Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shelter Me

This is the third in a series of Inner/Journey self portraits. I began in early November and finishing this one today. 24"x36" canvas, acrylic and collage. The first was "Altar for Miriam", "Crown of the Wind" and this one "Shelter Me". The size was not my favorite but I seemed to have gotten over that discomfort. I wrote the word Shelter in silver and there are Hebrew words from my old calendar. I added a photo of an ancient stone bench, a tree, a road and an ancient circular Hebrew calendar. The two birds were from another much older work and the moon is paper with gold and silver sewing. I wouldn't have the colors any other way, nor the shapes...this one gave me less lingering feels like my sheltered self and I'm pleased with the green stone shapes as they are a trigger for the cold green stone of my favorite meditation exercise.

I've cleaned up the studio and placed a large (for me) 48"x48 " paper attached to a larger piece of masonite onto my easel. I don't know too much on this next series but I do know I will begin with charcoal and then white and black gesso....I do know I will use soft pastel but how much or what colors or shapes as yet to be decided...this will be a challenge for me as I haven't used pastel for years and never this large. The thought of the new work gives my heart a rattle but then where would the challenge be if not for one or two tricky monkey desires?ha

On New Year's Eve I'll layout a Tarot reading for myself and that will be the topper to all my writing and soul searching for the new year...I'll be sure to share in the next post! Cheers everyone....Happy New Year!!! 2010!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Artist's New Tools

Holiday gifts and special chair...brand spanking new and clean. I will scotchguard it but I fully intend on using it so I welcome paint, glue stains. The arms are removable and it is so comfortable next to the old cast off bar stool I've been using for 10 years!

The Fletcher "framemaster" is a must have. No more fighting to secure art into the frame. This little baby snaps Framers points and secures the art for a lifetime!

The colorful red and black beauty SKIL octo sander with a dust filter will do all the "bad boy" sanding I could ever dream about...hopefully not too powerful as to make holes in precious canvas! ha

Now that I have several dream tools I can begin my New Years list. A list of things of 2009 to let go of.....a "word" to send me into 2010 and a list of what I want to bring into my world 2010.
Anyone want to share 2010 dreams, wishes and plans?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Sunshine in Carmel

Winter in Carmel is cool and between storms...very sunny. If you click to enlarge you can see the green area to the right which is Pebble Beach Golf Course. This portion of the beach is right at the end of the village and is usually crowded with locals walking their dogs but at this moment the beach was all ours to enjoy.
We had a great time beginning with our room decor...French Provence...white paneled walls, red berber carpet with red toille drapes and bed accessories. Pablo said my face lit up when we entered...most rooms are so bland and this one was a nice change of pace. A continental breakfast was delivered to our door and they had the best fluffiest thick towels....all my favorite things! We enjoyed our usual shopping at quaint shops, beach walking and dining at some truly great restaurants. This time we added a tour of poet Robinson Jeffers "Tor" house for even more pleasure. Tor house was lovingly built by Jeffers of stone and a stone tower as well overlooking green foaming waves. Their lives in the 20's, 30's and beyond tell of a rich creative life in a village and area filled with artists and bohemians of the time.
Today I'm meeting with friend Deena and we are carving out our winter of support in our creative lives...we have titled this winter as "A Winter of finding our Soul Rhythms". We have each written a poem and found music that we will share and let be our first efforts in this place of study.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yesterday's Painting

The canvas measures 24"x36" acrylic, collage. I'd say I'm in the middle of this piece. It's the third in the Inside/Journey Series. I'm using a paper moon I stitched with gold and silver threads several years ago. The blue photo shows it reversed in direction and thread color. I used the image for business cards and stationery. Well, now the original is being re-purposed to take me along to another aspect of my inner life. I have a guided meditation that leads one to enter the inside of one's body and access the one place as a personal sanctuary...I found mine to be a cool green stone bench in an alcove...a place I could lay my forehead on the cool stone and be comforted. The white area has already changed now to a green area...still needs work. The little birds (I like them) might have to go as it is no longer a good fit...we shall see. For right now I have quit the studio and will sit with it and see what is next.

We are making plans to go to Carmel next regular visitors,
we received a 50% offer off on the room and a $50 dinner included if we stay three nights during the week. Hard to turn that down and even though its raining...we can be very happy in our room, Pablo writing and I have my journals and sketchbook. When there is a break in the weather we can always go out for a long walk on the beach or a little shopping around. The resorts want to fill up before Christmas so this is good for everyone.

This has been a great Hanukkah Holiday for me and I just want to thank all of you who wished me and mine a Happy Holiday...greatly appreciated!

