For 18+ years we made several 7-hours trips per year from Los Angeles to Sacramento,
to visit our two daughters who now have families of their own.
Seven grand kids, 2 daughters and their spouses make for a lot of birthdays  – not to mention the holidays!





SunsetFenceJune2 258

A blurry drive-by near sunset – see the fence?

It began to dawn on us we would save money, time and energy  if we didn’t have to do all that traveling, even though we passed by gorgeous landscapes.
Moving seemed to be a good choice. We found out it came also with hurdles adjustments.





Sounds kinda superficial, but one of the hurdles is STUFF

Was glad that we already had “purged” stuff (including one fifth our books,
:(  ),  moving 5 years ago from a 3 bedroom house with a 2 car garage and a yard to a 2 bedroom condo and one car garage.
Still though, the real estate agent/broker urged us  to “de-clutter.”







“Moms and Pops have done all the work. Now all we have to do Mallory, is sitting pretty”
“But Pugi …, I AM pretty!”















Then we found out that the stuff was the easiest. Said goodbye to LE BEACH.
The sound of the crashing of the waves.  The wind and color of the water. The rhythm of ebb and flow.
Shells and other gifts the ocean leaves on the beach. the birds, sea lions and other creatures.
Seeing the sun rise or disappear setting in the water.










Goodbye to ARTIST BUDDIES. Love to discover other people’s gifts. She’s a natural. This is only her second time that she made a mosaic! If you look closely, she potted (real) plants in the cups  – half sticking out – that are part of the mosaic.
Of course I will make new art friends:)










Goodbye to CITY LIFE STYLE  in San Diego.

Afternoon escapes, only 1 1/2 hours away. Sitting in the shade in Old Town enjoying an ice cream while listening to live music from South American artists.

On the way back home  often enjoying the firework of Disney land – for free:)
At home, browsing at the well known South Coast Plaza (mall) – a 10 minute walk from my former condo –  with cool stores like the Container Store, Crate and Barrel, Anthropology, and Barnes and Nobles with magazines for my next knitting project.
Now I drive an hour and 15 min. to Sacramento!











Curiously enough the only plant I could get to bloom  on my deck are this kind of potted hydrangeas. All other flowers and plants failed to survive:) (except for the stag horn and cactus). Happy that this one is trying hard to stay with me and bloom in a land climate (hot summers, colder winters) .





BUT …    I gain peace and quiet around my house!  Can grow roses, or fruit trees. Maybe even both! Can sing as loud as I want to, while painting. Even if it would be two in the morning.  Can sit on my deck or balcony without having to have the right clothes on, or people staring. Probably can leave my door open, or leave my bag in the car!



 Hope you caught the TONGUE-IN-CHEEK attitude:)




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What does  –  this cloud  –  look like (I promise I won’t rate you for this question on the Rorschach Inkblot test – simply because it takes oodles of time to make up a “profile”).



On our way to stay overnite for a Saturday morning0 birthday party we saw this awesome cloud.






Holding On_2469





Sunday afternoon at Tiger Creek (fishing) Lake we’re watching our little dare devil closely






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Visiting a friend. Come to find out that her brother is a horticulturist. No wonder, these plants and flowers I also saw in a botanical garden nearby. Of course I forgot the name of the flower, but nonetheless stunningly beautiful!






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You may remember  my three art shows last year in Holland. Whenever we had time in-between gallery and workshop activities, we went to visit friends. They lived in Zwolle, the East, less than an hour of the Harbor of Kampen













Sky on our way to Kampen. This pic makes me smile, because Holland is soo green and so flat – the opposite of where I live now. Here in California everything outside is brown because of triple digits heat, and live at 3000 feet, instead of below sea level:)














Arrivved at Kampen, before walking over this amazing bridge to the harbor, a white fence (left). The whole right side of this bridge is a reflection! It looked like a glass wall. Have no idea about the construction, since this bridge spans a good size river and  lets  also ships pass.

















One of the big sail boats in the harbor.
Never had been in Kampen all the years we lived in Holland …












After all these cool colors I need to see some bright and, or light colors. And that we saw in this flower in Hortus,  the North East (near Groningen).




All I ever heard in the past I heard things about Kampen that didn’t want me to spend time there.
Have you ever come to a place you discovered “I NEVER  thought THIS would be such a COOL place?




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Kind of a dramatic title, but you’ll get the gist of it when you read the text and see the images.
Even though most people are impressed with the mountains and waterfalls of Yosemite, the greens are one of my favorite features of this place.


overhangingBranchFaveSpot 124

We discovered this spot one time on our way to leave the park.  Inviting to read a book or paint with a view of Bridal Veil Falls. The (then little) kids could play in the sand and in the water of the river.  It became a tradition to spend some time here, before we would leave for the cabin. This overhanging branch grew and grew with the years.










Overhanging Branch, Watercolor, 12 x 16 inch

Painting a tree may be simple, but somehow I often happen to choose the complicated ones!

