6

Yellows, Oranges, and Blue…Skies

Beautiful weather. A shining sun in a bright blue sky. These first two photos were taken In Long Beach, about 25 minutes from my house.

Yellows and oranges falling from trees, or still clinging, waiting for the right time to let go.

The oranges are at my mom’s house. I’ve had to go there a lot to put things in boxes to donate. A Refugee Resettlement group is going to take the furniture. There were only a few remaining roses. I brought them home along with some clippings of the stems to reroot. Hopefully they will survive, and I will have rose bushes to plant in my yard.

I couldn’t resist taking these colorful photos of some glassware from my mom’s.

This is an old Argus camera I used when I was eleven years old, I found it tucked away in a closet at my mom’s. You have to look through the top of the camera to see what you are taking a photo of. I’m going to research, to see if I can get film and try using it again.

Here is a photo I took with it in 1964, when my family went on a camping trip. The car is an old Ford Falcon.

When I was in college, I bought a book called “Diary of a Century,” with fantastic photos by Jacques Henri Lartigue. Many were taken when he was a child, starting in 1901. Even that long ago, and being so young, he was able to capture people in motion with his camera. Check out his work, if you haven’t already.

The next two photos are the artwork of my friend Toni. She used small tin boxes for these collages. The second one is from the children’s book “Charlotte’s Web.”  I love them.

Thank you very much for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

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.

img_2970

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.

latclobby

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.

img_2974

img_2973

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.

img_2964

“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.

57ff9bc2170000bc16acbb3d

57ff9bbf170000bc16acbb3957ff9bc01b0000df1cef6cf9

57ff9bc0170000c316acbb3a

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.

IMG_0436

IMG_0435

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.

img_2872

A lot of vendors had vintage Christmas decorations for sale.

img_2857

img_2859

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

img_2873

img_2866

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

img_2780

Jasper Johns,  lithograph from his numbers series

img_2777

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

img_2781

Joseph Albers, lithographs

img_2778

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.

img_2797

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.

img_2798img_2804img_2805

img_2801img_2802img_2803

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.

img_2787

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

img_2812

img_2814

img_2816

img_2820

img_2822

Wishing all a wonderful week.

Thank you for visiting.