Day 52, Thursday, March 31

Whoopee!! I got an email today from the Brooklyn Art Library Librarian that: 

We just wanted to let you know that Autumn N. just viewed your sketchbook (#35593) at Brooklyn Art Library in Brooklyn, NY!
Your book has been viewed 1 time so far.
The Brooklyn Art Library Librarian

This is all about the national Sketchbook Project.  Go to the website and see what interesting other projects are available. (I'm actually sponsoring 4 teenagers in the camera project as a favor to a friend who teaches photography to Los Angeles area teens.)

I signed up for and chose a topic to "sketch".  I chose Coffee and Cigarettes as my theme and last fall when we were in France, I photographed and sketched all those french people smoking and coffeeing, picturing this romantic version of life with wisps of smoke, coffee filters, photographs of well dressed folk..........

and then I started the actual project.

I made the mistake of reading up on cigarettes, their chemicals, the fake tobacco shreds...........and instead of romance, I went on a diatribe against cigarettes and my sketchbook was the deconstruction of tobacco, filters, cigarette boxes.........not a wonderful sketchbook at all so I'm pretty sure that the person who viewed it had no idea what to expect.

But I'm thrilled that someone, just one, has looked at it.  The sketchbooks are now travelling the United States and will be available for viewing in San Francisco in June of 2011.

Day 51, Wednesday, March 30

Another set of "Conversations" has been going on between Gail and AnnMarie.  They have completed both of their Conversations and brought them to class yesterday.  Here is the first one. It started with someone in a patterned sweater painting a picture. There's an apple on the desk.  The final frame has the woman with the patterned sweater reappearing with a baked apple pie in her hands and a completed painting hanging on the wall. Clever!

Day 50: Tuesday, March 29

My painting class has had a two week hiatus. People came back to class this a.m. with all kinds of works in progress, works finished, works with questions. 

The projects that came back to class that were of the most interest to me were the "Conversations" - those sequential paintings that pairs of people have been working on these past 6-8 weeks. 

There's a conversation between Gail Storti and AnnMarie Thomas that came to a conclusion today. I'll post their incredible "conversation tomorrow". 

I've been working on a "Conversation" (see earlier posts for what/where this term came from) with the teacher, Peggy Reid, and it just gets more and more exciting to see where we're both going with this.  It's a sequential book - I've photographed two "pages" at a time to show the sequence of the "conversation":
 jill left - peggy right
 peggy left - jill right
 jill left - peggy right
 peggy left - jill right
jill left - peggy right

And we decided today that we're not quite done........a few more panels to be painted before we call and end to "This Conversation".

Day 49: Monday, March 28

Someone sent me a link to a website that deals with "home" and the luxuries therein.  One of their blog entries was about String Gardening. I think it's gorgeous, can't imagine doing it myself, but find myself looking at the plantings time and time again...........all so that I won't have enough time to paint? 

Started a painting of John Lennon.....Put down a couple of washes and left it to dry last Friday. Worked on it over the weekend and here's the result. Don't know what happened to his nose in the first version. I drew him in about 32 seconds flat rather than spend ages and ages perfecting the drawing and I didn't think my version was all that bad. Painting left something to be desired, but at least I was "working".  I should always post the reference photo.

And then I found in my picture taking, I had taken a picture of my source:

Day 48: Friday, March 25 - For Opera and Classical Music Lovers

I've talked about it before, but I continue to be amazed at the incredible opportunity to see operas and symphonies "up close and personal" through the N.Y. Metropolitan Opera's "Live at the Met" performances and now, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's broadcasts in local HD theaters.

When you go to either of the websites, type in your zip code and it will tell you which theaters in your neighborhood are broadcasting the operas/concerts. You go to a regular movie theater (stadium seating with incredible sound), tickets are about $20, and you feel like you're front row in New York City. Performances start at 10 a.m. here in California and I get there about 9 a.m. because I like to choose certain seating.

There are 3 more operas in this season and one more fabulous Dudamel performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra on June 5.

Le Comte Ory, April 9

Capriccio, April 23

Il Trovatore, April 30

Dudamel playing Brahms on June 5

Day 47: Thursday, March 24,

The Daily Paintworks, a group of artists committed to painting daily and posting daily, mount a challenge a week.  A challenge that caught my eye was the Zippo Lighter Challenge.  I remember using Zippo lighters when we were all Marlboro smokers - and thought we were so cool. 

So trying to follow their instructions of painting the image using only burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and titanium white (except using white to blend a new color is for oil painters), here's my submission.

Their challenge this week is to help Japan by painting and selling a picture. This link will take you to the challenge itself. 

The rules:  For this Challenge, it could be anything - your mom, your child, your house, your childhood pet, a view from your room, a street scene of your old neighborhood, flowers in your backyard... The possibilities are endless and it's up to your imagination. After you enter, tell all your friends and collectors about this event and encourage them to bid. The more money we raise as a group, the better.

