Sunday, August 28, 2011

A week in Mendocino

We arrived Friday afternoon in Mendocino where Daniella is teaching a 5 day encaustic painting class at the Mendocino Art Center. Drive up was gorgeous, through the rolling wine country of the Anderson Valley, then through the stately redwood alley, the Navarro River State Park, like being in a great, miles-long cathedral all made of tall trees. Finally the last few miles up the foggy and rugged coast, to this quiet little village. Here there is so little traffic that people stroll around in the streets. The pace of life is slow and quiet. Little shops and cafes dot the byways. The Pacific coastline wraps around three sides of this muffin of land, with high bluffs and golden meadows running down to the sea.

The class is small and intimate. There is enough space that even I am getting to paint. We are staying in a tiny apartment on the grounds of the art center, in a blue building nestled in the garden courtyard. This is pretty sweet, I gotta tell ya!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


After a pretty comfortable and easy flight on Quantas, we got back to California Tuesday morning. It was joyful to have our little Desmond race across the airport and throw himself into our arms. I think he missed us!

Everything fine here. Tomatoes ripening in the garden, little dogs happy, good Mexican food just down the street. Lots of new art exhibits to visit nearby. Weather, as usual, perfect. We are so blessed! Home feels really good.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Santa Cruz, CA

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Very Grand Finale

Sadly, our travels in Australia are finished. We flew into Sydney on our last morning, dumped our luggage at an airport hotel, and raced into the city. We had places to go and people to see, and didn't want to lose a minute of our precious OZ time.

First we went to the Powerhouse Museum, where we met up with the lovely Anthea for a visit to a new exhibit there called "Love Lace" or "Make Lace, Not War". It was an amazingly varied show with just about everything that could be called "lacy" without being traditional lace. For example, the very first display was an old, vintage pickup truck that someone had cut through so that the doors, hood and roof were all pierced into a lace pattern. Other artists used echidna spikes (similar to porcupine quills), metal, ceramic, paper, cloth, plastic, and so much more. We got a little hungry, so Anthea drove us up to her neighborhood, called Crow's Nest, across the Harbour Bridge, where we had a little nosh and then visited her art studio for awhile.

At about 7 pm she dropped us off back in the city at a pub called the Clock on Crown Street. Here we met up with our little Sydney posse, Derek and Celia, and Sophie with her charming husband, Greg. Those of you who have read this blog before know that these people have become our dear and beloved friends and playmates here. Derek was our host and sponsor in SYD, and Celia and Sophie have attended two of our workshops. They are pure gold as human beings, and pure joy as companions. We had a long and splendid evening together, first at the pub, and the later at a deliriously delicious Japanese place down the block. We laughed until we ached, and then sadly took our leave. It was after midnight when we got back to our room, exhausted but so full of priceless memories of these weeks in Australia. And for certain, we will be back.

We leave with a deep attachment to this amazing continent. To be sure we have seen very little of it, but as much as possible we have been soaking in the stories, the colorful language, the ancient aboriginal history, the deep British roots, the voices, the constant joking and laughter, the sounds of the birds, the different neighborhoods we have visited. Most of all, our journey has been about new friends, new connections, and the pleasure of watching our students get fired up and excited about this new methodology which Daniella has brought them. We feel so bonded with Mark and Daina from Chapman and Bailey who launched us so elegantly, with Bernadette and Sue in Melbourne, with our Waxing Down Undah crew of 10 from Ballarat, with Anthea and Susan and others from Warringah, with the fabulous painters in our Sydney class at Parkers, and those in Brisbane. From the stables to the city centers, what a ride this has been!

We are so grateful for the way that our Australian friends have wrapped their arms around us, both literally and figuratively. We have been invited into many homes, treated to magnificent meals, driven around at all hours of the day and night. We have been given lovely and generous gifts. We have been treated to the most entertaining, informative, and sparkling conversations. We have been loved here in a big way, and in return we love Australia in a big way! Thank you dear, precious Aussies. You know who you are! You are Gorgeous and Brilliant!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Sydney, AU