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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

C R E A T I V I T Y

Summer is winding down, and we’ve been having cool evenings that feel like fall. September is still to come though, and this is Southern California. Historically, it is by far the hottest month of the year. But the old predictable weather patterns no longer exist, so we will see what September brings.

I have no creative endeavors to share, but I do have some from other people, and some of nature’s creativity I’ve noticed recently.

Here is a a collaged mini dresser, my journal making friend Toni Mattock made from matchboxes.

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And the latest from Anonymous Starbucks artist.

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Creativity in Nature.  This was blossoming out of a palm tree.

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Bird of Paradise.

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A dragonfly with those sparkling, transparent wings.

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A piece made from nature that I saw at a local nursery.

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This last one does not fit into a creativity category, and my phone could not capture or do it justice.  So you’ll have to believe me that it was an enchanting sight. I was walking at night down a hill in a residential area. The moon was orange and very full.  There were millions of lights from homes spread out in front of me.  The thought of the amount of electricity used in this one spot multiplied by homes, offices, and streets around the world was boggling.

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Reading or watching news to stay informed, is a constant reminder of all the sorrows in the world. The painful reminder is difficult sometimes. I was also reading some quotes by Mark Twain (so funny), and watching old Seinfeld episodes (so funny), and decided that this quote of Twain is so true, (although not funny).

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

I hope you are enjoying your days.

 

 

 

3

Legos In Nature

These are tiny blossoms and seeds from my neem tree. It’s a native of India. When the seeds drop to the ground, a few germinate.  My giant tree started that way from my mom’s tree, and hers came from her neighbor’s tree. I liked how the light fell on the wall behind the vase. The walls look like three colors, but the whole area is actually the dark brown you see on the right.

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I liked the warm light in this photo that I took on a late afternoon walk.  It almost makes the rabbit look real.

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On a morning walk, I spotted these patterns created by the light coming through the tree.

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Practicing again with my Pentel watercolor brushes.  I was painting this nasturtiam flower outside, in the sunshine.  So the paint dried VERY quickly.  Trying to add layers, and get the colors darker, got a little too muddy looking.  I decided to do a second one inside, adding layers while the paper was wetter.  I think I like the flower on the first one, and the leaves on the second one.  Sigh…

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We’ve been having some warm sun and cool breeze, so it was an ideal time today to go to a local garden that was originally started on a landfill.  Also, they are currently having an exhibit of lego garden-related sculptures by artist Sean Kenney.  It took him 173 days using about 500,000 legos. There were 15 sculptures in all.  Here’s just a few.

Hummingbird

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Monarch

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Lawnmower

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Koi

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And a couple scenes from the garden. (No legos involved).

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And as I love meaningful quotes, I’ll leave you with this.

“There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against the other.”   Edouard Manet

Have a beautiful weekend.

 

 

4

Spring Stuff

Charlie pretending he’s a RABBIT.

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SPRING colors

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SPRING decorations

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SPRING in the air (that’s the Pacific Ocean beyond the park).

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I saw an exhibit of California Faience pottery and tiles yesterday. California Faience potteries was established in 1913 and came out of the Arts and Crafts Movement.  Photos were not allowed, so I took a couple from their brochure and cards I bought.  They don’t do justice to the originals, so if you’re interested, you can google California Faience.  A lot of Art Deco style in the pottery.

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Also on exhibit were the gorgeous watercolors and block prints of William Rice, a painter and printmaker who was part of the Arts and Crafts Movement at that time. Most of his watercolors and block prints are of National Parks and other scenic areas in California. Again, these photos of block prints are just from cards I bought. The originals were brilliant, the skill astounding.

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A small mixed media piece I finished today, using some leaves from one of the Rose of Sharon trees in my yard, also known as Hibiscus Syriacus.  Acrylic, fabric and stitching.

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In an email from Save the Chimps, there was a wonderful quote I want to share, so appropriate at this time, when life has become so difficult for so many.

“What do we live for; if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.”     George Elliot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Being Fully Alive

For Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog, a little watercolor (below).

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There are some days in which the air takes me to another place, time. Yesterday was just such a day.  As a teen, spending a day at the beach, making my way farther out into the cold ocean, laying in the sun, the midday heat would take on a different feel by 3:30.  The slightly cooler but still warm air seemed to flow over your skin. I could sit there soaking it up forever.  As I walked through neighborhoods yesterday, I felt that same air and was taken back to those beach days.

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I saw an exhibit here in LA recently of artists who had attended Black Mountain College.  It was an experimental arts college in North Carolina that opened in 1933 and closed in 1957.  It was short lived, but the alumni (teachers and students) included among others, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, John Cage, Josef and Anni Albers, Buckminster Fuller, Albert Lanier, and Ruth Asawa, one of my very favorite artists. The time and place seemed like the perfect combination to learn, and be creative. You can check it out online.

Here are a few of the pieces I saw.

An old photo from the exhibit of some of the students with Josef Albers.

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Joseph Albers   (Oil on masonite)

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Robert Rauschenberg   (Collage with fabric, paint and found objects made for a dance of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company).

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Ruth Asawa  (Woven metal sculpture)

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The photo came out fuzzy, but the effect of Ruth Asawa’s sculptures looks like crochet.

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Walk in nature, make art, look at art, or whatever makes you feel alive.  Enjoy your week.

“It’s not the meaning of life we’re after, it’s the feeling of being fully alive.”     Joseph Campbell