Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paper Love

I am in love with this paper. It's a recent romance. I ran across it a few months ago at Blick and it's called "Ingres." Like the artist Ingres.  It might actually be named after him, I don't really know. The only problem with it?  It wrinkles like crazy. Even looking through a stack of it in the art store, trying to find one that isn't a bit wrinkled, is a challenge but now I am just going with it. The thing about it that is amazing is the way the charcoal and chalk pick up the texture of the paper ... love, love, love it! Is that weird?

I love paper.  Paper and ribbon. I think if you are someone who loves these things you completely get it. If you don't? You might just think I am completely off my tree right now. But when I go into a store that has a wall of ribbon with brocades, watercolor silks and bright beautiful colors with crazy little details like little balls on the sides? ... joy. 

O.K., back to paper. Check out the detail on the bottom one. Do you see what I mean about the texture? O.K., maybe I am a little weird but it's good to find joy in the little things, right?

Reclining Nude  November 2009

November 2009 detail

Value your connection to creativity.
Value the way you choose to express your creative power.
It's your expression of love.
~Melody Beattie
from Journey to the Heart

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pastel of Meditation Mount

I decided to re-post this finished ... I worked from a photo I'd taken at beautiful Meditation Mount in Ojai about a month ago. As I had mentioned, it was a Christmas gifts for one my doctors. He's pretty "type A" so a little "meditation" seemed an appropriate gift. I finished, like I do most things, just in the nick of time!

My father considered 
a walk among the mountains
as the equivalent of churchgoing.
~Aldous Huxley

Christmas Day "Nature Walk"

After days of simple carbs, refined sugars and mass amounts of rich and delicious dairy treats (eggnog anyone?) ... A walk on Christmas Day felt so delightful. Sometimes you just need to walk!

Ojai, California December 25, 2009

After a day's walk
everything has twice it's value.
~George Macauley Trevelyan

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Merry Christmas

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!
With much joy and beautiful memories to last throughout the year!

Blessings and light,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Dad

I love this picture. It's my Dad with my sister Penny and I. I am the one one right. I have no idea what my dad is pointing at or why we are laughing so hard but I love our faces. We are cracking up! Some of my favorite memories growing up were of my family laughing so hard around the dinner table, that my dad and sister would have tears streaming down their faces.

What are your favorite memories?

Anchorage, Alaska 197?

Happy Birthday Dad!
You are the best!

Christmas Presents

A couple of guys help save my life last year. O.K. I am being a bit dramatic here but one took out my appendix Christmas morning last year (at a bargain price, no less.) The other one put up with me during the subsequent infection when I was in there for 13 days complaining about everything under the sun. In my defense, many of these complaints were perfectly valid, however he still had to deal with me. Generally, I work at being a kind and polite kind of gal ... fun loving even, but drugs do funny things to you. At least that's the story I am going with.

So what do you for people who "save your life?" I don't really know, so I drew them pictures. The one on the right is definitely not finished (and hello? It's the 23rd!) but I am trying to get them done since it's the year anniversary and all. The "purple one," as I have been referring to it is finished. Not going to mess with it. They are both from photographs because I am to much of a wimp to bare the Southern California winter (I know, ridiculous!) and do the whole plein air thing. I'd rather watch "Rick Steve's Christmas in Europe" with a hot cup of tea and draw.

Anyway... hope you are done with your gifts, shopping or making, so you can just enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and your beautiful selves. Breathe, take it in and just be.
For Dr. Davis

You give but little
when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself
that you truly give.
~Kahlil Gibran

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas lights ... and twinkle lights ...

I have lost my voice.  I have one of those pesky viruses going around.  When it started with a little hoarseness I smiled to myself, imagining I sounded a bit like Kathleen Turner from Body Heat.  Alas, I have surpassed Kathleen, even Brenda Vacarro and now sound like the voiceover for the Budweiser frogs.  All this in the midst of fun filled holiday activities!

Fortunately, I was able to get in some fun holiday frolicking before the bug arrived.  One of my favorite holiday adventures was riding on horseback through Griffith Park to see all the Christmas lights. It was beautiful riding through the park and hearing Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong singing through the trees.  

