Thursday, March 30, 2006

drawing group

Wednesday night I went to a sketch group in Los Feliz. I went there Sunday, class had been cancelled, but I met a fabulous woman and artist, Jennifer McChristian. We chatted and I looked around her beautiful huge studio that I cannot believe still exists in LA, and has not been converted to a restaurant or slave labor hut.
I cannot express the elation I felt in having met a fun, talented, motivated fellow artist amongst a sea of silicone, shopaholic, minature dog, my Mercedes is nicer than yours-ness.
So I met a few more great artists Wednesday night, including William Wray, whom I instantly knew I would like once I heard his biting, sarcastic wit. Makes me laugh.
Mark and I are going out plein air painting Saturday with them, and I plan on making this a habit. My life is so much more complete now. Among the many things I miss from CT, having a close group of artist friends is one of the top things. I have felt so isolated and stagnant, but now I am coming back to life!
Here is the study I did from the model. It's black and white charcoal on Borden and Riley #410 charcoal paper, which comes in a pad. It's the only pad of grey paper that I have found, and it's great. I use Pitt charcoal pencils from Faber-Castel too, which is the best I have ever used. And I still like General's white charcoal.
This is also the land of animators. Almost every teacher and student is one. So academic work like mine is usually shunned. Oh, well, I can only do what I can, and try to do it the best I know how!
PS Thanks to Christy, I can now put links in my blog!


Yes, my life is pretty much this: Mark, painting, and cats, cats, cats. I love my cats so much. I am sure that it is unhealthy and annoying to the rest of the world. But I don't care. They are so darn cute. They do ridiculous things, and make me laugh and squeal all day long. If they are sleeping, I can't resist a little tummy rub.
Clouseau has a new obsession that I figure is practice for when my 3 year old says ad infinatum, "Again, Mommy..Again, Mommy...." From the moment I walk through the door until I go to bed, he runs over to stand behind the bathroom door and look out the crack. He wants to play the "catch the stick" game. Clouseau will cry and cry, run over to the door and stand there with this head cocked to one side all adorable like. It's like kitty-heroin for him. But even I get tired of it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Before and After

When I drove across the country to move to LA, Mark had literally just found an apartment for us a week before. I moved into the mess you see here. So, seeing as I was unemployed I put all my time into getting the apartment ready for public viewing. Many paint chips later, you see the amazing transformation. We put Venetian plaster on the dining room walls in yellow ochre. It looks so nice (for me to poop on).
Don't worry, that ugly chair is gone!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Monhegan Wedding

Here are a few of the millions of pictures I have of Monhegan. Second only in number to my kitty pics. The place where we are having the wedding ceremony is right on the lawn of this gorgeous hotel, the Island Inn, which has been immortalized by the Wyeths in their paintings. The view of the harbor and ocean is breathtaking from here. Pictured here is the hotel and lawn, the view from there, the sitting room of the Inn, and Mark and I from the lighthouse, where we were engaged! Not an easy place to get to, but worth the trip!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

art update

Well, I had a sweet request for more artwork images. I haven't been doing anything major, but I have this oil sketch I did of some calla lillies that I bought to brighten up the apartment for Christy'd big visist! They were starting to die, so I painted them quickly.
I was so inspired by a show I saw last weekend of Sean Cheetham's work at the Mendenhall Sobieskyi Gallery (I can't figure out how to do the link thing.. Yes, I am THAT dumb. If someone would like to tutor me, I would appreciate it very much!), so I am starting a series of figurative paintings which I am using some friends as models. If successful I will have some moody and dramatic genre pieces. I only have thumbnail sketches right now, but I will show you some more realized drawings when they are ready.
PS Can someone tell me if I can reply to the email of the person who left a blog comment right from the comment? Or do I have to post a reply comment on the blog too? Jeez.

Friday, March 24, 2006

kitty time

This is a picture of a young Clouseau before his substantial weight gain. He doubled his weight in a couple of months. Like his mother, Clouseau seems to love food, and food seems to like to stick around on his little body.
I also have photographic proof of Cato's death choke hold that he used to torture Clouseau with. Poor little baby Clouseau. But he is a tough guy now.
And, of course, a Clouseau sleeping position update. This is an older one, but a good one!
I have been updating my photos and organizing them, and I am afraid to admit that there are more photos of cats than anything else. By far. Hmmm, do we need help?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dead Can Dance

Mark and I went to see Dead Can Dance at the Hollywood Bowl last September. It was the first time in over ten years that they toured, and I wet myself when I heard. I have never paid that much for concert tickets. I don't usually go to concerts anyway, so this was the big mommy of all big deals for me. We had this great box seat with a little table, so we brought wine, and I made these yummy toasted sandwiches. Got all dolled up, and took a cab to the show. I felt so fancy pants!
The opening band was really cool, but I was too excited to focus on them.
I just couldn't wait for DCD!! It was magical, and they played a varied set with most of my personal favorites! I cried at points, of course, and Mark even said that it was a fantastic show! It was a perfect warm, beautiful night!
I don't know if they will ever tour again, but I am satisfied for now.
Oh, yeah. As if it wasn't amazing enough, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra accompanied them!

