Wednesday, August 15, 2018

CATS: In from the Wild now Available as an e-Book

My book, CATS: In from the Wild is now available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle. It was originally published by Carolrhoda Books in 1993 and is out of print. The cover has been redesigned but the text and full color photos inside are the same as in the original book. CATS: In from the Wild is illustrated with color photographs by Richard Hewett. I am happy to have CATS: In from the Wild now available to new readers as an e-book. You can read it with a Kindle app on various devices (I use my iPad) or on your computer. 

Despite their 6,000-year association with humans, cats still retain elements of their wild ancestry and provide us with the opportunity to experience animal behavior up close. All cats, from the 800-pound tiger to an 8-pound house cat, exhibit similar behaviors. In Cats: In from the Wild you will learn about the domestic cat's history and the many types of cats that exist--both wild and domestic. Through full-color photographs you will get a close-up look at these fascinating animals.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY in My Neighborhood or Yours!

Note: This is a repost from July 2013. Since then, hundreds of more Little Free Libraries have sprung up all over and the one pictured above in my neighborhood continues to be well used. Do you have one in your neighborhood?

I was out for a walk around my West Los Angeles neighborhood the other day and discovered that one of my neighbors has put up a library box in front of their house.  It is full of books free for the taking. You can also contribute books to share with the community. I had heard about the free library movement, but this was the first time I had seen it near me.
The Little Free Library movement was started by a group of  builders, stewards, book donors, borrowers, neighbors and friends in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The mission of this movement as stated on the main website is:
  •     To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.
  •     To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity, and wisdom across generations
  •     To build more than 2,510 libraries around the world – more than Andrew Carnegie!
Inspired by this noble mission a group of people have begun to build a network of Little Free Libraries in the West Los Angeles area. If you are interested in becoming a librarian by building a little free library at your home, school or community center, please contact the Little Free Library for more information.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

KIDS ART ACTIVITY: Inspired by “Butterfly” Compositions by Mark Grotjahn at LACMA

Paintings by Mark Grotjahn at LACMA
An interesting contrast to the David Hockney portraits at the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA is the exhibit in the adjacent gallery of “butterfly” or starburst compositions by Mark Grotjahn. (The actual name of the show is 50 Kitchens–see below.) The colorful paintings, all the same size and with a similar design, are mounted on stark white walls–as opposed to the pomegranate red walls of the Hockney show. Each of the Grotjahn paintings explores a different combination of colors. And when you get close you can see speckles of other colors peeking through.
Choosing favorite colors
On the Sunday afternoon that I visited, two groups of kids were doing activities related to the paintings. After choosing the paintings with their favorite colors, they gathered on the floor with paper, rulers and colored pencils to create their own butterfly designs. As you look at each painting the two halves are mirrors of each other, just like a pair of butterfly wings! It looked like a fun project–for kids or adults!
This painting is symmetrical on the horizontal axis; others are on the vertical axis.

The exhibit ends August 19, 2018.

Los Angeles-based artist Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968) has made “Butterfly” compositions since 2002, and the latest to come out of his studio is 50 Kitchens (2013–18), exhibited here for the first time. Conceived as one work, 50 Kitchens takes its inspiration from a single composition (in black and cream-colored pencil) that Grotjahn made to meet the dimensional specifications of a wall in his kitchen. The more than 50 subsequent chromatic drawings explore pairs of radiating colors (like Tuscan Red and Chartreuse, or Grass Green and Canary Yellow) and together create a prismatic display. The works allude to artists interested in color, light, and optics, such as Wassily Kandinsky and the Op art painters of the 1960s, and also incorporate residual traces of earlier drawings that have been seamlessly integrated into the new works.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils from the Ice Age NOW IN PAPERBACK at Amazon

Now available in a paperback edition on Amazon
My book TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils From the Ice Age is now available as a paperback book on Amazon. It was originally published by Clarion Books in 1987 with black and white photos by Richard Hewett. In this new version, the text has been updated and is now illustrated with full color photos by Arthur and Caroline Arnold. I am happy to have TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils From the Ice Age in print again and available to new readers. In the original version my children, Jennifer and Matt, were some of the models. They have now grown up and have children of their own. In the new book, my grandchildren, Alessandra, Lucas and Paige, are in some of the photos, taken on family trips to the tar pits and the George C. Page Museum. I am grateful for their cheerful cooperation! I also thank my son Matt and son-in-law Humberto for their photo contributions.
Arnold family and Columbian Mammoth at the George C. Page Museum
TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils From the Ice Age is also available on Amazon as an e-book. You can read it with a Kindle app on various devices (I use my iPad) or on your computer.

