Posts Tagged With: paintings


Looking back at my travels, I’ve done close to 3,000 blogs and this effort was disjointed and irregular. I’ve missed events, lost or misplaced pictures  and today I’m laughing about it. I thought I’d blog pictures that I didn’t fit into any narrative, like the Bengal tigers, snatched from the film we saw. Aren’t they magnificent animals?


We learned a lot about the Hindu Gods. The great Mahatma Gandhi was  much admired,  But I never mentioned his seven dangers to Human Virtue:

Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience;  Knowledge without character; Business without ethics, Science without humanity; Religion without sacrifice and Politics without principle.

They resonate with me.

We learned a lot about weddings;  the groom rides a white horse, an elephant or a black horse. What about people who don’t have a horse? This groom can afford to hire a horse and carriage and decorate it. But, I never found out how even poorer people get married?  Maybe next time.

And wouldn’t you just once like to ride free and unfettered on top of a car or truck? As a farm girl growing up, I had that experience. And many times rode in the back of a pick-up. In California even your dog can’t ride untied in the back of a pick-up.

OAT is such a great company to travel with because of the great off-itinerary items included in the experience.  Though my cricket  lesson was canceled, one of the employees posed with his cricket racket for me. A cricket serve and return is like a baseball pitch. You can’t see it unless it is coming at you at 112 miles per hour. I missed the lesson, but enjoyed the match.

And I have to wonder, will I ever enter a bus with a crowd of people waiting to get on, and look for a vendor holding belly dancing beads or some other fascinating item you can buy nowhere else?

I’m an art nut and an artist. I took pictures of art everywhere.







Art isn’t only about paintings, prints, sculpture and fabric wall hangings. What about this doorway in the Palace Hotel?

And this carved door into Agra Marble Company.

Bronze carvings on the hip of a hippo at Chandela.

And a foot rest on the end of our bed at our last hotel. Some flights were early. Others were late in the night.  We got to enjoy a professional sari fitting. A yoga class designed to remove tensions and let go of all cares. I marked down every posture he taught us.  I learned to breathe out loud. Ahmmm. Ooohhh. Mmmmm.

The gift shop had an interesting assortment of things.

These shoes have tread miles of India. A country I’d recommend for its wonderful traditions; its diverse and colorful  people. People here are warm and giving; they speak 607,000 languages. It is hard for me to imagine. My nearby town of Stockton has 22 ethnicities, which means great food.

At the airport in Dehli I saw something I’d never seen before. A smoking lounge. Paid for by Camel cigarettes my guess.

Even a decorated camel is art.  Those of you who know me, know I have to get my art “fix”. And, I did.

Alaviha. I’ll let you guess which of the thousands of languages it is. It means, goodbye.


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Driving home from Oregon yesterday took seven and a-half hours. As I rolled into the county, local radio announced a burn of 450 acres near Mountain Ranch, the area that took the brunt of the Butte Fire. The Butte Fire is considered the worst for home losses in the state from a single fire.

The day before I left, I managed a quick trip to the local Arts Council Gallery for a look at their exhibit entitled History From The Ashes. DSC08424 (Copy)

There is no joy in picking up cherished or simply common objects from your burned out property. Mostly sadness, tears and awe that anything recognizable survived the conflagration.

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We know art is healing. And there is something about picking through the ashes that must be common to all of us. I watched on television as folks did just that after Katrina. The flood, destroyed as completely as fire.

DSC08436 (Copy)When my house burned to the ground in Michigan, I remember finding  my melted marbles and my mother’s  jar full of precious coins. The wafts of smoke coming from the ashes, the strong smell, the bent bed springs and melted cook stove didn’t make me give up hope that I might find a heart shaped plastic locket my grandmother gave me that contained a tiny rosary. Of course, it couldn’t possibly survive, but my 8 year self believed in miracles.

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Items found, were given an artful setting of remembrance.

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Or put together to form a sculpture or a mobile.

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One survivor made a fabric wall hanging, with burned out spars of trees surrounded by wild flowers. A reality, wild flowers, rain fed, follow a burn.

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Dead bushes and trees amid new grass on this canvas.

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You can see my face reflected in the glass covering a spectacular photo by John Slot of the borate bomber releasing its chemical fire retardant.

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And this photo by Katie Clark of a partially burned home with a surviving flag.

