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.










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.






Museum Day Two

The Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles recently had an exhibit of art by Latino/Latina artists who drew inspiration from ideas involving the US-Mexico border.

This first one was built of cardboard to represent the hilltop dwellings in Tijuana (a city in Mexico just across the border) and parts of LA.

In this next one, the artist unraveled the thread from a Mexican blanket called a “serape” and created geometric shapes on the wall.

Tires are sometimes used in building construction found in hillside barrios of Tijuana. This artist also carves them to use in printmaking.

This structure was made from Patron tequila bottles. The bottle design is created by skilled glass artisans, and one of the ingredients in the tequila comes from the agave cactus which grows throughout the Americas.

I took photos of a couple of the houses near the museum. They were so magical looking,

I captured some Christmas spirit while walking through my neighborhood the last couple evenings.

Snow is not in the forecast, so we make snowmen out of lights.

And turn Palm trees into Christmas trees.

I also went to a Christmas tree display at a hospital near me. The trees are decorated by volunteers and sold to raise money for the neonatal department at the hospital.

Someone really liked the “Peanuts ” characters.

This next one was decorated with vintage ephemera.

Southern California has experienced many fires in the last week. Along with dry vegetation, the winds we usually get in October arrived even stronger as December began. My sister and her family were among the many many people forced to evacuate their home. Luckily, their house was saved. It will be a couple weeks before they can return. As so many houses around them were destroyed, there is a lot that the city has to do to clean up, and restore electricity. So luckily also, they are able to stay at my mom’s house since we haven’t sold it yet, even though the week before we donated almost everything to the Refugee Resettlement Program.

“What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?”   George Elliot

Thank you all for visiting.










Strolling in the Sunshine

One of the administrative headquarters of Paramhansa Yogananda is located in the Mt. Washington area of Los Angeles. It is one of the older areas of LA, where the houses were built on hillsides. At that time, there were no roads for access, only historic stairs, that still exist. The large administrative building was originally built as a hotel in 1909, and people needed to use a cable car to get to it. Yogananda bought it in 1925 to use as a school. It is now referred to as The Self Realization Fellowship Center. There is another Center in Malibu.

The grounds are open to the public to walk around and enjoy the peacefulness and quiet. That’s what I did yesterday with a friend. I was in need of some peacefulness and quiet, so it was perfect. I took some photos to share. It was another warm beautiful sunny day.

The following two photos were images on some large planters.

The next two photos show one of the old beautiful houses and streets in the residential area around the Center.

Thank you for visiting. Namaste.







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.





Simple Pleasures

I walked outside this morning and was hit by a COOL breeze. Ahh, the simple pleasures. It has been extremely hot this past week and very humid.  I glanced up at the sky. Very pretty.

Then I checked out my plants. I found some very tiny yellow mushrooms in one of the pots. Cute little things.

A blob of water sitting in the middle of one of the succulents. It looked like something gooey, but was only water.

A few peppers and tomatoes from the garden.

Last Saturday I went to the Los Angeles County Museum to see an exhibit of an artist named Carlos Almaraz. He is a native of LA, particularly Echo Park, that I visited a couple weeks ago. I showed some photos on my blog of the giant lotus plants at Echo Park Lake.  Alvarez painted a huge piece with three panels of the lake. This is only two of the panels.

Here is his version of “Starry Night” in Los Angeles.

I liked the way the light fell on the chair in this one. It is oil on paper rather than canvas. It was under glass, so the details were difficult to pick up with my iPhone.

After the exhibit my husband and I went to a restaurant across the street. They had murals inside depicting Los Angeles in the 40’s. Again, the quality is lacking due to the lighting and using my phone. It shows Wilshire Blvd, which is one of the main streets going through downtown, and the street the museum is on.

I am still enjoying the cool air coming through my windows.  Don’t know how long it will last, since September has just begun, but it’s a nice break.  Thank you as always for visiting.






Last week we experienced some cooler weather, but September’s triple digits have arrived a few days early. I was able to enjoy the outdoors, and noticed the changes in my mom’s yard. One of her neighbor’s has a magnificent grape arbor. Some of the grapes have grown over the wall into my mom’s yard.

In fact, a seed must have blown over as well, because there is a grape vine beginning to grow among my mom’s roses!

Her orange tree is full of oranges, but won’t be ready for picking until next spring.

