Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Florida Paintings

Yes, even more paintings from Florida. Mary Erickson and I went out to this remote cape, Cape San Blas, to paint. It was so gorgeous, wild and untouched. The sand in this area of the Gulf Coast is like powdered sugar. Amazing. The next day, it was back to Apalachicola, where I saw this great old truck. I loved the cemetery in Apalach too. I think the cemetery painting describes how hot it was there.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Painting Traffic

Here are some of the paintings I've done since returning to LA. I like to catch the movement of the cars. It's real thoughtful that every time I go to paint the highway traffic, they all slow down so that I can get a better look.

Florida, Day Four

The Arizona Chemical Plant in Port St. Joe, FL emits an odor that lives somewhere in between rotten hot dogs, boggy marsh, and burnt light bulb. I painted this picture of the factory stewing in this odor, still Florida stickiness, with fever from sunstroke. I couldn't have been happier though. Well, maybe if Mark was there.
That morning I painted another salt marsh scene.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Florida, Day Three

I'm pretty sure these are the paintings I did on my third day in Florida. It was this day that because of my horrific sunburn, my feet and ankles swelled to the diameter of softballs, and I had to squeeze my feet into my clogs. *OUCH*
We painted in a cute little town called Wewahitchka, where they make tupelo honey. Yum. The church is the old Presbyterian church that used to be the Episcopalian church. I went around the back because I didn't like the light on the front, and saw the nice architecture there. In the morning I went to the Dead Lakes, and did this study of Cypress trees and the boggy lake. This area was very spooky and beautiful.
I am still on such a high from my experience in Florida. I hope I can keep this feeling going!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

More Florida

Here are some pictures of Richard and Judy Carrell's gorgeous house in which I had the pleasure of staying. One is the view of the Gulf of Mexico I had from the balcony of my room. One is the view of the exterior of the house from acroos the street. One is of the amazingly decorated interior! Wow.
Also, the paintings I did on the second day of painting. First, a painting of the salt marshes as seen from the side of the highway. Perhaps a scene which will not be there next year due to development. So sad. I learned that landowners can 'fill in' the marsh, home to elegant birds and many other wild critters, and build a house, hotel, or restaurant there.
Second, a shrimp shack/plant structure near the marina in Apalachicola. I loved the cool noontime light on the white walls, and how the only natural thing was way in the background. And, of course, the truck.
Third, the salt marshes there at sunset, with the muted dusky colors.
I painted that day from 7am to 9pm, and I was so jazzed, but still slept like an exhausted log with no dreams.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Florida Light

Florida has a different light than Maine or California. Florida's light is bright. BRIGHT. It is clean, cool, and very bright (sunburn).
Here are some paintings from the first two days of my painting trip. The intersection is right where I was staying. The beach house and 'Purple Bar" are from the town, Mexico Beach. All these paintings were down while standing on the side of the road. I was almost killed by so many big trucks, fire ants, and no-see-ums.
I did not have a car, so my roommate, Mary Erickson, an amazingly great painter, was so kind to drive me around with her. We became fast friends. I admire her work, her wisdom, and her generosity.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Back In LA

Well, I am back from my trip to sticky, hot, beautiful Gulf Coast Florida. To recap, I was invited there by Richard Carrell, whom I met on Monhegan last summer. I was painting, sitting on the dirt road, a picture of hollyhocks when he spotted me, liked my work, and thought I would be perfect for his idea of a Paint-Out in Florida. I accepted.
Before I went to Mexico Beach, I stayed a couple of days with my Father in Leesburg, which is so pretty. Here are pics of my time there. Notice the gator and the great blue heron. So cool! My Dad and his wife, Shirley, have wonderful neighbors, Gary and Shirlee, and they took us out on their boat through the canals. All I can say is WOW! Turns out that I love the landscape in Florida. I didn't get too many mosquito bites, and only saw one live palmetto bug. I did manage to get the World's Worst Sunburn, which I will discuss in another post. Sun poisoning is no fun!
I painted 24 paintings, and sold 9! After expenses and a 50% commission, I just about broke even!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Clouseau and Florida