It took me years before I thought I could tackle the enormous crown of leaves. Too complicated for an oil, so my first try was in watercolor.
When I started the sketch plein air,  I needed a strategy to avoid an overworked or boring rendition, and make this tree stand out!  The tree trunks and its shadows are brown, and the rocks below are brown – it  happens to be my least favorite color.   Hence I picked up on any hint of another color for the rocks, and exaggerated it for the painting.

The trunks and branches I did in different kinds of brown: yellow brown, auburn to Bordeau red. Okay, so far so good.

The sky and  background with the wet-in wet approach ( below, for you technical buffs) for the crown of leaves. Some leaves are detailed, others just indicated by color differences.

A tree can be painted many ways.
A painter does not copy, but gives a mood and story to the place.
I wanted the end result to be an airy, somewhat whimsical tree with many leaves to give lots of shade. That’s what this spot is to me.

** wet-in-wet approach: spray or wet paper with sponge.  When you see a glaze,  the paper will be almost dry, put in a background of several colors (the colors will seep over into each other). Wait a few seconds more to put some blurry leaves in. Some crisp leaves for the foreground when the paper is completely dry. Don’t forget before this process to tape the edges of your paper:)









How the sky above our house (back then)  looked like during the day

It had been hot in the summer of 2008. The Fall was even hotter and the year of the fires in California (kind of symbolic for that year, eh?). At one point there were 15 large fires burning.
Even though the closest one was an hour away, ashes from the fire, carried by the wind  lay on the driveway on the car, on the lawn and everything that was outside – an eerie sight. Even though there were still patches with blue with clouds, the sky looked just ominous. I took my exercise walk in another city (40 min. away) for a week, because as soon as I came outside, I began to cough (though I have no allergies!) from all the ashes in the air.










 Tiger Lilly. Oil, 24 x 24 inch, St Germain

No wonder I choose back then to paint the orange tiger lily .
This lily says I AM fire.
I exude fire.
Waves of flames are around me
Fire is my breath, my life
my passion destroys everything
that has not gone through fire before

when you live around me
you burn too, like I do








Such devastation after a fire, effecting on only the landscape, but also animals and humans. It takes a while before the animals come back.



Usually  one post per week with all the memes -this week is DIFFERENT – from Thursday on also look on the post KAMPEN:) if you can’t find the meme you’re coming from  (I don’t know if wordpress automatically does a hyperlink)





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We added to our “work” map,  taken from Goldmining


The end of January we went for our anniversary on a tour of the gold rush towns in California.
Coming from Oakhurst in the South we followed high way 49 (the main vein for finding gold in 1849),
going North up to Amador County, Placerville and to the East )Pollock Pines, close to Lake Tahoe).




this part is from Coulterville to Jackson and Sutter Creek
(kind of the middle part of the Gold Rush tour).
The road kept climbing and with that the vegetation became greener,
but also many hairpin corners! Luckily no city traffic!

The pillars of this bridge are extremely high,
didn’t take time to go off the road for a better angle.




A straight view since the turnout on the road was small
Isn’t it gorgeous?
Also kind of half looking for an (eventual) house – we are both attracted to pioneering stuff,
but no houses at all for at least an hour all around, a little too much like “Little House on the Prairie” (at our age).






looking down on  a lovely lake.





Passed several towns  – quite tiny  –  with on  main street (highway 49)
a couple of houses and 2 – 3 stores. This house with two fences:)





Jackson and Sutter Creek were so close together
that it looked like the same town. We recently moved half an hour from here. So, am telling you about my NEW NEIGHBORHOOD!

Sutter Creek is called “the gem” of the Gold Rush towns
where gold was found in precious stones like quartz, etc.
I’ve seen a big stone of that in a store –  an expensive artwork in itself!
These towns are a little bigger, hence a good selection of stores





if you’re wondering – the “thing” in the middle holds my set of old-fashioned metric weights from Europe, to make it a  more interesting pic)


Spent some time at Main Street in the historic part of Jackson
Can’t get away without visiting a yarn & bead store  (and buying, lol)
In chatting with the owner she told the reason why the business was born.

A few months after having retired and moved
from a bigger city, she was so bored that she had a “need for something to do”
and voila “the Hole Affair” with yarn and beads was in business.





We both love browsing at second hand bookstores.
When our second one showed signs as a toddler
she was not interested in reading, we made sure she would overcome her dislike.

Now as a mother of three, the first opportunity  to go out for coffee when visiting her city,
she takes us to a B. & N. so she, and her little ones can read:):)


Along the road we saw several signs of “Gold Panning.”
Before our trip had seen a tutorial on You Tube of gold panning. It’s easy!
You just need a couple of buckets of water, a screen, and a shallow pan.

Some did become rich:):)
The news  ( Feb.25) reported John and Mary’s find of a 8 buckets of gold coins from the gold rush time in their back yard, at a value of 10 million! Yes, ten – no typo.
(Interview by Kagin’s Corner Archives)


You want to come treasure gold hunting with me?


Sorry for not getting back to your comments this last month. My recent move has been a very complicated one,  and finally this Wed. my computer got connected, so when my boxes from the move have dwindled down to a manageable level, I ‘ll reply to your comment back on my (long) breaks!

