Monday, June 30, 2008

Nice Things

One of my favorite blogs is Whoopee. She is hilarious and fun. I always put on my rubber pants before reading her blog. You should definitely read the post about the toy bus. So funny!
Anyway, I am stealing her idea for a post about 'the nicest things people have said to me.'
So here are some of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

"You are going to be such a good Mom."
My incredible friend Sherie, right after being a model for a drawing class I was teaching. I was stunned and cried a little.

"You are such a f***ing good painter."
By a great painter and friend, Frank Bruckmann.

"You're a freak
Dr. Rinaldi, college English teacher, when I got a perfect score on a grammar test. He said this again at my commencement ceremony in front of the whole school. Embarrassing, but nice.

"You're beautiful"
Mark, when I was gritty and worn out after painting all day outside.

I am sure there are so many more I could list if I didn't have such a bad memory. So I apologize to anyone I left out.

So, tell me, what are some nice things anyone has ever said to you?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Here is my Flickr Mosaic. Kristin gave me the idea.

1. joy!, 2. do you love the fruit?, 3. Sarah Playing Trombone, 4. Just a Orchid, 5. Gary Sinise, 6. Gin & Tonic, 7. Holiday needed, 8. Blueberry Cobbler, 9. Sadhus, 10. Autumn walk, 11. Strip-tease!!!, 12. Paintrly1

It was a delightful use of time.

Go to Flickr and search with your answer to each of these questions.

1. What is your name? (Joy)
2. What is your favorite food? (fruit)
3. What high school did you go to? (Maloney High School)
4. What is your favorite color? (purple)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Gary Sinise)
6 What is your favorite drink? (gin and tonic)
7. Where is your dream vacation? (Tuscany)
8. Favorite dessert? (blueberry cobbler)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (yogi)
10. What do you love most in life? (loving)
11. One word to describe you. (listening)
12. Your Flickr name. (paintrly1)

Pick a photo from the first page from the search and copy it's URL.
Paste each of these URLs into the mosaic maker. Voila!

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Boobies, I Mean, Drawings

The model who was scheduled Friday canceled, so we waited and waited to see if another model could pose last minute. Luckily Elizabeth showed up. She had such an inspiring face. The problem with really beautiful faces is that the drawing always falls short.

I wanted to sketch from different angles...

and try a full figure sketch which I haven't done in a long while.

And this is from last week. She looks like she doesn't belong in LA.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Good and Bad

The Good:

I doubt this handmade sign on the back of the truck gets him much business, but it made me smile. Things like this make LA likeable.

The Bad:

Now this makes LA very UNlikeable. Especially if you're 8 months pregnant. I know, it's my own darn fault. Bad timing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


On my Firefox toolbar I have some quick bookmarks. These are for sites that I visit everyday and click across one by one to check in. I have Christy, Amy, Yoga, and Monhegan. When I checked in on Monhegan today I saw this picture:

This is Fred Wiley and George Cabot, two of my most favorite Monhegan guys. Fred is in his 90's and still gets out to paint and go for walks. And George is so cute and tried to set me up with his son.

And then there was this picture:

You can barely make out Don Stone's white hair behind the couple. When Mark and I painted together on Monhegan it made me so happy. I can't tell you how jealous I am of these folks. Don't get me wrong, I am so happy, but I do miss my annual visit to my life on Monhegan.

The very first time I went to Monhegan, I endured this horrendous boat ride. A bitter wind, with a big swell and cold rain. I realized immediately for the first time in my life that the only thing worse than sea sickness is having someone drilling into your teeth while sitting in traffic with no air conditioning, and one of those stupid loud-car-stereo cars with the music vibrating your brain is next to you, and you are also stuck behind a overflowing garbage truck, and it's 100 degrees.

But then I landed on the most beautiful chunk of land and was immediately in a really good dream. And every year that I have gone there, the experience is always different. But each time I feel slightly off balance and deliriously distracted. When I am there I have so much energy. I have spectacular super real dreams. I paint tirelessly. Food tastes better. The air smells so sweet. The flowers are more beautiful. The people are real, fun, and hard working. I felt at home and simultaneously in humbled awe of the beauty around me.

It's amazing to think you can build a relationship with a place. Like a good old friend, she is always there, changed but still the same, year after year. Many people have visited Monhegan for 50 or 60 years. There are the lucky ones who spend the whole summer there. And then the residents who keep the place running and are the true fabric, always mending the worn spots and weaving new edges, keeping the integrity intact. She has peaceful little beaches where thousands of baby toes and easels' feet have touched. She has secret hideaways few know about. She has limitless power and fury whipping up sea foam and boldly defying hurricanes. She invites those who respect her and love her to stay, and the rest can keep away, thank you very much.

Many people have tried to express just how unique and magical Monhegan is. I can try too, but I think it always comes out trite or sappy. How could a lump of rock, one and a half miles long and not quite a mile wide, with no tourist attractions, keep so many people coming year after year? It could be the wild beauty, the great coffee and heavenly pecan bars, the unbelievable sunsets, or the people who are beyond classification. But it is so much more than that. She is an old friend now, and I miss her.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Celebrity Sighting and Drawings

This morning Mark (aka Daddy-to-be) and I went out for brunch at Mo's. It right around the corner. Usually I like to get buzzed off the free cheap champagne, but obviously not anymore. We are always on the lookout for a celebrity. Hadn't seen anyone in a while, but today we saw Paul Dooley with whom I assume was his wife. You might remember him as the Dad in Sixteen candles. He still looks great.