UPDATE: We are off tonight and will return Friday! Why do we have to take so much stuff?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hanukkah and Latkes

Tomorrow night is the first night of
Hanukkah and I've been out buying potatoes for the holiday dinner. I will be preparing latkes...shredded potatoes, onion flour egg, fried in oil and served with applesauce and sour cream....yummm. The photo shows some being fried in a cast iron skillet! The other photo shows the menorah with two blue candles and the white Sabbath candles in the glass holders. We need to eat early and get to services by 7:30 where there will be music (all kinds, choir, guitar, drums and children singing!) ancient prayers, and candles...a true festival of lights! After services dessert, cakes and even jelly donuts! I will try to take will be a joyous night!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Back to the Inward/Journey

24"x36" canvas, acrylic, cloth and paper collage. This is the second in a proposed four of Inward/Self Portraits. I relied in the beginning on the meditation and journal suggestion: Crowned child of the wind which has resulted in the title "Crown of the Wind". For this piece I was looking for essence, the spirit of my child within...this essence that I have been dragging around for years and years, finding ways to create joyfully. I studied Tamayo's work and began with a large piece of charcoal and paper towels. Eyes closed, left handed I was hoping to fill the entire space. Thirty drawings, no, no, no wiping with my towel over and over until this head seemed okay and then the body, legs and arms followed. I used an old tea towel for this doll like dress, the crown is lace used as a stencil and her heart a clock reading midnight. I related to the story of Cinderella as a small child having a bossy sister and also loved the stories of Raggedy Ann. The color began in reds and then to a turquoise with the addition of a favorite of mine, soft yellow. I like her, she speaks of my childhood dolls and digging back over 50 years into my childhood and who I was early on and how I became me now was a messy job involving mending and gluing and remembering.

I'm deciding to finish this series with three pieces instead of four, combining the suggested titles into one. I have a slice of a moon with hand sewing that I had made close to 15years ago and I think that will be my beginning point. I have some large abstracts in my head calling me so for right now I will do only three. This has been a rich experience this inward journey...a taking stock with so many memory connections. There was a wonderful topic on Kick It Up a Notch...Advice to a Younger Self. My take on the subject is that I am the exact result I need to be from all my life experiences and choices...granted they were not all great and many misguided but all in all the threads (good and bad) have nicely weaved themselves into me and my life. Anyone taking stock lately? Greeting the person you never imagined? Or in the place you could have never known? These three pieces, I hope will be my statement of "Here I Am".

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Trip to Mars

I apologize for the poor photography. On the left is Phobos 26"x26 and on the right Deimos 24"x24" collage, acrylic, cellophane papers, silk, netting and photo collage, hand and machine sewing and glitter. Several years ago I became fascinated with space travel...certain planets and moons in particular. I embarked on a study of scientific information, mythological and personal creative reactions. My first planet was Venus and I produced two pieces and sold them at a group show...promising myself my next planet of study would be Mars. At the time new information was being reported daily and photos as well. Mythological Mars the God of War was an intense figure. Two of Mars actual moons are named after two of mythological Mars sons. I proceeded a long stream of conscious writing about these two sons/moons and produced these two pieces. I had them and a few other space type collages in a group show but I never actually produced work from the standpoint of a Mars landing or exploration.. My interest waned on actually reacting to Mars so I put it on my list of "things to do, places to go" for a later time. I think it felt like everyone was visiting Mars and my vision felt disturbed by current discoveries....another time!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Art Making/Research

Yesterday I spent a good bit of time printing from the old collagraph plates, mostly focused on the cups, saucers and teapot. Mixing sepia toned and greyed blue inks over splotched papers.
This is my writing that is guiding these large canvas pieces.

Placing this hand on the secret heart.
Listening to the soft beat of the rhythm long known.
Time for the enfoldment nears.
Jaw set against last minute tears.
Wings encircle with comfort.
Enfolding, enveloping arms on this moonless night.

1. "Crowned child of the wind" 2." Daughter of the Light" 3." Woman of the Altar" 4".Star among the sky". I believe my piece "Altar for Miriam" answers the third suggestion and now the "Crowned Child of the Wind" is the next effort for me. My only beginning was printing these plates. I have no desire to draw a child's image but I think I'd be pleased to capture a/my child's spirit. On that note, I've been researching Rufino Tamayo. Always loved his portraits and feel he was the master at capturing essence. Art making is such a rich and rewarding experience...the places one goes in the name of creating! I'm bubbling over from all the ideas and plans and right in the middle of shopping and pumpkin pie making! Somehow I'll get to it all as celebrating gratitude with family is as important as the studio work. Tomorrow I'll bake the pie, and meet with friend Deena, work on some basic approaches on the canvas. Thursday is Thanksgiving all day and Saturday my son arrives and we celebrate again!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Altar For Miriam

24' x 36' canvas, acrylic and collage. Finished all but a coat of varnish. I haven't completely fallen in love with the piece but there are parts that are beloved. The paint rag circle, hand sewn to paper (15years ago), the little gold clock from the 'Mars Series' (10years ago), parts of the urn from the 'Sacred Vessel Series' (5years ago), hands, compass plate all from my favorite collage stack and the columns and altar table made themselves. Actually I have at least three boxes of collage material, fabric and trims, found items and old work remnants. The writing from the meditation has narrowed down to lines/titles/suggestions. This one simply being as" Altar For Miriam." The next one that intrigues me on my list is 'The Crown for the Child". A bit of a puzzle but I'll find the time, open my collage boxes and begin again. I do know I am drawn to fabric and the old collagraph plates. Remind me to tell you about my "Trip to Mars Series"! ha

Also need to stop art life and make a grocery list, go shopping and do a little pre-Thanksgiving baking. I am amazed at how many restaruants, grocery stores cook complete dinners to be ordered and picked up. Dinners with all the trimmings and perfect for one or more! We live such busy lives and not everyone likes the cooking part of these seems to be a good idea! I am not roasting a whole turkey as we both like the white meat so I will pay a little more and order the turkey breast...everything else will be traditional.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Collagraph Plates Found

Old collagraph plates I found while digging in a storage basket of printmaking "stuff". I'm just about ready to start my next large canvas and I found myself thinking about some old work and how I might incorporate it into these larger pieces representing self portrait/inward series. I didn't find some of the plates I was looking for but I was surprised by what turned up from long ago. I still continue to meditate and journal before beginning work so I'm depending on that as my lead.

Directly across in the sidebar is a photo of my first large piece and it is getting close to being done. The last bit of journaling turned into questions about what imagery could stay and what in the piece do I love. So my answer was the columns, hands, paint rag moon and compass plate must stay. The background color has been a puzzle...Is this morning or evening? Is this altar in a grey mist or delicate fog? Is it dusk calling for hands reaching for the heavens and dim darkening light? Are there words needed? So many questions but as I filter through, I will create this altar story, this first one of self portrait/Inward.The background has been many colors but this blue seems to feel right, reminds me of a line from a Bob Dylan song, "It's not dark yet but it's getting there"!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


We are no longer newlyweds as Thursday the 12th marked our third year anniversary. Pablo came home late from Reno so we just exchanged cards...Friday we went out to dinner and this afternoon a brunch at a window seat at the harbor watching the waves and sailboats here in Santa Cruz.

I posted two photos of us at our wedding...a small traditional service. The cloth wrapped between us is Pablo's prayer shawl (his since he was 12 years old) and in the ceremony we share the shawl as a united of the many beautiful rituals in our ceremony. We printed a program for the guests so they might follow and better understand the meaning behind each ritual.

This afternoon we began talking of goals both personal and as a couple. We are giving ourselves a day or so and will share some ideas about this next year. One of my wishes is a trip either to Palm Springs or Sedona in the Spring. I'm not a big traveler but I do love PS, so we shall see.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

terroso' Earth Below

8"x8" canvas, tissue, acrylic, pinhole negative, print. This is the sixth of the 7 Directions Meditation. I used a duplicate of this same image (cielo) but this one focuses on the earth. On this piece the writing is almost readable. The writing from the meditation is a question concerning the photo "What is seen but not seen?" repeated every other line with various answers...such as the cool water of the green river, the sacred presence on this earth etc... Altogether I'm surprised that these six directions work as a set. I used the same materials but each has it's own life, except these last two play off one another. The seventh direction is inward and for now I've stopped working this small and will return when I've finished with this old/new project calling me....self portrait/Inward. They do run together but the size of the canvas is much larger 24"x36" and I'm not narrowing down my materials to just a few but rather letting them just evolve. I have four canvases ready. These art projects are starting to stack up around here...I also am interested in creating abstract works using soft pastel on large paper 36" x 36" which means least 4 or 5. I plan on beginning this series with acrylic first and then follow up with this buttery chalk. In my steps of the creative process book, I am clearly in the 1st step....dream stage...I have all these plans and dreams. The 2nd stage ...gathering the materials which I have also been doing but then there is the 3rd stage which is getting started and then eventually asking the question "What the hell was I thinking?" I'll be there soon enough...I'm going to enjoy these early steps! It is like the old joke..How to make God laugh? Tell him your plans! ha

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Soft Pastel Rediscovered!

As I was arranging and rearranging my studio I came upon my pastel surprise they exist but a reminder how I want to do a series using them on some large paper I have been saving. I received these as an inheritance from a dear artist friend and I look forward to using them with hope of her magic attached. This got me to thinking of my artist is a long list with materials and techniques and visions and series I have yet to explore or revisit. So much to do! Are these familiar feelings? I actually wrote a list of this past years accomplishments to ease the pressure on my very small full brain. Personal accomplishment: 1. revisited collagraph in the compass series. 2. 2nd visit to oasis series as my rest and recuperation. 3. Used limited materials and added 7 directions meditation to my art making. 4. Rediscovered sewing on cloth and paper in my Human/Divine series. 5. Ongoing self portrait/muse imagery. Most of this work shows in sets on my flickr site. I know there are more things I have touched on this past year but that seemed to ease my angst about "Paint Bucket Lists". I'm getting older and I have so much I love, so many things to express in so many ways that I sometimes get overwhelmed. Tell me about your "Paint Bucket Lists" ?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cielo: The Sky Above

8"x8" canvas, pinhole photo negative, tissue, acrylic. There is writing embedded in the sky but almost unreadable. Again, meditation to writing to imagery. It reads of being the sky: "This sky of mine" repeated every other line and between lines, with the last line being "echoes my sacred presence". The photo is one I took in Yosemite near Mirror Lake. My love for Yosemite goes back to my early childhood and the area for me, is a soul connection. This is the 5th of the 7 directions and the 6th also used the same photo. I will post the 6 completed directions on flickr. The seventh direction is looking inward and I must say I need a break from working this small! Personally I believe all work is inward so for a little while I will focus my attention on four canvases measuring 24'x36" and then come back to this 8"square.