The roses are still making an appearance, this one with a visitor.

It was even cool enough in the evenings to walk around her neighborhood. It’s interesting to walk through the streets where I used to ride my bike as a child. I found this on the sidewalk. It says 1957, one year before my family moved there. My mom has lived in her house for about 60 years.

The sunshine followed me inside, before it set for the day.

A few days ago I visited a place in LA called Griffith Park. It covers about 4,000 acres of land. It is one of the largest urban parks in North America. There is a huge observatory there to look at the stars. At the entrance is this cut out of Smokey the Bear.  Smokey was in TV commercials when I was little to remind people to be careful with matches when visiting forests and National Parks.

I saw a deer that day also.

I also went to an exhibit at a museum in Pasadena.  If you watch the Rose Parade, they start the parade in front of this museum, and you can see it on TV.  The exhibit was some of the work of the “Blue Four.”

Vasily Kandinsky…

Lionel Feininger…, Alexei Jawlensky, and Paul Klee.

Many years ago I was inspired by the piece above by Feininger, and carved out a scene from a large piece of linoleum. His was carved from wood.

The museum has a beautiful garden with Henry Moore statues throughout. When I saw this one it looked so whimsical. Two people sitting in the sunshine like many of the visitors.

That’s all for now. I hope you are enjoying your days. Thank you as always for visiting my blog.




Sunday In The Park

I am not an early riser, but today I got up very early so I could walk in Los Angeles before the heat set in. I have never seen the freeways so empty. It was early, but also Sunday, which is the only day and time they are not packed with cars. My friend Alex lives a little distance north of downtown. I arrived at her door at 7:20 am. Our destination was an area near her house called Echo Park. It is another of the older areas built in the early days of LA. There is a man made lake there called Echo Park Lake. Originally it was designed to be a drinking water reservoir. That was in 1870.  Today it is definitely not for drinking, but a beautiful place to visit. There are giant lotus plants.

Water lilies.

A fountain in the middle. Here you can see it through the palm trees.

There are ducks walking, people walking with dogs, and people walking without dogs.

The neighborhoods surrounding it are very diverse.  Old houses small and large.

But it’s known for it’s many historic Victorian houses. They are not my favorite. Too ornate.

It’s always a nice adventure to see parts of the city that I have not seen or don’t see often. I’ve been trying to walk in my own neighborhood in the early evening when the air cools down. A few photos of my recent excursion.

A flowering cactus.

This next one is a plumeria. It is a native of Hawaii.

This reminded me of my childhood.  We used to write with chalk on the sidewalk all the time.

The black mass in this last one is not clouds, but a rolling wave of fog coming from the ocean as I was finishing my walk, even though I live four miles from the beach.

Not many creative ideas this week. Only another small sketch on an old sheet of music.

I like to see new areas and wander around. I enjoy wandering.  A quote from Anatole France, “Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.”

I hope you are able to wander some this week, or do whatever you enjoy.  Thank you very much for visiting my blog.







Life’s Short…Eat Cookies

I went on a small downtown adventure with a friend on Friday. We did a lot of walking, it was hot, and there were lots of pedestrians and cars. But it was fun.  We had two destinations in mind, about 30 minutes walk from each other, so we parked in between. One stop was in Chinatown at the small Good Luck gallery to see some art work by Anna Zemankova. She was born in what is now the Czech Republic in 1908.  She was self taught, and made fantasy depictions of flowers using pencil, paper, fabric, embroidery, and beads. Her work is also being shown in Lausanne, Switzerland and New York.  My photos only show portions of some of the pieces, to try and show the detail in her art.

The gallery was in a little pedestrian walkway.

Our other stop was The Last Bookstore.  It is a huge and very unique place that primarily sells used books.  There are a lot of sculptural displays using old books.

But in between the gallery and the bookstore we stopped for a delicious lunch, and after the lunch, I ordered some of these beignets.  Really wonderful.

I’ve been trying to walk each day. The later afternoon is best because the weather has warmed up quite a bit.  Here are a few shots during one of those walks.

Finally a couple shots of little Lucy. This is a fabric tent about three feet long that folds up like an accordion. Here she is with Charlie. Lucy and Sophie (the cat) chase each other through it…

but sometimes she likes to get in it herself and wear it like a dress.

Enjoy your week.  Eat lots of cookies, and thank you for visiting my blog.