10

Simple Pleasures

I walked outside this morning and was hit by a COOL breeze. Ahh, the simple pleasures. It has been extremely hot this past week and very humid.  I glanced up at the sky. Very pretty.

Then I checked out my plants. I found some very tiny yellow mushrooms in one of the pots. Cute little things.

A blob of water sitting in the middle of one of the succulents. It looked like something gooey, but was only water.

A few peppers and tomatoes from the garden.

Last Saturday I went to the Los Angeles County Museum to see an exhibit of an artist named Carlos Almaraz. He is a native of LA, particularly Echo Park, that I visited a couple weeks ago. I showed some photos on my blog of the giant lotus plants at Echo Park Lake.  Alvarez painted a huge piece with three panels of the lake. This is only two of the panels.

Here is his version of “Starry Night” in Los Angeles.

I liked the way the light fell on the chair in this one. It is oil on paper rather than canvas. It was under glass, so the details were difficult to pick up with my iPhone.

After the exhibit my husband and I went to a restaurant across the street. They had murals inside depicting Los Angeles in the 40’s. Again, the quality is lacking due to the lighting and using my phone. It shows Wilshire Blvd, which is one of the main streets going through downtown, and the street the museum is on.

I am still enjoying the cool air coming through my windows.  Don’t know how long it will last, since September has just begun, but it’s a nice break.  Thank you as always for visiting.

 

 

 

8

August

Last week we experienced some cooler weather, but September’s triple digits have arrived a few days early. I was able to enjoy the outdoors, and noticed the changes in my mom’s yard. One of her neighbor’s has a magnificent grape arbor. Some of the grapes have grown over the wall into my mom’s yard.

In fact, a seed must have blown over as well, because there is a grape vine beginning to grow among my mom’s roses!

Her orange tree is full of oranges, but won’t be ready for picking until next spring.

The roses are still making an appearance, this one with a visitor.

It was even cool enough in the evenings to walk around her neighborhood. It’s interesting to walk through the streets where I used to ride my bike as a child. I found this on the sidewalk. It says 1957, one year before my family moved there. My mom has lived in her house for about 60 years.

The sunshine followed me inside, before it set for the day.

A few days ago I visited a place in LA called Griffith Park. It covers about 4,000 acres of land. It is one of the largest urban parks in North America. There is a huge observatory there to look at the stars. At the entrance is this cut out of Smokey the Bear.  Smokey was in TV commercials when I was little to remind people to be careful with matches when visiting forests and National Parks.

I saw a deer that day also.

I also went to an exhibit at a museum in Pasadena.  If you watch the Rose Parade, they start the parade in front of this museum, and you can see it on TV.  The exhibit was some of the work of the “Blue Four.”

Vasily Kandinsky…

Lionel Feininger…, Alexei Jawlensky, and Paul Klee.

Many years ago I was inspired by the piece above by Feininger, and carved out a scene from a large piece of linoleum. His was carved from wood.

The museum has a beautiful garden with Henry Moore statues throughout. When I saw this one it looked so whimsical. Two people sitting in the sunshine like many of the visitors.

That’s all for now. I hope you are enjoying your days. Thank you as always for visiting my blog.

 

 

12

Here Comes the Sun

I’ve been spending time at my mom’s house. She’s ill and not able to stay alone, so my brother, sister and I take turns staying wth her.  She lives about an hour’s drive from me, in one of the areas that gets the hottest weather.  The past couple weeks it was 110 degrees.  The heat is tolerable when it’s dry, and the evenings are nice for being outside.  But lately there has been a lot of humidity which is not typical.  Very unpleasant. Before my father passed away, he planted many many rose bushes.  The extreme heat fries the blooms, so while I stayed with my mom, I would go out each day and cut the buds to bring in the house.  They would bloom in a couple days.

This next one I held up to a painting of flowers.

My mom is 87 years old, and saves almost everything.  She had hundreds of old recipes from newspapers and magazines.  The old illustrations were fun to look at.

I’m also reading Don Quixote.  I started it years ago, but didn’t get very far. Now I will continue to read until I get to he end of the 1,050 pages.

Among my mom’s very old treasures is this bracelet depicting some of Don Quixote’s adventures.  I love this scene of him charging the windmill.

A setting sun on vintage post cards to link to Mullein Art blog. I made a small stamp for the water.

A sun painting by Vincent Van Gogh. I saw the original many years ago at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.  Everyone in the museum seemed to be humming the song, “Starry Starry Night.”

I got this sun in Mexico. It hangs in my kitchen.

Enjoy your sunny summer days.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

10

Life’s Short…Eat Cookies

I went on a small downtown adventure with a friend on Friday. We did a lot of walking, it was hot, and there were lots of pedestrians and cars. But it was fun.  We had two destinations in mind, about 30 minutes walk from each other, so we parked in between. One stop was in Chinatown at the small Good Luck gallery to see some art work by Anna Zemankova. She was born in what is now the Czech Republic in 1908.  She was self taught, and made fantasy depictions of flowers using pencil, paper, fabric, embroidery, and beads. Her work is also being shown in Lausanne, Switzerland and New York.  My photos only show portions of some of the pieces, to try and show the detail in her art.

