Turnips : Full Disclosure



It has taken me a while to post this painting of turnips and a bowl from last week’s class. I was not feeling it, and I don’t like this one. I mean, the only thing I do like about it are the parts that SD helped me with, really.

It was a bowl and turnips on some wonderfully textured burlap-ish fabric. Honestly, it was overwhelming. I felt defeated right from the start.

It might have been partly my state of mind–busy work day, but then I’ve been refreshed by the class in the past– but it might also have been overload. I mean, the papaya, glass and limes were a bit too much to do in three hours last week, and this was just mind boggling for little old me.

The other person in the class is much more advanced than I am and I think it’s good to set up things that challenge her, but next time I see something like this, I think I’m gonna drop back and kick some turnip butt rather than try to do all of it.  I was working on a stripe that went through the fabric, but I had to just blend it all out, and didn’t have time to get any subtlty into the whole painting.

Live and learn…one’s limits, sometimes!

Return To Me



I haven’t been up on the fire road around our neighborhood since some time in April or May, because of issues with my joints. I had several good days this week and decided to give it a try. There were clouds out there calling to me!

I feel a bit like I’m returning to myself after a focusing on health issues for a while.


See?  Really me!  Hydra was hiking the peaks at the same time.



Coming down off of the trail.


DSC_6817Cuttings from the woefully overgrown mini-rose!

Yesterday I did the first real yard work since spring. You can imagine how that went! I reclaimed about two feet of driveway from encroaching shrubs.  Two hours out there, and no hell to pay. Very happy about that this morning.

Also very happy that Hydra came out and helped me clean up the cuttings, etc., which is never my favorite part.

So anyway, that’s the follow up to my earlier post about the knee surgery, which some of you have expressed curiousity about.




Hello From Earth



Fooling around with the gazing globes in front of a neighbor’s house during one of my morning walks.



The full moon setting.



I’ve noticed lately, from photos that friends post online, that the sunsets are much redder than ours. We usually have pastels in the morning and evening. Peach skies and purple mountains on dry evenings. Amazing mixes of blues and purples in wetter weather.



I would really like to find one of these at a yard sale!


Passing Time in Pasadena


Is anything better than a cool beverage on a warm afternoon in the company of intelligent friends?DSC_6736Health and scheduling issues kept me from my writing group since May!  I’ve missed it. This time we met on Antipasta’s lovely back deck.  The planter beds are all constructed by her talented wife, out of reclaimed concrete.


This one’s for Kitty!  We were talking on the phone while I waited for meeting time to roll around, and this was the view in front of Antipasta’s house.  I told you it was hilly.

Pasadena’s great.  After the meeting I went to Blick’s for some art supplies.

I wasn’t sure how to get from one place to the other, so I spoke into my phone, “Blick’s Art Supplies,” about three times, to no avail (even though it had worked in the past.)

Finally, I gave up and said, “Dammit!”

Google Girl says, “Dammit!  American curse word.”


Papaya in Progress


Work in progress.  Silvina recommends that we stop and take a cell phone shot along the way because it can help us see what we’re doing in a different way.

This was a challenging set up!  Papaya with all those gorgeous seeds inside, and glass for the first time!


Another shot along the way. Note the difference between the salt shaker in this shot and the last one.


I could use a lot more than 3 hours with this subject!  The salt shake is not really good, but at least it looks more like the salt shaker looked as it sat not three feet from me.

It’s amazing how you have to train your brain to actually train your brain to transfer what you actually see rather than what you think you know about an object!  I was feeling really good about the salt shaker in the second shot, but it wasn’t at all representative of the object in front of me.

I suppose we all do this a lot in life…see the form we expect to see rather than the thing or person who is right in front of us. Ah, humans.

I took a cell phone shot of the set up and it looked amazing. This stuff was in a box again, to create the dramatic shadows.

“See?” I said, “That’s what I like about photography.  I could have done this three hours ago and been done with it!”

Encounter with a Shape-Shifter



The other day Hydra met up with a young man sitting on one of the cairns Hydra built on “my” mountain.  The man sat very straight in lotus position. He had a cola and a beer with him at 7 a.m.  They spoke and Hydra moved on.

A few days later, Hydra approached the hill and saw the young man sitting there, looking to the east as the sun rose before him.  As Hydra approached, young man rose, spread his wings, and flew away.

Either that, or it was this Golden Eagle.

Sorry the photo is not better, but it was taken from our driveway, at quite a distance.


Hydra near the cairn, to give you some perspective.


The eagle in flight. I didn’t get a shot of it rising because I was distracted by some other pretty little birds.


This finch, for example.


And then these finches. Trying to share.


I realized that the eagle had taken flight only when the ravens took off, complaining.


Hummer in the morning light.  There’s a lot to think about.