Thursday, May 29, 2008

Toot, toot !!!

Put in your earplugs, I'm going to toot my own horn. Today was Senior Awareness Day for the county, and they put on a huge whindig at Micke Grove Park. Everything from a car show, to live music, to rows and rows of booths promoting services for seniors. They also had an art show. So, my art pals Sally and Nancy and I showed selected pieces of our work there. And, ta da, we each won prizes (ribbons and money). The fish dish I'd decorated and shown here earlier won first place in assemblage. And I got an honerable mention ribbon for the Herons painting. Sally's assemblage mystery box took a prize and Nancy took a prize for her mixed media painting/collage. This was all icing on the cake. We had such fun making the things. This was their first art show! And my art friend Jean J. (who also gave me watercolor art lessons awhile back) took first place in her division, with a very subtle and intriguing Koi painting. Gloria and Helen were there, John was there, Francis didn't show her work but she was there. Lots of friends - new ones and old ones.

It is so fun to show your art and talk to people about it. I think I have a couple more converts to altering books. Some people took the time to carefully look through every page. And to actually read every word of the captions and quotes. This is what it's all about. Making something you love to make, and sharing it. Hoping it touches someone in some way - makes them smile, makes them pause to think, enriches them in some way. As Jean says, it is our obligation to use our gifts of being able to create art.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm so proud!

This is a picture of my granddaughter Keena and her friends at their graduation from Plymouth University. She majored in graphic arts. She's the one in the center, although the girls look like the Blues Sisters - you can't really see her well. I'm waiting for some other pictures to come in the mail.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Could this be my cleaning muse?

What's new here

Nothing much going on of any interest. All the big weekend plans were canceled due to a wet weather front which moved into the Sierras and the Central Valley. So, even though many people showed up at the campground, most left again as the temperature dropped into the 40s and snow was falling higher up. After a week of 90 + degrees, and as high as 104 - this was a big shock. Now we have to readjust to cooler temperatures and rain again. My backyard which had been hit hard with the high temperatures, is now covered with dead leaves blown in by near gale force winds that raged for several days.

So, I've been home - or in the studio cleaning out files and trying to get it back in order again. It doesn't take much to throw it into chaos. One quick search for something can turn up all kinds of other things and they just don't put themselves away again! I wish Lollie, my art muse, would adopt a new best friend who likes to clean. A cleaning muse. Hmmm..... Where is that little imp hiding now? I've looked everywhere for her.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It is written - again, with yellow bird

i couldn't resist playing a bit in Photo Shop .

Hands revisited.

I've been cutting up, stitching, glazing and adding touches to the hands painting. It's getting more interesting all the time. Here it is in it's current state. it's title is "It is written".

Friday, May 16, 2008

painting on a hot day

These started as drawings, or tracings during the day when it was too hot in the studio. Last evening I went down and painted them. The hands is getting a major remake today - I'll post revised later. I turned on the air already in the studio. It's only 10 a.m. It will be our thired day of temperatures over 100 degrees. If I didn't have a meeting in Sacramento on Sunday, I would be in the country where it is a few degrees cooler. Here are the new pics.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tri-county tripping

Where is it? I don't know, maybe I left it at the beach house. Oh no. I think it's in the Sierras. Where did I leave it? This is the way I live. No wonder my car is always packed and often looks like a mobile bag lady lives there. Fortunately the place in the country has Y-fi so I can use my emails and blog from there. Sometimes I can do the same on the coast, but not always. And for art supplies. The studio at the beach is shared so I never know if it has turned into a store room, or a project area. The studio in the Sierras has it's own problems. I left a lot of paints there (craft paints mostly). I see that the labels say - do not freeze. Well friends, everything there froze all winter. It was a really cold, snowy winter. It's wonderful now, but let me tell you - it was COLD. Brrrr...... So, I have to restock my supplies there and install some little drawer pieces to hold things close at hand. I expect to spend much more time there during the summer, than at the beach. It gets foggy on the coast after a few really hot days inland in the summers. It's good to be able to cool off there, but I love being warm and dipping in the pool when it's too hot - so the Sierras is near-perfect then. I have to take an inventory of my supplies here to see what I can take to leave up there. I was keeping a case packed with my fav. art things and carting it back and forth, to and fro. This got old pretty fast. Clothes are not problem. I have a dresser and closet on the coast, so I can show up there with nothing in the car and live comfortably for a week before I need to do laundry. Same in the country. Both places I have favorite grocery stores. I don't know how long I will be able to maintain all this activity, but I'm enjoying it while I can. Keeps me young? I don't know. Don't look too closely at my pics. Wrinkles happen.

