Thursday, February 21, 2008

Journal class

Last Sunday was quite a treat. I attended a Journaling class presented by Kelly Kilmer. There is something about "making" these journals that really speaks to me. It gives me great satisfaction to gut one of my old business books and I feel magical as I create new covers and sew in new, fat pages that are thirsty for paint, paste, images and words.

Kelly is very generous with supplies. The amount of paper and images she makes available is nearly overwhelming. One of my struggles has been to allow myself to prepare pages for writing another day. I have a creepy little voice inside that says you must plan the entire page, it must have a theme, etc. In other words, I haven't allowed myself the fun of just going crazy with paint and background material. The problem that creates is that when I am on fire to write, there are no painted pages on which to write.

No more! thanks to Kelly. We had plenty of time and I painted and pasted with wild abandon. Phew! it felt good. Here are two of the pages patiently waiting for my pen. Please note the wickedly raggedy edges of the pages. I cannot begin to tell you how I am drawn to the irregularity of all of this.

Kelly gave us a prompt to capture what was happening that day. To make a great day even better, I was there with two of my daughters. One of whom you all know as Katydiddys. I hope, one day soon, to be directing you to the blog of the other. She is quite an artist and writer herself.

I never realized just how uptight I am about procedure and order until I started all of this art stuff. I brought home the journal I made in class and unconsciously decided that I had to finish the other two I am working in now before I could work in this one. Well, that book just called and called to me. It did not want to wait on the shelf for years like the first journal that Randi
lovingly taught me to make. Last night I gave in. This is the page that sort of made itself from some sketches I'd made long ago.

Early this morning there was a 6.0 earthquake in Nevada that was felt here in Southern California. I think it was actually me, opening up and letting go....................!

Here's to living in the moment and as the moment. Wishing wildness to you all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Computer art

Many moons ago, when I first got a computer, I discovered the program that let me create "art." I was amazed that anyone could create anything more than stick figures, but I practiced and practiced, and one day I actually made something that did not look like my etch a sketch. Over the years, I would make a picture now and then. Usually when I was stuck on hold on the phone. The other night I got to doodling around again and came up with these two. As you look at these please remember that "art" is in the eye of the beholder and be kind.

I think this looks like you-know-who looking for you-know-what.

This cartoonish rendering was inspired by a great print I've recently seen of a view between skyscrapers. It's not even close, I'm justs saying it was inspired by...

I have really missed blogging this week, but the days have just flown by. One of the highlights was Valentine's Day tea with Katydiddy and my darling granddaughter. Our friend from Faerie*Dust*Dreams  joined us and I think a good time was had by all.

Tomorrow the fun continues. I am joining the super talented Katydiddy for An Artist's Journal class with Kelly Kilmer. I admire her work and absolutely love making journals. I am really looking forward to fun. I'll certainly be blogging away about this. Sweet dreams or Good Morning to all wherever you are.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year

OK, after several days of hit and miss working on this challenge from Swan at Heart, here is my celebratory picture.

I sketched this based on some Chinese dolls I saw in the Panda Inn in Pasadena. Yummy food, by the way. How does everything end up being about food?

Then I painted her. This was harder than I thought it was going to be because I couldn't remember what colors and patterns were Chinese as opposed to Japanese. I'm pretty sure this is Chinese. And consider my panic when, as a novice painter, I discover that the tube labeled "flesh" was all dried up. I had to mix my own color. It would seem I am still able to figure thing out. Looks pretty good to me.

Then I entered the more-is-more-and-it's-great phase. Indulging my passion for looking things up on the internet, I discovered that the Chinese traditionally use flowers, food and lanterns to celebrate this holiday. Some of my favorite things. So I cut and pasted away. Painted and painted some more. More challenge, I have trouble layering. I love other artists subtle look but I still struggle to cover things up. Hmmmm, says Dr. Freud, what do you think that means?

And Viola! (an old Chinese phrase), here we have Chinese New Year Art. Wishing you all health and good fortune. And thanks dear Swan for motivating me to make art.