And here are some new drawings and sketches.

This is Nicole. I really liked her as a model. She had a strong personality and wore a lot of eye makeup.

I did another quick sketch at the end of the session to get the look of how a model really feels after posing for ungrateful artists for three hours.

And this is from a costumed session. I wish I had more time to have drawn more of the costume, which was complete with buckle shoes, hose, and puffy pants. He just needed a sword.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Room

We have spent the last couple of weeks moving our rooms around. When we first moved in, we chose the larger room to be the studio because we have way more art and computer stuff than bedroom stuff. Now we realized that the smaller bedroom could not fit a crib or even a changing table or even a teeny tiny 7 lb baby.

We didn't want to just turn the studio into a separate baby room just yet, making the dining room the studio. What I mean is Mark doesn't want to give up his own personal creative space just yet, and we hope to be out of here soon. But if we aren't, the dining room will become a reason why we won't have anyone over to visit. "It's not like we are gonna have big dinner parties after the baby is born anyway," says Mark.
"We're not?" Bummer.

So here is the progress so far:

Looking into room, before and midway:

The walls were a complete mess before, chipping and peeling and so dirty. After scraping, filling, and sanding, we chose a nice calming soft pale blue-gray paint for the walls. Yeah, I know I was a decorative painter, but I prefer just nice clean walls over fancy faux finishes. The curtains and comforter are going to change. We are thinking a cool chocolate brown. (Overall, I was picturing a palette of white, brown and blue, maybe shots of orange-red, but I am so afraid of looking too Target. I would love any suggestions! Please!) And in the corner will go a nice Ikea wardrobe that will go with the Ikea crib. And that pile of hampers and dirty clothes? I guess a nice looking clothes organizing type thing. Mark will have to give up his white plastic hamper fetish. There are three there and two more in the garage, just in case.

Here is looking toward bed, before and midway:

I would love any suggestions for what to do for the wall over the bed. Seeing as we are due for some major earthquakes, we cannot hang anything on that wall for fear of midnight decapitations. I was thinking of painting a decorative thingie, or tacking some gorgeous fabric to the wall and framing it with decorative molding ( too HGTV?).

Here is where the crib will go, and the little dresser will be for baby stuff and changing pad on top. Stinky baby clothes hamper to hang on closet door.

I will put some shelves over the dresser for wipes and diapers, and a dirty diaper containment device next to dresser. And another painted cool painted thingie for over the crib? I am so excited to get it all together! Can't wait to show you the finished room.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Hot Topics

I recently mentioned how we have two months to go before due date. And that there is so much to do now to prepare. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, but oh so very happy and excited. I mentioned circumcision as one of the things weighing in, and it made me think about it more seriously.

So I wanted to address the circumcision debate, along with some other topics that, as I am learning, are controversial about baby and child rearing. Circumcision, vaccinations, public breastfeeding, and sleep. Mark and I have talked about these, and disagree only about circumcision. I would love to know your thoughts about these subjects.

Most men our age grew up with almost all circumcised male friends. It's a trauma that, mercifully, they do not remember. The argument for circumcision usually is about wanting the child to fit in and to not feel weird or different. And not to be teased because kids(and grown ups) can be so cruel. Also, that it is a matter of hygiene.
I believe these arguments are weak and false.
I could not knowingly let my little baby's sensitive little penis be cut and mutilated.
I just hope that I can convince Mark that it is not necessary at all and is just downright wrong. We'll see.

Vaccinations. This is also a real tough one. We are having a boy and the statistics for boys and autism are so frightening. Boys are five times more likely than girls to get autism. There are absolutely no studies done that I have found that medically link autism to vaccinations. But there are plenty of surveys(which even links vaccinations to every childhood problem) and personal accounts that do. There is the one case in which it was proved that a boy, who had a rare genetic disease, became autistic as a direct result of a vaccination in combination to his disease.
A catch-22. If I vaccinate, am I risking the health of my baby by exposing him to these risks? And if I don't, am I risking his health by leaving him vulnerable to measles and polio, and hepatitus B? No win.

And for a much less depressing subject: breastfeeding in public. I personally do not see the big fuss here. Imagine if it was illegal to breastfeed outside of your home? Some folks are freaked out by breastfeeding. I think that is their own personal issue. Women have been asked to leave restaurants, airplanes, and public parks because someone felt uncomfortable. Most women feel the need to go somewhere private to feed their babies and usually end up in the public bathroom or somewhere just as inconvenient and gross. I am not suggesting that public places have a nice clean comfy baby feeding room, but wouldn't that be so nice? I think that for the most part, folks are understanding, and we just hear about the isolated cases. Has anyone ever received any looks or remarks when feeding their babies in public?

The last touchy issue is about getting babies to sleep. Some parents use the cry-it-out technique when all else has failed. This is usually for older babies, nearing toddlerhood. Instead of going to the crib every time the baby cries, parents let the baby cry himself back to sleep until eventually the baby learns to self-sooth and get himself to sleep. With the books I have been reading, it is suggested that a routine, set up early and stuck to, should remove the need to ever to the cry-it-out thing. But what if some babies are just so resistant? I don't know. I have no experience with this at all. Yet. What are your thoughts?

It's amazing how many different ideas there are about parenting. It's amazing how many people get downright militant and defensive too. I think the most important thing is to do what feels right.