Thursday, November 16, 2006

Too Much Annie? - Linocut on BFK Rives paper

I hope there's not such a thing as "too much Annie", because I made several of these linocut prints (linoleum carvings), in blue, red, purple, and in between. They're about 7" square plus the paper margins. (Guess what her siblings are getting for Christmas? Nah...)

Friday, November 10, 2006

PEN ... and ink

This is a good time to bring up something that's been bugging me. I feel silly every time I type "pen and ink." I'd like to know who came up with that term. Pen and ink. Am I missing something? If you use a pen, doesn't it follow that you also use ink?

Anyway...I wish there was a career for doodlers. This is a pen and ink (don't want to confuse you) doodle I did a couple years ago. It's very small (surprise!), only 4x6", but I'd like to keep going until I have a section that I can turn into Christmas wrapping paper, if that can be done at a reasonable cost. I like how it undulates, but I get motion-sick if I look at it that way too long.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Titanic (monotype): or what's the difference between purple and violet?

I've always wondered whether there is a difference between purple and violet. I finally looked into it, and not just by checking my box of crayons. Purple is a group of colors that includes violet, violet is more red, and purple is more blue. That's just generally speaking. I know you want all the amazing details you can get your hands on, so here's the Wikipedia page on the subject.

This image is a monotype of the Titanic. It looks different than my others because I used a buff-yellow printmaking paper instead of white, and a layer of white ink under the dark ink. And I admit, to go with the "purple" theme, I added just a hint of violet color (using Photoshop).

Sometimes I prefer my "quick-draws" to the drawings I spend a lot of time on, because I don't get caught up in unnecessary details. I stopped working on this after about 45 minutes, deciding it was okay as it was. A highly detailed version might have taken three or more hours.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Watercolor, Monotype, and Linocut --Been Busy

John Lovett's Farm -- watercolor

Roman Harbor -- a monotype painted from the positive. A monotype starts with a zinc plate, on which I rolled white oil-based ink, then painted the image using black etching ink and a very stiff, short paintbrush.

Dressy Biker -- a linocut, which is a print made from a sheet of linoleum which I carved and inked. Can you tell she's looking down and her face is hidden? (My husband said her blouse neckline looks like a man's beard!) I'll keep working on it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Brenseph aka Joeden

This is freaky. I started out painting two-year-old nephew Brendan (quite adorably wearing his hiking gear), but by the time I was finished, he looked like a mini-Joe (my husband). How could that happen?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ape - linocut

Dad's always been a Tarzan fan, which is why I like apes and the old Ape Man himself (Tarzan, not Dad). Here's a linocut printed on Rives BFK, 3" x 3".

I was inspired by Andy Warhol's screenprint which is mostly purple, yellow, and brown, 3' x 3', and much better executed than this poor wide-eyed guy. But the charm sometimes lies in the flaws, in my opinion.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Drawing of Annie in Elevator

This is a drawing of Annie in her elevator at work, photograph courtesy of Todd.

9"x9" Conte pastel pencil on pastel paper

Monday, September 04, 2006


A pen and ink drawing (Micron pen) about 5" x 3" ...
after Klimt.

Illustration Friday - "SAFE"

This is my post for Illustration Friday. The topic is "safe," so I've chosen to paint a man's hide-away-wallet where he hopes to keep his cash safe. Not terribly original, but I'm trying!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

EDM Challenge #82 - Draw Your Art Work Space

This week's Every Day Matters challenge is to draw or paint your space where you do your artwork. I drew mine with ink and markers. It's a bit cartoon-ish, but that's the mood I was in! My space is bright yellows, purples, greens, pinks (especially) and all those beautiful colors we're supposed to have outgrown, so I enjoy them in my own room!

Monday, August 28, 2006

EDM Challenge #81 - Draw a Streetlight

For my Every Day Matters group, we are challenged to draw or paint a streetlight this week, Challenge #81. Mine is a pelican sitting on a lamppost on the Santa Barbara Pier. I took the photograph about two years ago, and painted it as soon as I got home, using soft pastels.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

EDM Challenge #80 - Draw Something You Love

This is Challenge #80 for my Every Day Matters Group, the subject is "Draw Something You Love," and I immediately thought of my cat, Andy. This is a drawing of Andy asleep on the couch, being drawn by me.

Here's the one of the sites for Every Day Matters:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

You Are What You Search

This is definitely off topic, but AOL apparently released to the public what search terms its users entered, and there's a funny article on the subject. (One search term was, "i hurt when i think too much i love roadtrips i hate my weight i fear being alone for the rest of my life".)

Here's the URL:

And while I'm here, I'll post a pen and ink drawing of the old casino at Avalon, on Catalina Island. It's still in my sketchbook, as you can see. I kinda like that frame. If you click on it, you'll get a larger version.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Three Monotypes and Class Ends...

Here's a monotype of an eccentric artist, Egon Schiele, a crazy dude. He lived only 28 years, dying from the flu epidemic in the early 1900's. The image part is 6x9".

