheating furnace, or glory hole, which runs at a temperature over 2000 degrees! It’s so blazing bright, protective sunglasses are used!
Using one of several fascinating tools that help an artisan shape molten glass. I believe this is called a v-block. Steam rises off wet newspapers.
Using one of several fascinating tools that help an artisan shape molten glass. I believe this is called a v-block. Steam rises off wet newspapers.
Mitts used to protect hands from extremely high temperatures!
Mitts used to protect hands from extremely high temperatures!
A bicyclist rode up to watch live glass blowing in Spanish Village. This is a very special place where the public can observe skilled glass artists at work.
A bicyclist rode up to watch live glass blowing in Spanish Village. This is a very special place where the public can observe inspired glass artists at work.
Student blows through tube while artist Andy Cohn holds a paddle to flatten the bottom of the forming piece. Colored glass bits, or frit, can be seen on the table nearby.
Student blows air through blowpipe while artist Andy Cohn holds a paddle to flatten the bottom of the forming piece. Colored glass bits, or frit, can be seen on the steel table, or marver, nearby.

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 world-class rose garden in full spring bloom.

The world-class Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in Balboa Park was in full bloom on Easter Sunday.
The world-class Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in Balboa Park was in full bloom on Easter Sunday.

Today I visited a very special place. I took a slow stroll through the amazingly beautiful Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in Balboa Park. It also happens to be Easter Sunday. Many people were enjoying the vibrant colors. The rose garden is in gorgeous, full spring bloom.

The Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden is truly world-class. It has won so many prestigious awards, signs and plaques appear all over the garden singing its praises. Just walking about randomly, I noticed this garden has been inducted into the Great Rosarians of the World’s Rose Garden Hall of Fame, has earned the Public Rose Garden Award from All-America Rose Selections, has gained an Award of Garden Excellence from the World Federation of Rose Societies, and goodness knows what else!

And here I am, someone who knows next to nothing about roses. I suppose I should have recorded the many varieties that I photographed–but it was too warm and perfect outside, and I simply didn’t feel that motivated. The beauty was enough.

And believe me, there was an abundance of beauty!

Plaque among roses reads: This garden is dedicated to the memory of Inez Grant Parker . . . 1975
Plaque among roses reads: This garden is dedicated to the memory of Inez Grant Parker . . . 1975
Visitors to beautiful Balboa Park in San Diego enter the large, amazing rose garden just east of Park Boulevard.
Visitors to beautiful Balboa Park in San Diego enter the large, amazing rose garden just east of Park Boulevard.
During the spring, the roses are in full bloom. Brilliant colors can be seen everywhere one turns.
During the spring, the roses are in full bloom. Brilliant colors can be seen everywhere one turns.
Someone is wearing Easter Bunny ears in the rose garden! A perfect, special day in the sunshine.
Someone is wearing Easter Bunny ears in the rose garden! A perfect, special day in the sunshine.
My camera seemed quite attracted to yellow blooms. They are like sunshine, grown from the rich Earth.
My camera seemed quite attracted to yellow blooms. They are like sunshine, grown from the rich Earth.
Even the white fence around the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden's small maintenance area is bedecked with glorious color.
Even the white fence around the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden’s small maintenance area is bedecked with glorious color.
A bright red rose. Many buds have yet to open on this late March day.
A bright red rose. Many buds have yet to open on this late March day.
People stroll slowly among the beautiful rose displays. Many take photographs. Young and old are touched. Many bend down to smell the sweet scent.
People stroll slowly among the beautiful rose displays. Many take photographs. Young and old are touched. Many bend down to smell the sweet scent.
Many varieties of rose can be spotted in this truly fantastic, multiple award-winning garden.
Many varieties of rose can be spotted in this truly fantastic, multiple award-winning garden.
Photo across Park Boulevard toward the Natural History Museum, one of many attractions in Balboa Park.
Photo across Park Boulevard toward the Natural History Museum, one of many attractions in Balboa Park.
A sea of brilliant color. A walk in this garden is like moving through a beautiful dream.
A sea of brilliant color. A walk in this garden is like moving through a beautiful dream.
These deep purple roses really caught my eye. They appear to be made of velvet.
These deep purple roses really caught my eye. They appear to be made of velvet.
Cheerful blooms smile up at those who pass by.
Cheerful blooms smile up at those who pass by.
Many paths among the roses invite a casual stroll. Benches invite relaxation and meditation.
Many paths among the roses invite a casual stroll. Benches allow for relaxation and meditation.
Yellow, pinks, reds, oranges, whites, every color of the rainbow, it seems, have sprouted like magic.
Yellow, pinks, reds, oranges, whites.  Every color of the rainbow, it seems, has sprouted in this one special place like sudden magic.
One cheerfully blooming sun in a whole universe of bright colors.
One cheerfully blooming sun in a whole universe of bright colors.
A stroll through this amazing garden brings one closer to deeper, more important things in life.
A stroll through this amazing garden brings one closer to deeper, more important things in life.
Everyone loves roses. Photographers and bicyclists, alike!
Everyone loves roses. Photographers and bicyclists, alike!
Come to this amazing Balboa Park rose garden during the blooming season and it will take your breath away.
Come to this amazing Balboa Park rose garden during the blooming season and it will take your breath away.
Fields of beauty.
Fields of beauty.
The Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden overlooks Balboa Park's less-developed Florida Canyon area. Blue sky and a few clouds today.
The Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden overlooks Balboa Park’s less-developed Florida Canyon area. Blue sky and a few clouds today.
A world-class rose garden, free to the public in Balboa Park.
A world-class rose garden, free to the public in Balboa Park.
Roses like snow on a spring day.
A flurry of white roses, like snow on a spring day.
Delicate beauty. A miracle.
Delicate beauty. A miracle.
Roses enough to fill the spirit to overflowing.
Roses enough to fill the spirit to overflowing.
This one is for you, my reader.
This one is for you, my reader.

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!

Do you love beautiful things? Visit my photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.