Sunday, December 20, 2009

When Life Gets Too Crazy

"the greatest thing is just to love and be loved in return."
Nat King Cole singing Nature Boy.

Doing mostly 4x6 sketches out and about, sketches of sketches and sketchbooks, sort an Escher thing, drawing myself drawing myself.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Pardon my French. Letter to Rene Magritte.

The second envelope painted watching the first episode of Red Shoe Diaries, messy lives.

The woman's beauty stops at the surface.

The Sea of Cortez where the beauty of ocean never stops.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2009 Sketchbook

Some pages from a 4 x 6 Pro Art sketchbook begun December 2008 with my one inch ceramic Santa and his little house that he stays in during the off season. The paper isn't the best for watercolor and the Uniball pen does bleed through a bit, but the size and texture is comfortable to sketch while standing.

The lone pyramid is the in the opening of CSI Las Vegas.

The wall of cobras is from Luxor. The small ceramic fertility statue to the left.

My practice attempt to understand Fernand Leger's red cubist painting.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tea Time

Tea time. Watercolor and sumi ink. Vintage silk doll made in Japan. Didn't need a potholder but couldn't resist the appliqu├ęd fabric shapes. The petite bowl turned out to be antique lacquer which began to crack when I floated a passion flower in water. In its former life, the bowl probably had a flattened doll's head, a silk tassel. The bowl is painted with a kimono design. My favorite thrift shoppe in Old Town Petaluma would sometimes got Japanese bits and pieces from the 40's, most likely brought home by men in the military.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Egypt Sketchbook Part 4

The top photo is the temple at Luxor (Thebes). This front section was built by Ramses II 1213 BC. The two earlier sections behind this were built by Tutankhamen and Amen-Hotep, 1327 and 1352 BC.

Imagining Egypt, A Living Portrait of the Time of the Pharaohs by Mark Millmore. Millmore creates computer illustrations of temples, structures and artifacts as they may have appeared when new and freshly painted. It is nice to see the structure complete, the missing obelisk returned from the country that pilfered it although it does look lovely in Paris where it seems at home and admired. Several obelisks have appeared in movies, recently in Angels and Demons.

The second photo shows Millmore's reconstruction of the Hypostyle hall inside the Temple of Isis that was on the island of Philae. Due to the construction of the Aswan dam bult in the 1960's, the Egyptian government and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), performed a massive joint effort, surrounded the island with a dam, labeled, removed and reassembled each stone on the island of Agilka Island. An impressive 10 year engineering rescue project as was the rescue of other beautiful temples. 2007 is the copyright date on his book.

The discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb is in Egyptologist Elizabeth Peters' mystery The Tomb of the Golden Bird, a nice brief description of what it may have been like to be an archaelogist at one of the most exciting moments.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Egypt Sketchbook Part 3

The wedjat eyes of Horus, the falcon god, all knowing.

I started this sketchbook in March. Spent time reading about Egypt before all the faces came together as a people instead of individual statues and sarcophagi.

Ancient life had a seasonal rhythm around the rising of the Nile, flooding of the fields, preparing for the crops that will feed a people for the coming year. The pharoah looked ahead, put aside food for a drought year, employed men in construction of burial sites and temples during the flood season when men could not tend the farms. Perhaps they were better planners than the world, 4000 years later.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Egyptian Sketchbook Part 2

Egyptian facebook.
Pakap, overseer of cultivated lands and scribes.
Tjayasetimu, 900 BC, singer of god's wife.
Padiamente, 700 BC, attendent and doorkeeper of the god Re at Thebes.
To the left is more of my antique necklace.

Heart scarab from the 18th dynasty. The heart was considered to be the seat of intelligence. It was the only organ left intact during the mummification process. All other organs were placed in four jars covered with god animal heads. The brain, considered mere stuffing for the skull, was removed and discarded through the sinus, replaced with sawdust.

Amenwahsu, overseer of granary. The image of the deceased is often shown holding baskets of grain or implements of harvest.

The god Horus, a falcon or hawk, his eye is a frequent symbol, "making whole", having regenerative powers. Wedjat Eyes appear on coffins, walls, as an amulet.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Egypt Sketchbook Part 1

Egyptian sketch journal via internet photographs and lots of library research. 31 painted panels, 9 feet, in a small accordion moleskine. I am lucky to have a library with a wonderful rare book room. They have a Tuttle book that unfolds to about 9 feet, a continuous folding Japanese painted screen.

