Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Today, I had to take a package to the post office to be mailed. I checked my PO box while I was there, and to my complete delight, a package arrived from my friend Patricia Scarborough!!!! Patricia recently had a birthday giveaway on her blog, and I was the lucky winner!!! So my package today was the beautiful painting she was generous enough to give away. I am so happy!!! I am SO EXCITED!!! Here is a photo of it, so that you may enjoy it too. Thank you, Patty, for this gorgeous painting!!!! I love it!

The other happy news is that I have, at long last, finished my first major crochet project. I crocheted this shopping bag out of wool yarn, and when I was finished, I stuck it in the washing machine with hot water and felted it! It was enormous before I washed it, but now, it is just right for a Karine of 5'3". I am happy with the way it turned out, and even more happy that I have finished it. It took a long time, because I am just a beginner with crochet, but also because I have been painting more than I have been working on it.

Here it is before the felting:

Here it is after the felting!

I am focusing on all of these happy feelings, because my husband left today after being home for what seemed like only MOMENTS, and I am missing him already. One must balance out the good and the bad for survival, I think.

Two more giclees have been listed for auction on ebay, if you care to take a peek. Just click here.

I hope you all have a happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 24, 2009


What I have been reading:

1. Georgia O'Keeffe - A Life. Roxana Robinson. This book was generously lent to me by my friend and fellow artist, Lily Stockman. (Thanks, Lily!) It is a thick book, but I am enjoying it. I can tell that Ms. Robinson did a TON of research for this book. I once hated O'Keeffe's art! As I spent more time developing my own art and studying O'Keeffe and other great artists, I also began to respect and even love her art. One of the largest paintings I ever painted was a tribute to O'Keeffe. Here is a photo of it. It measured about 5 by 7 feet. Oil on canvas.

2. Jasper Johns - Gray. James Rondeau & Douglas Druick. This book was published along with an exhibition of the same title that was organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in November of 2007. A favorite quote: "I have attempted to develop my thinking in such a way that the work I have done is not me - not to confuse my feelings with what I produced. I didn't want my work to be an exposure of my feelings. Abstract Expressionism was so lively - personal identity and painting were more or less the same, and I tried to operate the same way. But I found I couldn't do anything that would be identical to my feelings. So I worked in such a way that I could say that it's not me. That accounts for the separation." J.Johns
This book was lent to me by another friend and artist, Tina Bluefield. (thanks, Tina!)

3. The War of Art. Steven Pressfield. Another borrowed book from the divine Tina Bluefield. I just started it this morning, since I just got it this morning.

Interestingly enough, I normally read fiction. I love the way a work of quality fiction transports me to another time and place. This reading of non-fiction is something new. Or maybe not NEW, but something I haven't done consistently since college.

I am an avid reader. Growing up, my family really didn't watch much television. To this day, I find reading to be a much more interesting past time for me than watching TV. In some ways, I realize this makes me a bit of an oddball. It's almost as though I am actually intended for a different era, when people didn't watch tv, but read books, wrote letters and made clothing by hand. Okay, so i don't make my own clothes, but in many ways I think there is something extremely rewarding to many of these kinds of tasks that we are missing out on in our present day lives. I love writing letters by hand. Even more so, receiving letters written by hand is the most delicious of gifts. See, I told you I was an oddball!!!

Fine by me.

What good books have you read lately?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The end of summer is near, but we still have fairly hot daytime temperatures, here in the high desert. (103 degrees F right now.) At least the night temperatures have cooled down to the low 70's. That makes a huge difference, if I know I can get up early and have a pleasant walk with Mr. Pono. Most native flora are struggling to survive until cooler temperatures return once more. I have managed to discover a few native plants blooming, one of which is the Sacred Datura. I remember this plant from last year. It is also sometimes called Jimson weed or The Desert Thorn Apple. It has large white blossoms, and the growth of leaves beneath the flowers is an unexpected, deep green. To read more about this plant, you may consult wikipedia here.

An artist friend of mine, Lily Stockman, has entered the land of the great blog-o-sphere. I think her blog is delightful, and you may enjoy it too! She is a talented artist and writer. Lily lives here in Joshua Tree with her husband and two dogs. Please stop by her blog for a hello, and tell her I sent you! Thanks.

Here are two hot-off-the-easel paintings. I have called them Nocturnal 1 and 2, and they are oil on canvas, 14 x 14 x 1.5 inches. Forgive the poor photographs, as I quickly clicked them with the beloved point and shoot while they lay drying.

Recently, someone I respect and admire told me that although she liked my new work, she felt I was playing it a little safe. This is not the kind of comment I would necessarily listen to from just anyone. At first, I felt a little miffed. I am proud of my new work (well, most of it, anyway). After getting over my initial irritation, I realized the reason this comment had even left a dent in my mind was because she was right. Yes, I have curbed certain impulses in my painting. I have experienced so many painting "failures", that I have become more careful about my approach to painting, especially on the large canvases. I have become a self-censoring artist, allowing less and less of my original expressiveness to come through in my art. I am usually my own worst critic.

