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Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Culver City Art Group 23rd Annual Holiday Art Show

culver city art group

It’s that time of year again! Every year I swear I’m not doing this next year, and then I do. It’s the only time I exhibit my photographs/artwork in person.

So most of my time right now is devoted to getting my photos ready to display. Printing them out on my Canon 100 13″ x 19″ printer to my exacting standards is harder than you can imagine!

If you’re in the area (Westside of Los Angeles), come on over!

Culver City Art Group website

 

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White Sands, New Mexico and an unplanned ode to the Sierra Club

 

white sands

Out of the tour bus at White Sands National Monument

I’ve been a member and supporter of the Sierra Club for almost forty years. Politics aside, the Club has been very good to me. Over the years I’ve participated in hundreds of hikes, events, activities and trips. And most importantly, I’ve made many good friends (including a couple of boyfriends and a husband!).

White Sands

A forensic nightmare: the perpetrator walked across the sand so we can identify the pattern on the soles of his shoes…

The Sierra Club has played an important part in my life. I was a hike leader for many years, editor of various newsletters and a volunteer at many fund raising events.

White Sands

The tenacity of plant life

It has also taken me on numerous wonderful trips around the USA and allowed me to discover the great National Parks of this country that I would never have seen on my own.

White Sands

Waves of sand. You can imagine the ocean in the distance but Santa Monica is more than 800 miles (1287 km) away

I’ve been on cruises, hiking trips, camping and just plain sight-seeing. This is an easy way for me to support the Club while having a good time myself.

White Sands

I’ve lived in Los Angeles continually since 1965. We are surrounded by beautiful mountains, but other than hiking the trails of Griffith Park (which are not to be sneered at) I had never really ventured into the Santa Monicas or the San Gabriels or the Verdugos. Around 1980 I discovered the Sierra Club and that all changed. I became addicted to hiking at least twice a week. One weekend my car wouldn’t start and rather than spend the time to get it fixed I convinced my father to loan me his car so I could go on a hike!

White Sands

The sun was already fading and the contrast between light and dark was making it increasingly difficult to capture the landscape

I can’t trust myself to do any heavy duty hiking anymore. My ankles, knees and hips took a beating with all the running I did for several decades. But that is totally okay. I have fabulous memories of trudging around the mountains in awe of the beauty of Southern California. I look up at the mountains now as old friends and we smile knowingly at each other.

White Sands

The purple flowers in the center stand out in this stark landscape

Sometimes I start writing and I get off on a tangent. So I just let it flow. This post was supposed to be all about my Sierra Club trip to southern New Mexico last year. And White Sands National Monument in particular. All the photos you’ve been looking at are from that area. We had a limited amount of time but as I’ve said before, there is always a trade-off when on a motor coach tour. On the one hand you have no responsibility and all the stress is on the shoulders of the leader. On the other hand, you don’t get to decide where to go or how much time to spend at any given location. But I did manage to take one prize-winning photograph at White Sands and that made the whole trip worthwhile for me!!!

White Sands
From the website: Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here.

White Sands

As the sun went down the shadows were getting longer which made some interesting photographs

White Sands

On the photo above I liked the way the tendrils seemed to wave around as if the plant was under water and the shadows added extra interest.

White Sands

Hey, we saw some native wildlife! This beetle was making his own tracks over the imprints left by human visitors.

The original photo

White Sands

Playing a little in Lightroom and Photoshop

Although I love the act of taking a photo and making it the best composition I can, I have to admit the real fun begins for me in the post processing. When I saw this tree I also immediately imagined the possibilities. By itself it’s a perfectly acceptable photograph. But in my opinion the trip through Lightroom and Photoshop makes it magical!

White Sands

This leaf also had a little help from Photoshop with the posterization filter. This is my go-to filter to really make the image pop.

White Sands

Got to love those shadows. Although the light was getting a little difficult, it also added a little drama!

White Sands

White Sands

I had wandered off quite a ways by myself to take photos. I came back to see the group having fun sliding down the dunes. Good for them. My fun is in making art. To each their own, yeah?

Click on an image below for slide show.

Original photo

White Sands

A little fun with Photoshop

By now the shadows were REALLY long. I couldn’t resist taking this photo of my shadow. I didn’t even notice the person standing at the top until I played with the image in Photoshop. Totally serendipitous. This won first prize in the member’s theme at the Culver City Art Group Holiday Show. And I think it also helped me win for best body of work. You never know when you are out shooting what photos are going to turn out best and which ones are going to miss the objective. It really is a hit and miss shooting match!