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The most spectacular piece in the show is this shawl, positioned like an effigy with burned offerings at its feet. The shawl was made from the ties that bound hay bales distributed to land owners. Hay spread on bare ground, an effort to help prevent erosion. This artist washed and dyed the pieces. She softened them enough for weaving and wove this shawl.

It is a good feeling that something pretty, or remembered or useful rises from the ashes of despair and we can all see through to their recovery and healing, as art surpasses the ashes.










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DSC07134 (Copy)Each year, our Calaveras County Arts Council hosts an affordable art show just in time for Christmas. Amador and Tuolumne Counties have similar open house events. Affordable is different for different folks. Patty Rayne does huge paintings of horses like this one in the $750 category. Her love for horses shows in her work.

DSC07140 (Copy)On a different budget, maybe for a child’s choice, are small mini paintings that are nice for a side table.

DSC07141 (Copy)I usually buy something at this event, but I have no room on my walls and I’m downsizing. I had a hard time passing up this rooster. I’ve had chickens in every house I’ve ever lived in and this one reminded me of a rooster we used to have that the kids named Fat King Crow.

DSC07142 (Copy)I enjoy getting my art “fix” even if I don’t buy anything. I admired Sonya Zeigler’s landscapes and so many others. But what is really incredible about artists in our own backyard is the amazing diversity of talent.

DSC07137 (Copy)Layered ceramics.

DSC07143 (Copy)Etched ceramics.

DSC07146 (Copy)Pots of every kind and shape.

DSC07147 (Copy)Beautiful wooden bowls, platters and honey servers.

DSC07156 (Copy)The things artists do with gourds… an art form that has become very popular in our neck of the woods.

DSC07161 (Copy)Unique one-of-a-kind pieces like this carved skull.

DSC07153 (Copy)Something new to me is photography on canvas from Gordy Long. I swear, Jim and I have been on this very beach in Washington State. I’m curious about how it is done? At $18 very affordable.

DSC07160 (Copy)The gallery has jewelry makers, paintings, and cards for all occasions year around. But at this event, you can find a Christmas card for a favorite friend that is a gift in itself.

DSC07165 (Copy)One table was given over to the feast of finger foods with cider and wine available to drink. Festive and fun because I always manage to see a friend, either in person, or on a canvas.

Enjoying the Christmas season is opening up to joy at every turn and I love it.  Merry Christmas.



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I’m an admitted collectiholic, but there is no 12 step program for one such as me. It may be from having depression era parents who were savers and never threw anything out that had a hint of future usefulness. It is a philosophy that suits me, and spills over into everything I do.

If I have two of something, it begins to look like a collection and I end up with 15 t-pots, or 5,000 magazines. (You think I’m kidding.)

DSC04174 (Copy)The problem comes when you run out of room. I have a wall of shelves in by office. Every picture album, every vacation scrapbook, albums of the features I had published, souvenirs, nick-knacks. Then over the albums, I place wall hangings because there is no room left on the walls to hang anything. I have 15 pieces, paintings and artifacts of some type hanging on the wall of my office.

DSC04175 (Copy)No matter how narrow a wall might be, it has something on it, like these beaded rings from my trip to Africa.

DSC04192 (Copy)If there is a wall, it is filled from floor to ceiling. And, I love and enjoy my treasures. And for many years, with growing children, I resorted to easier to store items made of paper. Just yesterday, while assembling  several different stamp collections to go to the thrift store, I found  notes that made me laugh:

HANZOFF!  Or I’ll sic my dirty P.E. clothes on you-they walk under their own power.

and:  Mary kenny hitted me   sally and kris wont play with me.

Silly stuff.

And, I’ve kept my mother’s name collection. She would sit with her cup of coffee in the morning and read the paper. Her rule was to only collect names of people whose last name was an adjective, verb or noun. Like Earl Silver, Rita House, Cathleen Clinker, Susanne Doubled. It had to be spelled correctly.  Then she expanded it to humorous name juxtapositions like: Mrs. Rum divorced her husband and assumed her maiden name, of Selma Sober. Warren Nipple married Carla Breast. Jean Sucker married Roscoe Candybar.  Dr. Michael Fox is an animal psychologist. I put it out for the thrift store, but took it back. Who would want something like that? She has a couple thousand names in her book. I finally decided nobody would want it and I loved her beautiful writing and took it back. See?  Downsizing is tough for some of us.

DSC04194 (Copy) (Copy)My entire brick wall has pictures of birds on it.