Monday, March 20, 2006


We adopted our cat, Clouseau when he was 3 months old. He and all his brothers and sisters were living in an industrial yard with trucks and machines. The workers there were giving them food and water, but I'm sure they were pretty traumetized. We met all of them at their foster homes, but Clouseau stood out to me because he looked so much like the late, great Cosmo that I fell in love instantly.
Then we were worried that Cato would not accept a new pesky kitten into the house. We did research, read articles, prepared the house. We were told to keep the kitties seperated, let them meet supervised for short periods, Make sure to do this, don't do that, make this toy, feed at these times, seperate litter boxes, slowly bring feeding times and places together, lengthen play times together, etc...
Well, we brought Clouseau home in a carrier, and Cato ran over to the carrier, plopped down in front of Clouseau, meowed, purred, and started licking Clouseau's little face. That was all the adjustment that was needed. They have been best friends ever since.
We were worried at first because Cato seemed to think Clouseau was a toy, and play real rough. Cato would lock onto Clouseaus little neck with his ridiculously long fangs, and Clouseau would let out this desperate cry. Being new parents, Mark and I would race into the room, ready to see a horrible bloody scene. But we would find Clouseau purring and smacking Cato in the face to egg him on for more.
Then Clouseau seemed to think that Cato could nurse him. (Cato is a male) At first, Cato did not know what to do, and would try to humor the little guy for a little while, and just give Clouseau a few good rear leg kicks to let him know the suckling session was over. Cato would then have this soggy spot on his belly from where Couseau had latched on and made little sucking noises. Despite never getting any sustenance from all his efforts, Clouseau kept on trying, even until he was bigger that Cato, and the scene would be even more disturbing to watch. Eventually Cato would tolerate his advances no more, and Clouseau has since given up trying.
Cats are limitless sources of fun!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Will I look thinner if everyone else is a little bigger?

I told Christy I would give her this amazing recipe. It is so decadent! They are a deep rich, dense chocolate experience. So I had this thought... Maybe if I get everyone to eat these truffle cakes, I can look thinner by comparison. Just kidding! It's very difficult to eat more than one of these in one day anyway, so enjoy without hesitation. You only live once!
Make sure to wrap them in plastic and chill overnight, they become so gooey-yummy! By all means, eat them warm from the oven like I usually do! I got this recipe from Martha Stewart magazine!
Makes six little cakes, so I tripled the recipe. Had enough for a dinner party and leftovers for Mark and me to enjoy later!

5 T unsalted butter, plus more for tin
1 T all purpose flour
14 oz semisweet chocolate (please get the best you can find)
2 T sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 t salt
375 oven

1. Butter your muffin tin, and dust with flour, tapping out excess
2. Put chocolate, butter, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium-size heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; whisk occasionally til smooth. Remove from heat, and let stand until cool and thickened, 3-5 minutes.
Process eggs and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a processor until pale and doubleed in volume, (I used a hand mixer just fine) about 2-3 minutes.
Sift flour and salt into egg mixture, pulse to combine. Add chocolate mixture 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Batter will be thick.
3. Spoon mixture into the prepared tin, fillin cups 3/4 full; swirl tops with back of a spoon. Bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18-20 minutes. Immediately turn out onto wire racks to cool. Cool upright. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

recent work by Joy

Here are some experimental work I have been playing around with. I always feel that I need to learn so much more about color combinations and textures. Making a successful 'abstract' painting is quite a challenge. I sketched directly from these bamboo plants that Mark has. They are a little withered, and the shape of the leaves were so expressive to me. I sketched right on the boards I ordered from ASW, and they are nice! They are pre primed in oil or a traditional gesso. Very nice surfaces. Then I used a palette knife to layer colors and carefully adding texture. I am hoping to eventually have a nice portfolio for licensing with this idea.


