Monday, June 27, 2016

Mom still in hospital, I did more painting.

Mom's still in the hospital.
Today she walked around and sat up in a chair quite a bit.
The doctors say that she might come home any day now.

Over the weekend I took more paints and watercolor crayons and my sketchbook to the hospital, and painted.
Every day my dad spends up to 10 hours sitting with Mom and I am there up to 6 hours, so there is a lot of time to paint and I am getting used to bringing my stuff.

I made this sketch from a photo I took of some flowers on my desk at work.

I started with water-soluble pencils and crayons:

I made a wash, and it was pretty good at that point:

Since I had literally all day, I finished it up with more watercolors from a tray of tube watercolors:

I also made a sketch from a photo one of my dogs looking angelic:
I think this was the day after he stole a piece of chese from the counter and ate it,
along with the cellophane wrapper. It turned out OK in the end...

Sam is 6 and a really good subject, but I've hardly ever drawn any pictures of him...
Mostly because he doesn't sit still, or because I don't take time to draw from photos.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Interesting things around the church office

This week was busy as usual.
Mom is STILL in the hospital!
She was supposed to come home Tuesday, but the levels of Chemo in her blood were too high.
Maybe tomorrow.

This week, I saw an awesome Guadalupe painted on somebody's hood.

Today I met a famous person!
Milagros, the handicapped girl with no legs, whose special wheelchair was stolen last year.
(It was returned to the family, after the story appeared in the news.)

I didn't know her family was part of our church!
She really is an awesome, adorable kid, and even cuter in person.

This week I also met this mother's mother. I tried to console her, as she is very upset about her grand-daughter's death.

Last night some tools were stolen from the construction crew working on the school's A.C.
The police took a report.

A lady visiting the office today had a handful of herbs. Papalo.
It's an herb I've seen at the local grocery, but I didn't know what it was.
She said, "Oh, the student has it planted here, in the back yard of the office."


Sure enough, there it was,  in the weeds next to the watermelon.
It's the plant with the large flat leaves.

It tastes like Cilantro, or spicy oregano, but has a texture more like small spinach.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


This week I took a tray of watercolors to the hospital.
I used a paper sampler for a sketchbook.
The tray was gunky. It must have been years since I used it last.
It was missing some colors so I added them from tubes.

Mom's hospital room has a good view of the 57 freeway.

Here's a sketch I made on Sunday. I didn't like it much.

I got a good view of those fires burning in Duarte.

I painted the same freeway, with the smoke:

(I colored in the freeway, later.)

Yesterday, Mom was moved to a room with a less interesting view.
She was originally scheduled to go home Tuesday, but today they said the chemo still wasn't out of her system.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Carnival, Mom gets Chemo

This weekend was our church carnival.
There was a lot to do this week.
I had an interesting view from my desk.

The fair was a big success but I wasn't part of the Committee, and didn't really get to hang out much, because of my mom being in the hopsital again.

I didn't buy an iPhone, I found my iPod in the strangest place last Friday.
It was behind some envelopes in a envelope organizer.

I lost it again the next day and found it in my pants pocket a week later.
Losing it is obviously stress related...

Mom was admitted back to the hospital Friday.
She got the OK to start chemo and got it Saturday.
She is looking OK today, but all the going back and forth to the hospital is tiring her out.
Only 7 more treatments to go.

The view from the 7th floor at UCI:

Mom should come back home on Tuesday, rest for a week, and go back again the following week.
For 7 more weeks.

There's a lot of art all over the hospital, some good and some bad.
I think a lot about the art hanging on the walls there.
Where did it come from? What's it supposed to do? Do they ever recycle it?

I feel like everyone is staring at me when I take pictures of it...

My dad is complaining, so I'm off to visit with Mom for the rest of the evening.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ups and Downs

This week has been full of ups and downs.
At the beginning of the week, my mom was admitted to the hospital.
They took many tests and after awhile, they said they were unable to give her chemotherapy because of a liver infection, which was a big surprise.
They sent her home with a medicine and hopefully we will try again next Monday.

I auditioned for a new church choir that will only sing on the major holidays, and they called me back and I'm in... I haven't sung or even gone to church in ages, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

I've been looking everywhere for my iPod with the good camera.
I really miss taking pictures.
I have other cameras, small point and shoot digital, even a big digital SLR, but it just isn't the same.
Today I went to the Sprint store to look at options.
The basic iPhone that resembled my iPod cost $300, and I would have to upgrade my plan.
I think plan with the least data was another $10.
But they wouldn't let me buy the iPhone, I would have to finance it, and I would have a bill of over $75 for two years.
I didn't like this, so I will keep looking for another option.

I drew a grid and pasted into my altered book.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Altered Books, continued

I haven't had much luck in drawing in my journal lately...
But I have been making art in an altered book.
I started a new one last week.

An altered book is a regular used book that you tear pages out of, paste pages into, write in, paint on etc. to make a new work of art.

Last year, I took an art class on making altered books, at Catalyst in Westminster, by artist Jacki Long.

I had already been making collages in my sketchbook, so I came to the class prepared with some papers and pictures. One of them was a picture of a famous scientist.

When I got to the class, there were only two books left to choose from.
I picked a small red book called "The Christmas Box" because it was small.
I pasted my scientist on the cover.

The story seemed to be about a mysterious widow.

After a while I started reading some of the book.
It was kind of like one of those warm and fuzzy Hallmark movies that they play on the holidays.
It was about a family who goes to live with a mysterious old widow.

I included a lot of medical imagery, because last summer my father was treated for cancer, and in August I lost an uncle my family had cared for.

As I read the story, it seemed appropriate...
I won't tell you the widow's mystery, but the end of the story, she dies of a brain tumor!

The book's not quite finished yet, but I'm working on it, along with the new one.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Altered Book

This week sucked.
I lost my iPod which had a better camera than my phone.
I may have left it in the bottomless pit of missing/stolen items called the office.
Everything was backed up, but still...

My mom's chemotherapy was bumped up to next week.
Another delay in her treatment.
She is doing well, today she was able to tell me where I could find a phone number I needed.

Although I haven't blogged, I have been painting and scrapbooking in two altered books.
An altered book is a used book that has pages ripped out, painted on, and pasted into, etc.

I first started a book in a class I took at Catalyst in Westminster, with artist Jacki Long.
That book is a whole other story...It's 3/4 of the way done.

I found this outdated Reader's Digest guide to law information.

Here's the cover... I've only just started, so there will be more to come.

I decided I needed a mental vacation, since I can't ever take a real one.
Through the week I gathered scrap papers that felt like summer, with a fresh, ocean, journey theme.

I uncovered a lot of stuff while searching for my lost iPod/camera.
Somehow I feel like it fell behind something or under my car seat and I forgot where.
I just can't believe I left it at work.

I painted some of the interior pages:

The photocopier/scanner cut off the pages a little.

I still have much more to paste into the book.