If you sell your work, please agree to donate the proceeds to an organization who collects donations for disaster relief efforts in Japan. Also, please indicate where you will donate to in the description for your painting.

So if you're in a painting mood, take a look at the DailyPaintworks.Com and join in on one of their challenges.

Day 46: Wednesday, March 23

I follow Myrna Wacknov's Creative Journey blog. She loves portrait work and is always experimenting with different surfaces, different paints, different styles.  She has an IPad and has downloaded the Sketch Club App from the App Store. She enthuses daily about how much fun she's having drawing with this App and has now purchased a stylus to make the drawing process easier. I'm downloading the App "as we speak" even though I know for a fact that my drawings won't even come close to the near perfection of Myrna's.  Here's Myrna's latest drawing from her IPad using the Sketch Club application. 

While looking around the web for where you could buy a stylus (I'm going to have to ask Myrna), I came across another artist's blog, Mia Robinson,  who talked all about how to use the Sketch Club, how the various tools worked, etc.  Feel free to read up on this App.

And then I heard from Myrna:  Hi Jill,
The stylus is by Targus and I bought it at Best Buy for $20.  It appears to be solidly built and should hold up.  It is the second one I have purchased.  The first one was crap!  So now we all know.

Day 45: Tuesday, March 22

I worked on My Purple Felon a bit more.  Think I either need to redraw it and start all over or?   If you have any suggestions, speak up!  Actually, he's not all that purple. It's cobalt blue that's showing up as purple in the photos.

Day 44: Monday, March 21

Painted away yesterday and today on Lee Brown's challenge at A Day Not Wasted. This photo of the sax player is the challenge photograph. 

I painted two different versions for the heck of it. I liked cropping way down into the hands. 

Sunday, March 13 - A Special Event

In Los Angeles, we have a fantabulous new orchestra conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, from Venezuela,  of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra which performs in the glorious Walt Disney Hall designed by Frank Gehry.  He is about 28 years old but started conducting when he was 13 as part of Venezuela's youth musical program.

There is a wonderful cultural happening that started about 2 years ago when the Metropolitan Opera of New York started presenting "Live At The Met" - a Saturday matinee performance in New York is presented live via satellite feed to movie theaters around the world.  It is unbelievable. You are front seat, center at the Opera, you are interviewing the singers, you are touring backstage and you are getting to see world class opera for $20.00.  An incredible steal of a deal.

The Philharmonic Orchestra, which is where I was going with this, decided to make Dudamel more available to the public, ergo: Dudamel Live With the Philharmonic.  Today I was lucky enough to attend Dudamel playing Tchaikovsky's suites from Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and The Tempest, Shakespearean plays.  Besides the beautiful music we were treated to 5 professional actors who acted out the well known soliloquies from these plays.  Absolutely stunning.

I think we are so darn lucky to have these incredible performances available to us and not everyone has heard about them.  The next Dudamel is Sunday, June 5 with an all Brahms program.  You have to get to the HD Movie theaters early in order to get a good seat, and in many cases to get a seat at all.  Some of the operas are so sold out that the theaters are opening up a second theater to handle the overflow. It's only $20.  A heck of a deal!!

Type in Philharmonic Live in a google search and find a theater in your city. You won't be sorry!

Day 43: Monday, March 7

Kids were here, flu was here, kids left, flu stayed. Slow week in other words. See you next week when everyone's feeling a bit better.

Day 42: Thursday, March 3

Adult children returning home for the weekend. Had to pack up my "studio", otherwise known as my son's room thus no painting until Monday. But in the meantime, a lot of wonderful red wine will be drunk, a wonderful steak will be bbq-ed, a lot of laughter will ensue.  See you Monday.

Day 41: Wednesday, March 2

There's a wonderful multi-talented artist out there, Suzanne McDermott, who I mentioned very early on in this blog.  She is a songwriter, singer, painter of merit, loves cats..........Her blog(s) were always so interesting to read: there was music to listen to (my favorite being "Les Choristes"), books to read (my favorite being "Falling Through Space" by Ellen Gilchrist, a former NPR commentator, thoughts for the day.

Today I was looking at her blog, commiserating with her (she took a fall from her "loft" studio which had no safety railing) and smashed her foot to smithereens....My heart goes out to her.  But, and this is where I was going with this.....

In my Tuesday painting class that I've been talking about, where combinations of people are painting panels from "The Conversation" - or at least in the manner of The Conversation......Lo and behold Suzanne posted a fabulous music video which is one man's version of a conversation with himself and some music.

I've emailed her telling her thank you for this wonderful youtube video.

Day 40: Tuesday, March 1

A painting challenge for all of us who love to do portrait work!  Lee Brown of A Day Not Wasted has posted his latest challenge: a glorious photo of a man playing the saxophone in Central Park. We have the whole month to paint it (or portions thereof) and get it posted back to Lee.

This exercise could be in preparation for the Ted Nuttall Portait Painting Workshop that I'm sponsoring June 13-17 in Glendale, California. Feel free to contact me if you have any interest in Ted's class. I have 2 openings left.