Jon Crispin's Notebook

Huntington Library

Posted in Art, Fish, Jon Crispin, museums, Trees, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 17/06/2017


I was back at The Huntington yesterday for my annual visit to the Blue Boy.  It is breathtaking.  It’s quite impossible to look at a reproduction and get any sense of just how amazing this painting is in person.


At the opposite end of the gallery is this painting by Thomas Lawrence which is commonly referred to as “Pinkie”.  I had never really paid much attention to her, but it is pretty easy to get lost in gazing at it.


It was very hot yesterday so I didn’t walk around the gardens for long.  There are lots of ginkgo trees on the grounds.  I grew up with one in my side yard in Meadville and clearly remember climbing it as a boy.  It was the only one I ever saw as a kid, and is still my favorite tree.


As I walked over a little bridge in the Japanese garden, these guys showed up thinking I might feed them.  Sorry I couldn’t oblige.

Karma Congestion… (UPDATE)

©2016 Jon Crispin

…is a phrase my dear friend Alex Ross coined many years ago.  I think I have mentioned it here before.  We use it as a general catch-all to cover anything from mild creative block to what the Germans call Weltschmerz.  I have been somewhere in it for a while now.  I haven’t been posting much, but I have been shooting quite a bit and I wanted to put up a few shots here. / I was chastised by a Kathmandu policeman just after I shot this ↑.  The white kiosk in the middle of the intersection was put there this very day.  The old one was lying on its side on the corner beside me (and is quite possibly still there).

©2016 Jon Crispin

I’ve been in and out of the New Haven train station a lot lately and have always liked these tunnels.

©2016 Jon Crispin

Our friends Scott and Lisa very generously invite us to visit them on Block Island for a few days in July.  This was the view from their rental.  We had a lovely time.

©2016 Jon Crispin

Olive is now just over 2 years old and is the most wonderful dog. My pal Peter Carroll took this picture.

©2016 Jon Crispin

These two big stones are in the empty lot next to the house on Ensenada Drive in Woodland Hills, CA where Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band recorded “Trout Mask Replica”.  I was going to take a photo of the house, but it is a private residence now and I didn’t want to bother the current occupants.  I had a friend in college by the name of Greg Trout whose granny gave him a copy of the album for his birthday.  The only reason she bought it for him was that his surname was in the title.  When I first heard it, it seemed beyond unlistenable.  Now it is one of my most favorite records.  Beefheart was a genius.  Click on this only if you are open to weirdness.

©2016 Jon Crispin

My brother-in law John is also a huge Beefheart fan.  He was up for the excursion to Woodland Hills especially if it involved a stop at Musso and Frank is Hollywood.  John is totally amazing and so much fun to be with.  He was raised in Southern California and  his knowledge of the area is staggering.

©2016 Jon Crispin

He grew up in Palos Verdes and gave us a tour on a lovely Sunday morning.  This is a detail of a fountain  that is in the center of town.

©2016 Jon Crispin

Here is John and Lynne’s dog Scooter.  He is a mischievous sweetie.

©2016 Jon Crispin

Cris and I always go to Huntington Beach when we are in California.  The summer program for future lifeguards was happening as we were there.  There was a wide range of ages of the kids, and it was way cool to see all of the participants in their red suits and colorful caps.

©2016 Jon Crispin

The older kids paddled out beyone the end of the pier and back.  It looked exhausting.

©2016 Jon Crispin

The US Open of Surfing was happening the same day and the pier was jammed with people.

©2016 Jon Crispin

We also usually make it out to the Huntington Library in Pasadena,

©2016 Jon Crispin

mostly just for the chance to see Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.  It never gets old.

©2016 Jon Crispin

Peter was visiting from DC last week, and we made our annual trip to Essex to eat  fried clams at Farnham’s.  It was a beautiful day and the view from the picnic tables can not be beat.

Thanks for following and for giving me the opportunity to unclog some of that karma congestion.  I think it worked.  Cheers.

UPDATE.  This is indicative of how spaced out I am, but the picture of Olive was taken by Peter Carroll.  It is the best photograph of her ever, and he totally deserves the credit.  Sorry Pete!

Disney / The Huntington

Posted in botany, Disneyland, painters, theme parks by joncrispin on 05/06/2015

Cristine grew up going to Disneyland as a very young child.  Her parents would drop off all three kids when the park opened and they would pick them up when it closed.  Many of her popular culture references are Disney related.  Once when we were snorkeling in the Caribbean, she popped up from a dive and said “It’s just like the submarine ride at Disneyland”!  We would go to the park while visiting her family when Peter was little, and I really got to like it as well.

We had a wonderful day there on Wednesday which included a fine meal at the Blue Bayou.  Our table overlooked the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and I was able to make this nice picture.

Yesterday we went to The Huntington near Pasadena, which in its own way is just as cool as Disneyland.  We started off in the Botanical Center which was full of orchids.

Then moved on to the rose garden.

Made the obligatory stop to see Blue Boy.

Which is breathtaking.  Gainsborough had it rockin’.

Asked about Turner, and they had this, “The Grand Canal. A Street Scene in Venice”.  Here is a detail.


And then walked into this room and nearly fell over when I saw this.

When we were in the American Art building I was somehow reminded of a painting in my brother’s and my bedroom when we were children.  All I could remember was a guy lashed to a small boat being circled by sharks.  So I did a quick search on my phone (guy lashed to a small boat being circled by sharks painting) and saw this.  I don’t know why we had it in our house, and as a child I remember being frightened by it.  Bob, do you remember this?

Just got back from a last visit to In-n-Out.  I guess it’s time to go home.

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