Between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago, imperial mammoths, giant ground sloths, and sabertooth cats roamed across the continent of North America. Like the dinosaurs that lived millions of years ago, these Ice Age creatures are extinct today. Only their fossil bones remain.
During the Ice Age, over 400 different kinds of animals lived on the grassy plain that is now Los Angeles. Then, as now, pools of tar sometimes seeped to the surface of the earth. Unwary animals stepped into the sticky tar and were trapped. There they died. Gradually their bones sank to the bottom of the tar seep. In time, the tar penetrated the bones and preserved them.
This book tells the story of the Rancho La Brea fossils and examines the work of the paleontologists who excavate and study them at the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries in Los Angeles, California.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

DAVID HOCKNEY: 82 PORTRAITS and 1 STILL LIFE at LACMA

David Hockney Portrait Exhibit at LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
"I think I've found something that I could go on with forever, because people are fascinating, they're mysterious really." David Hockney
Entrance to the exhibit with photo of Hockney at work in his studio
If you haven't seen the David Hockney show at LACMA, 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life, I highly recommend it. I went to see it on Sunday. At age 80, David Hockney is still going strong. The portraits are stunning and the red walls of the gallery are a perfect foil for the green and blue background of the paintings.
Julie Green
As I walked around I noticed a woman leading a tour. Then I looked at her dress and realized she was Julie Green, one of the people in the portraits!
Architect Frank Gehry
There are portraits of his studio assistants, massage therapist, housekeeper and cook. Others depict Hockney’s siblings, the children and grandchildren of his friends, and art dealers and prominent cultural figures in Los Angeles. All of the paintings are labeled with the sitter's name and dates of sitting.
Organized by the Royal Academy in conjunction with LACMA, the exhibition opened in London in 2016, then traveled to Venice, Italy; Bilboa, Spain; and Melbourne, Australia. The only U.S. stop is L.A., the city where the portraits were painted and where most of his subjects live.
The 83 paintings line the walls of two large galleries in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum
The series began in 2013 after David Hockney moved to Los Angeles from his home and studio in rural England.
Each person came to Hockney’s studio for two or three days and sat in the same chair on a small platform while Hockney painted. All of the figures are full length and the canvas size is the same for each portrait. The backgrounds are simple–flat color and just a suggestion of shadow on the floor. What comes across in each painting is the distinct personality of the sitter.
The one still life was painted on a day when one of his subjects had to postpone her session. So Hockney set up a bench with pieces of fruit in the same spot in his studio and painted it instead.   

If you haven’t seen this spectacular exhibit you need to go soon. It ends July 29, 2018.


David Hockney: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life
April 15, 2018–July 29, 2018


Review in the LA Times by Barbara Isenberg

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils From the Ice Age is Now Available as an e-Book and Paperback

My book, TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils From the Ice Age is now available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle. It was originally published by Clarion Books in 1987 and is out of print. That book was illustrated with black and white photos by Richard Hewett. In this new version, the text has been updated and is now illustrated with full color photos by Arthur and Caroline Arnold. I am happy to have TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils From the Ice Age available to new readers as an e-book. You can read it with a Kindle app on various devices (I use my iPad) or on your computer.

Update as of July 24, 2018: TRAPPED IN TAR: Fossils from the Ice Age is also available as a paperback on Amazon.

Between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago, imperial mammoths, giant ground sloths, and sabertooth cats roamed across the continent of North America. Like the dinosaurs that lived millions of years ago, these Ice Age creatures are extinct today. Only their fossil bones remain.
During the Ice Age, over 400 different kinds of animals lived on the grassy plain that is now Los Angeles. Then, as now, pools of tar sometimes seeped to the surface of the earth. Unwary animals stepped into the sticky tar and were trapped. There they died. Gradually their bones sank to the bottom of the tar seep. In time, the tar penetrated the bones and preserved them.
This book tells the story of the Rancho La Brea fossils and examines the work of the paleontologists who excavate and study them at the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries in Los Angeles, California.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

UCLA CLARK LIBRARY, Tea and Shaw in the Garden

UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Last Sunday, my husband and I and several friends had a lovely afternoon in the garden of the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library enjoying a tasty afternoon tea as we listened to a lively reading by the Chalk Repertory Theatre of George Bernard Shaw's play Misalliance.
Cast of Misalliance (Chalk Repertory Theatre)
Before the play began we picked up our box of tea sandwiches and cup of tea (or lemonade) to enjoy under the shaded tent.
Tea sandwiches, strawberries and a scone
This was my first visit to the Clark Library, located in the West Adams district. The library is for researchers, but the beautiful 5 acre grounds, basically a park, are open to the public. The library, built in 1926, is a handsome brick structure modeled on other specialty libraries such as the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Morgan Library in New York. It is surrounded be spacious lawns, walkways, flower gardens and various nooks with sculptures and fountains.  I love the sundial "When the sun is not shining, I do this for fun."
Sundial sculpture by Eric Gill
The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, which is administered by UCLA’s Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies, is located on a historic, five-acre property in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles. The rare book and manuscript library specializes in the study of England and the Continent from the Tudor period through the long eighteenth century. Other subject strengths include Oscar Wilde, book arts, and Montana and the West. The Clark is open to students, professors, and scholars throughout the world and serves as the research laboratory for a distinguished array of fellows working either in early modern studies or the fin-de-si├Ęcle world of Oscar Wilde.
East lawn of the library grounds
Tours can be arranged by appointment. My writer friends and I plan to make this an expedition sometime in the near future.