Day 118: Sunday, July 31

Wonderful day! We were invited to a private tour of the new Dinosaur Exhibit at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum.  We showed up at 8 a.m., 2 hours before the Museum opened, for coffee in the most air-conditioned building we've been in in ages!  Lecture just for the 30 of us by Doyle Trankina who is the main sculptor of missing pieces when the dinosaurs are reconstructed.  If you read his bio through the link, it's an interesting career.

 He goes on the digs and was talking about one of the upper blades (?) (name) on the spine of a Stegosaurus. 

He was walking the dig site and saw the the pieces of this blade and thought it might be broken pottery but it turned out to be a Steggie part that he then reconstructed and it was placed on the model.  Such a signature!

Day 117: Tuesday, July 26 - The Conversation

The Conversation for the Sketchbook Project that I'm working on with Nancie Johnson of New Jersey continues.  I received Nan's latest addition to our project: The Angry Bird!!

Why is he so angry? He's heard that he's the star of an addictive game called Angry Birds and he just realized he's not getting any royalties!!
This is attached to my painting of last week:


So now I connect something to the sleeping brown cat, the blue z's from the cat's mouth and the floating orange balls.  Suggestions? Ideas? Email me!!

Day 116: Friday, July 22 - The Conversation Continues

And Nancie Johnson of New Jersey sent me the latest installment in this "Conversation" we're having for the Sketchbook Project.  We're on our fourth panel............

Here's number one - she did - "The Helix" - which started our "conversation":

 Then I added the snake by coming off the right hand side of her helix:

Which yields this:

She then took my right hand edge, extended the head and tail of the snake and created the barbecue fork with steak:

So, for my turn, I took the cherries and the croissant on that right hand edge and created this:

Which when you put those two pages next to each other, creates this:

And that's what's in the mail to Nancie, on her birthday weekend.

We're four pages into our Conversation for the Sketchbook Project and we're both anxiously awaiting the mailman and our next installment!

Happy Birthday Painting Partner: Nancie Johnson of New Jersey
"Art Is Not A Thing"

Day 115: Monday, July 18

Nancie Johnson, my sketchbook partner in New Jersey, was worried about our Conversation.  I had mailed her my latest drawing last Saturday, first class postage and it still hadn't reached her as of last night, Thursday. 

This afternoon I received a very much relieved email that the package had arrived.  We decided that we each, in order to forestall a catastrophe, needed to scan each page of the Conversation in our possession this week so that if anything goes truly wrong in the mailings back and forth for the next few months, that we would at least be able to recreate our project.

I can't wait to get started on what she sent me.

Day 114: Friday, July 15

I don't know how I got there, but I've ended up reading this particular blog off and on for several days.  Love the photography, love the woman's words, love her quotes as she starts each entry.........all about a way of life so foreign to me: that of being a rancher around Calgary.  Horses, dogs, plowing, roping, branding cattle, mending fences..........and she still has time to celebrate the beauty of where she lives with some stunning photography.

Enjoy if you have the time.

Day 113: Thursday, July 14 - Photographs

Received this interesting site from a friend. So sentimental, so creative, so thought-provoking. I sat here thinking of photos from my past and my family's past that could be used this way. We're lucky enough to have lived in one house for 40 years where we raised our children and enjoyed our neighbors and neighborhood so to place a photo in the correct position wouldn't be all that hard. It sure sends your mind on a sentimental journey though.....even though some of the captions on the photos weren't pure sentiment.  Take a look.

Day 112: Wednesday, July 13

Have followed, via email, a wonderful blog site called "A Postcard From My Walk".  It's a group of 14 people (having "interviewed" the owner of the blog, Pat from the U.S.A.) who live around the world and who exchange  monthly sketches on postcards over the course of one year.  The participants are on their own schedule of sending a postcard so that the recipients never know whose postcards they'll be receiving that month - they just know that over the course of the year there will be 13 postcards per month in their mailboxes.  If I had friends all over the world I would start this project immediately.....or perhaps it could be done here in the U.S. if we all lived in different cities.  If you're reading this and think it sounds like fun (or that it doesn't sound like a chore), get in touch and we'll see if we can get a group together.

Here's this month's postcard TO Pat FROM Liz in Australia:

Just love these postcards and what a treasure to receive REAL mail in your mailbox, not just throwaway catalogs!

Day 111: Tuesday, July 12

Painted off and on all weekend. Twas fun to have "projects" that needed doing. Needed to finish a Conversation that I'm working on with my teacher Peggy Reid, needed to finish the Conversation with Nancie Johnson for the Sketchbook Project........and then in the middle of it all, I decided I wanted to start a new portrait.