Before I start work I must first clean the studio.! I rather like a messy space but this has gone so far as I can't find any place to begin new work.Rather that being inviting it is the opposite...too chaotic. So I will devote some time to getting things orderly today. Whenever I dig in like this I make wonderful discoveries of materials, snippets, stones or such just waiting to be rediscovered!
Maybe it is the season but I am getting strong feelings on getting not just my studio in order but many other areas of my life....closet is begging for a winterizing, I need to revitalize my cooking...fresh approach with stews, soups and such and I need a day of those days when you get in the car and take off...find a new place to eat lunch, some photos, shopping...roll down the windows feel the fresh fall air...yes! What do you need to do or go to feel refreshed?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Looking Northward

I can't paint as fast as I can post. This piece might need a revamping but for now, I'll call it done. 8"x8" canvas, monotype, collage, tissue, acrylic and stones . I meditated several times and struggled with my writing. I picked through the writing and wrote phrases on the sides of this one: "winters heaven has long been waiting" and "North, top of the world just above our heads and hearts" with a silver pen. The star holds a compass and below are pieces of clocks. This one went slowly and the next two have been smooth starting. They are the directions of sky above and earth below. Funny how some just make themselves. The last direction is inward and I will have done seven in this meditation. Next? Already I am gessoing four larger canvases 24"x36" for the next project. These canvases were given to me by a friend about 18 years ago!!! The shape never called to me and they have a narrow wrap as he stapled them to the sides rather than the back which means I might need to build a frame to hide the staples. I thought after all these years I would challenge myself to make art in this least before they fall apart in the shed. Just love the art making!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Southern Exposure

Another canvas, more meditation and writing. 8"x8" canvas, acrylic, tissue, gold ink and stones. Some of the writing coming out of the meditation described imagery of crossing borders, floating along a lazy green river and calls from winged Gods. The writing also touched on longing hearts and exotic secrets of the mist?! The words exotic and secret are hand printed on the sides of the canvas. I admit to a very colorful palette but these little directions are feeling "bright" even for me. I'm tempted to take another look at the seven directions in a more softened grayed down palette but that will come later...for now COLOR!

personal update: I've had such a great birthday...65 being one of the big ones! Comments and cards filled with good wishes...packages, lunch, brunch all from dear friends. Pablo has been busy for days on my gift and I was surprised and so pleased. My Hebrew name is heroine and Moses sister. She is known for her songs, dancing and tambourine playing at the Red Sea. Pablo wrote a beautiful prose piece titled "Song of the Sea" , illustrated with antique paintings of Miriam. The piece spoke of her life and brought out my connection. He added to this a beautifully wrapped tambourine...a perfect gift for me and out to dinner too!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Blue Sky Birthday!

"i thank you God for this most amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and for the blue dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes."

October 25th all day, brunch planned with friend and dinner with Pablo...presents any time.

UPDATE: Brunch was wonderful...My friend Deena gave me a beautifully framed collage by Leslie Avon Miller!!! Deena contacted Leslie and picked a beautiful piece for me and framed it in a muted silver frame. Check the sidebar for one happy me!!! What a treasure! Pablo gave me another big surprise but I will update tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remains of the First Storm

Our little village of Capitola received "tons" of flotsam and jetsam from a nearby creek in our first storm of the season. What to do with it all? As soon as the rain stopped the locals gathered to make art...sculpture that is...every year it happens, mostly tepees but some other interesting shelters too! Children and adults, cameras out and plenty of critics but mostly the fun of seeing the creations. We have benches that line the beach and nothing is better than sitting and taking in the sights with the added fun of watching the surfers riding out the waves nearby... all with the warm sun on your face! Actually the pigeons can be a pain but other than that...perfect!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Going West

8"x8" canvas, monotype, acrylic, screen, sandpaper, tissue paper and crackle paste. I've used crackle paste before with mixed results....this time I applied it very thick and with color mixed into the paste. I began with two prints but along the way I salvaged two parts of two prints of the compass. Things sometimes disappear in the process of art making.
With my meditating and writing I was reminded of the years I spent living in the Central Valley of California...years raising our two sons. The winters in this area are damp, cold with dense fog and the summers have blistering heat. Some of the phrases from my writing are written on the sides of the canvas:" Hot dry days sinking into cool" and "Wind binding my heart tired and frail". The California delta has it's beauty and wildlife but I could never feel settled or at home,yet we lived there over 18 years. When the time was right, when the boys were on their own, and as a widow, I sold everything and moved to the beach...a good decision for me and I found" home" here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not Done Yet

Canvas 8"x8" acrylic, tissue paper, monotype, metal ring and two sides - painted words.
These four directions have been a challenge and I'm not done yet but getting there! The meditating and writing has led me to re-look at directions...where I have been and in this one I have revisited the grand adventure of leaving the West, getting married and living in the East as a young woman. My writing has been helpful and one line in particular as advice not given but needed: "Give into the angels east allow your strong heart arrows to soften" I have enjoyed looking back to those days in the East and the blue moon speaks to me as a metaphor for cold winter nights in New York. Now I'm in that place of looking, wondering and sometimes jotting down ideas of what could be next. The area is small and it is already loaded with stuff...maybe something to unify...we shall see. Always good to share here on the blog.

