7

Patience, Wisdom, and Other Essentials of Life

Still very hot here in Los Angeles.  Lots of sunshine.  Even as I strolled the air conditioned aisles at Daiso, my favorite Japanese $1.50 store, I was reminded of the sun when I saw these.

So in following the sun theme at Mullein Art blog, I bought these straws to make something creative.

After I cut them up and glued them together, I used one as a stamp. When I finished, I took it outside to photograph it in the natural sunlight that I wake up to each day.

I had stamped it on shiny paper, so I took this next photo under lamp light at night, and got  kind of a sunny glow effect.

Yesterday, still being warm out, my husband and I went to our favorite place for fish, Baja California Fish Tacos.  It is very small, and there are usually more people in line than there are tables with chairs for sitting. But even if you have to stand at the bar, as we did yesterday, it is worth it.

The plate in the front is a shrimp taco, and the one in the back is called ceviche. Ceviche is raw fish with lemon juice.  The lemon juice cooks the fish, and then tomato and red onions are added.  It is wonderful on a hot day, or anytime.

Finally, a photo my friend sent me.  She and I work at the animal shelter together.  She is fostering these four small puppies for a few weeks. Then she will take them back to the shelter to be adopted.

I cannot foster any more animals, because when it’s time to take them back to the shelter, I adopt them myself. And now my house is full. I am a foster failure.

She also sent me this.

So true.  Enjoy each day.

 

 

7

Before the Rainbow

After the rain…

Before the rainbow, I watched the changes in the sky.

More rain is expected.

I went to a tiny funky restaurant a couple days ago to meet with other people from a political organization called MoveOn.org. It was near USC in Los Angeles.  It’s an eclectic area of LA.  The restaurant’s name was Revolucinario African Tacos.  The owners are a husband and wife, she being Asian and he being Algerian and an excellent cook.  It was energizing to meet with people of all ages and ethnicities to talk about how we, ordinary citizens, could make some beneficial changes to our democracy.  We will get together weekly, and build on shared ideas.  Initially, we will try to find similar groups around the country and work to get people elected to Congress that believe in climate change, believe that health care is necessary, believe in stopping voter suppression, etc. etc. for the 2018 elections.  The walls of the restaurant had money taped all over them. I asked the owner about it, and she said someone started it, and it just continues.  People will come from other countries and leave some of their currency taped to the walls.

I have been trying to find inspiration for something creative to work on.  In looking at some of my fabric pieces, I decided to go in that direction.  Maybe mix with paper, as I did in this first piece. I alternated strips of fabric with water color painted paper.

I love Post Impressionist and Expressionist painters. The next two were inspired by Cezanne. The first one is an applique from his painting titled, “Basket of Apples.”  The second one was just inspired by the colors in so much of his work.

Oscar was adopted!  I hope he is enjoying his life with a wonderful new family.

So, to close, I leave you with this.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside, on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”   Milan Kundera

I wish you that peace.

Thank you for visiting.

 

 

7

Looking For Joy

I am creatively idea-less. Possibly spending too much mental energy on ways to resist the oncoming negative changes after January 20th.  I had always meant to keep my blog posts light, but because of this president elect, I have never felt the concern for my country, and the world, as I do now.  It also feels strange to talk about my fortunate life, knowing there are so many Syrians struggling for survival.  But there is a joy in doing this blog, and I think doing joyful things sustains us.  I think we actually have to look for joy and be open to it.  I find it so often in situations with animals.  I saw a video of shelter dogs at a pet store choosing their Christmas toy from under a tree and then bounding through the store with it. Just looking at happy dogs makes me happy.

Below is a photo of Oscar, a dog at the shelter last week.  Fantastic dog.  I took him out to the play yard and laughed watching him chase after his toy.  I showed him to everyone that came in.  Hopefully someone adopted him and he won’t be there tomorrow when I go.  I can’t take him because I’m maxed out.  It would be difficult to provide for any more than I already have.

I received some special surprises in the mail recently that brought joy.  One was a hand stamped card from a blog friend.  It was not only exciting to receive the card, but going to my mailbox and finding a hand stamped envelope with postage stamps from Germany was like finding a small treasure.  When I was in elementary school my brother and I had a stamp collection. It was at a time when people didn’t do a lot of traveling like they do now, and the stamps represented exotic and mysterious places that we could only imagine in our minds.  Although I’ve been able to visit many countries as I grew into adulthood, I still love stamps from other places.

