Beauty created at every turn in Balboa Park.

Skilled artisan in the Casa del Prado creates a beautiful ceramic pot for a bonsai.
Skilled artist creates a beautiful ceramic pot for a bonsai. His wheel turns with a purpose.

If you thirst for beauty, simply wander through Balboa Park.

Follow that twisting path.

Smell a flower.

Poke your nose into a building.

Turn a sudden corner.

Look up.

Look down.

Close your eyes and spin around.

Open your eyes.

An exhibition in Balboa Park's Casa del Prado presented by the San Diego Bonsai Club. Bringing forth carefully pruned beauty from nature's infinite, eternal beauty.
An exhibition in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado presented by the San Diego Bonsai Club. Bringing forth carefully pruned beauty from nature’s infinite, eternal beauty.
Uplifting music on a carefree Sunday by the Botanical Building.
Creating music on a carefree Sunday by the reflecting pool and Botanical Building.
Painting the beauty before one's eyes in Balboa Park across from the House of Hospitality.
Painting the beauty before one’s eyes in Balboa Park across from the House of Hospitality.
Beautifully sculpted flowers welcome visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art during their Art Alive event.
Beautifully sculpted flowers welcome visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art during their Art Alive event.
Happy music for ears. Tasty crumbs for beaks.
Pleasing notes for ears. Tasty crumbs for beaks.
Heating glass like a small rotating sun in Spanish Village Art Center.
Heating glass until it becomes a small rotating sun in Spanish Village Art Center.
Nature has produced this beautiful gem at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Nature has created this delicate gem at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Fine Japanese ceramics displayed in the garden's Exhibit House. For those that thirst for beauty.
Fine Japanese ceramics displayed in the garden’s Exhibit House. For those with an unquenchable thirst for beauty.

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.

Painting a steampunk musician and his street organ!

Friendly gentleman plays his 20 pipe street organ named Misty in Balboa Park.
Friendly gentleman plays his 20 pipe street organ named Misty in Balboa Park.

Another wonderful day in Balboa Park. I took lots of photos.

As I walked past the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I paused for a bit to talk to the creator of a small 20 pipe street organ named Misty. The gentleman, dressed in steampunk gear, was pleased to demonstrate his musical instrument. He made it from a kit. Now he’s inventing another organ of his own design. Using air compressed by a bellows, the music is generated from a perforated paper roll that is turned by hand.

Nearby, a talented artist was painting the musician’s portrait, daubing her canvas with bright color. I felt as if I were walking through a childhood dream, filled with surprising, fanciful sights and sounds.

New wonders await around every corner in Balboa Park!

An artist paints the pipe organ and its friendly creator.
An artist paints the pipe organ and its friendly creator.

UPDATE!

Jim Coffee is the musician–he left a comment! And he actually built the organ from scratch! My misunderstanding!

Very cool!

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!

Beautiful Japanese brush art by Friends of Taka Sumi-e.

A talented gentleman demonstrates Japanese brush painting in Balboa Park. The traditional Asian art form is called Sumi-e.
A talented gentleman demonstrates Japanese brush painting in Balboa Park. The traditional Asian art form is called sumi-e.

You might enjoy these colorful photos.

Yesterday I strolled into the Casa del Prado to view an exhibition put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e, a society in San Diego whose members produce beautiful works of Japanese brush art. The room was filled with abundant life.

A couple of friendly people explained a little about the traditional Asian art form of sumi-e, or brush drawing. I learned that the “four treasures” are ink, stone, paper and brush. I learned a hard inkstick is rubbed in water against a rough, mortar-like inkstone to produce the ink. I learned that in Japan both calligraphy and painting often use ink produced this way.

I also observed how amazing the finished works can be. Take a look!

