Monday, February 27, 2012

Three Portraits

Today's my birthday. It's hailing outside one minute and the next it's sunny. This certainly is a sign....but like everything else in my life, I'm not sure what kind. 

The other day I saw the Surrealist women artists exhibit at LACMA. The sheer force of it blew me away— all these women, half I didn't know, living as artists, despite not being able to make a living at it. They went unrecognized and unappreciated by gallery owners, critics, and even their husbands. Ironically, when they grew old, they began to look like old men, but probably enjoyed themselves better, living alone and still making art. 

For my birthday and in honor of these women, I've taken the liberty to draw three portraits, via Dorothy Tanning, Frieda Kahlo, and Leonora Carrington. Enjoy. 

 by Dorothy Tanning


Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo,
Wedding Portrait,
by Frida Kahlo 

 Tom and Charlotte,

The Chrysopeia of Mary the Jewess,
by Leonora Carrington

The Jewess

(Click portraits to see as slide show)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


You might know it as "yarnbombing," or the more aggressive "yarnstorming." However you know it, it was covering York Blvd in Highland Park last week: trees, poles, utility boxes and parking meters covered in fuzzy, colorful yarn. 

utility box

utility box

parking meter 

shapely tree

Hey, there, big dog...

Considered graffiti, yarnbombing is more palatable; still it's illegal. But unlike graffiti, yarnbombing is rarely prosecutable, because it's so darn cute. I hadn't realized how popular it was —over four continents and here in LA, a collective of guerilla knitters. It was that organized crew of yarnbombers who went to town after last week's Art Soup competition for northeast artists. These yarnbombers didn't win, but it sure was fun to see their colorful work on display along drab York Blvd.

I realized I had seen this somewhere before.... oh yeah, Little Tokyo, six months ago. I wondered why the bicycle racks were covered—one wearing a sweater, the other a hand muff. 

Yarnbombing reminds me of the 60s when daisies were dropped from the sky at Woodstock— you know, a love fest, making the hard, cold objects of the world more beautiful. I wanted to get one last look at the dazzling display on York, but when I drove down there this morning, this is what I saw:

A return to normal. I'm glad I got to see it before it came down.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Coyote Returns

Coyote Returns

You can hear them at night; a pack of 50 or 100, or maybe just 20, down in the canyon yipping and yowling for a good long while after a siren goes off. I've never seen a pack, but I have seen a solitary coyote hanging out by the turn in the road, my headlights illuminating its opaque, glass-colored eyes, when I come home from work. I've wondered if this isn't the same lone coyote that visits next door in the middle of the day, looking for a handout from my neighbor Thea.

Thea started feeding a coyote two years ago, when it was a toddler. I told her, pleaded with her, that it was wrong to feed a wild animal and, much to my surprise, she agreed; she promised to stop but then she didn't. I felt helpless to do anything about it: my neighbor is old and lonely. The coyote was her friend.

I hadn't seen the coyote for three or four months; I'd missed its absence, for no matter what you say, having a wild animal nearby can send shivers down your spine. It's thrilling,'s still wrong. I was sitting down to write, when, out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash, it was the coyote back in Thea's yard!

I heard Thea calling to the coyote, "Come, come. Come, come," in her German accent, as she placed food on the ground. I grabbed my video camera and ran outside. You can see in the video, the coyote looking to the left (Thea), then looking straight ahead (me) and the dilemma he finds himself in. He doesn't know what to do: here's a witness to his forsaking his wild coyote ways, and I imagine, he's a little bit embarrassed. Later, he plops down in the grass in Thea's lower yard, smelling the flowers (a true Ferdinand, the coyote), passing a peaceable afternoon. 

Coyote biding his time until I leave. 

After 45 minutes of taking in the breezes and catching bugs, he goes back to dine at Thea's table.

To view on youtube: