A little wine time


Paint and sip students

Five students and five interpretations of City Lights.

We had a fun time last night with 5 students working on ‘City Lights‘ at Teri’s home.  I keep on learning how to be a better teacher, I think…. but also the two students who were at the last paint-and-wine there noted that they had learned some things from the first session that meant they were a little more adept this time.  One of the things that I believe may make my paint-and-sip evenings different than others is the teaching element, and it seems to work!  The group are thinking next time they might like to do a still life with grapes.  Hmm, learning element for me.  Painting grapes for almost-beginners in a few hours.

Newer Work #43

Mixed media sky abstract painting

#1219 Hot Sunset. Mixed media on solid wood panel. 17″ diameter, $300.


Hot Sunset is the first of a series of round panels.  I had tried one before and found it was well received so, needing to create a batch of smaller work, procured a stack of round panels.  This painting is created entirely from leftovers from a recent commission.  I like working with this new shape and am looking forward to other variations.  And a move towards more abstraction.

Newer Work #42

Sunset painting

#1217 David’s Sunset. Oil on canvas, 39×17″. $550.



This skyscape was painted from a friend’s photograph of a sunset across the Pacific Ocean.  A bit of a departure for me as my usual sun-over-water paintings are sunrises.  Most west coasters think only of the sun going down into the water – but I live on a small stretch of land where it not only comes up over the water, but at about a month around winter solstice appears to come up out of the water.  (I just have to be weird.)  And of course this had to be a weird size of stretcher bars I up-cycled from somewhere I can’t remember.


[stunned silence]….[dial tone]

I guess we all have heard about these scam phone calls from people who claim to be your friends from Microsoft, talk you through helpfully giving them free access to your computer and all the personal files on it.  Quite scary for the uninitiated.  But I think my answers are worth a share.  (Of course if real Microsoft tech support people really do* need to call you back about a problem, they’ll know your ‘ticket’/problem number, and you’ll be expecting them anyway.)

Usually the house phone is Unplugged unless I need to make a call, because of cold call tele-salespeople, survey takers and scammers.  However after a recent rainstorm the phone was having problems so was Plugged In so Frontier could contact me to coordinate fixing it, leaving me vulnerable.


Me: Hi

Scammer: Hi… is this Jeni?  Jeni Bate?

Me: Yes.

Scammer: Hi Jeni, this is Linda from Microsoft.  About your computer….

Me: (thinks: oh, really? Your accent doesn’t match your name, Linda.)

Good answer: 

Me: Oh, Hi.  Which ticket number are you calling about? I have three tickets open with you.  Which one are you calling about?

[long silence]….[dial tone].

Better answer:

Me: Oh cool, you’ve fixed it?  Can I come pick it up?

Best answer:

Me: Oh wow, have you tracked it’s location?  Have you informed the police?




Newer work #41

No, I have no idea why this painting has this name.  Sometimes the names (like the poems) just fall out of the air, the cup, the end of the pen…..perhaps it’s because we all forget the beauty that can be in the sky even on the calmest day.  This is one from my head, taken from an idea I saw may years ago coming out of Laguna Beach, CA – we came across the top of the hill and before us was Orange County drenched in fog.

Mauve sky painting

#1216 The Forgotten Garden. Oil on canvas 12×12″, $100

Newer Work #40

That moment when the gray clouds shift to red…. and before they shift to orange, peach, yellow, white….  from one of the mornings when it’s awesome to sit on the swing with coffee and the camera.

Red dawn painting

#1215 Red Shift. Oil on canvas 12×12″ $100

Newer Work #39

Dawn at Sea Crest Place is always a joy to behold, even with just a few clouds.  This is another of those beautiful starts to the day, although I did not include the Salton Sea in the foreground.  Not everyone has a body of water over which to watch the sun rise.

Oil painting of sunrise

#1214 Another Joy. Oil on wraparound canvas, 12×12″. $100.