The gallery was in a little pedestrian walkway.

Our other stop was The Last Bookstore.  It is a huge and very unique place that primarily sells used books.  There are a lot of sculptural displays using old books.

But in between the gallery and the bookstore we stopped for a delicious lunch, and after the lunch, I ordered some of these beignets.  Really wonderful.

I’ve been trying to walk each day. The later afternoon is best because the weather has warmed up quite a bit.  Here are a few shots during one of those walks.

Finally a couple shots of little Lucy. This is a fabric tent about three feet long that folds up like an accordion. Here she is with Charlie. Lucy and Sophie (the cat) chase each other through it…

but sometimes she likes to get in it herself and wear it like a dress.

Enjoy your week.  Eat lots of cookies, and thank you for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Book Art

The Los Angeles Folk Art Museum is having an exhibit of Book Art.  I went today and came out very inspired.  First, a couple photos of the wonderful old houses near the museum.

There were all kinds and sizes of book art on display.  The first is by Howard Marshall, and reflects his African American roots.

The next one was made by Susan Sironi, who used a surgical scalpel to carve out a delicate sculpture from a book.

This next one was photographed by the famous LA artist, Ed Ruscha. As you can see in the title, it is “Every Building on the Sunset Strip,” which is a very famous street in Hollywood.

The one below, was a book photographed by another famous LA artist, John Baldessari. Read the title, then check out the photo that follows.

A tiny box with rolled up newsprint.

I pulled out something I started a while back, all hand stitched, but never finished.  The second photo shows what kind of detail I need to add to each square.

A look at the sky last night in front of my house.

“At any street corner, the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.”       Albert Camus

But I was not on a street corner.  I was in my house, watching Donald Trump address Congress on TV.

Thank you for visiting.  Enjoy your week.

 

 

 

 

 

7

Just the Way You Are

We have been getting a lot of rain after our drought last year. It started earlier than usual as well. I have an area in my back yard where I have plants, with rocks filling in the open spaces.  Every winter, it fills with grass and clover.  Initially, the green of the new growth is so beautiful.  It looks like velvet.  But as it gets nearer to spring, it becomes overgrown and brown.  Each year when that happens, I tell myself that I will just leave it be.  But at some point, I begin digging up a little each day.  I’m going to see what happens this year.  In the meantime, here are a couple photos of the winter growth.

I visited the Folk Art Museum in LA last week.  It is one of my favorites.  There was an exhibit by a fiber artist named Kay Sekimachi.The first piece is a bowl made with flax and Kozo paper. It’s laminated with silver and gold leaf.  The second is made with leaves.

The next two are examples of her weaving.

As for myself, I have been playing with designs that I can use with linoleum or fabric.  Here is one.  I keep looking at it to see where I could break it up or where it needs altering.  I used water color to fill it in.

A couple of items made by my journal making friend Toni, because I love how she uses recycled materials.  The one on the right is a mini journal made from a cereal box.  When you open it, the inside of the front and back covers are the outside of the cereal box.  I love the maps on the label on the left, along with the plastic motorcycle to enhance the theme of travel.

A hand stamped card arrived from another blog friend in Germany today.  It is such a fun surprise to open the mailbox and find a hand written greeting.  We rely so much on emails, that the mail box is usually just filled with bills and advertisements.

A couple shots from my walk early this evening.  Fruit is appearing on citrus trees.  Angels are appearing in gardens.

When my son was little, I’d watch a show with him called “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.”  To an adult, Mr. Rogers seemed almost too nice. The songs, kind of silly. But the main point that Mr. Rogers made EVERYDAY was that he liked us (the viewers), and other people can like us, “just the way you are.” I think he probably was very helpful in conveying this idea to children.  I found a quote of Fred Rogers, who in real life apparently was the real deal, a VERY nice person.

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch.  That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive.  Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”

Perhaps the show’s lessons were not just for children.

Have a wonderful week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

November Chill

We had a very cold day here on Sunday, with wind and drizzles on and off.  A friend and I had planned last spring to get a booth at a flea market for that day.  It is usually so hot where the flea market is held, we decided November would be a good month, and last year brought us little rain, so no need to worry about bad weather.  It was a fun day in spite of the cold, and rain, and wind.  We had a covering for part of the space, and had to move anything perishable to the center.  We brought hand made items and vintage wares. This photo shows just one side of our selling space.

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A couple days before the flea market, I saw a unique play in downtown.  It was three Latina friends getting together for Christmas, and sharing stories from childhood family Christmas gatherings.  The stories were funny, sad, hopeful, and all true. The theater itself only held about forty people, so everyone was very close to the stage.  But the lobby was enormous and beautiful.  The building had been a bank about a hundred years ago. A lot of the old buildings are being restored and made into apartments.

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After sketching a few window scenes a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d practice painting from some Henri Matisse prints in a book I have.  I started out a little small, and the details were difficult to do in acrylic, so although I started sketching on canvas, I finished them with colored pencils. The pencils were fun, though. I had never used colored pencils on canvas.

