Monday, June 21, 2010


I was so honored to be a part of my dear friend Decima's wedding this past weekend. It was a wonderful few days that my husband and I spent in Chicago with her, her family, and some mutual friends and acquaintances. A beautiful first day there was spent sampling coffee at Intelligentsia (the bride to be pictured there above) and viewing some of the beautiful masterpieces at the Chicago Institute of Art. It was a wonderful day. Below are some of the more impressive moments.

I loved this one for its mood.

In the presence of Rubens. Looking at the flesh of his subjects is the same as feeling its temperature, firmness, even its humidity. Amazing.

Viewing Beata Beatrix.The best photo I have of Decima's wearable art - which I got to wear for the wedding!

The glamorous bride.

O mio Babbino caro...

Christen also in Decima couture...

...also wearing a gown by the bride, the artist Lauren Pope.

The Ketubah.

Mr. and Mrs. with some of the bridal party after signing the Ketubah.

The new missus. I think it agrees with her.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Still Life #3

This is definitely one of my least favorites, but oh well. It's still a learning experience, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Still life #'s 1&2

I've decided to try at last to paint from life. So I will do a series of still life arrangements of items in my house. Here are the first two:

1. Main room
2. My work space

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Ideas

This is an idea for a ketubah for my dear Decima's wedding - just one idea - more to come!

The sketch and finished painting of Jenna and Luca. I still can't decide if I should've not messed up the sketch by painting on it. I just really liked the sketch...

Syd and Zeke

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Baker Mountain, Washington
Flowers on Baker Mountain - I still have not found out the name of these.

Little sister Christin - I have such beautiful family!

Kathy's mother and sister Pam.
What happens when I have no idea what I'm doing.
The sunset travelling West.
Baby Randi.

Sketch of my Own on Mount Baker.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Joyce's Lilacs

One day I was bored with every photo I had for inspiration possibilities. I thought to myself that I wished I had something with some flowers, like, say, lilacs, that I could do a little experimenting with.

I go pick up our mail, and here's a letter from Joyce with nothing other than a beautiful photo of her lilacs in full bloom.

Thank you, Joyce!

Friday, October 17, 2008


I invite all to share their idea of what story this 2-color sketch tells...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

For Decima

I promised to show you something beautiful, Decima. So here it is. The best violinists and pianist ever recorded. Period.

Josef Hassid, Michael Rabin, and the incredible Gyorgy Cziffra. For Cziffra, you may have to forward to around 1:40 on the recording - a lot of conversation in French, which I, unfortunately, don't understand...

And then, because I just now thought of it, the "Close to You" sequence from the movie Mirrormask. Also, if you want to hear a gorgeous rendition of "The Man that Got Away," go to, click on media player, in the popup drop-down box on the right, click on albums, then choose the third album from the bottom - you'll find it in there. Like always, his voice is haunting.

So there you have it.

Oh, and, I miss you, friend.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Two-color Study No. 2

This is an attempt at telling a bit of our story. Not sure how successful it is - my husband says it looks "creepy," and I have to agree. Maybe it's the colors? Blood-red and cadaverous green don't end up being such a cheerful mixture... oh well. Does anyone have any ideas as to what would make it more...hang-up-on-the-wall-at-home-and-enjoy-able?
Because at this point, I think it looks like the cover of a teen novel.
I guess I'll add this to my list of dubious works - the Dub list. Along with the portrait of my husband I couldn't finish last week because it was too awful. And I won't post it either - the background was mediocre, and while the draping was good, the facial features resembled a waxworks more than my husband. I ended up ripping it off the work board in frustration.
I have a lot of work and learning to do.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two-color Study

For the first painting I've done just for my husband and myself, I decided to try a two-color adaptation of a wedding photo taken by my good friend Decima. I'm fairly happy with the results.
Worth another go at two-color, I think.
I used Alzarin orange and Ultramarine blue. Oh, and a little Chinese white when I needed to modify a stray brushstroke.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Watercolor Process

I was asked by an old friend to show her how I paint. Since she can't watch me do the actual brushstrokes, I decided to photograph a painting in its various stages of development and post them for her to see how I do what I do.
Any readers who know how to paint with watercolors for real, please tell me what I could do to improve. As always, I'm just painting "by ear," and I'd love to have some informed advice.
So here is how Joyce and her horse got to be painted:
The sketch with initial wash

