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.

 

 

 

7

Captains of Our Souls

I’ve been out and about in different areas of Los Angeles this week. I went to a miniature show in Anaheim, home of Disneyland.  I’ve always loved things in miniature, but I’ve never seen tiny things as amazing as some of the items at the show.  Everything was made by hand.  One woman had made tiny fruits, vegetables, and bread.  Each piece was about a half inch or smaller in diameter.  They were totally realistic looking.  You could cut them in half with a tiny knife and the insides looked real also.  You could even peel the skin off of these avocados.

The photos are not in focus, but I only had my phone with me, and picture taking was difficult with everything being so small.  You can see the seeds inside of the bell pepper, and in the bottom left, the orange peel is peeled from the orange.

Another seller, who came all the way from Dresden, Germany, made TINY houses, trains, clocks etc. out of wood. These tiny bears and children were about a half inch long and had arms and legs that moved.

The show had everything tiny you could think of.  There were also miniature paintings.  When I got home I decided to make something tiny.  I came up with this miniature “paper” quilt.  I used water color, acrylic and some lino stamps, then sewed the pieces together.  It is four inches by four inches.

Next I went to an area called Century City to see a photo exhibit.  It has a lot of very tall office buildings similar to downtown.  I used to work there many years ago before I started teaching.  The days have been beautiful, and the buildings were all reflecting off each other.

On to South LA for the weekly meeting with my grassroots political action group.  We sat in an outdoor area of a cafe where the shadows created some nice imagery.

We’re staying vigilant amidst the daily onslaught of unconstitutional acts by the new administration.

We are still masters of our fate. We are captains of our souls.       Winston Churchill

Thank you for visiting.

 

 

4

Santiago

It is strange not to be walking. We wore our boots as we walked around the city, though. They became so contoured to our feet that they are really comfortable. We never got blisters. Tomorrow we take the train to Madrid.

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We went to the pilgrim’s mass today at the cathedral and saw them swing the giant incense belcher on the pulley with ropes.

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They even have belchers in stores

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No cows today.

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We stopped at an old bar and saw who we thought was Leonardo Di Vinci.

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The view of Santiago from our hotel room.

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11

Walk With Nature

For Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog, a sketch from a black and white photo of an old door. It’s on drawing paper with watercolor.

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My friend sent me this amazing and beautiful travel journal for my Camino Santiago walk in Spain.  I’m leaving soon on April 20th, and walking for a month (stopping of course to visit small villages, lunch, and sleeping each night in small hotels). My son will be posting  photos on my blog that I’ll be sending home from the road, so you can follow my journey.

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And inside was this tiny 2 inch by 3 inch mini journal with a picture of dogs!

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This is Frankie. He’s a member of our Sunday walking team.  When I arrive at his house, he runs up to me and barks hello then runs back and barks that it’s time to go. This was a BIG bucket of water that was put there for horses, since we were near the horse trails.  Frankie is a corgi and his little legs were too short, so he’s being helped up to get water.

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A purple hillside we passed while walking.

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Back home in my yard, I liked the way the shadows fell on the nasturtiams.

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A couple days later I was in San Pedro. It has a mix of houses in the different areas that make it up. A lot of older and very charming ones.

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I loved the staircase with the arched door on this one.

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A friend and I went to Habitat for Humanity Restore. They have all kinds of donated building materials.  We were excited when we found these tiles from Holland and Mexico.  Five dollars for a box of about two dozen.  Just a sampling below.  Now I need to decide what I will make with them for the backyard.

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I’ll leave you with this quote by John Muir.  My friend had broken it up throughout the pages of the travel journal.

In Every Walk

With Nature

One Receives

Far More

Than He Seeks.

 

 

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.

 

 

13

Strolling and Exploring

Sketch for Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog. My son had put a pepper in a green bowl on the kitchen counter, and when I walked in, the colors were so beautiful together.  The photo I took is at the end of the post.

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It rained last Sunday night. When I set out on a walk the next morning, fluffy clouds were still wafting across the blue sky, covering and uncovering the sun. I came to a small park.

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Most people were already at work or school. I became aware of the silence as I walked. My destination was a large park. It has a trail specifically for walking, and a few people were already out for a stroll when I arrived. The large green grassy areas that are usually filled with picnicing families, were empty. There was a cool breeze to top off the serenity, along with an official welcome to the park.

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Too cute.  This little guy and his friends were greeting everyone as they walked by.

Next to the park is a mini railroad track with real steam engines that adults and children can ride.  Each person sits on an individual little engine. Here’s the track through a fence, since it wasn’t open at the time.

