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Sketching at the Louise Stanley Journals Exhibit

Sketching Lulu's Display, ink & gouache
Sketching Lulu's Display, ink & gouache

We began last Tuesday night’s sketchcrawl at Louise Stanley‘s journal exhibit at the California College of Art in Oakland. Lulu’s paintings and sketches are amazing. She combines classical subjects and a great sense of humor with images of modern women on a grand scale in her paintings and in brilliant ink and goauche in her handbound journals. If nothing else, visit her website to read her bio for a peek into her studio and funny writing, and be sure to check out “Lulu’s Rules for Sketchbooks.”

Her journals are full of travel sketches, copies of  museum paintings, and lists of things like pen preference rankings, and titles for paintings. I loved the list “Paintings that Matter” that included titles like ‘When Hell Freezes Over,’ ‘Routine Inspection,’ ‘Unintended Consequences,’ ‘Road to Ruin’ and ‘Dressing the Turkey.” The show at CCA will be up through March 5 and on February. She will also give a talk at the Berkeley Art Center on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.

Next we headed down College Avenue for more sketching.

Dinner at Cactus Taqueria, ink & watercolor
Dinner at Cactus Taqueria, ink & watercolor

It was nearly 8:00 p.m. and I was hungry,  having skipped dinner, so I voted to sketch indoors at Cactus Taqueria. After eating (and sketching) some black beans, grilled veges and a tiny salad I made at the salsa bar from their coleslaw salsa (?!), I was ready to tackle the cactus (well, on paper anyway) that sat on a shelf above my table.

Cactus Basket, ink & watercolor
Cactus Basket, ink & watercolor

Then it was back out to College Avenue where we were both inspired by the display at Annie’s Vintage Rack.

Annie's Vintage, ink & watercolor
Annie's Vintage, ink & watercolor

Cathy liked the old suitcases and I liked the old clothes. I probably should have skipped that unfortunately placed sign that seems to be projecting from the skirt. I think it was supposed to look like a megaphone and said “Back to School Sale” on it (though it was just as nearly unreadable as in the sketch).

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Don’t Get Old and Confused — Get a Clue

Get a Clue Necklace (detail); click images to enlarge
Get a Clue Necklace (detail); click to enlarge

Memories! Everyone I know is losing theirs including me. Ater repeatedly walking into a room and then forgetting why I’d gone in there, it occurred to me that if I carried clues with me, I’d save lots of time and extra steps.

So I invented the “Get a Clue Necklace” complete with a key ring, a tiny flashlight, sticky notes to jot down reminders, an attractive small pen to write them with, a magnifying glass for small print, an optional “My name is…” tag with a reverse side note “If found return to…” should I ever get REALLY forgetful, and a little pill box for those vitamins I always forget to take.

Below is the full page which you can click to see bigger to read some of the funny quotes about aging, as well as my list of the pros and cons of aging back when I made this.

Get a Clue Necklace; 12x9", mixed media
Get a Clue Necklace; Mixed Media, 12x9" (click to enlarge)

Here are a few of the choice quotes from the piece:

Gloria Steinem:

I’m at the age when remembering something right away is as good as an orgasm.

Whenever I meet a woman over 55 who’s just fallen in love, I always ask, “Are you taking hormones?” I tell her, “If it turns out you’re in love in a way that’s not good for you, stop taking them.”
[Addendum: Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon who once dismissed marriage as an institution that destroys relationships, became a first-time bride at the age of 66, a few years after that quote was printed.]

Peg Bracken, 81 at the time this quote was printed, said:

“These are your declining years and you can jolly well decline to do what you don’t feel like doing!”

Right on Peg, wherever you are now!

P.S. When I saw Illustration Friday’s prompt this week was “Memories” I had to share this, even though it’s from my journal several years ago.

And one more Pro to add to the Pros and Cons of aging is that when your memory goes, everything old becomes new again. Stories and jokes you’ve heard (or told) before sound vaguely familiar but since you can’t remember the punchlines, they’re good for a whole new round of laughter.