Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Day at The Getty

Right now I should be up at Santa Barbara with my new pastel group for my first plein air "paint out" with the other artists, doing pastels all day. Unfortunately, I woke up last Monday and could barely lift my arm. By Wednesday night my neck was so stiff I couldn't turn my head! It's not serious, like bone spurs or a slipped disc, but rather, "left overs" that pop up occasionally from a series of crazy car accidents in the 1990s. (And one in 2003) I have been to the acupuncturist and the chiropractor (going again Monday) and at least now I can sort of lift my arm a little. (Enough to type obviously! :) How many Advils can you take in a 24 hour period?

I am not supposed to be at the computer for hours on end, so I will refrain from my general ramblings, except to say that last Saturday was a beautiful day at The Getty Center in West Los Angeles. And, after all the years that my friend Erin has come to visit me from San Diego, we realized that she'd never been to there! Unfortunately, the beautiful gardens designed by Robert Erwin were closed, but that gives us a huge excuse to go back! (Especially because she is such a green thumb!) As you can see, her five year old, McKenna, was a trooper!

The Getty Center is sometimes known more for it's architecture, views and gardens, than for its collection, but as you can see there is a huge variety of beautiful works of art! It's one of my very favorite places to be in this city.

Upper sculpture garden and seating area ...

McKenna enjoying the central fountain and magnificent views ...

Covered Goblet with Mythological Scenes
German, about 1680
Balthasar Griessmann

Erin and Mackie checkin' out the stained glass

Dish with Saint Clare (Santa Chiara di Assisi)
Italian (Faenza), about 1535
Bladassare Manara

tin-glazed earthenware

The Virgin and Child with Saint Elizabeth
and the Young Saint John the Baptist
Benedetto Cervi

Marble 1520s-30s

The Coronation of the Virgin (detail)
About 1420
Gentile da Fabriano

Tempera and gold leaf on panel

Yep, Van Gogh's Irises

It's so beautiful! I can't wait to read the new biography about him! It's called Van Gogh: The Life by authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. It's been called the most comprehensive overview of the painter. After exhaustive research, they maintain he did not kill himself. There were great interviews on 60 minutes and Charlie Rose with the two authors.

Vase of Flowers (detail)
Jan van Huysum
Oil on panel

Wheatstacks (Snow Effect, Morning)
Claude Monet

oil on canvas

Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino
1839 (February at a neighbors farm in Giverny)
Joseph Mallord William Turner
oil on canvas

Mischief and Repose
John William Godward
Oil on Canvas

Amazing views from places all over the museum! Inside and out.

There's a kid/family space where the kids can make mask's ...

And they can recreate an outdoor sculpture ...

And here's McKenna (a.k.a. Medusa) in the gift shop ...

An understated French bed ;)
(Thanks McKenna, for giving us a sense of scale!)

The day was capped off by fantastic, fresh, sushi in West Hollywood at our new find Yoshi. It was a perfect day. Thank you Erin and McKenna for driving in traffic for 5 hours on a Friday to see me!!! You guys are more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

To see my other Getty posts including the gorgeous gardens, click HERE.

To visit the Getty's website and find out more, click HERE.

To see the fascinating Charlie Rose interview with the authors of Van Gogh: The Life, click HERE.

If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe;
if you look at it for the 1000th time,
you are in danger of seeing it
for the first time.

~ G.K. Chesterton

Hope you are all enjoying your weekends!
Get out and go to you favorite place in your town, if you can!
And enjoy the Oscars!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ojai in Pastel

Last week was my fun, crazy, social week! Tuesday night (Valentine's Day) I had a dinner party for some of my single girlfriends (very fun!), then my Mom came Thursday and spent the night, and Friday my friend Erin came from San Diego with her magic fairy daughter, who is 5 years old, and they left yesterday morning.

So, here I am. :)
I will be blogging about our adventures to museums and so on, but in the mean time, I thought I'd share this pastel - in the spirit of celebration!

Last Tuesday, I was Juried into the Pastel Society of Gold Coast. For a while now, I have been showing my art to you, my blogging friends, but haven't been putting my new work out there in other realms. So, here goes and here's to new adventures!

The e.e. cummings poem below, was read aloud by my friend Rachel at dinner on Valentine's Day. It was so beautiful, I thought I'd share it with you.