Therefore, my dear readers, I have decided to pull down some large, "failed" canvases, paint over them, and attack them with renewed zeal and courage. Even if I continue to produce more "safe" art during the process, I need to remind myself to let it all hang out, every now and again. I must take risks to push my art further. This is what it means to be a true, genuine artist. Risks will help me express myself more honestly and with less reservations. After all, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Right?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Laguna Beach

The poor, neglected blog! I better stop going out of town, so that I can give my blog some much needed love and attention! In case you wondered, I have returned from Laguna Beach. We enjoyed two beautiful days. The first day, we got to visit some really nice galleries. We also saw the Pageant of the Masters. I had never heard of it before. Here is the story, slightly abbreviated. Laguna Beach has always been an artist's colony. During the Great Depression, the residents of Laguna Beach needed to find another way to draw people from L.A. So they came up with this Pageant. It is all volunteers, which I think is pretty darn impressive. They re-create famous paintings and sculptures using real human beings!!! This is called a tableaux vivant (another thing I just learned. Amazing how you can live forty years and still discover all this stuff you never knew before!) It became so popular that they finally built a permanent outdoor amphitheater for the Pageant. There is also a local art festival right outside the Pageant. It is a really high quality festival, with a lot of wonderful art. Unfortunately, you cannot bring cameras into the amphitheater, so I can't show you one single photograph of the Pageant itself. In fact, I took a photo right before we were going into the amphitheater, and they made me check my camera!!!

The second day of the Laguna visit, we drove down to San Onofre to do some surfing. My friend's daughter is just learning how to surf, so at least I didn't feel like I was going to be embarrassed at my surfing abilities. The thing that is really exciting is that I managed to catch the very first wave I paddled for, and had a great ride!!! What a wonderful feeling! It had been at least four years since I last surfed, so I was happy to be able to enjoy myself. We stayed at the beach all day, and I caught enough waves to reassure myself that I can still surf. We even managed to get my friend's daughter standing up on a couple of waves, so all in all, it was a good day of surfing. My husband and I ride longboards, so the waves are not usually big curling waves. The best part about long boards, in my opinion, is that the crowds are typically nice and mellow. Most of the surfers are there to have fun, and you aren't going to have to fight for a ride on a wave. The short board spots can often have a lot of aggressive surfers with no manners, who seem to think they are the only ones who should be able to ride waves. This behavior is called "localism." It's something that seems to be accepted in the surfing world, and I find it intolerable. Selfishness of any kind makes me want to puke. I am happy to paddle out on my long board and enjoy the day without all that stupid surfer attitude. Who needs it?

I finally managed to get myself back in the studio yesterday, and I am anxious to paint again today. Hopefully, some new paintings will be posted soon!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Just a quick post before I crawl into bed. I am traveling to Laguna Beach tomorrow with an artist friend. We are going to see the Pageant of the Masters. I am also hoping to get a chance to visit some of the beautiful contemporary galleries located in Laguna Beach. If there is any surf, I may even paddle out and see if I remember anything at all about how to ride a wave. It has been about 5 years since I last surfed.

All in all, it should be a fun two days, and I will be home late Thursday night. Then, I need to get back into the studio!

I leave you with another new painting. This one may not be finished yet. I may paint over it, or I may just rework it somewhat. I am not sure how I feel about it. It is too new. I think in this stage it is called "The Oracle". It is oil on canvas, 36 x 36 x 2.5 inches. There was a lot of scraping with the palette knife, as well as dragging of paint, and so the textures have begun to be interesting. The colors are so much better in person. I wish I could show it to you in person!

I will try to catch up on my fellow bloggers soon! I miss you!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Windy Day

Whew! Some strong winds came in last night, bringing some cooler temperatures. We will welcome that, even if no rain accompanies the wind. The wind also brought me a headache, so this will be short and sweet.

I have listed more giclees on ebay. There are three, and two of the auctions end Sunday. So far, the auctions are still only at 99 cents, so if you want one, this may be your lucky weekend!!! Here is the link to one of them. Then, if you want to see the others, just click "see other items". You could probably also find them by typing in my last name under "art".

The painting at the top is a new one. It is 36 x 36 x 2.5 inches, and I have titled it "Touchstone." This is the third or fourth re-working, and I THINK I am done now. No, it is not a blurry photo. The edges are really like that in the painting. This one is SO MUCH better in person, because the colors are subtle, and the textures really add a lot. I believe it will be going in the Long Beach show.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Catching up after being on vacation seems to take forever. I still have some bookkeeping to do, but hopefully, tomorrow will see me back in the studio once again. I have updated my website with some exciting upcoming events, I have sold two more giclees on ebay, I have listed two new giclees on ebay, and I have listed a new linocut on etsy. It feels good to get caught up.

It remains hot and dry here in Joshua Tree. The winds feels like a giant hot air dryer like the ones found in most gas station bathrooms. It offers little relief from the hot sun, and only seems to dry out my poor struggling plants further. The plants that haven't been eaten to the ground by hungry jackrabbits and ground squirrels are barely hanging on with extra water I have been giving them. Even though I have planted mostly drought tolerant plants, the first year in a new place is always tough for a small planting. I am grateful to be inside our cool house with an evaporative cooler!

Here are some of the new paintings I finished before our "camping trip." The first one is called "Lilac" and measures 12 x 12 x 2.5 inches. Oil over acrylic on canvas. The second one is called "Passion", also measuring 12 x 12 x 2.5 inches. Both of these paintings have quite a few layers of paint on them. Maybe four or five layers. So in person, the textures are really delightful. (In my opinion, that is!) If you want to see these paintings in person, I am showing at The Spezzano Gallery, Long Beach, California in September. Details are on my website.