Thinking about clothes to take to Egypt, my Lizard Island t-shirt, canvas hiking boots, an antique necklace of fruits carved in metal with the blossom and seed(s) on the underside of the fruit half. Thought this necklace would fit in well, a meeting of one art piece in a country of rich history and art.

Researching Egypt has been a pleasure. 90% of the country is desert so the patterns of desert sand and sky flow through the sketch journal.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Just playing with shapes and colors. 9x12 watercolor.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Klown Korn Bread

Sketched the clown key tag last year and decided it would make a good recipe card. Slowly making a collection of sketched recipes for a postcard size album. The plastic pages protect the sketches. 3x5 inch watercolor.

Thought this sheer voile blouse was fun.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Villa Riviera

Long Beach's grand dame, Villa Riviera Hotel, built 1927 as coop apartments, on the corner of Ocean and Alamitos, faces downtown and acts as hostess to Shoreline Drive, access down to the marina and beach.

Sketched giant nasturciums that climbed my fence, then added the Villa a few days later, two skyscrapers.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Time in the City

Springtime in an urban setting can be like a scavenger hunt, keeping an eye out for a bit of greenery. In this instance, it was some red blotchy leaves on the sidewalk that came home to be painted. Watercolor and pen in a moleskine.

Tabasco and Raisins

Still in the mood for red after sketching Cheetos and Cola. Watercolor on molesine.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tea Cup and Paints

Watercolor in moleskine. This compact watercolor set has a clear cover that doubles as a palette. The layers twist together into a compact travel set. Will fill an empty set with my own tube paints, two colors to a circle so I'll only need one layer. .

Friday, April 10, 2009

Los Animalitos

That's a half pound brass belt buckle, a piece of sculpture found in a San Francisco thrift store. I've been looking at it for years, wondering what I was going to do with it. Sketch it of course!

The back of the buckle says "Capt. Hawks Sky Patrol" "1977 and Novelty Co." Like to think the Captain is still out there, making more art.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chicken Salad

Good intentions, doing one sketch a day. The bento box was done 3-26, the salad 3-27. My art store got in a fresh supply of moleskines. But they only had the small ones with the perforated pages which takes the watercolor better. I'm not having any luck finding the book without the perfs.

The sandwich in the bento box is chicken salad. Minced onion, celery, dill weed, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, chopped pecans. Sometimes I add chopped green grapes or a pinch of yellow curry powder.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bento Box

I bought an inexpensive stack of small bento boxes, very handy for storing and serving small food portions for picnic and New Year's Day. I only recently discovered bento box lunches have become popular in France, a way of portion control for dieting and as an edible art form. Just Bento by Maki has yummy recipes and photographs.

I enjoy arranging food most of the time. Sometimes it's just something to eat but a nice presentation makes it more of an occasion than a bowl of cat food. My cat never appreciated a cilantro garnish on her tuna but I did.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shoreline Village

Ran some errands and decided to add a mile walk and some sketching. Forgot my moleskine but had purchased some legal envelopes. At least I had something to sketch on. Parker's Lighthouse takes it roofline from an old building that used to be in the nearby old Pike amusement park. It may have been for the merry-go-round which is reburbished and in Shoreline Village, another subject for future sketching. The city has relocated the original rooftop near the new Pike Place but it appears to be melting beyond salvation.

The first view faces south towards the ocean and Queen Mary. This faces north, towards the city, Ocean Blvd, Pine Ave and Signal Hill. The city has set up all the concrete barriers for the Grand Prix which begins next week. Hard to imagine race cars will zoom by less than a hundred feet away.

Shoreline Village is the frosting part of downtown Long Beach, the attractive fun zone built on the skeleton of the old amusement areas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cheetos and Taxes

An antique dish, handpainted leaf pattern from Japan, probably 1940's. It's stamped JAPAN on the bottom. Cheetos and cola, treats to lure myself to finish the bookkeeping for tax time.

Yesterday's breakfast of coffee and danish on another antique dish, heavy clear glass tea set probably from the 1920's. A raised bubble or popcorn pattern on the bottom. Bright orange Japanese cotton scarf with tiny yellow dot wave pattern, too tiny to paint.

Uniball pen, watercolor in moleskine.