11

Looked Like Rain

September didn’t disappoint, it has just saved the heat wave till the end. That’s what we’ve been promised for the weekend, although today still has a nice fall breeze going on.  A few days ago I was in San Pedro.  Unusual clouds that looked like rain, but VERY humid. Here is a photo of the LA Harbor (in San Pedro) where cargo comes in from all over the world.

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A view from the hilltop residences.

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Now a view on the other side that looks out to the ocean along Pacific Coast Highway.  It’s at the bottom of the hill in this photo. You can drive PCH all the way up the California coast.

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A little bungalow, with a seasonal pumpkin on the porch.

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While walking in the humidity at day’s end, as the sun was setting, it looked like a giant ball just sitting in the street.  Hard to tell in the photo, but I could see the entire circle.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

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Continuing thumbnail sketches and collages.

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After walking the Camino, we stayed a few days in Madrid.  I thought I’d show this tiny book I got.  It’s 2 inches by 3 inches.  It has a leather cover “con 25 ilustraciones.” The title is “Granada La Bella.”  It’s a book about the city of Granada in Spain, with 25 pictures.  All along one of the main avenues, there were bookstalls and vendors selling old books.  Of course my eyes were drawn to the smallest ones.

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Do you feel fall in the air where you are, or is summer lingering?

Thank you to all who stop by and check out my posts.  It’s fun to share, and also to receive your feedback.  Enjoy your weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

6

A Drink And Inspiration To Go

I saw this on the bulletin board at Starbucks as I was walking out the door with drink in hand. I had seen another one a while back. It seems like the purest way to make and show art. Sketching on what’s available, then posting it anonymously for the world to enjoy.

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I tried a couple of my own, although I did them at home, and they’re not anonymous.  But my creative thought process is on hiatus, so it’s all I could do.  It was fun using a pen on the napkin.  I was forced to make quick delicate lines or it would bleed.

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Since I am living in the historic stair capitol of the world, and the weather report said it would be cooler today, I drove out beyond downtown LA to climb some stairs.  It started out lovely.  I have a guide book that I follow, and it said Judy Garland lived in the castle house below with her mother and sister in 1933.

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The weather was getting warmer, but there were intermittent shady spots, and more fun things to see.

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Below is a very creative Little Free Library someone made in the shape of a cat.  The little free libraries encourage people to take or leave a book.  They are scattered around the city, and in other states as well.  You can see my reflection in the glass.

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The author of the guide book has never been the best at writing clear and concise directions. Today, as we descended one group of stairs, the directions read, “The staircase ahead continues down to Riverside Place.  Ignore that, and instead turn left onto the unpaved Silver Lake Court, and walk approximately 90 yards. There, just before India Street comes in on your right, bear left and walk through the grass up the slope.”  A photo below.

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The weather was now very hot, and neither India Street nor a grassy slope appeared.  We found our way back to civilization, but needed to resort to GPS to get back to our car.  The routes of these walks have you start at a specific point, and ultimately make a circle so you wind up back at your starting point.  I’m glad we had parked in some shade.

I bought this group of rolling pins at my neighbor’s yard sale.  I’m thinking of making some sort of giant wind chime (although being wood they will not chime), but the size might look like a nice sculptural element in my yard.  I’ll need to paint them with some sort of weather resistant stain so they’ll stay intact.

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And this last photo of some trees at a park near my house as I was walking one evening.

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I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the outdoors with good summer weather (or winter if you’re in New Zealand).

 

 

 

 

 

15

Summer Days

There’s a contest over at Blue Chair Diary Blog. The following is my entry.

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We’ve been having warm weather here, but not too hot.  Perfect for eating outside under an umbrella, and lovely cool evenings for walking.

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I delivered my entry to LA Municipal Art Gallery yesterday.  They offer adult and children’s art classes.  I’ve always loved this sculpture that students made years ago.

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I love tiny things, and recently I found these envelopes at a Japanese store where everything is $1.50. They are one and a half inches by two and a half inches.  The cat and hedgehog ones are slightly larger and have tiny tiny writing paper to go with them.

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It’s hard not to come out with arm loads of stuff you don’t need. This little owl pitcher is about two and a half inches tall.

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Another stair walk today in one of the coolest areas of LA, Silverlake. Very funky, creative vibe.  This house had an elevator from the street to a bridge to get to the house hidden up on the hill. That’s me in the corner taking a picture. But this is my son’s photo. It gave a better sense of the location.

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So many difficult and tragic situations happening in the U.S. this week.  I hope the coming week brings some joy to all.

 

 

 

 

13

Show And Tell

I made several attempts at sketching, but it just wasn’t working. I finally put the pencil down, took a clean piece of paper, and started brushing on water color without drawing first. One attempt below. Flowers on a window sill.  For Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog.

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Another small sketch I made from a photo in a cooking magazine.  I have a difficult time with faces, so this was fun.

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A little show and tell.  (Something we got to do in elementary school. We’d bring something from home to hold up in front of the class, and tell a story about it.)  I was visiting my mom yesterday, and saw this piece I had made for her some time back.  She was a real recycler of wrapping paper way before it was popular.  She had paper going back to birthday parties from the 1960’s. I cut the paper into squares and sewed it together.  Then I bought some fabric that looked similar, and made a border . The photo is not great, because it was taken through glass.

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Speaking of 1960’s, I still have these plastic beads and paper mache pin.  Definitely an era of bright color.

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While at my mom’s I also took a photo of this amazing quilt we got at a yard sale for 20 dollars! It’s completely hand sewn, and goes to the floor on three sides of a queen size bed. The fabric looks like it’s from the 1950’s and is in excellent condition.

