Varsity Tennis

Bjor Borg

Making the Team

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 .

Product Review: Gamsol

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.

https://anchor.fm/wendy-brown4/embed/episodes/Episode-2-Product-Review-Gamsol-e15dup5

A & B Hardware

HOW DOES AN ARTIST CHOOSE WHAT TO PAINT?

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

Maxcy’s Grill

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.

Human Trafficking

WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

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

If you think you recognize human trafficking call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at1-800-373-7888 or visit the Department of Homeland Security website at https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/what-human-trafficking .

The Ups and Downs of Investing in Crypto Currency

TAKING THE PLUNGE

A couple of months ago I finally took the plunge and invested in cryptocurrency. What a ride it has been. I am a believer in multiple streams of income, especially being an artist with an indefinite monthly income. I have been successful investing on the stock market and wanted to add crypto currency as another avenue of stretching my earnings.

The first task was to figure out where to purchase the cryptocurrency. I chose the platform Coinbase. I invested a small amount of money in a few of the better known crypto to see what it would do and to learn abut the platform before investing too much. I was able to ad around $30 to my portfolio by watching short videos on Coiinbsse that teach what crypto is all about.

THE RESULTS

Since my first investments I have learned a lot about both crypto and Coinbase. I found Coinbase easy to use and understand. Buying and selling is easy and after selling my funds sho9wed up n my bank account immediately. My earnings are a different story. The crypto market is highly volatile and one has to understand the risk going n. I find the new currency exciting but continue to invest cautiously. Are you ready to take the plunge?

Lemon Cupcakes Brighten the Day

I was feeling a little down in the dumps today and racked my brain for something fun to do that wasn’t too difficult. I knew I had a box of lemon pound cake sitting in my cupboard and decided to make cupcakes. Now I am an artist by trade and cooking and baking to me are an art form. I take pride in making everything from scratch, but not today.

The cupcakes came from a box mix and the frosting from a can. I did however make the lemon zest on top from fresh lemons. Here in the desert it is around 114 degrees and I did not feel like spending all day in a hot kitchen. The results were good snd they did indeed brighten my day. I love asking because I can give my finished goods away. This may lead to more cupcakes made from scratch!

The Key to Reaching Your Goals

REACHING YOUR GOALS

After you write down and identify your goals, you now need to reach those goals. Whether you are part of a large corporation or self employed and everything in between, the process is the same. Getting everyone on the same page.

CREATING A MISSION STAEMENT

Creating a mission statement not only sets the purpose of your company for its employees, but it also is helpful to your customers in letting them know what you do and why. The mission statement should be a sentence of short paragraph that is a summary of your business. A good place to see examples of mission statements is to visit the web page of a non profit. There is usually a page dedicated to their mission and their mission statement is usually at the top of their website.

COMMUNICSTION

Any successful; business will have both long term and short term goals, What is the direction the business is going for the long term, or what is the ultimate vision. In order to reach the ultimate vision, smaller attainable goals need to be set to bring the business towards its vision. These goals can change daily, weekly or monthly and should be revisited and updated often. None of this will be accomplished if every employee does not know why they do what they do or what they are working towards and why, The goals need to be communicated and communicated often, Unifying the company or business through its goals will br key to making them happen.

CELEBRATE WINS

When goals are reached let people know! Give kudos where they are deserved. Let your customes or clients know your wins as well, Keep the momentum going! Positive reinforcement goes a long way.

It is not only important to set goals, bit those goals need to be communicated to everyone to create teamwork in reach8ing the ultimate vision, Set those goals snd let people know!

The Importance of Setting Goals

Setting goals is important to stay focused and get things done. Goals can be lofty and seemingly out of reach and that is ok. You have to start somewhere, and getting started is the key. Goals can be work related, personal, financial or whatever it is you are working on.

As a self employed woman setting goals gives me something to work towards every day. I start by creating a plan, for me it is a business plan. I first set long term goals, these are the ones that can seem lofty and beyond my grasp. I then create realistic short term goals that are attainable and bring me closer to reaching those lofty ones.

I also set personal goals, life is more than money or recognition. John Lennon was once asked in school to write about what he wanted to be in life, he wrote “happy.” The teachers-told him he didn’t understand the assignment, he told them they didn’t understand life.

For me staying healthy is important. I am almost 60 years old and do not take any medication. I stay healthy by walking and running. I sign up for races as a goal, starting with 5k, then 10k and I have even run a half marathon.

The key to reaching your goals is to write them down and get started. They can be few or many, but start with a big goal and create shorter achievable ones that bring you closer to the big one. One day you will be there! Here’s to achieving our goals!

The Crest Theater

When I lived in Los Angeles I would often pass this theater in the Westwood neighborhood. I loved the Art Deco architecture and it is one of the many historical theaters in the area that must have been spectacular in their hey day. Every time I passed the theater I would take a photo wanting to do a painting of it. I am not sure if it was still showing movies at the time I took the photo for this painting, but the last time I passed by it was boarded up making me a little sad to see such treasures go.

I painted this painting on paper with gauche paints. It was the first time I had used that medium and I found I really liked it. The color is bolder than watercolor, but the paint is thinner than acrylic and looks great on paper. I hope to do more gauche paintings in the future.

Currently I have the original painting as well as prints available on Etsy at wendybsstudio90264. It is available unframed or a choice of black or rustic frames in 2 different sizes and I hope to add a third..

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