Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fortunate



Although it has been years since we had given the book Winnie the Pooh a serious read, after seeing the movie at the Disney Museum we realized it was time to revisit the profound philosophies in this so-called "tales for children." John Tyerman Williams in his scholarly book Pooh and the Philosophers describes Jean Paul Sartre's major philosophical work Being and Nothingness as "the longest single footnote" to Winnie the Pooh ever written. He believes that Sartre's wordy discourse about existential nothingness can be summed up in these succinct and sage words:

"What I like doing best is Nothing."
"How do you do Nothing," asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.
"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, 'What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?' and you say, 'Oh, Nothing,' and then you go and do it.
It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
"Oh!" said Pooh.

From start to finish, our Disney day was nothing but pure magic. We meandered from the fantastic landscape of Walt's world to dancing in the waves and digging in the sand at Crissy Field we had, in fact, taken Pooh to heart. We don't need much to make us happy - a little sand, a little surf and an active imagination.



It was a fine day for fun with family plus this shiny plastic wrapper found washed up in the tideline, that says it allhow very fortunate we are!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Time after Time

When Anand Pandian, anthropologist and scholar from Johns Hopkins University, arrived we had some idea about what he had in mind for his visit - something about spending the first day taking a deep look at our beach plastic with his eye turned toward our collection as an example of the Anthropocene; spending the second day at Kehoe Beach collecting plastic so that he could observe us in action. 


But when he walked in carrying a beautiful bouquet of local flowers that he described as part of the slow flowers movement, it was an generous expression of thanks and a foreshadowing of the conversations about time that were to become the leitmotif of his visit. 

From discussions about locally sourced flowers to the eons of geological time; from the thrill of finding clastic plastiglomerate at Kehoe Beach to the counting of every piece of plastic we picked up (754) it was an expansive two days of thought-provoking that left us full of many more really good questions than answers. 



When he departed with a ribbon of yellow polypropylene rope for a bracelet, he was ready to make a "fashion statement" about plastic on the beach. As soon as the rope was around his wrist, in the habit of looking a watch, he did a double- take as he quizzically considered that yellow band and the knot. Then, in an AH-HA moment of creative insight, he looked up and pronounced the bracelet a watch — the rope had become a time keeper of geological proportion and a reminder of keeping a "watch" on our human activity.

The question:
What time is it?
The answer: 
It all depends on how you look at it.
The question: 
What time would you like it to be?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Trashures



When designer Anja Brunt and illustrator Tineke Meirink invited our participation in Trashures, it was a dream come true.

This dynamic duo, intrigued by the beauty of the mundane, with a keen eye for stylish clean lines of European design, brought together 15 international artists who repurpose trash in inventive and beautiful ways.

Several years ago we were encouraged by a book agent to write a cookbook style DIY book about our beach plastic project. Although we love to cook, when thinking about the how-to-make crafty plastic, we tried and failed. We even went so far as to conduct a focus-group to help us develop hands-on activities.

Anja and Tineke have done it!  Their beautifully designed book with step-by step instructions is the fulfillment of an idea we had wrestled with then abandoned. They have cooked it up right. 

Soup's on…


Order Trashures here.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Great Masters




Any afternoon at the Louvre there are students with easels and paints learning to read the vocabulary of the palette and brushstrokes of the likes of Delacroix or Rembrandt. It's a time-honored tradition to copy the great masters.


One day as we meandered through the galleries at the MET we watched in amazement as artists painted in full view of the watchful eye of the critical public. Later that day at the MOMA we LOL when we imagined copying the precise lines of a classic Agnes Martin or replicating the energetic drips of an iconic Jackson Pollock.



When we were invited to exhibit our work in the SFMOMA Artist Windows we knew it would be the perfect place to present our "copies" of Jackson Pollock paintings. These three "paintings" were composed of snarls of rope and ghost netting that we unraveled skein by skein then arranged as if they were abstract expressionist gestures of pours and drips of paint. We discovered it is not as easy as it looks! Our compositions were photographed then enlarged and printed on to canvas. It was a thrill to watch people as they walked by, did a double-take, then exclaimed, "Hey, I didn't know the museum had that Pollock."



