daily painting | pom blossoms

I am lucky enough these days to roam around various San Diego neighborhoods and take in the luscious plant life; this wildly colorful pomegranate tree in full bloom is in a neighbor’s yard. In the fall months this plant will be heavy with its seedy fruit. I love the mini-pom shapes of the blossoms; it’s fun to see the beginnings of the juicy bounty of an autumn harvest.

I’ve done a few bombs of paintings this week. I’m trying too hard. This was a result of saying, Oh hell, I’m just going to screw around and not care that I’m being “productive” for god’s sake. And it’s a comfort to paint and walk and be part of my precious family’s transitions to happier days.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90




daily painting | mission bay hibiscus

Another huge cherry-red hibiscus found on my walk with grandson Heath down to Mission Bay in San Diego. They are so lush and striking and yummy! I am enjoying painting the local flora here as there are so many glories to choose from — gardenias, pomegranate flowers, loose, full roses. Stay cool out there folks. And keep making art. My teacher Leigh Hyams used to say, “As artists we fertilize the world.” Our role on the planet is very important.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90



daily painting | belmont park

View from our safe apt. in Mission Beach, San Diego, overlooking Belmont Park*. I can now post this as we are no longer there; we needed a quick exit to get away from shitball slimebucket dangerous 2nd husband of daughter (“Emily, how do you REALLY feel?”) (I had no idea I was capable of such detailed, violent fantasies). Things are sorting themselves out and we are all in good shape and addressing the details of big life changes.

What a support team! Cousins, aunts, uncles, dads, grammas and dear friends all busting their butts to help the family land on its feet; that includes a kind family member that is housing me. All this generosity leaves me speechless and grateful and believing in angels. I know my precious family is in good shape and on its way to better days. I am saddened for the pain of these transitions, but hey, it’s a good thing all this is happening in a stable world without any pandemics or necessary social upheavals or corrupt leaders wrecking our democracy. Not that I am opinionated. Nope.

*The park was closed except for a few food venues, and they ran the roller coaster to keep things in working order, putting giant stuffed animal toys in the seats. Adorable.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90




daily painting | patio

Our beachy apt continues to be a comfortable and safe spot. The accompanying patio with outdoor furniture and a fire pit and banana plants and happy greenery was a great place to park myself with my art stuff and draw and paint; it’s funky and cute and charmingly ungroomed. I donned my UCSD sweatshirt as the fog was a gray umbrella but I’m happy for cooler weather (always!). My safe, social-distance route to the beach is a pleasure to walk and brings comfort as I park in the gorgeous white sand and watch the surfers; that part of the big wide beach is easy to enjoy while avoiding other humans. The world is upside down, as is my family, but I have hope for better days.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90





daily painting | oakland trumpet

I snapped a few shots of the gorgeous, sensuous trumpet flowers outside my Oakland studio and painted from a cropped version of one of the photos here in my temporary San Diego digs. So fun to play with watercolors and Posca acrylic pens with grandson Heath who is eager and willing and scarily organized, sorting the art supplies in his tackle box. Puts his Mimi to shame with her messy watercolor palettes and sticky-with-paint zipper art bags. This really doesn’t look like a trumpet flower, as the trumpet part was hiding. But it’s there. Making lovely music.

8″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $100




daily painting | san diego hibiscus

Another gorgeous find on our walk the other day. Hibiscus flowers here in San Diego bloom prolifically and look ridiculously healthy and happy here in the southern corner of California. This one was about the size of a dinner plate and infused with oranges and pinks and reds that popped against the dark background. So we snapped its pic and went back to the house to paint; the walkway was too crowded and sunny to set up an outdoor paint fest. Difficult circumstances here but so glad to spend time with my grandsons and play with watercolors together. I treasure these moments in spite of family challenges; our bonds are powerfully strong.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90





daily painting | arty afternoon

Where to begin? I flew to San Diego last weekend in a rush to help my daughter and her two boys with a family emergency. Won’t share details but we are all fine and working through upside-down life situations. I am spending precious gramma time with the boys, and Heath (9 years old) and I had a fabulous arty afternoon yesterday, starting with a walk and taking pics of local flora so we could come back to our temporary safe spot and paint from photos. Thanks to Dick Blick curbside pickup, Heath has some new art supplies and he quickly took to watercolors, which makes Mimi (that’s me) so excited! This is a fabulous painting by Heath, don’t you think?