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Soon I will be filling this spot above my fireplace with Christmas decorations, but I noticed this wonderful shadow one day as the light came through a window.  You can see the shadow of the bottle on the left, but the shadows on the right seem to be coming from the etchings on the glass bowl next to it.

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“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you.  If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”    Barack Obama

Thank you for visiting.  Have an excellent week.

 

 

 

9

Global Art

I have not made a lot of art myself this week, but I have seen some magnificent work by two other people.  The first was an online article about Nidaa Badwin, a Palestinian woman, who spent 20 straight months in her 100 square foot room creating art.  The day before she went into exile, she was leading a youth program in Gaza, and was taunted by officers who criticized her clothing and eventually hit her.  She took a series of gorgeous Baroque looking photos using only what she had in her room: newspapers, vegetables, egg cartons, sewing machine, typewriter, and bedspread.  I have a few to show, but there were many more if you want to check out her story.

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The second was a documentary called “Sky Ladder,” about artist Cai Guo-Qiang.  He was a young boy during Mao Tse-tung’s rule of China, and the story follows his life as an artist leading up to his work using fireworks and his dream piece called Sky Ladder. His thinking is truly innovative and remarkable. I recommend watching it if you have the opportunity.

We got another night of rain.  It’s wonderful to have rain so early in the season since our summer was so dry.  I don’t have any rain photos, but here are a couple of my favorite autumn photos from last year.

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I went to a local flea market yesterday.  Lots of fun things to see.  I bought an old globe.  I love maps and globes, but globes are usually expensive. This one was only five dollars.  Our world has gone through many changes since this globe was made.

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A lot of vendors had vintage Christmas decorations for sale.

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I have continued to play with watercolors.  The first one was a couple of sketches I cut up and put together as a collage.

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Enjoy this last week of October.  Thank you for visiting.

 

 

11

Print Making

I went to an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art two days ago.  It was the 50th Anniversary of a workshop in LA called Gemini GEL (you can look up its history on the internet). Started in 1960, it brought together artists and master printers in the printmaking field.  People like David Hockney (below).

lithograph and screen print

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Jasper Johns,  lithograph from his numbers series

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Roy Lichtenstein, woodcut    (out of focus) ( argh)

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Joseph Albers, lithographs

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There were many others.  It was exciting to see the work of these artists. I’ve always loved all forms of printmaking.  Below are a few I did many years ago. The first one is a woodcut.  I photographed it in my window so you could get the effect of the light coming through the curtain.

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The next is a photo etching series of my brother skating on the boardwalk at Venice Beach.  There is a series of six images in color, and six images in white with a touch of water color.  I’m only showing three from each set.

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Coming home from the exhibit, I drove past downtown as the sunlight slowly faded. As much as I love visiting other places in the world, I love living in LA.  Recently they have been building more high rise apartments and offices, as more people are choosing to live downtown.

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A few photos from tonight’s walk. Autumn was definitely in the air.

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Wishing all a wonderful week.

Thank you for visiting.

 

 

3

Tiny kittens and things

Still waiting for inspiration, so in the meantime, I sat down and drew some tiny thumbnail sketches from my photos on the Camino. Tiny is fun.

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Then I got out all my scraps of accumulated paper.  For example, if I paint something and I don’t like it, I’ll cut out the parts I like and save them. I figure they might come in handy for something, along with other tiny accumulated things.  I took some pages from an old French literature book, and started sticking things together.  Sticking things together is very fun. In the one below, I drew a small picture from a Camino photo with oil pastel.  Oil pastels, also fun.

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I am keeping busy bottle feeding and caring for a two-three week old kitten. I’m fostering it from the shelter where I volunteer. As tiny as she is, she’s on the go if she’s not sleeping.  The picture is a little blurry, since I couldn’t get her to stop moving. She’s what they call a Torti. She will be ready for adoption in a month or so.  I’m hoping to find someone to adopt her so I know she’s going to a good home, rather than return her to the shelter.

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The theme of the exhibit I was in was “Play.”  I went to the opening, and again a couple days ago to take some photos.  The day of the opening was very crowded, and difficult to see everything.  This first one was behind glass so it is not real clear, but in person it had a beautiful quality. The colors and softness went so perfectly with the image of the child. It was an etching with a collaged photo. I love etchings. I took a class when I was at CSUN.

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The next one got an honorable mention.

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This last one won first place.  The whole piece was made with Legos.

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I’ve been walking in the cool evenings. Remarkable weather for September. Today is overcast, but the cooler days are wonderful. I have walked past this house many times, but last night my husband told me it was Louis Zamperini’s house at one time. He was a World War II prisoner of war survivor, and they recently made a movie about him. My husband is a newspaper photographer.  Many years ago he got to ride in an old World War II plane with Mr. Zamperini for a story the paper was doing.  My husband said he was a remarkable person and had amazing stories to tell.

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This little plant sticking up in another yard caught my eye.  It looks like a little sparkler you see on the Fourth of July.

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It looks like we’re starting the fall earlier here than usual, although by tomorrow, it could be 90 degrees…

Enjoy your summer/fall weather.