Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Highs and Lows

My teaching trip to San Clemente was made up of a series of highs and lows. The highs were:

the flowers...



 

the beaches...



and my wonderful students at San Clemente Art Supply...


The low point was this...


Yep, I got the flu while I was in California. I had to cancel my one-day "Sketching on Location" class to lie in bed all day. What a disappointment! At least I was able to finish my three-day step-by-step watercolor class before I got sick.

The students were such an enthusiastic bunch, and they worked so hard on their exercises.


They painted skies...



reflections...


choppy water, sparkling water...


rocks, bushes, deciduous trees, evergreen trees...


and crashing waves...


It was a jam-packed three days, and everyone learned alot. I kept them hopping, but we had a great time.

After a few days on the Tamiflu I was well enough to go on a planned visit to my friend Linda's place, just down the coast in Del Mar. Linda and her husband were on my Italy trip last fall and I was looking forward to seeing them again, but nothing could have prepared me for the view from their home - it was spectacular!


Linda had something new for me to try - linoleum block printing. I had done some printmaking way back in my college days, but hadn't touched a carving tool in decades. We sat in the warm sunshine on the deck, looking out at that gorgeous view, and I contentedly carved away on my block for hours. Now, that's the best way I can think of to recover from the flu!

I started out with a simple drawing of some nearby flowers...


then I began carving out the lines that would be white in my final print using a lino cutting tool.



Here's how it turned out...


We used a stamp pad with permanent ink for the printing, making it possible to add watercolor to the print after it had dried. I turned it into a cute sketchbook page to remind me of a happy afternoon with my friend.


On my next linocut, I think I'll leave more of the background uncut. I like the way it adds some texture to the negative space around the flowers.

The next day we did some sketching in the morning...


then headed into La Jolla for lunch. The waves were huge that day...


I could have stood and watched them for hours. I just never get tired of it.



Can you see the sunbathing seals in this picture?


What a beautiful place!


Every time I visit southern California I think to myself, "Oh, now I get why people live here despite the traffic, wind storms, mud slides and earthquakes. It's AMAZING!"


Flowers, palm trees, endless sunshine, and the ocean just down the road. Pretty perfect!


I'll be back next year!

4 comments:

  1. Nice trip...thank you.

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  2. Leslie, your work and step by step info regarding your trips are so wonderful. Can't wait til May at Cheap Joe's class. Thank you

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  3. This is absolutely beautiful...one of my favorite blog posts ever! I used to live in southern CA - and I do miss it - one of the most beautiful places on the planet! So sorry to hear about your bout with the flu!!! ugh!!! But thanks for all the inspiration!!

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  4. I'm glad you're feeling better, Leslie. As always, I love seeing your students' work (and yours!). How lucky your friends are to have that view!

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