Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A New Look

I am exploring new, better or at least different looks in my creative expression these days. I am not even painting rocks today as I usually do. The painting you see below was done on a piece of flexible black shelf cover. I used flourescent paint, oil pastel and color pencils to create this piece. The black material has some "tooth" to it so that the colors adhere quite nicely to the surface. These mandalas have a Mexican feel to them. Perhaps they were influenced by the art and people who live close to me, here in Calistoga. I will probably go back to painting rocks tomorrow.My blog has a new color background too... just to mix it up a bit.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nothing changes, if nothing changes

I genuinely enjoy painting these gift rocks and selling my work at the Farmer's Market.I am certain that people enjoy giving and receiving them in the spirit in which they were made.It is just that I don't know where or how to move forward with them because I am not making enough money selling them one day a week.It is also a lot of damn hard work!

The painting part is relaxing and enjoyable enough, but purchasing supplies, creating new designs, setting up and breaking down shows after using the same sales pitch gets really monotonous and boring.The same people come to see me each week and I get restless the night before a market and really tired after.Being your own boss is almost as stress induced as working for someone else.I guess it all evens out really.Today it is raining.It fits my mood perfectly.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Second Wave

Another storm has arrived in time for our Napa Valley Vintner's to breathe a brief sigh of relief.The Farmer's Almanac has predicted rains for March, and they haven't arrived soon enough as far as most people are concerned.Water rationing has begun in areas like Cloverdale and Healdsburg, and Calistoga is right inline.Amazingly, the mustard is in bloom and fields of yellow are sprouting up between the rows of vines.

The little brown Buddha you see below was a gift I gave my sister Tara some years ago. I had forgotten about it until she showed me that she still had it after all these years. The figurine still reminds me not to take myself so seriously. I mean, check out that cute little smile!

Now more about the weather;Although it is nice to have some moisture in the air, it is better for me to stay inside and tend to the rock business.Even when the sun is out, I tend to burn pretty easily and don't like to have my skin wrinkle any more than is necessary for old age. Yikes! did I just say old age? Disregard the rest of this post.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Heart Day !

I've prepared this little video to put a smile on your face for Valentine's Day. I hope you have a sweet one. Enjoy!

Happy Valentines !

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Getting Gratitude

Sometimes it may seem hard to find things to be grateful for during these troubled times.It is important to keep our eyes on the prize, which is where we are all going ( i.e. heaven ).This is what I believe, and I take comfort in this belief. Some may ask how can I believe such a thing when all evidence is to the contrary.I have to answer with a resounding,"I don't know!" but my faith in a higher power is forever.

Today I've been watching a lot of movies online. In the past three days, I've seen "The American Hustler", "The Wolf of Wall Street","August,Osage County" "Her", "All is Lost" and "12 Years as a Slave". The first two I mentioned were intriguing but I have to take issue with the gratutious violence and sex. I didn't find that entertaining. It was at times very painful to watch.The same can be said for the last movie, "12 years a Slave". It was atrocious and painful at every turn. Even if this was an accurate depiction of slavery in the deep south, it was still a movie I would not recommend anyone see.I have seen "Philomena" and "Nebraska" in the theatre and of all of these movies, I would have to say that "Philomena" was my favorite pick for the Oscar.Judy Dench gives a stellar performance.By the way, the picture below was taken last October at Russian Gulch. I left that heart-shaped rock there at the beach.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sailing on the Columbia

My nephew Seamus and his wife Barbara are quite a team when it comes to sailing. We went out on a practically windless day and yet the challenges were still there whether you were tacking or pulling up the fenders when coming into port. We saw a beautiful sunset, lots of jets taking off, and several flocks of Canadian Geese.Portland winters are damp and cold, but I found the drizzle and rain refreshing after the extended drought here in California.I think the best conditions for vineyards are moving north.

My sister Tara and I had a good time learning about the benefits and pitfalls of casting with resin. We tried a few experiments, some successful,some not. We watched "Foyle's War" on her computer,had great food to eat both at home and out at the local restaurants. We went to a place on the first day called, Tara's Thai, which was fantastic.All in all, it was great staying with my extended family and my mentor Tara, who has been an inspiration to my art from day one.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Visiting the Castle

Today is the feast of the Epiphany.This was when the three wise men showed up to bring gifts of gold, frankincense and mir to the baby Jesus. Today is when we usually celebrate "Little Christmas". I received very nice gifts from my sister and my nephew. My brother in law, my sister and my grandniece went to visit the Castillo de Amorosa near where I live in Calistoga.I had been up to the castle, but never inside, nor had I ever had a tour of the castle. The nice thing was that locals get a fifty percent discount at the door. My grandniece Mila had a wonderful time, truly making it a wonderful fantasy environment for a princess. She took every opportunity to have her picture taken, and explore every nook and cranny of this wonderful building/winery. The best picture of course, was the one showing her dining room where all her royal friends would be dining.