Monday, June 22, 2009

The journey begins...

It's funny how you arrive at art. It's a journey and not an easy one. Everyone thinks, oh, you just slap some paint down and you're done. No. It's work from beginning to end. And it starts with a blank, gessoed canvas. You sit, you look. And then you sit some more.
I went into the closet today to search for a gessoed canvas. Wow. Haven't seen this in over five years. I painted it at UCLA for an Honors Study class with Henry Hopkins back in the early 90's. Henry was a dear friend. He was the chairman of the art school at UCLA and the director of the Arm and Hammer Museum in LA as well as the former director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I loved that man. And I know he loved me. Why? Because I was so pissed off when I met him. I was dealing with smoking in my sculpture studio and I was livid. Absolutely f****** livid. He didn't help me. I went to the LA Times and they wrote a kick ass piece and the Regents of California got involved and banned smoking from all classrooms on UC campuses. No. I don't screw around. Ever. Henry and I became dear friends and I took numerous honors classes with him. This was one. I was concurrently taking "Great American Authors" and read about Ben Franklin. There was a woman in the book. I painted her for my honors class. The pearls are real. They're glued on. She's holding real gems in her hand. Henry said "Sue, I didn't see her like that." I didn't either initally. I got an A+. Not because Henry was my friend, because it was good. Henry knew art. He never screwed around about art. Never. He would never yank my chain. If it sucked, I'd know. He actually wanted me to become a photographer. I told him I didn't want to. He informed me I was missing my calling. Hummmmmmmmmm.

Pretty. Yes, I'm looking down into canvases I know so well.


It really is a journey.
Three gessoed canvasas waiting for me. Why didn't I gesso the sides?
Wow. I didn't finish that?
I thought I painted over that. Hummmmmmmmm. I grabbed it and hung it in Rob's old office. It looks lovely.
Yes, it's all begins with a white canvas. Trust me. I'd know.

I think this is my problem...

The good:
Generous and warmhearted
Creative and enthusiastic
Broad-minded and expansive
Faithful and loving
The bad:
Pompous and patronizing
Bossy and interfering
Dogmatic and intolerant
XO The Bandit.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm taking a few months off. With so few comments I realize this isn't what I'm supposed to do or where I'm supposed to be. I'll come back and figure it out, but for now, no. This is simply not where I'm supposed to be. You know how full my plate. Take care. I love you all.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Challenging Fields, Barns and Al Held...

It's true. As an almost architect I'm a huge barn fan. Huge I tell you. My dad's and even bigger barn fan. A few years ago I was looking for a gift to send him and found an artist in, I think, North Carolina with gorgeous note cards of barns...and this one!!! Of course I bought the package and kept this one. I found it yesterday while cleaning a pile know...stuff. It still cracks me up! If you grew up in the country and have ever taken a shortcut through a field you aren't supposed to trespass, you're familiar with honest to God fear! Oh, and then you have to out run the animals!
I'm giving credit to the artist. That's her. Hope she's still around. She's a photographer with lots of gorgeous photos.
Yes it's true, the Hellman's estate looked down on us and famous artist, Al Held was just below us. We were surrounded by wealth, but we lived in a humble abode. But as a kid I love looking at the barn Al lived in. He'd converted a big old thing into a home and it was so beautiful. My sisters and I would walk by and I'd ask them to stop so I could think. We'd talk about life and what we wanted to do with it. I'd always reply "I want to live in a barn." You know me and my sisters by now...yes, the laughter was deafening. How rude. And yes, hilarious!!! But I loved that barn and still do to this day. If I could move home this minute and into a house, I'd buy that barn. But I don't have a couple million to spend!
Al was very famous. Painted HUGE canvases. You know like 20'x 50'. Just enormous. He lived half the year in our town and half the year in Italy. I was at UCLA when I saw both homes featured in Architectual Digest. I smiled. Al died in 2005 or 06 and wasn't the nicest guy in the whole world, but he was my guy because he lived in a converted barn, just down the hill and employed lots of my family members. He always seemed to require lots of heavy equipment! Google him. I'm sure you'll come up with something! In fact, I'm going to Google him!
Megan, RC's bouquet was still beautiful last night. She's moved on, but I'll keep you posted. I think we should have some ice cream to celebrate. In fact I think we should celebrate every day as you suggested until the last pedal drops. Ice cream is on sale at SaveMart. I'll get some.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father's Day...

