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.

 

 

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.

 

 

9

Bunny Day

A whimsical stuffed bunny for Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog.  I’ve always loved seeing the variety of bunnies, ducks and chicks on display at stores this time of year. As a child, looking around the house for the small treasures my mom hid on Easter was better than birthday or Christmas.

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Enjoy your day.

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.

 

 

12

Sunday, Sunday

A little sketch for Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog.  IMG_0874

I had fun using these Pentel water color brushes for the first time.  They were suggested in Alexandra MacVean’s online class.

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Thank you for visiting.

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.

 

4

Discovery

“Discovery consists of looking at the same things as everyone else and thinking something different.”

Albert Szent Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize winner in Physiology/Medicine.

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I received this fantastic photo with the accompanying quote in an email from Save the Chimps.  It is an organization that provides sanctuary to chimpanzees who have spent their lives in medical research labs.  If you are interested, you can check out their site at www.savethechimps.org

A few sights from my walk the other night.

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a fellow traveler through the neighborhood.

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This morning after some rain last night.

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And a few watercolor sketches. practice, practice, practice. What I really need to practice is patience.  I’m not good at waiting for the paint to dry.

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I know this one looks like moldy cheese.  It’s actually a piece of blueberry cake. (practice practice)

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The wind is blowing outside, the sun is shining, but promise of more rain tonight. Fingers crossed.  Have a wonderful Sunday.

 

 

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.

 

 

0

Random But Connected

I was glancing through some photos I had taken and noticed a lot of orange.  And as I was doing this, the sky outside was getting orange as well.  I ran out to take a picture before it went away.  As the sun is setting, that brilliant color seems to vanish very suddenly.  Now I have one more random picture to add to the others, with color being the only thing tying them together.  While teaching ESL to adults for many years it was necessary to plan an evening’s lesson using a theme.  Usually it was a particular part of speech used in different ways such as conversations, stories, and actual grammar practice. The repetition helped them to grasp it and remember more easily, as well as seeing how it was used.  When I write posts for my blog I find myself still needing a theme.  So maybe for this post, the theme will just be the similar color in each of these disconnected images.  Here goes.

The first is a watercolor I painted a few years ago from a photo I took in Hawaii.P1020946

Next was an exhibit at the Los Angeles Folk Art Museum.  This “pile” consisted of 2000 hand stitched objects symbolic of actual people’s wishes, needs, and ideas of personal happiness.

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A mural on a restaurant wall in downtown Los Angeles.

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The setting sun this evening.

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I went to the animal shelter today.  Sometimes it’s difficult to get the the sweet faces with their hopeful energy out of my mind.  Perhaps that’s why I was looking at random pictures, until I could get a flow going again.  Random but connected.  Like everything in life.