White Sands

Like all the trips I take, I always think I’ll have the opportunity to return and take more time. But I never do. So I have learned to soak in as much as possible whenever possible.


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Culver City Art Group… we did it again!

culver city art group

As some of you know, the Culver City Art Group held our 22nd Annual Holiday Art Show on November 11. Every year I convince myself this is my last year and every year I come back.

Once again our show was located at beautiful Playa Vista Centrepointe Club.

I’m going to toot my own horn here. It’s not easy. I’d rather talk about somebody else’s work than my own but I have to get over that!

The ribbon in the photo above was for Body of Work: Photography. I never expected this as I really admire the other photographers in our group. On the other hand, I’m not going to let myself down and say I didn’t deserve it!

These three photos above are, from left to right, 1. White Sands, New Mexico 2. Sleeping Lion, LA Zoo 3. Canoes for rent with the Casino in the background, Catalina Island.

The small photo in the center is of Pharoah, my cat who passed away in July. He was represented as I gave a memorial award in his honor.

Culver City Art Group
The other side of my exhibit with another photo of White Sands and a photo of the William Jefferson Clinton Pedestrian Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas.

I also won first prize in the Members’ Theme, “Let There Be Light.” I was on my way to take a photo and got distracted. But you can see it here at Photos I’m Showing at the Culver City Art Group Show.

And Marion Wong, who helps me (but does most of the work!) with the buffet table, gave me her memorial award for my “Sleeping Lion” photo which was a lovely surprise and much appreciated.

https://onegoodlife.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/photos-im-showing-at-the-culver-city-art-group-show/

I presented my memorial award from Pharoah to Barbara Golbin (the pink ribbon next to her painting). Pharoah always loved flowers. Indoors or out, if there were flowers around, he would curl up next to them or stand and wait to have his portrait taken.  He is certainly missed.

Following are some random photos of the show:

Three of our exhibitors. Claudia Dose, Pamela Waddell, Barbara Golbin (our President).

culver city art group
Complete list of winners:

Main Show

1st     Nick Kolesniko                Voyage

2nd   Eileen Brabender            Glowing Roses

3rd     Maria Kurtz                    Golden Sunset

4th    Jim Drummond                Horses

5th    Judith Shellenberger         Yosemite Falls

HM    Beth Pfaffinger              Hill with home

HM    Marion Wong                  Zion #2

HM    Diane Bulgatz                Fantasia

Members Theme: Let there be Light

1st     Roslyn Wilkins               Shadow, White Sands

2nd    Regine Legler                 Dreams of Yesterday

3rd     Young Prasad                Good Luck

Best Body of Work

Barbara Owens – Water Color – Jack Richeson certificate

Ray Chavez – Oil – Jack Richeson certificate

Pam Waddel – Acrylic – Jack Richeson certificate

Roslyn Wilkins – Photography – Paul’s Photo certificate

Memorial awards

Young Prasad  to Maria Kurtz

Roslyn Wilkins to Barbara Golbin (for Pharoah)

Marion Wong to Roslyn Wilkins

Achievement award

Allison Foster  to Claudia Dose and Beth Pfaffinger

Congratulations to EVERYBODY. Just showing your work is an achievement!


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Feline Friday – #74 – Memorial award for Pharoah at the Culver City Art Group Holiday Show

culver city art group

I’m getting ready for the art show on Saturday. After this I am looking forward to getting back to blogging again.

It’s our custom to give memorial awards to fellow artists in the show for somebody who has passed away during the past year. My memorial award this year is given in honor of sweet Pharoah who passed away July 2nd.

pharoah

I’ll be channeling Pharoah as I view the artwork looking for a piece that he would enjoy.

 


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Feline Friday – #51 – art critics

frankie and freddie deciding on artwork

The boys have been busy lately too so they haven’t been giving me ideas for Feline Friday.

But I do want to thank them for helping me with the Culver City 21st Annual Holiday Art Show back in early November. It’s always a chore figuring out which pieces to include in the exhibit.

Frankie and Freddie selected the final eight photographs to hang in the show. I was happy with their decision.

The photo of the Venice Canals (far right above and see below) won first prize in the Members Theme (Reflections).

venice canals

Thanks boys, couldn’t have done it without you!

