Friday, May 29, 2009

More info on my Mentor

Here is Benny Alba's studio where she does most of her work.  This picture only shows about a quarter of this studio.  The building also includes areas for three more work spaces she rents out, an upper storage unit,  a garage, front gallery, office and library!  

One thing that impressed me besides her being a fourth generation artist is that she started showing in museums before galleries.  She has the chutzpah and drive that I can readily relate to.  So far (fingers crossed) we seem to have hit it off pretty well.  Along with the work she has me do, she is generous enough to share tips on doing almost everything that needs to be done [ from setting up a ladder to cutting matboard easier] throughout the day.  One of her apprentices rents a studio space from her and her work is fantastic too!  Another thing I love is that Benny did not attend art school, [she has a BA in psychology which she used for Crisis Counseling for a time] and she is used to 'black humor' that cops and Emergency personnel use to get through a traumatic event.   I love her current series called BONfire.  Why don't you check it out here?

I have the kids for the next few days so I am going to work on some project and hopefully will have something to post soon.  Thank you for your patience! hugs!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Apprentice me?

I've been busy the last couple of days.  I answered an ad from a fine artist in Oakland who was looking for an apprentice.

This artist has had 18 apprentices and was asking for a year commitment.  Along with learning all the inner workings of the fine art world [publicity, setting up shows and open studios, interview tips, setting up photo sessions for slides, making frames and studio tips] I saw it as an opportunity to rub elbows with artists outside my wonderful group of blogoshpere pals.

I'm there for a month trial period and the artist is asking for a commitment of 8 hours a week.  In the two days I've been there, I've already learned safety and storage tips.  The artist owns a huge studio in downtown Oakland where there are three other areas to rent out so I'll get to meet other artists who paint there.

This artist also makes glass beads, and teaches enameling.  I was able to make this little 2 inch square dish last night.   It was so cool!!  I am suppose to help out at the 12 artist open studio at the artist's site this weekend.  I'll let you  know how that goes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

My dad was born in the township that became the city I worked for as a police officer for 26 years.  After President Roosevelt signed the executive order that authorized the mass incarceration of 110,00 Japanese Americans in 1942,  he was pulled out a few months before he could graduate from Washington High School.

He and his parents, his two other sisters and little brother were first sent to Tanforan Racetrack while the Internment camps were being set up.  He described how everyone had to stuff hay into sacks for beds and the smell of horse manure was horrible during the warm weeks he was there.  

He and his family were then shipped to Topaz with the few pounds of allowed belongings they could bring from home.  Even after all this, like many other Japanese American men, he joined the Armed Forces and served in Germany during the war.  

When he returned to California, after the war, he got married to my mom and tried to find a job.  Even though he wore his service uniform with service medals to job interviews, time after time, he was told, "We don't hire Japs here."  The US Army offered him a job at the Presidio in San Francisco as a civilian comptroller.  That lead an assignment for him to aid in establishing the US Army Headquarters in Japan.  So that is how I came to live in Japan at the age of 11 months.  My dad continued to work for the Army for 35 years and is now retired and living in California.  Thank you dad for everything.  Living on an Army base all those years, I've really come to appreciate the Armed Forces.  Thank you all who serve and have served our country.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

This is Raisin

A memorial piece for someone's much love Bull Mastiff.  

Just wanted to let you know I've been a little pre-occupied with hearing an 11 year old girl was missing from the Girl Scout Camp my daughter was at.  The girl was located, I talked to my girl and all is well now.

8x10 oil on canvas

Friday, May 22, 2009

What a face!

I was cruising the blogosphere the other day and I was visiting  Kathleen Krucoff's site.  She is a very talented jewelry maker and glass artist.  She happened to post a couple of photos of her dog Newton!

I could not resist but paint that puppy picture.  I plan to give it to her when it drys and she so generously said she would make a donation to the SPCA I'm working with on the Art Saving Animals Project.  Isn't she a sweetheart?

oil on RayMar, 5x7

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Night Shift

I'm running around last night doing my errands and around 9pm I realize I haven't eaten dinner yet.

So I normally don't do fast food but it was right there!  I clicked a couple images with my cell phone camera and got one shot that I thought would look cool as a painting.

6x8 oil on RayMar

Oh, and the show said they accepted my Tibetan Family but are extending the dead line until June for the sponsors and to see if they get more entries.  This is a day after the day they said they would notify us.

The only reason I'm not that worried is they told me to not to send in the entry fee yet.  But other shows take your entry fee whether or not you're excepted right?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New work from my SPCA

I got about 4 more photos from my local SPCA the other day.  I already finished a cat and you can see Vargas at the AFSA blog.  I just wanted to show you the small jpg I am given to work with.  I know it's not a perfect portrait but the  staff almost always recognizes who the critter is.

6x8 oil on RayMar

Friday, May 15, 2009

Is it Art or Illustration?

