Monday, October 29, 2012

What I have been up to recently.....

We arrived home just a few days ago
to snow....the sun was out and the
snow was all mixed with the leaves.

It was our own special Fall and Winter,
thrown together to greet us.

This is a long promised graphite
drawing, that I worked on over the Summer.
I have been exploring Graphite
and watercolor combined.
It's definitely different for me,
but it is expressing where I am at the moment.

When we Left, we went to Los Angeles to visit my Husband's Sister and Brother in Law.  It was hot but sunny and we were able to do some museum trips, along with having wonderful dinners at their house every night.  What a treat to spend some time with family, and then be able to head to Maui.

(Somehow, my photo of the Getty Art Museum was deleted
but we spent a lovely day enjoying this amazing Art
collection, surrounded by beautiful gardens)

We also visited the Nixon Library, which was just too
close to miss.  We are on a quest to see ALL of the Presidential Libraries.  They are a wealth of information and history, no matter which political party you are aligned with at the time.

David's Sister persuaded us to drive to
Pasadena, to see the Norton Simon Art Museum.
Oh, how I wish that we had more time.  It was just
fabulous, and tucked right in the city.
There were a wealth of Degas paintings and sculptures,
plus many more masterpieces.  Oh my!

But we were only able to spend a weekend in L.A., before flying off to our destination of Maui.  It is a favorite of ours and we will be letting go of our very special vacation spot, so we decided to spend extra time there and do all the things that we love so much.  The weather was perfect, and half of our clan were able to join us (how we wish the other half could have been there).  I will show you some of our favorite spots.... husband's passion.  Maybe, you can see why, from this photo.  This was one of his favorite places to play, and why not?  That is a view of Haleakala, which is the resting volcano, right across the valley.

This is our kid's favorite breakfast spot, right next door to our place.  We love to go over there for the worlds best breakfast, on the ocean.  It's called the "Gazebo" and it's been there forever, and probably will be for a very long time!
(yes, that is me, walking down to get a place in line...usually takes an hour to get in.  The Gazebo is the pointy roof that I am walking towards).

...and this is our breakfast view in the morning!!
Seriously, a ship was coming into Lahaina for the day.
That is the island of Lanai, behind the ship.

Even when it rained, the surfers were out...and the sun was trying to shine.  We had only a few Maui showers, but they were spectacular.

We went "up country", to our favorite Lavender Farm
the view is always spectacular of the valley (this is directly across from where Sweet Hubby was playing golf)

The Lavender Farm grows Lavender, but also has a
Botanical Garden filled with many local plants.
One of my favorites is the Protea, as shown above.

We eat out on our small lanai, almost every evening,
as we would watch the sunset.  Sweet hubby would grill
local fish, and I would toss a salad.
A perfect way to end our day and our stay
on an island that we love deeply.

So that has been my journey this past month.
My thoughts now are for those who are on the East coast of the United States, trying to stay safe through Hurricane Sandy.
I wish them a safe passage and peace.

As for the elections, I also wish that it will bring
peace to so many, who are so agitated by this election.
In the end, we must learn to listen, work together,
and be kind.  I have never heard so much rhetoric, and vitriol,
as I have in this election.  I think there is a more respectful
and peaceful place to come to in our future.
It is important that we try.
Peace to you all.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A month has passed!

I am here....have been for a while....
Just chilling out....or rather, sunning in bliss.
I will be back to a regular computer next week.

Just know, that I am coming back to Reality.
Very soon!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Welcome Fall

Fall is in the air.  Squirrels are eating every nut they can find and the remnants litter the ground.
Walking, this morning, was brisk but sunny.....

These Sunflowers were photographed at the
Denver Botanic Gardens.
I can never get enough of the Gardens....they are beautiful,
no matter what the Season brings.

A beautiful treat
bought at the local grocery store.

Celebrating the bright colors of the Harvest season.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Graphite class R.:  Graphite, water soluble graphite,Water colored soluble
graphite & water color, carbon dust

Recently, I completed a class at the Denver Botanic Gardens, in Alternate Graphite.  There are so many ways to work with this medium, that I was quite curious.  I never did explore the graphite oil pencils....but I was able to work on this drawing with several other graphite mediums.  The photo has made the drawing appear a lot darker.  I is not as dark, as shown above.

I am very familiar with graphite...and I used a water color paper (fabriano 140 hot press).  I think that a smoother paper would be more ideal for this medium.  The water soluble pencils were a blast.  I had so much fun with them.  You can put the pencil down on the paper, and then play (and set the graphite)with a small water color brush.  I also had some water colored soluble graphite pencils, which were very similar to the black graphite ones, but the colors were a bit subdued.  I chose to add a touch of water color over the top, to give the aspen it's golden color of Fall.  Lastly, I worked in carbon dust...which is a very delicate medium.  The pencils tips are rubbed on rough paper to create your source of carbon....then a dry brush (very small) is used to apply it slowly to the paper.  I had a lot more difficulty with the nuances of carbon dust.  I am definitely planning to work in this medium again, as I think that it could be delightful.

With graphite, I need to work with less of a 'heavy hand'.  It is so easy for the drawing to become darker than anticipated.  A light hand is a definite plus when working in this medium.  

Okay.... that has my my art discovery of the Summer Season.  Next time, I will share my good old colored pencil work.... a project which has taken most of the Summer months...and is not totally complete (needs that resting period and some finish work).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Hello....I almost made the decision to disappear from the blogosphere.  

In this fairly transparent world, one can be a bit vulnerable when sharing too much.  However, I popped on the blog today, after an extended absence and realized that my followers are still out there and supportive.  So, I plan to stick around....Share what I love....Photography, words, and art.  It will definitely be more sporadic, but hopefully, you will enjoy it, when I do pop in for a visit.

I have packed up my entire kitchen, given away many things to the universe....and had to throw away some stuff that made no sense.  For instance.....How many canning jars do you need, when you no longer 'can'?  Well, I found someone that loves to can, and passed them along to him.  I also returned all the vases that I  had received flowers in, over the years, to the local florist.  They were thrilled to have so many vases.  All the stuff that I gave away, will help my kids, local charities, business or friends.  I do feel lighter, somehow.  Now,if I do that to every room in the house, I will have accomplished something BIG!!

The kitchen won't be started until spring, as our contractor needed shoulder surgery.  His recovery will be slow.....and we can wait.  We will be traveling...and we have the bare necessities in our cupboards.  It is a good feeling to have less.

Now, I am going through the house, packing up, for a much needed vacation...and then a relocation to a warmer place, while I leave this abode in safe hands.  Retirement (sweet hubby's.... Not mine!)  has created a new lifestyle of projects, travel,  and movement.  Most days, I love it.

I have actually finished several pieces of art....which I will share soon. 

Thanks again, for the kind comments....  And I am glad that you loved the lilies as much as I did.  What an amazing and beautiful plant.

Happy New Year to our Jewish friends.  

Blessings to both candidates, who, in my humble opinion, could be using all those campaign funds for helping the world, instead of making those of us in swing states...totally crazy, from the  endless phone calls and television ads.  Peace to all.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Too much of a good thing...

What a wild weekend.  Sometimes, things just all happen at the same time....good things.  However, when that happens, I find that I can get overwhelmed from the 'too much of a good thing'.

Yesterday, I helped to give a shower for a dear friend.  It was so much fun to celebrate "joy" in shades of pink.  Really, it was not a baby shower....but a bridal shower.  How much fun we all had putting it together.  I was in charge of the cupcakes (which, I must confess, I do not make with my allergy to wheat).  I forged ahead and I had a lot of fun making them.  Of course, the recipe made lots more than mentioned, so there were oodles to share with guests and friends.