A fantastic Japanese Brush Painting Art Exhibition was held inside the Casa del Prado. The free event was put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e of San Diego.
A fantastic Japanese Brush Painting Art Exhibition was held inside the Casa del Prado. The free event was put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e of San Diego.
Many beautiful works of Japanese brush art could be admired by the public in the Casa del Prado.
Many beautiful works of Japanese brush art could be admired by the public in the Casa del Prado.
An ink stick was ground into the ink stone. The artist prepares her brush for another drawing.
An inkstick was ground into the inkstone. The artist prepares her brush for another drawing.
It's the year of the Rooster.
It’s the year of the Rooster.
A few careful strokes of the brush expresses eternity.
A few careful strokes of the brush expresses eternity.
Colorful butterflies have gathered atop this table.
Colorful butterflies have gathered atop this table.
A dragon.
A dragon.
A human figure.
A human figure.
Amazing finished artwork filled many tables. By artist Ileane Tatar.
Amazing finished artwork filled many tables. By artist Ileane Tatar.
A jumping green frog. By Ileane Tatar.
A jumping green frog. By Ileane Tatar.
A hen with chicks looks up at a rooster banner--a banner portrayed on a banner! Art by Louise Rendich.
A hen with chicks looks up at a rooster banner–a banner portrayed on a banner! Art by Louise Rendich.
Two fish and cherry blossoms, by Pat Wolfe.
Two koi and cherry blossoms, by Pat Wolfe.
I believe these might be storks. By artist Kazuko (Kay) Mese.
I believe these might be storks. By artist Kazuko (Kay) Mese.
A rugged landscape with ancient trees. By artist Debra Hirschy.
A rugged mountain landscape with ancient trees. By artist Debra Hirschy.
A humorous cat, by artist Karen Straus.
A humorous cat, by artist Karen Straus.
A trotting horse, by Louise Rendich.
A trotting horse, by Louise Rendich.
One could spend hours in this room.
One could spend hours in this room.
Superb flowers, very fine art by Takashi Ijichi.
Superb flowers, very fine art by Takashi Ijichi.
Another unique rooster with generous daubs of color.
Another unique rooster with generous daubs of color.
Delicate flowers and leaves, by artist Soon Chu.
Delicate flowers and leaves, by artist Soon Chu.
Pink blossoms above a volcano, by Marlene Leet.
Pink blossoms above a volcano, by Marlene Leet.
I would love to live here. Dreamy Japanese brush art by Marlene Leet.
I would love to live here. Dreamy Japanese brush art by Marlene Leet.
A furry feline. Rebecca Leet-Homung.
A furry feline. Rebecca Leet-Homung.
So much beauty to absorb. One's life is uplifted.
So much beauty to absorb. One’s life is uplifted.
A hummingbird, by artist Iris Lowe-Reiss.
A hummingbird, by artist Iris Lowe-Reiss.

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!

Read my short story The Child and the Koi by clicking here!

Balboa Park becomes more beautiful one Friday morning.

San Diego Park and Recreation Department workers paint a wall one Friday morning in Balboa Park.
San Diego Park and Recreation Department workers paint a wall in Balboa Park one Friday morning.

During my walk through Balboa Park this morning, I saw lots of people out and about working to beautify the park. It’s Friday, which means another busy weekend is just around the corner…

Cleaning the Plaza de California near the Museum of Man with a blower.
Cleaning the Plaza de California near the Museum of Man with a blower.
Another worker clears leaves with a blower by the Niki de Saint Phalle Nikigator sculpture.
Another worker clears leaves and litter with a blower by the Niki de Saint Phalle Nikigator sculpture.
Working on some underground repairs in the outdoor courtyard of the House of Hospitality, near Donal Hord's sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec.
Working on some underground repairs in the outdoor courtyard of the House of Hospitality, near Donal Hord’s iconic sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec.
Restoration work if being done on this facade by the reflecting pool. Sadly, a vandal must have climbed the scaffolding and spray painted graffiti.
Restoration work if being done on this facade by the reflecting pool. Sadly, a vandal must have climbed the scaffolding and spray painted graffiti.
Raking between enormous roots behind the Botanical Building!
Raking between enormous roots behind the Botanical Building!
Some work is going on to fix up the front entrance of the San Diego History Center.
Some work is going on to fix up the front entrance of the San Diego History Center.
More leaf blowing in the Plaza de Panama.
More leaf blowing in the Plaza de Panama near the Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden Court.
A Park and Rec worker gathers up some garbage one Friday morning, preparing for the weekend.
A Park and Rec worker gathers up some garbage one Friday morning, preparing for the inevitable weekend crowds.
A tree trimming service removes fallen eucalyptus trees in Palm Canyon. This year's winter storms have knocked many large trees over.
A tree trimming service removes fallen eucalyptus trees in Palm Canyon. This year’s winter storms have knocked many large trees over.
Some of the enormous eucalyptus trunks weigh many tons.
Some of the enormous eucalyptus trunks weigh many tons.
A truck dumps mulch, with the Balboa Park Club rising in the background.
A truck dumps mulch, with the Balboa Park Club rising in the background.
Mowing the green lawn at the International Cottages.
Mowing the green lawn at the International Cottages one quiet Friday morning.

