5

Insects

We are having cool evenings now. It is the subtle way that Autumn approaches us here in Southern California. But it is very welcome.

I don’t have too much to share, but I wanted to join in on the insect theme at Mullerin Art. I came across this praying mantis in the rose bushes at my mom’s house.

Quite some time ago I made some hand carved stamps of butterflies and used them in a mixed media piece.

When I think of insects, my mind doesn’t include butterflies in with the crawly insect types. But in going through an old children’s dictionary, I came across this group under “insects.”

Today I got the stamps out and arranged them in more of a pattern, since they should be in such a format for the Mullerin Art blog theme. I stamped them onto a vintage garden magazine from 1949.

I am always so impressed by the pattern making of other creative participants at the blog site. I have not yet acquired those skills.

This beautiful stamp came on something I received in the mail recently.

Finally, I can’t ever think about insects without thinking of the story “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. It is about a man who wakes up one morning and finds that he has turned into an insect. I read it many years ago, but I might have to read it again after all this thinking about insects.

That’s all for now.

 

 

 

7

Making Things Happen

Once a month there is a flea market very near my house. One woman always has lots of wonderful old buttons and fabric for sale.

Today she had some old sample books of fabric.  They contained all the colors on the color wheel, with interesting names for each.  They were intriguing, but I didn’t know how I would use them in a project

I didn’t buy the sample books, but I found these 1940’s post cards that I purchased. They show different places in the United States from that time.

I received the postcard below in the mail as an advertisement. I wanted to use it somehow in an art piece.  I made some lino stamps, stamped them onto old book pages, and added a little black ink. On the black and white post card, I painted a little water color.

Some final shots of a tree in my back yard.  I think it has enjoyed all the rain we’ve had, because it is in full flower.  That’s my little art studio that my husband built, behind it.

For several months now since the election, people in large cities and small cities have been visiting the offices of their elected officials demanding that their health care not be taken away.  All these people that have never been involved in politics before, made something happen because they were out there reminding politicians to do their job.  And it worked!  24 million people will not lose their healthcare.  Amazing.

“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once, beautiful and brave.”   Rainer Maria Rilke

Have a beautiful week, and thank you so much for visiting my blog. I appreciate it.

 

 

 

 

11

The Sun, the Moon…

The other night I walked in Redondo Beach overlooking the ocean.  I went with my two Camino walking buddies.  The sun was shining and the air was crisp when we started out.  We got to see this as we were nearing the end of our walk.

On a walk through my neighborhood I saw this.

I made some spring images with water color and a handmade stamp, some very thin paper and text from old books.  I then cut them up to send out as cards.

My bougainvillea is getting brighter as we move further into spring, and the tiny dormant plants have pushed through the ground.

There is a Japanese store near my house where almost everything is $1.50.  They have so many tiny and cute things.  It is very difficult to buy lots of things I don’t need.  But I couldn’t leave the store without buying these, especially because I have an old wooden chair I got from a thrift store that needed some. Tiny llama booties for the legs so they don’t scratch the floor! (Four in the package).

I just watched the Committee hearings of the Russian ties and involvement in our Presidential election.

“Three things cannot be hidden. The sun, the moon, and the truth.”   Buddha

Enjoy your week.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

 

 

 

7

Arrival of Spring

San Pedro is about 20 minutes drive from my house.  The climate often has the feel of the Mediterranean. This past Thursday was one of those days.  The air brushed against my skin with just a hint of breeze blowing.  I drove to a small park that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and I felt like I was in Greece.

Nearby the park is the Korean Bell.  It is a huge bell surrounded by a beautifully painted pagoda.  It was given to the city of San Pedro by the the Republic of Korea to honor veterans of the Korean War, and consolidate friendship between the two countries.

I’m participating in a monthly art project with blog artists in Germany.  Each month there is a theme, and involves handmade stamps and patterns. This month is spring flowers. I’m thinking of ideas, but in the meantime I remembered an acrylic piece I had made using a linoleum stamp.  I was trying to make each row a shade lighter as I scrolled down the canvas.

I also found this piece of fabric I bought a while back, but haven’t decided what to do with it.

And here, a photo of some beautiful flowers I came upon during my walk yesterday.

“I had always planned to make a large painting of the early spring, when the first leaves are at the bottom of the trees, and they seem to float in space in a wonderful way.  But the arrival of spring can’t be done in one picture.”  David Hockney

Thank you for visiting.  Enjoy your week.

 

 

 

6

In the Moment

I found this picture of a carved door in a magazine.  I liked the texture, so I made a small linoleum stamp with similar lines. That’s the stamp on top of the picture.

I used acrylic paint on the stamp and applied it to water color paper.  Half way through, I made stripes with water color paint on the part I had not yet stamped. Then I continued stamping over that with acrylic. I used less paint in some areas to get a distressed look.  I think I’ll make more with different patterns and colors.

A couple of “weather” photos showing some of the changes we’ve had from day to day.  The first one you can see Sophie in the shadows peeking out from behind the garden pottery.