Next is a drypoint etching of Joe's mother on the porch of Yellowstone's Lake Lodge. This was done by scratching an image into a clear plexiglass plate, spreading ink into the scratches, wiping the surface off, and printing it onto damp paper. (same size)

Finally, a drypoint etching of a fishing boat in Marina del Rey called the Mona Lisa. This one's larger, about 14" tall.

Today was the last day of this Printmaking class, but I'm taking a course that's basically the same, which starts in just 3 weeks! yay!

That was a really challenging, stimulating, satisfying class.
Can't wait to do it again. On the final day of class, we exchanged prints, so I got one print from every student in the class, and they got one from me. I'll post it later; ta ta for now.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Printmaking Class

I'm taking a summer school course called "Fundamentals of Printmaking" and thought I'd post a few of my projects. First is a monoprint: I rolled tacky black etching ink on the zinc plate, then removed varying amounts of ink to create the image and ran it through a printing press (with a roller that applies 1,700 pounds per square inch to print the image onto slightly damp paper). This is a 5x7" of my neice Emma with a walrus statue.

Below is a "ghost" (second) print of that same print, which I watercolored.

Next is a collograph: I took a stalk of grass and rolled paint over it, arranged it on a beveled plate and printed it. This one is 11x14" with a 2" border all around.

Next is a monoprint of my grandmother, circa 1940. This was popular in my class today! The print is 5"x7" but I gave it a wide 4" border all around.

And finally, a small blue monoprint - this time of three terns. This print is only 3"x4" plus the border.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm OK, She's OK

I don't know who this girl is. And I painted her from a photograph two, maybe three years ago. Still, this girl with her direct stare and thin, translucent skin tends to haunt me. I still haven't worked through why I feel a connection to her. She seems to know something.
Is she . . . me?
Is she the daughter I never had?
Nah. She's just some kid.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This is a watercolor I just finished of a Japanese koi.

This fish is a resident of Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey, California.

I worked on the docks at Fisherman's Village just a couple three or four years ago -- ya know, during and after high school -- giving harbor tours, renting out small boats, etc.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My 1970's

Me, 1974, pencil sketch.

I'm in a 70's kind of mood. Yesterday I stumbled onto the website of a guy from my high school class who posted pictures from the neighborhood. He is now a LMU professor; the LMU campus was my childhood backyard, a prime lizard-hunting site for my brothers and me. We usually went on campus to slide down the giant concrete "L" (for Loyola) on the hillside.

This is a photo of Dad and me, 1973, with B-1 bomber at Rockwell Aviation, where Dad worked.

Hippie pen & ink drawings...

There were dozens of huge, vacant, unfenced lots in the Westchester in my youth, owned by Howard Hughes or his companies. These vacant fields were our windows into nature up-close, gave us mental elbow room, places to play, romp, explore. They including the acres of mustard fields and wetlands owned by Hughes that became Playa Vista (I miss that formerly open area very much). The name Howard Hughes was a constant presence in the Westchester of my youth. My father witnessed the Spruce Goose's single flight; my oldest brother worked at Hughes Helicopters as a young man. Signs bearing Hughes' name were everywhere.

Pencil sketch of Leo DiCaprio portraying Howard Hughes in the film Aviator (I paused the DVD long enough to sketch this).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cute Chick

I photographed this mallard female and chick in Santa Barbara last weekend. She had four chicks. I cropped the photo down to one chick so you could see it better.

Then I made a small etching out of a similar photo in my printmaking class:

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Denbug on Harmonica

This is a watercolor painting of one of my brothers, Dennis, in 1964 or 1965. Grandpa played the harmonica (as did Dad and lots of men back then). We have several photographs of Dennis and Grandpa looking pretty serious about this harmonica-playing business.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Texanna Gro

This is an oil painting I painted from a photograph taken by my maternal grandmother in 1966. We're not sure where "Texanna Gro" was located, but presume it was in Texanna, Oklahoma, where she was born.
I did some finishing touches on this painting in a rec room at a senior citizens center, and the painting got a lot of unexpected attention from the seniors there. So many of them expressed how much it reminded them of an old country store they used to know. It seemed to evoke a lot of sentimental feelings. That made an already important image even more meaningful to me.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Block prints, decidedly raw

The Rambler is in the Garage

It's a Small Small Small Dog World

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My Rock Obsession

But first, I just came across this quotation that made me laugh:
"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." --W. Edwards Deming


On to my rock obsession. It used to be that I couldn't hike or just take a walk outside without stopping every few yards to check out a rock. Sometimes I tested Joe's patience, but most times he was ridiculously patient with me. I'm happy to say the obsession is over, and now I have quite a collection of rocks: striped, colorful, spotted, you name it. It's not for everybody, I know.