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!

Fun images on colored tiles in Spanish Village!

A cat, palm fronds, clouds and other happy images catch the eye while walking through Spanish Village Art Center.
A cat, palm fronds, clouds and other happy images catch the eye while walking through Spanish Village Art Center.

I was walking through Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park today when I spied some fun images painted on the patio’s colored tiles, right in front of Studio 16B. This studio is the home of several local artists, and in it you can admire beautiful works of pottery, jewelry, painting and more! I hope you enjoy these few photos!

A visitor to Balboa Park in San Diego walks along the colorful patio of Spanish Village. Some fun images can be found in front of Studio 16B.
A visitor to Balboa Park in San Diego walks across the colorful patio of Spanish Village. Some fun images can be found in front of Studio 16B.
Studio 16B is the home of several talented local San Diego artists. As you can see, this photo was taken during Christmas.
Studio 16B is the home of several talented local San Diego artists. As you can see, this photo was taken during Christmas.
More fun designs on the colored patio tiles include another cat and a swirl.
More fun designs on the colored patio tiles include another cat and a purple swirl.
A lizard on two tiles, and some swirly colored lines.
A red lizard on two tiles, and some colored waves.
Whoever painted these tiles must like cats!
Whoever painted these tiles must like cats!

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!

Sculpture and mural in Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer.

A historic sculpture and mural grace the grand foyer inside the Balboa Park Club.
A beautiful sculpture and large mural grace the grand foyer inside the Balboa Park Club.

Lovers of art should step inside the Balboa Park Club when visiting Balboa Park. The historic building’s grand foyer is dominated by two monumental works of art: a sculpture titled Four Cornerstones of American Democracy by Frederick Schweigardt, and a mural titled The Progress of Man by painter Belle Baranceanu. Both were created in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition.

Here are some photos. Please read the captions for more detailed explanations.

The Balboa Park Club is found directly west of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, in the area of Balboa Park called the Palisades.

The handsome Balboa Park Club building in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park.
The handsome Balboa Park Club building in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
The Pueblo Revival-style Balboa Park Club was originally the New Mexico State Building at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It was remodeled in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. (Click image to enlarge.)
The Pueblo Revival-style Balboa Park Club was originally the New Mexico State Building at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It was remodeled in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. (Click image to read sign.)
Folk dancing is a common activity in the large 13,000 square foot ballroom inside the Balboa Park Club.
Folk dancing is a common activity in the large 13,000 square foot ballroom inside the Balboa Park Club.
Photo just inside the entrance to the Balboa Park Club, looking left.
Photo just inside the entrance to the Balboa Park Club, looking left.
Old photo of same fireplace on the left of the building's entrance hall, taken in 1915 during the Panama-California Exposition.
Old photo of same fireplace on the left of the building’s entrance hall, taken in 1915 during the Panama-California Exposition.
1915 photo of main facade of the New Mexico State Building during the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
1915 photo of main facade of the New Mexico State Building during the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Inside the Balboa Park Club's grand foyer, looking back toward the entrance. At the center stands the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy, a 1935 sculpture by Frederick Schweigardt.
Inside the Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer, looking back toward the entrance. At the center stands the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy, a 1935 sculpture by Frederick Schweigardt.
Frederick Schweigardt created the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. The building then was called the Palace of Education.
Frederick Schweigardt created the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. The building then was called the Palace of Education.
Bronze dancer atop the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture. The cornerstones are Home, School, Community and Church.
Bronze dancer atop the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture. The cornerstones depicted are Home, School, Community and Church.
The Progress of Man, a large mural painted by Belle Baranceanu in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Step into the Balboa Park Club building to see it!
The Progress of Man, a large mural painted by Belle Baranceanu in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Step into the Balboa Park Club building to see it!
Belle Baranceanu created The Progress of Man mural in 1935. It is a traditional subject, painted with a modernist sensibility. She also painted a mural for the La Jolla Post Office.
Belle Baranceanu created The Progress of Man mural in 1935. It is a traditional subject, painted with a modernist sensibility. She also painted a mural for the La Jolla Post Office.
Education, medicine, science and printing are subjects included in The Progress of Man mural.
Education, medicine, science and printing are subjects included in The Progress of Man mural.
Another close look at The Progress of Man mural, which depicts technology and society in 1935.
Another close look at The Progress of Man mural, which depicts technology and society in 1935.
Two beautiful, historic works of art can be experienced in the Balboa Park Club's grand foyer.
Two beautiful, historic works of art can be experienced in the Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer.  Simply step inside!