I'd had a photograph of a darling baby, Dylan, whose mother is my daughter's best friend since they were three.....darling little girls.

And then Allison, the blonde, got married and had Dylan, who's almost two:
 I had cropped the original photograph to this version - wish I still had the original photo.  But I started up with a painting and was so excited about how it was looking, that I put my brushes away for fear I'd "wreck it".  I'll take up the brushes again tomorrow and see what I can add to it.  But I sure love how I started out and that's a rare sensation!!

Day 110: Monday, July 11 - The Conversation with Nancie Johnson continues

The Sketchbook Project
Nancie Johnson of  New Jersey
her blog:
Our "Conversation" continues

Nancie and I have now completed our third page/conversation in this ongoing Sketchbook Project we are working on.  If you remember:  We both painted "something"......colors and shapes on a page.  We then sent that first page to each other, me in California, she in New Jersey.  We attached a second painting to that first page by continuing any lines, colors, shapes from that first painting's edge onto the second page.  And this weekend we both completed our third page and put it into the mail.

Here's my first painting. Nancie ended up turning it on its side:

 Here's Nancie's response which continued the line of the banana:

Here's the 3rd - my response:

 And here's all three pages together - A Conversation

Tomorrow I'll post the other Conversation that's taking place, the one that starts with Nancie's first painting.

Day 109: Friday, July 8 - Virtual Paintout

A wonderful man, Bill Guffey, runs a monthly challenge which uses the Google Maps of the world.  It's called the Virtual Paintout.  Each month he chooses somewhere in the world - this month, July, it's the Isle of Jersey. You go to the Virtual Paintout, you click on the Google Map, you then cruise around Jersey, using the little yellow man feature on the Google Maps (he shows what that little spot on the map where you're hovering actually looks like.  You spend hours cruising around hoping to find something picturesque enough that you'd like to paint it.  I've done this every month, spending hours and hours and have never found anything that I wanted to paint. Grump, grump. I look at the paintings other people have done and wonder how in the world they found that!! on the google map.  I wish that Bill Guffey would post the location on the map that was used to paint from.  He says that we're supposed to put the link on our blogs/websites but I haven't found anyone who's done that yet.  I think it would be a fantasic learning situation: what you see and what you paint.

I finally found something I thought I could paint so I submitted it this month. It should be on the website by tomorrow or the next day.

Here's the link I used on the Google Map:

and here's what I painted from that link:

My friend Nancie Johnson also submitted a painting this month. Here's her link and then look what she did with it!!

There's another wonderful painter out there, Nancy Goldman, whose work I found because of her comment re my blog.  She has already painted two versions of her search of the Isle of Jersey for Bill Guffey's challenge.

Day 108: Thursday, July 7 - Ray Turner!!

Ray Turner is a local Pasadena artist who trained at Art Center.  To say that he is a portrait artist diminishes his work!  He paints faces on plate glass, about 1/2" thick, probably 14 inches square. The backside of the glass is painted with a very specific solid color and the frontside of the glass is heavily impastoed with oil paint..........incredible portraits.  Occasionally you notice that he has scraped through the paint of the face to reveal the color on the backside of the glass.  Because of the glass, the works just glow. Sometimes your face is even reflected onto the glass - you're conversing with the portrait.

He had a fabulous exhibit about a year ago at the Pasadena Museum of California Art........Pasadena was abuzz about the show and I actually went twice it was so incredible.

Today I made it to the Long Beach Museum of Art, about 45 minutes away to see Ray's latest show: Good Man Bad Man.  There were probably 200 "normal" portraits mounted in order of their background colors, normal being recognizable faces. It was kind of like being in the Denver airport tunnel where the neon lights change color very slowly - so did the backpainting on the portraits.

Then the next room had the Bad Men.  Made up faces, just enough features so that you knew there was a person in there.....but more gestural. You knew it was a mad person, a mean the suggestion of the features.  The one below was even partly done with a paint roller from a look at the texture of the white paint.

For this exhibit, he spent the Spring of 2011 painting people from Long Beach: elected officials, docents from the museum, an electrician from the restaurant next door.......people at the show today were identifying people they knew on the large wall of portraits.

Paintings by Ray Turner

Above are two "reals" and two "bads".  I think they're phenomenal!!  The show runs through September 11. The Museum opens at 11 most days but do check before driving there. There's a Museum restaurant next door, open or closed is on the bluffs above the harbor where the Queen Mary is "parked". A wonderful day. Go.

