Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Years!

Happy New year everyone! I hope this year is filled with love, laughter and many many adventures.

I just want to say thank you to my family and friends (old and new) for your love and support. I could not do what I do, or be who I am without you.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Tongva Peak

I hiked up to the top of the Verdugo Mountains this afternoon and did a sketch. I learned today that the peak I like to go to has a name: Tongva Peak, after the Native American tribe who lived here before we did. Tongva means "people of the earth".

Its an incredible view of the city from up there. I could see traffic backing up on the 5 freeway. I always wonder where everyone is going and if they had a good day. I could pick out my street but not my house. Its somewhere in the lower right quadrant. To the left of where I was sitting is a radio tower. At night I can see its red light blinking from my front window.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Just because I like it-

I especially love the little bug that holds up a flame to the guitar playing birds. So very "Free Bird" (no pun intended...)

The song by the way, is "A Chinese Translation" by M.Ward

Vamos a Carlos Paz

This is Paz. She's 2. Paz has a great sense of humor:

On the way back from La Cumbrecita, a beautiful little German town outside of Carlos Paz (where we stayed for our first week in Argentina), Paz (one of the cutest, sweetest, most adorable, little kids Ive ever had the pleasure of spending hours in the car with) asked someone in the car (I honestly don't remember who, it seemed such an innocent question at the time) A donde vamos? Someone answered: Carlos Paz. I'm guessing Paz liked that answer because for the next 45 minutes, like a broken record in the back of the car we heard....

-Vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, -(Brian, at least, had his headphones and an ipod.)- vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, -(why why why did I leave mine at the house????)- vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz... vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz, vamos a Carlos Paz.

I did what any mature adult would do: I laughed at her and occasionally asked A donde vamos? Which Im positively sure did absolutely nothing to encourage her.

Eventually, she fell asleep, woke up briefly and picked right back up again and then finally passed out completely until we got home.

She did the same thing on the way to Cordoba and again on the way back into Bariloche after our boat trip (she is a very smart girl so clearly, she knows to say Vamos a Cordaba and Vamos a Bariloche) but she fell asleep sooner so it didn't have the same impact.

Natalia swears that she only did this when I was in the car. But as everyone knows-- Natalia is a compulsive liar so its not wise to take her word on that.

All the same, just to be safe, its probably not a good idea to put me in the back seat with your 2 year old.

Bariloche Paintings

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays...

Here are a few oils I did while in Bariloche. The first two were at a spot Guille took us to for a picnic. The third one was a day or two later. I took the car and found a great little spot in an area we hadn't been to yet. I hiked up a trail and found a rock overlooking the lake. It was a fabulous spot until the wind picked up. That's when I realized picking a painting spot is a bit like picking a spot to pitch your tent: an exposed rock with no windbreak isn't the brightest idea in the world. The wind did add an extra challenge to the painting process: I had to hold on to my paint box to keep it from blowing away. The good thing was that it kept me from spending too long on the painting. Im still picking out tiny rocks and dirt from the thicker parts of the painting.

From the beach:

Maddie, Kelly, Morgan & Stu:

View from a rock:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Home for Christmas

I went to the Glendale Galleria this weekend. The weekend before Christmas. If that is not culture shock, Im not sure what is. I think it has been years since Ive gone near a mall between Thanksgiving and... the end of January (just to be safe). That I went at all is a testament to just how much I love my brother.

I'm not a good shopper at least not in the good ol' American support the economy, shop 'til you drop sense. I'm either a marketer's dream come true or their worst nightmare. Typically I know exactly what I want, what size and what color. This is why I love internet shopping. I don't have the patience to wander aimlessly through a mall hoping for inspiration. Seriously-- within 15 minutes Im ready to jump out of a window.

If for whatever reason I can't get what I want on the internet (leaving the country for a few weeks before Christmas and not having enough time left for shipping), I will go in... to an actual store. Its a carefully calculated move: where I park (in this case, -7 blocks away), which door I go in, what side of the aisle I walk down, which escalator I take...its all thought out to get me in and out as quickly as possible without causing any casualties. I make a bullseye for the shelf, find what I want, go straight to the register, pay and get out.

So the Glendale Galleria the weekend before Christmas? An absolute madhouse. Its a big mall. The walkways are plenty wide. The economists should be elated because it was completely packed. I had to squeeze through all the people. I think driving in Argentina left me better equipped to navigate the mall.

Nothing too surprising at the mall: the stores are doing everything they can to get you to spend money. When it comes down to it, the people really are just trying to make someone else happy. That's all fine and dandy. The one thing I did notice that surprised me-- people bringing their dogs to the mall?! When did that start and why why why?? Especially this weekend?! And if you HAVE to do it, why not carry the dog? I almost squashed a little chihuahua because the owner had it on a retractable leash and was letting it wander through the crowd. I don't get it.

Friday, December 21, 2007


We spent about a week in Bariloche with Guille, Sofi and Paz. Sofi's parents let us stay in their apartment there. Bariloche is a ski/ resort town in southern Argentina. The apartment window looks out over the lake, two of the sketches I did from the kitchen table. Guille took us to the other side of the lake to a gorgeous campsite. Natalia, Sofi and Guille actually met there on a camping trip way back when (high school, I think). I stayed back on the beach to sketch while most everyone else hiked up to see the waterfalls. Later in the week we went on a boat tour of the lake and did some fishing but I didn't paint that day (kinda hard on a boat....).

From the kitchen window:

Down the street:

On the other side of the lake:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Missed a good article in the LA times...

Christopher Knight wrote an article a few weeks ago in the LA Times about the "death" of painting and the LA art scene:

Link: "Painting gets a broader brush"

Amen, brother!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Argentina part 1

OK, so as usual, Argentina is fantastic. The first week we spent in Cordoba, mostly meeting Natys friends and hanging out. Then there was the wedding. Very different from weddings in the US. We left "early" at 5:30AM. We are in Buenos Aires now, until tomorrow, and then on to Bariloche.

So some highlights--

Food! We´ve had many Asados which is basically a lot of meat. Its true that the meat we eat in the u.s. does not compare.

Painting: not much to say there. I didnt want to paint the first few days because we had so many plans. then my back went out. That was pretty bad. good news is i spent several days by the pool, had several massages and even got to experience a chiropractor here (miracle worker). So alls well now but there were a few days that didnt go as planned....

more later ´cause im late but Im having an incredibly good time!