Sunday, February 28, 2010

The hydrant - Amy

I saw this fire hydrant while walking in my neighborhood in Pleasanton. Apparently Morris Greenberg (no relation) invented the "California" wet barrel fire hydrant. He was based out of San Francisco during the 1850's. 

I have been out west for 23 years now. It seems like just yesterday that I boarded a People  Express flight out of Buffalo (during a blizzard) to head cross country to live in San Francisco. I really had no idea where I was going. I just knew it was in the same state as Los Angeles, but not nearby. I do have vivid memories of that first week. My winter coat was quickly shed and I was chomping down on the most tender and sweet strawberries. Who would have known that you can actually live in a place during the winter months without a down parka, shovel and ice scrapper?! And who knew that you can get more  then just grapefruit, pears and apples in February?! I became a quick learner.

I do miss my beloved New York. The edginess, pace and bread products beckons me. I still consider myself a New Yawker and I am teaching my daughter how to pronounce some words correctly - like Pawl for Paul, cawfee for coffee, and cawf for cough. I'll try not to snicker too loudly when she (and I) learn about California "history." How much history will there be for a state that entered the union in 1850? I just hope that I will be a quick learner.


I leave you with the question, What is Art? This week was so busy and one day when my daughter came home she saw my make shift paper pallets on the table and said you made art today mom. Feeling frustrated and blocked for the last weeks, I had to stop and ask myself once again..."What is Art?" So, I leave you with color and it is art.

Thank you ladies for inviting me, it has been a wonderful experience. I have not felt as productive as I would have thought, but I am very happy that I am at least showing up and thinking about art daily on some level. I now see clearly, that Virgina Wolf was right on, but I need a studio of my own, or at least and art area. It's hard to take yourself serious without have a real space, so this is my biggest lesson I am taking away from this and also the just showing up and playing or working.

I would love to continue with you ladies if you are up for it? I think it would be amazing to see were we would end up in a year!

Thanks again and I look forward to meeting and playing with you all
Lori Singer

For my Father - Robin

My dad isn't doing as well as we hoped but he is hanging in there. This is for him.

The End - Rachel

Today being the final day of Daily Artwork 2010 I thought this little fellow heading out into the aphid filled sunset was a perfect ending. At the very least he has a perfectly lovely end. I've truly enjoyed this month of exploration and sharing, and would love to continue with this project. It's been such a good experience pushing myself to try and be at least a little creative everyday, and I know how easy it would be to recede into my busy life and let artistic endeavors slip away. I hope not to allow that to happen. Thanks to Amy for organizing and setting up the Daily Artwork project, it's been fun reconnecting this way and I'm always amazed by your talents. Thank you for sharing. Lori and Robin, thanks for joining in so much of what you do inspires me to try new things. Lyn, I'm glad that you joined us. Your paintings are so very stunningly beautiful thank you for sharing your visions. Ladies, I have had so much fun and each and every one of you are a treasure to me.

So like the ladybug flying away home I make my departure. Hugs!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Night Blossoms - Rachel

These look better enlarged, click on the image to view.
I've not done a lot of night photography, but the full moon, clear skies and apricot blossoms enticed me into the backyard tonight. I can see that I've still got a long way to go in bringing night subjects to life, but these were the best results. The tree was taken using a 30 sec exposure and light painting with a maglight; the blossoms were taken using a 40+ sec exposure by the full moon, no flashlight. The arrival of Sr. Skunk led me to call it a night.

Along Stanley Boulevard - Amy


I drive past these gravel plants between Pleasanton and Livermore on a weekly basis. I find such beauty in the various structures and have always wanted to capture an image of them. The mountains of gravel varies from week to week and at night the structures take on a Christmas tree glow of white lights. Today, the clouds were so striking. it was my day to capture this image! I parked my car at the BMX park (will go back and photograph the boys on bikes) and took the long walk to the mill. These 2 images spoke to me (of the 100 or so that I took).

Window from my front Door~ Lori Singer

When I step out my front door this is my eye level window into my world. The fragrance is light and delicate and yesterday in the breeze very pronounced. Enjoy my window which greets me at my front door.

Lori Singer

Friday, February 26, 2010

Windows of Spring~

Work in progress~ Collage ~
Lori Singer

Bubbles in a Sea Bowl

Lori, my darling Muse,

I forgot about these "Bubbles". This is my vision of bubbles that have collected in a sea bowl. It is still a work in progress, but I think you can see where it is going.

The Green Path - Robin

I set this up to auto-post since I am currently in Sacramento with my family, at my father's side, probably making fun of him and his hospital attire.

This was taken a couple of weeks ago. I love the green and the cloudy sky. It is such a part of our spring weather.

