Wednesday, May 31, 2006

May 31

I walked to the bakery to order the cake for Opening Night of the play, then had a little sit-down to draw before walking home (total 7500 steps). It's a gorgeous day here today! I am at last getting some colour on my legs.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

May 30

I had a pang of depression after my final exam at school today. I am always sad when the semester ends, but this time it's even worse because my close friends are graduating, and I am not. School isn't going to be the same without them.

Lola's been spending a lot of time in my art studio, working on a special gift for a special someone who is moving far away immediately after graduation. She's going to miss him even more than I will.

Monday, May 29, 2006

May 29

Following Julie's lead, I walked to the garden centre to buy some more veggie plants and seeds for my garden. On the way, I stopped to sketch a sampling of the adjacent shopfronts in my eclectic neighbourhood.

Despite it being a public holiday, my garden centre was not too crowded, as it sits within the Memorial Day Parade route, so was not easily accessible by car this morning. I got to watch the marching bands and cheer squads warming up for their big performances. Lauren should have taken me up on the offer to accompany me on this pleasant outing. She would have loved it.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

May 28

My tomatoes are fruiting.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Friday, May 26, 2006

May 26

Lauren found a gift in her drawer that she'd forgotten to give me for Mother's Day.

May 25

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

May 24

I have been completely off my game since the press check. Getting tangled in the stress of work, eating poorly, and walking less than 5000 steps a day. As I've been offered another eight or ten car book press checks, most of them interstate, before the end of the year, I need to figure out how to do the work and retain my equilibrium.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

May 23

Josh's new play opens next weekend. I hope those of you in Los Angeles will come and see it. It's a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family.

So far I've produced posters, postcards, the program, and ads. Still to go: Display board of head shots and promo photos, and taking up Louie's pants.

Monday, May 22, 2006

May 22

I am still somewhat fried.

May 21

I'm starting to feel human again.
Check this out.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

May 20

My colleague on this press check was nearly carjacked at 2 a.m. this morning on his return to the factory. It was right down the road; four guys in a red car pulled up very close beside him at the light, then pulled in front of him, stopped, and piled out of their car. Bob had the presence of mind to put his foot to the floor, swerve around them, and leave the scene at high speed. He was, of course, EXTREMELY rattled when he got here. When the police arrived they said that the perpetrators had just committed an armed robbery at a gas station down the road, and were probably looking to switch vehicles.

It's all very disturbing. So I've decided to stay put here at the printer's until the job's over. No visit home for me this evening. Uploading my latest sketch will have to wait till tomorrow, when I'm home with my scanner.

Addendum next day: Home and safe. 65 hours work in four days ... whew!

Friday, May 19, 2006

May 19

Tui wondered what a press check is. This is the explanation I gave her:

There is a big job being printed, a car brochure. It has 36 pages, which are printed four at a time (each sheet is called a "form", there are nine in total in this case). My job is to be there and check the quality of the printing of each form. I don't have to supervise the entire print run, I just have to be here at the start of each run and get them to do micro-adjustments till I'm perfectly happy with the colour.

All going well, it should take about eight hours between checks. However, this job has been problematic. The work is being produced by an advertising agency in New York. Their client is a major car manufacturer, and so far on every form, they have called through changes AFTER we have received the files, made the plates, and put it on the press. So we have had a big delay while we stop the job, make the changes, get them approved, make new plates, and start again.

We've been at it for three full (24 hour) days, and have so far printed only four forms. I haven't had more than three hours sleep at a time, much of it on the couch at the printer's. I came home tonight to spend a few hours with my husband; it's now 11pm and I expect a call any time now to drive back down there (it's a 1 - 2 hour drive, depending on the traffic).

So that's why I'm so tired. And no, Julie, I haven't been walking a mile to draw. But tonight I noticed on a map that there's a graveyard not far from the factory, so tomorrow between checks I am going to find it. It is possibly a visually interesting island in the middle of a very ugly industrial wasteland.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

May 18

Another long day on press check. This arrangement is in the printer's visitors' lounge.

May 17

I started on a big press check today, which involves many hours at a printing factory in beautiful (not!) downtown Commerce. This quick sketch was done when I nipped into the outlet plaza on the way there this morning, to buy a cold drink.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

May 16

Another in my "five things" series.

