Thursday, December 6, 2007

Another busy day or two

Boy, I am surprised at how much I get done in a day or two and how much I don't.

First, I finally finished the painting of the Echo Park Lotus complete with the Great Blue Heron. I call it "In the

Heart of LA - Lotus with Heron". I think it worked out reasonably well, so it is time to start the next project. I

have several things in the works, a watercolor of California Poppies with Gillias (another native flower), a painting

of my daughter as a Goddess in oils, a painting of the San Gabriel Mountains. All this will take a while.

Painting just done! Not even signed yet

Last night Phil and I went to see one of the Watson Lectures at CalTech's Beckman Auditorium. Presented by David J. Anderson, who is the Sperry Professor of Biology at CalTech, he spoke about genes, neurons and emotional behavior in Mice and Flies. It has become rather amazing what can be done with special mutant genes that can alter the way various neurons behave in the brain and can result in behavior changes that can be quite dramatic. If you really must see this lecture, you may be able to get a copy of it from CalTech - they do make some of their lectures available on DVD, but I don't know if this one will be available.

As an aside, some years ago, Caltech was looking for an artist to paint some portraits of Sperry and some other luminaries to install in their new Biology building. I sent them a portfolio of work - but I must admit I had very little to show in oil painting at that time. I sorta made the mistake of letting a fellow artist know about what was happening, and she got the commission. They even lost my portfolio - at least it never was returned, and that was expensive at the time. However, I never knew if they actually installed her painting, as she had a lot of problems pleasing the powers that be. Her name is Lynette Williams, and I don't think she paints a lot any more - having her hands full with other challenges. So every time I see the name Roger W. Sperry, I am reminded that I never got to meet him, and I think I would have loved to have that opportunity, even though Lynette said he was a bit of a curmudgeon.

And now it is on to a Christmas Party hosted by Half City Productions, located just down the street from us in beautiful Altadena.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Almost done

Sometimes it seems that I spend forever with a painting in the "almost" done place. I have been working on a full sheet watercolor of the Lotus at Echo Park in Los Angeles, CA.

This is such a fabulous place. In the middle of an eclectic and sometimes gritty neighborhood lies a truly beautiful lake, complete with fountains, ducks, a bridge, pedal-boats, and in Summer - Lotus.

This year's lotus was disappointing, it looked like half of the lotus was gone, but the year before it was everywhere, and there was even a Great Blue Heron fishing in the middle of the lotus!

Now, if you are from Florida or other places where these great birds are common, I suspect that seeing a heron in the middle of LA doesn't seem fabulous. But it is. They just don't like people, hubub, and general commotion.

That is what the painting is about. Of course it is not done yet. Hope to finish it tomorrow.