Since we know the educational value of copying (not plagiarizing) to gain a deeper understanding of the creative process we were honored when students at the Lakeside Art Studio in San Francisco used our beach plastic project as inspiration of their own work with plastic. For months they collected broken toys and household plastic. After sorting it by color, they fashioned it into both permanent and impermanent, individual and group artworks. They made wreathes, hearts and abstract arrangements and using the plastic as stamps they even made prints. From the looks of it, they learned their lessons and are well on their way to being Great Masters. 










Kudos to Michelle Adelsheim aka "Mrs. A", the Lakeside teaching team and the student artists for this photo essay of their remarkable work: HERE. 


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lovin' the dots


We know how much you love polka dots so we thought you might like to see our "drought dots" cut from Astroturf salvaged from the soccer field at Marin Academy when they replaced their old fashioned plastic sports lawn for the new improved (still plastic) synthetic turf.

The contractors had tossed big rolls of the stuff into the dumpster. While driving Judith did a double take, came to a screeching halt, turned her car around and headed back. Not sure what we might do with this amazing find, nevertheless she filled her car to the brim.

There is much discussion about the efficacy of this turf and the possible detrimental health effects of the off-gassing of the plastic, even so we have LOL watching folks amused by our circular lawn and especially since it stayed bright green even during the drought.

For the kids the dots are perfect shoe putting-on islands and they have made a hop-scotch game of jumping from round to round.


With the green, the spotted pattern on the fawns doesn't camouflage like it does with brown leaves and dappled light, but mom doesn't mind. Here they are just out our front door — lovin' the dots.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

World Oceans Day

In celebration of World Oceans Day we are thrilled to be featured in TIME magazine along with such an eminent group of international artists. 

13 Artists Who Turned Ocean Trash Into Amazing Art


We continued the fun with a group from Rocky Mountain Nursery School in San Francisco who came out to help us sort through our pile of plastic. And help with a bit of test marketing for "Counting to Zero." They were keen about going for the count! 





















Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Game!!!


We are always game for a trip to the beach and especially with friends like Doug Woodring and Kwok-zu Lim from Hong Kong. They are intrepid travelers who are keen for adventure and have keen eyes for plastic.

We had just descended the dune trail and were just five steps onto the flat of the beach when Judith saw a thin edge of a piece of white plastic. She pulled from the sand a mysterious eight-sided disc engraved with a Chinese character. Wonder what this mysterious glyph means?
Hey!!! maybe Kwok-Zu knows.

Yes, he explained, it is a piece from the ancient game of Xiangqi, Chinese chess and this piece represents the advisor to the King. So glad to have an expert advisor along.






It was a bonanza day for micro-plastics and nurdles. The beach was littered with what we have aptly named, "the confetti strew." We got a good start filling our gumball machine.




Imagine the giggles, the delight and surprise when a handful of brightly colored bits of beach plastic are dispensed  —  perfect for making a mosaic, adding to a collage or using as color swatches for interior decorating projects. Or like the birds and the fish, you can eat it up.

Watch Doug's Plethora Point- Kehoe Beach "Plasticized" 


Post-Traumatic parking ticket stress disorder. Yep, we've got it.
After years of finding SFMTA violation notices slipped under our windshield in SOMA in San Francisco we have a knee-jerk reaction. YIKES!!! They are still after us. They came all the way out to this remote stretch of Pierce Point Road just to give us a ticket.
Had we exceeded our time limit?  
Will we need to go to court to contest?





Always game for fun, prankster Doug Woodring found the paper washed up on the beach and tucked it under the windshield wiper before we got back to the car.

Upon closer inspection the date and time were washed away along with the cancer  causing BPA that coats this type of paper.


Ha! Ha! Doug- you gave us a fright as did the thought of that BPA now floating around in the ocean.