Now, we are preparing our kitchen for a remodel.  Yes, it is finally time, after years of wishing for it.  It will be a simple one, but....BUT....  I have to clean out the entire kitchen and box it all up, as they are taking out the cabinets.  Crazy, for sure, but we are going for it.  Sweet Hubby is helping at every turn, and we are getting it done.  The kitchen is a wreck and bare all over.  I plan to save a few dishes and pots for last minute cooking and eating, but most everything is either in boxes, or is being thrown out (how many plastic containers does one kitchen need??)or given away.  

So, I am taking a bit of time out and sharing more photos from our day at the Botanic Gardens.  I have never seen the lilies in the ponds quite so beautiful.  There were also a few sunflowers that were showing off....just a bit (sort of 'coy' sunflowers). I will show them next time I blog.

Thanks for your comments....  It keeps me coming back?

perfect day for the lily pond

Up close and personal
leaves and pod

Lush purples
(I don't know what that stuff is on the pad)

Pink, in all it's glory

Thursday, August 23, 2012

'Tis not a thistle

Working on an Artichoke
colored pencil

This one is going to take a while...

I'll keep you posted

Monday, August 20, 2012

DBG has done it again!!!

"This season’s signature exhibition, Kizuna: West Meets East, brings together two installation artists working in bamboo: Tetsunori Kawana and Stephen Talasnik. Through different working methods, both artists employed this versatile natural material to create large site-specific works for the Gardens." ( quote from the Denver Botanic Gardens Website).
We had the opportunity to head down to the Denver Botanic Gardens on a beautiful Sunday.  The crowd were large and two weddings were going on....delightful.  The exhibition, "Kizuna: East meets West", was spectacular.  If you get the chance and happen to be in Denver, please don't miss this one.  It's worth the admission!!

Installations at the lily pond
They floated and swirled in soft circles

Plantings and the installations
compliment each other

Up close, you can see the how it was put together
These were all installed "on site"
an amazing amount of work, but expressive in their beauty.

Plantings have been added to enhance
the exhibit

Every year, the Gardens are outdoing their
previous exhibits.

Also, there is a new Bonsai Garden
which is just spectacular in it's infancy.
DBG has done it again!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Feedback....very nice...

It has been wonderful to get some feedback on the blog.  As always, it is a spiritual lift, to know that there are people out there actually reading it.  I also found a few followers that I didn't know about.  I am still thinking about this whole sharing artwork on the web.  

For years, I had a great sight on the web that I could sign my work before putting it on the blog.  Not that you can't erase that and use it, but it just let people know that there was some level of ownership by me.  That lovely website 'sold out'to a much bigger source (google) and I haven't found a new one that allows me to print on top of the art work (without signing your work away to the that particular web base).  So, I pause to think.

I promise to let you know by the end of this month.  I am so glad that you all have enjoyed my work and are out there.  It does my heart good.

Okay, so I finished a few fun of which I shall share today:

"punkins'  Crr

Thinking about Fall...

I can feel it in the air on these
crisp mornings. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hello again....

Hello from my studio.  Yes, the cobwebs did form, during the Olympics.  I just glued myself to the television and enjoyed every moment of this peaceful joining of countries and athletics.

It gives me hope and faith that most people in the world are inherently good, and almost everyone wants to live in peace and harmony with each other. The Olympics (Para Olympics are coming up)also took away some of the light from the Politicians of the world ....who have been gnarly and irritating this year.  

So, please give me a shout out (that would be a comment, in blog language), if you are back with me.  I have been thinking of dropping out of blog land....but if I know that there is any kind of audience out there, I will continue.

Today, I went to class, and we had 'day camp', as our teacher called it.  We went outside and sketched trees with charcoal.  They were rough sketches from trees in the gardens...and we took only about a half hour to work on them.  I loved the immediate feedback of charcoal.  It was fresh and fun (and it had been a long time since I had worked in this medium).