Playing off Matisse

I've been in a Matisse frame of mind, artistically speaking. Here is a take off on one of his works. Basically all I did was introduce some collage elements and painterly techniques plus rubber stamps.

I've opted out of going to the Llama ranch today, as Sally and Nancy will be in town and we will talk about whether any of us want to do the Senior Awareness Day exhibit, or if they might sign up for La Selva Beach Art Show. I've got lots of paperwork associated with these. My art doesn't always fit the categories given on exhibit forms. Maybe the girls will help me see where they fit best.

Matt picked up a product to experiment with. I asked for Nevrdull, but he could not find it. I'll see if his substitute will work.

Monday, May 12, 2008

yellow bird

Trying to keep my spirits up during this trying time, I've adopted a yellow bird on my shoulder attitude.

Paintings revised

I wasn't happy with the llama paintings, and was looking through a book on Matisse and found the image of a woman reclining, looking like maybe she would like a llama for a pillow. So, I revised the one painting and tweaked the other one.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Painting Llamas

On Wednesday I'm scheduled to visit a llama ranch with art pals to paint pictures of the ranch and the llamas. So, for Mother's Day, I thought I'd spend time in the studio painting. And llamas were on my mind - so here are two new paintings.

You can see I've adopted painting onto the deli wrap and using it as a stamp into my repertoire. And for some reason today I had a thing for red dots.

Lap living

This is where Suzie spends a lot of time.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Elephant habitat

Today I was with friends at PAWS. Performing Animal Welfare Society. They have a preserve for rescued and retired performing animals. Elephants are their special cause. They also have a lot of tigers, but in the heat of the day, they mostly chose to nap in the tall grass. Followed our trip with a picnic with Perry and Elizabeth and Cathy and Gene. Then headed down the hills to home and my own little rescued animals.

Paws gets wonderful support from many people. Among their biggest well known donors are Bob Barker and Amanda Blake. How wonderful they share their love of animals this way.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Update for Suzie

Get your hankies ready. Her news is not good. The tumor on her bladder that the vet felt is cancer and it is malignant. She may live for up to 6 months - or she could surprise us and hang on longer. Her kidney function is already affected. And her weight is so low. So, I'm feeding her often and cooking her favorite foods. I'm going to spoil her rotten as long as I can. We are not going to have chemo or surgeries. Not at her age and state of health. It could only prolong her life a little and it might be really miserable for her. No heroics here. She will be comfortable and loved and when her time comes, I will know it.

When I got Suzie from the shelter, it was because they called me and said they knew I already had enough dogs, but they had this little girl that no one wanted. People would come to visit her and she would just ignore them. She would not cosy up to anyone. She would not look anyone in the face. She would not wag her tail for them or take food from them. I took her for a walk and she sat on a bench with me. She would not look at me. But she was a nice dignified little being, and I thought, well she's so self-sufficient - it reminded me of ME. I can be a bit standoffish and cool if I'm not in my element. So, she came home with me. And we have been best friends ever since. She's the one that curls up in the crook of my arm to sleep at night. My arm is her pillow. And she is so alert and quick to let me know if anything seems wrong in the yard. My little lazy Buddy is everyone's friend. He'd go with a stranger - especially if they had food. I lost Lady a few years ago. So, Suzie is still my best girl, even if she is paranoid and finicky. She has always looked at her food dish like it was poisoned, and walked around it a few times to make sure it wasn't a trap. Then she may or may not pick at it. I've never had a dog that was finicky before. And she is so stubborn. You can't make her open her mouth if she doesn't want to. it's going to be a bit tricky getting her meds in her. No use putting them in or on her food - she simply would not eat it.

