Category Archives: history

I can’t help loving lists…

Those of you who know me well know that I love lists. I am positively addicted to my “Ampad Project Organizer”, and write a list in it every day. Without it, I feel unanchored. Today, I was reading Beth’s blog, and she had this great list. In the spirit of list making (and not having those photos of new work that I promised!)… a Life List:

(I’ve highlighted the things I’ve done) 

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars- Joshua Tree was especially memorable
3. Played in a band- not a rock band, but jazz band and orchestra/concert bands for 8 years.
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower- on the hood of a car, when I was 15 
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Climbed a mountain 
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo 
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13.Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
24. Built a snow fort- with my kids, as an adult
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse. 
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. 
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise 
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied- 
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing- a few times. I was the crazy girl too paralyzed to move. Never again. 
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung Karaoke- Last year, in NYC, koreatown. The dynamic duo made me do it.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. 

46. Been transported in an ambulance – when I was 11, I ran through a sliding glass door, and then told the ambulance workers all the jokes I knew. Which, when  you are 11 is a lot.
47. Had your portrait painted. 
48. Gone deep sea fishing 

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling 
52. Kissed in the rain 
53. Played in the mud – I don’t think I did much else as a child. Much to my mother’s frustration. We stole all of her spoons to make mud pies.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater – Grew up going to the drive in with my parents. went as a teenager to the Santa Cruz drive in.
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business – I had a jewelry making business for a few years.
58. Taken a martial arts class 
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies – And tons of chocolate for concert band in middle school.
62. Gone whale watching 
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check – All the way to china and back.
68. Flown in a helicopter 
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy 
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial 
71. Eaten Caviar- once was enough (I agree with Beth)
72. Pieced a quilt- very badly, I might add.
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job 
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person 
80. Published a book  *someday…
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car 
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper 
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life 
90. Sat on a jury 
91. Met someone famous 
92. Joined a book club 
93. Lost a loved one 
94. Had a baby – two, now 12 and 15!
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit- sued my landlord in college for not giving me back my deposit. I won.
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

I’ll Add #100, Little Known Fact: Played the baritone sax in junior high and high school jazz band. I could make a lot of noise with that thing.

studio stories

Over the years, I’ve worked in many spaces.   Just out of college, I moved up to Oakland and had a beautiful, large live-in space all to myself.  Every morning – about 2:00 in the morning, that is, the freight train would roar by across the street, and I got so used to it, I stopped waking up.  Later, I had a little live work space in Santa Cruz, and worked there through much of my pregnancy with my daughter before moving into a larger space on the same property, with my growing family.  We turned our bedroom into my studio, and when my daughter was old enough, she would toddle in while I was painting first thing in the morning, and settle herself at her stool and banana box set up on the floor, and paint with mommy.  Along came child #2, my son, and with him, a move back to Oakland for a year in a live-work space, followed by several years in Berkeley without a space of my own.  My neighbor and friend let me use her space, when I could, but these years with small children and the wonderful, engulfing chaos that inevitably follows, were not very productive, artistically speaking.  Lots of home made play-dough and water colors on the porch, yes. But oil painting?  I kept working, but barely. Then we moved to Boston for 3 years.  I whitewashed a room in the basement for my studio, and was able to squeeze more work time in than before.  I started doing mixed media collage and painting in journals, and decided to take a break from oil painting.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but my work was taking a turn toward more of a narrative approach that would lead me in totally new directions once I started painting again.  I took a class to learn encaustic painting, and my work seemed to take off.  Soon, I was moving back to California, taking this new way of working with me.  I rented a studio for a while that was a bit of a drive, but had a wonderful little pot belly wood stove (really ideal for keeping the room extra warm for encaustic painting). Eventually, though, I found myself going less and less, and ended up moving my studio back home to our garage.  Not ideal lighting, to be sure, but I still found it easier.  I find that I get so much more work done if my studio is at home. I can make use out of smaller chunks of time, and work and life seem to mesh in a wonderful way.  My family can come and see what I am up to. I can go inside to make a cup of tea.  So when we moved into our current house a year and a half ago, we immediately started dreaming up plans to build a studio in the back yard.  This last fall, the construction started (thank you, Joe B.!) and finally……..  dscn2174.jpg    studio2.jpg            studio3.jpg                                 A studio of my own!  I moved in about 2 weeks ago, and I am so happy with the space. It is just the right size – not too big or small. The photos make it look a little smaller than it actually is. Everything is a bit of a mess now, with piles everywhere, but I’ve carved out a corner of work space for painting, and am slowly putting things away.  My grandfather-in-law gave me an old table to set up for encaustic, so that is the next thing to do.                   I keep pinching myself……                                                                                                                 I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed.