Monday, November 30, 2009

Tangerine Juice back on the shelves at Trader Joe's!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Policy At The Pump: You Saw It Here First

A friend of mine, who got a big kick from the "Reefer Madness" post here on 11/9, just e-mailed this photo from a weekend trip to Vegas...

Friday, November 27, 2009

And The Advanced Students Are Kickin' Butt

Traci Durfee

Traci Durfee

Gerardo Cuerto

Gerardo Cuerto

Roger O'Leary-Archer

Roger O'Leary-Archer

Roger O'Leary-Archer

Roger O'Leary-Archer

Roger O'Leary-Archer

Latest Crop of Screenprints From The Intro Class

Intro students are now reaping the benefits from all of their hard work these last few months. I am thrilled to see so many creative ideas come to splendid fruition. Here are only a few; I'll post some more later.

The single color screenprints are self-portraits. The multi-color prints come from the third assignment in which students may address a social or political issue in poster format or create an album or a book cover.

Errol Haye

Damion Ramirez

Ashton Amores

Erwin Recinos

Monica Monti

Sandra Babayan

Sandra Babayan

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving

This year, Joe and I are celebrating Thanksgiving at home, just the two of us. I'd been thinking about what to do for dinner, not wanting to spend the day cooking a huge feast, but wanting to plan something nice. One day last week after seeing their ad, I asked Joe if a take-out turkey dinner from Delius appealed. It's one of our favorite local restaurants and I knew the meal would be terrific. Joe said, "Nah, let's just have pizza!" (This is always his suggestion, since it is his favorite food.) But pizza didn't sound very special to me, so a day later I mused out loud, "I think I'll try a new dish from that great slow cooker cookbook Roger gave us," and left it at that.

I'm a slow cooking enthusiast. Throw some stuff in the pot in the morning before work and come home at the end of the day to a house full of savory aromas and a ready meal. Also, slow cooking has resolved most of my kitchen disasters, the ones that began after I'd become a focused artist and all my creativity transferred from the kitchen to the studio. Even success with the basics alluded me after that. But slow cooking was different, so I started doing everything that way. A happy solution, I thought.

But Joe thought differently. "Everything tastes the same and it all ends up looking like mush," he said after his patience finally ran out. So, I went back to my old efforts until Roger gave me The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson. It's terrific! Everything in it is really good!

Even so, after I voiced my idea about a slow cooker Thanksgiving meal, Joe suddenly saw the light about a to-go from Delius.


Warming up in the oven as I write this, our meal from Delius will be the following:
Roasted red bell pepper and tomato soup
Turkey breast, stuffed with onions, pine nuts, herbs and pancetta
Roasted garlic mashed potatoes with gravy
Pine nut and sage stuffing
Spicy green bean salad
Homemade shallot bread


Here is our lovely Delius feast, just before digging in. We are eating outside, since it is a beautiful day in the 80's here in Southern California.

Subtle Sophie waits for a few nibbles.

We are thankful today for this wonderful feast, for each other, for our family and friends, for art, for knowledge and the ability to learn, and for much more. I hope the coming year will bring a better world, peace and understanding.

May we all try to help rather than engage in political games. I will try my best.

How To Draw A Turkey

You will need a pencil, some crayons, a piece of paper and a hand. Actually, two hands - one for drawing around and one to do the drawing.

Place one hand on the paper palm down, fingers fanned out. Use the pencil to draw around the hand.

Add details, including wing, eye, beak, wattle and legs. Use the crayons to color in the turkey in any way you like. You don't have to stay within the lines if you don't want to. (Some of the greatest abstract artists haven't.)

Name your turkey if you want. I've named this turkey "Arthur." Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving holiday today!

(Thanks to for these examples.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Furnace Update

Well, it is back to hot in So Cal now. Always unpredictable, in a sunny sort of way. No need for furnace heat now. Windows wide open.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Greetings from Arkansas

Joe and I are just now back from a week in Arkansas visiting my parents. It is the end of the fall season there, with many leaves on the ground around bare trees and cool temps. Still very beautiful. Here are some pics from our walk along the Ouachita River.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Furnace Update

We can't wait until December 1st to turn on the heater, like we'd hoped. I came home this evening to see Joe sitting at the computer wearing layers and with a blanket around him. And when I'd walked in, I'd noticed how cold the house was. "Hmmmm", I'd thought. "I need some woolens!" Even Sophie, with his heavy, long coat of fur, was trying to get under cover.

That's it.

Warm, now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rubber Band Drawings

Start with some objects that have interesting shapes. Here I've got a cork screw, a bottle opener, an eraser, a pastry cutter, and a wheelie thing that Joe brought back from the swap.


Wrap the objects in multiple rubber bands of various sizes.


Use a brayer to roll out some waterbased relief ink on the table top.


Transfer ink with the brayer onto the wrapped objects and stamp into wet paper. The paper can be on the ready in a soaking tray or you can simply wet it at the table with a spray bottle of water.

After you've finished stamping with the wrapped objects, you can add watercolor with a brush.

Here is a finished rubberband drawing.

I did seven drawings today, and added watercolor to some. I will wait until they dry and add more watercolor. I might add pencil or pastel. I might even wet them again and add more stamping. After I've finished these, I'll put them away for a few days and then pull them out for a review with a fresh and critical eye, to see if any make the cut. To be successful, the drawings must be transformed visually into compositions that are more than the sum of the parts.

Last Night's Beautiful Sky

I took this photo in Irvine, California just after 5 o'clock.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Newly Renovated Studio

Most of my tools and supplies have been unpacked and put away in the beautiful new red cabinets and I'm ready to get back to art work in this wonderful space. It will never be as ink and paint splatter-free as it is now.
My drawing table sits in front of an east-facing window. Good light throughout the day.

Sink area with world's best faucet, ready to go.

This is the clean area where I can tear paper and use the light table sitting on stacked flat files. I won't do any "dirty work" with ink, paint, or watercolor in this area. The white door on the left leads to the small bathroom.

The fireplace provides great heat and ambiance during the cool season. The stacked flat files on the right are covered with a glass surface. This is the area where I do most of my work. Glass is great for rolling out inks and easy clean up.

My etching press, ready to go.

Three well-used aprons hang on the back of the studio door.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just Ducky

Any artist working with ink and paint needs a fingernail brush. And this is mine.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reefer Madness

While my students were working in class on their screenprinting projects this morning, I stepped outside to have a chat in the hallway with my good friend, Norm Looney, who teaches across the hall. We've known each other for years and it is always nice to catch up. As we were talking, the very distinctive smokey odor of pot caught our attention. We followed it to the steps outside the building, where two of my students were sharing a big joint. "Hey, cool!" one of them said to us.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No Longer Camera Shy...

... Sophie thinks this one might be the pic for his facebook page.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More Black and White

Crown of Thorns, 3 (detail)
ink on paper

Happy Birthday, DOUG!

We had fun celebrating with you and Cynthia at Trattoria Limone last night. Hope you get that Boston cream pie today!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sophie Wants to Know...

...which photo would be best for his facebook page?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Black and White

The high graphic appeal of black and white images can be so enticing. Here, I've prepared three different images for photo-emulsion stencils for screenprinting. The original source for the top one was a detail from a decorated gourd. The middle design was created by resizing and repeating a vacuum appearing in a newspaper ad. The bottom image comes from a photograph I took in a railway station in Toulouse, France.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not Like Newfoundland: Fall in So Cal

Fall is an erratic season in Southern California, with temperatures moving up and down weekly and even daily depending on whether we are getting cool, wet ocean breezes or Santa Ana winds blowing hot and fierce from the desert. So, the question of when to start the furnace up for the coming months is difficult to answer. Joe and I try to wait as long as possible. Last year, we made it to the first week in December. This year, we'll try to wait even longer, just to see if we can. No problem today; it is sunny and warm with temperatures in the low 80's. But last week's temps were consistently in the 50's and 60's, and it was often cooler inside than out. On Friday evening, the house was really chilly and, in a weak moment, I plugged the furnace in for a quick blast. But I unplugged it again, so that episode doesn't really count.