It's been a while - and I'm finally inspired to do some creative painting. So, I embarked on a project to create many paintings/experiments from one drawing, resulting in a YouTube video. Enjoy!
I've been severely afflicted with Vestibular Neuritis for over 1 year. While I've made truly measurable recoveries, I'm still not balanced. You might not think this neuritis is a big deal, but I have had to learn how to walk, use a computer (type, entry, point, etc.) all over again. Patience is indeed a virtue. For the last few months, I have been able to walk again without using a walker or sticks to aid me. Thanks to physical therapy, I can now walk forwards, backwards, and turn around - all without falling over. I go walking for about 1 hour every day in my neighborhood, practicing exercises I learned during physical therapy, and it really helps. I've gotten back my sense of humor. (yea!), and inspiration to paint again. Being able to go out and about and be with other people especially in our local arts scene is great! Day to day encounters with the public can still be difficult - you can't believe how people push, bump hard, etc., and it's these kinds of motions that literally throw me. So I have slowed down a lot. And I have great gratitude that I am still on the right side of the dirt!
I'm sure I'm paying for something karmic.....my hubbie and I had a wonderful 2-week vacation in Hawaii - a well deserved true R & R kind of vacation - where the hardest thing I had to do was turn the pages of my book and lift my drink. On our return flight, I am certain we were inoculated with some kind of super virile nasty bug. 2 1/2 - 3 days after arriving home, we both started coughing at the very same time. That was 10 days ago, and I have to say I was close to slitting my wrists I felt so bad. I have to say, today was the very first day I've felt enough energy to get dressed and go outside - thank gawd it's a beautiful spring day. My head is still very congested, ears plugged and ringing, voice deep and gravely, croup cough persists. Gotta be some kind of joke. Truly put that vacation somewhere so far in the past as to have almost deleted it from my memory.
Time for another vacation, I think.
've been agonizing over a decision for the last 3 months: whether or not to keep my studio space at the Tannery Arts Center.
I moved into the Tannery Studio #125, a shared studio space with abstract artist, Beth Shields, 3 years ago, with the intent of increasing my presence in downtown Santa Cruz. A lot of people knew me from my arts advocacy efforts: chairing Open Studios and bringing them into the digital age; co-promoter of the River Arts Festival, a big event taking over the river bench parklands, Pacific Avenue - artist's booths, installations, hands-on art experience, local music, kinetic sculpture parade and more; Former Executive Director for the SC Mountains Arts Center. I could go on, the list is pretty extensive. But a lot of people were not familiar with my artwork. Having a studio at the Tannery put me in the thick of local events: 1st Fridays, Tannery Art Markets, Open Studio downtown. I also helped create a gallery space in our Building 1050 - "On the Wall - In the Hall", where our artwork could be seen by the public 24/7.
However, bottom line is monthly rent costs which have mounted over the years. I am on a fixed income these days, and while Beth and I explored taking on a 3rd Studio mate to offset costs, it became apparent to me the "cons" outweighed the "pros", so after much heartfelt thought, I have decided to move out - opt for a change. I will be "celebrating" my last 1st Friday at the Tannery March 4, from 6 - 9 p.m., and you are all most welcome to come by, visit a bit, enjoy the art space that is the Tannery.
Okay, 10 of my Raven Paintings are now flying around the dining room at Chocolate, the Restaurant on Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA. They'll be on display through December if you are out and about, otherwise, visit my Raven Page.
I've been communicating with the Cornel School of Ornithology about all things Ravens, and they have provided me with some interesting information: since 1970, the Raven population has increased over 7000%! That's a staggering figure! They attribute this to our human population growing, producing more accessible garbage, and as the Ravens are scavengers, they are taking advantage. I also wonder if the removal of using DDT has contributed. Around the same time, our local brown pelican population was in danger of extinction as DDT was prevalent in our environment and was causing the pelican eggs to be too soft to produce viable young. Since ridding our environment of the DDT, the brown pelicans have come back mightily.
Regardless, ravens are taking over our entire west coast - and it is a bit ominous in my book....thus my paintings.
After years of participating in Open Studios, I have come to believe the Open Studios Goddess demands a blood sacrifice every year.
In my earliest years, this would usually occur during the framing process while cutting mats, now having lost count of the number of sliced fingers I’ve suffered. These sacrifices of course happened when a new, very sharp Exacto blade had been installed. Nothing but the best for the Goddess! If I managed to NOT bleed on a white mat, I was happy. My left index finger suffered slices on the outside edge while holding a straightedge - that little side pad just hanging over a bit. Not a biggie - just rinse with hydrogen peroxide, goop with a little dab of betadine ointment, and tape it together. Amazing how these things heal! I’m beginning to think my index finger is like a starfish, regenerating a new appendage when needed. I am now extra cautious with my blades (and fingers).
This hasn’t kept the Goddess from extracting blood, though, with sharp glass edges abounding, frayed hanging wires (Boy! Those ends are pokey!), and lethal wood splinters. So okay, this year, I made it through most of the matting process without slicing off a body part. The OS Goddess took note, and waited patiently until I was removing staples from an old frame, lost my grip on the dang staple, and skewered the pad of my thumb with the needle nose pliers. They’re called “needle nose” for a reason. My old tube of betadine ointment is almost gone. Plenty of peroxide and bandaids, though. My sacrifice for this year has been extracted in full.
Laties! From late night TV....love 'em!
"It was confirmed this week that Lucasfilm and Disney are set to develop another 'Indiana Jones' sequel. This time the ancient relic everyone is searching for is Indiana Jones." -Jimmy Fallon
Yes, I am a snob! Specially when it comes to food & restaurants. I love to cook, and when I go out and pay good money, I want something memorable,, something that is at least as tasty and well presented as what I create.
It never ceases to amaze me how poorly trained most restaurant staff seem to be these days. It got totally topped off by a recent visit to the Roadhouse Café (formerly Cash Store) in Davenport. An old friend was visiting, and she wanted to take me out for breakfast and had fond memories of the old Cash Store. I was a little reluctant as previous meals there, admittedly dinners, had not been good experiences. But I thought maybe we'd give it another try. After all, how badly could a breakfast be?
Wait staff: clueless, nice, but clueless. People standing about, waiting to be seated, even get their name on a list, and there are only 3 other people seated in the restaurant. Finally, shown to a table - had to return with menus (another wait of 5 - 10 minutes). We order....coffee comes...my friend Judy had asked for some sugar/substitute for her coffee - there was nothing on the tables: no salt/pepper, no usual hot-sauces, ketchup, etc. She kept waiting, until her coffee was almost cold, then went up to the front counter and asked for some - standing there until she got it.
The waitress did come over to fill up Judy's coffee cup, and didn't even notice that mine was almost empty - just splashed coffee into the cup and spun off.
When the food finally came after a loooong wait, (and I'm telling you there were only now 6 people in the restaurant), the only thing edible on the plate was the toast. One taste of the breakfast potatoes: they tasted fishy, and they were so soaked in oil as to be inedible. It was clear they hadn't changed the oil in a while - at 9 a.m. in the morning, the oil shouldn't have tasted like fish. And even clearer the cook didn't know what he was doing. To have the potatoes be as oil laden as they were, the oil probably wasn't enough.....and how someone could make scrambled eggs that were stringy and tasteless is beyond me. I won't be going back there until they sell the place (yet once again) because it had gone under.
But back to my original rant about lack of training for restaurant staff. There are really on a very small handful of restaurants I've gone to in Santa Cruz that have trained wait staff: Shadowbrook in Capitola, Ristorante Avanti in Santa Cruz are ones that spring to mind. Most of the rest just suck in terms of service....you see they have one person who is supposed to help the servers, i.e., make the rounds, clear dishes, top off drinks, water, coffee, and they come out with one item in their hands, don't make any eye contact, service 1 table, and then go back without looking around to see what else needs to be done. And waitresses with visible dirt under their nails, slovenly dressed - like they were late for work and thru on what was piled on the floor....argh! And then I can't tell you how many restaurants open up with a decent chef, who creates the menus, and then the restaurant hires the lowest wage person, who likely speaks very little English and has little actual chef experience, to take over the cooking. The results speak for themselves. Yarg!
I've collected a LOT of jokes thru the years and believe we all need a laugh, at least once/day. And I want to also share my recent artwork. So, with that in mind, jokes I share are NOT politically correct, they are often filthy. And most of my artwork comes from life drawing sessions, so there are nude bodies. Should I call this blog "The Nudes" or "Tits & Titters"?
Copyright 2017 LA Levy - Gestures
416 Westdale Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (831) 426-4906
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