All the leaves are brown…

"Guardian of the Pumpkins", a photo

Day 297: “Guardian of the Pumpkins”, a photo

After a day full of photography, I headed home from the bay area this morning through crazy rain, looking forward to seeing my hubby & puppy and settling into my studio with a cup of tea and a paintbrush. I picked out the photo I wanted to use next and taped it to a canvas and have been staring at it longingly for a week or so. Somehow I expect this anticipation and excitement will magically make the painting process go more quickly, or at least I hope it will- inevitably, most paintings include that cranky stand-off argument stage. But we’re still in honeymoon mode. Just like the happy couple from yesterday. 🙂

At the end of the event, mom swung up the street to an inn covered in lights and piles of pumpkins for a couple last images. Anything involving night, lights and orange is always appealing to me. I first eyed the pumpkins glazed with rainwater reflecting the white twinkling lights so prettily, and then upon closer inspection, I spied this ceramic rabbit keeping an eye on the squash citizens and had to have an image of it. Yay, it’s autumn!


In Rainbows

"Turkish Lamp", a photo

Day 296: Turkish Lamp, a photo

Today I’m in the bay area to help photograph a wedding with my mom. Neither one of us are professional photographers by any measure, but the bride and groom are pretty casual (and trusting!), so fingers crossed that it will all turn out well. Generally I enjoy the cloudy weather, but today’s one day I hope transforms from drizzle to daylight considering the circumstances! So since I’ll be out and about until this evening, I’m posting a photograph from my mom’s lovely home. This is a photo of a GORGEOUS glass chandelier mom picked up when we visited the Grand Bazaar in Turkey last year. Hopefully I have not already posted an image of this thing at some point this year… that’s how you know the year is almost over, I guess! I’m starting to wonder if I’m duplicating myself… If I did already use it, I’ll double up tomorrow to make up for it. 😉

California Farming

"Palm Meadow", acrylic painting on woodblock

Day 295: Palm Meadow

Today’s piece is a scene capturing a few palm trees standing sentinel over a farmhouse and meadow. I always find it interesting how California’s landscape has an equal chance of sprouting redwoods, palms, cypress, pines, maples, oaks, elms and almost any tree you can think of. For me, the palms are at much at home here in the farm fields as they are on the streets of Malibu. I’m heading into the bay area again this weekend to help photograph a wedding in Half Moon Bay, so the next couple of days will most likely be photographs as I’ll be out of the studio. Hope you’re gearing up for a great weekend yourself!

Dia de Pan Dulce

"Pan Dulce", a photo

Day 294: Pan Dulce

“Dia de los muertos is coming up again. It seems like it was just here.”

“So are you going to finally paint a sugar skull this year?” Reina asked as we ventured into Del Paso Heights in search of adventure one afternoon.

My maiden name is Ramirez; I’m technically hispanic but was always ridiculed endlessly in school by authentic chicano children for obstinately continuing to have a last name in contradiction with my skin tone. So I love latin art, but hesitate to create any of it, expecting a backlash for trying to connect with a culture that is not really mine.  I noticed a bakery as I drove.

“Panaderia! You want some pan dulce?” I replied.

“Mmm, pan dulce! Yes! Pull over.”

Inside the bakery, we found a lovely wall display full of goodies like these Conchas. They let me take a photo with my phone (the DSLR is way too giant and obtrusive to just casually carry around for spur-of-the-moment stuff) which may very much turn out to be a painting one of these days. Ooh, perhaps stacks of sugar skull sweetbread as a subject? They did have these other rolls topped with odd little figurine toothpick things that I could totally turn into skeletons… we’ll see. No promises. For today, feast your eyes on this image I amped up the color in, and here’s a sweet little haiku to go with it:

yellow sugar swirls

airy dough puffs pink and peach

legions of love bread

My long-time readers know I like to write a haiku now and then, but when it comes to pairing them with an image, I must pay homage to the incredible Trish Tunney and her 50/50 project, in which she paired 50 newly written haikus with 50 unpublished photographs of hers in 50 days. If you’re in the mood to be amused/ amazed/ delighted, check it out!

Forever Young

"Youth", mixed media on 5x7" canvas

Day 293: “Youth”, mixed media painting

While I do have a new lineup of cityscapes in the works, they generally take longer than a day. So today’s piece is a mixed media on canvas mini painting. Using thread, yarn, snippets from sewing patterns, Nancy Drew, a children’s reader and a thesaurus, I used “youth” circled from the thesaurus as the theme.

Detail of upper half

The bright yellow dress-clad girl is awfully happy looking. But when I think of youth, I think of having moved past it. I think we become more nostalgic for our youth the older we become. I enjoy remembering my naivety, but at the same time I’m glad to have matured into a different person. Once you go down the rabbit hole, there’s no going back, right?

I’m gearing up to launch my official newsletter, so if you’d like to receive a once-monthly newsletter with information like upcoming shows where you can see my work in person, head over to, click “Portfolio” and sign up on the “Contact” page.

Detail bottom

The taxman

"Looming", acrylic on 18" x 24" canvas

Day 292: “Looming”, acrylic painting on canvas

Today’s piece is a cityscape I started several months ago and then set aside in frustration. It made a comeback yesterday and to my delight, got finished up today. I used a reference photograph I took in San Francisco’s Financial District. At that moment, I remember being intrigued by the warm, glowing lights and feeling the excited energy of the couple in formalwear and the crowd lined up to my left. Then as I looked up, the skyscrapers I imagined held financial offices of credit card agencies and banks slept with one eye open, a  frowning over the weekend-good-time below.

Detail shot lower left

I finished it off with some charcoal detail to get that drawing quality I enjoy sneaking into my cityscapes at the end.

Detail lower right

Honey…aww Sugar Sugar

"Honey Corn", acrylic landscape on woodblock

Day 291: Honey Corn

Today’s piece is a landscape on woodblock. This scene is from the Tracy, CA area and shows a cluster of bee boxes in front of a corn field. It kind of made my inner cynic cackle because I had to think of the stupid “corn sugar” PR campaign for high-fructose corn syrup going on right now, but anything with bee boxes always makes me smile in the end. I just got a fresh crop of woodblocks (thanks dad!) so more of these will be on the way in time for the Dec/Jan affordable art show I’m participating in, and of course for YOU GUYS to get your hands on too. 😉