Friday, July 27, 2007

Fresh Tomatoes from an Oakland Garden

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stickered Stop Sign (West Oakland)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Art Deco Building (downtown Oakland)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Warehouse District (West Oakland)

Rehearsal Studio (West Oakland)

Moon Over Twin Peaks

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Morning Coffee in San Francisco

View of the City (SF)

SF Morning Fog

SF Wedding Guest

San Francisco Wedding (Need I Say More?)

Friday, July 20, 2007

How I Feel Sometimes about America (alienation 101)

Do People Really Live Here? (downtown Oakland - weekday)

Waiting for the BART train (Oakland CA)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

California Bound

Friday, July 13, 2007

Rainy Day/Ochre Wall

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lost Glove in July (?!)

Do I really need to say anything more about the recent weather in Paris? (And what about that interesting-shaped puddle? Do you think it's a sign?)

I was turned on to the whole lost glove idea by my blogger friend Jill (Puppet the Brave), who also has a blog featuring lost gloves on the streets of New York (with occasional guest appearances from other cities). Pretty cool, check it out. Thanks for the inspiration, Jill!

Pink and Purple Sky at Morning

Nothing like a full-blown allergy attack to get me up before sunrise! And what a beautiful sky to wake up to. I figured I might as well make the most of it. So I swilled some old cough syrup I found in the medicine cabinet, inhaled the morning air, and took this photo - before stumbling back into bed for another couple of hours.

Today was one of those notorious "Getting Things Done" day. Even though the weather still resembles a wet, gray, dog blanket, I was determined to stay motivated and cross a good handful of things off "The List." And I must say I am almost delirious with a sense of accomplishment! Not only did I clear my email inbox (a truly heroic task), I also managed to organize art and photo files on the computer, start updating my website again, and begin a whole new set of lists for various projects (I know that making lists may not seem like a real accomplishment, but just humour me). Then I wrote a "real" letter to my 91-year-old aunt, went to the bank AND post office (not for the faint-hearted), and even found time to wash a canvas purse that I've been wanting to use but has been filthy for two years. Things just seemed to flow smoothly today. Why, the health food store even took back my squishy pickles!

Of course you may wonder at this point, based on earlier revelations made by yours truly, if all this activity is not in fact a sign of procrastination about something else. And you would be right! There are other things I'm supposed to be doing - but I feel sure that they too will be done in their own time. Just gotta keep making the lists, and updating them, and moving the pieces around on paper and in my brain, so that I will keep myself just anxious enough without actually being stressed...distracted enough without being confused...happy enough without being complacent... It's a tangled web I weave, believe me. But I do manage to catch some flies in it now and then.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Here is another photo from that magical day in May at Vaux-le-Vicomte. I was graciously invited along on the trip by my friend/teacher/mentor, artist M Louise Stanley, who was in Paris leading a group of Americans on an art tour. The day was overcast and rainy (how unusual!), so we didn't do much sketching (not enough shadows), but we had fun tooling around the grounds in a golf cart, just like the nobles used to do.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Carp(e) Diem!

This one goes under "random blog postings." I just found these photos that I took back in May during a day trip to Vaux-le-Vicomte, a chateau outside of Paris. Couldn't resist posting this one. It's not the actual colors, of course, I doctored the photo (actually I just clicked on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" option in my Picasa picture editor, and this is the result).

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Color of Gazpacho

In yet another desperate attempt to conjure up summer in this cursed place (I'm wearing a sweatshirt and thick socks as we speak), I decided the other day to make gazpacho. I glanced at a recipe in Joy of Cooking beforehand, but felt pretty confident about winging it - I mean, how hard is it to throw some vegetables in the blender and press "blend"? And it's pretty obvious what's in gazpacho, from the taste: some cucumber, tomato, and bell pepper - all peeled and seeded of course - along with a little water, salt and pepper, and chive or onion. What could be easier? I noticed the recipe called for a red bell pepper, but I used a green one, thinking, what's the big diff'?

Well, the "big diff'" of course was the color - I was expecting bright red, and instead got a sort of terra cotta pinky-brown, not terribly appetizing (unless you like drinking clay juice). What went wrong? Why was my gazpacho not the color I wanted? I looked at the vegetable skins on the counter and in a flash it all became clear to me: Red and green make brown, hello! No wonder the recipe specifically called for a red bell pepper. Duh! You would think that, of all people, somehow who paints (!!) and mixes color all the time would know these things. But behold, even making gazpacho can be a humbling experience. Pride goeth before a blend.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th

Another 4th of July in a foreign land. I still can't understand why the French don't celebrate this holiday - don't they want the parade, the barbeque, the fireworks? I mean, sure, they have the 14th of July to celebrate too, but why not add on another? Who would notice? Oh well. Maybe it'll catch on eventually, like Halloween.

I'm working on a portrait commission (almost done!) and haven't left the house in days. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, I think. The good part is that I'm not spending any money or getting into any trouble (often the two go together), and I'm able to concentrate on what I'm doing (essential for doing a portrait). The bad part is that my world is becoming pretty narrow and almost eccentric. I'm eating raw almonds for breakfast and plain rice for lunch, because I haven't bothered to go shopping. I've listened to the same CDs so many times that I'm starting to feel like these musicians are close personal friends of mine: G Love and Special Sauce (the first album), Neil Young's Silver and Gold, Miles Davis Kind of Blue (ironic that those last two are colors!). It goes without saying that I am wearing the same clothes every day. And yes, I do occasionally talk to myself.

Anyway, I also take frequent breaks to pace around, check email, boil water for tea, and especially, look out and see what the sky is doing. We may not have fireworks (yet) but these are some pretty spectacular clouds.