On a personal note...I had my flu shot...ordered a really cute long fleece zip front robe...I am so ready for cool nights. We had our first rain last night so all I need is to pick up new slippers and I am set...bring it on...let it rain!! Are you ready?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Last Dance Memories

I am home from a whirl wind festive night at the Willow Manor Ball. Actually, I'm not home, I stepped out of my dress and peep toed platforms to visit a day spa to receive "treatments"! Dancing all night has left my feet in dire need of attention...also drinking some detox teas because of my many combinations of White Russians, champagne, martini, unknowable mixture and brandy which has left me woozy beyond woozy but I have my least I think they are my memories!
Willow gave a truly great bash...the faces I saw, the dances I danced (I didn't know I knew the quick step?). Oh, the food...pastries, seafood, caviar. This was such a rare treat to play with so many playmates all to the notes of a full orchestra!

The Motley Crew? The ride home in the Limo was quiet. The Dude was OUT, Robert still sipping brandy. We dropped off the Spaniards at the airport along with Julian Schnabel. Chopin stayed on in the company of Mozart, Dylan was last seen hitchhiking down the turnpike and Hannibal and Van Diesel were preparing a march on Rome...New York that is! My real Pablo was left to the long drive home and we talked, laughed and shared stories...Willow's staff packed up the beautiful tarts and we nibbled on those while drinking a thermos of fresh coffee. Truly hard to write any fantasy about myself without including true last dance partner.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm in a Rush, Here is my Dress!

Isn't my dress beautiful? I loaned it to this Hollywood actress Ms Sheridan and after extensive drycleaning, it was returned to me in perfect shape. This dress is by designer Angel Sanchez and the color is called plum and as you can see it is a series of beautiful pleats. I personally am not from Hollywood and would never wear this blonde stringy hair but rather an elegant style. Notice the necklace...also mine, simple diamonds by Bulgari.
We are running late and this Entourage idea may not be my best. The Dude insists on driving the Limo (says he knows of a shortcut), Dylan brought his guitar, Picasso is sketching with charcoal!A couple of the fellows have gotten into a political DISCUSSION and Hannibal is in full dress uniform... metal and leather! My dance card is subject to revision because of this unexpected and unruly behavior of my suitors!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Entourage or Motley Crew?

Being a mixed media artist it wouldn't be difficult to explain my mix in favorite men. These are just a few of the living or dead men I would willingly spend time with...some easy to enjoy on a dance floor and others I'd rather dream of a starlit night on the Willow Manor patio or a shadowed corner of the room? Ha

Jeff Bridges and his "Big Lebowski" hearing all about Hollywood and the inside stories of filming. Jeff Bridges has an affable smile and the Dude likes white Russians...nice combination!
Robert Reich former Secretary of Labor...I always like a handsome face, nice voice and a head full of brains!
Frederic Chopin goes without saying....he was genius and his romantic music leaves me breathless.
Bob Dylan...speaking of breathless...I just love the guy!
Pablo Neruda...who wouldn't want to sit next to him and have him read one of his poems!
Pablo Picasso....Always!
Javier Bardem...Good acting, great characters and a charming face...intriguing!
Julian Schnabel...fine artist, fine director, huge ego and charming as well!
Van Diesel playing Hannibal...I've always liked Hannibal (I am a peaceful person?)his campaigns against Rome, his elephants...I've been told he was the greatest General and now this Van Diesel will be Hannibal in 2010l...I would like to hear his approach on playing this giant.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Fashion Beginnings!

Twice a year my mother gassed up the "Buick" and the three of us went downtown to find our new dresses. She mastered handling that big chrome tank with it's column shift in her suit and heels, talking the whole time about fashion (she was the lay-a-way Queen) and my older sister reading catalogs. One year I took a real interest by finding my own dream dress but it wasn't to my sisters taste or my mothers purse.It was aqua nylon with matching taffeta slip, the dress had raised velvet dots in pink and was a beauty! I had to take a stand with these wonderful Leo relatives so I barricaded myself in the plush carpeted dressing room. They sent in the sales matron but I didn't budge...finally they were so afraid I would blow a fit and embarrass them that they gave in and the dress was boxed and bagged and we went on to the fountain for our chicken salad sandwiches and root beer floats. This family story got bigger and bolder as time went on and long after the dress was sent to Goodwill. They never took a photo of me in my dress but I remember loving it. This is of me a few years later and here I have my gloves, and crocheted purse (by my mother) and I began posing and enjoying fashion without the worry of sister and mother bossing me around so much!
Years I have enjoyed reading fashion magazines and lately Project Runway has been fun. The young designers seem out of control but yet all are innovative, clever using wonderful materials! I can't wait to show you my gown....I went with a new designer!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Studio Day

These are my 8"x8" canvases denoting my exploration into the seven directions. So far I have written words to guide me with these four...east, west, south and north. I will stay focused on these and then work towards "above, below and inward". In order to give myself boundaries, I have limited myself to three techniques and three materials.. I still feel challenged but I also feel I'm less scattered and not so out of control(mixed media gone astray!) with these limitations....we shall see. I have been working on "east" and it's been several hours with some changes and more to follow....I will keep posting my progress.

correction: Willow's birthday is not the 13th but rather the 20th. Mine is only five days after hers but I am a Scorpio instead of the fun flirtatious Libra! ha

Note: Sidebar...I fell in love with this little silver satin lining, elegantly pleated calf, with a witty stiletto heel clasp! Little over my budget but I promise myself to use it until I die! ha 71/2W x 41/2H x 11/2D made in Italy!

