Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life on the Coast -Halloween

Two black cats for Halloween on the coast.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gotta love Chihuly!

A couple of shots from the Chihuly exhibition at the
deYoung in San Francisco a couple of years ago.

I love to look at his work - colour and form to the max!

Friday, October 29, 2010

From the Bookshelf

This is a delightful compendium of artists' journals and sketchbooks compiled by the inspirational Danny Gregory. Over 50 artists are represented. Each one does an introduction to themselves and their work, followed by several pages of their drawings, illustrations, doodles, journals and notebooks. Gregory who is best known for his ground-breaking book Everyday Matters states that "artist's sketchbooks represent a nonthreatening place to record risks, mistakes, regrets, thoughts, lessons, and dreams." A load of eye candy and inspiration.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary

My parents would have celebrated their 65 wedding anniversary today. They passed away within 4 months of each other 10 years ago. While I was growing up I took my happy childhood for granted, I thought that's how it was for everybody. I know now what a very precious gift they gave me and my siblings. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad with love and thanks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

Not something in a cigar box - but something outside a cigar box. These little hinges are available here and not only useful to mend or create cigar boxes, but fascinating in steampunk creations as well. And, as they say, they come in a variety of designer colours!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are You Drooling?!

photo courtesy of Paris Boutique

Can you believe this pile of suitcase coolness? Just think of all the wonderful, amazing stuff you could stash inside these. I love the one on the next to the top row in the center - so jaunty in brown and cream. Which one is your favourite?

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Pity of War

I'm busy creating an altered book for an upcoming exhibit at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo. The theme is "War & Peace".

I'm doing a six spread book about WWI called "The Pity of War". It's due to be turned in on November 2, so I have a bit of time left.

But usually I only get to work on my art projects on the weekends (for some reason after I get home from 8 hours of work, I just don't have a lot of energy left!). I got a good start yesterday and with 3 more days left I think I'll make it.

These are some in-process shots of what the art table looked like yesterday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life on a Different Coast - Catalina

26 miles across the sea -
a view of the famous casino across Avalon Bay.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Atomic Lemon - Patron of the Arts

It's encore weekend for the 2010 Open Studios Tour,today and tomorrow 10-5. I'm not participating in the second weekend this year, but Margot and I will be taking our catalog and going to several other studios to visit and enjoy the art. Apparently Atomic Lemon will be joining in the fun. Who knew this plucky citrus fruit was an art patron as well?!

Friday, October 22, 2010

From the Bookshelf

Robert Opie has produced a wonderful series of books covering the social history of England from Victorian times up through the 1970's. They are pictorial marvels, showing books, magazines, home products, food, postcards, toys, etc. from each decade. They are marvelous reference books and a delight for the eye. I'm currently working on an altered book about WWI and am getting a wealth of material from the above.
I picked up several volumes on a trip to England four years ago, but most are available through Amazon and good prices on used copies.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lazy Days

Another watercolour from our trip to La Manzanilla a few years back. This was the north end of the patio that over looked the hills and the jungle. Off to the left hand side of the page was a spectacular 180 degree view of the sea. We spent many afternoons on the patio, reading, painting and relaxing in hammocks.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

What's more appropriate to put in a cigar box than cigar bands? (And a few pipes, and tobacco boxes and bags.) These tiny treasures are little works of art and enliven a journal page or collage with bursts of color and design.

If you know someone who smokes cigars, get them to save these for you, or you can find them at flea markets and on-line auctions. My very brief cigar smoking period was years ago, but I do love the boxes and bands!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

(Eye) Candy Store

For several months now I've been meaning to paint the white outsides of 3 sets of hardware drawers (you know the kind - you get them at True Value and they're made for nails and screws and other small bits and bobs).

I keep all kinds of things in them - game pieces, foreign coins, charms, tokens, etc. Well, when our friend Jim was over last week to do some handyman stuff, I asked him to paint them - and now they are a lovely matte black and look very nice indeed on the shelves in the studio.

While they were being painting I had all the drawers out, of course, and lined them up on the bed. They looked so cool I had to get some shots and that what's you see here.

Like being in a candy store!
I'll have some of these and some of those!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Antique Street Faire - SCORE!