I was riding double behind someone and basically was off the saddle, bareback, in my cute Hudson jeans that wound up soaked in salty horse sweat. Not my best idea, wearing those jeans but alas, one has to be ready for cute holiday photo-ops! Unfortunately, the strap on the riding helmet somehow made me look like I had an enormous chin, as my friend Amanda pointed out on Facebook.  "I never thought I'd say this but you look like Jay Leno." 

These were taken at my friend Kristen's 40th birthday party that her husband threw for her. Nice, huh? It was incredibly beautiful and so much fun to have a huge group of us together again in San Diego celebrating. Plus, twinkle light and candles? ... always magical!

Frosted windowpanes
candles gleaming inside
painted candy canes on the tree ...

... It's that time of year
When the world falls in love
every song you hear seems to say
"Merry Christmas, may your new year dreams come true"

And this song of mine
In three quarter time
Wishes you and yours the same thing too.
~ songwriters Sammy Cahn & Julie Styne

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Meditation Mount

If the whole world followed you
would you be pleased with where you took it?
~Conversations With God

Meditation Mount  Ojai, California 2009

Fallen Bird's Nest  Ojai, California  2009

Meditation Mount  Ojai, California 2009

"Change your mind all you want.
Yet remember that with each change of mind
comes a change in the direction of the whole universe."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Little Buddha

Last Friday I had to race up to Ojai to see my four year old nephew get his first Taekwondo belt.

When I arrived at the ceremony it turned out my nephew was first up and I missed him getting his belt. A bit of a bummer but in truth, racing up there was all worth it, to see my nephew in a little crowd of fidgeting kids having so much trouble sitting still ... and there he was, sitting in the middle of it all like a little Buddha for what was at least a half hour to forty minutes! He loves it.

The next morning my Mom and I went to our pastel workshop and worked on what I hoped would be a soft, subtile landscape. Somehow color always creeps in. Maybe I am not meant to be soft or subtile ... in my art or in my life! Maybe this is a lesson in accepting that this who I am right now and just surrendering to it. Hmm ...

"Your work is to discover you world
and then with all your heart
give yourself to it."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gallery Opening at "The Wizard of Art"

"Make Visible what, 
without you, 
might perhaps never have been seen."
~Robert Bresson, french film director

The faculty art show Sunday evening was a blast!  We had so much fun and there was such an amazing, supportive energy.  Seven artists with different styles and mediums including, oils, ink, charcoal, photography and watercolor. Yes, that's me on the right with a glass of pinot and my endangered species icons.
This black and white piece to the right (sorry about the glare!) is by Mekenzie Kay who I occasionally teach with and substitute for at the studio.  She is doing some great new work in pastel and chalk.  I love this one. Powerful, right?!

Below is a detail of a beautiful painting by Paul Eventoff. (He and his wife Donna run the art school.) He is a gifted teacher and one of the most positive people I have ever met. Their whole family has been so welcoming to me whenever I am around the studio teaching or taking the figure class (which I have written about on many, many occasions!)  I sometimes feel like I fell into a pot of gold!  A truly great group of people.  Am I gushing?  Sheeesh!

The show also includes great work by Malaika Zweig, Donna Zweig, Chelsea Walsh, and Jessica Minkley  The show runs through January 16th and for more info click here!

"We can't take any credit for our talents.
It's how we use them that counts."
Madeleine L'Engle

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Birthdays and Gratitude

These pictures were taken a year ago. It was an amazing birthday. I was hitting a milestone and I went to Italy to kick of the celebration. The trip was incredible and I came back and celebrated with all my girlfriends, my sister and my Mom ... I had no idea what was in store for me.

I frankly have never been so grateful and relieved to make it to another birthday. Like a lot of people, I had a tough year. It really all started with an emergency surgery on Christmas morning and led to a rather long drawn out physical saga (I am much better now!) ... What I had around me though, was so much love and so many beautiful memories to help carry me through.  

At my birthday celebration, my sister Penny gave me an amazing silver charm bracelet she had made. Then each one of my lovely friends gave me a charm that represented a memory or symbol of our friendship.  A VW Bug charm for the car we all drove around in in high school ... a sleeping bag from my friend who's family we used to camp with at the beach every year ... a Buddha from my friend who came with me to Thailand ... When I was sick, I would close my eyes and remember, going around the room and hearing all the stories again, seeing the beautiful faces of my friends.  What a gift. I was and I am, truly blessed.