Ojai Preserve, Early Spring
Pastel and watercolor underpainting on mounted Wallace paper

somewhere I have never travelled
e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
touching skillfully, mysteriously her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

[i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses]
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

Hope you are having an amazing week!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Meditation Mount

During my two weeks of housesitting, I had another guest. My friend Royce, who hasn't spent much time in Ojai, came up for a visit. I knew I had to take him to one of my favorite places ... Meditation Mount. It's so beautifully landscaped against the backdrop of the valley, and the hills and mountains in the distance. It is constantly changing with the light and with the seasons.

It had been cloudy and rained a couple of days prior to our visit but the skies cleared and it was simply gorgeous.

Meditation Mount, Ojai
January 2012

The world is healed
one loving thought at a time.

~Marianne Williamson

Joy has no cost.

~Marianne Williamson

Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.
The real miracle is the love that inspires them.
In this sense
everything that comes from love
is a miracle.

~Marianne Williamson

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched,
you begin to discover that it's bottomless,
that it doesn't have any resolution,
that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless.

You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there,
as well as how much space.

~Pema Chodron

Every moment is unique, unknown, completely fresh.

~Pema Chodron

"The mission of Meditation Mount Is to promote the building of an enlightened and compassionate world through the power of creative meditation, inspirational educational programs, and community-based events focused on the practical application of the following universal spiritual principles: Right Human Relations, Unanimity, Goodwill, Spiritual Approach, Group Endeavor and Essential Divinity"

For information about the Mount, it's history and about "Friends of the Mount," please go to

Have a beautiful weekend!!!
Blessings and light to you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Friendship ~ The Ladies in Ojai 2012

Of all the things which provides to make life entirely happy,
much the greatest is the possession of friendship.

341BC- 270BC

Sometimes we have an over-abundance of blessings in a particular area of our lives. For me, it's my friends. Friendship takes everything you hear about ... time, love, compassion, listening, gentle honesty, sometimes patience, humility, optimism, gratitude and the ability to spot awesome people and invest time and love in them. You have to be open to it, but I do think part of it is choosing wisely. Listen to what people say, are they sensitive? Do they have integrity? Are they kind?

I have newer friends and I have old friends. Some I have known since I was a little girl and some since high school. The old high school gang tries to get together as often as possible for a "girls weekend." Sometimes it takes awhile to get everyone in the same place, at the same time, but after a year and 3 months, we pulled it off.

The ladies came to Ojai while I was housesitting, and here is a bit of what we were up to.

After a Friday night of making and eating Italian food and enjoying our Italian beverages (Prosecco, Vino and Limoncello!) we got up Saturday and headed for the hills. (literally) I decided to take them for a walk back at the Ventura River Preserve ...

Ojai January 2012

With every true friendship,
we build more firmly the foundations
on which the peace of the whole world rests.

~Mahatma Gandhi

Later we packed a picnic and headed to the Old Creek Ranch Winery for tasting and a bit of dining al fresco!

To know someone with whom you can feel there is understanding,
in spite of distances or thoughts expressed,
that can make life a garden.

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Barbera was my favorite! (We bought a bottle for our picnic.)

Another winery, Vino V gives tastings there as well, and they are very tasty too!!! The Syrah was gorgeous! (Ended up with a bottle of that for the picnic, as well.)

They also had some lovely whites ...

Wineries usually have some fun gift items but I managed to stay out of trouble. Loved the vintage linens though!

We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed.
As in filling a vessel drop by drop,
there is at last a drop which makes it run over,
so in a series of kindnesses there is at last
one which makes the heart run over.

~Samuel Johnson

Treat your friends like you do your best pictures ...
place them in the best light.


The tastings were great, our picnic was wonderful (It happened to be the nicest day while I was up there housesitting!) but then we were on our dinner quest ... off to sushi at Hakane! It's become a tradition, when I think about it. I don't know if a sake bomb was the best idea but it was sure hilarious. We were all supposed to yell "Sake Bomb" 3 times and hit the table but our friend got so excited she hit the table on the first one and the sakes went flying. Bottoms up!

Cheers ladies!
Thanks for coming!
Love you!!!

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some stay for a while and leave footprints in our hearts,
and we are never the same.


Don't forget to call your friends and let them know you love them!
Blessings and light!