I am trying to participate in a small show whose theme is "family".

I've always admired the Tibetan culture.  Even though their country has been taken over and their cultural  traditions and architecture are in danger of being destroyed, they seem to be a happy  and content when they are with family.  The nomadic people probably have the harshest life but seem to be optimistic and live in the moment.

I think this oil on 8x8 hardboard turned out to be more of an illustration than a painting to submit to a show.  What do you think?  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Why did the chicken....

You know the rest.

I guess I have a thing for animals and shadows.   I liked the blurry photo of this chicken going full sprint I found while cruising the web.

8x10 oil on RayMar

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Can we say "avoidance"?

I'm still struggling with my DSFDF challenge.  So I needed to have a little instant gratification.

I searched some photos my friend took when he came to visit and found one of a horse grazing about 200 feet from us.  I just blew it up and painted a quickie.  

I feel to decide whether or not I need to start over with the challenge....

8x10 oil on RayMar

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our Dove

I'm still struggling with my DSFDF challenge so I took a little break and painted out little Mourning Dove that has taken roost under our front porch eave.

She/ he's been there for a little over a week.  Their first attempt of a nest failed and now the couple have settled in nicely.  I found on the web and learned incubation is only a couple of weeks.  I registered this nest there and also found a short video on a wonderful technical artist who is drawing a poster for fundraising purposes.  Look at how he researches and draws birds that must be approved by scientists/researchers before he can place them on the poster here.

8x10 oil on RayMar

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Just a little something my daughter gave me this morning.  The sketch is from me to all the moms.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quick Sketch

of the guy sitting across from me in a waiting room yesterday.

pen & paper

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What was I thinking?

Work that was in progress and now I'm stuck.  For one thing it's bigger 18x36.  I think I worked too closely to the photograph and got away from the more painterly feel I wanted to give it.

Any suggestions?


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Blog Award

Cynthia of Oasis Writing Link (OWL)
has honored me with this colorful and dynamic award. What a charming acknowledgement of my efforts here at OWL blog. Thank you, Cynthia!

Here is a description of the award

This award recognizes the following attributes:

1) The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.

2) The Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage and offers solutions.

3) There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture, Sciences and Beliefs.

4) The Blog is refreshing and creative

5) The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking

Here are my responsibilities:

The Bloggers who receive this award will need to perform the following steps:

1) Create a post with a mention and link to the blogger who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award to you.
2) The award conditions must be displayed in the post.
3) Write a short article about what your blog has thus far achieved preferably citing one or more older post to support:
4) The blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award to blogs in concurrence with the award conditions.
5) The blogger must display the award at any location on their blog.

I'm truly honored because I have always wanted to be more than an art blog.  Mainly because I had little confidence in my art and thought I would need to have stories to entertain any readers.

It's funny how writing my stories of my past life helped to bring about my Art for Saving Animals Project.  

One of my first articles showed how I've always loved helping people:

A Little Story

My second story brought tears to some people's eyes but reminded me how I loved helping animals too:

Another Story

So I guess some way, some how, the two loves melded together and became a way to still help and still develop my art through the Art Saving Animals Project. 

I've also thrown in a couple of outburst regarding my personal life in regards to my kids and dealing with my ex and I do appreciate the support there.  My main goal is to continue to be myself, continue to develop my art and continue to deal with life and with everything that comes toward me (good and bad) with the help of my friends.

I'd like to pass along this award to Sandy Sandy

for her inspirational blog "to keep negativity at bay."

Also to James Parker who with his lively and funny posts is always looking to make everyone's world a better place to live.

To Linda (Artwolf) whose blog was one of the first that I found to combine art and consciousness for our world and animals.

Finally Narayanan Hariharan's blog called  He is very proud of his country, posts beautiful photos and promotes a greener environment.  

Thanks and hugs to all.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just for fun...

Goofing around last night.

6x8 acrylic on canvas board.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Parakeet Pals Plein Air

I painted this while I was at my last "meet the artist" stint at the pet store.  I had no photos yet of pets to paint so I took the opportunity to paint these pals who were about 15 feet in front of me.

6x8 oil on canvasboard 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Woodside Station

I wanted a little more practice before trying the DSFDF challenge so I found a photo I took of Woodside Station while on the Long Island Railway.  Straight lines are hard!   So if the Station looks a little drunk, it's because of my unsteady hand not the architect's.  

8x10 oil on RayMar

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cat on my lap

Was  in the mood for a quick pastel.  This is Meatball (the cat not last night's dinner) on my lap.

8x10 pastel on Ampersand pastelbord

Just a little something

I go in my kids' bathroom and find a couple of sheets of toilet paper folded up on the cover of the trash can next to the toilet.

I look at this and realized when Malissa was  in here for her daily "constitution" she had brought her text book with her.  She later explained she found a sample problem and wanted to see if she could figure it out.

I wasn't like this when I was 11.  Were you?