On the Road Again - Rachel

On days like today I find myself driving and driving: There's the commute to and from work, the fetching the kids from school and then the ferrying to events and activities. Driving has its moments of tremendous frustration (think traffic, fighting or whining children, unexpected detours and delays) but there are also the moments of solitude that are afforded. In an otherwise obligation filled day my commute serves as a timeout, a period of forced isolation from duty. In those moments I can relax, decompress, listen to the radio (I'm not blissing out to music like so many, prefering to cozy into NPR or KGO's commentaries), scream if I need to; have me time. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something amazing to look at. Today, crossing the San Mateo Bridge, the cloudscape was breathtaking. I love the clouds before a storm, with their sharp edges and swirling greys and today that's what I found driving to work. I was responsible enough not to dig out the DSLR and start adjusting, instead I grabbed my trusty point-n-shoot and began pointing and shooting. At home, before running off for event two and three for today, I took a look and liked what I saw so I'm posting it for today. Another fleeting moment.

A mossy rock - Amy

I worked  En plein air on a nice windy morning. The good is that nature does it business and helped blow away the dust from the pastels.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Crocker Angel - Robin

This lovely angel resides in Mountain View cemetery in Oakland.
I like taking pictures of angels and cemeteries are the place I find the angels to be most the agreeable and photogenic. ;-)

Bright Spot - Rachel

Today I contemplated not posting... it's been a very long, very frustrating day. However, as I was leaving work I spotted some poppies growing adjacent to the parking lot and stopped to take a few photos before heading home. The rest of my day continued to be one which left me short on patience and long on aggravation; here was my one bright spot.

Who ya callin a weed?

When my son was very little, one of his favorite things to do on our daily walks around the block was to pick mom a bouquet of flowers. His favorites were mine and most gardeners disdain. Any brightly yellow colored weeds would due and just thrilled him to gather them up and take them home and put them in a vase for mom.

When we moved to our current home we inherited a hillside and more beautiful yellow flowers than I could ever imagine. Now every spring both children can hardly wait to gather hundreds of flowers for mom.

This is my first real attempt at oils, that I did last spring and embarrassed to say, that I have hardly picked them up again until "Sophie Bell" which was just recently and that was a very quick day attempt which hardly counts. But here it is a moment in time captured with my then old boy still loving to pick flowers for his mom. The photo does not due the paintings colors justice. I must have a better photo somewhere, but for now here it is. This is oil and a compulaiton of two special moments in my childrens life that I wanted to capture. It really defines who they are as little souls and people.

I really enjoy capturing moments in time with children and hope to do more of such.

May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
This is another of my underwater dream series. if you look closely, you can see a mermaid smoked in pale lavender. She is floating in the center and looks like she just turned and her hair is still in front of her face flowing outward.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When Sirens Dream

This is a work in progress. If you look closely you can see her in the middle and other smaller sirens swimming around.

Bird of Paradise

This is my inner vision of a Bird of Paradise. I use natural elements to inspire me along with music to make my colors move.

Just Playing~ Acrylic ~ Lori Singer

Still feeling very blocked, so just playing with color. I love lines, dots and swirls, perhaps if I do enough of them I will be motivated to do something great or challenging. I am thinking about art a lot, but having a hard time performing, perhaps I just have too much going on. I know just showing up and working will take me somewhere eventually. Tomorrow will be another day.

Looking Down - Rachel

Today I went out to hike and find a great landscape to shoot, I wandered, shot some photos and found that I simply wasn't getting what I wanted. I quickly grew dissatisfied; then I happened to look down. All along the path, in the grasses damp with the morning's light rain, were these lovely leaves glittering with crystal drops. I had found my subject. I spent a good hour looking down, photgraphing the grass, the mud, the weeds and the water droplets. In a big picture world it's sometimes good to remember that many of the most beautiful things can be found right beneath your feet.

Flowering Succulent - Robin

Bad head. Hurt-hurt-hurt!
My dad is having open heart surgery this Friday and so the family stuff is all ooozing out of my tidy and tight (or so I thought!) storage containers.

If guns don't kill you, family will!

A chicken in every pot - Amy

I was inspired by Rachel's  "The Kitty Who Grows in the Pot by my Door" I had to clean the coop - it smelled vile. When we let them out, they first make a beeline to the base of our outdoor bird feeder and pick up any of the fallen gems. Then they go into the various pots in the garden. This pot one once had flowers in it, before the chickens trashed it. This is Henrietta - prime suspect in garden destruction. 

The Republicans are associated with promising everyone that their policies would put a "Chicken in every pot - a car in every garage." Sounds a bit socialist of them to me! Government actually providing a basic necessity to it's citizens?! How dare they! Get your own damn chicken and car! Funny that this was a slogan connected to Hoover and we all know what wonders he did to our financial system. I hate to admit that I agree with anything connected to Republican ideology, but on this one, I actually do. Albeit a chicken in every flowerpot (so that you can all enjoy the benefits of fresh eggs for years to come).


This is a piece I did a while back. I loved the way the colors worked together on it. It reminded me of a conch shell that was alive and playing with bubbles in the water.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

egg-ceptional! - Amy


I just love the various hues of my gal's eggs. For a moment, it was hard to crack them open and put them to use. In the end, we thoroughly enjoyed a ham and cheese quiche (with homemade crust).   Many thanks to Ginger, Gertrude, Henrietta and Quincy.

Sigh of relief and a sketch - Robin

Class went well today. Of course I haven't received my grade yet but at least I survived the critique without injury. ;-)

I have a migraine so this is an old sketch and now I'm going to bed!

