Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Thinking out loud

Friday, April 5th, 2013

I felt oddly impacted by the death of Roger Ebert for whom I have been a long time fan. I follow him on twitter and his keen mind has illuminated many a different topic for me. But, mostly, I remember him from back in the days of “Siskel and Ebert” a show I watched every week. Roger was such a commanding wit. Today, most often, if I want to read a movie review I first go to Ebert’s website. I will miss his reviews of current movies and saddened by his loss.

Sometimes I feel such angst and jealousy by the accomplishments of other artists that I want to dive my head into the ground and stay there. Still, while I can understand angst, I despise jealousy/envy and mostly keep the green monsters beneath the bed where they belong. At the same time, I am so grateful for the brilliance and success of the truly talented. How banal life would be without those to admire and aspire to. Before the internet, one had to buy books or go to galleries and museums to see the work of others and now the myriad of images and artists at one’s fingertips is overwhelming and maybe that is where some of the angst comes from, there are so many accomplished artists to be jealous of, I mean admire.

Some art is on such a high plain I can not even be jealous of it. I can only internalize the impact so as to take the miracle of it with me. The work of Francis Bacon does this to me. Apparently he was quite a scoundrel and despicable as a human being but I don’t care and I don’t need to know it and knowing it does not change my opinion of the work. The work stands on it its own like disembodied legs. How grand it would be to stand in the studio where he worked and marvel at the complete irreverence for the environment while the man vehicle was sprouting master pieces from amidst the chaos. Here is a great little video:

I’m inspired by the method of using damaged photographs and images as source material for portraits and ideas. I can see myself doing the same kind of thing using damaged printed material (because I have a hard time damaging an actual photograph even if its not a friend or family member). Of course, even if I were to employ the exact same methods used by Bacon or any other artist, the work would still turn out like my own, there is no getting away from one’s self. So, using a method developed by another artist is copying but its not copying the art itself. Its a learning device.

I’ll be leaving for my parents house in the morning so I must get some painting time in. NOw.

I’ve sketched so many tree fems that I just about have a forest!

Off the art topic and on the life topic

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Because life and art co-mingle like besties:D
We moved out to Ojai in January (in case you are not a regular follower of this blog) into a real “fixer upper”, both the property and the house had barely been touched for some forty years. So, we knew we had a challenge on our hands and because the house hunt and then the moving in process and then the fixing up process usurped so much of my time I have only recently been able to start making art again and that has been like “going home”:D

Now I’d like to share the story of our back yard.

When we first moved in back in January it looked like this:

The terrain was very rugged with mounds of dirt from all the gopher tunnels, there must have been 40 gophers until the hub aka Jerry gopher hunter spent weeks eliminating them. As cute as they are we still could not have them because they destroy all manner of growing things and we have a vision for a yard that is full and thriving.

The ragged terrain also had many weeds and under the surface besides gophers we had wasps, and jerusalem crickets aka “Ninos de Tierra” ( Children of the earth) which give me the heebie jeebies and nightmares. CrEePy!!

Before we dealt with the ground we had diseased trees removed and all the other trees pruned, as they were completely over grown because they had not been touched in so many years. Then we had the ground tilled and graded to even out the surface and create an area for water run off.

The dirt was misery making, as it was very light and with the slightest breeze dust would rise and there would be dust layers on every single thing including the inside of the house where windows were open. The dirt would stick to the soles of our shoes and we would carry it indoors and so I was constantly, all day long laundering throw carpets and towels.

During a particularly stormy day the fence on one side of the property fell down!

So, we had to put up a new one or contend with the neighbor’s dog Thor coming over and doing his biz 😀 HA, anyway, it really freshened up that side of the property 😀

The redwood fence is so pretty!

We also put a new fence on the side of the house where we can drive a vehicle through and a shed because there is no garage.

here is a pic of the fence ‘before’

We had a sprinkler system installed and several stations for hoses with twice the amount of water pressure, now we can keep everything green!

We chose flagstone where the brick path use to be. We both love the colors in the flagstone.

section with spread out pieces of flagstone.

Section on opposite side of the house leading to a shed.

the back yard now, pretty yes?

During the past 7 months, our blind pug has had a hellacious time adapting to the dirt as the area for him to do his biz. So, he would not go until he absolutely could not hold it, during the middle of the night inside the house. He is accustomed to doing his biz on grass. It has been miserable for the both of us, all of us!

Look at him now!
Grass worshiping!! LOL As soon as he steps on the grass, there he goes!! yipppppeeeee!!

We have plans for jelly bean pebble border with maybe rosemary and Mexican sage.

The hub built two fantastic raised beds

(we clearly need to replace the back fence). With the left over sod we created a special pug patch for both the pugs to do their biz. 😀
And so a garden is in the near future, better green living, and a potting shed and composting bin. I also see more fruit trees, rose bushes and lots of flowers. It will take time, but I will enjoy the journey.

Hope you liked the story about our backyard and how meaningful a little grass can be haha..

The house hunt for the art full life

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

After several days of looking at properties we have concluded that we need to look for a second property that has a small fixer upper on an acre or larger. Reason being, the housing market. Selling our house would mean taking a loss, and if we wait a few years when the housing market normalizes we can sell it for what its worth. In the meanwhile we will be vested in a property in the bay area that we could build on.

So, since I put my plan out here let me just add some closure by saying the new plan is as indicated above and creating a vision board and journal to work through and define and refine the vision while getting our current property up to par for rental and selling. Since no one knows what the future holds, for now its still just a plan and we are sticking to it, because as the old saying goes, “failing to plan means planning to fail”.

Let me just say I have never been to an art retreat and I kind of don’t want to because I am more interested in a unique vision on an intimate level ie nothing like art and soul or art fest, for those of you in the know or who have been there.

The last property we saw was ideal but had multiple offers. This is what it looks like:

I love a ranch style home.

The property is on 15 acres with breath taking views to include redwoods and the ocean.

The red barn is huge and has a kitchen inside with studio and loft

Adorable Pump house:

the interior of the house is very artistic, with a chefs kitchen in aqua blue tiles over the sink area, the floors are mottled adobe color the walls are painted with a blue band running through and various walls are painted with a peachy salmon color, very “santa fe”. It has a huge great room, all beautifully done. The thing is, with so much flat area a person could expand to include little cabins or the like. A very inspiring property, with fruit trees and ready for a garden and and chickens.