My workspace

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Kids

I did this from start to finish on Sunday; took me all day, and cost me a ridiculous pain in the neck the next day!
I'm not entirely sure if I'm happy with this one - I feel like it's a little cartoonish, and I'm not sure if a) it's because of the saturated colors, b) because I decided to leave the background white, c) because all the work was in one day, practically non-stop, or d) because I didn't do such an extensive sketch before painting.
Anybody, help me! Tell me what it is!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shara and Curtis

After four months (of mostly ignoring it), I've finally finished this for my sister and her husband.
Now, here's hoping I can finish one last painting before my visit back home...

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Isn't she lovely? I can hardly believe my little sister will be seventeen in a few days!

Happy Birthday, sweetie!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Remember This?

This is lost.
I know, it's terrible, and it makes me so angry!!!
(Deep breath)
It's been a month and a half since I sent it to Mama, and we find out yesterday that she still hasn't got it. Considering the fact that the postal service of "Far Away" is involved, I'm tempted to think that it's been stolen, and that's the worst of all. Because if it were simply lost in Far Away's postal service, it would eventually reach Mama. However, Far Away has a history of opening international mail for security; also has a history of employing less-than-unimpeachable characters.
I suppose the up-side is that I can make one even better and take it to her with my own hands next time we see her...
But I liked this one - I thought it was special.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jon and Bunny

Finally! Now I can send off a package for them - much belated, but finished at last!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Classical Contrast

An exercise in comparison and contrast, dear readers. If time and inclination permit you, please view the following exerpts and let me know what you think. These are both performances of Mahler Symphony 3, the finale. I trust you will not have to view them in their entirety to come away with a few thoughts. Think about music, it's purpose as a medium of sound, a thing we hear, not necessarily see. Music as an art that leads us beyond our bodies, rather than an art of showmanship and display.

First, we have Izquierdo as conductor. I chose this clip simply because it was the only one corresponding with clip #2, of the brand new Dudamel of the L.A. Philharmonic.

As long as we're talking compare and contrast, consider these two excerpts also. Notice the conductor and the violinist, how well they work together, or clash, as the case may be. Are you distracted from the music at all? Which clip contains the best music quality (not accounting for poor recording equipment)? Which clip takes you to another place internally, where you begin to think? Which of these clips - including the two above - show dignity, true virtuosity, ease of performance, real technical advancement? Which of the clips display mannerisms that remind you of either wounded ducks or fish about to expire?

First we have Dudamel and Joshua Bell. Second we have (I did not research into the conductor) Heifetz playing the same piece, Tchaikovsky Concerto 1, 1st mvmt., as his oft-proclaimed successor plays in clip #1. Aren't successors supposed to improve upon their predecessors? At least in art?

My final questions: WHAT IS GOING ON IN CLASSICAL MUSIC? What has happened to the beauty and refinement of music? Why must I see real artists only in black and white recordings rather than on the stage of my local symphony hall? Why has talent been succeeded by impostors?

End of Doamna's rant for the day.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Other Art

So that's all I've got!
I want to post some thoughts soon on classical music - this is a blog about art, not just the visual arts, so I think I have license to run down a few favorite rabbit trails.
But later.
Now, dear readers, I must organize my husband's sheet music!
Your painting, Jon, sits forlorn at my work space. Never fear. I've found that leaving a piece to ferment awhile improves its flavor...

From/by Mama

I met Mama (my mother in law) for the first time this past Christmas season. My husband and I had been married for 4 1/2 years before we were able to travel to far, far away where Mama and Tata live. Upon arrival, I was very impressed with Mama's paintings. She's never had any training whatever in art, and when I saw what kind of brushes she uses, I gasped in horror, and resolved to send many better brushes to her upon arrival to the States. Which we did.

But here are her pieces. She says that all the good ones she'd already sold before we came, but that she thinks these are okay too. I think that I could've taken better photos of some beautiful paintings... Especially since she gave us the best there: the mixed floral, the bright floral abstract, the dark abstract, and another one I should take a photo of and post later.
Add to her painting talents the fact that she cooks like - um, what's a good metaphor? - an angel - and you have one incredible mother in law!