Day 155: Christmas Gift Ideas ;-))

Watching Sunday morning news shows and saw the Heissmann trophy winner Robert Griffin's socks!

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Superman socks with an attached cape which you can just see peeking out of his pants leg.  The socks are now unavailable anywhere except on EBay for lots and lots of dollars.  Would have been a fabulous Christmas gift if I'd known about it ahead of time. 

Superman Cape Socks


So.......went looking for other strange ideas and found this:

Fish ‘n Flush Toilet Tank Aquarium Kit

Fish 'n Flush Toilet Tank Aquarium Kit

Here's the text from the website:

A lot of people put interesting artwork, magazines, or even novelty toilet paper in their bathrooms to take your mind off what they are there to do. I’m not really sure that it is a good idea to be distracting someone that probably has attention issues to begin with, why else would they pay attention to these things, but if you’re going to do it, do it right!
The Fish ‘n Flush Toilet Tank Aquarium Kit is definitely doing it right. This aquarium kit turns your boring toilet tank into your own personal fish tank and will be turn your bathroom into one of the most talked about things in your home. The two-piece tank separates the flush water from the fish water, so you won’t have to worry about losing your goldfish to some random flush. Get the LED light and enjoy watching your fish all night long.

Toilet FishTank Aquarium Kit


The kit includes everything you need to get your own 2.2 gallon Toilet Tank Aquarium up and running.
  • Two-piece Aquarium Tank, Dual-Filter System With Pump, Two Nine-inch Artificial Plants
  • Basic Aquarium Guide, Flushing System, Flush Valve, Fill Valve
  • Fits two-bolt tank to bowl configurations with a two-inch flush valve and a bottom-mounted, fill-valve inlet
  • 2.2 Gallon Aquarium Volume Fish ‘n Flush 19.5″ length x 8.5 ” width x 13.75 ” height
Turn your bathroom into the most interesting room in the house with the Fish ‘n Flush Toilet Tank Aquarium Kit. Available at JL Ryan for $171.50.

You can tell I'm a'wastin' the morning, not painting.  Christmas is getting awfully close and I'm getting busier and busier with all those frantic thoughts of .....  trees, decor, gifts, food

so I thought I'd throw the fishtank toilet out there for those of you who are looking for gift ideas!   ;-))

Day 1: 2012 "A Great Year Ahead"

I wake up every day determined to both change the world
and have one heck of a good time.
Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.
E. B. White

Everywhere I go, everyone I talk to, Everyone, absolutely Everyone, is thrilled that 2011 is gone, totally, over, through!  And Everyone is absolutely thrilled that 2012 is here, the year of the Dragon, the year of good things happening to good people.

So here's to 2012, a good year, a good vintage, happiness, friends, having one heck of a good time.......all those things that make life wonderful.

Haven't painted since 2011, before Thanksgiving.  Things get crazy in everyone's lives towards the end of the year and if you haven't figured out how to control yourself and your time? Painting time takes a backseat.

Today, because of a looming deadline of January 31, I painted most of the day away.  The project?
THE CONVERSATION. 
"The Conversation" I've been having with my internet friend Nancie Johnson of New Jersey.  The final version of the "Sketchbook Project" must be postmarked by January 31.  We took the sketchbook issued by the ArtHouseCoop apart and created a conversation based on the book by Milton Glaser and Jean Michel.  I've mentioned this book before because of its fascinating format.  These two men had a long distance conversation with paint.  Whatever was on the right hand edge of a page had to be continued onto the next page by the second painter until the final page of the conversation which was supposed to "wrap around" and connect back to the first page.  I think Nancie and I did a pretty good job (as beginners at this long distance thing) and tomorrow I'll be photocopying it for posterity.  Then I'm going to learn a few bookbinding skills in order to get all of the pages securely back into its cover.

As soon as I finish photographing our work, I'll show you the final progression of the two conversations we had.  We both painted a painting to start the book and I'm planning on mounting one book visible from one side of the Sketchbook and the other book starting at the other, reversed, end of the Sketctchbook.  I know this is all as clear as mud, but perhaps when I can get the pictures up you'll understand more.
And then to complicate my life with a few more deadlines, I entered the Limited Edition Sketchbook Project which has a deadline of April 30.

All of the sketchbooks get digitized by the ArtHouse Coop, which gets their funding from all of us who buy the Sketchbooks and participate.  The books also tour the United States in various cities: This year the tour comes to Los Angeles!!  Last year the tour went through San Francisco and my son and daughter and their friends went and looked up my book and Nancie's book (this is how we met - I commented via the internet on her book) (I think that's how we started) (maybe she commented on my book via blog watching).......

More on Day 2: 2012.

Oh, and in the interim, there was plenty of time to waste cruising around the internet looking at other peoples' blogs.  Found some wonderful stuff out there which I'll be posting.  It's absolutely amazing to me how many talented, talented people there are out there!










Day 153: A retraction - a little retraction

I reacted way too fast, with not enough knowledge to Annelein's blog post for today.  Her artwork wasn't stolen!  She has licensed her artwork through an agent and the agent, obviously, "sold" her wonderful rooster/chicken paintings to the calendar company. 

Annelein said that she wished she knew how and where her artwork was going to be used, but that it was wonderful to know that her agent was active on her behalf.

I'm sorry I leaped into the fray so quickly, but my comments about the other two artists still stand. 

Day 153: Another rant about stolen artwork

Heard from Annelein Beukenkamp, in Vermont, today that her artwork was "stolen" by somebody and turned into a calendar that a company in Canada is selling! How rotten!!  This makes artist number five or six who has had their art "stolen".  Jean Haines of Watercolours with Life in England realized that someone was copying her fabulous paintings of racehorses and selling the finished paintings as if they were their own originals...........Jean was forced to take all of her racehorse paintings off of the internet so that it couldn't happen again.  How rotten!!  A crazy friend (and I say that with admiration) who writes "Flourish in Progress", Elizabeth Jayne Liu, had her whole total blog stolen by a man who would just copy her blog and post it under his name.........she googled something on her blog one day, trying to find out if there more of that cartoon or item and instead found her whole blog!

With the internet so available I guess anyone who wants to be lazy and cheat and not do their own homework, or painting, or research, or............can just steal from other people.  I'm not sure how anyone can truly protect their work. We've all been so generous showing our work not thinking for a second that somebody would copy it and sell it.

Perhaps we all need to put big "copyright" signs on top of the work as it's displayed - but then all of us are being punished for the few horrible thieves out there.

Day 2: 2012 Miranda July and "A Handy Tip for the Easily Distracted"

I'm involved with a book festival in Pasadena: The Pasadena Festival of Women Authors. Our event this year is March 3, Saturday with a fabulous lineup of new women authors and two well known: Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey (A Woman of Independent Means) and Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes) and Susan Straight (Take One Candle Light A Room ) and Heidi Durrow (The Girl Who Fell From The Sky) and Michelle Huneven (Blame) in no special order.




Because we are always on the lookout for new female authors with a new book, I've been coming across Miranda July lately. Not known to me previously but the name is sure known now.  She just won the world's richest short story competition, the Frank O'Connor Award, for No One Belongs Here More Than You.  Someone sent me the above video just because I've been asking people if they know anything about her. We just might have to track her down for next year's Festival!!

My friends know that I have a seriously warped sense of humor which is why I find the above video enchanting.  Count yourself one of mine if you find yourself with a slight smile at the end....or maybe even a big smile?

Day 152: Two days to go and the Turkey is a'gettin' ready

It's easier to work on the computer than it is to go to the grocery store, pondering what you might need, what you might cook.......I have the best of all possible worlds getting ready to happen.  My two adult children are returning to the nest, one with her new dog Gertrude and one with his wonderful girlfriend and her two children. 

A full house and a house full of gratitude
that this is where they choose to be.

My best possible world?  A houseful of family.

I'm going to be cooking a turkey the incredible way that the Los Angeles Times figured out several years ago. Go to this link if you're curious.  You've never tasted a turkey like this!!  It's called the "Judy Bird" after Judy Rogers of the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.  This recipe in the Times created so many questions that it had its own follow up pages in the Food Section.  Here is a discussion by Russ Parsons the Food Editor. 

The rest of the menu is up for grabs. Because everyone likes to cook and everyone has a new recipe or two, we actually go to the store on Wednesday and Thursday to buy what we need.....and we've never had a bad meal yet!