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart
and give thanks for another day of loving."
~Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Last Station

"All, everything that I understand, 
I understand only because I love.
Everything is, everything exists, only because I love.
Everything is united by it alone.
Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love,
shall return to the general and eternal source."
~Leo Tolstoy

Just got back from seeing The Last Station! We, my friend Drew and I, hoped that the drive over to The Westside Pavillion and negotiating the craziness of holiday crowds 
and parking to see a movie, would be worth our trouble. It was. We loved it! What a 
fabulous film!  

Christopher PlummerHelen Mirren and James McCovoy ... all beautiful performances. If Helen Mirren hadn't won for The Queen, she would win for this. 
And course for me, Captain von Trapp can do no wrong. "A captain with seven children, what's so fearsome about that? ... " O.K. sorry, Sound of Music flashback.

Anyway, it was beautifully shot and completely takes you to another place in time. 
I may have said that about Bright Star but it is true in this case as well. The world, 
in this case is of Leo Tolstoy in 1910 Russia. Unless you hate period dramas, go see it when it opens in your town! So far it is the best film and my favorite of 2009.

"Art is not a handicraft,
it is the transmission of feeling
the artist has experienced."
~ Leo Tolstoy

Monday, December 7, 2009

Time and Sofia

This is Sofie at about four and a half.  Gorgeous, right?  And I hardly did her justice. She actually prefers to be smiling in portraits but I haven't drawn one of those and frankly I am not a fan of drawing or painting teeth so I avoid them altogether!  

As of yesterday, Sofie is now 8 years old! I can't believe it.  She is the daughter of Kristen, one of my oldest and dearest friends. I feel like it was only a couple of years ago when I held her as a tiny newborn baby, eyes like saucers, with her delicate little hands and tiny tulip mouth. Kids help you keep track of how fast time is moving.  Not having kids, I fall into the fantasy that I am still that young, single chick in my twenties living in Hollywood.  Then I see my friends' kids and the spell is broken ... but it's worth it.

Happy Belated Birthday Sofia!  Love you Sweetheart!  Auntie Lulu

Sofia 2006, graphite and white chalk on paper

A birthday is just the first day 
of another 365-day journey around the sun.  
Enjoy the trip.  
~Author Unknown

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"... the only rational act."

"The most important thing in life
is to learn how to give out love,
and to let it come in 
... A wise man named Levine said it right:
'Love is the only rational act.' "
~Morrie Schwartz, 
Tuesdays with Morrie

flower for Leslie with love :)
oil on canvas board with gold leafing  5" X 5"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Art Show!!!

Hey y'all, I do some substituting at this groovy little art school in Los Feliz (near Griffith Park, the Observatory and The Greek Theatre) so if you happen to be in the L.A. area, we will be having an artist reception for the faculty show on Sunday, Dec 13th from 5-9. I am not sure which pieces I will have in the show until we hang it next week, but it should be a lot of fun!  Oh, and Malaika Zweig who is the totally amazing chick on the post below is one of the artists in the show. Great artists and a variety of styles between the six of us!  Can't wait!

A Group Show by
The Wizard of Art Faculty

Paul Eventoff, Lucinda Keller
Jessica Minckley, Mekenzie Schneider,
Donna Zweig, Malaika Zweig

Artist Reception: Sun, Dec 13, 5-9pm
December 13, 2009 - Jan 16, 2010

The Wizard of Art
1947 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Artist Malaika Zweig

This is Malaika Zweig. We became fast friends after I'd met her when she was teaching a painting class at U.C.L.A. a couple of years ago and I tell you, she is amazing!  When I say that she is amazing, I mean both as a human being and as an artist. Here she is working on her new pieces in her studio in L.A.  She also is the one who teaches that amazing figure drawing class in Los Feliz I am always going on about.  She is truly a light, and her art reflects that.  

Everybody needs a little cobalt violet!  ;)

I am so in love with this!  I so wanted to rip it off the wall and run out the door with it!

Today a new sun rises for me;
everything lives, everything is animated,
everything seems to speak to me of my passion.
~Anne De Lenclos