Suzies greatest pleasure in life is pretending to chase the mailman. I live upstairs with windows looking down the street to the school at the end of the block, and windows looking over the street. She knows the sound of his car and is perched on the back of the couch waiting to get a glimpse of him. Then she goes ballistic and runs back and forth from the couch to the deck out back where she can lean out and see him when he get's to the neighbor's front yard. Then she quiets down and watches from the back of the couch again until he gets to the other end of the block and starts back. As he gets closer, all this activity is resumed. Barking and running. It's the best exercise she gets, so I've never asked her to stop. She thinks it is so much fun. I only have to say the words "is the mailman coming?" to get her in motion and she goes and checks for his car. She's still healthy enough to do this.

I call her my Little Suzie Sunshine in the morning. She is the first one up, and always wakes up in a good mood. Let's herself out the doggie door, runs down the stairs, and then comes back up. She either returns to bed, or to wherever the sun is shining. On the couch, the carpet, or the deck. She loves to soak up the morning sun. Buddy doesn't get up until I make him. He is like a lead dog. And sleeps so soundly you'd think he died. But once I get him awake and scratch his tummy a little, he ambles over to let himself out and I don't see him again for a few minutes, then he comes back up and takes a long nap. This is life with old dogs.

I just thought I'd share a bit about my little pals. Thanks for your comments, emails and prayers. I know you understand .

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


If you knew Suzie, Like I know Suzie, oh, oh, oh what a dog!

My little Suzie is sick. She has been losing weight, and not eating well. She has always been the pickiest eater, but she is getting really bad lately.

We went to the vet today and started running some tests. He very carefully felt around in her abdomen, and says he feels a mass on her bladder. She is having tests run tomorrow. It's quite likely a tumor. I'm praying he is wrong, or that it is benign. In the meantime she is curled up in my lap. Please say a little prayer for Suzie.

Yosemite Valley in the Spring

After a day in the country, Cat and I took a bus trip to Yosemite Valley with a group of seniors. No driving, just relaxing. No trips to the gas station. That was a good thing, with gas prices soaring to nearly $4.00 a gallon. Here are some pics from the trip. One is of Bonnie Gisel, a long time friend and curator of the LeConte Memorial Lodge run by the Sierra club in Yosemite Valley. Others show the dogwoods in bloom, lunch at the Awahnee Hotel, and bear boxes (how to manage garbage without bears stealing it). Another is an uber-stencil. I really wanted to hold the spray nozzle and make some art there, but alas, they have "people" who do that for a living.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fat book for wedding present

An old art pal, Linda L is doing a fat book for a wedding present for another artist we know from online. Here are my pages.
I just noticed the scanner cut off the lace trim on right side of 1957 and left side of 1940s. No time to redo, they need to be taken to post office immediately. I'm a day late! The 1957 picture is my mother adjusting my wedding veil. The other is no relation.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Altered Book - Words without End

The party's over. Time to get back to my calling - which right now is an altered book. I was looking for a book on my shelf that I could use for a found text book, and saw "Worlds Without End" and realized right away I could alter the title to "Words without End". Unfortunately the text is not very cooperative as it really is a text book about the Universe, ca. 1930s. But, I have managed to pick some words out. I may veer off later, but for now I'm finding a word here and there that I can use. Here are the first pics. Two of the layouts I have seen done by other artists, I don't remember where or when, so I can't give them proper credit. The happy face is one I had seen, and also the chain links. The rest are just mine. Stay tuned, there is a lot more to come.

Flowers from Pamela

Pamela brought these to the garden party. She grew them herself. These are the freshest, nicest bunch of flowers. Aren't they sweet? And they are everlastings, so will dry with the color for year round enjoyment.