a different angle of the Hôtel de Ville. this time featuring an old gaslight in the foreground.
going to try another one today. in another color of course.
here are a few roughshod quickie portraits done live. if you are feeling depressed or blue promise me you will either do a self-portrait or a friend's portrait. the resulting gales of laughter will do you good.
don't be ridiculous. of course they're all of the exact same person. done on the exact same day. can't you tell?!
i love to draw with a watercolor brush. i often wish i would THINK more and plan before jumping in with a sketch, but i just don't have it in me.
take these 2 glass cups of tea below for example. the original pic is HERE in my old istanbul travelogue. anyway the plates have 6 red segments not 8 as in the upper cup. just a tiny bit of thought before diving in could have come in handy. but what the hell, i could always consider this the warm-up study and do another sketch of the exact same thing. in fact now that i say that i realize i should do that more often.
after the glasses i wanted to draw a building with my paintbrush. i'm here to tell you that was extremely rewarding.
now i want to do another in bright blue.
i'm determined to paint one building a day this week. i detest one-a-day type challenges so this may not work for me. we'll see.
where are you and what are you doing? someone in los angeles wants to know.
behold my new sketchbook ready to be bound. it's been in the bookcase all week getting smashed flat.
my margarita-and-writing ritual is a new late afternoon treat.
the new class arrived yesterday and they are a nice bunch of kiddos. guiless and sweet. only 1 wildcard in the bunch and he's nothing compared to other wildcards from other years at other schools. i started reading a roald dahl favorite of mine today. i sit in a chair and they sit in a cluster at my feet more or less. i used to never imagine 5th graders would enjoy storytime as much as they do. but they are a captive audience. coco, yahuan, jincan, rongcong, and 25 more. 10 girls and 18 boys!
oh... well there is one other thing. i've sealed the deal on a seaside cottage that is going to be all mine for a week at the end of november. i can already feel the heady seabreeze pushing my wings outward & upward.
i have no idea where i'll be in november, but there's no harm in anticipating another good assignment around the corner.
okay, that's it for now. just a short missive from the western edge of the continent.
a bit of collage over a bunch of test marks & other nonsense. then a little ink drawing over the top using my extremely erratic aquash waterbrush filled with water soluble ink. everytime i use it a giant puddle of ink leaks out.
in other news i've been reassigned to the chinatown school i left in june. was just notified yesterday. i'll be there until late september. don't know the grade level yet, but think it's 5th for a teacher out on maternity leave. i was due to report in to my default location for the year - a school in koreatown. whenever i don't have an assignment or it's a pupil-free day i report in to the default location. never had to do that last year, but if i had it was a middle school with a bad reputation. i lucked out with this new default. whew...
time to go iron my school "uniforms" for the week.
could one of you please go to the beach for me tomorrow? and bob around in the salty water. then lay on a big blanket to dry off in the warm sun. later have a fish taco and a coconut popsicle. towards sunset maybe an ice cold beer. don't forget my sketchbook!
happy sunday from moss cottage. where all the women are strong, all the cats are good-lookin', and all the ideas are above average. xo
yes virginia, there is such thing as a payphone!
angelus salad has the BEST smoothies. neighborhood peeps serving up excellent food & drink with fresh ingredients. next time i'll try the green chango smoothie.
what's new? there was this lime coconut strawberry smoothie. running errands in echo park & koreatown. doing this and that. tying up loose ends. making plans for an end of september art retreat at the beach. pruning my trees. poking around in the garden. dreaming of a christmas getaway in a clifftop cabin perched above the pacific. the usual.
what about you?
more palm springs pages from my new sketchbook that is soon to be my old sketchbook. only have 2 pages left. it's official. i love tiny sketchbooks!
my broad nib lamy safari loaded up with water soluble ink in rich colors.
the view from the window in PS.
it's august. the weather is mild here in LA. sun + air that's cool in the shade. a good day to be soaking up the ambiance of home.
no talking. no being talked to. bliss.
i'm not ruling out the possibility of one last beach fling. even though yesterday's was supposed to be the last.
it looks like the roof is on fire here, but it wasn't. that's the bougainvillea. those 2 rogue sheep from the other page started it.
a room with a view. i love old motels.
i forgot my paint brush and pen so i had to stop at michaels in ventura and buy one + one. it's right off the 101 so just a 10 minute detour. i discovered something in the process. a person really only needs one pen and one brush plus their travel palette. i chose a #6 round and it was perfect!
day 2 of my 1 week vacation found me at hendry's beach where i lolled about like one of the off-leash dogs. i chased some birds, found a ball, got some little tar balls on my feet, saw a crab, soaked my pants that were rolled up, then sanded them up real good.
i carefully studied the bird tracks looking for a pattern.
i found one, but can't share the full meaning with you. it's between me & the sea birds.
i stayed in an old motel across from the ocean. tomorrow i'll show you the scene i painted while looking out my window.
on day 3 of my one-week vacation, in other words today, i strolled down some stairs to an out-of-the-way cove. i had my fishing hat, big sunglasses, trader joes bag with my sketchbook, watercolors, pen, paintbrush, old plastic jar of marshmallow fluff for water. sounds like a lot but it was hardly anything. i parked my arse on a nice flat cement wall and painted the scene on the left then the one on the right. it was so good to be out in the mild sunshine with sea spray and birds i thought about handing out slips of paper with a multiple-choice option for everyone to select their favorite of 3 beachy sketchbook pages. but my poll would have been skewed as it wasn't a large enough sample. one nice young paddle boarder flashed me a big smile right before he paddled off across the calm glassy ocean. 2 people doing extra fun things on a tuesday morning in august.
i try not to read too much into my wacky sketches, but damned if i don't see 2 black sheep in the shadows on the left. or 2 giant dogs with floppy ears. hmmmmm
we had a rare summer rainstorm last night. the air is breezy and tropical. just right for an afternoon of sloth-like maneuvars. in case you didn't know, time always slows to a crawl before it speeds up again. this is the beginning of the end of my summer vacation. i'll just be here. pretending that the one-week vacation i've been dreaming of all summer just started today.
you're doing something good too. aren't you?
saturday at home. back from the desert. wandering around in a daze trying to figure out where the turquoise pool has gone. nighttime stargazing while floating on one's back in warm water is extremely excellent.
the other night in palm springs i accidently deleted about 15 of you who signed up to be on the mailing list for the next session of Sketchbookery in december: diane, linda, claudia, penelope, ruth, shawn, anne, misti, elaine, jean, kristine, kay, tuey, kathy, and chris. i wrote your names down ahead of time just in case i was making a mistake. unfortunately i didn't capture your email addresses. whoops. obviously, a chimp is at the helm of this operation. if you STILL want to sign up go HERE.
what pure pleasure there is in drawing & coloring from black and white line drawings. dover has an endless supply. i'll draw from anything. life, tv, pictures, labels on jars & bottles, magazines, books. my inner sketchaholic does not discriminate. when i taught 2nd grade i would often have my students bring in coloring books to copy. good for learning hand-eye coordination, studying negative space, measuring distance between object A & B, and so on and so forth.
paper maché field mice mounts are also fun. anything goes.
over and out from moss cottage friends. where the women are strong, the cats are good lookin', and all the ideas are above average. xo
i have this weird color, brilliant pink, that someone gave me. it's use seems limited and i didn't want it in my home palette so i moved it into the smaller travel box. love the periwinkle color it made with ultramarine blue. also did interesting things with green gold.
the color made from perm red + natural sienna + brilliant pink would be the perfect color for painting watermelon or ruffly hibiscus petals - a warm pink. mmmmmmm. the natural sienna + purple lake (leftover from old cottman set and another color that i put in the travel box to use up) but low and behold it does beautiful things with the sienna. imagine a sunset or a red rock canyon in late afternoon.
i don't know poop about watercolors, but i know plenty about the power of PLAY. and play that results in learning excites the information seeker that lives in my noggin.