Tough times here, bumpy roads ahead but we’ll get there. I adore these two boys (Mason is 12, and already taller than me and with a now-deep man’s voice!) so while the circumstances suck, we are together and safe and the boys are so sweet and helpful and darling (no prejudice here though). One day at a time, and the boys are loved and surrounded by caring family.

watercolor, pen on paper




daily painting | anto

This is a tough one to write today. About a year ago, Anto and his darling wife Lynda bought this floating home across from me in my marina. They were happy as clams in the house they bought from Ruth (who moved to Oakland; I miss her). Anto’s 80th birthday is this month and as a surprise, Lynda commissioned me to paint their house as a surprise for him, for he so loved living here on the water.

Last Saturday Anto suddenly died of a massive brain bleed. One minute he’s making a pot of chili while Lynda selected new flowers for their deck; the next he was unconscious and rushed to the hospital where he mercifully died hours later. The painting was almost finished and I worried that completing it, or even discussing it with Lynda, would be painful for her, so while many of us neighbors looked in on her and brought her soup, I carefully didn’t bring it up. But then she inquired, and was looking forward to seeing it. Which motivated me to finish it up. She wanted it, as she knew Anto would have loved it and it would be a comfort to her.

Anto grew up in the large Armenian community in Beirut, where many people fled to after the horrid genocide of Armenians about 100 years ago in Turkey. He and Lynda met as their businesses were in neighboring offices (Orinda) and they were married 28 years. He was a delightful, curious, artistic man (he was an architect and artist) whose happy smile and warm nature charmed everyone he met; our last conversation was about the little insect-eating birds he sees around the marina (phoebes), and how he loved watching them. He adored his wife; that was obvious, and I was thrilled they had joined our community. Anto and I would talk about how much we both enjoy being a grandparent and he glowed when he spoke of his grandkids.

Anto, you were a bright light and we miss you terribly. Thank you for all you contributed to make this world a better place. I am grateful you enjoyed this past happy year of life on your charming houseboat.

PS Can you do something about Trump?

30″ x 22″ pen, watercolor, pencil, acrylic on paper




daily painting | peerless hangout

Eagle-eye Liz spotted a great place to have a session of Quarantine Art Club — the neighborhood outside the doors of Peerless Coffee near Jack London Square. There were tables (we brought our own chairs) and a take-out window for a nice latte. So we set up at a social distance, dutifully wearing our masks (except when we sipped our drinks) and looked out at the surroundings — a fabulous old shed across the street painted with about 5 shades of orange and red, fronted with a pink graffiti-covered fence and backed by high-rise condos (see Liz’s interpretation on Instagram: Zizzlah and I wish she’d stop copying me). I wanted to travel light so instead of paints I brought out my Posca and Montana brands of acrylic pens to see what kinds of messes I could make. What a hoot! Never done an entire drawing with the pens; at one point Liz commented, “You must be having fun for you are awfully quiet.” Yassss!

I so love Oakland. This corner is popular with Oakland cops and Liz noticed that the bike rack on the back of their patrol car had handcuffs attached. Intrigued, I asked one of the policemen what was up with that? “Best way to lock up a bike,” he said.

6″ x 8″ acrylic pen on paper = $60




daily painting | bay trail blooms

Out by Wind River along the Bay Trail in Alameda are hedges that bloom profusely with white and pink flowers; these look kind of like roses but maybe are poppies. Dunno. So prolific, these flowers are! So I snapped a few pics to paint at home. Did this quick one yesterday, which was a balm and soothed as I grieve the passing of a beloved neighbor who died unexpectedly and suddenly last weekend; I will write more about that in another post. So much sadness and loss to wade through in these terrible times — yet I am hopeful still, for flowers still bloom, the birds chow down at my bird feeder (along with the fat marina squirrel and an occasional wharf rat), Venus charms me in the evening Western sky from my deck, bald eagle nestlings fledge from Washington nests, the cottonwood trees send their seeded messengers out into the wind (like fluffy snowflakes!), art calls to me to paint, and I’m still here. And so are you.

7″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper = $60