8

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.

 

 

 

5

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.

 

 

 

6

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.

 

 

 

5

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.

 

6

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Outdoors

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.

 

 

 

 

4

New Year

I have been going through all the vintage ephemera I got from my mom’s house, and some that I have gotten at flea markets. I started cutting out pieces that I liked. Then I grouped them into piles that I thought I could put together in collages. It was a nice way of saving what appealed to me, and also preserving memories, without keeping everything and just storing it away in cupboards. It is so easy to accumulate things that we don’t necessarily use or look at often for enjoyment.  I have made quite a few collages so far, but I will share two of them now. I still want to put some stitching on the others.

My parents grew up in Minnesota. My father went to Seattle Washington to get work as an airplane mechanic after World War II. My mother followed him out there, and they got married. This first collage has some of the information about the train she took to Seattle in 1949.  Some of the other pieces on the collage are from vintage brochures of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks where we camped every summer.

This second one includes some of the many old product brochures from the 1950’s that included recipes.

I’ve been stranded in the house the last couple weeks due to bronchitis. It’s given me a lot of time to cut and paste. I’ve toured my backyard each day to feel the sunshine, since I haven’t been able to go on my neighborhood walks. While wandering in the yard, I looked for some interesting things to photograph. The winter state of the yard is kind of bleak. No snow landscapes, and no rain to bring out the green. Here are a few things from my patio. I don’t know the name of this first plant. A friend gave me a tiny clipping from her plant, and it has grown exceedingly well and large with these little dangling flowers.

This next one is one of the many succulents I have acquired.

Finally, although I am pretty housebound, I have ventured out on occasion to the drive-thru Starbucks very close to my house. I love hot chocolate. I make it at home a lot, but it’s always a treat to get some from Starbucks. They make  excellent hot chocolate. Since this Starbucks is a drive-thru, I like to sit in the quiet of my car and enjoy it.

Happy New Year.  May the New Year bring us rational thinking and compassionate leaders that want to work for the good of the world and its people. Thank you all for visiting.

 

 

7

December

Just a few things to share as 2017 is nearing an end.  The strong winds blew a lot of the oranges down from my mom’s orange tree. Usually, they are not fully ripe until March, but I think the unusually warm weather has the trees and plants confused. I didn’t want them to go to waste so I collected them and made some orange juice. Wow, delicious!

To continue the orange theme, and show how the plants are confused, I encountered this on one of my walks.

Among all the the things my mom saved over the years, there were some vintage Christmas items. This first one is a photo of two of my cousins taken in 1950. The Santa looks a little creepy. I’m trying to decide if it’s a real reindeer. It’s possible because they were living in Minnesota.

When I was a very young child, milk was delivered to everyone’s home, in glass bottles! This is a card from our milkman at the time. Early 50’s.

The Christmas card below is from 1931. I love the illustrations.

This next one is made with gold foil. The tiny mail box opens up and has a Christmas greeting.

This last one is transparent plastic. Again the tiny bell folds up with a greeting inside.

When I went to the Folk Art Museum recently, I checked out the Museum store. They always have the most wonderful things at museum stores, although expensive. I treated myself to a book intended for children. I wish I had thought of the idea for the book myself. It’s called They All Saw A Cat. It shows how different animals saw a cat walk by, but each one saw something totally different due to their Perspective. The art captured this idea perfectly.

Below is one example of what the fish in a fishbowl saw.

What a great concept to introduce to children, and a great reminder to adults.

Have a lovely Christmas, and thank you all for visiting.

 

8

Museum Day

I recently visited the Japanese American Museum here in Los Angeles. They were having an exhibit of Japanese artists who were born, raised, or living in Mexico City, Brazil, Peru and Latin American neighborhoods in Los Angeles. A mix of styles, and all excellent.

Starting with this piece that filled the entry way of the museum. It looked like string, but examining it closer, it was fuzzy like yarn. The sun coming through the window perfectly enhanced the gaps in its construction.

This next artist uses old wood that he finds, and dried plants in his work. Here he painted on a thin piece of tree bark.

On the next artist’s work, I noticed that the mark making was actually tiny words when I got up very close. It reminded me of some of Mano’s mark making she has shown on her blog, mano’s welt.

I could not capture the wonder of this next piece with my camera. There were hundreds of small hanging containers with fabric flowers inside to represent cherry blossom trees.

This last artist is actually a tattoo artist as well. Her drawings are so realistic, people come to her with a photo of someone and she creates a tattoo from the photo. The work shown in this first piece is pencil and spray paint on wood. The second is colored pencil and spray paint on paper.

My last photo is something I came across on my walk today. A seed pod from a tree and some paint someone sprayed on the sidewalk. A small spontaneous collaboration of nature and man.

Have a good week. Thank you very much for checking out my blog.