Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's In My Bones

at the end of every year my ishibashi grandmother followed the tradition of her japanese village.
she cleaned and cleared out her home for the coming year.  every item was taken out, dusted, clothes were washed and ironed, the front doorway was swept for guests,  often a new outfit was worn on the first day of the year.  this tradition is in my bones.  while i may not touch each item i own, it is a time to evaluate the previous year, to take stock, to take pause and to reflect upon what was accomplished, what was ignored and what could be improved upon.  

it was a perfect tie in to this ritual that six exiled tibetan monks who now live in a 
most remote village in india came to my community

to create a sand mandala for peace and to promote 

compassion for all.    this mandala was meticulously and lovingly created over 
a period of several days only to be dusted away showing the transitory nature of life
during this time  of renewal and sharing.

for today, may each thing that your hands or heart touch be 
reflective of the beauty that resides within you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Crushes

new little journal

feels good in my hands

window art for the eyes of passers-by

ocean mural in riviera village, redondo beach

and some shaky drawing a la danny gregory 

years ago i knitted several christmas sweaters.  they have been in my closet 

unworn for longer than i can remember.  this year i heard them called 

ugly holiday sweaters so i thought i would wear them for 2012.  

i got a personal chuckle out of having it on.  

but it brought back warm memories of holidays spent with young

children, hand made gifts for teachers, concerts at school during a chilly evening 

with little fingers playing the viola and  hot chocolate

with melted marshmallows  afterwards 

hmm.... i started with current crushes and have ended here with a wistful memory

wishing you a lovely day 

with fond memories 

reaching out 

to touch you

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thinking of You

it's that time of year

no time to catch a breath

to do lists overflow


even at


there are signs 

wishing you the joy of this holiday season


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Scenes From My Week

I visited a friend, Martin Charlot, who painted this stunning painting.

Detail from the same painting.  He also painted the large mural depicting the history of Hawaii in the lobby of the new Disney resort in Oahu.   My son modeled for Martin so one of the warriors in the scene looks like him.  

A few colorful pieces from the gift store at the

Autry Museum in Burbank.  She's ready to party.

A peek into a local hair salon.  Doesn't look like this could be a salon in Bali?

I love the stenciled top on this charming desk from Anthropologie.

Play in my journal.  I thought it had an Asian flare.

I made a few bracelets from my antique button collection.

Layout of journals made in Orly's workshop.   We all did the same
exercises but look at the different interpretations.

A compilation of photos taken by Scott Schuman in New York.   Oh, how
I would love to follow him around the city.

A few sketches 

from my practice exercises in the book Creative License by Danny Gregory.
He suggests that there are no bad drawings.  I don't know about that but I do
agree that something can be learned from each drawing.  Danny asks
that we draw with a pen, no pencil, no erasing.  Ok.  I have 
done this.  It's not as terrifying as I thought.  I am making 
progress just by the fact that I am showing you these.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Holiday Season is Here

collaged journal page

incessant clamor

the answer to inner peace. . .

still the busy mind

Enjoy your day with a cup of tea and reading other haikus 

linked to rebecca brooks and her haiku circle

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lesson From a Tree

After my daily morning ritual of journaling at the Ranch Market

I head to my car in this parking lot.  Many days I am thinking of doing the next thing.

 I take for granted my surroundings and don't see the beauty in my world.

One ordinary day, for some unknown reason, this tree just struck me.  Not literally but as struck me as 

if I had never seen it before, nor any other tree.  I was in wonder of the treeness of this object.  I had to 

stop, touch it's craggy trunk, run my fingers into the crevices,  look up to the sky to see what it saw,

to smell the freshness of it all and to take photos.  I have to admit I did look around to see if anyone 

observed this crazy woman fondling a tree.  

spreading its arms in welcome

All day I thought of the tree.  It was my teacher of the morning 

reminding me to be mindful, to keep my eyes open, to notice, 

and to take time to let in the beauty of the ordinary.