The next one was in between down pours of rain. Beautiful fluffy clouds covered the sky.  We are expecting a lot more rain this week.  Last year we were very concerned about the lack of rain.  There has been so much rain in Northern California this year, that the largest dam in the U.S. is spilling over.  The concrete structure that carries water downhill is collapsing.  It is a dangerous situation to people living near the dam.  About 200,000 people had to be evacuated.

Hot chocolate is one of my favorite things.  When I walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain last year I quickly learned to order “Cola Cao,” instead of “hot chocolate.” Hot chocolate in Spain is very thick like pudding, but Cola Cao is what you drink on a cold day.  There is a place near my house that sells food products from Spain.

Including Cola Cao!

I was thinking about my time walking the Camino as I looked around that store yesterday.  A joyfully peaceful experience of being in the moment.

Thank you all for visiting.  I appreciate it.

 

 

 

 

12

Another Week…

A couple days of rain, a couple days of sunshine, repeat. I have a little room in my backyard that I use for an art studio. The temperature inside corresponds with the temperature outside. So when one of the sunny days came, I went outside to play. There is a big window that looks out over the yard, and in this photo you can see Sophie on a chair looking in.

She eventually came inside to relax. We are enjoying her a lot.

I played with some lino stamps I had made and added water color.

Then I took different stamps and water color and made another mini paper quilt.  It’s about four inches by four and a half inches.

The rain has made everything green.  This first photo was taken on a walk through the neighborhood.  The Spanish lavender was growing into this other plant that I don’t know the name of.

On the next street, the pink flowered plant had some nasturtiums growing into it.

In my own yard, these white flowers came up from planted bulbs.  They have a tiny green dot on each small petal.

And the orange tree is filling up with oranges. I couldn’t help notice the white spots of sunlight on them. If you were painting a picture, you’d know exactly where the light source is coming from.

There is a 1,172 mile underground oil pipeline being built from North Dakota to Illinois. It poses a threat to water, wildlife and farming, and is being built very close to an Indian reservation. Federal regulations and established treaties with Native American tribes are being ignored. I attended a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in downtown yesterday. Marchers were carrying a plastic pipeline above their heads that was about as long as one city block.

“Perseverance is a great element of success.  If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”     Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Enjoy your week. 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.

 

 

 

 

7

Beautiful Day

I’ve been making some new linoleum stamps, but I’m still putting ideas together on how I will use them.  In the meantime, here are two pieces I did a while back.  The images were cut from linoleum and then stamped onto canvas using acrylic. The first one I used a repetitive pattern, like something you might see on an ancient wall.

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This second one also has a repetitive pattern, but more like what you’d see on a tablecloth.

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I’ve been doodling and sketching also. This started out as a sketch of a tree, but then I decided to play with the watercolors.

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This one was an idea I got from a magazine. The sketching is with pencil.  I might take both sketches and expand on the general concepts.

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It actually rained last night, and today was BEAUTIFUL.  Cool breeze, warm sun, bright colors. The light on my neighborhood walks has been very conducive to picture taking, and the leaves are looking very autumnal.

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The foster kitty is nearly eight weeks old.  I will take her back to the shelter for adoption in another week, (unless we adopt her ourselves).  My dogs, Maggie, Lucy, and Charlie have accepted her as part of the pack, and we find her pretty endearing.

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Have a wonderful week.  Thank you for visiting.

 

 

 

 

2

The Arrival

El Nino has finally arrived.  No flooding yet.  Tiny intermittent breaks in the downpour, just long enough for Maggie and Lucy to run outside.  Charlie is still waiting for the sun to come out.  Soon I will don my rain jacket for my daily walk.  Last Sunday my two fellow Camino walkers and I finished  14 miles in one stretch, stopping of course to eat some cheese and granola bars. So it’s seeming more doable.  I remind myself that we will cover that distance everyday.  I’ve been reading some books in preparation.  It’s interesting to get other people’s views on walking long distances.  One of them is The Pilgramage by Paulo Coelho.  Kind of a metaphysical read.  The other was recommended by Janet Ghio whose blog is Janet’s Art Play.  The title is The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau. The forward of the book set the tone for for what I’m hoping to get from the Camino experience.  “Travel brings a special kind of wisdom if one is open to it.”

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One of the 2016 themes in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine is going to be Art in Nature.  I submitted a few samples of my stitched acrylics.  They all have a nature theme using linoleum stamps or real leaves.  It will take a few months to find out if they have been accepted.

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Looking at the stitched line patterns reminded me of a project I did in school many many years ago. At the time, I took black and white photos of lines on things that were man made or in nature.  So as I was walking recently, I looked for some, although this time the results are in color.

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The sun came out for a brief moment, but Charlie still declined to venture out.  There was a fleeting rainbow, but both sun and rainbow left as quickly as they came.  The rain resumes.

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Stay dry, and enjoy whatever the day brings you.