Day 22, January 28, Friday

Long slow day. Spent a bit of time working on the painting of Mike the model. Nothing to really show for today.  May I ask if you are a follower of this blog that you email me and also if I was following your blog would you email me. I'm so annoyed that those names and websites are missing. That was hours of enjoyment of other people's work and I have no idea how to go about recreating my list of favorites!


I am really fed up and can only complain publicly here, on this blog.  I blog through Google's Blogger service, fantastic until tonight.  I wanted to add to my list of blogs I follow - that was ALL I wanted to do.  In trying to change the format of my blog ever so slightly, the d@@n thing rearranged, recolored, moved,'s taken me almost 2 hours to get back to the original appearing blog that I had but I've lost all of the blogs I follow and  I now have 2 extra google boxes at the top.  And then I found out after another 15 minutes how to read html coding and I deleted the google news (which I didn't want) and the two "about me" boxes that I didn't want.  I'm fed up and I wish someone in charge of Google Blogging could/would see this and help us out. I've been on the discussion boards and everyone's really frustrated with the Big Brother aspect of this whole thing. You, Google, decided that we needed to change.  You didn't ask us. You didn't tell us to "back up our HTML" before clicking on anything..........Darn you!!!!!   So tomorrow, I'll spend some more time, finding my favorite friends and their websites so that I, too, can just click on the links to some wonderful artists!

Day 22, January 27, Thursday


Women are angels...and when someone breaks our wings?   We simply continue to fly....on a broomstick.  We're flexible like that.

Another Thursday, another portrait drawing class, a really tough model to draw. If you weren't careful, it was a man. If you weren't careful it was a 20-year old girl, never the inbetween 50?ish interesting looking woman, a professional model named Zee. Have some not so good drawings that I'll post just to show that I did draw today. 

Day 21, January 26, Wednesday

One of the most wonderful of all the painters whose work I've followed since my journey began is Karin Jurick, a full time painter now that's she's closed down her Atlanta based frame shop.  She set herself the challenge of 100 portraits in 100 days. Life intervened only slightly and she's proceeding apace towards her goal of 100.  Very early on in the series, a collector offered to buy the whole output of the 100 portraits, so each fantabulous painting has been marked "sold" as soon as it was posted.  She says she's had so much fun doing this that she will be continuing the project well past the 100 mark.  She finds the faces by googling mug shots, so her blog is "100 faces busted"....aptly named. Take a look and enjoy the progressively more talented painting....and remember when you're looking at them?  They're oil paintings, 4" x 4".    Here's just one of many.

Day 20, Tuesday, January 25 - Painting Challenges

I'm always looking for painting challenges and through Horst Hittenberger, Karin Jurick and several other artists, I've come across some fun and/or interesting and/or challenging sites. Take a look and do what you will?  Let me know if you decide to try any of them.

recommended by Karin Jurick

and one of the more interesting ones

and one that looked wonderful but doesn't exist any more...

Day 19, January 24, Monday

While it's still fresh, I have to tell a funny story. To do the Sketchbook Project I had bought 2 packs of cigarettes, the cheapest I could find and even then they were $4.50 a pack!! How does anyone afford to smoke?  I used up not quite a pack in deconstructing, cutting apart, shredding cigarettes for the project and thus had a pack and some loose cigarettes left over.  I put them in a ziploc bag in the car determined to just give them to one of the homeless guys who stand by the freeway exits....thought that better than throwing them away. So yesterday as I pull into a business' driveway, here comes a guy, drunk, dirty...I roll down the window and ask politely "Do you smoke?"  "Yes", comes the short answer. So I proffer the cigarettes out the car window and say "would you like these, a guest left them at my house".  He looks at the cigarettes for a long time and then says:
"I only smoke Menthol Lights"

and he walked on.  I started laughing out loud at the idiocy of the whole thing thinking, "I guess beggars are definitely allowed to be choosers"!

Day 18, January 21, Friday - Ted Nuttall

I'm bringing Ted Nuttall to Glendale, California in June, the 13-17 to be exact. It will be a week long watercolor portrait class held in the Brand Studio, a fabulous place to paint.  These classes fill quickly and I'm taking registrations now so if you're interested, get in touch.

