Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Acting Thing and Going Brunette

As a kid I grew up doing little community theatre plays and singing with my family but it is not something I was obsessed with. More than anything I wished I had been born at an earlier time so that I could sing and dance with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. When I was ten my most cherished Christmas gift was a large hard-back coffee table book with big black and white photos of Fred Astaire and whomever happened to be in feathers. I loved him. When I got to high school, our theatre director was drunk most of the time so I didn't do any acting. I had an amazing art teacher, Patty Post, my senior year of high school so that is what I gravitated toward.

I planned to get my portfolio together by taking classes at a community college so I could apply to art school but by my second year I ended up in the theatre department. And then I was obsessed. I focused on acting for many years but always had a sketchbook and camera near by. When I moved to L.A. I quickly ended up with a commercial agent (the same one I am with 18 years later!)

Yesterday on facebook, my old neighbor Lawrence Zarian "The Fashion Guy" had posted his promo picture for the "Countdown to the SAG Awards" Sunday Night. Crap! I forgot to vote! I looked at the postcard announcing the first ever online voting by 12 noon January 28th. I looked up at the clock in the upper right hand corner of my computer screen. 11:15 am. I began madly typing.

I love voting. The Screen Actors Guild Awards started only shortly after I got my S.A.G. card and I remember being thrilled, getting to vote for people I loved and respected. Although, it's not exactly as exciting as going to the voting booth for a big political election. I even cry voting for president. (so moving!) I think of all those women who couldn't vote and fought my right to do so and I am overcome. Anyway, voting for actors who make a living doing something they love doesn't get me quite so worked up, but I still like having my say!

There were 12 categories and I took myself out of 4. Best stunt ensemble? No idea.

Lovely Erin, from Erin's Art and Gardens, posted a comment the other day ... "I thought you were a blond." I was. Pretty much my entire life, with the exception of the 6 months following a mishap involving a box of Revlon "Auburn #49" from the grocery store when I was 20. To say I looked like Ronald MacDonald would be a completely justified description.

I have always wanted to be a brunette. Playing Charlie's Angels as a little girl? Jaclyn Smith.

I have always had fun dressing up for theme parties and photos (yes, drama girl!) It actually became part of my annual Christmas card ritual and if I could do dark hair in the photo? All the better!

Lucinda's Christmas Card 2006
Photo taken by my friend John Lennon
Cut and pasted over Japanese Woodblock Print

Someone (sorry I can't remember who!) had asked me recently about my acting life ... which I haven been all that focused on for awhile but I went on YouTube and found one of my commercials that I did in ... 2006ish? Not Shakespeare but it paid the bills!

Back to the brunette thing ...

I finally did it on Wedneday! I am finally a brunette! Just like Jane Russell and Cyd Charisse.
;) LOL!!!

Well, not exactly but it's fun! And I would now like to apologize for my longest post ever! Did you make it through??

And those were seen dancing were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music.

~Friedrick Nietzsche

Blond, Brunette
Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pastel of Carceri Footpath

Keep your love of nature,
for that is the true way
to understand art more and more.

~Vincent van Gogh

Carceri Footpath pastel on LaCarte 2011

This is the pastel I have been working on (that was driving me insane) and I finally have it just about where I want it. Phew. The thing is, is that it looks so different on here! The actual piece is darker and deeper in places and the greens are a little different. I tried to compensate by using iphoto but it's still not right. Alas, it's the best I can do!

This path is from a photo I took at the Franciscan Sanctuary up the road from the old part of Assisi called Eremo delle Carceri. There is a beautiful monastery there with lovely forested footpaths, as well as outdoor chapels and small caves in the mountainside where St. Francis and his closest followers spent weeks at a time praying. I did a post about it from my last trip.

It's another of my favorite places on the planet. Being there, you can see why Francis loved it so much. It is so lush and peaceful and feels, as I have said before, sacred.

But I always think that
the best way to know God
is to love many things.

~Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Norton Simon ... and a Raphael

Picasso Woman With A Book 1932

As far as private collections go in the U.S., you can't get much better than The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. I was on a mission to see that Raphael I mentioned, that had been on loan from The National Gallery and was leaving yesterday. (They have their own Raphael Madonna and Child, as well.) So, Sunday after working on two pastels over at my friend Rachel's we headed over to the museum.

Did I mention one of my resolutions for this year was to hit up a museum a month!?

I love the variety in their collection and there is no "filler." It's all wonderful. The museum itself had an interior facelift by Frank Gehry a few years ago and I am sure you would recognize the outside of the building if you have ever watched the Rose Parade!

So, if you are ever in Southern California, this is a great place to visit. OH! And with my student i.d. (thank you Italian 101) I got in free! We also found out we are aloud to draw in the museum as long at it's with a dry medium. We might just move in!

Here are a few more of my faves ...

