Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My friend Daniel Burnley.

I lost my best friend this week. He had been my boss and my mentor a lifetime ago in a corporate advertising department, when we shared 3 hour lunches at Manuel's Tavern. He taught me how to write. He taught me design. He taught me to love a garden. He introduced me to the Arts and Crafts movement and art pottery. We complained about needing more time after spending entire days wondering through the Impressionist rooms of the Chicago Institute of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we discovered Thomas Dewing and Cecelia Beaux. We commiserated over our past disastrous relationships, we wore tiaras watching Downton Abbey. He was a small-town boy who made good in the big city. He was a gifted writer, actor and artist. Honest, passionate, intelligent and the funniest person I have had the honor to know. I am heartbroken and feel lost without him. He left us too soon. I will see him again over there.

Friday, October 25, 2013

My friend Meg Bortin, a journalist who has lived in Paris for more than 30 years, was also a professional chef in the U.S. and Paris. She writes a beautiful and simple blog. The simplicity I appreciate because I find the kitchen challenging. My ex once said he never knew anybody else who could destroy a kitchen making a cup of coffee. I'm afraid he was right. I'm almost inept in the kitchen. But I love reading Meg's recipes. I thought I'd share this one (and I might even try cooking it with the pumpkin sitting on my front porch) since Thanksgiving is almost upon us. You might also like subscribing to her blog, The Everyday French Chef, which would enter your email box about once a week. Check it out:

Friday, October 18, 2013

France again! June 11-25, 2014!

Kippy has finalized the itinerary for my 2014 workshop at La Bonne Etoile. If you are curious to see what we'll be doing, click on the title above (this jpg may not enlarge well). If you're interested in joining us, let us know.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I forced myself to the studio (OK, it's really a gross, nasty, buggy, dark, damp crumbly garage, but I'm calling it a studio) to try to do some 6x6 pastels and/or paintings for the upcoming annual Randy Higbee 6x6 Exhibition in December. It's always a nice show to get into, if you can, and easy to send unframed work to because they're so small and lightweight, and he'll frame them there in his cavernous gallery. It's a huge show in Costa Mesa...

I digress. Back to the studio. I've been feeling a little, OK, not a little, disgruntled with people lately. So the plan was: don't check the phone for missed messages (there were none), don't check email compulsively (found nothing of interest all day), try to get into painting and forget the negative feelings I've been dealing with. I settled into the studio and turned on my hero Van Morrison. Hymns to the Silence and A Sense of Wonder. If ever you need to put your priorities in order, listen to this man worship The Ancient of Days, The Great Great Great Great Great One, The Master. I worked with elation. Thank you, Van.

This 6x6 pastel is of Ann, who modeled for my Wednesday evening class last week. We photographed her and I'm thrilled with the photos and the pieces I know I'll be doing of her. Thank you, Ann.

I'm actually feeling pretty good right now.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This is the pastel that won the Award of Exceptional Merit, the highest award in the exhibition, at the Degas Pastel Society Exhibition at the Laurel Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi. Eve Miller, from St. Helena, SC, also received the award. Thank you, Jill Chancey, Judge.