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This is my  first blog post since WordPress made all their changes.  Technology challenged…..

Sketch Fall leaves fruit

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Paris: Another view of Notre-Dame

May 2019 – Luckily I visited Paris last year, May and June 2019.  We had a few days of rain, but mostly perfect weather.  Walked, used Metro, and explored the unwinding spiral of arrondissements which organize Paris into twenty administrative districts.

Notre-Dame de Paris, Our Lady of Paris, Cathedral after the fire.   I took this photo of the South facade and the nave from across the street.  This top-of-the-list tourist destination was barricaded and closed to visitors.

Although this 800-year old building was scorched, battered and much of the roof destroyed and the central spire burned and gone, the rose windows were not damaged.

Notre-Dame is one of the treasures of French Gothic architecture.  Some distinguishing characteristics of this style include: rib vaults, flying buttresses, rose windows, and sculptural decoration.  See also: Paris: Notre-Dame

Notre Dame with buttresses and scaffolding cropPhoto: LR 2019

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Paris: Notre-Dame

Some details…Notre-Dame is a medieval Catholic Cathedral.  It is located in the center of Paris on an island in the Seine River, the Ile de la Cite, in the 4th Arrondissement.  I remember learning about the flying buttresses, structural supports, in school when I was in 8th grade.   An example of Gothic architecture.

Notre-Dame de Paris, cathedral before the fire.  See the tall spire in the center.

Paris before the fire

April 15, 2019. This iconic structure from the 12th century was on fire.  I was glued to the news and heavy-hearted.

notre dame on fire


Below is Notre-Dame after the fire with all the scaffolding and no giant spire and a large portion of the roof gone.   I took this after-photo in May 2019.

Before-After, a defining event.

Great view of the flying buttresses!  These Gothic features allowed for thinner, higher walls with large stain-glass windows.  Above the scaffolding to the far left of the shorter spire, you can see a gargoyle protruding out.

Notre Dame after the fire

Pandemic 2020: Another defining event.
Life/culture/travel/relationships/work/traditions/education: Before/After

I hope you are all safe. LR

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Mentioning Babies

I usually don’t put family photos on my blog…but since I have a new grandchild, a baby boy, grandchild number 7, I thought I’d post this picture of me as a baby.  I’m the one with the full head of dark brown hair.  Soooooo cute!!!  Right?  My sister is adorable with those huge eyes, and my mom follows in the glamour tradition of her era.

LW baby with mom and Wendy crop 2

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What a Strange Year…

Pandemic 2020 – Hope you are all safe, keeping fear in its proper place, trusting that you will survive…we are on a journey into the unknown.

I looked for photos that reflect other journeys into the vast, sometimes tangled, sometimes wondrous, sometimes uncertain, unknown.

I wish I had profound words to inspire, strengthen, help.  The world we have known, won’t be the same.  But when I look back over my life, that has been true over and over, again and again, with every major challenge in my life, I have emerged changed.

I think what is different with this pandemic, is the cultural changes that are taking place.  That’s the unknown we will all be living with for a long time.

Quote: Don’t let fear defeat you – stay strong, stay safe.  LR

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Umbrella Sky Project

Le Village Paris 4 girls clarity and light I’ve been doing some research on this shopping mall that I visited in Paris last year.  My sisters and I had actually gone to visit the Madeleine Church located in the 8th Arrondissement. Light rain misted down on us. On our walk from the Metro, we were pulled in, like a magnet, by the colorful umbrellas.

Turns out the shopping area is called Le Village Royale where there are designer shops and expensive boutiques.  Because of the rain the colors reflected off the wet stone walkway.  There was an air of magic and then these whimsical sculptures added another dimension.  I love unexpected surprises!

The Umbrella Sky Project is an ongoing open air, short term installation developed by Portuguese artist Patricia Cunha.  There have been others around Europe since 2012.  On the Paris day I experienced it, the colors contrasting against the gray day, had a WOW reaction.

I believe the sculpture artist is Carole Feuerman, but I am still researching her work.

Also see my post A Little Magic from Paris

I hope you are all safe during this time of pandemic.  LR

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A Little Magic from Paris

umbrella whimsy

This was the center walkway between many shops in Paris.  Can’t remember the mall name or which district it was in.   Loved the whimsy!!!

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Hello, I’m still here…

LR Study of Vermeer "Lady Writing a Letter" Hello WordPress fans!  Hope you are all in a peaceful and productive place.  This year, 2019, has been memorable for me.  I’ve been busy writing, painting, adventuring.  Several work opportunities have come my way.  I see three of my grandchildren weekly…what else?

Finally, I have traveled.  Yes, Paris, France for two weeks!

Both my sisters shared the experience:  first a one week Rick Steve’s Paris tour and then an Airbnb on our own.  We learned the metro and bus systems and traveled all over Paris.  Also, spent one day exploring Versailles and another train excursion to Chartres to see the cathedral there.

My creative energy has been ignited by the experience.  My advice:  travel if you can. Best wishes, LR


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2019 New Year Update

Cat and Toby Fairy Sleep  My creative muse takes me on another journey….

The year 2018 feels a blank now but I did stretch my wings, on a creative ride for six months.   I attended a day conference in October, sharing both writing and a portfolio of some artwork.  Professional feedback is important.

My NaNo novel needs another rewrite and may contain more than one story line which confuses the reader.  Success in finishing a manuscript is only the beginning.  Then comes the lengthy revision process to mold all those words into a compelling story.  I have temporarily shelved this novel and in 2019, continue with another story and some short memoir vignettes.

My art received high praise.  However, I am more artist than illustrator.  Think of it this way, a children’s picture book is usually 32 pages with art work that holds together consistently from beginning to end.  Most of my images could easily stand alone as individual paintings. In 2019, I have started a larger painting based on some of my ideas from last year.  I am pulled to paint like rain to plant growth.

You may remember, I applied for an art residency last June. What happened?  I received notification in December that I was not accepted.  The odds were 70 out of 1000, so I was one of many.   The application process was lengthy and I benefited from organizing my thoughts.  I have no regrets.

Last year has become 2019.  I hope it is a prosperous and adventurous year for all.

Best wishes, LR


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Sculpture Inspired by My Art

sculpture 1Following my creative muse, I’ve taken some ceramic classes over the past several years.  Working in clay reminds me of play and I have had fun making small figurines.   The one above was directly inspired by my painting Daughters of the Earth, 2017.

The glaze I used is WC Turquoise, which is a gorgeous color.  The reddish brown is actually the clay reacting with the glaze.  Working in clay has opened up a whole new avenue of creative exploration.  I  prefer hand-building and do not personally work on the wheel.

I highly recommend taking a ceramic class.  Beginning Hand-building is the place to start.   Emeritus classes have free registration and a minimal materials fee.  Classes are also available through the Junior College, Community Center, weekend workshops, and specific Ceramic Studios.  Some classes are available from an artist’s home studio.

Here’s another example of my Art/Sculpture connection:

Sculpture 2

This painting (photo of my most recent version) is titled Wings of Wonder, 2018.  For the sculpture glaze I used a Red Iron Oxide with selected area of Celadon color glaze.

Create – make – do…
Best wishes.  LR


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