Friday, July 31, 2009

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (2004)

This is an endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle. It's one of 7 species of sea turtle, all of which are on the IUCN Red List and all classified as endangered or threatened by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. These creatures have been here since before the dinosaurs ... between 110 to 140 million years. Yes MILLIONS... crazy right? I swam with one in Hawaii, almost drowning from the complete and utter excitement of it. It was thrilling.

Leatherbacks could be gone in 10 years. Uh, huh. 10. For more information there are lots of websites and people doing a lot to help these guys out. Sea Turtle Restoration Project is just one of them and they have a lot of info on their site.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Endangered ...

Sadly, there are so many endangered species that I have a six volume encyclopaedia of species that are endangered in North America alone.  Volume 1 is mammals, birds, and reptiles.  Volume 2 is filled with amphibians, fish, snails, mussles and clams. You get the idea.  Each one a link in the chain ... every one of them different and special and an amazing feat of nature and creativity.

Endangered Three (2004)

"If you have people who will exclude any of God's creatures 
from the shelter of compassion and kindness, 
you will have people who will deal likewise 
with their fellow human beings."
~Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer in the Ojai Valley

I love L.A. but I have to admit I love having a place to go where there are more trees than people and more art galleries than Starbucks.  I am not knocking either, by the way.  I love people and happen to enjoy the occasional iced decaf Americano, but it is nice to be able to hug a tree and have so many to choose from!  Go through the galleries in the arcade, get an iced coffee at Ojai Coffee Roasting Co. and head up the street (Ojai Avenue) to Azu for tapas.  More favorites?  Soul Centered, Ojai House, Bonnie Lu's for Breakfast and Theater 150.

If you are ever between Ventura and Santa Barbara on the 101 just head in on the 33. For such a little place they have a lot festivals (blues, jazz, classical, Shakespeare etc.) and plenty of restaurants, spas and places to hike and horseback ride.  If you've got some cash to blow, try the Ojai Valley Inn, or just have a glass of wine and an appetizer at their "Oak Grill" on the Golf Course.  Don't get confused ... head past Oak View and Villanova Prep school and you're heading in the right direction.

Then followed that beautiful season...
Summer ...
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape lay as if new
created in all the freshness of childhood.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Missing Figure Drawing

I take this great figure drawing class that doesn't happen in the summer.  The teacher is a friend of mine and she has, quite possibly, the greatest energy ever.  She is a light.  We also happen to drink wine and eat chocolate and listen to Billy Holiday, Chet Baker, Lucinda Williams, Al Green ... It's just this amazing creative oasis a fabulous women (And a couple of fabulous men) wonderful models and creative support.  I miss it!

I believe that painting and drawing are the same thing.  
Drawing is painting with less materials.  
On a white sheet of paper with pen and ink, you can 
- when you create different contrasts through volume - 
change the quality of the paper ...
make the surface fluid or light or hard,
without using shadow or light.
~Henri Matisse

Friday, July 24, 2009

My place, my Space

I feel like you can tell how warm it is 
in my place just by looking at the photographs.
I suppose I might be projecting a little!

My Bedroom Window 
with a sari I bought in Little India

A bundle of sweet cards and letters from
friends and family that were sent to me when I was sick at the 
beginning of the year.
"Bundle of Love"

A Rose quartz "Wholeness" Rune
with gifts from the sea ...

... more sweet little gifts

"Home is a name, a word, 
it is a strong one;  stronger than magician ever spoke,
or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration."
~Charles Dickens

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Color

Summer colors in Ojai...

Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest, 
and let the spirits fly in and out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Paper as Vessel

What can paper hold?  
What can it contain?  
If it's heavy enough ... can it hold liquid?  
For how long?  
What else can it hold? 
Obviously there are endless possibilities.  These are just a few.
What's next?

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Just returned from a sunny and very warm weekend in Ojai, California.  
There is nothing like a scorching hot day by a pool with friends, 
Eating burritos, laughing
and listening to "Blame it on the Boogie" by The Jackson Five.  
Hope you are enjoying some beautiful summer days ...

