Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Angels at the Beach

One of my dearest friends, Dawn Marie and her boyfriend Steve flew out to Los Angeles last Sunday from Massachusetts. (I wrote about Dawn in a previous post, when I had taken a trip to the East Coast last January. (Yes, I went in January. And yes, I froze my buns off.)

Anyway, Monday Dawn was on a mission to get out to Santa Monica. It happened to also be the hottest day on record in Los Angeles (113 degrees downtown!) so the coast, only about 13 miles away, was the perfect destination. And by the way, it was so blazing hot that day that when I got home at 9:30 pm that night, the hardwood floors in my bedroom were so hot I had to put on my flip flops!

Our mission to Santa Monica wasn't to cool off however ...

Santa Monica, California 9/27/10

The mission was to sit with a view of the boardwalk in Santa Monica, margaritas in hand, and make a toast to Dawn's mom Jeanie. It has only been a month ago, that Jeanie went on to be with the angels.

Dawn's mom loved coming out to visit her on the West Coast, when Dawn lived out here. As soon as she arrived, she wanted to head to the beach, as soon as humanly possible.

I remember sitting along the boardwalk, having margaritas and listening to Dawn and Jeanie, two of the funniest women on the planet, cracking each other up, laughing the afternoon away. Outside of her great love, what greater gift could Jeanie have given her daughter, than her hilarious sense of humor?

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel

Dawn Marie

Venice Beach

Venice Beach Basketball courts

Dawn and Steven

For Dawn Marie, my favorite Irish Lass ...

May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you.
Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.

Irish Blessings

We love you Jeanie!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Need a Giggle?

You know I don't usually share these things but this made
me smile and giggle and who doesn't like that?

Is it that they are just dressed like regular guys that it's so
unexpected? I don't know but there was obviously some
serious effort involved!!!

Have a great week and keep on smilin'!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Two more new finished pieces! Like a lot of people, I am a pretty good at starting things but finishing ... is another story. I am happy they are completed and with how they turned out.

These two work well together, side by side, as a diptych and I really am happy I decided to keep them simple. I had other layers going on but there is something about leaving space for them to breathe that I really like. They are also larger than the others and are on full sheets of blue Fabriano.

They are part of the larger series I'm working on and I probably have explained it enough but if you missed it and are interested in the inspiration and ideas behind it, you can read about it here in my "Inspiration and Miracles" post.

"Imprint" - paper, vellum, charcoal and pastel on Fabriano paper 19 1/2" x 25"

Imprint II - graphite on Fabriano paper 19 1/2" x 25"


MGDFive Launch Party 9/16

The photos below were taken at the MGDFive launch party in NYC at the Soho Digital Arts Gallery last Thursday. I would so love to have been there but it's fun to see how they have digital "frames" and all I had to do was send my friend Lisa the jpg files! My pieces involved in MGDFive are part of the same series of mixed media pieces as the two works above.

The "Nest" on the left is mine!

The various artists' bio photos apparently came up on the screens, because there I am on the right - my head larger than life!

Here is my friend Lisa Russell, who lives in New York and co-created the whole project. We have known each other since high school! I don't know who took the amazing photo on the wall behind her but the figure on the far right is another one of my pieces.

"Far away
there in the sunshine
are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them,
but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them,
and try to follow where they lead."

—Louisa May Alcott

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Weekend in San Luis Obispo

Last Friday afternoon I hopped on the "Pacific Surfliner" train bound for San Luis Obispo.
For Amtrack's bargain price of 66 bucks round-trip I got to hang with my friend Tim who I had not seen since my friend Victoria's wedding in 1999!

Tim and I knew each other in high school and were roommates our first year at college in San Diego (with two other friends.) We all took turns cooking and I believe it was Tim who hosted our weekly burrito night. Who would have known back then that he would become such a fantastic host?

Pacific Ocean, heading Northbound on the train ...

Kynsi Winery for wine tasting ...

We took home a bottle of their fantastic Estate Pinot to have with our fabulous feast off the grill that evening.

Beautiful Talley Vineyards for more wine tasting ...

We were very happy to have lots of bee sightings!

Charming Downtown San Louis

Isn't this pretty? I am also thinking it could look fabulous in my kitchen!

Tiniest little nursery across from the Mission

Tim's Buddha, not Tim. He is in much better shape. He actually ran a 10K on Saturday morning while I sat in the car eating a chocolate croissant. Go Tim!

Tim's sweet little Addie. I am sure she was sad when I left, as my suitcase had become her new bed.

Headed Southbound out of town ...

From the train... between San Luis and Santa Barbara somewhere ...

It was a great weekend. I hope yours was too. Now, back to studying for Italian class, staying disciplined with my art, auditioning, and substituting at the Wizard of Art.

By the way, my Italian teacher is great! He is from Bolognia, has been here for twenty years teaching and is completely hilarious. Now if I could just remember what I learn!!! All of these kids in their late teens and early twenties ... I swear they have total recall. For most of them it's also their 3rd or 4th language. I just keep reminding myself, "This is for me! It's supposed to be fun!" And most of the time it is. Except for the quiz, that is. I am giving myself the excuse that the last time I took an academic quiz, in something other than theatre history, it was in the late 1980s.

"Young and old.
All part of the same.

Each moment is a moment of life, your life.
Each cycle has its lessons.