Just a note

Art Pub Studios is now on my list of favorite blogs.  Although I think it is technically a web site.  Anyway, I stumbled onto them today and had a wonderful time clicking around.  I'm adding them because: 1.  I wanted to share the wonder 2.  I want to acknowledge any artists who are choosing to do what it takes to make this their livelihood and 3.  they will enter you in a drawing if you link to them and they have stuff you know you want.  Get over their and link them!

I'm off to work on my piece for the Chinese New Year challenge at Swan at Heart.  If you procrastinate like me, you may need to know that TOMORROW is the day. But I'm willing to bet that the lovely Swan will accept art all week.  Check it out. 

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Fun Filled Friday

That's what the Friends of the LA Philharmonic (LA Phil for short) call these Friday excursions.
Late last year I signed the husband and myself up for a 6 performance series that includes transportation on a very plushy tour bus to the fairly new Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry, a pre-concert event which is a mini lecture by a noted person in the classical music industry, the concert, and a tour of some kind on the way home. Today was the second in our series and, while the first was wonderful, today was fantastic. The pre-concert lecturer was Alan Chapman who composes, hosts a classical radio program, is a Professor of Music and, (here is where I've come upon him) he is the program host of the inflight classical music channel on United Airlines. I learned many things about the music we heard today. And he is very humorous which off sets the sometimes dry side of the classics.

But the real treat was the concert. Itzhak Perlman was conductor/violin for a program of Bach, Mozart and Brahms. If you have ever seen Itzahak perform you will understand when I say I had tears in my eyes. You watch him labor onto the stage, he has braces on both legs and uses a pair of crutches. It makes you weary just watching and you hold your breath, concerned for his safety, as he struggles up onto the podium or into his chair in the violin section. But, once the music starts, he sways and gestures with such grace, and he sends out the most beautiful sound, you forget his disabilities and your own. Magic.

To ice the proverbial cake, we stopped by the LAUSD's instrument repair shop. LA is fortunate that they have been able to continue music programs in the schools when so many districts around the country have been fiscally forced to abandon them. This is in an old and very colorful part of LA. The bus ride past the fashion district, produce markets and general mish mash of a large urban setting was a feast for the eyes. At this point I was berating myself for not having my camera. I love to take pictures from cars, trains, buses, etc. and here was a perfect opportunity. Through the doors of a very nasty old building and...more magic. This is the place where all of the instruments from all of the elementary and secondary schools in all of LA come to be repaired. We are talking 1000's of instruments. Some of them very old.

So, it was just about this time that I realized that although I have no camera, I do have my iPhone which takes decent photos. Couldn't wait to share them with you.

A few of the bins that hold the poor old things as they limp in.

This tech gladly said "yes" when I asked if I could photograph his bench. I promised him he would be famous, appearing on my blog. That's a sousaphone he has apart.

These are very old instruments that are no longer manufactured. Some date from the 1920's and 30's. They keep these guys around for parts.

I think of soldiers, wounded yet standing proud, waiting to get patched up and returned to another tour of duty.

Now this is really crazy, but I thought she looks like she's getting an old fashioned perm.

Still life. I'm going to try to sketch this.

This one of the oldies that is giving up it's life one part at a time. I thought it was regal and beautiful.

This masterpiece is on the top of the bench of a string tech. I wanted to take this home!

Time just seems to have stopped in here. A long time ago I read a book about a piano repair business on the Left Bank in Paris. I can't remember the name of it and I am just too lazy to go look. But all of the ancient, dusty cabinets and tools in this old building seem just like what is described in the book.

I took photos from the bus on the ride home. I like them, but they are not great enough for me to stay up any longer to post them. Believe me, you are not missing much. The bus driver just didn't seem to care that I was trying for that art shot.

I'm still humming the Brahms and entertaining the memory of the things I saw and smelled in that repair shop today.

I'm thinking of Dispatch From LA and her adventures in town and school.

I'm also thinking of bed. Sweet Dreams to all.