Paul Cezanne Tulips in a Vase 1888-90

Detail - Tulips in a Vase
Check out the brushwork ... "hello gorgeous!"
(Little ode to the Oscar Nominations coming out today! Name that actor/actress!)

I remember going to this museum in Junior High and falling in love with this beautiful painting below. Check out the amazing expression on Joseph's face!

Giovanni Battista Gaulli, called Baciccio
St. Joseph and the Infant Christ, c. 1670-185

Edgar Degas
Dancers in the Wings, c.1876-78
Love the bold composition! So beautiful.

Edgar Degas

Vincent van Gogh
Portrait of a Peasant 1888

Here is the beautiful Raphael and in person it is luminescent. It absolutely glows.

Raffaello Sanzio
The Small Cowper Madonna c. 1505
oil on wood
National Gallery Washington D.C.

A beautiful thing never gives so much pain
as does failing to hear and see it.


Hope you are able to take advantage
of whatever beauty is in your neck of the woods!
Art, nature or otherwise!

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hotel Casa Del Mar ... and a Camera

Things have been a little busy in the last week, but I have gotten a lot done! The dentist, dermatologist (you know, the stuff you put off) registration for Italian 102 and Art History, finishing an edit for a slideshow presentation and editing the photography job I had last weekend! Yes, that is right. I got paid to take pictures!

It was for two banquet nights at the Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. As you can see, it was a very nice place on the water. It's actually right next to the famous Shutters on the Beach (Managed by the same man.) Wouldn't it be nice to stay there? I became a little obsessed with taking pictures of the Venetian chandeliers and of course the sunsets.

Anyway, the majority of the 395 (edited down) photos were of people but these are some of the more atmospheric shots.

The woman who hired me was very sweet, making sure I had something to eat. This was my cannoli and tiramisu! Yeah, went a little off the health food thing, but I did have some protein first!

By the way, the sunset shots were actually MUCH more vivid before uploading them to blogger. Why do photos always seem so much paler after being uploaded? Anyone?

Anyway, I worked at the art studio doing the front desk yesterday and today and tomorrow I'm hoping to work on a pastel that was giving me a little trouble. After that, I'm planning to head over to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, before the visiting Rafael leaves on Monday.

Nothing like waiting until the last minute!

Hope you are all having a beautiful weekend and thank you again for all the amazing comments on my last post. I have been truly moved by all of your sweet words and support.

You rule! :)
Seek to get in touch with the perfection of all things.
Know that you will be exactly where you have to be
in order to experience
what you choose,
as you go about creating
Who You Really Are.

~Conversations with God Book 3
Neal Donald Walsh

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ahhhh ... Gratitude!

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

~Kahlil Gibran

I have a friend who doesn't get mammograms because, she says, the stress would kill her. I know what she means. I might suggest she do it anyway but frankly, once someone hits eighty years old, they get to do whatever they want!

When I used to volunteer doing hospice at the VA hospital, I became friends with a lovely, sweet man who loved cherry cordials. Nothing gave this man more pleasure. Every few weeks I would sneak in a fancy little gold foil box with two little individually wrapped cherry cordials. His eyes would roll back in his head as they melted in his mouth. I admit it was against the rules but the man was 92, and had been stuck in hospital for 8 years and if he wanted chocolate, he was going to get it. Frankly, from what I could see it did him good! After 92 years, with all his mental faculties, I figured it was up to him!

Anyway, back to the stress of tests. This week I had a test done and did my best not to freak out while waiting two days for the results. Mostly I busied myself watching movies and hanging with friends. Well, good news! All is well and I don't have to go back for 6 months. Hurray! It's amazing how taking care of yourself can actually be a bit of a stressful process!

The blessing is the renewed sense of appreciating all of the amazing things in life and the incredible beauty that is there when you open your eyes to it. And for being well, of course!

If you are well, and I hope that you are, please take a moment to offer up a grateful prayer. Think of how great it is to have whatever abilities you have, to do things you want to do and spend time with the people you love. Be grateful for more sunsets and flowers and adventures ... even if they are vicarious ones!

I am feeling grateful for so much that I could list a thousand things but for now I will say I am grateful to have met an amazing community of people through blogging and that I am so inspired by all of you! Thank you for sharing your amazing gifts and open hearts. I haven't been visiting quite as much lately with some of these distractions but I will be doing the rounds this week!

First, I have a play date with a 5 year old! I am taking my nephew out on the town. Or maybe we will watch a movie. It doesn't really matter. :)

Enjoy your weekend and make a mental or physical gratitude list. It will bring a smile to your face and remind you of your true riches.

Blessings and light,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sunflowers and Temples

Happiness is not something ready made.
It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama

There is no need for temples,
no need for complicated philosophies.

My brain and my heart are my temples;
my philosophy is kindness.
~ Dalai Lama

Hope your day is blessed
and your heart
filled with peace.

Blessings and light to you friends!