I have always sent my dad serious card. Always. But today I saw her and knew in an instant. It's the only card I saw and the only one I opened. Please God, say it isn't so!!! Those of you who follow this blog and know me well, know. Is that funny, or what?!!!
Oh God please! *Turns backhoe around and starts diggin'!* No, you don't get better than this.
I love you Daddy. And thanks.


As you all know I cleared out Rob's office. I stuffed all his books in about 10 billion white plastic garbage bags and booted them into the garage. Why? Because it was too painful to have them in clear view. I was doing laundry the other day and one fell out with a wee thud. I turned to look and said outloud, "Jimmy, what the hell are you doing here?" Then laughed my ass off. Now I know Jim Thompson's dead, but apparently the publishing company used Jimmy Bastard as a model.

Rob took all his books last week, but I hid this one for Leah!!! Yes, it really is amazing how those bastards look alike! And it's also amazing how criminal appellate lawyers and almost everyone involved in law enforcement read crime fiction. Don't even get me started!!!

Oh, I should add, it's an amazing book. I'll let Leah critique it for you.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


My beautiful sister Laura presented a box of bottles she'd collected for me during my visit to NY to take care of my other sister's family while she was in Cape Cod. God, that was a mouth full! Yes, a whole big box of bottles! Above are two of my favorites. I didn't fly the box home when I returned to CA because I didn't trust the airline to gently embrace them. Instead, I sent them via USPS. Cost about 30 bucks!!! Yes, it was a BIG box. They arrived safely and I've cherished each and every one over the past five years.
A few weeks ago a kitty knocked the blue bottle off the shelf in the kitchen. It broke when it hit the porcelain sink. It didn't stand a chance against the sink. I couldn't throw it away. I kept it on the counter. All broken. I threw it away today. Reluctantly. It's funny what you hold on to for dear life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Random Chick ~ with love from "The Crew!!!"


Yes, it's true. I said I would not, but I went out in the spinkler system to retrieve this. Why? Because I love you so and I saw the bouquet. I actually saw it when the Perfect Moment roses came into view (looks like roses in a blue bird's nest!). So I gathered without turning off the sprinkler system. Yup. It's unkind. Gets you on the way in and on the way out.

Then think about staying in it trying to gather a bouquet. Yup. Unkind. Probably 20 hits! But look honey, I'm sopping wet, but look!!! Look what I found for you! And I put it in a lead crystal vase.
Yes, I've taken photos from all sides...
Against my rug. Who knew the hydrangea would match so perfectly. Speaking of hydrangea, I turned with a huge bouquet of roses and saw the hydrangea and just knew. Perfect match!
I hope you enjoy darling. I'm so sorry I'm late. I hope this makes for up for it. You know how much I love you.
With all my "wet" heart, Happy Birthday darling...

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I'm sitting here thinking. Do you realize artists spend more than half their time sitting, thinking? Yup, we do. So trust me, this isn't out of the ordinary. I've realized something about all of you. What do you think it is?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You Nuts?

Mommy, I want more...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My sisters and I often call it "Stupid funny..."

Well, as you all know I couldn't give T-Bone "Butterbeary." So today I went shopping for new teddies. I found another Ty with tag still in ear (Molassas) and a side kick. Adorable.
So while Butterbeary's relaxing in the studio let's enjoy the fun.

Whoops! What the hell are they doing here? They're supposed to be at the end. Oh well.

Here we go round the mulberry bush.
The mulberry bush,
the mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
So early in the morning.
This is the way we wash our clothes,
Wash our clothes,
wash our clothes,
This is the way we wash our clothes,
So early Monday morning
(If I'm correct, it's Wednesday!)
This is the way we dry our clothes,
dry our clothes,
dry our clothes,
this is the way we dry our clothes,
so early Tuesday morning.
(If I'm correct, it's Wednesday.)
The "clean" crew.
Some completely wacky dog I met on an outing. No not really. It's T-Bone.
P.S . Trust me, I couldn't have scripted this better.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My life. What? You think it changed from yesterday?