the winsor green sister sent me reminded me of ajax or drano. i took an instant dislike to it. but son of a bisquit! look how it mixes with bright violet, perm rose, white, hematite, and GASP piemontite. breathtaking.
okay. gotta go. i'll just be here in my laboratory. mixing & exploring.
maybe i'll have a diet coke in one of their fun new cans. wanna know the name of the background color? sodalite. i could have, but didn't make that one up.
introducing my new travel palette for car & porch sketching. altoid tins are too small for my bear mitts. and i need a larger mixing area. i am messsssssy. i'm trying out the colors to see what i don't use and what i don't have that i might need in here. instead of black i have hematite genuine - a granulating daniel smith. the piemontite genuine is deep dark & delicious. mahogony on steroids that is easily turned into a rich black. shadow violet makes pretty shadows right out of the tube. mixed with a drop of this or that it's intoxicating.
i'm back to car sketching. i returned to a former home i lived in for 6 years another lifetime ago. i parked under a dome of tall trees. my windows open. shafts of morning light beamed down. leaves fell from the camphor trees. a green time machine. where will i go next?
joyce and i had a car sketching episode this morning in montecito. we drew old adobe walls and cactus and palm trees and ladders and shadows.
once you get the sketching bug you sort of don't want to stop. and you don't have to either.
i'm just here. doing this.
listening to tom waits sing about his "old '55"
whoever sent me that video awhile back. THANK YOU. i haven't stopped listening to the entire album since.
over and over. because we love the tom waits of the world. and their bluesy selves.
heading to the shore next week.
then the desert the following week.
i had planned a wonderful trip to british columbia, but i was worried about getting stuck in the rowboat with a shoulder that decided to stop rotating. on a quiet stretch of water. where i might drift for weeks. alone, except for the occasional eagle that dropped down some provisions. hmmmmm. sounds sort of good.
so i'm staying close to home this summer.
if you're traveling somewhere. anywhere. tell me.
all is good in the hood. i'm right here where you left me. sketching the summer away. planning one last summer art retreat before i get back to my day job in less than a month. i'm breathing in and taking deep pleasure in all this free time.
i'm enjoying mornings in the park lost under a canopy of shadowy trees and rose petals. evenings on the porch writing in my journal, reading, thinking, sketching.
i've found another great tech resource who operate out of san francisco. they've been migrating all of my class blogs beginning about 6 weeks ago. they're inexpensive and committed to providing good service in a timely manner. i didn't mention them before because the jury was still out, but after 3 successful class blog transfers I'm pretty pleased with their service. I don't get compensated in any way for these tech mentions, but i do believe in shining a light on people & places that do good work. FANTASKTIC out of san francisco are my latest team of elves.
i'm saving the big kahuna of them all - DFLA for last. i have to get in those old archives and start cleaning things up and clearing things out. i don't mean i'm deleting any content. no way! i just have to make sure i've got all the boxes packed and tidy when the migration crew descends.
summer will be gone soon in a blaze of glory. i'm just here. making every second mean something.
hope you're making art, taking naps, and getting lots of peach juice all over your muzzle.
early afternoon in the kitchen laboratory. putting finishing touches on a lettering video for sketchbookery. pam came up a couple of days ago to add to my lettering segment. which i didn't plan to even have. i just thought of it at the last second. the idea factory in my head doesn't quit working once class starts. i think of something last minute and i haul out the video camera, tell the cats to go shine their shoes, comb their tails and we're back in business.
she's featured in 5 of about 50 total videos. you come to moss cottage you get bossed. that's the deal. i would have been a really good border collie. i have a herding mentality.
here are some of pam's arty pages including her new sketchbook on top that i like a lot. THIS one. nice thick paper and it lays completely flat.
the classroom doors are closing later tonight. for those that are interested (and it's totally okay if you're not!) not to worry, in december it will be offered again.
okay. now. where did i put my ear plugs? fireworks start in a few hours and if you live in highland park, you know what that means. get your flak jacket out, your helmet, earplugs, and plan to hunker down in your cave till 4 am or so when it will be safe to climb into your bed without fear of a rocket launched M-80 whizzing through your window.
happy 4th american friends!