Monday, August 30, 2010

Temple Bells

22"x22" Rives BFK, acrylic, photo collage, Chinese newsprint. Rummaging around in my collage box I found these temple bells and that began this piece. After meditation, I wrote:

High on the hill the bong of the bell
Reverberating in heart and lungs
Now each breath in- along with each heartbeat trails
The soft fading echo of this call
Life is such we need these reminders
Every breath in and exhale out to the
Hallowed sound of our perfect lives.

There is a place here in the redwoods called Land Of The Medicine Buddha and I have only visited twice on Open House Days...the sounds are rich and I will always remember how this deep low sound lodged itself in my heart and throat...a beautiful feeling.

In spite of my summer wishes, Autumn has arrived. The air, even here by the ocean is drier, turning leaves and children walking back to school. I have a few projects to complete on the outside of the house this week and next. I've ordered some plaid shirts and leather clogs from Lands' End so I am ready for the change and all that it holds. I hope everyone is safe with "Earl" storming through the East Coast!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quality of Sunlight

22"x22" Rives BFK, magazine collage, acrylic, molding paste, house paint, stencil, tar gel and graphite. I have been having fun with my new magenta, adding it to yellows and oranges. I used a turquoise house paint and stayed out of deep space keeping my images flat and simple. The four squares hold sun shine for me and if there might be a "call to prayer" in this piece then it would be a call to the beauty of golden hot sunlight. After having been in and out of fog and mist most of the summer...these past few days have been a delight!

Wednesday Pablo(excellent sherpa) and I hauled our books, chairs, towels and lunch to a local beach for a couple of hours. Magnificent heat warming our lotion covered skin in contrast to a 'cool down' in the foamy waves washing up on our legs and leaving us deeper in the wet sand! I sat in my chair all teary eyed looking at the children wet and sandy, little boys were digging deep holes in the sand? babies both laughing and crying at their first trip to the water. I was particularly taken with the women at the beach...all sizes and ages...100lbs to 300, a few pregnant and even women older than me...yet there we were in our bathing suits loving our bodies at least enough to show up at the beach and enjoy sun and sand. My gratitude for this sun bright sunlight a prayer!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I like the word variety and it's many definitions: absence of uniformity, quantity or collection of different things and my favorites: medley, mixture, range and diversity. I've done many series over the years and stayed with a theme with narrow variations.

With this project each piece (3)was begun differently and used different materials and had a different mood. I'm enjoying my tools, my process and I'm believing as a whole, at the completion of 40 pieces I will be able to recognize it all being my and line.

20"x20" Rives BFK, molding paste,handmade stencil, collage and acrylic. From the beginning I was responding to the words "a call to prayer" and feeling so upset about the flooding, landslides and general world suffering...I began working with this simple composition, I sanded, glazed, sanded until I had a feeling of a "call". Sorry about the tilted photo.

Tomato growing update: I picked the red ones...sliced them and took a bite...ugh...the worst tasting tomato of my life! We didn't get that much sun but I did water...awful texture and a bitter much for Topsy Turvey at the beach...I'm off to the Farmer's Market where one can get such a wild variety (that word again) heirloom, big, little and even an assortment of colors!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Thursday we are going to the Redwood Grove (stage and seating in the center of a grove) up at UCSC and be enthralled with a production of Othello. I'm hoping the sun will come out and I'm taking cushions for the chairs. I understand this production will be set with a 40's military setting. We are reading up on Othello to remind ourselves of the characters and some of the takes me awhile to get into the rhythm. We will picnic and I've planned a tomato & peach salad with citrus dressing, Gorgonzola creme sauce/ pasta, ice tea and cupcakes from our new cupcake store...actually I'm buying everything prepared and just packing in containers and taking one of those hot/cold carriers. All this will be our early celebration of Pablo's birthday on the 27th! I'm excited!

Art Note: I'm on my third piece out of 40 but who's counting! ha I bought some liquid acrylics to change up my palette and I'm loving Quinacridone Magenta. I usually keep my colors basic and mix my own mixtures but this magenta has a fresh quality...very bright, clean color.

I was asked about my sander: It is a SKIL multi-finishing sander. Fits in your hand nicely and comes with a load of attachments for varied sanding jobs.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rough Beginnings!

Isn't that always the way? Got excited about beginning my project and started loading in all sorts of colors, shapes etc...The blue vertical lines are no more but they might return. I had to stop as I sanded about six small holes in the paper. Not very interesting shapes (the holes) so I patched them with linen tape. I decided to let this be the first step and move on. I can come back with my box cutter and see if I want to do a little cutting away and rearranging later in the project! For me it has a garden feel and because this project isn't well organized yet...a garden feel is okay with me. 20"x20" Rives BFK, acrylic, stencil, crayon and tar gel.

I read in my Kabbalah book a chapter on "certainty". A line of wisdom struck me: "When challenges appear overwhelming, inject Certainty...The light is always there!"

Garden Update: Finally, out of 20 little green tomatoes... I just picked a red one!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Photographing "Home"

"Home" measures 21"x 30" framed, acrylic, collage, graphite. At one time this was a part of a canvas at least 48" wide...part of a triptych. It was my habit to get out my box cutter and begin cutting away what I liked and separating it from what wasn't working especially when the composition was beyond repair. So by moving bits around and collaging again, this piece "Home" was hangs next to my computer and greets me every morning... it's a favorite of mine. I've been spending time today photographing this piece and other earlier work to include in my portfolio.

This weekend Pablo is helping me research the spiritual, mystical significance of the number 40. I've committed to painting a total of 40 pieces...a number that appears and reappears in biblical history. "40 years of wandering in the desert" and "40 days and nights of rain" to name a few. So far we have found this reference: "It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8)." I like that very much and will also look to the Kabbalah for more information. For me, it adds another deeper dimension to the work...a spiritual connection.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Silk Purse Forever

About 12 years ago I joined a 'Vein of Gold' study group as a way of meeting kindred spirits and we all became a close knit group for years. Annie and I hit it off immediately and a friendship was born. Long story short Annie took ill and during her last months was kind enough to introduce me to her very artistic family...her daughter Patrice (we had several gallery shows together) and her sister also Patrice and I know her as Pat. Pat lives in LA and has a blog LaLa in LA. She is also an artist and has a variety of making to purse creating at this time...her workmanship is stellar and her creative projects could easily be considered 'red carpet quality'. With that said and a reminder of how I've rambled on and on about my outfit, shoes for the family was beyond a surprise last week when this beauty arrived by mail...I was dropped to the chair by this amazing and generous gift... with a note saying in part this purse would be both from her and as a legacy from Annie! This beautiful creation is handmade using silk embroidery with contrasting silk lining. Notice the pocket on the inside. Also the white bag created for safe storage!! I can say this: This purse will be my dress up purse, my keepsake for now and until my "Forever". Please visit Pat and enjoy her projects!

Studio Update: I've been gessoing 20"x20" Rives BFK. I so like the number 20 that my new plan is to paint 20 of these sheets and when I'm done 20 more, mixed media pieces, more abstract and relying on process as well as journals and meditation. Having this large expanse of work ahead of me feels freeing and allows me the exploration I'll need to 'find' a challenging new way. I've cleaned the studio and ready to begin!