Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let's face it...

I've been very interested in the blogs I read by artists who do a variety of faces and after taking a wonderful class with dj pettitt where I learned a lot about shading and highlighting etc., I felt ready to give it a try. Here's my first real attempt since the one I did in her class. I painted another today and will post that in a day or so, after it is dry enough to scan. I'm learning that I can be patient or continually clean the scanner. More will be coming as my sketch book is filling up with a cast of characters.

This mixed media piece features a cut out of the old ranch house right after it was built in 1916. The end of the veranda, where the man is sitting, was enclosed years before we got here and is actually where I am sitting right now. The other end has also been enclosed and is our bedroom. I can't stop looking at this photo, I wish I could step into it and visit with the man on the porch (whose last name is, coincidentally, the same as ours) and his wife, standing in the front. He was the CEO of a new company called California Edison and he built the place as a hunting lodge and weekend get away for his family. From what I can tell, it was later used as a retreat and hunting lodge for Edison execs and was eventually sold to the family we bought it from. I'm going to try to come up with a good label that might attract someone who can tell us more about the place. I'll keep you posted.

Today, I got to participate in a miracle. It's a long story but it is just one of those things you pray for and believe with all of your heart can happen, then it does, and you get to be part of it. So, I wish you all a peaceful night and days filled with miracles.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Autumn is my favorite season

and that's a good reason to put up a new banner. I took this photo right out of my studio window. As often as I, lucky girl that I am, get to see these guys up close and personal, they always leave me breathless. Something ancient and Druid stirs in me.

Because California is such a diverse place, within an hours drive I can be out of the canyon and at the beach. The next photos came from La Jolla, which is more like a 2.5 hour drive. We enjoyed a lovely overnight last Saturday.

These beaches are famous for their seals. People are very near by but they seem nothing but bored by all of us. Can you see the sandpiper in the foreground? I remember, when still living in Ohio, seeing an Elizabeth Taylor movie about a beach and something to do with sandpipers. Does anyone remember the title? The first time I saw one of these birds, I thought of Liz Taylor. I'm not sure if that would please her.

Purple seems to be THE color in La Jolla this fall.

My children make terrible fun of the fact that I cannot resist taking photos of rocks and water. I dedicate this next one to them. Amazing how they have no appreciation of how many shots and how long it takes to get these just right.
And here is a lovely little couple who had been having quite a spat. I like to think I caught them in the process of making up.
As if a beautiful weekend were not enough, today I was invited to watch my youngest granddaughter, Miss O, at her ballet class. All I can say about that is, priceless. I will share my good fortune with you here
Aren't those the cutest little legs and slippered feet you have ever seen? Ok, except for your own children and grandchildren. Oh, and equal to the cute legs and feet on my other granddaughter. Have I covered all bases? And, I must confess, I am pretty pleased with my photo editing skills. I have great plans for this to morph into something, ummm, bigger! More later.

The weather people tell us we are heading, once again, to high temperatures and a return of the nasty old Santa Anna winds which come from the desert. As many of you know, we are only too familiar with the fire danger that brings. These are hard days for me, please keep me in your thoughts. For now, I'm going to focus on the beautiful stag and think cool Fall thoughts.

Peace and Abundance to all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today I made mad, passionate art!

Do you ever just get into one of those moods? I got home from sort of a stressful morning and took out the paint and the journal and just let myself go. It is actually hard for me to wildly paint, cut and paste without a plan of some kind, but I'm working on being spontaneous and authentic. And here, my dears, are the fruits of my labor.

This one was a real stretch. I'm fighting the urge to call it "messy" because I do kind of like it. It will become something else after it gets some good journaling in the open spaces. Some of the layers are old, old, old Yahtzee score cards. My kids names are on them in that wonderful grade school cursive. It makes me happy to know they are under there.

This blue is, I guess, is as close to pastels as I get. See the pretty stamp? Made these with some very yummy old India wood blocks. Sunday, the husband and I went to the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena and found an entire basket of these for sale. Of course I wanted them all, but settled on three and am having a great time experimenting.

This is my favorite. The design in the background is a transparency transfer of a large doodle I did unconsciously while I was on a long telephone call. The photo fragment is from an anniversary card we got describing marriage as an adventure.

Here is the facing page with the imprint of another of my new wood blocks. I layered lots of paint onto the block so that the print has texture.

To round out my day of creative release, I worked on a poem I roughed out last night when I couldn't sleep. I've learned to catch up on my podcasts or to get up and write, read or sketch instead of tossing and turning and am always excited the next morning when I see what I produced. I'm going to share this poem because it seems that several of you are struggling with a loss. My Dad passed 4 years ago and it is still a tender place for me.

I Was Raised on Adages

"If you believe it, you can achieve it"
has tortured my mind
as surely as the head busting
plummet from the garage roof,
as incredulously reported by my father,
temporarily scrambled the brains
of his younger brother
who believed that
the towel tied around his neck
looked enough like Superman's cape
to enable him to fly.

"There's no such thing as a free lunch"
was an often repeated mantra
of my father's
that I thought of while,
parked at a highway rest station,
I watched him scurry from his camper
to bring a lunch plate,
piled high with his favorite foods,
to a man he saw
eating from a dumpster.

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is"
reverberated through
the halls of my memory
like a slammed door
as I woke, clutching at the trailing hem
of a vanishing dream
in which I sat with my father,
at the old kitchen table,
laughing and eating ham sandwiches
feeding scraps to my best
and now angelic dog,

"There's no use crying over spilled milk"
returns to me as
I finally experience
the cleansing relief
of unrestrained tears
set free by the memory
of keeping vigil
as the life spilled from my dying father
like a pure white puddle
spreading it's way to eternity.

"Out of sight, out of mind."

lm 10/2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Seems I am on a once a month posting schedule.

Some work book covers left over from my consulting days have come to an excellent use! Spent last evening doodling with my oldest granddaughter, Miss D. Per her request, I am putting up our creations. I think her art is actually quite involved for a 7 year old. And mine, well lets just say I was under her spell.
Notice that the girl on the far right is waving. The D has discovered movement in her art.

Notice the wagging tongue.
Exploring ways to put our names and initials in our pictures.

I love to doodle! Amazing how much fun it is to spend time with a kid.

Here is a little piece that was inspired by weekend family camping (I use the word loosely, we were in our son's very nicely appointed camper) at Newport Dunes. A few palm trees, a heavy marine layer and a little digital manipulation.

More later, I have actually made a bit of art. Hope all is well with all of you.