Day 107: Wednesday, July 6 - anamorphic typography

Interesting art exhibit where it's not trompe l'oeil, it's actually a form of distorted perspective, which takes advantage of our minds and what we think should be there.  Enjoy Joseph Egan's work.

Day 106: Tuesday, July 5

Watercolor painting class started up again in an unairconditioned building in Glendale, CA, the same unairconditioned studio that 16 people suffered through when taking the Ted Nuttall Portrait Workshop two weeks ago. Nothing's changed. The bureaucracy's still in charge of doing nothing. They did put the giant industrial fan in the room which makes so much noise that you become exhausted from fighting with the extra, extra, extra noise.

And then I found this wonderful email from my son, Dan, who lives in Berkeley. He has a varied reading list during his days and always sends me such interesting side notes to life.  I loved this:

Night Hearst Plaza

and the source of the pianos:

and then the follow up article:

Click on the links in the above article. Enjoy looking at the quiet shelters of solitude.............

And then I've discovered   
It's possible to listen to any composer, any artist, vocal or instrumental....just to have some wonderful sounds going on behind.  I had just started playing around, listening to string musicians (YoYoMa, Hilary Hahn for starters) when in came the email from Dan.

Enjoy today!

Day 105: Monday, July 4

My watercolor painting teacher, Peggy Reid, sent me an email with a link to a video she wanted me to watch - DeWitt Jones - who's now a motivational speaker.  He was employed by National Geographic as a photographer for most of his life and was given the instruction to go out and "celebrate what is good in this life" by the them.  I enjoyed the video and started clicking on other videos on YouTube by DeWitt.  This one in particular is a stunning compilation of thoughts and images.  Enjoy.

Day 104: Friday, July 1 - The Conversation with Nancie Johnson

Several weeks ago Nancie Johnson of New Jersey and I started a "Conversation" for our Sketchbook entry which we are doing jointly.  We each created an opening page and sent it, via the mail, to each other.  I had sent her four choices to work from:
She chose the fruit with the banana and joined her drawing/painting to the edge with the banana.  Here's her painting attached to mine on one edge. She's now sending this to me, here in California, and I have to think of how to extend her painting along that one edge, matching lines and colors in order to continue the "Conversation".

Nancie sent me two paintings to work from:
the helix

the kasbah

I tried and tried to build on the Kasbah but had to give it up. Took the Helix and by adding on to the right hand edge, created the 2nd page of our Conversation.  This is what I put in the mail to Nan today.

Her job is now to add on to the right hand edge of my page, to continue the lines and colors and create another "story".

Day 103: Wednesday, June 29 - a bit more Ted

Still cleaning up my desk/studio/computer after Ted Nuttall's class in early June. I was getting sick while the class was going on and ended up with full blown bronchitis by the time it was over and everyone had gone home. Been sitting on my keester, taking meds and feeling sorry for myself. 

But back to work finally!  Found a few more photos of Ted's work that I'd like to show all of you........the incredible detail that we all think is "Ted painting loosely".  It's actually incredible attention to the minutest detail which makes his paintings so special.  Take a look at these three closeup details from a couple of his paintings.

a nose and a bit of a mouth

look at all the colors and strokes just for the nose and moustache

so many colors, so many strokes of the brush

Day 102: Tuesday, June 28 - Ted Nuttall - a bit more

Finally found this one photo that I've been looking for from Ted Nuttall's workshop last week.  The first day is always busy, frantic, consuming....and Ted demos and starts a painting which he then works on all week.  On Tuesday, we all ganged up on him and asked him to "please, please, please" - draw a basic face and one more time, "Start over".  His initial washes of cad red light, cad yellow, cerulean...........It's all over so fast that you're left wondering how in the heck did he do that!  So here, up close and personal, is the second start of a painting from last week.

I then decided to go on a hunt for the photographs of the Workshop Attendees that must have ended up in the computer's trash can....and sure enough. So here's presenting
Lee Johnson

Debbie Bakker

Parvati Grais from Massachusetts!

Ann Pfister

Day 101: Monday, June 27

As I typed that "Day 101" title, I was thinking.......I've been very faithful to this blog.....100 days, 101 days........and then I counted how many days, if I had truly posted every weekday, would have been mentioned.....I should be on Day 123.  That's not too bad considering "in sickness, and in health, for better, for worse".  I've done my best.

Came across this wonderful drawing of a woman, probably done on an Ipad or a computer.  I think it's wonderful.  Someone spent a lot of time creating her.