Art Day

There is a lot of building and renovation happening in downtown Los Angeles. One area that is changing is called the Arts District. Many large and very old industrial buildings have been converted into apartments, a museum, and a brewery.

Last week my husband, some friends, and I, saw the work of Geta Bratescu, a 92 year old Romanian Conceptualist at a museum called Hauser and Wirth.

There was another artist named Mark Bradford whose work was also being exhibited. He had used many layers of collaged paper and paint. Then he made lines by scraping off the layers.

After leaving this building we continued walking, and found another gallery to visit. There we saw work by an artist named Alexandre Farto. His pieces were also very large. They looked like collage, but getting closer, you could see that there were two layers of paper, and he had cut out millions of tiny pieces from the top layer.

Again, collage and paper cutting.

This same artist had taken old doors, and CUT into them to make these faces.

Back out on the street, I saw this on the sidewalk,

and these tires wrapped around a pole. If you look closely, you can see a face made from the tires.

We continued our walk to the brewery. Breweries are becoming very popular throughout the United States. The beer is made on site, and people can get small glasses to taste different kinds.

We bought the tortilla chips and guacamole (in the photo above) from a food truck. In Los Angeles, Food Trucks are  very popular. Each truck makes one kind of specialty food. They drive the trucks to different locations during the week. The brewery had a Taco truck parked outside. Mexican food, especially tacos, is also extremely popular in Los Angeles.

Enjoy your week, and thank you for visiting my blog.





A Visit to Duluth

My husband and I visited my aunt and cousins in Minnesota for a few days this past week. They live near the capital, Minneapolis, and are not far from the city of Duluth, the birthplace of my parents. It is also the birthplace of Bob Dylan. They took us on a driving tour of Duluth, and showed us houses where my parents lived, and schools they attended.

Duluth was built along the shores and on the hills overlooking Lake Superior. It is the largest of the five Great Lakes between the United States and Canada. Here is a photo showing a large ice sheet on the lake.

One night we stayed in a hotel next to the Lake. There was a bridge that lifts up to let ships through when the ice is gone.

One area along the lake had a sand beach. The water along the shore was still frozen. It looked amazing.

A cute street near the hotel.

This was one of the houses my mom grew up in. Many of the houses in this area had remained the same after all these years.

Minnesota has many many many birch trees.

We drove further north from Duluth to a State Park. Although the days were gorgeous and sunny, the temperatures were still too cold for all the snow to melt. My husband and I loved seeing the snow in the front yards of houses and along the streets. Snow can only be found in the mountains in Southern California. At the State Park we saw a frozen waterfall.

We stayed a couple nights at my aunt’s in a town called White Bear Lake. The lake (below) was still frozen as well.

The town was charming.

Another night we stayed at my cousin’s house. A little bit beyond her back yard is a pond. All was frozen, but her dogs loved playing in the snow.

After dinner at another cousin’s house, we had these brownies for dessert. My mom used the same recipe when I was growing up. What makes them unique is that the frosting is fudge, since fudge is usually made as a separate dessert at Christmas.

I had only been to Minnesota once before. I was twelve years old. It was very special to experience it as an adult, after so many years.

Thank you for visiting my blog.




Moving Into March

I went to a contemporary clay exhibit at one of my favorite places, the Folk Art Museum here in LA.  Many of the pieces were clay used as wall hangings like the one below.

A flower tree made of clay.

The next two were part of a series of pots with very thick glaze that appeared to be dripping down the sides.

Some melting pots coming down the stairs.

I also went to my favorite place that sells food products from Spain, called La Espanola.

Part of the chocolate section (below).

While I was there, I bought some wine from the Rioja region of Spain. I tasted some very good wine when I walked through that region during my Camino adventure.

In my walks through my neighborhood this past week, I found some pretty shadows from the sun in the late afternoons.

And flowers.

This week in class, I practiced with an intaglio image. I scratched into a piece of acrylic, inked it, then wiped off the excess ink. I tried a few different versions.

Thank you fro visiting. Enjoy your week.





Stair Walking in LA

I worked on a paper lithograph in my class yesterday. I used a photo copy of a picture my husband took when we went to Rome many years ago.

I put gum arabic on the copy, wiped it with a damp sponge, inked it, wiped with water again, inked again, then printed.

The photo copy started to disintegrate, so I wasn’t able to make another inked print, but I like the look of the photo copy after printing (below).

On my way home from class, I spotted this artist (below) painting a mural on a huge wall. I stopped to talk with her. She told me she had been commissioned by the people living in the house up above the wall. She had been working on and off for three weeks already.