Dig out your glasses, if you must,
but laugh while you do it.
And remember to make each moment count.

from Journey to the Heart

Have a wonderful week and thanks Tim for a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Global Artists and Activists ~ MDGFive

I am so thrilled to be a part of this! It launched today and you can log on to the website and create your own advocacy video for maternal health! (You might remember my piece that is in the banner above-second from the right.)

There is a huge kick off tonight in New York at the Soho Digital Arts gallery. I wish I could be there to celebrate!
Thanks to my friend Lisa Russell for getting me involved and putting my art to such good use!



“The arts are one of the most powerful ways
to build bridges among people from all over the world. has great potential
to reach, inform, and mobilize people
to make a difference for women’s and children’s health.”
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
from the website ...
ABOUT harnesses the power of social media to increase community engagement in the fight to improve maternal health and reach MDG #5 by 2015.

The Flash®-based technology enables users to edit video online and add audio, transitions, and special effects to create video remixes that can then be published to a custom online community where users can view and share favorites. includes creative content by world-renowned musicians, poets, filmmakers and photographers. The site features a “remixer” that can be used to create short videos using a library of music tracks, spoken word, film and photos supplied by renowned mixed media artists from South Africa, Sri Lanka, Honduras, Brazil, Thailand, Pakistan and other countries. Co-founded by Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Russell and Grammy-winning singer Maya Azucena, was conceptualized and inspired by the growing interest in social media and the desire to have a creative platform that encouraged a local/global dialogue aroundmaternal health. The Beta version of launched at the historic 2010 Women Deliver conference in Washington, DC and officially launched on Septembr 16, 2010 to coincide with activities leading up to the MDG Summit in New York City. is a project of Governess Films and is sponsored by Reality Digital, EngenderHealth, UNFPA, Ipas and Women Deliver.
***** MDG stands for Millenium Development Goal created by the United Nations. For more information, check out the website.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Beatrice!

It's her 10th Birthday!
Happy Birthday "B"!!!!

Yep, it's the anniversary of her hatch day today. It was the year 2000 and two months after she hatched in West Hollywood I took her home. When we arrived, I sat on my sofa while this little bird curled up, her head turned back into her wing feathers, and fell asleep in my hands. I didn't want to wake her so I sat there, as still as I could, watching this little being sleep for maybe an hour in the palms of my hands.

Beatrice is a Senegal Parrot and is very smart and playful ... and funny. I swear she has a sense of humor and when I have been sad or sick, she sits and watches me in silence.

I named her "Beatrice" for the character of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Everyone asks if she talks and yes, she does, but only when she feels like it. Some things like "Hi Baby" and "I'll be back!" are clear as a bell. Others, only a mother could understand. She hangs out in my room outside her cage and when I am otherwise occupied lets out a string of "come here! commmmeeeeere! Up? Potty! Up? Comeeeerrrre!"

Chillin' on my finger ... 2009

On a perch in her "wing-a-bago" (I didn't make that up, that's what it's called!)

Beatrice on New Years Day 2007 on my clean white duvet cover. Often a risky move but no mishaps that day!

She loves to be cuddled and held and will nudge my finger with her head until I give her a neck massage. She can be quite the hedonist. I always hold her on her back and kiss her belly and say to her, "Who is the best bird? Huh? Who is the best bird?" Her of course and she knows it.

Having animals around, can remind us of the best version of ourselves. They remind us how to love and be loved and to be silly and in the moment. I mean, what could be a greater gift? If I wasn't in an apartment I'd probably have a whole menagerie. Then again, Beatrice might not like it.

The most important thing in life
is to learn how to give out love,
and to let it come in.

~Morrie Schwartz

Friday, September 10, 2010

Positano "Rocks"

O.K., ... they aren't exactly rocks.

Our friend Stefano at Hotel Posa Posa told us at breakfast how people in Positano toss their old tiles out into the sea and that they wash up on the beach, time worn, something akin to sea glass. He told us that he chips off the part of the tile without the color and uses the colored pieces to make mosaics. Cool, right? He was asking guests to each bring back one of these "rocks" from the beach for another project. One?

Well, I love a project. (And if has something to do with hunting for things on the beach, all the better!) My Mom and Dad were in on it as well and in the process we found a funky little place with fabulous seafood linguine. The restaurant is basically built on a rock, as you can see in the bottom photo. As you can also see, we got a little carried away with the hunt.

Could it be ... ?

Mom and I sorting just a few of at lunch ...

The waitress laughed, "Positano Rocks!" and used them as a trivet!

Under the restaurant ... if you click to enlarge you can see a little blue tile in the foreground ...

This gives you a better idea of the location of the restaurant!

My mom got so excited by the tiles she thought about making her own mosaic table but my Dad, standing there with his backpack loaded down with tile, reminded her of the hand-painted tiles that were already in her suitcase from Assisi and the other very heavy tiles on hold at the ceramics place in town. So, Mom and I picked out of few tiny ones to bring home as keepsakes and that evening handed Stefano a bag full of "Positano Rocks."

I uploaded these photos and wrote this post yesterday, not realizing after running out of time, that it would post on September 11th. I so hope we can all find peace and healing for the trauma of that day and all that has happened since.

Your daily life is your temple and your religion.

... And if you would know God
be not therefore a solver of riddles.

Rather look about you and you shall see Him
walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms
in the lightening and descending in rain.

You shall see Him smiling in flowers,
then rising and waving His hands in trees.

~Kahlil Gibran
from The Prophet