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Going with the Wind

We finally did it! Move, that is. It has taken us eight months to come this far.
Only our move from Holland to American has been more involved than this one.
However, this move was much more daunting, because it was not only a geographical move. This one would include a different life style. For most of our lives together we have been flying by the seat of our pants, working on multiple projects at the same time. Now, I have one big project in front of me that I know of –  – painting what I feel I need to paint. Not to become successful or get my name out there, but these paintings have a message.

With each choice
comes a seeking
beyond the practical
or most expedient
sometimes a choice becomes
one of DNA
why am I here
on this earth in this time
it’s unsettling!
the temptation
to grab easy and accessible
“what to do” is always there
waiting if I’ll fall into the trap this time


Beyond this ascent_3221



 Beyond this crest
a burst of newness
Blues and greens touch my eye
looking  down at the soil
new ground to cover
then stretching to the horizon
a new ascent
calls me









Dare I float
with the wind
the current
to unknown territories
unforseen Heights?

As long as the deep
opens up its secrets
its jewels, shells, and pearls
and I can roam
to my Hearts content.




* Am referring here to the following
Age 5-10 were the only years I lived in a tiny town of, while the rest of my life (5+ decades) I have lived in major cities. As a child I was happy in that fisherman’s village, but I knew my parents were very unhappy, always longing back for the big city. So in the last months I have been seriously checking my motives, my family, priorities, etc., etc. In poetry things can be really left vague, but it would be a little superficial to pretend that I just wanted to post some artsy phrases to go with my pics.

Last, but not least, I am excited about this new house. Love the  big open living room with vaulted ceilings. Am jazzed by the idea we have more than an acre of land. It doesn’t look that much, because it slopes down. So when I’m standing at the back yard border, it looks like the house is on top of a hill. Pretty cool! Have never lived at 3000 feet, but I  guess changes come with a new territory:) Am I prepared?

… We’ll see what life brings!


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Yosemite Nat. Park has been an almost yearly treat, since my youngest child was 5 years old. High mountains and high waterfalls is the hallmark of Yosemite.

Not winning, but to conquer – anything – is in the blood of our family.

Our daughter climbed Half Dome one time, my son two times, and hubby 4 times. To conquer Half Dome they would practice by climbing Yosemite Falls, then Vernal Falls (which is the first stop of Half Dome), the next day they would climb to Nevada Falls (2nd stop), and at the end of the week to the very top of Half Dome.  I conquered that mountain by painting this, and other mountains, since hiking is not my thing.









On higher elevations nature is dramatic with sharp weather contrasts. Also, the wind always seems to blow here. The sky seems so close that you have the feeling when stretching your hand, you can touch  the “ceiling” of the world. Also, the eagles are in plain sight and do not seem to fly as high:)






Melting Snowcropsmaller


“Snow in June.”       With permission of  present owners. Also displayed on my first artwebsite

Several years we saw the snow on higher elevations still melting in June.  Coming from a country so flat and three fourth of it below sea level, I am still awestruck with any mountain view. Of course I had to paint this (to brag about the state I lived in ).

This remains one of my very few acrylics (which is technically an opaque watercolor, but when the paint dries it’s as strong as plastic). Loved to paint this view! With acrylic I miss the transparency one has with watercolors, as well as the velvety shine of oil. Now I have to rethink this, since they have come out with the transparent acrylics (Golden), as well at water-mixable oils!








One of my pre-digital era pics of Teneya Lake, close to 9000 feet. In the summer one can often see still patches of snow on the mountains. A few years, one couldn’t even walk on the meadows in June, because it was still too wet. We like to eat our picnic lunch here and have a gorgeous view.








 Modified for Mandarin Orange and Orange TGIF (crosshatch, glass, grain)








One of the few pics of  – my adult kids now – climbing. Here they were in their teens, at Nevada Falls on the way to Half Dome. The middle one on the left of the waterfall is my son and immediately on his right, in the light blue top, my daughter. Hubby took the pic, because I was far below, painting at Happy Isles. The contrast  in the pics is reduced (PS) to make the people more visible.






Not many wildflowers in the higher regions. I have one that I can’t find that is literally pressed against the ground.





pic half dome



But first timers come for the 9000 feet giant Half Dome on the right. You can climb to the top in 6 hours, but for the last part you need to sign  a permission slip (they allow only a certain number of people per day)- you climb a ladder and pull yourself up on ropes.


Even IF HIKING IS NOT YOUR THING, the park runs a FREE BUS to see some of he GIANT SEQUOIA TREES and HUGE WATER FALLS. You can go white water rafting, swimming, or biking. They have GUIDED TOURS with rangers, or PAINT PLEIN AIR (buy paper, brushes and paint there if you like – pretty cheap!) with  free instruction for all ages from a professional artist. Come before August when there’s still lots of water  at the water falls!




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PS – Since I’ve been doing my comments on the Ipad, some of you may not have received them, because of weak connection , but hopefully I’ll get my computer unpacked and internet set up next week:)t