Saturday, October 31, 2009

Danny Gregory

I asked my friend and mentor, Danny Gregory, for favor for a project I'm working on and here's what he wrote.

"With pen and brush, Jane LaFazio has been turning the stuff of her life in to a sumptuous, varied work of art Her experimentation and dedication to journaling are a constant revelation and inspiration."

"Illustrated journaling is the a wonderful way to integrate creativity into your life, to record the blessings your receive everyday, and to reveal the world as a richer and more beautiful place."

your pal,

Gosh, this makes me so very happy! Thank you dear Danny!

(Oh, and don't forget I'm one of the featured artists in Danny's recent book "An Illustrated Life." )

Friday, October 30, 2009

pom and persims

I love fall. Pomegranates and Persimmons are so great to paint. This was another continuous line/direct to ink.

winery tomatoes

I taught 2 people today the winery, another of my one-on-one sketching & watercolor: journal style classes. It was farmers market today, so I bought some heirloom tomatoes to draw and paint.

winery rose

another from the winery today. The rose was difficult because we didn't have the right red and the rose was so deep and brilliant in the sunshine..I probably should have included a leaf or two..but hey, I was talking and teaching...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quilt Festival Long Beach 2010

Great news! I've been selected to teach two workshops at the International Quilt Festival at Long Beach 2010! I'll be teaching my Quiltlets in the morning and this one Floral Rubber Stamps: Design & Carve your Own in the afternoon. So mark your calendars for Thursday, July 22! Really, I'm very proud and amazed to be chosen to teach at a festival of this caliber! woohoo!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Cyanotype on paper. This is 8.5 x 13 inches and frankly, I like it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Art Quilts Exploration Classes

My popular Art Quilts Exploration class is open for registration. Now, I realize the class doesn't start until January 24th, but I wanted you, my loyal blog readers to know first. It's a once a month (4th Sunday of the month, from 12-3) for 6 sessions, and there will be no class in May and July. One must register through Quilters Paradise in Escondido, where the class is held. It's a total bargain at $120, and sorry, no make up classes. Call (760) 738-9677 to register. Not to mention, it's a ton of fun.

This piece is a fused collage called "Etruscan Bird" and we'll be learning this technique in one of the classes.

etruscan bird

Wet-Felting Workshop

This is me, making felt. One does this for about an hour and voila, a fabulous piece of hand made felt. I've planned another wet felting workshop, and this one will be held in Escondido (California) on Saturday, January 9th from 9:30-12:30 and cost $85, which includes plenty of wool roving for a piece about 18x18" piece. Email me if you want to be on the interest list and as we get closer, I'll ask you to commit and pay. (I'm handling registration)

Saturday, October 24, 2009


My dear husb will have his artwork for sale tomorrow at the annual Fundraiser for the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. The event is Sunday, October 25, from 1:30-4:30 in LaJolla, and costs $50 to attend. Click here for the invitation. He'll have 5 or 6 paintings and sketches for sale.

He asked me to update and print out his 'art' bio for the event, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Don Strom, originally from Seattle, Washington, graduated University of Washington and earned an MBA from San Francisco State University. After a stint in the army, he joined Hewlett-Packard as a member of the personnel department in Palo Alto, California. During his nearly 20-years with Hewlett-Packard, he and his wife, Jane LaFazio, relocated as his career warranted. Don and Jane moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Corvallis, Oregon; Seoul, Korea; Los Angeles; and in 1989, to San Diego, when Don became Site Personnel Manager at Hewlett-Packard in Rancho Bernardo.

June 1992, Don suffered a brain aneurysm in the left side of his brain. He was 46 years old. As a result, Don has aphasia, a language disability. He had to relearn communication, from understanding language, learning the alphabet, and pronunciation, to reading and writing. He battles the symptoms of aphasia daily. After years of perseverance and with continuing therapy, Don has developed a rich and rewarding quality of life. As a Hewlett-Packard executive, he was active in community service, and his family has always valued volunteer work. It was a natural transition from his extremely active management position, to an equally busy life of volunteer activities. Over the years of his disability, he has been active with Palomar Rehab’s "Time to Communicate," Y.E.S.S. (Young Enthusiastic Stroke Survivors), Toastmasters, and San Diego Watercolor Society and the Hewlett-Packard Retirees Club where he was President in 2004. In 1994, became a board member for San Diego Brain Injury Foundation and served for a dozen years (including a term as president and vice president) and continues to run the SDBIF monthly meetings held at Joyce Beers Center in Hillcrest.

Don enjoys sketching and painting on location and works in pen and ink, color pencil and watercolor. He began painting in 2000, and has studied with Helen Shafer Garcia, Jane LaFazio, Walter Brunning, and Norma Soule. His watercolor was selected as the cover art for "Brain Injury Guide for Families" with over 5,000 copies printed in English and Spanish and his painting "Lemons" was featured on notecards for a SDBIF fundraiers. Don has won numerous awards in local art exhibitions for his paintings and drawings


This is a 5x5" cyanotype (ah, just my size) and I added stitching to it. I'm going to finish it with a border of some kind.

