16 November 2012

Weine Klimt Lang

Dr. Caligari, I presume...

Ectsasy: Beethoven Frieze meets Metropolis

We happened upon the wee exhibit at LACMA on German Expressionism some days after visiting Klimt at the Getty: good neighbors in the sketchbook.

07 November 2012

From the Diebenkorn Retrospective

This piece demanded that I pay attention and really focus on it. How do you capture the essence of an abstract work - and Diebenkorn's layer upon layers of paint applied and removed?  A real challenge.

01 June 2012

Pasadena Chalk Festival 2006

In honor of the 30-year anniversary of the Soweto Uprising

Pasadena Chalk Festival 2002

Renoir's Moulin de la Galette

Pasadena Chalk Festival 2003

A twist on an Alphonse Mucha

Pasadena Chalk Festival 2011

Last year, I decided to make people smile...

Pasadena Chalk Festival 2010

I'm gearing up to hit the Pasadena Chalk Festival again this year for Father's Day weekend. 

In anticipation of that happy time, I'm posting pix from my murals over the past 11 years. Enjoy!

In 2010, I painted an original composition called "Bliss".

The close-up

Every artist is asked to submit a 12' x 12' canvas for the silent auction. That year, I did a smaller version of the mural itself:

Silent Auction Canvas

09 May 2012

The Donaldina Cameron House

My sketch of Chinatown's "Angry Angel"

Last weekend I ventured into San Francisco's Chinatown to research one of my favorite women in history, Donaldina Cameron, a strong Scottish-American woman. At age 26, she accepted an invitation from family friends to spend a year working in the Presbyterian foreign mission home in Chinatown, leaving her home in the San Gabriel Valley. She stayed for the rest of her life.

Chinatown in 1895 was segregated from the rest of the city. Populated with tens of thousands of men working the mines, its census data regarding wives numbered only in the hundreds. Countless women and girls were being abducted from China, smuggled into California. and forced into servitude, sexual and otherwise.  

Her first night in the house, Donaldina participated in what would be the first of a lifetime of dangerous rescues: abducting a young woman from a brothel with an armed police escort and a Chinese interpreter (also female). In later raids, she was known to carry an axe and her canny perception of where girls may be hidden beneath wall panels or floorboards. 

The home sought to teach the women the skills they needed to build their own lives and families: reading, writing, sewing. Many found husbands, whom they met properly in the home's front parlor. The first Chinese American woman to cast a vote in 1912, Tye Leung Schulze, was a "rescue" who later became an interpreter for Cameron.

It is estimated that Cameron helped 3,000 women and girls. She never married and had no children, biologically speaking. 

Today the "Cameron House" is very much alive, an active hub of the native and immigrant community in Chinatown offering programs in health, education, employment, and counseling. I was lucky enough to be there to attend the yearly "Cameron Carnival" and speak to kids who had spent from first grade until senior year in high school in the youth programs there. There are those who can trace their family back to a "rescue girl" and can visit the spot where their great great grandparents met: the front parlor.

13 March 2012


I had a friend in film school named David Shaw who made this great 5-minute short about people waiting. And when their number came up, it was a great mystery as to what was going to happen to them when they disappeared inside the door. You learn a lot about people from the way they wait...

15 February 2012

Little Red Sketchbook

To keep in practice - and really because I am fascinated with human beings ESPECIALLY in Los Angeles - I keep a 3x5 sketchbook in my purse to discreetly record the goings-on around me. In this case, these are some fans waiting for the Kings to emerge from the locker room for their pre-game practice. The father and son totally nailed me. As I was finishing up the sketch they appeared by my side to see how it turned out.

This is a rare occurrence here in L.A. I'm thankful the natives stood still long enough for me to sketch their mating ritual.
Mother and daughter, which is which?

The chef at Toshi Sushi. Very welcoming, yes. Alas, he is not from Hawaii.

13 February 2012

All the Rembrandts in Southern California #3

Trying to recreate "The Raising of Lazarus" in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is proving to be a difficult task. I came armed with color pencils to capture the nuances of tone and color. 

I ended up frustrated...

The Raising of Lazarus,  1631

So I wandered into the Impressionists room and decided to take a composition class from Cezanne:

Not to worry, I'll just keep trying with Rembrandt until I get it. Perhaps I should try washes next time...

02 February 2012

All the Rembrandts in Southern California #2

Portrait of Martin Looten, 1632

This is from Rembrandt's 1632 portrait of Marten Looten in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Unfinished, yes. As I was standing in the gallery drawing, flashes from the next room caught my eye. A woman in her sixties was playfully "voguing" in front of a gilt decorative screen as her companion snapped up photos. "With Facebook, everyone's a diva," I chortled to myself. Turns out it was my friend, Chad (from the Disney days), and his mother. They were a hoot! So I got a bit distracted. Who says you can't have fun in a museum? 

12 January 2012

All the Rembrandts in Southern California

Self Portrait, 1636/1638 

Over a year ago, I set out on a quest to visit and sketch all of the Rembrandts in Southern California. A self-portrait, this is the first of twelve.