Reading the Wall Street Journal the other day created a hunger for a fine roast chicken because of the article with 3 chicken recipes. We cooked the first one, the "Naked Roast Chicken".  OMG is all I need to say.  Here's the link to the three recipes.  This chicken recipe is very much like the turkey recipe above if you're wondering why in the world I'm talking about it.

You can tell I'm far away from painting even though I did work, yesterday, about 2 hours on the drawing of a little prairie girl. Can't wait to paint it next week.

Here's to all of you having a wonderful day together, with family? by yourself with a fire and a good book? in the rain? in the snow? in the gorgeous 70 degree blue sky weather of Pasadena, California?  This weather in Southern California during the winter months is why all of the east coast had "winter houses" here.  Blue, blue, blue skies. Purple San Gabriel mountains. White, white clouds.  Because of rain a few days ago our mountains are actually dusted and look like this. It's spectacular and we're grateful.

Day 154: English painter Jean Haines

Peggy Reid, a watercolor teacher, told me about an English blog: Watercolours with Life, run by Jean Haines. 

Juicy, delicious, colorful, enchanting........not enough words to describe her work.  She lives somewhere in Great Britain, undisclosed location.

Look at her painting of an owl!


and then there's this beginning painting of a hare,
not a rabbitt.....this is Great Britain!


and then yesterday I made note of the fact that Jean's famous horserace paintings were being "stolen" via the internet, painted by someone else, and sold by someone else so she's had to take all images off of the internet.  Not fair!  She has an exhibit going on at the Wey Gallery in England.  If you take a look at her work, as shown at the gallery, you can see some of her fabulous race horses. Hope no one steals those too!!

Day 151: Another bit of humor

Chuckled out loud.  Thank you my Maineac friend!


-----Laugh for the day......


Click on the link to see the latest DUI test.

Day 149: The Army of Women and the Month of October, 2011

This month, October, 2011, has been dedicated in so many ways to Breast Cancer, its research, its organizations, its causes.  Football teams have been wearing pink shoes.  I'm sure if the basketballers had been doing their jobs rather than on strike, they too would have had pink on their shoes or their uniforms.  It's been an interesting month seeing everyone's involvement.

For about 2 years now I've been involved, as a volunteer, with the Avon/Susan B. Love "Army of Women" and have asked you, all of you, several times via this blog, to please become involved

Last Sunday, October 30, was a huge push across the nation to get to the one million mark of women who are willing to be part of this research project.  I spent the morning at the Panera Bakery in Glendale, California approaching every single woman above the age of 18 asking for their help and participation.  There were 4 other wonderful women there and between the 5 of us, we signed up 78 women.  By signing up, I mean they were willing to give us their email address and their name.  The involvement after this point is totally up to them.  By releasing your email address to the Army of Women you will receive one email.  It will ask you if you are willing to receive one or two emails a month regarding breast cancer and women.  Here is the link to become involved:  https://www.armyofwomen.org/getinvolved

There are studies going on all over the United States, using women, not lab animals, to see if they can isolate causes of cancer.  One of the women this morning, for example, is of Eastern European Jewish extraction.  She took part in a study that only involved her sending a sample of her saliva, in a provided kit, to the researcher on this particular project who happens to be in Milwaukee?   I'll have to go back and read up on that one to get the actual fact.  I volunteered about a year ago to have blood work done at a local lab, paid for by the Army of Women, and the blood would then be sent to a project where they are comparing people who don't have cancer and who don't have cancer in their families, with families with genetic markers.  Easily done!  I have been part of the Women's Health Initiative, a project that's been going on for probably 15 years now. I volunteered early on in the WHI because they were trying to find out if hormone replacement caused problems, if nutrition made a difference in menopause - all kinds of things having to do with women.  I think because of the WIH, I was sent an email by the "Women's Army" and I signed up immediately.  I don't have cancer but I know so many women, and men, who do that I feel it's necessary for every single one of us to get involved who can.

So please do me and every woman the favor of at least looking at the Army of Women's website and signing up.

Day 148: Early snow in New York

My son sent me this photo from the NY Times, showing the first snowstorm of the "season".  Enjoy it. It's gorgeous.  It's so amazing the amount of damage it did to those trees, fully leaved out in fall colors.  The snow was heavy and wet and really tore the trees apart.



and then all the power and the gas were lost......brrrr! But look at this photograph as if it were something to be painted. Wow! Those headlights, that red coat, that John Salminen blur of the architecture.

