Archive for November, 2009

This is It: Day 30 of Art Every Day Month. Work in Progress is Finished!


My last work is This Side Up, a collage on canvas.  The canvas started out as the backdrop for a still life and I had painted pears on it.  As I worked on This Side Up, I forgot (yes, really) that it was supposed to be my collage backdrop and just got carried away working on it.  I’ll just buy another big canvas for still lives.

Before I add the hastily-taken photo (I wanted to post while it is still Nov. 30!) I want to again say what a wonderful challenge AEDM was.  I hope, Leah, that you have a way of reminding us next year! (Leah is the artist who organizes this, and there is a link to her blog, Creative Every Day, on the sidebar).

So This Side Up.


One Day More: Art Every Day Month #29


Yesterday I referred to a work in progress as about as “in progress” as it’s possible to be.  Today, it looks totally different.  So it’s Work in Progress Two, and tomorrow I’ll have it done for the last day of AEDM.  Although I need to seriously get some stuff done – stuff other than art, this challenge has done so much to inspire me.  Nothing will be the same after this.

So here’s Work in Progress Two.  Yesterday’s was so icky; now I’m on the right track.


AEDM Day 28: Still Life Background in Transition


Hope you are all recovered from Thanksgiving.  I am barely recovered.  In fact, Lily, my kitty, is more recovered than me at the moment.  Just a good long night’s sleep is all I need.

Meanwhile, pressing on with this challenge.  The orangy canvas with the pears is getting transformed into another still life backdrop.  And if ever there was a work that suited “in progress,” this is it.  I’m putting it up so I can get something up here for today.  Withhold judgment and opinions.  Tomorrow should bring something more finished and much much better.


The bottom left corner has too much bounce-back from the flash, but I didn’t have the energy to take care of it.  A demain, bon soir.

Is Everybody Stuffed? Art Every Day Month Day 27


Yesterday the turkey was stuffed.  Today, we are all stuffed!  Even those of us with the best of intentions ate too much I’m pretty sure.  Today I did a journal just because.  There is no special reason why it turned out like this.  I’d previously painted a journal page so I just looked for images that fit.  Is there a deep (pun) meaning behind the deep blue sea?  Perhaps.  We have a lot to think about these days in terms of being kind to the planet.

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Meanwhile, an update on Lily, my cat who was injured in a cat fight.  After a very scary day yesterday, she is doing well and back to her old self.  She had to get sick enough so she wouldn’t resist us giving her the antibiotic drops (the shot alone wasn’t doing it), and now she’s recovering.  I was awfully worried yesterday.

Now to try to get some sleep – yes, it’s 1 a.m. – technically qualifying for Friday’s AEDM.  And now to try to get some sleep – it’s always hard after a busy day and dinner for 27!

Happy Thanksgiving Art Every Day Month #26


I’m thankful for a happy home, good friends, family – all the usual.  What I’m most thankful for is that I can call such things “the usual.”  So many people can’t. It can always get better, though.  One of my closest friends recently went through a bout with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Finally, she had a stem cell transplant and so far, all systems are go.  What’s remarkable about my friend Wendy is that she asked that no one send food, flowers, or gifts.  Instead she asked that they do acts of kindness.  Since Wendy has hundreds and hundreds  of dedicated friends all over the world, many acts of kindness were done and continue to be done.  Sometimes something as small as letting a car cut in ahead of you, or paying for the person behind you in the Starbucks line, can change a person’s day or even attitude.  You don’t have to change the world – Mother Teresa said you fill the ocean drop by drop – but you can help the people in it smile and relax and then turn around and do something for someone else.    So I’m going to try to show my thankfulness by being mindful of those around me and the little things I can do.

Here is today’s journal entry.  The Happy House.

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AEDM #25: Some Bucolic Tranquility for Turkey Eve


Another early day on the blog – before caffeine even!  That’s a first.  But lots coming up today.  With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I’m in major prep. The entire family always comes to my house, and while everyone brings something, the set-up takes a while. Plus for me, figuring out when to put the turkey in the oven is higher mathematics. So today’s post will be simple – another page in the journal. Again, I used watercolor background and images from a National Geographic magazine. It (to me) is a little oasis of tranquility before tomorrow’s hubbub.

I love Thanksgiving and all the family and fun. So before the journal page, I’ll put in some photos of last Thanksgiving.

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Yes, we always have party crackers and wear the little paper crowns that come inside.

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And of course it’s a buffet.

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At least the kid’s table is right near ours.  And who knows, they may be glad to be there!

And now for today’s Art of the Day.

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A very happy Thanksgiving to everyone tomorrow.  No matter what our situation, we always have something to be thankful for.  Focus on the positive.  Much love to all.

AEDM Day 24 – Cat Fights and Girl in Window, an Art Journal Entry


Day 24 again arrives – just barely – in the morning.  I had to take Lily to the vet first.  Last Friday she (Lily’s a cat by the way) got into a screaming fight with an orange cat who chased her all the way up to my balcony.  She was limping but examination of her leg seemed to show no puncture wounds.  We got cat antibiotics anyhow.

lily rs

I should have known better.  Lily is psycho cat when it comes to meds.  Those antibiotic drops went everywhere but into her mouth.  The kitchen, bathroom, everything was spattered with drops (including some that flew into my mouth) but did the cat get any?  Doubtful.  Still, she seemed ok, just limping.