I went on a stair walk a few days ago. They are historic stairs in the older parts of Los Angeles, in the areas where houses were built on hillsides. Before streets were made for cars to drive up the hills, the only way people could get to their homes was by walking up the old stairs. They had to carry everything up the stairs. The ones I hiked were used in the old movie with Laurel and Hardy called “The Music Box.” It was made in 1932. In the movie, Laurel and Hardy had to get a piano up the stairs. Although the stairs remain, there are now streets for cars as well.  For example, the stairs below had 133 steps. When I got to the top, there was a street, but another set of stairs leading up another hill.

It is so interesting to see these old neighborhoods.

On this street, you can see downtown LA in the background.

There are about 40 different places in Los Angeles where these stairs are located. They each have a different amount of steps. This particular set of stairs I walked a few days ago had a total of 705 steps.

There are a lot of interesting old houses to see.  This one had a mosaic angel.

This was in one of the sidewalks. I have no idea how old it might be.

Thank you for visiting. Enjoy your week.





Climate Changes

We finally got rain. Two nights of rain while we slept. When the morning came, the sun was shining. It left us with brilliant blue sky and puffy clouds. Following the first night of rain, my husband and I had to drive to an appointment a couple hours from our house. Looking out the windows of the car we saw this, the entire way. The rain left us a clean landscape to marvel at. We are in need of a lot more rain though, in order to avoid drought conditions when summer arrives.

I went to my printmaking class on Saturday. We gathered leaves from outside and made a mono type. There are two printing presses in the classroom. One starts by pushing a button. The other one is 50 years old, and the huge wheel on it needs to be turned by hand.

I liked the embossed leaves that showed on the back of the print as well.

I made a “ghost” print by putting another sheet of paper through the press without re-inking the plate. I just added a few different twigs I found outside.

Since it was cloudy last week when I went to class, I took some photos of the area again with the sun shining. The old buildings for the art classes below, and the view of the ocean going down the hill.

When you get to the bottom of the hill and cross the street, this is the view (below). There were a lot of sailboats out in the water, but in the photo they look like tiny specks.

Today was very cold, and windy, and a tiny bit of rain, and a rainbow as an added bonus.

Winters in Southern California used to be cold with lots of rain. That has changed in recent years, so a day with fluffy clouds, or without sunshine, or just a COLD day seems almost remarkable.

I hope you are enjoying the weather near you. Thank you for visiting.





Cloudy Day

My dad had many many tools and “things” in his garage to build and fix everything. After he passed away a few years ago, I cleaned out the garage and found a lot of tiny objects that I kept for art projects. Some of these I put to use this week, for the Tiny Pattern theme this month at Mullerin Art blog. I glued a couple of the pieces to an existing rubber stamp, to make some tiny patterns.

I made the whole piece tiny as well, about 3 by 3 inches. My ink pads all seemed to be drying out, but I kind of like the effect. They remind me of postage stamps.

During my walk, I found this tiny patterned sign on the sidewalk.

Although our winter has been like perpetual spring, it was actually a cloudy and cold day yesterday when I went to my printmaking class. Here are photos of the very old buildings where the art classes are held. They were used by the Navy during WWII.

The buildings are on top of a hill and overlook the ocean. You can see a slight horizon line where the ocean meets the clouds.

We worked on a lino cut in class. Here is my print of bamboo trees.

Last week I was sitting in my car at the animal shelter waiting for my friend who I volunteer with, and this hummingbird came right outside my closed car window. (He’s on the LEFT).  I grabbed my phone and took several pictures. I didn’t know if I had gotten him in any of them, because of course he kept moving. He was gone as quickly as he had arrived. It was a delightful moment.

Other than yesterday, the afternoons have been beautiful for walking. Here are a couple sights I saw today. This first one was in the middle of the sidewalk. I don’t know what the piece of metal was for, but some greenery had started growing in it like a little potted plant.

And if this yard were a painting, it would be a mixed media piece.

Enjoy you week. Thank you for visiting my blog.












Out and About

A takeaway from a trip to Blick Art Supply Store in Santa Monica. This was on the outside of their building.

The reason for the art store trip was the new Printmaking class I started. It’s in some old buildings in San Pedro that were used by the Navy during WWII. They are the perfect place for art studios, old and funky.

Some examples done by the teacher. Next week I’ll get some photos of the outside, and hopefully something I’ve made.

After the class I drove beyond downtown to meet with a friend. We went for a short visit to the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. It is huge, and we didn’t have time to see all of it. I’ll be going back. It’s a place I’ve gone to many times in the past, but they’ve renovated it a lot recently.

In my own garden, some annual bulbs have blossomed. They always amaze me, because each tiny blossom has a tiny green dot on each petal.