Signs of Spring - Rachel

I found these blossoms laying on the sidewalk and rather than letting them get stepped on I picked them up and put them on my dashboard. Riding down the freeway I decided they needed their picture taken (I was the passenger, FYI) so I snapped a couple quick pics; tonight I did a bit of editing and applied a palate knife in Photoshop.

Acrylic ~ Lori Singer

This is inspired by a bedroom quilt and sheets I had as a child, we had lots of color in our was the 70's. Feeling a bit creatively stuck, and in need of a new book , muse or teacher. I tend to revert back to what I know and I really want to grow...urrr, frustration. At least this post is sunny and bright, it makes me feel a bit better.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Kitty Who Grows in the Pot by My Door - Rachel

Boots isn't officially "our" cat, but he's made us "his" people. For the last year or so Boots has been having regular sleepovers, he knocks on the screen asking to come in, cozies down in a lap or at the foot of a bed and settles in. Oh, and he has recently taken to laying down in the flowerless flowerpot by our front door when we aren't home. It's really quite absurd, this big grey cat cozied down in an abandoned flowerpot, but I find it charming.
Today I got it in my head to try reproducing a photo of Boots in the flowerpot using charcoal pencils. Charcoal and sketching are new for me and I wasn't entirely displeased with the result, but neither was I entirely satisfied. He seemed so scowly and angry, which wasn't really at all his mood.
I then decided to try another approach, using photoshop to "sketch" him. I've posted both.

Watercolor of Abby - Robin

This is my first watercolor and I am really happy with the way it came out. I am looking forward to trying some more of this medium.

I'd Love to Turn You on Again - Amy

This is a pencil sketch from my photo.  I used a 4H pencil only because someone in my house took over my pencil case and placed ribbons, Polly Pocket clothes and various other doohickeys in my case. Yes, my case is a Powerpuff Girls lunchbox, so I can see how these things can get confusing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Verdant - Rachel

Pray for a Cure~

The earth has one less beautiful soul and man as of today~

I was looking at what to post today and had just recently photographed the newly bloomed Daff and had no idea that they are also the symbol for cancer research, very fitting for today while I just learned our sweet friend and neighbor passed today. We will never forget you and each year the daffs will remind us of the short joy you brought to us as friends and neighbors. I have always had a strange and wonderful relationship with daffs and now I have one more reason to be happy when I see them.

Daffodils have the flower meaning of rebirth, respect, regard and unrequited love. The daffodil is one of the first flowers of spring, therefore it is a symbol of rebirth.

May you and your family find peace and rest. We are all a lot better off knowing that you'll be above watching over us. As I told you, you'll make a great Angel to watch over your family and friends. Rest in Peace and may you plant a beautiful garden with lots of fruit trees to run through and fresh fruits to pick. My memories will be of you as a happy vibrant man who loved. The last time the kids were up they played in the trees and climbed all day. I have a photo you snapped of them playing....please plant more. We will miss you dearly.

Lori Singer

Cardinal - Robin

I am trying to learn to draw birds and I love cardinals so it seemed a good place to start.
This is ink and a gouache color wash.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Embrace - Rachel

Something about this tree just drew me in.

Design - Robin

 I like bugs and flowers - can you tell? I did this with ink and watercolor pencils.


Just Playing~ Acrylic ~ Lori Singer

I'd love to turn you on - Amy


Photograph of my kitchen light switch.  The visual inspiration comes from my love of hardware stores and all things that can be found in such stores, especially the old mom and pop stores. I can spend hours just taking in all the pipes, screws, doorbell ringers and tools. 

The title comes from A Day in the Life - The Beatles. I love making very literal images out of kick-ass song lyrics. Who would not want someone to profess their desire to bring you desire?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Child's Play - Rachel

This certainly isn't sophisticated, and it's no great work of art, but I am determined to post something each day and today inspiration and luck both alluded me. After tinkering with the camera and a variety of props and subjects I decided it was time to get out the pastels and simply color.

Painted Deer - Robin

I am really struggling to finish my art project. I have 6 pieces to do and I haven't even finished one. Ugh.
Send the art fairies my way please!

Here is a pretty little deer that I hand colored in Photoshop. I wish he would come over and help me. ;-)

Q-tip - Amy

Pencil sketch. 

Doodler takes it to the canvas ~ Acrylic ~ Lori Singer

Doodler takes it to the canvas. I am a doodler and always have been. I used to spend ours doodling on the side of my school work as a child and believe it saved me in many ways. Maybe my next painting will be dedicated to the flower on the side of my school work that protected my spirit. One of my other loves and obsessions is about wild vibrant colors. I long for the day when I can fully master color and get it to work the way I see it in my head and the world. This canvas is a merging of two things I love and it's a piece of who I am and have always been. It's been fun to see the merging of line and color. When I finally manage to master color, I think this quote will have come true for me and I will finally feel like a painter. For now I fumble along trying to manage dirt and minerals.

"Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it. I know that it has hold of me forever... Color and I are one. I am a painter." Paul Klee

Lori Singer