Well, last night she didn’t jump up onto my chest the second I got in bed so something was amiss.  Went to the vet this morning, she shaved her leg, and multiple puncture wounds showed up.  Someone had tried to chew up her leg!  Now she has a long-lasting antibiotic shot and hopefully it does the trick.  If I had a gun, I’d shoot that orange cat if I ever see it again.  Of course, I wouldn’t, but it’s a satisfying thought.  Whatever, it won’t be happy if I find it, probably him, on my property.

OK, Journal

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I like to put limitations on what I’m doing instead of choosing from all the options in the big wide world.  So I’ve painted a few backgrounds, randomly really, then finding the images from six National Geographic magazines.  If I can’t pull something out of there, I won’t use it.  This girl seemed to fit the background perfectly.  So it’s AEDM #24.

Next, get ready for Thanksgiving! Stuffing prep coming up.

Where The Wild Things Are – AEDM #23


What’ll we do without AEDM?  Almost an impossible challenge, yet it’s pushed me farther than I would ever push myself.

So today I experimented with watercolor and collage in my journal.  I might add that before AEDM I didn’t have a journal, so this is rather fun!  Without further ado, here it is.  Where the Wild Things Are.

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Until tomorrow…

Destruction: AEDM Day 22



Musical Destruction

All right, dragons were not present, nor were the Wonder Pets.  But the Canon Powershot SD550 was, although it was of sound mind and body at the onset.  Alas, not even the Wonder Pets could save it from impending doom.

Just the facts:  We set out for the Beaujolais Fest at Valentiens.  They were collecting hygiene kits for the homeless so my arms were full with the kits we had put together.  I didn’t notice that my purse had slipped off my shoulder.  Per my own advice, I always carry a camera in my purse.

I got in the car and my husband backed up.  Uh – what was that bump we backed over?  Whatever it was, we must have killed it, but to make sure, we drove forward and ran over it again.  Wouldn’t you?  Of course, later we laughed at the idea of going over it twice, but I digress.

It was my purse.  The purse was fine.  I bought it in Florence and that leather is mighty hardy.  The first sign that something was amiss was putting my hand inside to a mushy mess of wet stuff.  It was bleeding. No, it was my hand lotion, of course, and I’d just put in a brand new tube so it was full.  Was.  That’s the operative word.  Once I swabbed the slimy stuff (it’s actually very nice, but felt slimy in large quantities) with some napkins, I recommenced explorations.

Glasses.  I’d put them on to see better.  Uh, no.  Destruction.  Naturally, they were new.  Dime store, but new.  Comb – the exactly-the-right-size purse comb I’d been carrying for decades, now missing some teeth.  The Lancome lipstick – I can stick my finger in and apply it like lip gloss, but no winding up or down.  Mirror – shattered.

I got to the camera.  It came out in one piece and I was so relieved.  I’d recently tried out some new little point-and-shoots because I wanted something lighter, but ultimately decided the SD550 was better and I’d hang on to it.  I was quite fond of it, so I was delighted it was in one piece.  I pushed the on button.  Well, I could take you through the adventure step by step but as you can tell from the photo dramatization, the camera did not survive.

post mortem

I thought I’d perform a postmortem but let me tell you, that camera is tough.  I could barely pry it apart, and then I decided I might be releasing toxic substances anyhow so I’m writing up the incident report here, in front of your very eyes, and calling it a day.  Or a camera.

P.S. We did have a great time at the Beaujolais Fest with friends, grape-stomping, beaujolais drinking, and fantastic food.  Mmmmm.

AEDM Day 21: Art in My Own Backyard


This weekend has been busy!  We did a mad last-minute sorting of our closets yesterday for a mammoth yard sale today.  My granddaughter’s AYSO team is going to a tournament in Florida next summer, and one of the requirements is that all funds must be raised (around $50,000 I think).  It’s daunting but a good requirement because the AYSO motto is “Everyone Plays,” and by requiring fundraising, it also means “Everyone Goes.”  So that necessitated lots of running around and moving of heavy things last night and today.

So today we have a short photo essay – My Own Backyard.  Yes, I live in Bakersfield, CA.  Yes, Johnny Carson used to call Bakersfield the armpit of California.  Yes, it’s hot, dry and dusty.  It’s a desert for Pete’s sake (whoever Pete is).  And yes, we have the worst air quality for particulate matter in the United States.  And again, yes, this is the place everyone goes through when getting to somewhere else.

BUT we love it.  And we live on a lake.  Here’s what it looked like from my balcony this afternoon.

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The bush in the foreground and the queen palm are in our yard.  This is looking toward the center of the lake, which has five “fingers.”

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This is looking at the house across the lake.  That’s our boat, the Go Boldly.   You’ll note those things in the sky – they’re called clouds.  We don’t see them very often.

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Here’s something else we only see 5.7 inches of a year – that wet stuff in the puddle on my balcony.  Rain.  It did it overnight so I couldn’t appreciate it, but I think there is no other logical explanation for the wetness other than rain.

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Later in the afternoon we even had some wind!  Ok, a heavy breeze.  but it made nice ripples in the water, and the late afternoon sun cast a lovely light on the trees which, yes, are showing signs of fall!

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This looks toward the end of our “finger.” People often fish from the grassy area.

So, it was a beautiful day in Bakersfield, CA.  And tonight we’re heading to Valentien’s Restaurant for the Beaujolais Fest.  Have some hygiene kits to donate for the homeless, which gets us free French Onion Soup, and I won a charcuterie place on Twitter Tuesday (something the restaurant does each week).

I’m super tired, but I’m not passing up on the fun!