Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hills of Home

My home state of California has many wonderful natural sights. There are hundreds of miles of coastline, the rugged and majestic Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, and the Yosemite Valley. As I drive from the south of California to the north, it is often through these rolling patchwork hills dotted with oak trees. The hills are green during a brief rainy season, then turn to golden through the summer, drying out first on their sunny faces. It's always these hills beyond the urban sprawl (for now) that cause me to think how beautiful California is.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Other People's Flowers

It isn't that I could ever possibly grow bored with the flowers in my garden. But after a while the photographs start to look terribly familiar. The reasonable solution is simply to plant more new and different flowers (while continuing to water and treasure the old.) Instead, or perhaps as a prelude, I walked around my neighborhood and photographed other people's flowers.

Forget-me-nots - completely charming little blue flowers

A fantastically strange cactus plant.

Oxalis, also known as wood sorrel, not buttercups

Spring snowflake, I just learned, and now you know too

Bearded iris. It's definitely in my plans to plant some of these.
Have a look at Macro Monday, courtesy of Lisa's Chaos at

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Another Landmark

First of all, happy New Year. There's no particularly good explanation for my protracted absence from blogging, and I'm not feeling quite clever enough to invent one. I also took a short hiatus from weekly plein air painting and from work, and the fragile structure that defines my life crumbled. Not in a bad way. I slept in and ate sweets and the time got away from me.

I painted at St. Luke's hospital. I could have been born there. Most of my elementary school classmates were. Instead I was born at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital because my parents lived in the Hollywood Hills until I was three. My children weren't born there either, and now St. Luke's is shuttered and nobody is being born there. I'm not sure what the present plans are for this wonderful property. There was a bit of landscape maintenance going on in the parking lot, and the City was storing some Rose Parade litter.

This morning was extremely foggy when I started painting and less so when I finished. As a result the painting is somewhat schizophrenic - hazy and muted in some parts and bright and contrasty in others. You may not have noticed that. You may have only realized that there was something wrong with the painting. Well, no matter. I spent a nice morning outdoors and I'm back at it.