Ahhhhhhhh, the wee one. Bought him for T-Bone today. I always arrive home with kitty toys, but nothing for T-Bone in the past few years (because he thinks all the kittie toys are his too), so went shopping. Yes, a good eye, is always a good eye. T-Bone has a long history with stuffed animals. Mommy is good! Most stuffed animals make it a few hour before becoming a pinata, but some survive. Take for instance the stuffed teddy bear from FAO Schwartz. Found it in a second hand shop for peanuts! Knew it was good. It's survived 9 years of abuse and probably 30 launderings. Only missing it's nose and a few shoulder hairs! This one too. Knew it instantly. Probably because of the tag still in it's ear. Paid $1.99. Hummmmmm. Tag, still in it's ear. Showed T-Bone, cut off the tag then to his utter dismay, threw it in the wash. Googled. Hummmmmm. Worth over $30 with tag!!! Oh well.
Oh, he's gonna be so loved!
Bijou, for Christ's sakes, it's just a teddy!

I love him too!!! For Christ's sakes, he's just a teddy. Right?
PS Yes...they dragged him about a foot away from where he started!!! I had to rescue him.
PPS He's from TY and his name is Butterbeary! He's cute!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This is for so many, but mostly for Leah and Heggie. It's precious Leah. Please share it with Heggie.

I love you so. You know that.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A day in the life...

MIL's in Massachusetts, so Fenway's with Rob every day. Oh the photos are horrible, but you try to do better!!! They never slow down. Look at him though. Isn't he just beautiful? Can you believe the difference from homeless and sick and now healthy and beautiful. Life is simply amazing. And yes, T-Bone and Fenway love one another and they also look like one another!!! Just different sizes!!!!
They're exhausted. They've been running around like insaniacks. Yes, Fenways looks beautiful. T-Bone's put on about 20 lbs since Daddy went away. Just stress and depression. He loves his dad very much and misses him. We'll get it off. We've started walking to train for the marathon!

No, I couldn't get a good photo for the life of me. Trust me. I tried. Aren't they adorable together?

I ended the life of the overgrown topiary rose. Cut hundreds and hundreds of blooms off and saved this many. Ohno was depressed I didn't save more.

Look at that boy!

And that blob of pink. I just stuck them in the bowl until I could put them in vases. But frankly, I should have just left the beauties in the bowl.

You know how my roses are out of control this year. This one fell on the ground and came up through the hydrangea. Nature. Ya gotta love it!

Phatty Foo-Foo. Has too much hair. Gets too hot. I'm clipping her hair as often as possible, but until I get it right, she does her best to naturally air condition.
Yes, this is actually my life.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


My darling niece Cailee and her purple violin. 16th Birthday.
It passes. You know? For the first time tonight I felt the weight of my life and the loss of a dream. I'm a single woman at almost 50. And I don't know where to put that. I have no idea why it happened tonight, but it did. I honestly loved that man.
I know I promised you photos. These are photos of copies of photos!!! That's almost too funny to write. But true. So you'll understand the poor photo quality. Why? Because my sister's an ass. She got all huffy with me a few years ago. Cailee was supposed to spend the summer with us for her 16th birthday. Things went wacky, my sister and her hubby had a huffy fit and the next thing you know I was deleting all her damn emails. I was so pissed. Unfortunately I accidently deleted all the photos of my niece and nephew while I was on my rant. Damn. So what you're about to see is all I have left. Yes, photos of photos of photos. Don't even get me started.
Yes, she's stunning. And smart. She's now in college. And I miss her terribly.

Leah, I told you she had a purple violin!!! It's the only thing she asked for on her 16th, and she got it. I just think that's so funny. You know, when she first started to play around 14, she was horrible. She'd get on the phone and play for me and OH MY GOD my ears hurt. But she got better, and better and better and before we all knew it she was playing in the orchestra and the quartet. She'd call and I'd play Handel or Vivaldi for her and she'd play Handel or Vivaldi for me. I love that girl so much.

Oh Cailee. I miss you so.

Aunt Suzy and Ali (Alison). This is my other darling, darling niece. Probably the smartest kid I've ever met. That photo, pure joy. My sister was taking photos and captured a perfect moment between me and Ali. Just absolute joy. She's Laur's daughter. If I'd been a mom, I'd want Ali for my daughter. I love her with all my heart and I love this photo so. My sister Laura had three of the most amazing kids in the whole world.
I have a beautiful family and I miss them so very much. I realize I just want to sell this house, pack up my family, and go home.
Love to all,