Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The murals at Newport Harbor High School are finally complete.
We are happy to find out that Tom will be returning to NHHS to do some more
murals on the Irvine Avenue side of the school which is great because that is the side we see most often. We showed an architect friend of ours some photos of the murals and his response was different from what we expected. He said "what a shame that someone designed a building that was so unattractive that they had to put murals on it." Well, coming from an architectural stand point we can understand where he is coming from. It was very sad to see the old Gothic Revival style building destroyed and the new building does not even come close in its integrity. Well, that being said, we are stuck with the new building and we are delighted that Tom is taking on the huge and time consuming task of designing and painting these incredible murals to make these stark walls appear more beautiful.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More Mural Photos

Southern California Mural Artist

In the summer we take advantage of the local school fields and let our dogs off leash so that they can run. We usually cut through the local high school, Newport Harbor High, and often end up at a nearby junior high. We have been noticing two enormous and beautiful murals evolving on the side of one of the new buildings. They are giant and impressive and it is hard to feel the actual scale of things unless you are standing underneath them. Most of the time when we walk by and admire the progress of the murals the artist has been on a lift, very high in the air, and unavailable to talk. Yesterday, however, he was doing some work closer to the ground level and we got to chat with him. I was very curious as to whether he had always been an artist and if he had studied art in school or if he was a natural talent. He introduced himself as Tom Seibert and answered that he had gone to UC Riverside and was a biology major. He had taken art history as well but had not officially studied art. I thought it amazing that someone could take an idea and translate it into something so enormous onto the side of the building. We asked if he had always been talented at painting murals and he humbly answered "I don't know if I am." We are going to continue to walk by and visit this mural as it is getting finished. He believed there would be another two weeks worth of work on the project before it would be completed.

Other people have passed by to admire his work as well. Tom mentioned that on the weekend a wedding party had happened upon his mural and asked if they could take some portraits in front of his project. He had also had some young visitors stopping by every day on their way to swim lessons. These lucky youngsters actually got to help him out with a bit of painting on the ship mural. They will forever be able to proudly say they helped with this beautiful piece of history. Visit Tom's website to see some more of his beautiful works.
Tom's story continues. Like I mentioned before, Tom is very humble and isn't one to speak about himself at all. A special friend of his sent me an e-mail and here it is:

Hi Dave & Nancy! I'm Chris, Tom's girlfriend, up on the Central Coast. He has told me about your visits & the pics. He sent me your blog this morning. I just wanted to thank you for these great pictures & writing such a nice piece on him. He is very talented and humble, you're right! We are so blessed that Tom is out there working right now, one year ago, he had a bone marrow transplant at the City of Hope. Thank God he is still here to 'colour our worlds'! Your appreciation is awesome! Thanks again! : )

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Drought Tolerant Garden within Huntington Beach Central Park

This is the pathway into the garden. Wouldn't you consider this "green" because it is reusing
some broken concrete removed from somewhere else? It looks good here.

Within the Central Park in H.B. there is a rather unmaintained wild garden that displays some natives and drought tolerant type of plants. Although unkept it has a "secret" garden feel to it and I think that kids would love to run through it and hide amongst the overgrown plants.

Central Park photos of Neutra Architecture & Water Features

Architecture by Neutra

When we came upon the Library we admired the mid-century or post modern look of the structure, the water features and the public bathrooms. We were curious to find out who the architect was and thought that it had to be someone very talented. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the city of H.B. had hired the Neutra firm. Here is a little blurb from the City's website regarding the history of the beautiful library:

Library Board members, wanting a first hand view, toured libraries in California that had recently been constructed and were of similar size. The board developed a list of some 35 architects that they were interested in considering and eventually narrowed it down to 17 whom they invited in for interviews. Of the 17, the firm of Richard & Dion Neutra was asked to design the library. Shortly before the actual signing of the agreement,Richard Neutra died while on tour and his son, Dion, was retained to design the project.

Huntington Beach Central Park

Day Trip to Huntington Beach Central Park

We are always looking for places to go with the dogs to take a nice walk and eat breakfast. We have been to Huntington Beach Central Park several times but didn't realize that it is on both sides of Goldenwest. This time we made it to the other side and explored acres upon acres of the park. It is really a great spot for a stroll but, unfortunately, Alice's is not going to be open after Labor Day weekend. It has long been a destination breakfast place with a view of the lake. There still will be one place open that is directly off Goldenwest. It also has outdoor dining where you can take your dogs with you and even order things on the menu for your dogs.

There are acres of open space and trails to wonder around in Central Park. One side of the park consists of some ponds, trails, squirrels, the beautiful library and some exercise stations with signs that tell you what to do at each station. We were surprised to see that there were some domesticated rabbits let loose at this park.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Drought Tolerant Color

Hot Summer Survivors and Gorgeous colors.

There are many new varieties of Gazania that have outstanding garden performance. They have strong colors and larger blooms and are very hardy. The entire drought-tolerant series makes durable, easy-to-grow plants that excel in beds, containers and hanging baskets, as well as edgings or groundcovers. They blend well with suculant gardens as well as traditional and English Style Gardens.