Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gorgeous Getty Gardens

Well so far, hitting one museum a month is the only New Years resolution I have kept! Last Wednesday my dear friend Amanda and I had a beautiful day at The Getty Center. We met our friend Julian, who is the curator in the department of drawings and prints there for lunch (they have an amazing taco salad there, by they way!) I hadn't seen Julian in over two years so it was great to catch up. After lunch we sat outside in the sunshine -which felt amazing- and had cappuccinos. Then Julian, who is so sweet and generous, brought us copies of his new book Master Drawings Close-Up. It's a book of drawings he put together from the Getty and British Museum collections. It has so much variety, from da Vinci to Redon and Degas. I love it!

After that, Amanda and I headed into Robert Erwin's incredible, ever-changing gardens. We are just getting into spring and it only gets better! As we walked through the garden we talked about how blessed we are to have this beautiful place in our city. The photos do not do it justice and the sky was much bluer than it is on my monitor! Anyway, it was glorious for a couple of hours. We got very lucky that day!

It was pouring down rain last night and is supposed to rain again this evening so I am extra happy I got in some sunshine and vitamin D! Now, off to study art history. The current chapter is Northern Europe 1400-1500 which I know pretty much nothing about. I find myself taking so many notes from the book that I am practically just copying it over!

Hope you are all having a delightful weekend! Blessings and light!

Little flower- but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all
I should know what God and (woman) is.

~Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Home Studio

I long, as does every human being,
to be at home wherever I am.
~Maya Angelou

I'd like to tell you that there are always fresh flowers and candles burning. I will like also to tell you that in person it doesn't look like a total disaster but ... a disaster is usually what it is and unfortunately I can't remember the last time I painted in here. I have worked on some pastels but painting? It's been ages.

It's actually my living room or was my living room. I got rid of my sofa a few years ago and turned it into a studio which at one point, I was it using a lot. I have a big table that doubles as a computer desk/dining table, (which is where I am sitting right now) but if you want to get cozy? It's the bed. Which with certain people is not always ... appropriate. So, I have decided to make some changes.

I will still have my easel, computer and space to work but I am bringing in a little sofa situation. It's actually a wood sleigh bed that I will add lots of cushions to, so it will provide seating but it's also long enough that someone could sleep on it. But the clutter? It has to go.

I am ready to have a LIVING room ... a beautiful space to live in, a space to invite others in, to be at peace and to be at home again.

still life pastel on La Carte

I am not usually much of a still life girl but it was fun doing the brass, copper and fabric! If you click and enlarge you can see where it got a little rained on near the top. Should probably fix that!

Jars of pigment my Mom brought back from France
Love old cigar boxes for graphite, charcoal and colored pencils ...

When Buddha is not holding a candle he's holding a beautiful silk flower I pulled off a bridesmaid's dress.

This little stained glass was in my parents old place before they moved. It makes me think of that place and time, and all the wonderful memories there.

Changes are coming. I love that ... fresh paint, fresh ideas! Before we know it, spring will be here and we'll have new beginnings and fresh starts! I am not sure when I am going to get to this project considering Italian 102 started last week along with my art history class but I am going to make an effort to get this going!

Are you feeling at home in your home?
Any new spring projects?

Some of the living-rooms we see have really no right to the name;
they are so unattractive they ought, instead to be called existing rooms.
I like to think of the word "living rooms" being short for
the joy-of-living rooms.
That is what they ought to be - full of life and happiness and joy.

~Lucy Abbot Throop

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Farming Friends and Lunch

I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred,
I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I met Susan in junior high. She was tall and beautiful, and very smart. This continued through high school where she was an honor student, president of the girls' league and eventually homecoming queen. On top of that, she was always nice and just a totally cool chick. I remember we'd get together to study and all we'd do is chat for hours on end. I have a feeling it was me that was the bad influence in those study sessions, considering she was the one getting straight A's.