Day 17, January 20, Thursday

Thursday morning has always been a portrait drawing class taught by April Foster at the Eagle Rock Senior Center. It's a wonderful class, well taught, well attended, with everything from a rank beginner to several incredibly accomplished oil/w/c/pastel/sanguine artists. Today we had Mike Lynch for our model. He does a wonderful job and has modeled for us at least once a year.

And then I drew him again on watercolor paper.  I was supposed to go to Scottsdale for 4 days next week to watercolor paint in a private class with Ted Nuttall. I was concentrating today on the bizarre shadows that were being cast on Mike's face as if I were going to paint ala Ted.

From long ago, when Mike had shaved his head, I have this photo of him that I paid for (he's a professional model). Thought you might like to see his angular face for "real".

Day 16, January 19, Wednesday

Working on a fabulous benefit here in Pasadena, CA, an exciting fund-raiser which will benefit the Pasadena Senior Center.  It's being held April 2, 2011, the 3rd Festival we will have held.  It's a book fest! We invite 4 women authors, local if possible, to present and discuss their newest book and their life as an author. It's always a sellout crowd of 250 people and we're fortunate enough to have Elizabeth Hailey ("A Woman of Independent Means") for our moderator.

Among other "jobs" I'm in charge of table decor and I've had such fun doing something I'm not normally involved with.  I decided it would be fun to have books themselves as the centerpieces and they would be the stand for the featured flower arrangement. I had a wonderful carpenter friend drill out a 3-3/4" hole in the front of the book, through the book jacket and all. I'm buying the books off of the "final stand" table at the South Pasadena Library so I don't feel as if I'm truly desecrating  a book - it's getting a second life as a featured objet d'art.
Buy a ticket and come join us for a wonderful day, including lunch.

Day 15, January 18, Tuesday

Off to the watercolor class in Glendale which is taught by Peggy Reid. Learned about using the Cruciform when trying to design a painting. No finished work to show for it yet.

Day 13, January 16, Sunday

Actually went to a drawing class today. There's a model, Jennifer Lobos-Patton who runs drawing sessions, usually at odd times: 9 p.m. - 1 a.m. or somesuch, always in an interesting location. Well for once she ran a session right here in Pasadena, CA (imagine that!) at a new little gallery on Colorado Blvd.  A four hour session for $10. There were at least 10-11 of us crammed into a small space, but it felt so, so, so good to be drawing again. I haven't been in a figure/portrait class since the end of September, 2010. Whoopee! And I had such a wonderful time!

Day 14, January 17, Monday

I so want you to enjoy an email "movie" that was sent to me and to laugh just as hugely and as loudly as I did.  Instead of "I'll Cry Tomorrow" like the old, old movie, I'll paint tomorrow, promise!

And then my son, not to be outdone, promptly sent me this link.  But you know boys! Bang 'em up, crash 'em up, shoot off a few guns.   Enjoy.

Day 12, January 14, Friday and now the weekend....

And then spending time on the internet checking out other peoples' Sketchbooks. You can upload photos of your pages, photos of your other work. A great way to spend valuable time!

A scotch and water is now in order as it's 6:48 p.m.

Happy weekend everyone

Day 11, January 13, Thursday

Cleaning up after my "arts and crafts" project otherwise known as the Sketchbook Project.  It's a really interesting site.  They not only had this huge nationwide (worldwide?) project where for a fee, you registered and received a moleskin sketchbook in the mail with a due date, but they also have monthly sketchbook challenges which would be fun to do with your children or was to empty your pockets at the end of every day, catalog the contents and send in all the collection envelopes. I thought kids (grandkids?) could have a heck of a time emptying Grandpa's pockets!

The next Sketchbook project? A Million Little Pictures.  You receive a disposable camera, you choose a theme, you shoot 27 photos (the number of negatives in the camera) and you return the camera by June 15. Signups for this project are over on March 31 so if you think you'd like to take part? Take a look.

Sketchbook is in tomorrow's mail, meeting the deadline.