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Thursday I drove to another older section of LA called Echo Park.  This street was so steep, I was too afraid to drive down.  My iphone photo doesn’t really show how steep, but the top of the street in the background is what it looked like from where I was standing.  Like going over a waterfall.

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Echo Park is one of the areas that has some of the old historical stairs.  I found one so I stopped and walked up, and down. 198 steps.  I need to go back with my stair walk guidebook to find more.

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Photo as promised.

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“You can judge how advanced a civilization is by the way it treats its animals.”  Mahatma Gandhi

I read an article recently about the dog meat trade in China and South Korea.  I’m hoping to find ways to bring awareness in hopes of bringing change.  Check into it if you are inclined, I welcome your thoughts.

Have a compassionate week.

 

 

4

White Snow, Green Trees

A mixed media piece I did a while back. Acrylic on canvas with stitching and leaf prints.

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I went for a drive a few days ago to an older part of LA called Mt. Washington.  Many of the streets spiral upward and provide special views.  Snow on our local mountains. The result of a thunderstorm the night before.

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The day was very beautiful after the cleansing rain.  Everywhere I looked was green.

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Being that it’s an older area, the trees and plants are lush and overgrown.  I love that.

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And of course the houses have so much character and charm.

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It is pouring right now (we’ve been waiting), although not expected to last too long. I thought I’d practice a small watercolor sketch. It’s from a photograph of a trip I took to the city of Stirling in Scotland. Home of Stirling castle, which houses the sword of William Wallace (Braveheart).

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Here is a watercolor I did a while back.  At the time, I enjoyed trying to paint the details of the chairs and tablecloth.

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Thank you for visiting.

 

3

Walking on Horse Trails

The south bay area of Los Angeles where I live has many diverse sections.  One of them has homes that include space to keep horses.  Winding behind these homes and corals are over 25 miles of horse trails.  My fellow pilgrims and I walk the trails some Sundays.  It’s very picturesque with many horse sightings as we go.

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I thought this outdoor chandelier was a great idea.  Don’t know if it’s only for decoration.

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I had to drop my car off at the Honda dealer for a checkup today, so I decided to walk the mile home, and walk the mile back to pick it up when it was finished.  It’s interesting to walk past businesses on busy streets.  I’m always in my car. I’ll check out pedestrians at the crosswalks when I come to a red light.  But since I’ve been walking, I relate in a different way to the world of drivers and pedestrians.  I notice different things than when I’m in the car.  I feel like I’m relating in a more personal way.  People I pass say hello.  A friend once said about driving the freeway, that it felt like we were all encapsulated beings.  I know in European cities people walk more, and also in other large cities in the US.  But everyone in LA has a car.  They are just starting to put in metro systems that will cover larger areas.  That is the problem. LA is VERY spread out.

I had to go through a couple of residential streets on my way today, and I saw this house.  It looked like a Lego or Barbie house.  I was very glad it isn’t across the street from me.  I wouldn’t want to look out my window at it everyday.

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Right before I left, I was playing with my new watercolor set.  I added some oil pastels as well (below).  But surprisingly, the colors in the house above, reminded me of it.

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Finally, a little bit more color from the neighborhood.  I liked the speck of blue chair with the yellow flowers.

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When I visited Monet’s house at Giverny, the entire kitchen was yellow and blue.

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“When you go out to paint, try to forget what it is you’ve got in front of you, a tree or a field.  Just think: here is a little square of blue, an oblong of pink, a streak of yellow, and paint exactly what you see.”   Claude Monet

It SOUNDS easy… have a creative weekend.

 

 

8

Blue Skies

I’m participating in “Sunday Sketches” through Alexandra MacVean’s blog, Blue Chair Diary Blog. Below is my small water color entry.

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Three days ago I drove up to Ventura to visit my sister.  It is a beach town about an hour and a half up the coast from my house.  The sun was shining and the air was hot like a summer day, the sky a brilliant blue.  The cherry blossom trees were in full February bloom again this year.

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This is a hill at the end of my sister’s street.  It is covered with rows of avocado trees, minus avocados.

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We sat on a bench overlooking the Pacific while we ate our sandwiches.  It actually got too hot and we had to move to some shade.

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But before we moved, we enjoyed the company of these two, who waited expectantly for us to share our lunch.

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Working on (finished?) another mixed media piece using some very old vintage fabric.  Didn’t know exactly where I was going with this piece, so it kind of unfolded as I went.  The photo makes the line in the mountain appear huge, although that’s not the case in person.

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Enjoy all that you can this week.

“We think about the universe as an intellectual playground, which it surely is, but the moment you learn something that touches an emotion rather than just something intellectual, I would call that a spiritual encounter with the universe.”                                 Neil deGrasse Tyson