Monday, February 14, 2011


two hearts

I am a romantic at heart. But somehow I just am not completely behind Hallmark's holiday, Valentine's Day. Sure, I love a wonderful, mouth-watering, chocolaty piece of dark confection, but gushing over $5 pre-written cards, or flowers from out front of the local grocery store is just not my style.

Even though Mr. R and I have been together for close to a third of a century, I never expect FTD, or Tiffany's to pull up to my house on February 14th. I guess my cynical side must be just as prominent as my romantic side.

But here's the thing. There is so much pain and misery on our small planet. So much sadness that people have to deal with on a daily basis. I think that any holiday that is all about love and sharing really can't be all that bad. I mean, it's a good thing to focus on the people you love most, because I know for me, it's too easy to take those people for granted.

So, no more bah humbug Valentine's Days for me. I'm going to celebrate loving and sharing with my  friends and family. I'll give someone a hug today, and then go get myself a piece of my favorite chocolate, too. After all, life and love can only gets better with chocolate.

Wishing you all a very happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Art Squared

My neighbor, Rosalind, is a boardmember of LOCA ( Laguna Outreach for Community Arts). Yesterday afternoon she sabotaged me, and somehow got me to commit to a watercolor class called Art Squared, where all of the finished pieces will be donated to an auction that will help fund their programs. I like to think of myself as kind of an artist, but truth be told, I haven't picked up any type of paintbrush in years! I did, however, take a watercolor class in my younger years. But that was a looong time ago! If I break my age down into dog-years, maybe it won't make me sound quite so old.

Ditching the kids, (they don't start school until 10:30 on Thursdays!) I walked down the street to her house. But as the instruction began, I could feel the too high expectations and panic start to well up deep within. Like I said, I think of myself in an artsy way but the reality is, I'm not an artist! And frankly,  I'm pretty terrible!

Roger goes back to the basics
But the instructors were great, both of them are artists who show at the Festival of Arts, and really make a living by selling their work. Roger Folk began by refreshing us on the color wheel and color values. Thankfully, I remembered some of those terms! Then Jacquie Moffet finished up with ideas for compositions and more info on applications of different techniques. Then it was our turn to somehow turn their instructions into an actual painting.

Jacquie hold up a photo as Roger shows how it's done
It didn't take long to remember why I loved painting so much as a kid! It was really frustrating at times, but really exhilarating and inspiring, too!

Matilija Poppy, or Fried Egg Flower
Believe me, I know that my work is not great, but just knowing that I finished a piece was seriously, very encouraging. Hours went by like minutes, the way they always do when you're in that creative place. With  lots of hand holding and talking me down from scary places, Jacquie and Roger helped me find something that had to be dusted off after years of neglect. Maybe I'll have to take another class sometime. There's always room for improvement.