Day 10, January 12, Wednesday

Worked off and on all day on the Sketchbook Project. Almost finished. Don't like what I've done as I got totally distracted.  The theme was to be "Coffee and Cigarettes" and I had in mind an ethereal set of photos, smoke drifting, coffee steam wafting....remembering moments in movies as the stars inhaled. Instead, when I got started, I came across a huge article on how the cigarette manufacturers have so manipulated the paper that the tobacco is wrapped in to control the amount and heat of smoke as it's inhaled, the filter has a series of very specific punches in it to allow only so much smoke, no more no less. The nicotine itself is no longer just tobacco. It's reprocessed, combined with paper goods, sprayed with chemicals......

I got so angry that the whole Sketchbook became a protest against cigarettes and what's being proferred by the cigarette companies.

The worst of all the items I came across:  The Marlboro Man, in 1992, dying of lung cancer, went to the Philip Morris shareholders meeting asking the company to voluntarily limit its advertising. The Chairman, Michael Miles, responded: "We're certainly sorry to hear about your medical problem. Without knowing your medical history, I don't think I can comment any further."  The Marlboro Man died of lung cancer three months later. Stunning in its absurdity.

Day 9, January 11, Tuesday

Uh, oh, I've already fallen behind by a couple of days. Been "swampo" busy with life in general and the Sketchbook Project which is to be postmarked Saturday. I submitted 2 paintings to the Valley Watercolor Society show.

Day 8: January 10, Monday

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Today, again procrastinating on the Sketchbook Project.  Found out that I have two friends who also signed up to participate and who also haven't even started on their sketchbooks. The books are to be postmarked Saturday. We all three must be procrastinators!!  There are over 28,000 people signed up to submit Sketchbooks.

And then I started remembering a blog I loved but the woman got tired of blogging and feeding all of our souls with her wonderful choices in music and books. She was/is a watercolorist whose blog I found several years ago when I first started looking for on-line mentors.  I so looked forward to reading her blog every day: to see if the robin had built its nest yet this year, to listen to some of her favorite music.  Her book choices were always intriguing.  And so I put my cd of "Les Choristes" into my cd player in honor of Suzanne McDermott.  This one song is my most favorite.  Oh how I wish she still blogged all of her wonderful erudition.  The link will bring up Suzanne's actual page with her fascinating comments and links. She's a musician herself, songwriter, performer and also leads the "Big Draw" which in and of itself is a humongous project.  Here's a link to her painting blog just because.

Sunday - Please Vote

Have several paintings that I can't decide between in terms of entering two of them in a local watercolor show. Would anyone who looks at this please comment on 2 favorites? I have to put the cd in the mail this coming Saturday.
As you can tell, I don't have a "style" yet.  ;-))

 a fellow painter
 arroyo sumac
 the yellow chevy's bumper
new hampshire doctor

Day 7, January 7, Friday

And then a hiatus in posting until Monday comes again. Today I puttered in the painting room, otherwise known as my son's bedroom and while mentally settling into "work" a friend called to se if I wanted to see the "Black Swan". Oh me, oh my. Fantastic. Was it real? Was it an hallucination? Did she die? Unbelievably good. Violent, rated R for some "interesting" sex. I'd say go see it and stay through the ending. Painting took second place today.

Another Year - hohum, depressing
King's English - phenomenally good
True Grit- fun remake
The Fighter - incredible casting, well done

Pick up my scanned paintings tomorrow and will try to decide which two, if any, I'm going to enter in the show.

Day 6: January 6, Thursday

Another dillydally day. Glued coffee grounds onto a coffee filter as potentially one of the pages in the National Sketchbook Project......and then went to see the movie "The Fighter".  Incredibly done true story starring Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg who once was known for being an underwear model). He did a wonderful job and in spite of the boxing violence, it was very good. And that's the extent of my day.  Hope for more and better tomorrow or I'll be flat out of time. True confessions here.

Day 5: January 5, Wednesday

It's late and not much to show for today. Took 6 paintings to the camera store to be scanned onto a cd. Couldn't make up my mind as to which ones I would like to enter in the watercolor show. Gerald Brommer is the judge and I always wonder if judges like to see things that match their "style" of painting or if they just hopefully see some woozies of paintings and are thrilled that they were asked to judge. I think today was a dillydallying day.

