New Paintings to be Shown at Open Studio

I have several new paintings that I’ll be showing at my upcoming open studio event on Saturday, October 17th, including the two below.  I hope you can join me.

Many thanks to Francisco Nava and Mimi Aumann for giving these two new paintings titles via Facebook! Great names and I love your imaginative thinking.

If you’d like to beat everyone out and purchase these paintings before the event, they’re available on this page of my website.

Cosmic Kandinsky abstract painting“Cosmic Kandinsky,” 30 x 40 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Bachelor Buttons abstract painting“Bachelor Buttons,” 36 x 48 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

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“The Gun Show” at Brayer Gallery

The Brayer Gallery in Ventura is currently displaying a provocative exhibit titled “The Gun Show” by artist Dominic Sansone. I saw it last night when Toby and I went to the First Friday Artwalk, and I was struck by the timing of the show, given the recent high profile school shootings.

The show addresses the issues of guns, gun control, and mass shootings in a somewhat disturbing way, but it’s a disturbing topic, so how could it be otherwise?

"The Gun Show" Brayer Gallery

"The Gun Show" Brayer Gallery

"The Gun Show" Brayer Gallery

Afterwards we went to Stoneworks on The Avenue, sat by their beautiful firepit, listened to live music, and ate brownies!

Stoneworks Ventura

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“Picture This” Video and Save the Date

The construction is done, and it’s time to celebrate! Join me for an OPEN HOUSE/OPEN STUDIO on Saturday, October 17th from 4-6pm. More details to follow soon, but I wanted to let you know the date so you can pencil it into your calendar. I’ll be displaying new work, and I’d love to show you the house, the new studio, and my drought-tolerant yard. If you’re coming from out of town, arrive early, have lunch at one of the many restaurants here, and explore Ventura’s lovely downtown and beach areas. Feel free to bring friends.

I’ve been working on a new group of paintings called the “Picture This” series, and I put together a short video to show you how they’re made. These videos are fun to create, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them. Click here to watch the video in a browser.

Two of my new “Picture This” paintings are available with FREE SHIPPING within the United States! These are lively paintings that remind me of bold and colorful textiles from the 1960s and look good in a contemporary setting. When you watch the video, you’ll see that I use unusual mark-making tools to create these paintings, mostly found at Ventura’s numerous thrift stores! Add the downtown thrift stores to your list of places to visit when you’re here. They have great finds. Click on the titles below for more detailed information about each painting.

"Nature's Folly" abstract painting“Nature’s Folly,” 30 x 24 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

"Nature's Folly" hanging over dresser“Nature’s Folly” hanging over dresser

"One in Spirit" abstract painting“One in Spirit,” 24 x 48 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

"One in Spirit" abstract painting hanging in dining room
“One in Spirit” hanging over buffet

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Signs of Fall

They’re growing huge pumpkins on the UC Hansen Trust property near my house this year. Fields of pumpkins are so pretty, and they make it feel like Fall, even though we’ve been stuck in unprecedented heat for the past several weeks.

Pumpkin fields Ventura

Pumpkin fields Ventura

Just to give you an idea of the size of these pumpkins!

Pumpkin fields Ventura

It’s really lovely out here on the Far East End of Ventura.

Pumpkin fields Ventura

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Cautionary Tale

One of my cats tried to kill me the other night! In all fairness, it was only because he thought I was trying to kill him. It was the middle of the night, very dark, and I didn’t see him sleeping on the bathroom floor. I stepped on him, he was startled, and he went into full-blown attack mode, sinking one of his fangs deep into my ankle.

It was Nelson, my older cat who’s deaf, and he was fine afterwards. I picked him up and he was purring. It all happened so fast that I’m not even sure what I stepped on or if I just kicked him. Here’s a picture of him so that you can see that he’s not suffering. He likes to sleep on the desk next to me while I work on the computer.

Nelson the cat

I, on the other hand, have not fared so well. I didn’t realize that cat bites could be so nasty. The first day I treated it with hydrogen peroxide, cold packs, Epsom salt soaks, and tea tree oil, but it quickly became infected, and it hurt so much that I could barely walk.

