Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bob Baker Marionette Theater




This is a place I used to drive past often, when I lived in Los Feliz and would drive to downtown L.A. 

I mean, for years I would drive past it and I was always curious but somehow never made it inside. It's funny how that happens. Time flies by and we can so easily miss the treasures in our midst! 

Well, after living in L.A. for more than 2 decades, I was invited to a birthday party at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and I was so excited to finally be going! 


I'd heard something about developers turning the property into condos and that the theater would be closing at some point. Then I heard maybe they would have the theater somehow incorporated into the condos or apartments. At another point, I read that there was perhaps going to be a little "dedication" to the theater, somewhere in the new development. Hmm.


I know they have another show up right now and hopefully they are still trying to save it. And save it they should! In June of 2009 the Los Angeles City Council gave it its historic monument designation. 

Bob Baker himself passed in 2014 at the age of 90. So much joy and laughter he's given to our city since 1963!

Inside, the birthday boy Jacamo, mesmerized before the show ... So sweet!


One of the virtues of being very young 
is that you don't let the facts get in the way of your imagination.
~Sam Levenson




This is the birthday party room! So fun!


At the beginning of the show, they called the birthday kids on stage. This sweet boy had no problem going up in front of everyone! "How old are you turning?" Clear and loud enough for the audience to hear, he said "2!"

Here he is on stage (in front of a huge crowd of people) in his cute overalls, checking out the puppets!



The show was funny and cute, with lots of funny tongue in cheek humor for the adults in the audience.


These are some great short videos about the Theater and the puppeteers!




This particular show's theme was about the history of Los Angeles and was called "Hurray L.A." I guess they bring back certain shows.  The hand crafted puppets pretty incredible!


Here's one more video with some cute clips from the shows, some of the history of the theater, and a peak back in the storage area where all the puppets hang out when their not being ... puppeted? 


Isn't she cute?!


Jacamo had a great 2nd birthday celebration, at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, although now what do you do for your 3rd birthday?! Maybe go back!



For more information about the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, click here.

I've gotten so busy painting and running around I haven't been posting or visiting my blogging friends but I'll make it around soon! Hope everyone is having a lovely summer and surviving the heat!

Many blessing and light!

In every real man a child is hidden
that wants to play.
~Friedrich Nietzsche 

Bob Baker Marionette Theater




This is a place I used to drive past often, when I lived in Los Feliz and would drive to downtown L.A. 

I mean, for years I would drive past it and I was always curious but somehow never made it inside. It's funny how that happens. Time flies by and we can so easily miss the treasures in our midst! 

Well, after living in L.A. for more than 2 decades, I was invited to a birthday party at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and I was so excited to finally be going! 


I'd heard something about developers turning the property into condos and that the theater would be closing at some point. Then I heard maybe they would have the theater somehow incorporated into the condos or apartments. At another point, I read that there was perhaps going to be a little "dedication" to the theater, somewhere in the new development. Hmm.


I know they have another show up right now and hopefully they are still trying to save it. And save it they should! In June of 2009 the Los Angeles City Council gave it its historic monument designation. 

Bob Baker himself passed in 2014 at the age of 90. So much joy and laughter he's given to our city since 1963!

Inside, the birthday boy Jacamo, mesmerized before the show ... So sweet!


One of the virtues of being very young 
is that you don't let the facts get in the way of your imagination.
~Sam Levenson




This is the birthday party room! So fun!


At the beginning of the show, they called the birthday kids on stage. This sweet boy had no problem going up in front of everyone! "How old are you turning?" Clear and loud enough for the audience to hear, he said "2!"

Here he is on stage (in front of a huge crowd of people) in his cute overalls, checking out the puppets!



The show was funny and cute, with lots of funny tongue in cheek humor for the adults in the audience.


These are some great short videos about the Theater and the puppeteers!




This particular show's theme was about the history of Los Angeles and was called "Hurray L.A." I guess they bring back certain shows.  The hand crafted puppets pretty incredible!


Here's one more video with some cute clips from the shows, some of the history of the theater, and a peak back in the storage area where all the puppets hang out when their not being ... puppeted? 


Isn't she cute?!


Jacamo had a great 2nd birthday celebration, at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, although now what do you do for your 3rd birthday?! Maybe go back!

For more information about the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, click here.

I've gotten so busy painting and running around I haven't been posting or visiting my blogging friends but I'll make it around soon! Hope everyone is having a lovely summer and surviving the heat!

Many blessing and light!

In every real man a child is hidden
that wants to play.
~Friedrich Nietzsche 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Solo Show September 18th


In memory
everything seems to happen to music.
~Tennessee Williams,
The Glass Menagerie


I am someone who needs a deadline. I have been told this is normal for an ENFP. (Personality type) Anyway, it's something that instead fighting, I am finally learning to work with or at least work around. If I want to get something done I join a group, take a class ... or set a date.