A friend and I have started to send each other actual mail art that we create. In this decorated envelope I received from her, she included a stash of ephemera for me.

And finally, my sweet Sophie.

With all of the negative news that heightens anxiety, there are a few constants that soothe my soul. They are nature, art, and animals. I’ve also been re-reading Alan Watts recently. I found this quote regarding nature by Henry David Thoreau.

“There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.”

Enjoy your week. Thank you for visiting my blog.



Bright Shiny Day

There is a hexagon theme at Mullerin Art blog this month. I used a vintage map of the United States to make something to contribute.

The next photo shows some hexagons in nature. Many many years ago I visited Ireland and saw Giant’s Causeway. It has huge natural rock formations that are hexagon in shape.

I went downtown for the Women’s March last Saturday. My focus was impeachment, hoping that Congress would notice how many people want change. But if Congress continues to look the other way, there is still hope. This was a sign I saw at the march.

It was a bright shiny day, but very cold. A lot of children found these water fountains irresistible though, cold weather or not. Shoes came off, and the games began.

The fountains are in a large park in the middle of downtown. The park stretches many blocks and ends in front of City Hall.

A few of the sights as we walked. Some of the old buildings downtown.

Lots of new construction going on.

Probably the most important message today…

I happened to look down, and liked the pattern in this grate. You can see a little bit of my foot and jacket. I didn’t want to stop too long, and was rushing to take the photo.

On the way home my son and I stopped at one of our favorite places to eat near downtown.

I ordered a shrimp taco, shrimp enchilada and refried beans. It was muy delicioso.

A couple neighborhood photos from the last few days. A neighborhood park, and a setting sun through one of my trees.

I recently saw a movie called “The Darkest Hour.” It covered the period of time right after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of England. It was especially inspirational right now, when we are looking to our leaders to demonstrate integrity, compassion, and intelligence. I found this quote from Winston Churchill:

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy and hope.”

Enjoy your week. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I appreciate it.









Blue, Gray, Back to Blue

We finally got two days of rain. But even during those two days it was sporadic, stopping and starting. While I was driving in the car on the first day, it was pouring. I was STOPPED at a red light when I took this photo.

In between the rain stopping and starting, I took the dogs out for a walk.

The neighbors grass was so green, and their vegetable garden was soaking up the water.

Then I saw this.

But today we were back to beautiful and very warm sunshine. I was out near my mom’s house. Some of the buildings had shimmering reflections. The giant horse was outside of a restaurant.

I stopped at my mom’s to help my sister trim all the rose bushes. She and her family are still living there after being evacuated from their house due to one of the huge fires we had here. Their house had a lot of smoke damage and needs some repair.  As we trimmed, there were still a few roses blooming that I brought home, along with  oranges from the tree.

Here are a few more collages from vintage papers. The first one incorporates some images from small books about places around the world that I had as a child.

This next one has some images from a stamp I made.

And this last one has pages from a child’s school autograph book from 1927. It belonged to my mom’s aunt.

Enjoy your week. Thank you for visiting my blog.












I made a quick trip to San Pedro, about 20 minutes from my house. I have a few photos overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The second one shows Pacific Coast Highway, which you can drive north for about 655 miles and takes you up past San Francisco.

A saw these two people playing basketball. A beautiful day and a beautiful place to play, looking out at the ocean.

This next one is also San Pedro. A friend participates in planting this garden in an open space between businesses. People can take what they need and leave a donation.

I have a couple more collages to share. This car was an advertisement in a magazine from the 1940’s.

A few more observations from my yard. My neighbor’s guava tree is full of guavas right now. The squirrels enjoy taking a couple bites from the fruit, and then leaving the rest uneaten.

I took this next photo looking out onto the yard from the window of my little art studio. If you look closely, you can see Maggie (white, in front) and Lucy (black, behind), running after a squirrel. The squirrels run along the top of the wall, and the dogs chase them from the ground.

Here is one of the first lemons on a tree I planted sometime last summer. The tree is growing upwards very slowly, so I was surprised to see a couple lemons on this very short tree. You can see how close the branches are to the ground.

And finally, some planters I made a few years ago from cement, perlite and peat moss. If you make them large enough, they can resemble the troughs used for farm animals to eat out of.

Usually when I go out for a walk, I go about two miles. I’ve been wanting to increase that, and so today, (after being housebound for a couple weeks), I walked four and a half miles. I was very pleased. It’s fun to just walk with no purpose in mind. Often I just don’t take the time to do it. But now is the time, because the weather is is so agreeable. I just need to get myself out the door.

Enjoy your week. Thank you for visiting and reading my blog.