(that's my nephew Benjamin!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Commiting to loving yourself ~ Thoughts for a Sunday

Happy Sunday my friends ...

Ojai December 2010

Healing doesn't have to be extravagant,
expensive, or traditional.
Sometimes ...

It just means going to the places
that make us feel good.

Stay open.
Keep loving yourself.

Know you are a vital part of a living universe.

Watch how much better,
how much kinder life is,
as you grow in peace and harmony with yourself.

See low much more love is mirrored in the universe
since you committed to loving yourself.

from Journey to the Heart

I love that book. Such beautiful words that seem to just breathe into you and relax your shoulders!

I hope your year is off to a great start. If you feel you are still recovering from the holidays just relax and ease into the new year. It's never to late to set intentions, center ourselves and find a way to hold a loving space in the world.

OH, and by the way. I got an A in Italian. ;)

Blessings and light to you for a beautiful week.!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Inspiring Friends ~ Leslie Cours Mather

Storms make trees take deeper roots.
~Dolly Parton

We met my first day of acting class in West Hollywood (over a liquor store!) near the corner of La Cienega and Santa Monica Blvd. I don't remember being nervous but I must have been, it was my first acting class since moving to Los Angeles from San Diego. Leslie and I hit it off immediately. She'd been there for a while and was so open and welcoming. She was my first friend in L.A. We started going to the famed Barney's Beanery after class as well as the drag queen cafe down the street for coffee and fries with our fellow actors. We had "music nights" where we'd all gather around Leslie at the piano and sing as she played our favorite Broadway showtunes and standards.

In 1996 I flew to Cincinnati to be a bridesmaid in her wedding and since then she has had three beautiful children. She's always been an amazing songwriter and after going through challenges no Mom should go through she has channeled this gift into a new album.

From her website ...
Singer-songwriter Leslie Cours Mather has certainly endured some dark times recently. At the age of four her daughter Stefani was diagnosed with leukemia. Thankfully, Stefani, now eight, has been treated and is doing just fine. But it was a tough patch there for a bit. Out of it all, however, came an added bonus. As she and her family passed through this emotionally wrenching period, Leslie found solace and release in writing songs. Several of these songs are found on For My Children, her astonishing new album.

This song is the heart of a parent: limitless, sacrificial and persistent. I wrote it while watching my daughter endure Chemotherapy at the precious age of four, but I believe I would have written it for any of my children.

50% of each CD purchase ($5.00) will be donated to a childhood Leukemia research consortium named TACL (Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma). Help us discover a cure for childhood Leukemia. Check out for more information.

Interested in Leslie's beautiful CD? Click here!

I am so inspired when someone takes what are life's most difficult challenges and turns them into something beautiful and inspiring.

I am so proud of you Leslie!

Where words fail.
Music speaks.
~Hans Christian Anderson

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shiatsu Rincon ~ A perfect gift

As much as I am chomping at the bit to move forward with 2011, I feel the need to share a bit of the close of 2010. I was staying up in Ojai over the holidays (where my parents and sister's family live) taking care of my friends' German Sherpherd, Koa. While up there, I was given a wonderful Christmas gift from my Mom and Dad ...
A shiatsu massage from John at Shiatsu Rincon. (Shiatsu Rincon is on the back road between Ojai and Santa Barbara, near Carpenteria Beach.)

It is the most amazing, healing atmosphere and John has incredibly healing hands. My sister said it's like "the hands of God" working on you. He definitely has a gift. Judy is the other shiatsu practitioner and I have heard she is amazing as well. I have friends that have gone together and had a couples massages for their anniversaries and my sister and I went together years ago and had massages together in their blue and white cotton japanese robes. (The robes are provided ... keep in mind it's shiatsu, not swedish)

If you get there early you can even soak in the japanese bath at which point you really feel you have entered another world. It's so peaceful. I however, was running behind schedule and missed the opportunity. Kind of a bummer but I sat instead in the big open room by the fire reading my Yogananda book which was still lovely and very peaceful.

It had been raining for days and I was worried about the sometimes very windy little road between Ojai and Shiatsu but I had another gift that day. The sun came out and it was gorgeous! If you are ever in this neck of the woods, it's a beautiful drive and a very special place back in these hills.

These beauties live at the place!

View from Shiatsu Rincon

The straight portion of the road back to Ojai

Lake Casitas

It couldn't have been a more healing gift and I am so grateful. Although, I think I drove everyone else crazy on the highway that day, pulling over to take pictures. Artists and photographers might be some of the most annoying people on the road ... "Where should I pull over?" " Look at that view!"

Anyway, it's one of the most beautiful areas, I think, in Southern California. Hope you can see it someday!

I hope also that you are having a beautiful start to your 2011! I am back in L.A. with my very long to do list so I had better get to it!

Live each moment completely
the future will take care of itself.
Fully enjoy
the wonder and beauty

~Paramahansa Yogananda