That night was my first trip to Urgent Care, and I have been there three times in two days! They have given me two shots of antibiotics and oral antibiotics, and they said they’re doing their best to keep me out of the hospital. Yikes!

I think I’m on the mend. It hurts and I still can’t walk, but the redness has gone down, and no fever today. You can see the purple outline on my leg of how big the infection was last night.

Cat bite on ankle

If you get a cat bite, go to a doctor immediately! They quickly become infected, and are difficult to treat. I’ve had cats all of my life, and I’ve never seen anything like this before. Unbelievable.

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Milkweed Seed Pods

Look at the amazing seed pods on some of my milkweed plants! They’re like big green puffed up balloons. No sign of any Monarch caterpillars yet, but I’ve seen Monarch butterflies flying around the plants. Hopefully soon! Monarchs are losing their native habitats, which is why I planted three types of milkweed for them in the front yard.

Milkweed Seed Pods

Milkweed Seed Pods

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Meet Mark

For many years I have sponsored a sheep at Farm Sanctuary. My adopted sheep was Dante, one of the 200 sheep rescued from Santa Cruz Island under dire circumstances in 1997. Last week I received a letter from Farm Sanctuary explaining that Dante recently passed away, and telling me about his happy life of freedom at the shelter.

I didn’t realize that sheep lived that long, and I wasn’t expecting this letter at all. I figured that Dante had died long ago, and that my sponsorship was generic to all of the animals at the shelter. How sweet that they take the time to track each and every animal there, and keep their adopters up to date.

I now have a new adopted sheep — Mark. He was rescued from auction, and his adoption certificate says that he is social and curious. His favorite food is clover and grass. He looks very cute in his picture, and I hope to visit him in person one of these days. You can read more about Mark and Dante in the letter below.

Mark - sheep Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary Letter

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“Freeze Frame” Paintings Available

I’ve been working on a new series of paintings using leftover house paint, and in the process, I noticed that the plastic underneath the paintings was really beautiful. So I put down canvas as a dropcloth, to soak up the spills and for blotting, and Holy Moly! The dropcloths are gorgeous! How fun is that? I cropped and stretched four of them, and I call them the “Freeze Frame” paintings — a moment frozen in time. Also because they all feature square frames as a design element.

The first four “Freeze Frame” pieces are available with a NEW PRICING STRUCTURE and FREE SHIPPING within the United States. I hope they bring you as much joy as they have brought me creating them!

Freeze Frame Painiting 1“Freeze Frame 1,” 20 x 20 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Freeze Frame Painiting 2“Freeze Frame 2,” 20 x 20 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Freeze Frame Painiting 3“Freeze Frame 3,” 24 x 24 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

Freeze Frame Painiting 4“Freeze Frame 4,” 24 x 24 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas

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When Do You Buy Art?

I’m curious about why and when we make the decision to buy art. Is it when you get a new sofa and you need art to match? Maybe when you move to a new home or make changes to your current home? Is it when you feel like a new person and want your space to reflect that change? Is art an impulse buy when you see something that you love, or something you carefully consider over time before buying? Do you buy art as a treat for yourself?

And what makes you buy a particular piece of art? Is it because it’s the right colors and size for the space? Or maybe because you love it and have to have it? Does the art need to speak to you or make a statement in some way?

What is your decision-making process when buying art?

Art over Sofa

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Holy Wok

Last week I went to a couple of the thrift stores in town, looking for kitchen tools that I could use to make patterns in my art. I was hoping for a squiggly potato masher, which I didn’t find, but I did comes across some other interesting things.

I don’t even know what this is. Is it some kind of colander? But then why the long handle and the nonstick finish? Somehow used for deep fat frying? I don’t know, but the holes in it are fun.

Kitchen Tools for Art

You can paint the bottom of it and get this type of design:

Kitchen Tools for Art

Or you can push paint through the holes from the top and get this:

Kitchen Tools for Art

It’s probably more useful for art than whatever it was originally intended to be! Which might be why it was in the thrift store.

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