Sisters, continued

Posted by on Dec 29, 2009 in commissions | One Comment

This one will be the best painting I’ve ever done, I hope! The background is fully covered, and the girls have the base layer.  Because I am approaching it with the idea that it must be the best painting yet, I am reluctant to declare any part of it “finished” until I am satisfied that I cannot make it any better.  Before I had any skill, I could paint on a canvas forever and after a certain amount of work, no visible improvement would have occurred! That can still happen, but that point is further down the Path Of Looking Good. As a result, I expect this painting to take a great deal of time. The customer is giving me no deadline, so this is an ideal commission! (She also paid in full in advance, which my Dad taught me isn’t always a good thing! Actually, he let me learn that the hard way. . . )


Mystery solved!

Posted by on Dec 28, 2009 in Sources of inspiration | No Comments


According to my friend Mark B., this is the Lime Point Light House which was part of Fort Baker. This lighthouse was built in 1883 to warn ships away from the rocky outcropping on which the light station is located. Originally staffed by light keepers, Lime Point was automated in 1961 and still functions today as a signal. Thank you, Mark!!

White Christmas

Posted by on Dec 28, 2009 in Mineral King, Sources of inspiration | 2 Comments

Yep, we had one! Pictures are worth thousands of words, so here you go:


Someone else was here first.




Looking back at our tracks




Just in case you are interested, you can click on this thumbnail photo to embiggen it and compare July with December!



Comments on the comments

Posted by on Dec 28, 2009 in General | No Comments

Thank you, Mr. Stroben, for the info about the Point Bonita Lighthouse. I looked it up, and it doesn’t seem to be the same building. But now I want to visit the Point Bonita Lighthouse!  And Deanne, it is easy to be a good friend to a good friend! There is a verse in Proverbs that simply says “I love those who love me”. Not that I have time to add any more to my list of paintings to be finished, but would you know of how one would find folks interested in paintings of San Francisco scenes? Marketing is every artist’s largest obstacle! Anyone else know this building? No reason, other than inquiring minds like to know.  (Mark B., are you reading this??)

The mind of one artist, final chapter

Posted by on Dec 27, 2009 in Sources of inspiration, Thoughts | 3 Comments

After I got to see the Palace of Fine Arts, I pulled out the map to pick a route back to the Dr.’s office. It felt far away, and it was around noon. Knowing I can walk a mile in 15 minutes, I figured I could get there by 1 p.m., and if not, I could call in to report my location.  I chose a route that seemed direct but also took me back through the Presidio. As I walked, I kept revising the route to stay off the city streets for as long as possible. It was killing me to not be able to take photos of every beautiful site I passed, but the entire reason I was in San Francisco was to help D, not to build my photo library! (Besides, who in Three Rivers will want paintings of San Francisco??) Now this next part may seem like a bizarre digression, but stay with me.   You may or may not know that I spent all of July 2007 in China. While there, I took photos of amusing signs, such as this one:


So there I was, striding for all I was worth, and suddenly there was a sign that made me laugh out loud and stop for one last photo:


‘Scuse me? Where I come from, we call them “speed bumps”. I got back to the Dr.’s office in plenty of time (it must have been my stride), saw that I walked 10 miles that morning, sat and knitted for another 1-1/2 hour, and finally D was ready to go. It was a long drive home, but D is recovering nicely and we had a great 2 days together. I can’t imagine just sitting in the Dr.’s office watching movies in San Francisco, and I don’t think it is being an artist that got me out. However, I do know way too many people would have been afraid to go exploring on their own and am deeply grateful that I am not one of that unhappy little club!

The mind of one artist, part 5

Posted by on Dec 26, 2009 in Sources of inspiration, Thoughts | No Comments

As I walked through Crissy Field, I blew past many many interesting buildings, and I stifled all the questions that were burning a hole in my head. I’ve been told that I ask too many questions; this is stupid, of course, because how else am I supposed to learn stuff? I know, the internet, but that wasn’t and still isn’t always available. Besides, inquiring minds like to know. If people don’t ask questions, they just bumble through life in ignorance. (Take that, you who think I ask too many questions!) Anyway, I was blowing past all these buildings because I could see a dome off in the distance. It reminded me of the one building I remember from some college class – something by the architect Bernard Maybeck that I thought was the most beautiful structure I had ever seen in my life. Despite the distance, I decided to go there and see it or I would always have regrets. I knew I might have to run the final 1 or 2 miles back to the Dr.’s office to fetch D after her surgery, but I HAD to see that building. See why?


It is called the Palace of Fine Arts, but I don’t get where the fine arts go because it doesn’t appear to have any walls! There wasn’t enough time to wander through it, so I had to be content with seeing it across the reflecting pool. It is even more fabulous that I remembered from that class lo those many years ago. And, when I got home I looked it up on the internet and was thrilled to see it was designed by Bernard Maybeck – why did I remember that?? Okay, so you don’t leave my site in overwhelmed awe, I will finish this story tomorrow!

Merry Christmas

Posted by on Dec 25, 2009 in General | No Comments


The mind of one artist, part 4

Posted by on Dec 24, 2009 in Sources of inspiration, Thoughts | No Comments

When I reached the Marin end of the bridge, my Garmin showed 4 miles. The bridge is a mile long – did you know that?? I sure didn’t! I was so jazzed up that I called my walking friend K to tell her where I was. She is more familiar with SF than I am, so she sent me to Crissy Field. Not sure what this was, but now it is a HUGE grassy area by the bay with lots of interesting old buildings and great views. On my way there I had to photograph Fort Point, a wonderful landmark to visit if you are interested in sites from The War Between The States (it wasn’t a “civil” war because no wars are civil AND because the south wasn’t trying to overthrow the United States, but I digress.)


The arch over Ft. Point would be an impressive bridge all by itself, don’t you think? Here is Crissy Field. I was beginning to worry a bit about time, so I didn’t stop for many photos there. I did stop for a latte and a map, which helped immensely in my wonderings and wanderings. It would have been even more help if I had my reading glasses, but my pockets were full enough with the camera and cell phone (aren’t I a tech-geek?)



Oh my! Tomorrow is Christmas, so I will have to continue this later.


The mind of one artist, part 3

Posted by on Dec 23, 2009 in Sources of inspiration, Thoughts | No Comments

It was 3 miles to the Golden Gate Bridge from the Dr.’s office where D was undergoing surgery. I was having a blast, and sort of feeling guilty while she was in there suffering. Knowing that sitting in the office would not have helped her in any way kept me out there enjoying the day, in spite of my guilt. I decided to cross the bridge on foot, because as you know, beautiful bridges hold great fascination for me. It is set up very well to accommodate tourists. There were people from lots of different countries taking photos, walking and riding their bikes over the bridge. On the bridge it was very noisy from traffic, and there was a cold wind blowing across it, but it was such a nice morning!  Here is how it looked:




That one little building on the Marin County side really caught my fancy. I’m dying to know what it is! Can anyone tell me?


Dry Faster!

Posted by on Dec 22, 2009 in General | No Comments

All the 6×6″ oranges sold out and a request came in for more BEFORE Christmas! So, I cranked out 6 on Sunday afternoon, a rare exception for me, and here they sit on the mantle, hopefully to dry in time for delivery on Wednesday a.m. to Exeter Flower Company!