Monday, May 15, 2006

May 15

Played with paper and glue tonight, and came up with a new series of cards. In case any of my loved ones out there are wondering why the cards they receive are always based on this rusty brown cardstock, it's because, oh, four years ago I think, I had to buy a whole ream of the stuff to get the hundred sheets I needed for Christmas cards. One of these days it'll be used up and you'll get different coloured cards. Until then, enjoy!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14

Inspired by Julie's landscapes, I'm trying to look up and out at the bigger image, instead of just focusing on small things. So on today's walk I drew the "wash" behind our house -- our back fence is just beyond the little bridge in the background.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

May 13

Just back from a sketchcrawl at the L.A. Zoo with my drawing pals from Southern California Drawing Room. Drawing animals is HARD! I could use the fact that they move around a lot as an excuse, but really it's just my lack of experience with animal models. Anyway, this baby giraffe obliged by standing at attention for quite a long time, so I am somewhat pleased with this sketch. I took lots of photos throughout the day so will be practicing more over the next days and weeks.

If you're in Southern California and you like to draw, please consider joining our yahoo group and coming along to future sketchcrawls. We have one planned in three weeks to San Juan Capistrano.

Friday, May 12, 2006

May 12

A lot of my neighbourhood is flat, but there are some hills nearby, and today I climbed a steep one. At the top was a shady tree with lilies growing at its base. A perfect spot to rest and draw.

I am celebrating my new weight loss milestone: 40.2 pounds/18.3 kg. It sure feels good.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May 10

I had an hour to while away at school today, so I decided to find the Braille Garden at the far corner of the campus, where I sat in the shade and peace of a big old (oak?) tree and wrote a letter. This is a little section of the leaf litter under my feet, complete with woodlouse.

I'm loving all the extra walking I've been doing since taking Julie's challenge. Today I parked about 1.5 miles/2.5 km from school. I don't think I'll even bother buying a parking pass next semester.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

May 9

I was tagged, for the first time ever as far as I know, by Kelly. Rather than just writing my various lists of five things, I decided to draw them. It'll take me a few days to get to them all!

Monday, May 08, 2006

May 8

I did a lot of walking today (13,000 steps so far, and it's only 7:15pm), including to the post office, where I found a shady tree to sit beneath while I answered EDM Challenge #66.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

May 7

Lauren and I caught the train downtown to join in the Cinco de Mayo festivities at Olvera Street.

I didn't get much sketching done, but I did capture this guy on the train, along with some fairly cool photos.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

May 6

Today Lauren and I took part in the 17th Annual Great Los Angeles River Cleanup. Who knew that the LA River was more than just a concrete channel? That it actually looks like a real river in places? Not I. But it is, and does, and I was very happy to play a miniscule part in making it a bit prettier today.

Did you know that Americans will use 100 billion plastic shopping bags this year? From what I saw today, about half of them will end up on the banks of the LA River. Do your bit, folks. All that plastic is harmful to birds and fish and other living things.

Friday, May 05, 2006

May 5

Blind Contour Breakfast: a nice hot cup of Madura Tea. With soymilk. You can enjoy more BC breakfasts over at Inkfinger

Thursday, May 04, 2006

May 4

I thought Romy was coming home from hospital today, so I walked to her house (3000 steps) to lend her a book. I learned, when I got there, that her neurosurgeon decreed this morning that she should stay under his supervision for a few days longer. Poor Romy; she's going stir crazy in that place.

On the way home I drew more plants on fences -- do I have a theme going here? This time it's nasturtiums, of which I am very fond. I love their colours, their brash rampant growth, and the pungent, peppery leaves, shaped like Lisa Simpson's hair when new, but rounding out as they grow.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May 3

I walked Lauren to school this morning, and on the way back drew this flowering vine (anyone know what it's called? It looks like wisteria, but with white flowers.)

I haven't been doing much sketching lately. It shows.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May 2

I finished my new top this morning. The old hippie in me is alive and kicking :-)

I visited my friend Romy in hospital* this afternoon, then left my car there and walked up to Target to buy some socks. This amble, along a busy road and under the freeway, did not inspire me artistically, so after dinner I retuned to the Hidden Chateau and took some photos in the gloaming.

*Australians say "in hospital", not "in the hospital". It never sounded weird till I'd lived in the U.S. for a few years. Now I admit it sounds like there's a word missing. But, never a subscriber to the "When in Rome ..." philosophy, I persist in my Aussie-isms. It's part of who I am.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 1

Instead of driving all the way to college today, I parked a mile away and walked the balance of the distance along the new Orange Line bike path. There are some pretty (and aromatic) plantings along that track.

Almost back at the car after class, I was (emotionally) struck by this eucalypt, bursting from its bark as it stretched towards the sun. Gum trees speak to my soul.

I'm on a roll with sewing now. Current project: a new top.