With the exception of painting tiny demonstrations for the students at my work, I hadn't really focused on oil painting since I'd gone through some health problems back in 08/09. The fumes freaked me out, then I got involved in the pastel group, but I started really missing it! Then I decided that I would be like Lucien Freud and do tons of oils and live to a ripe old age, like him. (He even used flake white which is known as lead white.)

When my bosses kindly offered up the studio for me to do a solo show, I said yes and set a date. Perfect! A deadline! All of the sudden I'm productive again and much more disciplined, though my painting "schedule" is all over the place. I go in fits and starts, but when when I really get going I easily end up painting until 3 in the morning!


The show is based on memory. Cellular memory, genetic memory, experiential memory and physical "body" memory. It's about all these different things that contribute to who we are. It's also about what is passed on to others, but I'm not going to get into all that at the moment!

My dear, dear Friend ...
in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart ...
~William Wordsworth

Most of the pieces I have so far, are works involving my ancestors.


These are unfinished details of 2 of my pieces. (I am not ready to share finished pieces yet.)


Anyway, that's what I have been up to! 

I hope you all had a happy 4th of July! I went to the Ventura Street Fair, then headed back home so I could start painting again today! I will do a little post about that later!

Music does something nothing else can, when it comes to memory. I have specific memories (that I won't go into right now) in regards to this song, but this is a different version with Jason Mraz playing along with the amazing guitar player Sungha Jung, from Korea. After 5:30 it gets into the main guitar portion.



The past is never dead, it is not even past.
~William Faulkner


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Books and Docs ... of the Artistic Kind


It is not enough to know your craft - you have to have feeling.
Science is all very well, but for us
imagination is worth far more.
~Edouard Manet

Living in L.A., and with all the trips I take to Ojai, I've lately been listening to so many audio books! It's been great. I knew I wanted to read/listen to both of these books (below) so I listened chronologically by subject.



Both were interesting and informative. The Judgment of Paris was interesting because it went back and forth between Édouard Manet (who was having a difficult time of it with the art establishment and the Paris Salon) and a successful artist of the time, Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier who had been a darling of the Paris Salon, and was doing very highly detailed, representational, more conservative works. I had honestly never heard of Meissonier, so it made it all the more interesting. When I got home I'd Google the paintings the author referred to. 

The way it was written, it kept my attention pretty well, considering I can often space out while driving and have to rewind a few minutes of a book. I felt so frustrated for Manet and what he went through, trying to make it as an artist, and having so many people not understand what he was trying to do.

Of course the best part for me was when he would give information like the fact that the pigment Cobalt Violet was first prepared by Jean Salvètat in 1859, and that Monet said that he'd discovered that violet was the "color of atmosphere." And, that he used Cobalt violet and Prussian blue for creating water. I pulled over and wrote that one down!


After Judgment of Paris, I listened to In Montmartre. Of course, who doesn't want to know more about the beginnings of Modernist Art? O.K., maybe not everyone. But, I have to say it made me want to know more about Matisse and Picasso in the very beginnings of the their careers.

This book seemed a tiny bit less engrossing than Judgement of Paris but when it's an audio book, I can't always put my finger on it. It could be the narration. It was still very interesting, with some nice anecdotes and stories about the artists. Somehow it made me feel better knowing Picasso worked on a a piece for months, filling sketchbooks trying to figure out the concept and structure of the piece. Of course, he ended up with Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, which now hangs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but still!!

Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.
~Pablo Picasso

When I started this blog, I wrote about a great documentary Matisse Picasso: Twin Giants of Modern Art (2002.) Definitely still recommend that documentary! I watched a DVD from Netflix, and it looks like they still have it, here. I saw that it's also on Youtube but unfortunately it's in French with no subtitles, so unless you're fluent, hopefully you can it on Netflix.


In general, I'm a non fiction gal, but I wanted to know more about these eras (of the Last Judgment of Paris and In Montmartre) and audio books about artists are a bit limited. So, next I went with novel about Claude Monet and his muse and first wife Camille, for my next "read." In fact, I'm so used to straight up biography that when all of the sudden Claude and Camille were making out, and then in a passionate embrace, my jaw dropped like puritan, looking around in shock to invisible passengers in my car! So funny. I think I even blushed.

I have to say, it's funny to have someone read love scenes aloud to you in the car and it was also kind of funny hearing this older British man reading Camille's dialog but I did get into the characters. I could really imagine this world of struggling artists in 19th century Paris, who later became legends of art history and I even sat on my bed and cried through the end of the book. It's not high literature  but interesting and entertaining.

The problem with historical novels is that I get distracted and have to look things up online to see if they really happened. Seriously? Did she really have an affair with this best friend?? No. No, the author made that up. So, that part bugs me. I mean, I get it, there needs to be drama but I'm someone who wants and needs the truth. I had fun watching The Borgias on Showtime, but after every episode I would Google the events of the 15th century to see what really happened.

Anyway, Claude and Camille, as I said, was entertaining and made me really think about how difficult things were for Monet and all his Impressionist friends, trying to make ends meet and justify their lives to their families, and their art to the world.

What you can watch on Youtube is the BBC's The Impressionists, which is great because much of it is scripted from the artists' actual letters and writings. I love that!



