Some Help for Artists, Galleries, Private Collections and Museums Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

If you are on the East Coast, follow the link below for some timely information regarding special assistance.

Some Help for Artists, Galleries, Private Collections and Museums Impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

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Man with a Stuffed Owl Fine Art Poster from Zazzle.com

Man with a Stuffed Owl Fine Art Poster from Zazzle.com.

In the 90s, I joined a small group of artists at a nature center on Mt. Washington near downtown Los Angeles. There was a little farmhouse with a kitchen and a small barn that had been donated to the city. The artists were a fascinating group. One had done artwork for NASA and, during the time I know him, flew to Amsterdam to see the Vermeer exhibit. He did gem-like miniature portraits in oil and had organized the group. He also arranged for the space. Another was a prominent just-retired television producer with an outrageous sense of humor and a free-wheeling drawing style. A third was a glamorous Russian painter with an exquisite home in The Hills. Other members came and went. One of these was an artist who drew Pasadena nightclub patrons in bistre on vellum. We met periodically, and I don’t remember exactly how often. I think it was every other week. We each posed for a three hour session. If we could convince friends or relatives to take our turn, that was fine, too. In this picture, you see the couch we sat on. The stuffed owl belonged to the nature center.

I call this group of drawings my Elyria Park Series. Most of them are pastels on Canson Mi Tientes paper. I liked the rough, textured side in mid-tones. You can see others on Zazzle. I have some on Red Bubble, too.

Mailbox In Snow Stock Photo – 7586 | BIGSTOCK

Mailbox In Snow Stock Photo – 7586 | BIGSTOCK.

Sold a copy of this snowy mailbox image on BigStock today. I guess I’m not the only one who’s having trouble inserting pictures into posts here on WordPress. It just started recently. Sorry about the inconvenience of having to click on the link to see what I’m talking about here. I hope they fix the problem, or at least explain soon.

It’s still relatively warm today, and we will probably go for a walk before the football games and cooking begin. We don’t have cable, and we don’t get FOX up here. The local signal is too weak, so poor Alden will miss the morning game. As for the cooking, it isn’t much. I will put our turkey breast in its oven bag this afternoon and we’ll enjoy the scent upstairs as I write.

I would be discouraged by my paltry progress on my novel, but it has been a good month. I have the whole thing plotted out. I know what it’s about, so I know where to begin. That means I will have to redo the first chapter, but I know how to do that. The characters are shaping up and the conflict has defined itself and expanded. I’m hoping to make more progress today. The book is up to a little more than 21,000 words now. I plan to have it finished by the end of December. Okay, I’m not going to “win” NaNoWriMo, but on Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for this wonderful month of community and support.

Yesterday, I signed up for the January conference in New York. I’m looking forward to attending with my daughter. We had so much fun last year. You can see some of the pictures I took of Manhattan in the snow on Zazzle. I changed most of them to black and white and added a little grain. I took them with a point and shoot I can carry in my pocket. The advantage was great, walking around in Midtown, tourist that I am, without my big SLRs. The disadvantage was color noise and fringing. I really love the way the black and white worked, anyway. It captured the feel of the winter city.

 

Making a Mess for Your Soul’s Sake

Chartreuse Abstract Watercolor Background Stock Photo 84285301 : Shutterstock.

I have fallen in love with a new kind of art material. (This happens to me often.) It is called Yupo. It isn’t really paper. It’s actually a kind of thin white plastic. I love it for watercolor abstracts. I can wet it completely or selectively, and then let one or two colors run where they will. I let it dry, use a wet sponge to wipe off the passages I don’t like, and then add more. It is a very spontaneous and joyous way to work.

In a way, it is like writing a first draft of a novel during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). You can let the material take you wherever it wants to go, and then, later, go back and rework the parts that don’t fit.

The link leads to a vibrant piece I did in almost pure chartreuse. I sold a copy of its digital image on Shutterstock today. My dad, a California Scene Painter and amazing watercolor craftsman, would roll over in his grave. He hated that color as much as I loved its outlandish French name.  If you want to see more of this series, they are all on Shutterstock. Some of the originals are available on Absolute Arts.

Conductor Print from Zazzle.com

Conductor Print from Zazzle.com.

Sold a copy of this print on canvas today. I painted the original from a sketch I did on a scrap of paper I had in my purse. We were at a concert of the Grand Junction Symphony. I did the painting as a demonstration of how to use a sketch at a workshop for kids at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts. The style is spontaneous and expressive. Though painted just a few years ago, it represents a return to my early figurative expressionist style. Paintings in this style were shown and sold in California under the name Gene Armstrong from Holly Wood’s (not kidding) gallery in Montecito and elsewhere. I often worked from small sketches. I enjoyed sketching people at produce markets, the beach, Stearn’s Wharf in Santa Barbara, the charming Miramar Hotel in Montecito, and on bus stops. Those paintings were done before I spent years in life drawing groups, so recent expressionist figurative works like this one are different.

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Moonscapes 3D | Moonscapes 3D- Digital Scanning & Enlargement

Moonscapes 3D | Moonscapes 3D- Digital Scanning & Enlargement.

This is David Moon’s business! I heard him speak on Wednesday night. Still thinking about it. Some people are just amazing.