Note: Sidebar...Do you love the new Jimmy Choo shoes on the sidebar? I picked them out for the Willow Manor Ball. Elaphe Peep-Toe Platforms, 4"heel! I thought the ankle strap would be a nice support when dancing?! This is too much fun for me...I'm making Pablo crazy!
Jimmy Choo: Choo is Malaysian of Hakka Chinese descent, who was born in Penang in 1961 into a family of shoemakers. Notable student of Cordwainers Technical College in Hackney, London. Choo had a workshop in Hackney, East London which he opened in 1986. He was soon noticed and 1988 featured in Vogue magazine. In 2001, Choo sold his 50% stake in his company for 10million pounds. He has been expanding into Ready-to-wear which includes accessories such as handbags.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Big Blogland Excitement!

Willow of Life at Willow Manor is giving her annual Ball on Oct. 13th here in Blogland. This is a perfect time to dust off your imagination and join in the fun. Remember everything is possible in Blogland. Last year's Ball was great fun and I'm looking forward to the 13th (also Willow's real birthday)!! See you there!
update: I have taken great care in choosing my date: Javier Bardem and this morning the newspapers announced in real time his engagement to Penelope Cruz! Drat!! This really isn't a problem in blog space but I've decided to choose again. So besides the dress, shoes, jewels I'll be choosing a perfect that will fit a navy blue silk Prada tux.!! ha

Studio news: I have four of the seven directions begun on 8" x 8" canvases. Photos will follow. I'm still meditating before studio time and I'll share some writing that has resulted from these meditations. It all seems to be fitting together and I'm jazzed about the new/old direction with my compass. Just starting as I said and Wednesday looks like one of those "all day" days!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Days of the Pin Hole Camera

I love art making and especially using new techniques (to me) and interesting even odd materials. I was the kid late summer handling the erasers, pencils and purchasing my large box of crayons. I had an easel (my father built for me) and a couple of tins of colors. I loved it all and still do...a thrill for me is to walk the aisles of a good art store and sometimes even a craft store, looking for the perfect something, stones and stuff! If I collect anything it's art supplies.

This pinhole camera was my adventure into early photography. Out of a child's science book...I found instructions on creating the camera. The red oatmeal box was one of my favorites until Quaker Oats replaced the paper lid with plastic. I had all sorts and sizes of containers (I painted the outside (not necessary only the inside need be painted solid black) and attached a piece of tin (pie plate) with a needle hole for the view finder. I took my cameras to Yosemite, Hawaii and my backyard. I would expose the film and count Mississippi 1, Mississippi 2 (tourists shook their heads?) and then take my one hope per box home for processing. I turned my laundry room into a part time dark room and had mixed results but I loved every minute of the adventure. Mostly dreamlike images of trees, rocks and water. I had several shows and attached my poems to each image. Entered juried shows and did very well on was great fun and once again doing what I love, making art with a new or odd techniques in new or unusual ways. I was able to take advantage of the technician at the local college for help in processing and probably could have taken it further but gave it up when I moved to the beach. The framed piece is a pinhole image of my backyard...we lived on a waterway and had a big old oak tree....the oatmeal box created a fishbowl effect.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Walls

Actually this work is on my next door neighbor's wall. She came over with her husband for dinner about a year ago and bought it off my easel! It's mixed media on paper, approx. 16"x16". Acrylic, cloth, sewing, stones and oil pastel. This piece was the "Mother" piece to the 10 that followed. I was working with the concept of the human within the divine using abstract forms. The loose grid seemed perfect and I wanted to keep exploring ways to express this odd shaped stitched circles within squares as a way of clarifying the spiritual mix. I enjoyed that series very much and still have some pieces unsold.

I took my compass out in the garden this morning and did a meditation on the seven directions. Beginning with East, South, West, North, Sky, Earth and Inward. Didn't get too much but I did get a feeling for X marks the spot so I'll let that be my beginning. I'll try to follow this meditation before each studio day and let that be a guiding force for me and my compass. Nice....autumn, new spiritual year and new work with strong directions.

Again it's Wednesday Walls and my question is always the same "What is on your walls today"? I'm rather a nosey person and always like to see what is going on with others walls!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Unresolved for now

This piece has stood neglected for weeks. It measures 18" x 18" on Rives BFK, mixed media. I had a vision of an ancient dashboard...a mystical discovery. After so many weeks, I felt reconnection had to begin with writing. Below is what came of a long morning writing about my vision and emotional connection:

[Abandoned parts of a near whole
Ornaments of glory relegated to a sand burial.
Only now giving answers to puzzles of ancient voyagers
A key to the lust of exploration of the unknown
Dials, meters, arrows pointing to heavens lost roads
Remnants of one equation explaining all equations...nothing is ever lost in matters that concern the heart.]