                                            xxx...xxx...xxx

A friend and watercolor painting teacher, Rose Sinatra, sent out a few paragraphs from a friend of hers, Robert Glenn, regarding painting or any artistic endeavor. It was well written and sure described what I've been mentioning in this blog for days. The inertia on my part, the lack of things to paint, the feeling that it's a must rather than a "wanna". Read his comments and ponder on them yourselves.

Recent studies of teenagers' use of cellphones and other electronic devices have revealed some interesting results. Apparently, if you deprive kids of social networking for a week or so, a high percentage become significantly depressed. They also lose efficiency, will, enthusiasm and sleep. Their marks go down and their lassitude goes up.

For many artists, something similar happens when "the work quotient" is taken from their lives. A couple of unproductive days can send some creative folks into the dumps. They may not even be aware of what's happening to them. "Fear of restart" and permanent creative catatonia can set in after long-term abstinence.

Fact is, good easel time is a noble dependency that makes you a happier, more generous person--better able to enjoy an enriched family and social life.

Day 146: You can tell I've not been painting!

Don't know if you've seen this


Here's the humor I try to provide in each post.

and then the real world:

This weekend was the Art Expo here in Pasadena, California.  I went early Friday morning and took a plein air class from Frank Eber.  He had some gorgeous landscapes/cityscapes on view around the classroom. 


Look at this beauty and look at the atmosphere!!
I have a feeling it might be Frank's favorite as well
as it wasn't for sale.

Some of my friends from Peggy Reid's painting class were also there. Peggy kept saying "tonal paintings, tonal paintings - it all depends on the value of the paint".  I didn't understand and was really in a not too nice mood.  I've been thinking about his process though for the last 48 hours and am feeling much nicer about maybe?? having learned something.  I need some time to paint and just try it out without the stress of having to "produce" in 3 hours!

Bought some Richeson 300# paper just to have some much less expensive paper than Arches to work on.  I know that I paint way too wet for the 140# paper I've been using and it just makes painting so frustrating when the paper buckles and warps. 

Day 146: Far flung friends, Carol Marine's challenge, Annelein Beukenkamp's portraits

In my plea in a former posting, I wanted farflung friends to send handdrawn postcards to.........like those lucky people in the Postcard From My Walk blog.  I've heard from 3 people who expressed an interest.  I'll contact you and let's see if we can get something up and running!!  Looking forward to our discussion via the internet.

On another note: Always looking for something to paint and once again, Carol Marine is leading the charge on the website Daily Paintworks.  There is a Challenge mounted every week or so.  This week's challenge as posted by Carol is an easy one.  Take a look and give it a try!!

And then I got today's posting from Annelein Beukenkamp, a fabulous watercolorist who lives in Vermont.  I've followed her blog for several years and so enjoyed her peonies, iceland poppies, flowers in general.  And then she became obsessed with portrait work.  She hired Ted Nuttall to come to Vermont and present one of his fabulous workshops (I've hired him to come once again to Pasadena on May 14-18, 2012 if you have any interest) and since then has been posting some really fabulous works of hers on her blog. Look at her latest:


And I've asked her to come to Pasadena for a workshop in October of 2012! How can we even know if we'll still be painting by then!!

Day 145: Challenges

http://www.rookiepainter.blogspot.com/
A fun challenge is posted every 2 weeks with results posted. Recommended by Karin Jurick.
http://followingthemasters.blogspot.com/
This group is reading a book: The Art Spirit by Robert Henrimonth.  The painting challenge is devoted to him and his later influence on The Ashcan School. The book discussion will go through Challenge 10. They're on Challenge 2 at this point. Lots of interesting paintings.
http://www.illustrationfriday.com/?medium=8
An interesting challenge spot. A "word" is posted every Friday. You paint what that word means to you and post it. A link is included to your site or your blog (if you have one). This week's word is "propagate". Interesting paintings of clouds, a bed pollinating gorgeous flowers - the artists' interpretation of that word.
http://www.sketchcrawl.com/
An website that schedules sketching one day a year and invites the world to sketch and submit their sketches of the cities they live in. A site with links to flickr, picasa and other photo websites where everyone's sketches are uploaded.
http://virtualpaintout.blogspot.com/
Intriguing website using "Google Street View" as its source material.  Wonderful paintings of various sites around the world.  Each project begins on the first of the month and ends on the last day of the month.

