Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Card 2011 - part 2

Christmas is almost here and I've still got shopping to do & art projects to finish, but at least the card is ready to go.  It was a fun project - from making & decorating the cookies to styling the set & designing the final card.  When I was finished I had lots of sugar cookies to enjoy, and so did my co-workers!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Card 2011 - part 1

I spent part of today in the kitchen, working on the annual Christmas card.  This year I wanted to try photographing cookies for the card, so I started the day off by baking & decorating sugar cookies.  I definitely have a new appreciation for food stylists!  I love to bake, but can be very messy in the kitchen.  Trying to make a few cookies photo worthy was definitely a challenge.  I ended up eating way too many cookies in the process!  Here are a few quick photos and I'll post the final card later this week once its finished.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Mixed Media Artwork

I've been busy working on my Venice series and have several finished pieces to share. There are a few more canvases in process and I'll post those once they are complete. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The beach this week

The other evening as I walked along the beach I noticed the light hitting the tall grass and the golden glow it created.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Where does inspiration come from?  Sometimes it comes from the craziest places!

One evening over Labor Day weekend my husband & I attended a concert at the Mission in San Juan Capistrano.  It was a fabulous evening with al fresco dining, music and dancing.

The band that evening was "The Fab Four", a terrific Beatles tribute band.  For the next week or so I had 2 Beatles songs running through my head - Yellow Submarine & All You Need is Love.  One night when I sat down to work on some canvases there was a paper heart on the table.  As I picked up the heart I couldn't help but notice the lyrics running through my you need is love......  So I went with it, and this canvas is the result.  As I worked I wasn't sure where it was headed, I just experimented with different materials - collaging paper, molding paste, oil pastels & acrylic paint - and just had fun.  Not sure yet if there will be a Yellow Submarine canvas.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mixed Media: Venice Part 2

Venice Building 1

One of the things that makes mixed media so interesting is that projects are always evolving.  I might work on a canvas for a couple of weeks and decide its done, only to pick it up again a few weeks later.  This canvas is one of the first I started to work on for my Venice series.  It had been a few weeks since I had worked on it when I decided to add a layer of wax to the canvas.  I find that the wax adds an interesting texture.
Detail Venice Building 1
Detail Venice Building 1

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mixed Media: Venice

Waterway in Venice
Detail of Waterway in Venice
As promised, here are a few of the mixed media canvases I've been working on lately.  There are several more in progress and I'll post photos of those later this week. 

The canvas pictured above, Waterway in Venice, is in the first steps.  The photograph was transferred onto the canvas using gel medium and then a combination of paints and pastels were used.  Next I'll add some texture to the sides of the canvas, before adding more paint, pastels & a top layer.

The canvas below, Venice Building 2, is one step further along than the previous canvas.  I've added a layer of texture around the edges & some additional paint and pastels.  The next step for this will be to add another layer, either wax or resin. 
Venice Building 2

Detail of Venice Building 2

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The August Break comes to an end

Summer is over & so is the August Break.  I really enjoyed the challenge of posting a photograph each day throughout the month of August. Looking back I see my posts reflect some of the things I love most about life:  food, travel, the beach & art.  Posting each day forced me to 'just do it' without over thinking.  That is one of things I'm taking away from the challenge.

Over the years I have kept several journals full of ideas & artistic to do projects that I would start "one day".  There have been many reasons as to why some of them were never started.  Now more than ever I feel it's the right time to start working on some of those ideas.  'Just do it' is the new motto.  This past week I began working on 5 new photo transfer canvases.  I will share some photos of them in progress later this week. 

The challenge also introduced me to some very talented artists who have truly inspired me.  The community has been so supportive & I look forward to becoming more involved.  While I'm not going to post a photo each day, I am going to continue to blog on a much more regular basis than before the challenge.  So although it's the end of the challenge & the end of summer I think its also the beginning of something great.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 31: Last day in Napa

We stopped at the Oxbow Public Market for lunch before heading to the airport.  So many choices and so many fantastic looking desserts. 

Our 4 day mini break was great fun!  We enjoyed lots of fabulous food & wine and also exploring the area.  I'm looking forward to our next adventure.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 30: Napa

Silver Oak was another vineyard we stopped at.....

Day 29: Napa

After our picnic lunch we headed to the vineyards on our bikes.  It was a gorgeous day, with a brilliant blue sky.  Our first stop was Opus One.  Their red is heaven, so smooth.......


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 28: Napa

On Sunday we rented bikes & set out on a 10 mile loop.  The map from the bike shop had several much longer routes, but we chose the shortest & easiest figuring there were more than enough vineyards along the way to chose from.  Our first stop was at the Oakville Grocery for a picnic lunch.  They had an assortment of homemade salads, sandwiches and cookies to choose from.  Along the outside of the store is the Oakville Grocery Farmstand that offers lots of fresh fruit, veggies & home made lemonade.  Tomorrow I'll post photos of some of the vineyards we biked to.

Day 27: Fishermans Wharf

As promised, here are some more photos from our trip to San Fran.  We walked around Pier 39 & Fishermans Wharf on Saturday morning.  There was a large group of sea lions at Pier 39.  Most of them were sleeping, but there were a few that would climb onto the docks and walk over the rest of the group as they slept.  The aroma coming from the Boudin Bakery was fabulous, they make the best sourdough bread....yuummmm!  You can see into the bakery from the street & there was a woman creating creatures out of bread dough.  They had an assortment of turtle, bear, snake & crab shaped breads.  We took a cable car back to our hotel & had a great view as we were standing on the very back of the car.  After lunch in the city (at a fab place called Bread & Cocoa) we headed out to Napa.  Tomorrow I'll post photos of Napa.

Boudin Bakery
View from the back of cable car.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 26: Self Portrait in SF

This self portrait was taken Saturday morning at Pier 39.  The handsome guy with me is my husband Varun.  If you look closely you can see a bit of Alcatraz behind us.  I just stretched my arm out for this one, no self timer or tripod.  I'll post more photos tomorrow & Sunday of our trip to SF & Napa.
Dianne & V in San Francisco

Day 25: Chinatown

After lunch we headed to Chinatown. Supposedly Chinatown in SF is one of the most famous.  It was amazing to see all of the vibrant colors.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 24: San Francisco

Last Friday was our 5 year anniversary so to celebrate my husband planned a surprise trip.  All I knew was that we were flying to San Francisco and that I needed to pack 'something athletic'.  We had a fantastic 4 days!  The trip started in San Fran and we then headed to Napa for some wine tasting.  Over the next few days I'm going to post a bunch of photos that I took.  

flying into San Francisco
The flight from Los Angeles to San Fran was only 52 minutes long.  On such a short flight there was only one announcement from the pilot:  "we have reached our cruising altitude of 32,000 feet and will now begin our descent".  It was pretty funny!  I took a few photos out of the window during the descent.

Cafe de la Presse
After we checked into the hotel we set out to explore the city on foot.  On our way to Union Square we stopped at Cafe de la Presse for lunch.  What a fantastic Parisian style cafe!  We ordered a chicken sandwich, Croque Monsieur and an order Pomme Frites.  Top it off with a glass of white wine & chocolate macarons and all I can say is yummmm...........
Pomme Frites with mayo