Tag Archives: excursions and explorations

touch…

I was listening to this from Ray Charles yesterday. He mentions how he is grateful for his sense of touch. I am too.

When I was younger, under certain conditions, my sense of touch and my experience of colours intermingled (synesthesia). While I am highly sensitized to colour, I would say that touch is the sense that I am the most keenly aware of.

As an artist, using my hands -touch- in making visual art is an inexorable part of my creative process; it is what makes it a visceral experience.

Flora Bowley (who I only know through her videos) so aptly captures the spirit of this in her art making process. Go… check her out.

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Celebrating… friendship

It’s been sunny and cool here in Southern California. I spent Saturday with my friend Bonnie in celebration of her birthday, and went to see the Dan Eldon exhibit in Santa Monica. It was small but worth the trip. We had a late lunch at Anisette Brasserie, which was delicious and beautifully appointed. The restaurant was in a renovated bank building, so there were high ceilings, and they’ve imported tiles and different things from France to give it a French “brasserie” feel. We ordered several things off of the menu and shared… everything was delicious… my choice were the mussels, and they were absolutely delicious!

This weekend I picked up a couple of graphic novels… proving once again what a geek I really am. And, proving also that I am consistent in my tastes, I picked up a book that I already had… Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), by J. Michael Straczynski, who is also the creator of Babilon 5 (though I never watched the series… somehow television lost its appeal early in my marriage, since my husband’s viewing habits were mostly limited to sports networks and perhaps the news… and then when Gabriel was born, kid’s networks and the science and/or discovery channels–which I do enjoy). I have Vol. 1, which is a compilation of the first eight comics of the series… there are four more compilations of this sort, which I can never seem to find more of in the comic book stores (but was able to find on Amazon).

Another graphic novel I picked up was The Last One, which was written by J.M. deMatteis and illustrated by Dan Sweetman… the story is right up my alley (and fabulous in my opinion)… it’s about an angel… the last of the “old ones”… still living amongst humans… it’s a lovely story (though somewhat dark and gritty yet filled with hope), and it’s also beautifully illustrated… beautifully lined/penned and colored.

I’m still working on my February chapbook pages… they’re taking a bit longer to put together as each page has eight eyelets attached (which means hole-punching… attaching and setting each of them) and also five “danglies” per page that also require eyelets (for a total of 13 eyelets per page), which then need to be attached to the page with leather string. Me and my bright ideas…

Pssst… plotting a birthday excursion…

Each year my friend Bonnie does something special for my birthday. It usually involves some sort of excursion somewhere and good food. This year I’ve decided to pay back in kind and take her to the Dan Eldon traveling exhibit, which is being hosted at the Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery in Santa Monica and closes this Saturday. Looks like we’ll be getting there just in the nick of time. Now that I’ve got the excursion part figured out, I have to figure out where a good lunch spot would be. Any suggestions?

In gratitude… of friends and celebrations…

My friend Bonnie picked Gabriel and me up today and treated us to a wonderful excursion to a local phenomenon called The Anti-Mall, which is actually a two-part (The Camp and The Lab) outdoor shopping experience separated by a boulevard.

We ate at a restaurant called the Old Vine Café (click on photo above to visit their website), which has a very good lunch menu (and they serve breakfast ’til 3PM!), though we did have to wait for quite a while for a table for three inside.  It was worth the wait, though, as the food was delicious.  We shared the Baby Spinach Salad (Fresh Spinach, Fresh Berries, Pine nuts, Goat Cheese & Honey  Balsamic Vinaigrette), Caprese of Mozarella Buratta (Buratta, Flash Fried Arugula, Grape Tomatoes & Citrus Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and a ‘Just Cheese’ Panini (Brie and Cheddar Cheeses served with Tomato Sauce for Dipping).



Everything was delightful… flavorful and interestingly nuanced with herbs, spices and oils.  They obtain their produce from an organic farm in Rainbow (San Diego County) which has a produce drop subscription service that you can sign up for if you are interested.  “The Camp” itself is a place to behold, with very “green” architecture and building materials, and it was a delight to walk through it and discover its gems.

 

After sharing a couple of fabulous desserts, a lovely creamy creme brulé (which isn’t listed on their online menu) and the Cheese Mousse Crepe (Stuffed with a Sweet Artisan Ricotta Cheese Mousse, garnished with Mandarin Orange Coulis), we walked around a bit more and then headed to The Lab across the street for further investigation.  

We discovered a cache of shops on the other side, and I found a pair of convertible fingerless-gloves-come-mittens at Urban Outfitters perfect for my upcoming trip to Western Canada.  The eco-theme was prevalent here too, making use of the “recycle-reuse” genre, with many found-object amalgamations, including a really cool mosaic divider wall.

After a leisurely walking tour of the place, we left for our final destination, the Mitsuwa Market Place, which is a few blocks away.  I was surprised to see such a huge array of Japanese shops inside the  nondescript building, which housed everything from a grocery store to stationery and book shops to toy vendors.  I marvel, always, at the Japanese esthetic, and their ability to marry form and function with such poetic sensibility.

My artsy fartsy side was quite thrilled as well as I scored a European style clip dispenser and a box of clip refills, which I’d almost ordered ages ago from an overseas source in Germany, but balked when the shipping cost was going to cost more than the actual items I wanted to purchase.  I was thrilled that I could now use those funky little clips pulled off of documents received from some of the foreign associates I’d dealt with over time but couldn’t make use of because I didn’t have the gizmo to attach them with.  I left with a bagful of warm, roasted chestnuts for the drive home.  Bonnie is my favorite adventuress to go exploring with… I am grateful to have met her through a previous workplace and more grateful still that we are friends.

 


Breakfasts, birthday bashes and other revelry

This morning I awoke and headed over to the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana to have breakfast with my pal Kelly Kilmer. Kelly and I don’t get to see much of each other since she lives in West L.A. and I don’t get out much, so when ever she teaches a class at The Art Bar in Santa Ana, we take advantage of meeting up and chowing down on some eggs and bagels together… and the mug of hot chocolate… to die for!

We shot the breeze for a couple of hours and then exchanged birthday goodies… Kelly’s birthday was at the end of October but I missed meeting with her around that time so I brought her giftie along with me to breakfast… she have me my birthday present as well, so we had fun opening and perusing.

The afternoon was spent at Boomers, celebrating Gabriel’s 12th birthday. We tried to have the party at the bowling alley, but by the time I called, the only party package for the day that was available was a 10:30am timeslot. The boys had fun playing in the arcade and running around the park. While they did that, I sat at a table and sketched a gargoyle.Let me elaborate on the significance of the gargoyle. I had my first coaching session with my KMCC coach on Saturday morning. I’m glad I waited to start until after the holidays, since havoc reigned from much of November through the beginning of January. I now am able to re-focus on The Gothica Project, which has lain unattended to for several months now. Bonnie and I decided that I needed to inject some “fun” energy into this project, because I’ve been taking it so seriously and my perfectionism was keeping me from moving forward, and some “Arnold” energy to act as a protective force when I was stalled by my inner critic… so I decided that gargoyles would embody both aspects of these energies, acting both as a protective force, and also, in their “impish” incarnations, embody a “fun” energy. I decided that I would sketch a plethora of gargoyles and they would impishly appear throughout the pages of the Gothica book.

Later on Saturday, my friend Bonnie and I went to an English tearoom in Costa Mesa for afternoon tea. The place is called the Tea & Sympathy Cafe… the teas were very lovely and we had a three-tiered tray of quiche, finger sandwiches and some tiny desserts… one was a chocolate covered petit-four with chocolate cake and raspberry mousse filling which tasted wonderful!

"A Scanner Darkly" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has drug use, adult language and animated bare breasts.

“…animated bare breasts”—now that’s funny! (This is from the NY Times review I mention below)

Bonnie and I went to see A Scanner Darkly’s midnight showing last night at the Regal Theatres across from the UCI campus. The movie was great—not a warm fuzzy, this movie, or a tear-jerker, even, just an “oh shit that could’ve been me” kinda thing. And truthfully, which baby-boomer hasn’t tried at least some type of “recreational” drug? Although I’d read the usual blah-blah-blah on the performances of certain actors, there were quite a few good (and intelligently written) reviews on the film… NY Times’ can be read here. It grows tiresome to always read comments from the critics; refreshing when folks admit that the roles fit the actors to a T.

You know what else is funny? I got pulled over by a cop on my way home after the movie for a broken tail-light and an expired registration. He was nice and just told me to fix it… after inquiring where I was coming from and then commenting “that looks like a strange movie…” It would’ve been Freck’s worst nightmare come to life…