Day 144: I want some farflung friends.....

I've been thinking on this and thinking on this

I want some farflung art friends...
or maybe some nearby friends?.................



Every time I look at the website "A Postcard From My Walk"  I am filled with envy.  A group of 12 people from around the world (I would accept from around the United States) send a postcard once a month to someone on the list - in the course of the year covering all members once. 

Look at their last posting and tell me you're not drooling!!

A Postcard From My Walk

Every month we each create a postcard from a walk
....and send it around the world
....to another member of the group

says the woman who owns the blog......
(potager meaning kitchen garden in French) 

and the postcard then says:
 
MarĂ­lia Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen has now left Coin Perdu for the winter but took one last chance to sketch the potager in all its glorious chaotic state.
Her description of "all over the place tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, herbs, marigolds, celery and physalis hiding their golden fruits in gentle yet firm lanterns, soon to explode with seductive sweetness" paints such a wonderful word picture. But you can see that from this lovely sketch which captures the scene in the potager at this time of year. I love the way Marilia uses pen and watercolour so spontaneously and lyrically to tell the story of the place.
 


Then there's the envelope showing the
" white pumpkins stretching their arms in every direction and ruling the garden with dominant huge canopies " beautifully done in mixed media.
I want to be there too - I can almost see the insects scurrying around exploring the new wildness as the garden returns to its untamed state ."""
 
Does anyone want to be a part of my group? We'll see how we do - you only need to draw one postcard a month to send to one of the 11 other members.....your job is to draw a postcard, your job is to send it randomly to the people on the list....your job is to be one of my farflung friends.

Contact me if you think this might be fun?    polsby  at  yahoo.com

I am personally in charge of the selections.  Auditions now being held!!

Day 143: Getting Too Far Away From Painting

Too many things in life are interesting and I find myself reading all kinds of weird and unusual things - all in the interest of not secluding myself in a room and painting....which I did this morning for an hour or so and then I got sidetracked because there's a photo I want a copy of that ran in the Los Angeles Times about a week ago.  Tracked down the right department at the Times, talked to an "intern" who dictated to me the LATimes policy. Do I believe her? Have to as she said she was "the final answer".  She said that the Times does not own the photographs that are in the newspaper and that we, as the public, have to track the person down somewhere in this huge universe and ask them to send us a copy of the photo. Be damned is what I say. Use the photo from the LATimes, paint the portrait and the heck with it. I asked the photographer for permission to use her photo and she gladly and proudly said "Great".  So that's it.

And then of fascinating interest was another story sent to my by my son.
Here's the link. Have a wonderful time reading the article and don't, whatever you do, consider your day a waste!

http://www.slate.com/id/2301449/entry/2301450/

And no, I'm not even going to give you a hint as to what the content of the above story might be!

Day 142: Feeling a bit sentimental

Sentimental day.  Took the Tiger/Siamese cat back to the Humane Society where I had adopted her 3 years ago.  Her behavior in the house had become extreme and I could just no longer tolerate it but I'm really feeling sad that that was my only way of dealing with it.  After "making" my husband take me out to lunch so that I, at 2:30 p.m. could have a cocktail to drown my sorrows (see recipe for "Penicillin"  ....he had a glass of Aglianico, a yummy Italian wine).......

So still feeling so sorry for myself, I decided to spend time perusing other people's blogs, looking at some gorgeous watercolors/watercolours (yes I got as far as Great Britain......I'll list some names here so that you too can enjoy them in all your spare time.  But while wandering I came across this on http://kayeparmenter.blogspot.com/ and thought I'd like to share it with my readers as well.



To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd
is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying.

Our teacher Peggy Reid put me on to Jean Haines blog this morning because of the woman's way with watercolors.  She lives in England.
She mounts a monthly painting challenge which looks really interesting. Here's October's challenge.

And then I got sidetracked again. People's paintings and blogs are being copied all over the place by people too lazy to use their own sluggard brains!  Jean Haines realized someone was copying her paintings.  If you read her blog as marked above you'll see what she has to say.