I feel better and more "on target". I've cleaned up my work table and willing to begin again. Everything about this piece needs working...composition, colors and shapes to name a few. Finally I'm engaged and looking forward to working again. I'm back listening to Dylan's new CD and all is well here at the beach today!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Kitchen Reveal:

It's done or "close enough"! The flooring needs to be repaired and the cutting board is missing. I have everything back in where it belongs only better. I invested in trays and accessories that hopefully will keep my knives, spoons & spatulas organized. I've ordered a metal bar stool which has not yet arrived. August and some of Sept. has been spent on this update and all in all it has not been too painful...what was most difficult was keeping it all organized...deliveries, painting, install etc. I am on an extreme budget so I spent a great deal of time shopping....buying appliances on days when "no sales tax" was offered or getting a no interest no payment for 10 months for the big items and for the countertop I used a 1% check from my credit card. The laminate was the big surprise as it looks great...better than I had expected since I picked out my choice from a little three inch sample?!

Now I can return to the studio without big interruptions. I'm going in this week to finish the "Ancient Dashboard"'s been so long I'm not sure if I'll be able to reconnect. If not then I'll start a new piece...still focused on using the compass in the work. Fall feels so good for art making...a true feeling of renewal.

Friday evening begins our High Holidays which is full of ritual, prayers and singing. At the end of the evening service we will exit to long tables covered with platters of icy cold sliced apples and bowls of honey....for dipping the apple slices. Life is good and this time of year very sweet!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


"Dusk" measures 36"x36", canvas, acrylic, collage and oil pastel. I painted this about the same time as I painted "Dawn" a couple of years ago. I can see my style hasn't changed much...similar materials and a familiar process for me. In this piece I have placed the evening as on a floating tablet suspended in a black sky by red threads...the hand reaching for the moon. Below the stars are many places of my memory of special twilights. I have a heart connection to dusk, neither day or night but a unique mixture of the two. Ancient Hebrews referred to this time as erev "evening". There are beautiful stories of twilight as a part of Hebrew mysteries. A time between the two luminaries and sometimes expressed as Running Between the Suns. The first three stars seen in the sky denote the beginning of evening and a time to begin the Sabbath. I'm thinking of replacing "Dawn" (Aug. 26Th post)with "Dusk" over our bed for the fall and winter.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm Back!

I'm so glad to be back...I've missed all of you dear bloggy friends and will be so pleased to visit each and everyone of you! The problem seemed to be related to my Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. At one point it looked as if I had lost my current favorites list. My eyes filled with tears and I told Computer Guy Tom, I had to have them back. It took him more time but he got them all back and neatly placed in ABC order on my sidebar!! I'm using firefox now and it seems to be going well.

The kitchen is also going well...all sorts of things happening....mostly good but a few nightmares. Painter moved the refrigerator and tore up nice flooring?#!!%! Installed the counter top yesterday and discovered the stainless steel sink was damaged so I had to run and get a new one (I don't run well!) I went with (budget concerns) a Wilsonart laminate stone finish and it turned out so well...actually beautiful. Today they installed glass top cooktop, dishwasher and now the disposal. I have spent the morning reading manuals on use and clean-up. When they finish hanging the cabinets, I will take photos. Very pleased.

I am still missing the studio. I haven't stopped thinking but thinking isn't the same. I do sit at my table writing....brushes are clean and ready... now all I need is for everyone to finish and go home! In the meantime I will visit your sites and admire and enjoy all your posts!

Friday, August 28, 2009


For some strange reason I can't get on the Internet...I am posting this from Pablo's computer. I have contacted my server and that didn't help because it seems to be a firewall problem. Any way my Computer Guy is coming on Tuesday so I won't be posting for a few days. I can receive comments but not able to post them. So talk amongst yourselves and I will be back on Tuesday late afternoon.
Kitchen Update: Painting will be done today and Monday they take out the old countertop! Slow but moving along.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Walls: Art Hanging Over Our Bed

36" x 36" canvas, "Dawn" acrylic, photo collage, oil pastel. I believe the painting of Dawn and Dusk could be a lifetime project for me. I have made hundreds of sketches (mostly abstract), written poems and researched poetry written on this subject. For me it is celebration and completion...big subjects. In this "Dawn" I placed gateposts on either side as an entrance to dawn, the lotus buds to speak of beginning life, the bird for the song of a new day, a clock representing the time allotted to the gift of a day, the sun rising over my longboat filled with my portion of light. The photo of the lamb...for the lamb of G-d. Symbol for me but universal as well. This painting hangs above our bed and four other paintings share the same wall. I change my art work around, usually with the change of seasons.
Studio work is impossible this week and I've come to terms with this simple fact. I have no complaints as things are moving along rather smoothly. Painting today and tomorrow and old sink and countertop removed on Monday. New countertop by the end of next week and then appliances and plumbing. Now that they are painting the pressure is off me...I can't tell you how many paint swatches I have collected...after awhile they all look the same. Too late now, the paint is going on today!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kitchen Art