Clouseau was sleeping like this the other day. He was like that for a good couple of hours. I was giving him a belly rub, and then he just fell asleep like that.
I am leaving for warm sunny Florida tomorrow morning! I have to leave warm sunny California! I am so excited because I have never been to Florida, and because I will be staying in Leesburg for a few days with my Dad and his wife Shirley. After some fun there, they are dropping me off in Mexico Beach, FL, where I will be painting for a couple of weeks. My Dad and Shirley are then driving up to New England for the summer. So I won't be posting anything until I get back! Miss you!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

LA Gripe Weekly

I took this shot while I was washing my boss's car at the Sunset Carwash in West Hollywood. There is this wall of ads that you get to look at while watching the car get hand wiped. At first I thought this ad was for an actress or headshots like most of the rest. Maybe an escort service.... maybe motorcycle repair....slutty boutique. Oh, of course, it's for real estate! Right! A woman who is trying to look younger than she should, straddling a motorcycle (huh?), with her hands in her crotch, and a come-hither look. I'm thinking,"Yeah I suddenly want to buy a house from her. I will trust her with hundreds of thousands of dollars... Must be how she has taken control of the bike..."
Seriously, you have no idea how living in a land where this is commonplace can affect you. It can be subtle, but it is pervasive and unrelenting. At first, I was under the spell. Now, I am happy to say, I am getting stronger. Burbank and West Hollywood seem to be the worst. I live in one and work in the other.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cato and Clouseau

I had to share this picture of my wacky cats. They are such amazing creatures. I love how they seem to need habit. Same feed me time, same sleeping time, same sleeping places, same catnip time, same play with me time. And they never seem to mind my habits, like waking them up constantly to snuggle them, or picking them up constantly. Clouseau is still getting used to being held. The only way he seems to tolerate it is when I sling him over my shoulder like sack of lemons.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wednesday night sketch class

Here is the portrait sketch from last night. Another fantastic model. You can't tell from my drawing, but she posed, semi-reclining, in a floral kimono robe. I picture her in a 1920's costume though.
I am very impressed with the models out here. Maybe it's because it's LA, but they go all out with costumes and themes. Halloween is bigger than Christmas here (really!)too. Folks just love to dress up and act, I guess.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

new painting

Here is a painting I worked on Monday and Tuesday. I wanted to work while the sun was hitting the Warner Brothers buildings with the dark, heavy, smoggy sky behind them. Normally you would see beautiful mountains there, but thanks to all the airborn carcinogenic heavy pollutants, you don't get to. Believe it or not, I really do think LA is a beautiful place. I could find a lifetime of painting subjects here. Old trucks, industry, trees, it is all here. I just miss air that is not chewy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Feet

I never thought about my feet until terrible pain made me realize that I had bunions. So I had an operation, and my feet were pretty again. I had these fiberglass arch supports made for my feet because the doctor said that unless I wore proper shoes and these inserts, the bunions could come back. She pointed out that I had anatomical quirks like knock-knees (If I stand with my knees touching, my ankles are still 4 inces apart)that make my feet compensate. I have come to realize, with all this attention I give to my feet, that I have possibly the highest arches of any human being. Along with being older and much more particular about things, I enjoy shoe shopping about as much as food poisoning.
So I have been ordering shoes online from Zappos, an awesome online store, trying on shoes, returning them, and yet trying even more. Because of my 'deformity', I need granny shoes, nurse shoes, or hippie shoes. Not being a granny, nurse or a hippie, shopping has been a long, painful, frustrating ordeal. So far I have tried these, and these, and these. Only the sneakers could work cuz I could wear my supports inside. I am even thinking about getting custom made shoes. There is a woman in New Mexico, Sara, who does this and the shoes aren't Frankenstein shoes either.
Look for a future shoe update coming soon.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Saturday morning I drove to downtown Los Angeles to paint with a small group, including my new friends Jennifer and William, who are both excellent artists. It was an area where two major highways connect right next to the LA River/Gutter/Wash, and it was very loud, dirty, and cold. It was a fantastic spot for painting though. We then went to China town for lunch, where I had fish ball soup. I was afraid at first, but it was so yummy.
Here are pictures of the horrible no-reason-for-it traffic jam on the way, Chinatown, and the 8X10 painting I did.