Day 83: ‘Lunchables’, a mini art quilt

Earliest post ever! Look what happens when I get up early in the morning. Awesome. Today’s piece is a mini art quilt inspired by our many family trips to Santa Cruz as children. Except for the time that my sister got lost on the beach and by a miracle of God was found- safe- about a mile away, we always had a good time. I remember being tuckered out from long days splashing around in the surf, laying out to warm up in the sun on the big, colorful blanket-towels, and the yummy lunchables and fruit juices mom would pack into the cooler. It seems as an adult now, concerned about how I look in a bathing suit, living farther from the sea, and concerned about shore pollution or sharp things in the sand, the beach isn’t the same. But I’ll always have those fabulous, carefree days as a kid. Thanks, mom. You’re awesome.

This piece is 8”x10” (I plan to put it in a frame) and includes upcycled vintage fabrics, an illustration from a child’s bathing suit sewing pattern from the 60’s, a map of Santa Cruz, a word from the dictionary, the California state seal and a bit of sheet music, buttons, rick rack and an image of a whale. It’s top-stitched with a wavy line pattern in aqua. Remember, kids- watch out for that undertow!


Day 78: Olives!


This afternoon, my awesome mom invited me to join her and my Aunt Shelli for lunch at Wente Vineyard in Livermore as an early birthday celebration for my aunt. It was a GORGEOUS day, and one of the items that made it to the table was this handsome dish of olives. While I’m not much of a still life painter, there are definitely images that catch my eye. This gleaming bowl of ovoid shapes and earthy colors was lovely on the palette and easy on the eyes. It’s certainly going to make it off of my other palette (the one with the paint) and on to a canvas at some point.

Until then, I think the photo itself is pretty nice too, and it’s been a long day (I arrived home to a puppy emergency. A nice neighbor found a little guy hiding in our bushes and we gave him food and water and moral support until the humane society arrived to save the day), so I hope you’ll enjoy this image as today’s piece. Then you’ll be able to compare which you like better when it becomes a painting one of these days!

Day 50

Today is my mother’s birthday! She is visiting my grandparents in Paradise (the city in Northern California, not a figurative wonderland) for a few days, and I drove up there to see her and go out to lunch today. It’s only about an hour and a half from Sacramento, and while some people might find the drive dreary, I enjoy it. I see it as tons of little paintings. I snapped a bunch of photos of the little farmland landscapes that will be appearing shortly on more woodblocks, but having arrived home fairly late in the day and not having tons of time to paint, I decided to go with three lovely flower photos I took today.

These are from Camellia bushes in my Grandma’s garden. She clipped a few and had them floating in bowls of water. It was as if I had just walked into a wedding planning meeting. There’s nothing quite like a gorgeous blossom. When life gets tough, it’s important that we remember to be happy for the little things. And for me, that’s my wonderful, supportive family full of fabulous female role models and other things like fresh flowers. Although I guess an awesome family really isn’t a “little thing”. I love you mom!

Day 23

Feeling reinvigorated about paintings after the success of using photos as a basis for my cityscapes, I headed out today to finally print off some of the amazing photographs mom took when she and I went on a cruise in Europe this past fall. It was a fabulous time and I’m so blessed that mom took me with her. She has a great eye for compositions and took extra care to snap some shots of cities and night scenes for me to paint.

One of the most interesting cities we visited was Istanbul. I think I found it so fascinating because it’s a place that encompasses opposites. The city presides over the borders of two continents, it welcomes a multitude of people and faiths, it is both ancient and new at the same time.

As our ship pulled up, we were serenaded by a band and dancers playing traditional Turkish folk music on the pier, a couple hundred yards or so in front of the Museum of Modern Art. Several minutes later, invisible men sang Ramadan prayers through the PA systems of gorgeous, sculpted minarets surveying the great quilt of architecture covering the hills between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Red flags with a white crescent moon and single star waved welcome to us as I leaned over the bough; my unintentionally matching tattoo on my bosom and I waved back. It was surreal and amazing.

When I was 13, my mom took me to a tattoo parlor. This fact shocks most people that know my mom- she’s pretty straight-laced in general. But she shared that she had wanted a tattoo so badly as a teenager that she ended up getting it done in a living room (it looked pretty good actually, and it was a clean situation so no worries). Her mom found out when an article about underage tattoos appeared in the newspaper shortly thereafter- with a photo of my mom getting her ink done on some dude’s couch in it.

Mom didn’t want me to do the same thing. Knowing I carried her willful genes, she took me in that day (back when you could get a tattoo at age 16 as long as a parent was present, yes I said 13 up there, thanks for fibbing to the dude with the giant snake in the lobby, mom!), probably expecting I would freak out when I heard the sound of the needle, but I didn’t. I picked a small crescent moon and single star for the left side of my chest. I didn’t know it was the same symbol as the Turkish flag then (thanks, California’s public school system!) and little did I know I’d be enjoying an unforgettable time with my mom in that country 14 years later.

So today I worked from one of the harbor photos of Istanbul. I’ve done a few really successful San Francisco inspired cityscapes in the same manner before, but it’s been awhile and I almost forgot how frustrating they are. My eyeballs get lost in all the lines and I get to the point that I have to break off and quit looking at the photo and go from there to make it work. I hated this one right up until the last few minutes or so, and then I liked it a lot. Whew. Thank goodness. I have a glass of Lindeman’s Lambic Framboise getting warm over here.