DSC04179 (Copy)My son Doug built me five floor to ceiling cases to hold my magazine collection. I had to take a pick-up load of magazines to the dump. I’ve had guests who remove and examine every magazine.

I have plenty offers of help. People who say, I’ll help you. If you haven’t used it in a year, its time to get rid of it. OMIGOD. I shudder and quake at the thought. But, I know it is freeing and that my kids have warned me, “we are just gonna toss this stuff.”

It is painful and conversely freeing to get rid of  “stuff”. Jim estimates 5 years. I’m hoping for two.

It is something I have to do and can enjoy my stuff one last time before it gets tossed



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Gregory Gallardo

At Kautz, they offer an art show during daffodil days.  I liked this portrait, the appealing pose, the hand. Lovely.  I took each artist’s name in Picasa, but they don’t show when I load into my blog.

C. McClennahan

This painting received a red ribbon and it really does look like the terrain in the foothills leading up to Murphys at 2100 foot elevation.

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I owned chickens all my married life until I moved to this particular house 15 years ago. I adore chickens, allowed to run free. I never caged them. Now, the coyotes and foxes would make quick work of them. Their territory is shrinking, and food is getting scarce.

Melinda Shook

This tulip is very real looking. People like to enter tulips and daffodils because Kautz buys paintings of the flowers to hang during the show.  (Melinda Shook)

W. Vaughn Lee

This is a scene one could see at Kautz. We’ve seen deer and wild turkeys inside the deer fencing at Kautz. How appropriate that this turkey posed next to daffodils.  (Or maybe it didn’t pose.) (By Vaughn Lee.)

Judith Morgan


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A bold red poppy.

Barbara Conley

Another credible local scene. (Boylen)

Martha Wallace.

My two favorites of the show were both by Martha Wallace. Her work always catches my eye.

Martha Wallace

I owned a MW painting once and gave it to a friend who wanted it. I was always sorry I parted with that painting.  I think it is time to buy another except I have no place to hang anything.

Mardell Schuster

And I really liked this trio of tulips, though the glass made a glare on the photo. It is perfect. I would never have the patience to paint a lace doily. (Mardell.)

By Pehlers

If you have a chance, check it out. It is a small show, and won’t disappoint. (Pat Ehlers.)






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A long day yesterday, getting through a colonoscopy, one of those unpleasant procedures we don’t like to talk about. My son took me to lunch afterwards in Lodi. It didn’t seem like a good idea to carry an expensive camera along with me, but I always have my tiny Canon as a spare. On the way home, I stopped for a haircut and a pleasant visit with friends in Angels Camp, Bill and June Foster. We had a glass of wine and went through their scrapbooks on Turkey and Nepal. The night was so warm, we could sit on their deck and enjoy the moon in our shirt sleeves.

This is December. When I got home, Karen told me the water situation is so drastic, our water company warned we will be water rationing with huge fines, up to $1000 for overages. This weekend I have to decide what plants should be allowed to die by reducing my sprinkling system to half.  I could see it coming.

My friend John Seiferth had a sign from the 1970’s during a long-term California drought. It was before I was blogging and I didn’t think to get a picture of it.   KEEP IT MELLOW YELLOW. IF ITS BROWN FLUSH IT DOWN. Oh, boy. As my kids used to say. Gross!

I know the drill, shorter showers, curb your garden water, don’t water your car, fill your dishwasher full before turning it on. Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth.

I decided I needed to do something soothing so I went through some picture albums.  I like benches, fun signs, barns, mailboxes, birdhouses, artwork, teapots, rugs, quilts, and I take  pictures of stuff  like that wherever I go.

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I love this painting so much, I keep a copy of it on my desktop. It was in a Museum somewhere, but I’ve forgotten where. I was just grateful they allowed me to photograph it.

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This is a painting of Rene Wiley’s alley series. She has a gallery in Galveston, Texas.


This painting is by Lawrence LeVeque.


This is another of Leveque’s. I met the artist and when I bought this painting from him,  I didn’t think to take his picture. Darn. He gave me great advice on how to keep your oil paintings healthy. I have a big painting in my dining room I’ve allowed to get sun damaged. It happens slowly.  It only took sun for a short time each day in the winter. I didn’t notice it until the damage was done.


I still have medical appointments in the coming days. A mammogram and an echogram, plus never-ending paperwork. From my compromised credit cards, I have to make arrangement for those bills that were automatically drawn from those credit cards. It is easy to forget, until you get that phone call.







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