Another class at the Winery

I taught another one-on-one "Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style" at the winery yesterday. Here's Sherrie with our subject matter.

Another leaf from the Winery

Angel trumpets

Orvieto, Italy 2010 trip

WooHoo! Cooky, Judy, Louise, Maureen and Ruth have signed up for my Bella Italia: Orvieto Sketchbook workshop May 23-29, 2010!! We're going!! There are a few more spaces, so join us! It's going to be fabulous...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mundo Lindo

I was interviewed yesterday for this article in the North County Times newspaper. You can read the whole article here. And make a donation by mailing it to: California Center to for the Arts, Escondido and sent to the Education Department, Mundo Lindo, California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm teaching a kids class this saturday

Self Portraits for kids age 8-12
Bravo School of Art, at NTC in Pt. Loma

Using soft pastel (chalk), create an original self-portrait on colored paper. With gentle instruction on facial proportion and placement of features, children will draw a face and color it in, learning to blend the chalk to their own skin tone. Self-portrait hair color and hair styles are left to their creative judgment!
Fee $23.00
Materials fee $2
Saturday, October 24 11am – 12:30pm
Register here

You can take your kid to the class, have a cuppa coffee, then go to the FALL FESTIVAL & FUN
from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ingram Plaza at NTC Liberty Station, Point Loma, CA 92106
Bravo School of Art will have a booth and will be offering Mask Making at this event.
A pumpkin patch with pumpkins for sale, a pumpkin carving station, kids crafts, bounce houses, face painters, balloon artists for kids of all ages to enjoy, along with hay rides will be among the many festivities for the day. There will be a costume contest for kids, adults, and your favorite four legged friend.

Balboa Park

they're not all winners...I did this as continuous line, straight to ink, and painted in 25 minutes. Flowers are a heck of a lot easier than architecture!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Queen Annes Lace

Another for my series "Flowers: Realistic to Graphic." I hope to teach this in a workshop, and I'm really having fun with the challenge. I draw the flower from life, then design and hand carve the stamp. The process really appeals to the graphic designer in me.

pom and peppers

I'm trying to draw everyday, directly in ink, a nearly continuous line drawing. I did a couple of practice drawings on cheap paper, then did this one in my Moleskine watercolor journal.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stargazer Lily Frenzy!

Yesterday I drew these lilies a couple of different times in different arrangements, all directly with pen and very quickly. In this image, I layered two of the drawings (one is on a transparency)

cyanotype with Lily

I also used the drawings I'd done, and part of the real lily in a cyanotype (sun print)

lilly in moleskine

Of course, I had to also do a very quick continuous line direct with pen in my Moleskine, with watercolor.

I'll be teaching "Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style" in Encinitas, CA on Dec 5 and I'll share all this with you! Register by calling 760-436-3310 or email Ellen here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

continuous line drawing in a couple of minutes

I did 3 versions of this (I'll scan and post on flickr) drawing directly with ink on 8.5 x11" paper, mostly continuous line drawing, very quickly. These stargazer lillies are very easy to draw, just like most organic/floral shapes, they are forgiving. Great visual practice, and I'll using them as design elements in my mixed media work.

4 minute drawing in pen with watercolor wash

This is one I did a workshop on Sunday, given by Cathy Quiel from an image she projected on the wall.
My mentor and inspiration Danny Gregory has done this type of prep, washing the paper first with watercolor, not really knowing what drawing it would be used for. In this instance, after the inital color wash had dried, I did the drawing directly in pen and watercolor shadows in 4 minutes! Danny has said that drawing directly in pen will improve your drawing skills, but frankly, it is a little nerve-racking...Gotta just trust your drawing skills...and you know, you can always toss it in the trash when you're working on individual sheets of paper.

radish-8 minute drawing, 10 minute watercolor

I did this in Brenda Swenson's 3 hour workshop on Sunday. An 8 minute drawing and a 10 minute watercolor. Granted, the radish is larger than it was in reality, but I think the fresh, spontaneous quality is what's important in a sketchbook image.

artichoke and tomatoes

Woohoo! I drove to Pasadena yesterday (4 hours RT) for this event and I'm all invigorated and jazzedwith some new to me ideas for sketching & watercolor in my journal. Got some really fabulous ideas from Brenda Swenson. I did this `8x10" in her morning workshop in less that 30 minutes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

new bird in town

A new bird for my collection! I got it here on Raven Meets Crow Etsy site. I love it! And Jane Dávila is gonna be jealous--She collects bird imagery too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quiltlet: Hibiscus

Finished this quiltlet last night. Pokey has the others, I still have had to decide how to unite them all into one piece.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bernardo Winery

Hmm. This got a little muddy. I taught one of my one-on-one workshops at the Winery today, and this was the subject the student chose. I know, I can't blame the student!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Peace, Love and get off the sidewalk.