Have been thinking for days about how to do my "Sketchbook Project" and finally this afternoon took all the stitching out of the Moleskin book that has to hold the project so that I could make some longer, wider pieces of paper. I need to get a'hustling on it.

And then when I went on the sketchbook site? They have monthly sketchbook projects some of which sounded so great that I had to email all the links to certain people. The easiest and what could be the most interesting was the "Pocket Project". Since i'm doing this post on my Ipad, here's the link to the big project with over 23,000 participants!!
Since my sketchbook theme is "coffee and cigarettes" I think I had better buy a pack or two of cigarettes to see if my idea will work. Stay tuned.

Day 4: January 4 Tuesday

Finally got my act together this afternoon and went into my lair. I'll again show the photos of what changed during this afternoon's session. Interesting experiment with my brother's portrait, the 4th of July boy. The one on the left looks awful here, but I tried a bit of a pointillist style and "in person" it's not all that bad.

And then there's the brother and my/his first cousin Swampy.  In person there's a heck of a resemblance.

Actually like one of the Carol Marine's out of all the many versions.


Am playing "Rigoletto" as I while away my time. Fantastic recording with Pavarotti in his prime and Kiri Te Kanawa just beginning.  Just saw it performed in my local movie theater as one of the Live at the Met HD Performances that are being presented.  In case you don't know about this, but love opera as I do, the Met is broadcasting a Saturday matinee, once a month, live in HD.  It's a fantastic presentation where, during the 30 minute intermissions at the opera house, you, as the audience, are treated to back stage interviews with the performers, to tours of the prop rooms, to watching the stage being set for the next act. Wonderful way to "be there".
Verdi - Rigoletto / Sutherland, Pavarotti, Milnes, LSO, Bonynge

Day 3: January 3, Monday

If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.

The above quote is from a site "" which had an interesting video - came to me compliments of my watercolor teacher Peggy Reid who wanted to get us all "fired up" for the newest year.  

I worked this afternoon on the paintings of Carol Marine, hoping to have something finished in the next few days.  Can you see any difference in the paintings from when I photographed them two days ago and how they look tonight?  The fear is always that somehow we've wrecked it and will need to start again! Hope not.

Don't know what happened to the formatting but I can't seem to make this full column width tonight........

Day 2: January 2, 2011, Sunday

I did about 1/2 hour's worth of painting......Had to get all the equipment located, put in one room, set up the table, find the light, arrange the music....all those things we think we need to have in perfect order in order to be able to paint.  Went through all the portfolios looking for some very specific paintings that I have in progress hoping to finish two or three pieces in order to be able to enter the local watercolor show: due date January 15. With this piece of guilt in the background (this blog), I will paint and post every day.

Day One of 2011: January 1, Saturday

It's been almost exactly a year since I started this blog. I started it because of the Karin Jurick Portrait Thank You Project which was so much fun. And then Karin just won the painting of the year award from Katherine Tyrell via the web site: Making a Mark - an excellent, if not the best, blog all about art. Karin's wonderful painting 'Hands of Time' was given the "Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog" award. I figure that for an outstanding accomplishment.

If you haven't been following Karin's 100 daily faces project, each face painted from a mug shot, they're fantastic and the whole series of 100 was presold after the first 3 or 4 were displayed on her blog. These magnificent pieces are only 4" x 4" - unbelievable detail in such a small space.
My goal is to once again post daily on this blog. There's a national project looming over my head: The Sketchbook Project which has to be postmarked by January 15. I read on a blog this morning that procrastination is considered a big part of an art project, that thinking about the project counts. Ergo: I'm still procrastinating.  I did get my studio (my son's bedroom) cleaned up today with everything once again set up after a long hiatus (haven't painted since October 1 when we left for a long trip to France with our adult son and daughter).

There's also a separate watercolor show (Valley Watercolor Society in Los Angeles county) that I'm trying to enter using one or two of the portraits I've painted in the last six months. I asked Carol Marine for permission to use her photograph if I get the painting finished in time. I've always thought her photo on her blog shows a joyous face, one who loves to paint!  She's one of the most faithful of the Painting a Day Group.