In case you are wondering, Pharoah curated the photos and was ineligible to vote.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Twenty one years old and still going strong – Culver City Art Group Annual Holiday Art Show

Culver City Art Holiday Art Show flyer

For the three of my followers who have been wondering what happened to my blog posts recently, this is part of the reason. I’ve been getting ready for the 21st Annual Culver City Holiday Art Show. One of my jobs with the art group is to design all the invitations/flyers and registration forms for the show plus manage and update the website at www.culvercityartgroup.com and generally oversee the “look” that we present to the public.

Plus, of course, I’ve been busy choosing. processing, printing and framing the photos that I want to exhibit. I’m also putting together (and printing) a portfolio of past work and making greeting cards.

And after procrastinating for two years (did I ever mention procrastination is my middle name?) I finally decided I needed to spend some serious time on a website to showcase my photography. That has been a daunting experience. With years of experience as a web designer and manager, you would think this would be the easy part. But just the opposite.

I chose a content management system specifically geared towards photographers as I thought this would be the easier road. But I am so used to making a website act and think the way I want it to that I had a terrible time getting my brain wrapped around somebody else’s thought processes. I am sure if I was inexperienced with building websites I would have had an easier time… you know what they say about the dangers of a little knowledge…

The domino effect of that situation was that I couldn’t make professional-looking business cards because I had no URL address to put on the cards.

My website is not ready for prime time at this point but I am making a major effort to be ready by the time of the show. I already ordered my business cards with the URL so that is a big incentive too.

As soon as I have all my ducks in a row, or at least some of the ducks, I will publish the website address on my blog. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be getting close to having a website and to be able to hand out business cards. I have no idea what, if anything, will come of all this but I do know that if I hide in the closet absolutely nothing at all will happen! So please stay tuned…

Ah, one of the other reasons I haven’t posted that much on this blog is because I have been working on my recent travel photos and posting to my other blog, www.onegoodlifetravels.com.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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20th Annual Culver City Art Group Holiday Art Show

culver city art group

It’s that time of year again and hard to believe we have been doing this for twenty years!

I will be exhibiting several of my photos in the main show… still deciding exactly which ones but I’m narrowing it down. I’ll also have a table with some of my previous work in ceramic tiles.

These are two of the photos I know for sure I’ll be exhibiting:

Malibu Pelicans

Pelicans, Malibu, California

oregon Cape Meares

Cape Meares, Oregon

The image above came as a surprise when I was checking the photos in Lightroom. This was taken the day after my accident and concussion and I truly was walking around in a fuzz for a few days. Good thing I like to take pictures or I probably would not have remembered being here!

Both of these will be printed on my 13 x 19 inch (33 x 48 cm) Canon inkjet printer.

I have an older Spyder4Pro calibrater for my monitor and I just ordered the upgrade Spyder5Elite which should be arriving today. I have very tricky lighting conditions in my office… so I’m hoping the more sophisticated calibrater will help deal with it. Hope I’m not wasting my money!

The show is one week away and I am nowhere near ready so, as usual, panic has set in. As luck will have it, Aaron Bros is having one of their one cent frame sales and I got a 50% coupon (that can be used once a day) for other items… it all helps.

I’m also working on setting up a photo website on SmugMug which is taking longer than I would like, but I think I have my head wrapped around their engine now and I can move full steam ahead… would be nice to have something up and running for the show, but if not, at least for the New Year!

On with the day!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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California Heritage Museum – One Man’s Passion

california heritage museum

This was my second visit to the Watercolors: One Man’s Passion, Selections from the E. Gene Crain Collectionexhibit at the California Heritage Museum in Santa Monica.

california heritage museum

The museum, as its name suggests, celebrates the history and culture of California.

california heritage museum

This Victorian house was moved from another location in Santa Monica for a second life as a museum. Otherwise it would have been demolished. Don’t you love stories like this?

california heritage museum

A friend suggested a visit to the watercolor exhibit a few weeks ago and I thought, why not? I love all kinds of art. I was totally blown away by the paintings.

So I proposed the exhibit as the September activity for the Culver City Art Group.

We were not allowed to photograph in the art gallery upstairs. So these photos are of the downstairs which is furnished in the Monterey style.

california heritage museum

I am a big fan of ceramic tiles. This table is decorated with California Poppies, the official state flower, Eschscholzia Californica.

california heritage museum

The downstairs is decorated with Monterey style furniture and ceramics from various California factories.

california heritage museum

I salivate over ceramic tiles. I don’t know why. But when I see decorative tiles I make a beeline for them.

california heritage museum

Meyers Pottery: Rainbow Pottery. I think this was from the 50s… not sure… but it’s worth a fortune today.

california heritage museum

California Mission.

california heritage museum

The founders of Santa Monica. Colonel Robert S. Baker and U.S. Senator John P. Jones. In the middle, the house that became the museum.