Wishing you a day of beauty and gratefulness.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wabi Sabi

metallic and regular acrylic, collage, ink, charcoal on canvas board

imperfect beauty

impermanent, incomplete

simple, slow and uncluttered

today's haiku is written in honor of the ancient japanese world view of wabi sabi.  
the concept was first introduced to me  as a writing prompt, then recently 
orly avineri discussed it in the creation of journal pages.  
through wabi sabi i see that my japanese heritage is juxtaposed with my western upbringing.  
i am a collector, a consumer, living a full and active life yet at times 
i crave the peace that comes with the simple, slow and uncluttered.  

i wonder, can we have both?

this post is linked with rebecca's community where you can read other haiku offerings and

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Let's think tropical

journal spread with acrylic and collage materials

this journal spread takes me in my imagination to the tropics

with warm sand underfoot, some of it sticking between my toes,

 the music of the surf lapping gently on to the shore

palm fronds rustle as they sway in the breeze, birds singing overhead, 

a light floral scent wafts with the winds and i have a smile on my face.

all that while i sit in my studio in from of my computer.

imagination is powerful and useful.  it enables us to 'form a mental image

of something not present to the senses.'

speaking of imagination, never in my wildest imaginings

would i have thought i would get an award for this painting i posted earlier. . . .

but i did 

where is does your imagination take you today?

i am linked today with rebecca and other postcards from paradise

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Gray Areas

journal page, magazine image and papers, tapes, pen

 there are gray areas in life

that make it difficult to know

to really know

the only thing one can do 

is to 


your own heart explicitly

without question


you won't go wrong

thank you for visiting 
i hope you day is a lovely one

Monday, November 5, 2012

Submitting Work 'Out There'

journal page- spray paint, sharpies, magazine image, hand drawn paper

i often paint in a workshop setting

where techniques are shared,

feedback is welcomed,

and there is camaraderie 

with others who have similar passions.

also the latest exhibits are announced 

along with shows looking for 

art to be submitted.

recently i took a huge step (for me)

and have submitted my work to be shown

in different venues.

i found that  painting became 

a chore, pressure.  i wondered if my work

was acceptable, good enough.

it was no longer the fun and free

pleasure with no rules.

after i wrote this journal page i realized

that someone else's opinion of my work

became more important than the actual

pleasure of creating, of being lost in the color, the texture, 

the discovery of what comes next.

never a good starting point.

when i let go worrying about how it would turn out, 

i began to have fun again.


the page says,

being an artist is not dependent 

upon the number of sales you make.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Back at It

lynne perrella said these words at artiest.  

it just rang true.

it is said that after 28 days of 

repeating an activity it becomes 

a habit.

but recently, after years of early morning coffee and journaling at 

my neighborhood ranch market,  i got away from 

my daily  routine.  i can't explain what intervened.

it happened without fanfare.   i simply 

slid out of the habit without realizing.

it took a workshop with friends at orly's

to make me realize how much i loved journaling,

how much it is an essential part of me.

so i'm back 

to journaling 


to myself.

journal page- magazine page, spray paints

returned to journaling

like rediscovering a long lost friend

who has been on a long bike ride.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Where to Start

three muses,  acrylic, pencil oil pastel

where do i start?

i asked my painting mentor

start with colors you love

if you don't love it

change it

how do i do that?

paint over it 

it made me think 

(here's where one can get in trouble....

thinking too much)

that life is not so clear cut

or is it?

can we have in our life 

only that which we love


do we make room for that gray area

lots of room?

XO irene

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Inspiration Abounds

inspiration can come from anywhere. . .

a store display

a cryptic stone street map

listening to the quiet within

visiting artist's studios at a brewery

remembering what you love

most importantly, 

following your heart.

xo irene

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Surprise Around the Corner

Weary after a ten hour train ride, but satisfied after finally having a meal, 

I took a short stretch walk only to find 

this enchanting sight. 

 Sunday night and a full moon 

always resonates wonder 

as it did years ago 

when my son was born. 

Here again a reminder of moonlight splendor.

I am linked with Rebecca's Postcards from Paradise and 
Kat's Photo-Heart Connection. Visit both sites to find other wonders.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Universe Smiles at You and Me

while driving and in a bit of a rush,

concerned that i would not be late

a car pulls in front of me

and drives at a rather slow pace.

i feel a churning until

i look and really see

this license plate

and remember

to put things in perspective.

this moment is only here now

for this instant.

there will never be another like it.

choose peace, choose that which you love.

acrylic on canvas

this week two new beings came into my life.
congratulations to parents neil and nina and alex and rohem
may your time with your new baby unfold to 
many beautiful moments

happy sunday to you


Friday, August 17, 2012

During This Fleeting Span We Are Given

lean into this life

meander, wander, well in


today i join rebecca brooks at haiku my heart.

won't you join us?