Monday, August 29, 2011

Thoughts and flowers ... Pema Chodron

I just returned yesterday from an amazing week in Colorado, exploring and visiting with friends. I had finished summer workshops on Friday the 19th and left the following evening for vacation. I returned last night and begin Italian 103 tonight!

The trip was amazing but it's a bit of a whirl wind. I have to remember to breathe and come back to center ... to be in this moment, where I am now.

I took hundreds of photos on my trip which I will share very soon but for now ... I am going to be present and begin my next chapter with a little Pema Chodron.

I love her words ... so beautiful and true.

Welcome the present moment as if you have invited it.

It is all we ever have so we might as well work with it
rather than struggling against it.

We might as well make it our friend and teacher
rather than our enemy.

If we want there to be peace in the world,
we have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid in our hearts,

to find the soft spot and stay with it.
We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility.
That is the true practice of peace.

~Pema Chodron

Hope this week finds you in a peaceful present.

p.s. Peony roses ... aren't they pretty?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lake Como ... in Pastel

This is my latest finished pastel. Surprise, surprise ... Italy again! I just can't seem to help myself and with a few thousand photos from 3 trips ... I have a few photos to work from!

The pastel is from a photo taken at the incredible Villa Balbianello on Lake Como in 2008. It really is like something out of a dream. I loved Lake Como but who wouldn't? I keep thinking George Clooney should take me in as an artist in residence. You know, someone who could teach his guests to sketch and paint ... I'm just full of ideas! Ha!

Anyway, thought you might enjoy a little Italy today. I always do!

View from the Villa
pastel and watercolor underpainting on mounted Wallace paper

Villa Balbianello, Lake Como 2008

Villa Balbianello from the lake

Villa Balbianello

Varenna, Lake Como

Varenna, Lake Como

Menaggio, Lake Como

View from Varenna while having a cappuccino ;)

Lake fish ravioli ... mmmm (sorry don't mean to torture you -or me!)

Gate below the beautiful Villa Ciprese, Varenna ...

Bellagio, Lake Como

Varenna, Lake Como

Ahhhh. Now I want to go back! Enjoy your week and I hope you find what takes your breath away and inspires you too!

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you,
if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.

~Eleonora Duse


Friday, August 19, 2011

Last Day of Summer Workshops!

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.
~Henry David Thoreau
Today was the last day of 10 weeks of summer art workshops! I can't quite believe it's over.
Time is a funny thing. Like so many things in life, it seems like it flew by and yet took forever, all at the same time! I will be glad to have my mornings back, (as well as more energy) but I will miss the kids - especially the funny moments with them and the moments when they had a breakthrough and really loved their own work.
Here are a just a few of the kids from the 10 weeks of art camp at The Wizard of Art.
Stella ~watercolorist and future cast member of Saturday Night Live
age 8

Jacob ~ Painter and art philosopher
age 9
Audrey ~ Painter gaining her confidence
age 8
Audrey with her twin sister Evelyn
and Evelyn's meerkat sculpture
Evelyn ~ Watercolorist (aware she's brilliant but is very matter of fact about the whole thing)
age 8
Tom ~ animator and comic with his flying burrito
age 12
Sammy ~ watercolorist and admirer of Andy Goldsworthy
age 9
James ~ Artist and resident cutie-pie
age 6
Olivia ~ watercolorist and total sweetheart
age 11
Cynara ~ Painter and sage
age 10
Apple ~ printer and another total sweetheart
age 10
Eva Luna ~ artist and future entertainer
age 7
Satchi ~ painter (and someone who actually appreciated my humor! ;)
age 9
Coco ~ artist (and shy girl, shhhh)
age 11
Bridget ~ animator and fairy
age 6
Goldie ~ sculptor (who missed one morning to go to court to officially change her name to "Goldie")
age 6
All real works of art
look as though they were done in joy.
~Robert Henri
I have to say a huge thank you to my fellow teacher Mekenzie. She is a sweetheart, crazy talented, and has such an incredible gift for working with children. She is truly amazing to watch! Thanks Mekenzie!!!! You're awesome!!! :)
Things have been so busy and there is a lot to blog about but for now ... have a beautiful weekend my friends!
Blessings and light!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Flashback: The Ventura County Fair

So, guess where I was last Friday night? O.K., so I sort of gave it away a little bit, but I wasn't just at the fair. I was with old friends, at the Pat Benetar concert, at the fair!
Last year was the first time I had gone to my home town fair in at least a decade. I ran into countless folks I hadn't seen in ages. So this year, my friend Todd thought it would be a good idea to organize when we would all go, so that it would coincide with a concert. Unfortunately, The Beach Boys landed in the middle of the week, and planning for a weekend night, we scored with Pat Benetar! (Who at 58, is still rockin' it and sounds amazing!)
We got there early and did strange things that you do at the fair ... like watching little kids in helmets ride sheep and eating deep fried foods that should be illegal in 50 states. It was awesome. ;)

My dear friend Shannon's daughter Makena enjoying the fair!

Makena with our friend Lisa Russell, who is out here from Brooklyn ...
mmmm ... nothing is better than deep fried dough!
And yes, that is a very small child riding a sheep.
My friend Dan said, "Where's p.e.t.a.?!" Of course, there are worse things in store for this poor sheep than being ridden by a 4 year old.
My friends and I took note of what looks very much like a deep fried thumb, in this nicely lit up sign for deep fried zucchini. Do you see it?
Shannon and I have been Friends for 36 years!
Pat Benetar on the "Jumbotron"

Classic 1980s Pat Benetar video! Love the crazy 80s wardrobe! Especially about 2/3 the way through!
We're running with the Shadows of the Night
So baby take my hand, you'll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They'll come true in the end
~ lyrics by D.L. Byron
as sung by Pat Benetar
To check out my Fair Photos from last year with the big Canon SLR
click HERE for they day shots and HERE for the night shots!
Hope if you are having some 80s flashbacks, they're all good! ;)
Blessings and light!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Inspiring Little Women (Part 2!)

"Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity.

It's your place in the world; it's your life.

Go on and do all you can with it,

and make it the life you want to live."

~ Mae C. Jemison

I did a post last year called Inspiring Little Women. I decided, for good reason, to revisit the subject! These are some of the inspiring girls I have had the gift of working with this year at The Wizard of Art. Aren't they amazing?

Landscape by Faith
Acrylic on Canvas

Faith ~ Painter
Age 13
(Reincarnated from Cezanne)

Winter Flowers
Acrylic on Canvas

Halle ~ Painter
age 11

Tree at Sunset
Pastel on Paper

Alexis ~ Artist
age 7

House by Amelia
Watercolor on Paper

Amelia ~ Watercolorist
age 10

Parrot by Jordan
Watercolor on paper

Jordan ~ Watercolorist
age 9

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming,
we lose the excitement of possibilities.
Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

~Gloria Steinem
Tucan by Zoe
Oil on Canvas

Zoe ~ Painter
age 11

Girl in Black and White
Oil on Canvas

Audrey ~ Painter
age 14

Pear by Elise
Oil on canvas

Elise ~Painter
Age 13 (With her first oil!!!)

Just don't give up trying to do
what you really want to do.
Where there is love and inspiation,
I don't think you can go wrong.

~Ella Fitzgerald

Hope you all have an inspired week!
Blessings and light!