And then yesterday I came across this blog:  http://www.finearttips.com/2010/07/how-i-stopped-a-copycat-artist-on-facebook/  where she was talking about being copied and sold.

The first time I saw/read about a blog being stolen is because of a crazy, crazy blog I follow that I just love.  I know everyone does not have my same "bent" mind but if you look at www.flourishinprogress.com you might get a chuckle like I do.  Turned out that someone had stolen her whole blog down to the old fashioned advertising that she starts each blog with.  Elizabeth was googling her name and some of her words for the heck of it and was astounded when her blog kept popping up but under a man's name.  Google shut the bad guy's website down but how frustrating to work hard and have other people profit by it.

So there's my rant for this day.  All over the woodlot as my mom would say.


Day 141: Army of Women - and breast cancer research

Dear Blog Readers:

The Army of Women is conducting studies all over the United States on what causes breast cancer, what cures breast cancer and they need women both negatively and positively diagnosed as to breast cancer to help them with the studies.  I personally am signed up with a study in Milwaukee (I live in California) because they needed healthy volunteers to give a blood sample through a local lab the study is using. My sample will then be mailed by the lab to Milwaukee.  How easy is that!

I know I've mentioned this before, but I'm mentioning it again because I think this is one of the most important causes that we can be a part of. Nothing's involved except you signing up to be a volunteer via the internet and sometimes via in person. 




October 2011
 Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Dear Jill,

Who would have thought that on October 1, 2008, we would launch a breast cancer revolution?

                                But that's exactly what happened when I went on the TODAY Show that morning and, surrounded by women of all ages and ethnicity, with and without breast cancer, who joined me at Rockefeller Plaza, announced that we were going to change the face of breast cancer research forever!

                                We knew that there were women and men throughout the U.S. who wanted to step up to the plate and be part of the research that would help us find the cause of breast cancer and stop it once and for all. 


Read the Full Story from Dr. Susan Love.



And then here is this month's study announcement:

STUDY OF THE MONTH:
Discovery of Early Markers of Breast Cancer

We need women in the US who had a normal breast biopsy and went on to develop breast cancer. The research team is analyzing normal breast tissue from benign biopsies for evidence of DNA damage in breast cells and then investigating whether the presence of this DNA damage can predict who will develop breast cancer later in life. This study will happen in two phases. Currently, the researchers are looking for women who had a normal breast biopsy and went on to develop breast cancer. In a few months, they will be enrolling women who had a normal breast biopsy but did NOT go on to develop breast cancer. By recruiting both women who did develop breast cancer and women who did not, the research team will be able to look for markers in the breast cells that might be an indicator of breast cancer risk. This Call to Action is for women who had a benign breast biopsy and then developed breast cancer.

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation will be hosting coffee and conversation events at local Panera stores in Southern California throughout October. Come in, eat a bagel, drink coffee, learn more about what the Foundation has in store, and sign up for the Army of Women! Already an AOW member? We look forward to meeting you in person! Learn when we'll be at a store near you. 

 

 


 

 

 

                                 Army of Women

Love/Avon Army of Women | 2811 Wilshire Blvd. | Suite 500 | Santa Monica | CA | 90403
                    (866) 569-0388 | info@mailing.armyofwomen.org

 

Day 140 - Wednesday, October 12 - Just Painting!

Figures-Landscapes-Still lifes. What's the difference? Not much!




So you wonder why a landscape painter spends so much time painting the figure? Well, from my experience this past year, (this is being said by an unknown author - couldn't find the source)  painting from a live model 3x per week, there's not a whole lot of difference painting the landscape. I know this sounds a bit simplistic but for me, the subject is sometimes irrelevant. What's important is what you do with the subject. So, in a sense, painting anything and everything is the same. The process is pretty much identical. There's planning - drawing, composition, value, color, type of light, etc. Then there's the execution - brushwork, edges, major color relationships and subtle color distinctions. Basically the thought process and approach for painting the figure is the same for painting still life or landscape.


