I moved to the desert a year and a half ago and because of Covid I have not been able to travel around very much. Last week I finally made it to Palm Springs. I spent all of my time downtown and found it spectacular. The winters in the desert are surprisingly warm and sunny and a great time to visit.
One of the first places I came across was the Plaza Theatre. As a photographer and artist I was drawn to it by the colors and the architecture. The rest of downtown was the same, great colors, lots to see and amazing architecture.
What is There to See?
Downtown Palm Springs is full of restaurants, cafes, and shops. It is a great place to wander around and eat a nice meal outdoors. Just a block from one of the main shopping areas is the art museum. you can’t miss the museum as there is a large statue of Marilyn Monroe in front of it.
Because of the nice winter weather there are a lot of bicyclists taking advantage of the sun and scenery. Palm Springs is a great winter getaway.
Wendy B’s Studio
At Wendy B’s Studio we offer an instant downloadable photograph of the Plaza Theatre in 4 sizes, the largest being 18″ x 24″. I hope you will visit our website and stay tuned for more of Palm Springs.
If you head north on Highway 1 in Malibu you will eventually come to a large sign that says Paradise Cove. It is worth the parking fee to drive down the road and park in front of the restaurant The Beach Cafe. While I admit I have not eaten at the restaurant, those who do never look disappointed.
Be sure to take a walk on the beach. To the left is a small dock that I believe people fish off of and to the right if you walk far enough there are beautiful cliffs that rise off of the beach. I have never been to a more beautiful spot in my life. I was able to take quite a few photos and this photo is my favorite. It captures the beauty of the coastline.
I am now offering many of my photographs of Malibu and other places I have travelled to as digital downloads. What is a digital download? It is a file you can instantly download after purchase on my Etsy Shop Wendy B’s Studio . I hope you will take a moment and visit to see all that we have to offer in our home decor niche.
Last week I went for a bike ride here in the desert. The weather this time of year is gorgeous and I wanted to take advantage of it. I grabbed my camera and hopped on my bike and began riding around the neighborhood. I decided I wanted to ride down to the vegetable stand to see what kinds of fresh produce they had available.
I was delighted to see they had many types of fresh veggies and the man working behind the counter did not mind me photographing some of them. I will be riding back to get some soon. I continued riding through the neighborhood and got some great shots.
Back at the Studio
Once I was back at the studio I looked over the photographs I had taken. The shots of the vegetables were taken with the macro setting so I could get close. After processing the photos I thought some of them would make great digital downloads for the Etsy shop. Digital downloads are a newer item I have been working on. People can download the photos right from Etsy onto their own computer. They can print the photos themselves or copy them and have them printed elsewhere. It makes decorating a lot less expensive to print the photos yourself and for me, I do not have to mail anything, so it is a timesaver.
The photos of the veggies would make great kitchen decor or also decor for restaurants and cafes. If you add a frame and mat they can look quite wonderful.
Where to Find Them
These photographs and much more home decor can be found at Wendybsstudio90264 on Etsy. I hope you will stop by and take a look.
Last week I was able to take a trip to one of my favorite places, Malibu. My intent was to take photographs that I could then paint as I did not have time to do some plein air. I decided to stop at the lagoon which is located close to the Malibu Pier, just past the Adamson House. It is a beautiful spot and is where the founding family of Malibu chose to build their home. It has been preserved as a wildlife sanctuary.
WHY THE LAGOON?
Malibu has so many beautiful spots that would make great paintings, why did I choose the lagoon? I chose the lagoon to bring a spotlight to global warming. We can all do our part and my part is to paint nature as a reminder to the public that the problem is not going away.
The lagoon itself has evidence of this environmental problem. There is a dock at the Adamson House that was built around the 1930’s along the lagoon edge of the property. One can tell that water use to come all of the way up to the dock, but now it has not seen water there in quite some time. The edge of the dock is dried land that cracks in the warm California sun. The home and property is now a state park.
WHERE IS THE PAINTING?
The painting is an original done in oil on a 9 x 12 linn panel board. You can purchase this original painting at Wendy B’s Studio .
I will have a new book available on Amazon soon! The official release date is October 28th and I have been busy preparing. The book will be a collection of my oil paintings of Southern California. It will first be released in ebook form and later in paperback. It will be the first book of my oil paintings and the second book of my artwork.
WHY A BOOK?
Every time an original piece sells I feel a terrible loss. I put so much time and effort into each one and letting them go is hard. I wanted a way to preserve my portfolio in one place. Each piece has many memories. There is a memory of the place I have painted and what non artists do not realize there is a memory of painting the piece itself. Painting is a very personal thing. As artists we put great care into our creations. So while the book is for sale for others to enjoy, publishing it is actually for me.
WHY PUBLISH ON AMAZON?
I decided to publish on Amazon for two reasons: 1) On Amazon I am able to publish in both ebook and paperback form. I wanted to publish on a platform that had an ebook option because so many people read using the Kindle app or other similar apps. I am a fan of ebooks as I do not have space to store lots of books, and it saves trees, and 2) Amazon is where most books are sold today.
AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER
The book is available for preorder for Kindle on Amazon here . I hope you will take a peek. Listen to the podcast here.
I grew up in a small fishing village in Washington state. In my small town at the time there was one stop light, party line telephones, and not a lot for a teenager to do. My family joined the local tennis club and I began to play regularly.
When I started high school it was announced that try outs for the tennis team were going to happen. I decided to try out but was unsure about making the team. I was encouraged by a friend to at least try. On the day of the first try out our coach had us perform grueling exercises. I was exhausted but kept going. The second day of practice fewer people showed up. I kept trying to make it through his workout routines which had so far not involved tennis at all. By the end of the first week only a handful of us were left. We were the team. Finally the following week we began to play tennis.
LIFE OF A TENNIS PLAYER
Once I made the team my life was spent at school or on a tennis court. I played after school and at the tennis club on the weekends. Summers were spent playing tournaments and trying to improve my game. During tennis season at high school I often had to skip my last class to leave for a match against another school. Most of my friends were tennis players as well and many of them went to other high schools.
TENNIS HEROES OF THE LATE 1970’S
Bjorn Borg was my tennis hero of the 1970’s. He seemed to win everything he played. At the time Jimmy Connors was his main rival. I went to see professional tennis matches in Seattle. It was for me like going to a rock concert.
I decided in honor of my tennis hero that I would paint a portrait of him. He will forever be the rock star of the tennis courts of the 1970’s. Listen to the podcast here .
Gamsol is an odorless mineral spirit used in oil painting much like turpentine. Traditionally turpentine was used in oil painting but posed problems due to the toxic odor. It is why I put off painting with oils for years. It seemed like such a hassle and strong odors bother me and make me nauseous. When I learned there was an odorless alternative I decided to give oil painting a try.
What exactly is Gamsol? Gamsol is used to thin oil paint and mediums and also to clean brushes and anything else the paint gets on. I use it to keep my brushes in while painting and I have used it to clean paint off of clothing, furniture and counter tops. It has not damaged anything so far and does an acceptable job of getting all of the paint off.
I use Gamsol indoors as well as when I am doing plain air paintings. The oil paints have more of an odor than the Gamsol. It can be used again after letting the paint to settle to the bottom of the container you have it in. My first bottle has lasted over 6 months and I have completed several paintings.
Where can you buy Gamsol? Gamsol may be purchased at art supply stores as well as online at Amazon.com
My final opinion is I would highly recommend using Gamsol in the place of turpentine if you are wanting something odorless and easy to use. It is the reason I started using oil paints which are now my favorite medium. Be sure to listen to the podcast.
As an artist most of my paintings reflect something about my life. I choose subjects from where I live and my surroundings or where travel as a souvenir of my journey. I am mostly a plain air painter meaning I paint what I see. It is not as easy as it sounds and I sometimes work from photos. I began by learning how to draw, self taught, just had a great desire to create.
THE STORY BEHIND THE PAINTING
The painting of A & B Hardware is an independent store in Malibu, California. What I love about Malibu is that there are a lot of old businesses there and it is still very rural. I have spent a lot of time there painting and photographing the area. It is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. There are chain stores there, but it is not over run with them.
The hardware store is located on highway 1 towards the entrance to Malibu. I noticed it the first time I went there as I like capturing nostalgia and it is apparent that this business has been there a while.
This is the largest oil painting I have done to date. It is 18 x 24 inches and is available for purchase at Wendybsstudio990264 on Etsy. Listen to the podcast here
A few weeks ago I was out running errands and decided to stop and get some lunch. There was a diner nearby called Maxcy’s Grill. I was delighted by the old diner feel that you don’t really come across too often anymore. After ordering at the counter I sat at a booth and waited for my order. While I was sitting waiting for my meal to come I noticed the delightful color combination of the yellow walls and the condiments on the table. I thought it might make a wonderful still life and photographed my table. The meal came and I have to say it lived up to my expectations.
I am an artist by trade and this painting was one of the most fun paintings I have done in a while. The bright color combinations were really fun to work with. The painting took several days and took several more to dry. I love paintings that come from my daily life. They have so much meaning and are hard to part with. Most of my art reflects my day to day life.
The Maxcy’s Grill still life is available for purchase at Wendybsstudio90264 on Etsy. If you happen to be in the California desert be sure to stop in at one of their locations.
What exactly is Human Trafficking? It has a broader definition than most people realize and it once happened to me. I survived my ordeal, but the aftermath lingers on. I am writing this to bring attention to the issue and to let people know what to do if they recognize it.
According to Homeland Security human trafficking is, “…the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” Traffickers can target immigrants or members of any community here in the United “States. They lure people with false promises of high paying jobs, manipulation or violence. They are not paid and traffickers use the fear of homelessness to get them to do what they want. Many victims do not come forward because they fear their traffickers, have language barriers or fear law enforcement.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Some key signs from the Department of Homeland Security’s website are:
Does the person appear fearful, timid or submissive?
Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
Does the person have freedom of movement or are there unreasonableble security measures?
Has the person has a sudden or dramatic change of behavior?
WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU RECOGNIZE HUMAN TRAFFICKING