We were not allowed to photograph the watercolors in the upstairs gallery. You’ll just have to take my word for it that they are spectacular. Artists included Rex Brandt, Phil Dike, Phil Paradise, Millard Sheets, Robert E. Wood and Milford Zornes.

We were told it is possible (but not certain) that some more paintings from the collection might be on view later in the year. If so, you can be sure I will be there!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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J.M.W. Turner thrice times two

JMW Turner at the Getty CenterJ.M.W. Turner has been my second favorite artist** for as long as I can remember. That is to say, I don’t remember when he achieved that status or when I became fully aware of him as an artist. But it has been a long, long time.

I’ve seen works and exhibitions of his in museums and galleries in England (specifically the National Gallery and the Tate) and the US. But I was especially excited when I heard that the J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free exhibit was coming to the Getty Center. Even before viewing it I knew I would be seeing it twice.

J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free

My first visit was with members of the Culver City Art Group on March 29. As it was a Sunday it was pretty crowded that day. But it was nonetheless amazing to see sixty of Turner’s works… water colors and oils… all in one place. In a word: WOW!

A couple of weeks ago I received the movie Mr. Turner courtesy of Netflix. It seems to be one of those films people either love or hate. I am in the former category. I wrote a review for Netflix and included it at the end of this post for those who might be interested.

Tuesday of last week I made my second visit to the exhibit by myself. I took the Santa Monica bus #12 and the Metro bus #234 which stops directly across from the Getty Center. Entrance to the museum is free but parking is $15 per car. I paid a little over $2.50 round trip on the buses.

Although the exhibit was well attended, it was not as crowded as my previous visit on the Sunday. I was able to take my time studying each piece, getting up close enough to inspect the brush strokes and being able to stand far enough back with no bodies blocking my view. The second time around I appreciated the artist’s genius even more bearing in mind what I had learned from the film, the good and the bad.

From the Getty website: In his early twenties Turner’s focus changed to historical landscapes. These large-scale paintings became increasingly divorced from nature and featured the loose, luminous brushwork and abstract conceptions for which he became known.

At twenty-nine Turner opened his own gallery in London while also painting, exhibiting his own work, and teaching at the Royal Academy. A trip to Italy at the age of forty-four drastically altered his style, leading to his late emphasis on the power of color and light to create dramatic, evocative scenes. Turner’s body of work includes around three hundred paintings and over twenty thousand drawings and watercolors, the majority of which were given to the English government upon his death.

The Getty exhibit focuses on his output from the last fifteen years of his life. He died at the age of 76.

I wanted to know more about his work and was happy to find this video clip from a documentary produced by the National Gallery of Art:

After watching this clip I viewed Mr. Turner once more and then finished up my Turner binge with a second viewing of the documentary.

At this point I’m waiting for the biography, Standing in the Sun: A Life of J.M.W. Turner by Anthony Bailey to be released on Kindle. I put in my request on Amazon, so if it happens I suppose I will have to read it twice just for continuity. .

As I am a frequent visitor. I have a gazillion photos of the Getty Center but I recently splurged on a wide angle lens (Canon EF-S 10-18mm) so I wanted to try it out on architecture and landscapes. So here are some of those photos just wandering around and taking miscellaneous views.


**Having said that Turner is my second favorite artist begs the question, who is my first. That honor goes to Vincent van Gogh.

My Netflix review:

I’ve admired JMW Turner as an artist for as long as I can remember but knew little of Turner the man. After viewing the movie twice now I want to read a biography to get a fuller picture of him. I enjoyed the film because it showed different aspects of his life, including dividing his time between two households, his relationships with various women, his peripatetic nature, his involvement in the Royal Academy, his delight with all things scientific, his turns on the lecture circuit, etc. He was a complicated man of many facets, seemingly uncaring yet emotional, cruel yet kind, which was well explored in the film. As he grew older he became more eccentric. The art direction and photography in the film were beautiful, alluding to Turner’s own work. One reviewer complained there was no story (as a basis for a bad review). Most people’s lives are linear, one day at a time, and that is what this film is about: snippets of days in the life of an uncommon human being and exceptional artist.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!