Thursday, August 29, 2013

San Francisco Trip

My aunt's garden in San Francisco is filled with wonderful garden statuary! She must have hundreds of these statues hidden amongst all the wonderful plants and flowers. I loved this one the best because it is so unusual! My aunt is always puttering about in her garden weeding or watering or pruning. Her garden is a labor of love indeed.

I had such a wonderful trip. Where to begin? The day I arrived I had dinner at my cousins house in San Mateo. He is a a wonderful chef and we had such a lovely dinner. I was too hungry and tired to take pictures of the food so you'll just have to believe me. He owns a food import/export business and gets really high quality food. He made us lamb kebabs on the grill which I am still drooling over. They were that good!

On my first full day we visited the Filoli Estate in Woodside CA. It was once someone's home and now it is open to the public. Grand indeed and the gardens were to die for.

On Friday my aunt gave me the cooks tour of the California Academy of Sciences where she is a docent. An amazing center combining research as well as a science museum. (Did I mention she is in her 80's and drives a sports car?) She is my Auntie Mame! She never stops moving. After that we visited the De Young Museum to see the Diebenkorn exhibit. Not to be missed it is a wonderful retrospective of his years living in Berkeley.

Saturday we went to the movies and saw The Butler. A good movie.

Sunday we saw a live revue in town called Beach Blanket Babylon. Hilarious show. Some of the people in line that we spoke with (everyone is very friendly out there) had seen it multiple times!

Monday we shopped and I swam in her pool.

Tuesday, my final day we visited the Asian Art Museum to see Larry Ellison's Japanese screen collection. Ah the things billions can buy! Lovely show though! After that we visited the Palace of the Legion of Honor museum to see the Impressionists on the Water show in honor of the Americas Cup Race taking place there this month.. The best thing about it was the view of the bay and San Francisco from the high hill. Stunning.

I really had a wonderful time. It was great traveling alone for a change. I have to do that more.

I have many new ideas for work now. That happens sometimes when you see new things.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

And, I'm off

plant stencils by Roberta Warshaw
plant stencils, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

I leave in a few minutes for San Francisco. I thought I would share another print made while under the influence of Carla's class. Layering, color and handmade stencils were experimented with.

I like the process and will resume when I return.

See you next week!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


greenscape by Roberta Warshaw
greenscape, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
In between running around doing errands before I leave for San Francisco on Wednesday, I have been gelli printing like a mad woman.

I got some of my confidence back after I took Carla's class and then through an online blog friend's suggestion, I discovered this video by Jane Davies on using masks and stencils with the plate.

I did a series of these green landscapes and some of them I really like. I am getting a little better with my layering but there is still much to be learned about the plate and all the possibilities. My goal is to succeed in making a piece that does NOT need to be cut up into a collage. So far that has been my modus operandi!

I am determined to create a finished piece using layers and good design.

I am hoping that my husband gets back into the office soon. I really need the kitchen table! He has been working from home since his knee surgery and that means the kitchen table is in use all day long with his computer and large monitor. There is barely enough room to have lunch never mind cutting large sheets of paper or making my own gelatin plates!

As soon as he returns to the office and I can get back into the kitchen I am going to make my own plate. I want to work larger than the 8 x 10 gelli plate I am currently using, The larger plate that the art store sells is $60. I don't want to pay that much so I'll make my own and see how I like that.

I'll try and post one more time before my trip but no promises!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Online Class

Recently I have been wanting to take an an online class but wasn't sure which one to take since there are so many available these days. I know it is not the same as taking an actual class but when you are strapped for time or just don't feel like schlepping your entire studio out the door, these classes fit the bill!

I ended up taking Carla Sonheim's gelatin print class although I took it after the fact since I only heard about it after it had already ended. As a result I took it on my own time. I actually liked doing that since I can view the videos as many times as I need to. I am still hoping to take a real time class as well.

This class was a great addition to my current printmaking skills. In the class I learned how to work on multiple sheets at one time. I had never thought of doing it that way but it was an interesting way of working. It gives a real "series" feeling to the work.

One of the things I have always had trouble with, and still do, is working in multiple layers and getting nice results. My usual way of working is to make one layer and collage bits together to make an interesting piece of art.

I have long admired people like Linda Germain and Mark Evans who seem to really have the layering thing down. As you can see in my above piece, layering is still problematic for me.

Another thing I learned was using white in my work. I used to work in gouache a lot and so working with white was a lot like that. My colors of course changed quite a bit with the use of white in a positive way. Normally my colors are very earthy but this time I had actual pinky greens and pale blues. It was very different for me.

In the class we used 140 pound hot pressed water color paper which I have a ton of so I didn't need to buy any special paper. I like working on the watercolor paper very much since I usually only use thin rice paper. I like the way the watercolor paper takes many layers.

I hope to take more of these classes as they come available so if you have any suggestions for upcoming classes that you are aware of, please let me know!

Monday, August 5, 2013

San Francisco bound

Flower Card by Roberta Warshaw
Flower Card, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I am not sure what is going on but ever since returning from vacation I am so uninspired! Usually when I come home from being away my brain is on fast forward with new ideas. Not this time! I did manage to finish a couple of cards that I had begun before I left but haven’t started anything new yet.

In a couple of weeks I will be going out to San Francisco to visit my Aunt Beryl (my mother's sister). Hopefully I will come home refreshed and ready to work again.

I am really looking forward to my trip. It is the first time I will be going on vacation solo if you can believe that at my age! But I have always traveled with husbands, children etc. Never alone. I am pretty sure I will like it. It is funny because my aunt, who is in her eighties travels all over the world. Solo. She has been to every continent at least twice and some more than that. I really admire her for her vast travel energy. She even went to Iran last fall. No one in the family could understand why but she is just such a curious person and it was one of the only places she hadn’t been yet. Not only does she travel all over the world but she also works part time as a docent at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

She is a feisty lady and I adore her. This is her. Isn't she adorable?