This is my amazing cat, Cato. Also named from Pink Panther. He is so cool because he looks very petite, elegant, and demure, but he is a goofy, clumsy, sweet lapcat love. He likes to sing songs, take sun baths, and get stoned on catnip. He luh-huvs Eucerin lotion, and cries to lick it off your arms after a shower. He likes sauted onions.
He is not afraid of anyone; in fact, he loves people. I sometimes think that if Mark and I were replaced with anyone else, he would't really notice or care.
We adopted him from a local foster parent. He was found as a little kitten, scared and fending for himself on the mean streets of LA. He now lives in spoiled luxury!

Sleeping positions

My cat, Clouseau,( yes, after Inspector Clouseau from Pink Panther fame) sleeps in unusual positions. This feline has no body issues or insecurities. What's that like?
Keep checking for new Clouseau sleeping positions!

Is this thing on??

Here is a picture of Christy and Mark at Moe's in Burbank. We went there for breakfast Saturday morning, and I was hoping for a star sighting...but, alas, no celebrities. Burbank is where a lot of TV stars live and work, so I see them all the time! Moe's has great food (although my french toast was cold - a very odd occurence). Anyway breakfast was wonderful!
And from later that day, a picture of the svelt beauty, Christy, from the very nice, posh hotel room and our rockin' view of the mall! Notice Macy's and Bloomingdales!
I was wondering if anyone other than Christy is hitting this blog?? Am I all alone??? Anyone...
If you are, please leave a note! Thank you!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

weekend recovery

This was me all day yesterday, recovering from my weekend of indulgence! All the things I usually avoid to be a 'good girl' ....well, I made up for it! And it was a good thing!! Thank you Christy!
PS This is actually my cat, Clouseau.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Big Bachelorette Weekend!

My bestest friend of all time, Christy, is coming to visit this weekend! We are both getting married this year, so this will be our last time together as single gals. LA weekend! Who knows what could happen!!
I first met Christy in 7th grade, and I really felt for her because she was the new girl. I was the new girl so often growing up, and I knew how scary and lonely it is. I immediately bonded. Over time I've come to know her as a unique, outstanding spirit!
I still cherish this bond as a constant, reliable force in my life. She's the girlie yin to my yang!
Now I have to prepare, raise my alcohol tolerance, stretch my stomach, and dust off the clubbing clothes.

Monday, March 06, 2006

fiance, fasting,fotos

I decided that I should sit down and write an in-depth blog. Awkward typing skills and a general feeling that there isn't enough time will usually take over.
First, I will update you by describing my marriage proposal (and acceptance), which occurred on August 1, 2004 on Monhegan Island, Maine( Mark and I had been madly in love and living apart for 9 months by this time. Everyday apart was a struggle to stay sane, and the times together were magical. We took the rockiest ferry ride over, and decided a walk up to the lighthouse to watch the sunset is what we needed to calm our seasickness.
Unbeknownst to me, Mark had remembered once when I mentioned that there was an old ring in my Mom's jewelry box that as a little girl I had fantasized that it would one day be my engagement ring. He called my Mom and had her deliver the ring to his parent's house, so that when he arrived from CA to CT, the ring could be safely and secretly smuggled with him on our trip to Monhegan.
He then sneaks the ring up to the lighthouse. There is a wind, and the sun's warmth is fading with the light, so we snuggle close and smooch. We were alone on top of the island, and he pulls out this worn grey velvet box. I know immediately what is in it. All Mark said was,"I have something to give you". The fact that we knew we were going to be married had already been established, however, I was still surprised!!! No words were necessary. We floated back down the hill after the sunset. By the next day we were island celebrities. Everone knew (it's a small island). We were 'that couple that just got engaged'.
I love having great stories to tell! How Mark and I reconnected in the first place is another great story! (For a later blog)
Now we live in a great, but old(has character) apartment in Burbank, CA. Mark works on a TV show called Family Guy drawing storyboards. I am working as a personal assistant. Flowers are always blooming, it's usually sunny, and everyone is perfect looking. Yet I still get depressed. I blame the smog and go on cleansing fasts.
Tomorrow is my last day of a two week fast. Thank God! For ten days I only consume a concoction of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. The 11th and 12th day I can add orange juice, the 13th, some fruit, and the 14th fruit and raw veggies for dinner. Every morning and night I take a natural herbal laxative to help me poo. Seeing as there is actually no food being eaten, the digestive system reacts very strongly to it. Not too fun, but it rids me of built up toxins and depression!
Till next time!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

wedding hair

So this is what I was thinking for my wedding hair! Tell me what you think!! I

My Favorite Girl

Christy and Joy 1999.

No this isn't Joy plugging herself, this is her friend Christy. Who better than to plug Joy than me? She's awesome.


My favorite Girl

Christy and Joy 1999.

No this isn't Joy plugging herself, this is her friend Christy. Who better than to plug Joy than me? She's awesome.