I often hear my students say " I just want to be a landscape painter." Well, I hate to say this, but, there's no such thing! Painting is painting... no shortcuts. Study it all. In traditional art schools drawing the figure is essential and part of the curriculum. I did that for several years, but for the past 20+ years I've focused primarily on how color and light create form, atmosphere and distance in still life and landscapes. Last year we began to offer portrait and figure painting at the school so I thought, there's no better opportunity for me to study the figure again. What I didn't realize was how much it would help my still life and landscapes.

In the figure painting you can see that most of the plane changes are color and /or value changes - just enough to turn the form. This is one way to convey volume with an emphasis on color and light. Now look at the still life painting. Even though the subject is completely different the process is identical. Look at the subtle color changes in the egg shells and their cast shadows. They were painted just like I painted the figure - every plane change is a color change. Now the landscape is an overcast California winter scene so the colors are subtler than a bright sunny summer day. But, you can see the color shift in temperature, value, and chroma as the planes recede into the distance. These are the same color shifts that you see when painting the figure. Also take a look at the edges. There are lost edges, soft edges, and hard edges - no difference between the figure, the still life, and the landscape.



So, when studying art you need to study it all.
One subject helps the other...
Painting is painting.

Day 139: Tuesday, October 11 - David Lobenberg's Portraits in Payne's Grey



I've followed David Lobenberg's work for ages. He's an adjunct art professor, (whatever that means), workshop instructor, gallery and commission artist. He has an MA degree from UCLA and he mainly paints in watercolor.

I started watching him because he was "into" portrait work and he mounted a couple of painting challenges.  One of the most fun challenges was a self portrait of yourself in a hat.  I tried and tried to get a photo of myself and finally gave up and submitted..................


Go to the link above and see some of the wonderful submissions.

His blog entry today was that he was going to be demo-ing at the Sacramento Fine Art Center and thought, because he's been messing around with the idea lately, that he'd paint four portraits in his allotted hour using only Payne's Grey.  He got his paper ready with his drawings:



and is thinking that while one wash is drying, he can work on one of the other drawings.  I've always wanted to take a workshop from him and he and I have talked but could never come up with anything conclusive as to dates, times, formats, where to do it.........okay Valley Watercolor Society: go for it, get David to be one of your workshops!!




Here's some of the other black and white work he's been doing lately. Gorgeous as is most of his work.  He comments in today's post about not doing any color portrait work until you've mastered mono paintings. Interesting thought and obviously he's been working on it!!


david's portrait of himself

Day 138: Sunday, October 9 - The Best Deal in Town!!

The very best deal in Los Angeles, unknown to most, enjoyed by the few.

Today Dudamel performed in theaters across the United States as part of the Philharmonic Live in HD Performances.  It was a full Mendelssohn program with a violinist, Janine Jansen, a gorgeous woman from Holland.  It is broadcast from the Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles via cameras mounted throughout the orchestra.  You are upclose and personal, looking at Dudamel's face, looking at the individual concert members.
  
The best part though is when the actual concergoers have an intermission, we, the theater audience go backstage with Dudamel, Janine, we watch rehearsals of the music, we interview everyone.............it's a fantastic deal!!

The next program is February 2, 2012, broadcast from Caracas, Venezuela - Dudamel's hometown.  He'll be conducting Mahler's 8th with the L.A. Phil, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, combined with multiple choirs and soloists in Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand”.  It should be a fantastic broadcast and a fantastic experience.  Because of the 1000 singers and musicians on the stage at the same time, I think it would be an incredible experience for slightly older children.  Experience music with the ability to fidget a bit?

You can go online to Fathom Events, type in your zip code, choose your event, print out a ticket and go to the theater.  In my local area, Pasadena, CA there are two HD theaters that broadcast these events.  The Alhambra Renaissance Theater on the corner of Garfield and Main in Alhambra and the AMC at the Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia.  There are 29 theaters in Southern California that participate.

In a separate blog entry I'm going to talk about the incredible deal that's available for opera lovers throughout the world.  Me? Any kind of music except for extreme jazz and I'm a happy camper, tapping my feet, sometimes singing along to the annoyance of my seat mates, just plain happy when there's music around.

Day 137: Friday, October 7

Came across some wonderful watercolor work. It was being shown at the Segil Gallery, a fabulous gallery in Monrovia, California. The artist is Julie Hill and she had a one-woman show last summer of her railroad cars. Fabulous. She has an interesting demo of painting the interior of a church.


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