Yesterday was the bi-annual Antique & Collectibles Street Faire in Cayucos. I look forward to this every May and October and always find some lovely loot. And this time was no exception -

Many vendors braved early autumn thundershowers and though there weren't as many booths as usual, I still managed to score! A very rusty metal tackle box that I will use in an upcoming commissioned piece, an OXO tin, and a handful of wonderful vintage dolls; a Kewpie, a frozen Charlotte, a baby with movable limbs and a fascinating old (Asian?) man.

When it rains, it scores!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Life on a Different Coast - Menton les Palmiers

A stroll down the quai, a croissant and coffee at a seaside cafe,
listening to the breeze through the palms. Enjoy your weekend.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Jenny! (Plus 1)

Happy day my darling girl! We are all so proud of you. (I know it was yesterday, but I got my scheduled blogs mixed up... so Happy Birthday plus 1!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

From the Bookshelf

I stumbled across this charming volume a few weeks ago on Amazon at an incredibly low price. I've been enjoying it immensely every since it arrived. Lovely sketches, wonderful writing. Ms. Swift, who spent her early years traveling around the globe, writes about now staying put in her little village on Long Island Sound. Sometimes travel and adventure really are right in your own back yard. Highly recommended for all travelers - whether you use a plane, a train or an armchair.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Restorative Cup

Change in the air as the fall weather moves in.
Atomic Lemon enjoys a late afternoon cuppa
to ward off the autumn chill.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cigar Box Wednesday

Let the chips fall where they may - in this case, into a cigar box!

Small ones, big ones, fat ones, thin ones, red, white and blue ones.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Absolutely Sold!

Absolutely Alice

This was one of the altered books I had on display at the San Luis Obispo Book & Author Festival a few weeks ago - and - it sold!

I've made many an altered book in the last 5 years, but due to the size and hours involved in producing one they generally have a rather high price tag.

I mean, I've read all the magazine articles and books that tell you how to take out most of the pages and end up with 8 spreads - but somehow I never do that and they end up with 30, 40, 50 pages and so huge they will never close again!

One of the features of my Alice that I had fun with was using illustrations, pages, spines and covers from a huge variety of Alice in Wonderland books published over the ages.

So, Absolutely Alice has a new home and I have, not only some lovely dosh (to buy more art supplies!), but the satisfying feeling of having sold my first altered book.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Triple R

The Triple R 24 x 36"

Allied Arts of Cambria opened their latest show last Friday night - "Farm & Ranch Life in San Luis Obispo County". This is a juried show and my piece The Triple R was accepted. I used cheese cloth and garnet gel to create the hills, clouds and texture of the foreground. Craft acrylics were painted and splattered on and used for the brand stencil of 3R. A rubber stamp of barbed wire provides a border across the bottom and lower right side.

Rusty strands of barbed wire and 2 rusty horseshoes complete this view of ranch life. The show runs through October at the Allied Arts Gallery at the Old Grammar School in Cambria. See you there, podner!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Life on the Coast

Queueing up on the Elkhorn Slough near Moss Landing -
whatever they're waiting for, it must be good
to get in a line this long!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ready, Set, Open Studios!

Open Studios weekend is finally here! 10-5 today and tomorrow. These are a few shots I took late last night after we had all the art hung and in place.

Kudos to my lovely wife Margot for all her help with the house and the art placement, and helpers Jim and Jamie for wonderful yard work and last minute paint touch-ups.

What a great way to spend the next two days, talking to people about my art!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

From the Bookshelf

Not exactly a book - but this year's Open Studios Tour catalog - available on-line or check out the list of spots where you can pick up your free copy. Maps and a picture of artwork from each of the 256 participating artists, along with all the info you need to have a fabulous Open Studios experience. Starting tomorrow at 10:00 am - no sleep tonight!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Little Shabby, A Little Chic


Mon Petit Bijou

Gather Ye Rosebuds

Buttons and Bows

Just 4 of the pieces from my Shabby Chic collection that will be featured at this weekend's Open Studios Tour, October 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday 10-5. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Pity of War

A House Divided

Keep Calm and Carry On

Age Shall Not Weary Them

Cri du Coeur

Works from my "The Pity of War" collection that will be featured at this weekend's Open Studios Tour, October 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday 10-5. The door's open!