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One more thing from my mom’s. Someone put up lights around this palm tree one Christmas, and just left them up.  They are lit up every night.  It seemed almost appropriate, because we could hear a few loud booms from fire works, even though July 4th is not until tomorrow.  People sometimes shoot off a few before and after the 4th, although it is illegal in most areas.  The loud sounds are so difficult for pets, and the dogs at the shelter.

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Enjoy today, and happy fourth (of July).

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12

Loving LA

Below is a small watercolor from a photo I took in Spain.  Still working on patience when using watercolor.  It’s difficult to wait for layers and sections to dry before proceeding.  My entry to Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary blog.

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Another week, another museum and stair walk.

This week I visited The Japanese American Museum.  They had a beautiful exhibit of photographs taken by Japanese Americans in the 1920’s and ’30’s. The glare on the glass made it impossible to take good pictures.  This one, below, was the only one that came out clear.

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A smaller exhibit at the same museum was an advanced display of origami.  Two examples.

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Today’s stair walk was in the hills of an area called Echo Park.  The streets themselves have to be some of the steepest in southern California.

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Some artwork up high…

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and below in the sidewalk.

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Each house in these older areas is unique. No two are the same, unlike the many tracts of houses in the LA suburbs.

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I think graffiti must be worldwide.  I saw some even in tiny Spanish towns.  It is spread all throughout LA. from downtown to suburbia.  A creative and courteous sign requesting people to refrain.

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Happy weekend to all.

 

10

Mid Week Miscellany

I’ve been on the LA city streets and freeways a lot this week, so I did a map sketch of the general area for Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog.

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Next, some mid week miscellany.

Peaches from my sister’s tree.  A+ in the sweet and juicy category.

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Kitty in the sun.

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Neighborhood Mums. (maybe a giant variety)?

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I visited a friend this week who lives in the The Topanga Canyon area. This is a view in one direction from her front patio. In the other direction there are huge trees, but my photo was blurred. Topanga is one of the canyons leading to the ocean and filled with California native plants and trees.  Lots happening there in the 1960’s.

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Today I drove through LA to Hollywood to see a juried exhibit of local artists. A lot of strange stuff.  Here are a few that I thought were interesting. The first, was made to honor the strong spirit of the Chinese artist, Al Weiwei. The Chinese government took away his passport for 600 days, and as protest and art performance he put fresh flowers in the basket of his bike in front of his studio each day.  The piece below, consists of 3000 porcelain flowers, many hanging from the ceiling.

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One wall was covered with paper that had been folded in an origami style, spray painted, then unfolded. This was just a small section. It resembled a kaleidoscope.

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A house size structure made of plastic ribbon.

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And finally, an upside down book, hanging from the ceiling with thread attached, and titled, “Book of Rain.” (shadow behind). I did not write down the author’s name, and there was no explanation for the odd title, but after perusing the internet, I’m wondering if perhaps it was taken from The Grateful Dead song, a “Box of Rain.” The song had been written by one of the musicians for his dying father.

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There was a children’s art exhibit going on in another building.  I loved this cat.

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Enjoy your week. I hope you find fun things to do and the weather is pleasant.  We are expecting a heat wave for the next couple days after a week of overcast skies.

 

 

 

 

11

Walking Up Stairs

A colored pencil drawing for Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog. It is from a photo my friend took while we were walking the Camino. I considered water color, but I can play more with pencils. I’m still working on my water color techniques, and it’s kind of hit or miss. I haven’t found a creative direction since I returned home, so I pull out my sketchbook when the mood strikes.

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Here in Los Angeles, there are about 42 historic stair walks.  Most were built in the 1920’s and are in the older areas of LA.  They were originally the only way for people to get to the houses constructed on the hillsides.  There is a famous Laurel and Hardy movie that shows the two of them trying to get a piano up one set of stairs.  Each stair walk has a different amount of steps. When you reach the top of a group of stairs, you walk a short distance on the paved streets that exist today. Then you come to another group of stairs. You get to experience different kinds of neighborhoods with each stair “walk.” I went on one today.  It was about three miles, and had 664 steps total.  The longer sections had 163 steps in one, and 134 steps in another.

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It’s a great way to see parts of LA that you would never get to see otherwise.  Here’s a couple sights I saw today.

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A (blurry) peacock.

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The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery has an open call for art once every couple years. This year they added the theme of “play.”  I submitted a mixed media piece that I made after my dad passed away a couple years ago.  His garage looked like the hardware department of a Sears store.  He played out there building shelves, sofas, bird houses, and pieces of furniture that fill his children’s homes.  After he passed, I went through many containers of nails, washers, and bolts, and found some tiny round metal objects.  They were so delicate compared to all the heavy tools and equipment.  I decided to make something with them.  The days I spent sewing them to canvas was play for me, the value of which I learned from my father. The submitted piece was accepted.  The La Municipal Gallery is one of my favorite places.  It’s on a hill in the middle of Hollywood, but when you are up on the top, you’d never know you were in Hollywood. A photo below.

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And a photo of the piece.  I hand sewed the buttons as well as the metal rings to the canvas.

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I’ll leave you with a rose from a walk in my neighborhood.  It’s the color that made me stop.  Of course my phone didn’t capture it exactly, but it looked like a “big stick” popsical.  If you don’t have them in your area, this rose is pretty close to the color.

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Enjoy your weekend. If you’d like to see more photos of the historic stairs and surrounding neighborhoods, there’s a related catagory in the sidebar. Just click