Our San Diego Sketchcrawl group met today at the Self Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens in Encinitas. The manager was not thrilled we were there, and also the rules don't allow eating on the premises. So, at lunch time, when we get together to share our journals, the 6 of us sat out near the sidewalk in a dirt area (without blocking any pedestrians.) The mgr sent the security guard out to tell us to leave! I said, "but isn't this city property?" "Yes," said the nice guard, "but she told me to tell you to leave." So much for fellowship!
Aside from that bad karma, it was a gorgeous day, and I sat and drew the most cooperative koi and the waterlillies, that is, before the incident.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


"Flower: Realistic to Graphic." Does that sound like a good title for a workshop in how to do this? The orchid proved to be quite difficult. I carved the stamp 3 times before I was happy with this one. Watercolor and hand-carved stamp on 5x7 watercolor paper. Here's the ones I've done so far.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Come to Orvieto, Italy with me.

Bella Italia: Orvieto Sketchbook
Dates: May 23 - 29, 2010
Instructor/Leader: Jane LaFazio

Trip Description
Ever wanted to create your own illustrated travel journal? Have you seen people sketching in exotic locales, and thought, gosh, I wish I could do that. You can! Jane knows that everyone has the ability. It just takes the opportunity to slow down, sit in one place and really look, then let your pencil sketch what you see.

Orvieto, Italy, an ancient, colorful, hilltop town is full of inspiration. We will spend a week using that inspiration to power your creativity. Each day we'll sketch and watercolor on 5x7" pages of watercolor paper in different areas of this historic, charming city. The last day we'll create a paper-on-cloth portfolio to hold the sketches (as single pages or in an accordion book format) and other found mementos creating your own unique Bella Italia: Orvieto Sketchbook.

Jane will gently guide beginners as well as the more experienced to draw what you see, to capture the small details of a place, while savoring sounds, smells, and breezes around you. She and Italy will help you slow down, sit quietly and really ‘be’ in a place, while you sketch and watercolor and journal artfully. Drawing is about seeing, you’ll have the opportunity to record your impressions, as unique as your handwriting, in your Italian sketchbook. The skills you learn here will be with you always, so you can continue to illustrate your travels and your daily life in your journal.

May 23 - Arrive Orvieto, welcome dinner
May 24 - Orientation, guide to your week, living in the moment
Learn to sketch what you see. Spend the morning drawing and painting some of the details of our B&B, its plants and architectural details.
Colors of Orvieto walking tour, Italian culture, wine tasting
May 25 - Sketching and painting in the town of Orvieto
Cooking class, learning the art of making pasta, dinner & wine
May 26 - Sketching and painting on location at the Etruscan Necropolis and the Cathedrals San Brizio Chapel
Shop for local treats and picnic, afternoon free, evening Etruscan cave tour
May 27 - Market Day. Visit the food & flower market, sketching and painting the sights, and shopping for picnic.Sketch and paint our picnic goods. Picnic! Create portfolio to hold your Orvieto pages and mementos
Vineyard tour and wine tasting off “the rock”
May 28 - Complete and embellish portfolio and sketchbook pages and compile. Show and share sketchbooks
May 29 - Depart Orvieto

Cost - $2475. Fee includes six nights double occupancy lodging and basic course materials. Single occupancy available for an additional cost. Because Italian cuisine is such fun, meals are not prearranged or included - we do give lots of advice! Travel costs are not included.

There’s lots of information and more photos of Orvieto on the website
Read the terms and agreements and register here.

The trip is just 7 months away. Probably time to decide. We’ll going to have a magical wonderful time, and I hope you can join us. Come with a friend and take my class, or there are other activities to choose from happening the same week, like photography with my friend Jan Phillips or Taste of Orvieto.
You can see more of my watercolor sketchbook here.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


This is Doheny State Beach, in Dana Point. Gorgeous, huh?? Husb and I were camping here last night.

Husb on the beach

Spectacular weather.

number 57

THIS was our campsite! See that blue on the horizon line? That would be the Pacific Ocean! That would be the beach (with a little bern to protect us from the waves). The tide was about 50 steps from our campsite. We've camped a fair amount along the southern California coast, but this was the best location ever. We just camped one night, as usual, walked the beach in the afternoon, and morning. It was the perfect location of all time.

Camping in Dana Point

This is two separate drawings on one page, can you tell what they are?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Quail Gardens Tree

At Quail Gardens last week, I drew and inked this tree, but didn't have time to add color. Here's what it looked like when we left the garden. The next day, I added the color using my new Derwent Inktense pencils. I was tempted to do the foilage too, but just didn't have the time--I love working with color pencils, but it is such a s-l-o-w process.

Husb and I have been quite the theatre goers in the last week. At Carlsbad's New Village Arts we saw Things We Want. A fabulous, very funny, sometimes dark, unpredictable, go-see-it play. Then yesterday we saw Sammy, at the Old Globe. I do believe Sammy Davis Jr was the worldest greatest entertainer, and this play is bound for Broadway. We grinned, tapped our toes through out and loved it.

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