"Be here now.  This is the only place you need to be.  
And from this place, all things are possible."
~Melody Beattie
from Journey to the Heart

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Assisi in Black and White

My Dad found a stack of these old travel guides in the garage that he got as a kid in the 1950s. They were from the American Geographical Society. (?)  Apparently a different country came every month or so in the mail, with stickers that you put in the appropriate places in the book.  I love the maps on the covers.  Of course, I am partial to this one.  I will have to post others down the road ... some are of countries that don't exist as countries anymore. (i.e. Yugoslavia) Anyway, loving the groovy 50s illustrations. 

These are some additional photos from Assisi last September.  They were taken in the old part of town and up at Carceri, one of the hermitages where Francis and the brothers went to pray.  It was quiet and cool and green, you could imagine them up there meditating amongst the trees.


"Praise be to you my Lord
for Sister Moon and for the stars
In heaven you have formed them,
Shining precious and fair."
~St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Assisi and Francis

Last weekend while housesitting for my sister in Ojai, I figured it would be a good time to take advantage of her much larger T.V. and watch something subtitled that I have been wanting to see. I rented The Flowers of St. Francis by Roberto Rossellini. (1950) Apparently he worked on it with Fellini and considering my interest in Francis and Italy in general I thought I should see it. An interesting, sweet little film which is basically a series of vignettes about Francis and his followers. If movies without plots annoy you, this is not a film for you. What I loved was that he cast actual monks for all the parts and there truly is an innocence about them that comes across on camera.

The Criterion version has a great interview in the special features of Isabella Rossellini talking about her father and Fellini. Fan of "special features" that i am, it was all worth it.

Of course it made me miss Italy and most especially Assisi. Assisi felt magical to me and there is a special energy about the place. I will add some black and whites tomorrow.

Basilica of St. Francis, September 2008

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.
~Saint Francis of Assisi

Monday, July 13, 2009

LACMA ... 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea

Went to see "Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists From Korea" at LACMA. Definitely worth a trip out of the house! And by the way the Ahmanson Building never looked so good! Titled "Welcome" by artist Choi Jeong-Hwa.

This was another one of his works which was outside the Broad Building. It was titled "HappyHappy." Late in the afternoon when the sun came through from the West it was pretty fantastic.

An artist I LOVE that was also featured in "Art 21" ... Do Ho Suh had two pieces in the exhibit. (Unfortunately you can't take pictures in the exhibit but you should check him out.)

My favorite in this particular exhibit was "A Needle Woman" by Kim Sooja who produces, directs and stars in her videos. Amazing. There are 6 huge screens with videos of her standing in streets, frozen, facing forward like a statue (so you as the viewer see the back of her) and all the reactions and sometimes non-reactions of the people walking by. The videos were filmed in Cuba, Nepal, Israel, Yemen, Brazil and Chad. The different reactions were fascinating, sometimes hilarious and varied greatly between countries. Click on her name to go on her website and then click on "videos." Love her. Very cool.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Judging Peach

Whenever I hear anyone mention the color peach, I cringe. I think of my oversized mock turtleneck t-shirt with giant shoulder pads I wore in the 1980s. That, along with my peach and white polished cotton print pencil skirt that I actually wore with Reebok velcro high tops. I know, the fashion Gods did not smile upon me in those days. So alas, I judge Peach. It is not something I am proud of, but it's true. Then I remember there are exceptions to everything. Even Peach.


Roman Sky

Maybe I've been a bit too hard on Peach.

The truth dazzles gradually,
or else the world would be blind.
~Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Charcoal Beauties

These were done of friends and family ... the center one was a commission for my cousin of her adorable daughter.   The one on the bottom was of my dear friend's pregnant belly which I had photographed looking down over her shoulder (and later became a baby shower invite.) You can also see I got very into earth tone paper for a while!

... Love is 
a great beautifier.
~Louisa May Alcott



Beauty is one of the rare things 
that do not lead to doubt of God.
~Jean Anouilh