Life, Photography, Travel

Every summer, we try to do a nice vacation. And since COVID had begun we hadn’t gone anywhere out-of-state for a couple years. So this year, once things were safer and we were all vaccined-up, we chose to spend 10 days in California! I was able to find us a nice cute condo to rent in Beverly Hills complete with an adorable balcony and a small private pool for swimming.

Traveling for me has gotten progressively more difficult. Even with all my joint replacements, I still have a lot of pain. I think people forget that. I have limited stamina and can only walk for short distances before I’m done for the day. My idea of a perfect vacation would be lounging by the pool/ocean by day with cocktails in hand. A short nap, luxurious bath, followed by a delicious dinner and dancing under the stars into the wee hours with a bit of sight-seeing/engaging in the local culture thrown in. (Universe, if you’re reading this…hint…hint…)

We had worked out prior that sometimes I would just hang back at the hotel or spend my time locally while my boys did their “boy” things. At other times, we would explore Cali all together. While the guys were out at exploring Rodeo Drive or the high-end car market, I lay by the pool or explored what was right around us. I discovered the famous Kitson was only a couple blocks away. I fell in love!! From their website, “Proclaimed as a celebrity hot spot, Kitson LA is the go-to fashion and lifestyle boutique dedicated to pop-culture and created for fashion enthusiasts around the world.” Some of my favorite things were the F@CK merchandise. Sorry Mom, but you know it is my favorite word. ;0

Together we drove up to Mulholland Drive and went to the lookout. For Bharat’s birthday we ate at the world-famous Spago. I’ll be honest, the food wasn’t that great and was waaaay overpriced. One day we drove up the coast to Malibu and spent some time there. And of course we visited the Hollywood tourist spots. All-in-all it was a nice vacation; but I’m still dreaming of that luxurious Ocean get-away~~~


JenArt, Landscape, Life, Oil, Travel

I just completed another class at PCCA entitled, “Landscape Painting.” Our teacher, Anatoliy Shapiro, is a Russian-born professional artist. He is well known for his large mural works. During this class I only completed two pieces: the Dominican Republic pastel piece and this oil painting. I worked from a personal  photograph that I had taken in the Animal Kingdom, Disney, Orlando.

Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida.
Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida.

When I began painting, I felt that I had bitten off much more than I could chew. With Anatoliy’s guidance I was able to break it down step-by-step and pretty soon it wasn’t as intimidating.

I began by drawing the image on canvas with charcoal, then blocking in all the shadows. Once the darkest darks were in, I put in the rocks, then the background and the nearest foliage last. As a newbie, I had to rework some of the areas more than once or twice…

In the end, I was extremely pleased with the painting.  I hope others enjoy it as well!


JenArt, Landscape, Pastel

My friend Sheila and her husband recently took a trip to Ireland. Upon seeing some of her photos, I was blown away by the utter and sheer beauty of the images. I commented that they would make an incredible painting and offered to do a landscape for my friends.

The photograph was taken near Gormans Clifftop House, a local top-rated B&B on the Dingle peninsula in Kerry, Ireland.  I learned from the owner that the pool in the rocks is known as Loch na gCaorach (pond of the sheep). It is believed that sheep were dipped in the lake long ago. It was also a gathering place for the woman where they would gather and wash the coarse flour bags, which would then be adapted for many uses, such as sheets or babies diapers.

The Beach

Figure & Portrait, JenArt, Pastel, People

In May of 2006 I found out that we were expecting baby boy number two. Dylan would be three in December and it was a good time to add to our family. Before baby’s arrival, I wanted to do a large pastel painting of Dylan. We took this photo of him playing by the ocean in Florida. He loved the sand – mesmerized by the feel and texture, he played for hours! What better way to capture our first-born son at such a special moment in time.

I was determined to finish the painting before baby boy two arrived. I had to rework the sand and ocean many times before they looked right. Surprisingly, painting Dylan was the easy part! I was so pleased with the end result and completed it just in time – about 1 week before Ethan was born!

Playing in the Sand
24″x36″ Pastel on Canson Pastel Paper adapted from Personal Photograph