Another treasure I received was from my journal making friend.  A tiny one inch by two inch “treasures” book. Inside are equally small envelopes for treasures.

Since I am currently idea-less, I have a couple of older pieces of mine to share.  This was an old linoleum print I made. I carved a linoleum tile and then used printing ink.  Later, I painted a canvas with acrylic, and also applied acrylic to the tile to transfer the image.  I  added some hand stitching with gold thread and a few tiny beads.

This was something I hand stitched for my mom one Christmas.  I was reminded of it when I went to her house and saw it hanging.

No post is complete without an LA weather update.  We’ve actually had some rain and very cold days.  One night the wind knocked out our electricity.  I had to gather candles to put throughout the house.

And our local mountains are covered with snow.

Wishing you joy this week and in the coming New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

It’s Coming On Christmas…

Christmas is covering the neighborhoods.  These soldiers were made by putting four terra cotta pots together.  They were about three feet tall.

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This display was at a shopping center.

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Maggie, Charlie, and Lucy are ready for our cold night walks.

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And a recent photo of Sophie.  She’s about four months now, and looking quite a bit bigger than the day I brought her home. She likes to be with the dogs.

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A new mail art piece, with a little vintage embellishment.

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I was going through some lino stamps I made, and pulled out this piece I had used some of them on.  It is acrylic on canvas. The deer stamp I made from a photo in an art history book.  There is some hand stitching and glitter added.

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We had some beautiful sunsets a few days ago.  This is a view from my front yard.  The lights in the left corner of the second photo are lawn ornaments.  People love to put giant inflatable Christmas decorations in their yards that light up at night.

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“It’s coming on Christmas

They’re cutting down trees

They’re putting up reindeer

And singing songs of joy and peace.”           Joni Mitchell

I hope you are enjoying your days.  Thank you for visiting.

 

 

 

 

9

Awakening the Soul

I’m enjoying sketching tiny.  Perhaps I’ll do a daily journal of tiny, although I’ve never been good at daily sketching.  It’s more like when the idea hits me.  But I’ll give it a try.

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Also having lots of fun with my “accumulated stuff” collages.

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Our September has been feeling like October.  September is usually stifling.  I remember going back to school as a child, and the non air conditioned classrooms would be unbearable.  But a few days ago we actually had overcast conditions.

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The cooler air is very pleasant for walking.  Since returning from the Camino, I really have a need to walk each day.  The weather has also given me some good photo opportunities while I walk, with the sun poking out from the clouds in a subtle way.

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The kitty is going through all the changes the internet says she would from week to week. She weighs a pound, but RUNS across a room.  She is getting a lot of socialization from Lucy and Charlie.  Maggie is indifferent, but then she’s the one that went through mothering her own puppies not too long ago.  She’s sitting this out.

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“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”       Anatole France    poet, author

Enjoy your week.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Dog Train

I think the cutest thing EVER, and consequently uplifting, was in an article I saw online about an 80 year old man in Texas who rescues abandoned dogs left near his home.  He lives at the end of a road, and people just leave their dogs when they are no longer wanted.  He takes them to be spayed or neutered, feeds them, and takes care of them on his farm. He currently has nine.  But the best thing about the story was the dog train he built for them.

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They love it so much, that when they hear him start the tractor engine, they run and jump in the little “cars” he made from plastic barrels.  Then he takes them for a ride around town.  The article came with a video showing the dogs all barking as they rode the “train” through town.  Absolutely fantastic!

I don’t have anything I’VE done to top that, but I have been continuing to work on my small acrylic panels and started some fabric appliques.  I’m hoping to make quite a few and sell them at a venue coming to LA in the spring.

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My bougainvillea is monstrous.  Dangling over it’s arbor on all sides like an umbrella.  Actually, like two umbrellas.

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Still jumping around to different mediums, which included a pen and ink sketching class. Primarily a sketchbook class for travel adventures, so I brought some photos from past trips. It was suggested we get a Pentel Precise rolling pen as well as a Pentel sign pen.  My first attempt came out more rendered than sketchy.  Practice, practice, practice.