A couple pieces of my kitchen art or art hanging in my kitchen. The first one measures 10"x10" paper, copper leaf, photo, oil pastel and copper wire. The second piece measures 9"x15" paper, silver tape, fork and knife, photos taken in Vienna and CA. Both have been hanging in my kitchen for several years and now time for a change. Also the chili peppers are dusty, the garlic rope is old and the my childhood 40's dishes need a good cleaning. I have just a little wall space and now the green walls will be a shade of yellow so it will be fun adding new things to the walls. I'm getting ahead of myself as they are today removing the old appliances.
I'm still working on my silk purse piece posted August 16th. I did add silver leaf and shiny red stones. I'm seeing an ancient dashboard? Surely one would need a dashboard on one's ancient ship or chariot...surely instruments of star gazing, dials and directional pulls. I'm dreaming again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Walls by Pablo

Two gifts Pablo received years ago from a Japanese client. In Japanese culture it is traditional to bring a gift when you visit someone. The fan is made in Korea and the ball is from Japan. Pablo wanted to display these gifts and I was stumped as to where. We decided to place them on the wrought iron curtain rods as an extra ornament and it added a touch of red to an otherwise green/tan living room. I also think they have a fun festive quality. I have a red bird (fake) in
a nest in the chandelier for more red but that's another story!
Kitchen update: Today begins the scraping and patching of cabinet walls and the start of painting the base coat...the cabinets will be painted "muslin" off white. I'm writing this to the tune (errr noise) of the saw doing some outside repairs. Not much in the studio today.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Silk Purse Syndrome

I think it is a real syndrome because I suffer from it! Too many years buying dumpy houses and remaking them (on a budget) into homes. One house we bought had Coppertone appliances and pink Formica? I ended up changing the obvious and adding browns, beige's, spots of red with chocolate sushi curtains. So now I started this piece and it quickly became confusing and washed the silk purse syndrome kicks in. It measures 18"x18" on paper, acrylic, collage. I know I will add a compass and other collage and so far I only like the black and white edges so I have a challenge. I believe, (clicking my sandal heels)I believe I can find a home here?! Wish me luck!
Kitchen remodel update: I've researched consumer reports against my checkbook and shopped around. I've ordered disposal, sink, dishwasher and cooktop. Not top of the line but with the blessing of CR as good products. Randy (contractor extraordinaire) is making new cabinet doors and drawer fronts...his son will do the painting. Next is counter top and I think granite is not in my budget...I'm still looking!

Friday, August 14, 2009

7 Random Things About Me

I received this award from Rosie of
ruminations, rambles and reflexions . This is not easy for me. 1. I am not a very random type person. 2. I am rather shy and private 3. This blog has been primarily an art blog but it is a lovely award from a great blogger and I will just try my best. Taking a Deep Breath:
1. Began my life in Northern CA, Lived in NY,NJ moved to Los Angeles, Northern CA, Central CA and now the beach Santa Cruz CA. Altogether 11 houses as we moved around in some locations...even counting a cabin in Groveland CA. I spent a lot of time making houses into homes.
2. I have two handsome adult sons, unmarried and living in CA. One in Central and the other in Los Angeles area.
3. I was a widow and met my current husband on Yahoo personals in 2004 and we married in 2006. He is a writer and lives in the den!ha I live in the studio and paint...we have a happy life together.
4.I rented my first art studio space in the 80's for $100. No heat, no air and water and bathroom shared down the hall...I was my happiest ever!
5.I created an installation in a gallery titled "Where has the Goddess Gone"" A small alcove filled with belongings of the Goddess?!
6.I took my only cruise called the "Path of the Vikings" It began in England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, New Foundland, Halifax and ported in Boston. No raping and pillaging was allowed but we had great fun at the buffet table! ha
7.I had a 10 day stay in hospital in May 2008 with complications from a chronic pulmonary problem I've had since late childhood. I was sent home in the care of hospice. I rested, prayed, had love and support from countless friends and family, ate good food, a little morphine and I improved! I was taken off hospice care in July 2008...I blogged the whole time so I can say blogging was one of my cures. I am very careful, exercise, carry antibiotics and the doctor says I am a miracle. I am grateful for my life, I paint and know on the deepest level...Life is Good!
Rather than pick 7 people for this award I would like to invite anyone who would like to be a part of this sharing to let me know and I will set up a link. Whew, I am now breathing again...not so bad after all....thanks Rosie!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

That's It!

"Ukraine Circus" 18" x 18" Rives BFK, acrylic, paper and cloth collage including, cotton, trim and cheesecloth. photo transfer, oil pastel. This piece has had many starts and stops but I feel complete now. The always directing me on my art journey, forwards as well as backwards. Years ago as newly widowed, I had a profound dream that the roof had blown off our home (no hidden meaning there?) and I looked over the living room wall to see a herd of elephants passing by in a row...the elephants were very light, almost unreal. (meaning?) I had created the torn paper elephants ages ago but never found a place for them until now. My first mother in law was from the Ukraine and had told stories so the whole thing seems (to me) to fit with the red and green of festive carts and wagons as well as old buildings and spectacular churches of old Russia. All in all it's a piece that is connected to me and when that happens I'm moved to a better and sweeter place. I like it.
About my exercise: My mileage on the stationery bike is over 340 which means I have metaphorically passed the cotton fields and oil wells of Bakersfield and am now cycling over the "grapevine" towards the Los Angeles basin. Haven't even broken a sweat! ha
Tonight's dinner: Cobb Salad. I wonder who created the Cobb Salad...anyone know?