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 quick peek: Art and history inside Casa de Balboa.

Tables, banners and art inside the comfortably air-conditioned Casa de Balboa. The Casa 1915 Mexican Grill hasn't opened yet at this early hour. It serves hungry visitors to the building's three museums.
Tables, museum banners and painted artwork inside the Casa de Balboa. The Casa 1915 Mexican Grill hasn’t opened yet at this early hour. It serves hungry visitors to the building’s three museums.

Here are a few photos of what you might see should you step inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa. The Casa de Balboa is located on the south side of El Prado, between the House of Hospitality and Zoro Garden. The ornate building, which has undergone numerous name changes and even a complete reconstruction during the past century, today is the home of three excellent museums: the San Diego History Center, the Museum of Photographic Arts, and the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

On a hot day the Casa de Balboa is a good spot to cool off and perhaps grab a bite to eat. One can also see a number of interesting things inside the building, including beautiful artwork and fascinating bits of history.

I begin with these two fantastic paintings . . .

Point Loma, Charles Reiffel, oil on canvas, 1937. San Diego History Center. Painted for the City Curriculum Project, Works Progress Administration, the mural originally hung in Memorial Junior High School.
Point Loma, Charles Reiffel, oil on canvas, 1937. San Diego History Center. Painted for the City Curriculum Project, Works Progress Administration, the mural originally hung in Memorial Junior High School.
Farm Landscape, Charles Reiffel, oil on canvas, 1937. San Diego History Center. Painted for the City Curriculum Project, Works Progress Administration, the mural originally hung in Memorial Junior High School.
Farm Landscape, Charles Reiffel, oil on canvas, 1937. San Diego History Center. Painted for the City Curriculum Project, Works Progress Administration, the mural originally hung in Memorial Junior High School.
A peek into MOPA, the Museum of Photographic Arts, which is located inside Balboa Park's Casa de Balboa.
A peek into MOPA, the Museum of Photographic Arts, which is located inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa.
Another peek. The San Diego History Center, inside Balboa Park's Casa de Balboa, is where photos, documents and other recordings of our city's past are carefully preserved for posterity.
Another quick peek. The San Diego History Center, inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa, is where photos, documents and other recordings of our city’s past are carefully preserved for posterity.  One current exhibit celebrates the San Diego Zoo.
These stairs lead down to a place that kids love, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. A working railway semaphore signal rises from the lower level.
These stairs lead down to a place that kids absolutely love, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. A working railway semaphore signal rises from the lower level.
It's almost 10 o'clock, when the museums open. Cafe 1915 Mexican Grill employee carries a sign to be placed outside the Casa de Balboa, along El Prado where people walk.
It’s almost 10 o’clock, when the museums open. Cafe 1915 Mexican Grill employee carries a sign to be placed outside the Casa de Balboa, along El Prado where people walk.
Video on a wall inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa shows old photographs from the Panama-California Exposition Digital Archive. More material is sought from the public
Video on a wall inside Balboa Park’s Casa de Balboa shows old photographs from the Panama-California Exposition Digital Archive. More material is sought from the public.
Our 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition forever changed Balboa Park and helped put San Diego on the map. We invite you to contribute to this digital archive at pancalarchive.org
Our 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition forever changed Balboa Park and helped put San Diego on the map. We invite you to contribute to this digital archive at pancalarchive.org  (To read this, click the image and it will enlarge.)
Art inside the Casa de Balboa. An identical image of Junipero Serra can be seen outdoors in the facade of the Casa del Prado. This might be a duplicate, or perhaps it was used in the latter's creation.
Art inside the Casa de Balboa. An identical image of Junipero Serra can be seen outdoors in the facade of the Casa del Prado.
Preserved bit of history features an image of a friar at Mission San Diego, which was established in 1769.
Preserved bit of history features an image of a friar at Mission San Diego, which was established in 1769.

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!