I am working on a graphite project...actually several different projects.  I will share them in the next posts.  

Let me know if you are still out there.... please!

I don't do give aways...or I want to keep the blog simple and personal.  If that suits you, let me know.  If you would like something different, let me know that too.  This is a good time for change.

Charcoal Sketch (10x14)
alternate Graphite class
Denver Botanic Gardens

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Excuses, Excuses....

So, Sorry.....
I am absolutely hooked into the Olympic Games.
We have the television going all day (unheard of here)
and evenings are our highlighted events.

I love seeing all of the countries come together,
I love fair play, great athletes, great competition,
and the fun and excitement of great athletic events.

I am taking a graphite class now....
so promise to be back with some sharing...

Yeah, I know.... excuses, excuses....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Play time in the Rockies

We have spent the week with our kids...exploring Colorado.  It's fun to share our adventures with family.  We never expected to get up to Pike's Peak (I am not very good with high altitudes - an understatement, if there ever was one....and I am not very good with large drop offs...brings out the fear in me).  However, with the kids cheering me on, we made it!!  

I may not be back for a few more days, but I had a moment to post, and sort of missed checking in with you....

So, here are a few shots of our adventures of the week!  

Picking up the kids at the airport,
in our (I wish) 'bug'.  Just kidding!
This car is covered in beads and is a work
of art.....and on display at the
Denver International Airport.

Garden of the Gods
Colorado Springs

Balancing Rock is on the right.
The road went right between the rocks.
Kids loved this one.

Leaving the Garden of the Gods road,
and heading up to the top
of Pike's Peak.

Okay, now it is getting serious.
We are above timberline....just rocks up here
and of course, Tourists in cars!!

The air is getting pretty thin at this point!

We are at the top.
This is where Katherine Bates
was so awed
that she wrote, "America the Beautiful"
upon visiting the top of Pike's Peak.


The valley below was stunning from the top.

Yes, that says, "14,110 ft.

"Rules of the Road"
There is no room for error on this road.
The rules are made for a reason.
There were lots of people at the top,
who were struggling with the altitude,
so the cautions are clear,
so you get up and down the road safely.

....And not to forget the fires....

The danger of fire was still very high.
Even though this sign is fuzzy,
the message was clear.

There were many "thank you's" to
the Firemen along the way.

We continue to have a lot of will share more next week.

I hope that you are having a good week.  See you soon....

Monday, July 16, 2012

Oh Dear.....

I just checked in and realized that my
last blog was on July 11th....

I don't think that I am gaining on this
summer stuff.  I just seem to get
further and further behind.

but it's all good, so no worries...

It's just that we are trying to make some
order out of chaos.
Sweet Hubby is at about 80% now, so
the garden needs tending, the projects that
were put on hold seem to loom LARGE!
....and my kids are coming for a visit.

well, not all of them, but half of them.

I am cleaning, like a busy beaver,
I am getting the guest room ready,
and filling the fridge with favorites.

can you tell, I LOVE having the kids come!

So, it doesn't seem like the blog is going
to get much more attention than the garden.

I hope you will consider 'benign neglect'
an opportunity for you to go out and play,
just like I plan to play a bit.

It's Summer!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Butterflies and Bees

We have been neglecting the garden,
but the butterflies have not.
They are in heaven with all the color around them.
I am thinking that this is a Monarch,
but it a lot lighter in coloring
than other Monarchs around the garden.

Up close and personal, you can tell
that the Echinops are a bit weary.
However, the worker bees are happy and healthy
and quite busy out there in the garden.

The hostas are happy
and starting to bloom.
I have never seen such large leaves.
Up close and personal, this
picture brought out the lovely
shades of purples in this bloom.

Of course, the Morning Glory, can thrive
anywhere.....especially this year,
on the south side of the house.

Isn't that just the best name for a flower?
Morning Glory
love it....

The Allium is long gone, but with benign neglect,
it has become an ornamental statement
in our garden.