Coyote in the Park

I saw a coyote in Kimball Park when I was out walking this morning. It was relatively small — probably a juvenile. It always amazes me to see wildlife thriving in the middle of the city!

Coyote Kimball Park Ventura

Coyote Kimball Park Ventura

Coyote Kimball Park Ventura

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Great Pumpkin Patch

Look what I stumbled upon on my way back from Camarillo this afternoon. A field full of pumpkins meandering up a hill. How pretty is that? I’ve seen quite a few pumpkin fields around here recently, but this one is the prettiest. Evidently Ventura County is where the pumpkins grow.

Pumpkin Patch Ventura

Pumpkin Patch Ventura

Pumpkin Patch Ventura

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Migratory Birds on Wire

The past few days there are all of these black birds sitting on the telephone wires outside of my house at sunset. They must be some sort of migratory bird, because they’re not here year round. I don’t know if they’re migrating to here, or just passing through on their way to somewhere else. Any idea what type of bird they are? You can hear them chattering and their distinctive call in the video below. I never saw birds like these in L.A.

It’s strange that they only sit on the wires in front of my house, and not any of the other houses on the street. What’s up with that? Perhaps they know that they’re welcome here! The cats are also very interested, and wish they could get out and get at them.

If you don’t see the embedded video below, click here to view it online.

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First Fridays Ventura

I went to the First Fridays Art Walk in downtown Ventura tonight with my friend Toby. It’s been hot here the past few days, and the weather was perfect for it. It can be chilly in downtown at night, because it’s right next to the ocean, but it was a really nice evening.

We started at The HUD  on Main Street, a large space that has been converted into artist studios and a gallery. We talked with owner and curator Jessica Mavros, who has done a wonderful job creating the space.

The HUD Ventura First Friday

The HUD Ventura First Friday

Next stop was the Buenaventura Art Association Gallery, where we found one of Ted Lombard’s paintings on display . I met Ted at Focus on the Masters, where we have both done volunteer work. I told him about my technique of pressing canvas into wet paint, and he said he was going to give it a try. I was delighted to see this piece using the technique, in acrylic paint on paper.

Ted Lombard Art

Next we headed up to Ventura Avenue to visit Bell Arts Factory, a former mattress factory turned into artist studios, and Vita Art Center. Rick Stich has an excellent show at the Vita Gallery called “Swimmers Exhibition” — acrylic paintings, mostly done on Tyvek. The Tyvek looks like paper, and he has stretched it over wooden bars like canvas. Very interesting look, and the large-scale paintings are wonderful.

Vita Gallery Ventura First Friday

Vita Gallery Ventura First Friday

We ended the evening at Stoneworks, a sculpture studio that always features live music and a firepit. Lots of people there sitting around and enjoying the entertainment.

Stoneworks Ventura First Friday

It was fun! I highly recommend First Fridays in Ventura if you’re in the area.

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Thinking Outside the Box

I needed to find a place to store my paintings while my art studio is being built. They were in the garage, but the garage isn’t waterproof, and the paintings could be ruined if we actually get some rain this year. Then it occurred to me — the shower in the guest bathroom! It’s a fairly big space, and I’ve never even used it. If I do have a guest, they can use the shower in the master bathroom.

The shower is large, and almost all of the paintings fit in there perfectly. There are just a few others left over that I stored behind my desk. And, the cats can’t get to them — an extra added bonus!

Shower Storage Space

Shower Storage Space

It doesn’t look great, but it’s better than damaged artwork. In the meantime, the architectural plans for the studio are supposed to be done next week. Then we begin the process of getting a building permit.

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“Organics” Show at Carpinteria Arts Center

I drove up to Carpinteria again today to drop off work at the Carpinteria Arts Center. Carpinteria is about half an hour from my house in Ventura, and one of my paintings will be in the “Organics” show that opens there tomorrow.

It was late in the afternoon, with the sun low in the sky creating sparkles all over the ocean. Simply gorgeous! After stopping off at the art center, I drove down to the beach and took a few pics. This is the state beach at Carpinteria, and the mountains on the other side. How pretty is this?

Carpinteria State Beach

Carpinteria

The sandpiper-type birds that I like were there, and this seagull seemed to be laughing at me.

Carpinteria State Beach

I took the beach road home that runs parallel to the freeway and the train tracks, and I stopped at Rincon State Beach to have a look. Rincon is known as a local surfing spot.

Rincon State Beach

Rincon State Beach

And here’s the painting that was accepted into the “Organics” show. It’s titled “Sky’s the Limit,” 36 x 12 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas.

Sky's the Limit painting

The show is up through November 17th at the Carpenteria Arts Center, and I will be at the opening reception on Saturday, October 11th from 5-7pm. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!

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Exploring the Great Outdoors

Look what I got for the cats! It’s an outdoor cat tent, so they can spend time outside without me having to watch them every second and without them running away.

Cat Tent

I set the tent up in the front yard, and Nelson and Luci spent some time in it this afternoon. They seem to like it alright, although they’d prefer to roam free. But since that’s not going to happen, this is a good compromise, until I get the screened-in porch built.

Cat Tent

Cat is too afraid to go outside at all, and I can’t pick Alex up, since she’s feral. But Luci and Nelson are enjoying it . . . sort of. As much as cats enjoy anything!

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Parking Day 2014

Today is International Parking Day, an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. I think this is the first year that Ventura has participated, and there were thirteen creative parking space parks in the downtown area.

For Your Home had a 50s-60s retro parking space complete with Twister.

Ventura Parking Day

Several nonprofit groups created parks, and a group of plein air artists were painting in another parking space.

Ventura Parking Day

Ventura Parking Day

There was also a hair stylist in a parking space

Ventura Parking Day

Lots of plants and astroturf, but I think Ventura has a ways to go before it can compete with Parking Day in some of the larger cities, such as Seattle, where the event got its start.

Ventura Parking Day

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Save the Date!

My Ventura painting debut is coming up this fall! I’ll be doing a live painting performance on Sunday, November 16th, and while I hope you can join us, you don’t have to be here to participate.

I’ll be painting live at Cosmotion in Ventura, CA, a transformational fitness and movement center. Owner Kate Nash and her husband Chris are hosting an exhibit of my art, culminating in the FREE painting event. I will create three 24″ x 24″ paintings before a live audience, and the paintings will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction immediately following.

Artist Cassandra Tondro Painting

We’ll also have a raffle of some of my ecoprints and cards, and raffle tickets will be available for purchase online. That’s where you come in.Winners need not be present to win!

L.A. friends, here’s your chance to take a day trip to Ventura, have lunch at one of the lovely restaurants here, do a little shopping at the many vintage, antique and thrift stores downtown, and then come on over to Cosmotion for my event! I’d love to see you again.

Save the date for now, and I’ll send more details as we get closer to the event.

Artist Cassandra Tondro Painting

Cassandra Tondro Live at Cosmotion!
Sunday, November 16, 2014
2:00 – 3:30 pm
2343 E. Thompson Blvd.
Ventura, CA 93003
805.766.6755

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Video Tour of Ventura House

For those of you who don’t live nearby or haven’t had the opportunity to come up and see my new house in Ventura yet, I did a little video tour!

If you don’t see the embedded video below, click here to view it online.

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