A painting requires a little mystery,
some vagueness, and some fantasy.
When you always make your meaning perfectly plain 
you end up boring people.
~Edgar Degas




A work of art which did not begin in emotion
is not art.
~Paul Cezanne



Hope you all had a lovely June!
Blessings and light!

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places 
where other people see nothing.
~Camille Pissarro


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Terri Ford Pastel Workshop and Ojai Preserve Painting in Plein Air


These landscapes of water and reflection 
have become an obsession.
~Claude Monet

Terri's Beautiful array of pastels ...


Terri Ford Workshop
Ojai, Spring 2016

It had been, at least, a couple of years since I'd taken my last intensive 3 day pastel workshop. I'd loved taking a couple of those workshops with Richard McKinley, but he hadn't done one in Ojai for such a long time, so I'd been keeping my ears open for a great instructor. Terri came highly recommended and after checking out her website I got really excited! Her work is loose, gorgeous and vibrant. Bingo. 

Day 1
In the Studio

Terri sketching in her darkest values ...



It's always wonderful, as an artist, to stretch and move yourself in directions that you wouldn't ordinarily take with your art. It's not always easy but sometimes you have to make yourself uncomfortable in order to grow. Life lesson, right?

Terri's demonstrations were great because, like Richard, she explains her process as she goes along. She lets you in on why she is doing what she is doing and is very generous with all her knowledge. She's also just a really great gal and easy to spend time with over 3 days of working.

Here's her first finished demo. I'm sorry I don't have the reference photo but the finished pastel painting is so much more beautiful and interesting than the photo ... which is the hope, right?


That first day, we worked in the studio all day, having been told ahead of time to bring reference photos. Plus, as I recall, the weather forecast was a little dicey. 

Day 2
en Plein Air


Ojai Preserve


Ah ... spring in Ojai! Just wanted to mention, that it's amazing how many art supplies I can fit in my Mini!!




It was obviously a gorgeous spring day! Terri set up with a view of the Eucalyptus trees. When you work outside, you have to get in the broad strokes. There isn't a lot of time to work before the light completely changes!


I loved loved loved this demo. So fresh and loose and vibrant ... and all the information you need is there and just sunny and beautiful. This underpainting was vibrant using pastel (you can see that magenta under the sky!) and then washed with denatured alcohol. Then soft pastels over the top!


Of course, the big question is where and what do you want to paint?
 

I must have flowers, always, and always.
~Claude Monet



I decided to set up near the water, in part, because usually water isn't really my forte. Sometimes I get lucky but ... well, at least it was a pretty spot and I was stretching, remember?



The reflection of the reeds in my pastel were kind of cool and I liked the texture on my mountains but the water?
Eh? Not so much. Oh well. I'd have another chance on day 3.


In the meantime ... photos and enjoying the gorgeous afternoon! (And a fabulous almond cacao smoothie from Farmer and the Cook down the road.!)
 

It's on the strength of observation and reflection 
that one finds a way.
So we must dig and delve unceasingly.
~Claude Monet




Day 3

Terri set up, in the morning, with a view of Eucalyptus trees, mountains and sheds. It was fun to watch her edit what was in view and even lowering the line of the mountains. 


Another fabulous demo and it was even more wonderful in person. So yummy.



She wanted us to loosen up so she told us to be done with our painting by lunch. I think we had an hour or something? Maybe a little longer but not much! 


I loved this tree and the light coming across the grasses so I quickly threw up my tripod and attached my pastel box!

I loosely sketched in my little composition ...


Then used a paint brush to add the denatured alcohol, so it became a wash. (looks like  very saturated watercolor.) Then, I took a couple of pictures of the scene and before I knew it the sun had gone behind a cloud! No more light and shadows! Thank goodness I'd taken pictures!

My day 2 set up ... 


A nearby log that caught my eye. Might have to draw ...


OK, back to work! A little sun coming back ... 


And after my friend Tom took this photo of me, below, the wind started coming up and a few raindrops so ... time to break it down and get out of there before our paintings became pastel soup!


I did a just a tiny bit more in the studio, adding the lights into the tree, and will still want to add a bit of darks below the line of trees in the distance but until then, this is what it looks like ... My favorite of the weekend.


I worked on another piece in the studio that afternoon (of Italy, surprise, surprise!) I can share it later but I'll end with this, for now. It was fun to work more bold and colorful than most of my other pastel work. See? Good to stretch!

Eventually, all the information you gather and all the various things you learn from different artists and experiences, influences your work and it helps you grow as it becomes incorporated into your "toolbox" and merges with your own style, personality and creativity. 

Anyway, you should check out Terri Ford's work Here, and if you enjoy working with pastels, I definitely recommend taking her workshop! When I win the lottery I'm buying her paintings that she did in France.  GORgeous!!! 


Every day I discover 
more and more
beautiful things.
It's enough to drive one mad.
I have such a desire to do everything,
my head is bursting with it.
~Claude Monet


Happy Summer!
Blessings and light!