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You can’t really tell from this little still life taken on my patio that’s it’s still full on summer here, but I had to take TWO water breaks at the animal shelter yesterday, compared with my usual ONE. It was HOT.

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To keep the momentum going from my sketch class, I did a real quick one, trying to be sketchier.  (Below)

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People have always been difficult for me to draw, but I think I could get into this style.  Fun fun fun.

If you want to experience the dog train video go to thedodo.com

and listen…

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2

Doodling

It’s been VERY warm here.  Today was VERY bright and the sky VERY blue.  Here’s how it looked along the So Cal coast.  They’re telling us to expect an El Nino that will bring us A Lot of rain in the fall.  Fingers crossed.

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Since only one room in my house has air conditioning, it’s been almost too hot to sit down and think of creative ideas.  I don’t keep an art journal, but I scribble on paper or pages from a vintage French book.  Maybe one day I’ll make a journal for them if I amass enough for a journal.  So the following sketches are all I could muster in the heat.  The first, watercolor, the second, colored pencil, and the last oil pastel.

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I think I’ve mentioned how much fun oil pastel is.  It’s like coloring with crayons, but you can smear it a little.  Even more fun.

I’ve been continuing my trips to Starbucks, but it’s actually been too hot for hot chocolate.  I’ve been getting chocolate milk with ice. Very tasty. There’s a small counter against a wall at Starbucks where they have the napkins and straws.  Above the counter is a bulletin board for flyers of adoptable dogs and local events.  But recently, in the middle of them, there was a tiny pen and ink drawing on a napkin.  It was such a pleasure to stumble on this spontaneously created piece.  No artist signature.  Just there, held up by magnets for people to see and enjoy.

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A long time ago I painted a little acrylic picture, and put some random words on it that I saw in a magazine layout for a yard bake sale.  Like a garage sale, but baked goods.

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I liked the effect, so along with my sketches a few days ago I made another small acrylic with lettering.  (Something that didn’t take a lot of thought in the heat, but kept me in doodling form).

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Enjoy these continuing summer days and keep doodling.

P.S.  Charlie says “hello”.

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0

Midsummer Day’s Dream

Some quiet time.  My backyard.  Warm air.  Breeze.

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a rusted chair.

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a painted chair.

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a trough I made that included a plastic pony.

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an old painting I did of a Joel Meyerowitz photo from his book “A Summer’s Day.”

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an even older painting I did from my apartment balcony when I lived in Santa Monica.

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lucy, getting more silver as she nears her second birthday in five days.

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a surprise visitor.  I was concerned about his little wing not being at his side, but he flew to the bush and then flew away.  I’m hoping all’s well.

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A midsummer’s day.

 

0

Down Came the Rain

The rain came… in July, to drought stricken southern California.  Amazing to all.

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There have been huge clashes of thunder.  “Weather” is so exciting to southern Californians because there’s rarely a huge change in it.  But although it’s raining, you can still go outside in your T-shirt and flip flops, because it’s July.  A strange dark winter looking day in July.

I met today with a nonprofit organization that is going to help beautify the animal shelter with some painted murals.  The goal is to make it look like a more inviting place for prospective adopters to enter. Many people have told me that they can’t come to the shelter because it’s sad.  But maybe if we get them in the door they will take home one of the many incredible animals that continue to come through the shelter’s doors.  Pictures to follow when the project gets started.

I’m lacking in a cohesive theme of photos to post, but I was inspired by Carol and her Tall Tales from Kansas blog.  She coined the phrase “random moments of wonderfulness.”  I have some of those.  So as the warm rain is keeping me inside, I will gather them up and share.

The first one is an art piece from a small local museum I visited.  All of the blue is painted gauze fabric, with holes in it to reveal the wall behind.  It was very stunning.

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A passion flower on a fence at the shelter.  It’s very three dimensional in person. Amazing actually.IMG_0075

A hummingbird taking a rare break before the rain came.

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I really like the foreground to background angle of the telephone poles in the photo below. Something I remember trying to do in a beginning perspective drawing class.

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Photos are fun, to take and to look at.  If you have a camera, get out there.  If not, pick up a magazine.  Enjoy.