We lost touch in college. She studied zoology at UC Davis, then plant ecology at the University of Alaska, while I was studying art and doing theatre in San Diego. Eventually, (I'm jumping way ahead here) she ended up in Ester, Alaska near Fairbanks running Calypso Farm & Ecology Center with her husband and their two adorable girls. Check out their website. What they are doing is pretty amazing.

Happily, we got back in touch a couple of years ago on Facebook when I was staying in Ojai recovering from my appendix. Her brother still lives there (in Ojai), not far from my sister. He does organic farming in The Happy Valley, and that is where we met up last Friday for a picnic when Susan and her family were in town visiting and taking a break from the Alaska winter. It's on the same road and just a hop skip and a jump from The Beatrice Wood Centre for the Arts.

We picked greens for our lunch and along with a few other goodies (and a little balsamic and olive oil) we were ready to go. It was a glorious day and great to see old friends!


New little lettuces coming up ...

Mmmm ... my salad ...

What a cute family, huh? Susan, as gorgeous as ever, with her brother Peter in the middle, her husband Tom in green, and her sweet girls, Addie and Elsa. (Addie's in the sunglasses.)

Hoping to go see them in Alaska some day, but until then ... we'll have our visits in Ojai.

Bloom where you are planted.

~ Mary Engelbreit

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines ~

Yes, love indeed is light from heaven;
A spark of that immortal fire
With angels shared, by Alla given,
To lift from earth our low desire.

Devotion wafts the mind above,
But heaven itself descends in love;
A feeling from the Godhead caught,
To wean from self each sordid thought;

A ray of Him who formed the whole;
A glory circling round the soul!

~Lord Byron

I love handmade Valentines!
Beautiful paper cut into hearts with cupids and flowers and lovely lacy doilies ...
I also love that the stem of Valentine's Day is said to date back to ancient Rome (not Hallmark) and all of the lore surrounding it. And that the actual day "first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished."

This beautiful Valentine was from my Grandmother several years ago.
I have another that has a beautiful hand-painted girl in the middle of a large red doily
but I couldn't find it in time to post it.
(See what happens when I try to put something in a safe place?)

Valentine from my Grandmother

Valentines from my nephew (at 2 and 3 years old)
with the help of my sister

Believe me, it's been a while but
this year I actually got around to making a few handmade Valentines!
(Now they have to actually make it to the mailbox.)

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

~Christopher Marlowe

For other lovely/fun/interesting Valentine posts ...

Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Blessings and light!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Colorful Positano ... A little winter fantasy

I do, of course, subscribe to living in the moment and being present and all, but a little guided meditation can do wonders for the psyche! A little fantasy and lot of color should do the trick!

Positano May 2010

Ah, that's better.

What can I say? I am getting ready to go back to school next week, so I have Italy on the brain. Italian 102! I also have decided to take Art History: Renaissance to Modern. I wish it wasn't covering quite so much territory but hopefully the professor's good! (Hard to compete with Flavio!) Anyway, I am pretty excited but nervous as well, about how much more difficult 102 will be. You will be hearing about it, I am sure!

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg,
and in the highest vision of the soul
a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.

~James Allen

Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Amalfi ... "When fate hands you lemons ..."

The Amalfi Coast

When life gave them lemons ...

They made ceramic tiles



fabric handbags


and of course, my personal favorite ...


which I had at almost every meal!

I was feeling the need for a dose of Italy today and with some crazy weather back East and around the globe I figured everybody might need a little sunshine. These were taken on my trip last May. Of course, it would be lovely to hop on a plane and be back there but until then, I might just pull my little bottle of limoncello out of the freezer, close my eyes and ... pretend for a moment that I am back on the Amalfi Coast.


"When fate hands you a lemon,
make lemonade."

~Dale Carnegie
American lecturer, author, 1888-1955

(or if fate hand you several ... make limoncello!)

Have a fantastic weekend!