This painting is a small watercolor. Joe filmed me hunting for jade one late afternoon along the San Simeon shore, on the Central Coast of California. I liked how he caught the bright sunlight bleaching the colors right out of the edges of my clothes, from my green bandana down to the edges of my brown jeans, and I decided to paint it.

P.S. On another topic: I'll go out on a limb and say my iPod has changed my life of late. I have rediscovered my love of music. I've loaded about 120 songs onto my iPod -- songs that move me, that I love, and no others. So with each song that plays, I get that exciting, anticipatory feeling you get when you hear a song's first few notes on the radio. Except I get it every 3 minutes! As that famous New York socialite Carrie Bradshaw said, "Me likey."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Money vs. Renown

"O painter, take care lest the greed for gain prove a stronger incentive than renown in art, for to gain this renown is a far greater thing than is the renown of riches." --Leonardo da Vinci

Was daVinci right? What should matter more, money or renown? Is one more noble? More moral? More likely to be satisfying in the long run?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Testing the Water"

I drew this in pencil this morning and called it "Testing the Water."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Art is Like Golf

I can feel it, I think, I hope. My nearly obsessive daily studying of art might actually be sinking in. I just need to get outside and paint something to see if I can make happen what's in my head.

I've often thought golf is so alluring to some people because for most it is a deceptively great challenge with just an occasional payoff. It keeps players striving for good games. Art is like that for me. It looks easy, I'm learning the rules, but executing it well is another story altogether.

I painted this three years ago and while it was good for my skill level then, I've learned enough that I can see ways to improve it if I were to try painting it again. That's encouraging. And the fixes look easy to me but I can't count on actually doing it right. Like golf, I'm likely to slice one off into the bushes. I think that's part of the allure. The fact that I can't just conquer it keeps me coming back.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bookplates & Borders

I've finally found an appropriate vehicle for my pen & ink work: bookplates (this one says Ex Libris, but I usually write "From the Library Of"). Good idea, yes? Since they're small, bookplates also work well for small blockprints. Here's a pen & ink one.

And below is a "border" I drew for a note card. I draw these borders instead of doodling while on the phone, or if I have only a few minutes to draw. But since they're just borders, incomplete by their nature, I'm not sure what to do with them other than use them as note cards or stationery. For us detail-oriented people, they sure are perfect for nearly immediate gratification.

This one is called Nouveau. (I must take the time to think of better names.) Your initials will go in the middle circle.

It really must be printed on good paper, darling. Speaking of which, if you love paper products like I do (and lots of my friends do), then you know how delicious it is to write on nice quality, tactile paper and with a favorite pen. Second only to shopping for them. Someday I will open an art supply store, I tell ya! It's gonna happen.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Santa Barbara Palm Trees

Santa Barbara is a lovely, extraordinary place. It sits on a mountain sloping down to the ocean, so you have the beach on one side and the mountains sloping upward on the other. The air is clean and almost always cool, just like I like it.

When I took this photograph the other morning, I shot directly into the sun with the tree trunk blocking most of it. Since it was all in silouette, I colorized it.

Just a minute later, we saw this woman playing with her dog in the surf. The dog was bounding through the surf after a stick, full of energy. I was lucky enough to catch one shot of him with all four feet off the ground. You could tell he was about as happy as a dog can be.

I'll post more photographs later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Car!

My new baby, due tomorrow. A 2006 Nissan Murano, white with a tan interior. Sweet. Quiet. Strong. Joe's smitten too. After a five-year hiatus with Toyotas, I've gone back to Nissan. In 1980 I bought a new Datsun 280Z, which I had until 1988 when I got the red 300ZX; kept until the Toyota Solara in 2001. Toyota makes such an excellent car that I'm nervous making the switch. I could easily and happily have bought the Highlander. But there was something about that Murano. It's a quality car with good looks. At least I think so.

One quality worthy of mention is the Murano's continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) . It doesn't change gears, so you don't have that sensation you're used to as you accelerate. The CVT transmission has been used in Japan for over a decade, so I'm comfortable with it.

Tonight, in just a few minutes, we have another entertaining hour of American Idol auditions -- always a good time -- and then a new episode of LOST! Can't wait! That and a new car. How lucky am I?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Annie sister, of whom I am way proud.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My Sago

Joe hates our sago palm. It thrives in our climate, but isn't well-placed. It encroaches onto a walking path in our back yard, scratching us at arm-level if we aren't careful. But I think they're beautiful. Hmmm -- Oprah just announced the topic of her show today: a baby born with two heads. More interesting than a sago palm photograph, if it's true. I think I'll watch. Now isn't that lovely?

Goodby Flu

Hello Santa Barbara pier pelican and lamp. I haven't posted since I got the flu just after Christmas, and even Nancy tired of seeing her own image on this blog. I'm glad someone's checking in. Hi Nancy. Here ya go.

I drew this pelican over a year ago with soft pastels, my first true love. I boxed up my pastels a year ago and put them in the garage while I explored other media (mediums??) like watercolor and pen & ink. But I miss them, with their buttery softness and rich hues.