Saturday, January 26, 2008

Villas and Verandas

My new favorite place to visit is a gorgeous art gallery right here in San Juan Capistrano, only a few blocks from my house! It is called Villas and Verandas and this lovely gallery features California plein air paintings and also antiques.
Aida Ganddini and her husband Ron Deak own the gallery. Aida is a flamenco dancer and she also specializes in antique Santos - she has an amazing collection of them for sale at the gallery!
Ron Deak is a very talented plein air painter. One of my favorite paintings of his is this nocturne.
If you are in the San Juan area, don't miss visiting Villas and Verandas. This gallery is an oasis of visual delight!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where the Heart Is

Donna O'Brien of The Ribboned Crown had a fun post recently where she asked everyone to tell what their favorite movies were. That got me to thinking about a fabulous little movie from 1990 called Where the Heart Is. Most of the characters in the movie are creative artist-types, my favorite being a character played by Suzie Amos who portrays a Trompe L'oeil mural artist. The actual artist doing the spectacular murals is Timna Woollards and her technique is to use live models in with her painted backgrounds to create amazing effects. If you click on this link you can see a bit of the movie.

Lately I've been getting back into drawing and painting - so my mind is off in the land of artists and paintings. This movie is majorly inspiring! I wonder what Timna Wollard is up to these days ....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I absolutely LOVE old photos - especially ones from the Victorian era. And antique photos with pugs in them - my favorites!! So imagine my delight when I came across this new book with photos of the Royal family and their pets! It is called Noble Hounds and Dear Companions - The Royal Photograph Collection by Sophie Gordon.
Queen Victorian was well known for her pugs and many of those pugs are featured in this book!
This book is a treasure trove of wonderful photos!

A quote from the book ...With the advent of photography, proud owners could record their favorite pets at work, rest and play. In this book, dogs take center stage - riding in carriages, on board the royal yacht, on guard duty at Windsor Castle and in the arms of monarchs, consorts, princes and princesses. There are pugs and Pomeranians, dachshunds and greyhounds, spaniels and Labradors ...

My favorite thing about this charming book is the look of love on the Royal family's faces as they pose with their best friends!

This book is a must have for all dog lovers!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Beautiful Sketches

"Why does a beautiful sketch please us more than a painting? It is because there is more life and less form." ~ Denis Diderot (art critic)

When it comes to beautiful sketches, my dad, David Irvine is the best! My dad recently put several of his lovely, ethereal sketches of ladies on ebay for sale. And they are so gorgeous!
I have many paintings and sketches of my father's and I have to say his pencil sketches are some of my favorite things that he does.

I fondly remember evenings at home when I was a kid - we would all be gathered in the living room watching TV and dad would be sketching figures, or perhaps just a hand or a foot. My father studied at Art Center in Los Angeles and even though he worked a regular job most of his life, he always found time to pursue his art. He has been a great inspiration to me over the years and has passed his artistic desire down to both myself and my nephew Mark. A wonderful gift indeed!
Wonderful sketches Dad! I would buy them all, but I know you won't let me : - )
Here is a picture of my mom and dad right before they were married.
Dad's muse, my lovely mother, Bonne.
Still happy after all this time!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Pandora's Pug Friends

I love all of my pug friends! My customers send me adorable pictures of their pugs and I post them to a page on my website - be sure to take a look!
This is Waylon with a primitive pug doll I made ...
This is Minnie with her primitive angel ...

And sweet Mary with hers!

These are some recent pictures I added - this is Lucy ...

And here she is in her "outward hound" gear!

Thanks to all of my wonderful customers and their adorable pugs!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Crystal Comes to Blogland!

Great news! Crystal of Gothic Rose Antiques just started a blog! What fun for all of us that love her wonderfully dark and haunting style! Now we can see all of her fun finds and see what happens behind the scenes. You'll want to add this blog to your favorites - it is to die for :-)