HELLO FRIENDS, sorry everything went haywire last week while trying to display my post)s) via the wonky Ipad. I even deleted one in the process, lol!


THE GOOD:  This time hubby caught me unaware – Miss Chatty looked straight into his lens while chatting with a lovely girl who  just got back from earthquake relief in Nepal. (Not my paintings above)

Below, one of my three paintings -36 x 36 inch. Oil. Above the Throne,  © StGermain

God, the creator of the universe, and the ONLY God, the one of Abram, Isaac, and Jacob (an altogether different god some call Allah)  is invisible for the natural eye, is presented here as an eternal fire. The Creator is worshiped by specific angels or worship night and day (I left off the 3 sets of wings each has). The sounds of the songs and music of worship are symbolized by the concentric rays. Whoa, I can’t wait to see and hear this magnificent happening!!

AbovetheThrone 36 x 36



THE RANDOM:  Maybe once in a few years I will not have water …
THE CHAT: (my meme, haha) in retrospect – because my work as a therapist was confidential, and I couldn’t share personal experiences which were very significant, art has been the balancing factor in sharing my thoughts and opinions about what I do. Believe me, the more serious the art, the more discussion is going on.



Also for Tuesday Texture

THE FUN: Turned this corner with a pretty grey fence above the colorful rocks to grab a Double-Double
2 beef & cheese
at “In and Out” ( a family owned franchise – big hamburgers – only a few times a year!)



For Thursday Door – I discovered this lovely challenge/meme  on wordpress…(clicking below – where all the memes are listed for this week), will take you there.


Hubby’s capture with macro lens

Because we would be gone for a week, we stashed my favorite plants at my
daughter, but forgot about the lipstick plant who just started blooming when we left.
Don’t they look Velvet-y?  When we came back they were fine :)





One big potato cloud , two potato and a few little ones following, aren’t they cute?



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Between Los Angeles and Sacramento several farmers were not able to grow their crops this year because of the drought – a sad sight, driving by their empty land … they need a solution – Urgently!

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Monday the temps in Southern Cal. Dropped significantly, and at night when going home
to the hotel the first rain drops splattered on our car window.

Was gone for a week to participate in an art show in Laguna Niguel (Southern California) –
great for new connections! All I had with me was an old IPad that was a major frustration
because I was not able to link or comment on your blogs. Nor was I able to load up pics,
luckily had access to my media file and retrieved this from Fall last year.


A simple wine red door for Thursday Doors


 Cest la vie! The rest was peachy keen though, and now I’m back on Wed. evening
to add some more to this post:)



Outside the restaurant, the many lights and reflections at the Spectrum in Irvine,
make eating a meal at the Thai cuisine a festive experience


Terence, RUN …they’re back! I don’t want my pic taken again



This fence is actually white, but because darkness began to set in,  it appears blue-ish:)

(Six Words Saturday)

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Hello Blog Friends

Am still stuck with an old IPad that is sporadic in linking, and hardly allows me to comment, so I’ll skip this week and wait until I’m back home to resume blogging like I am used to!


The beginnings of Fall season celebrating saying farewell to summer bright colors the beginnings of new learning a season of feasts and birthdays preparing for winter


TO COMMENT, click on the title of this post, and the comment form will appear on the bottom! WallFlowers_0601 THE GOOD: At Huntington Libraries in Pasadena – not your timid wall flower:)

FROM  WALL FLOWER …. and Trees with MUSHROOMS … my own impressions of Fall … we found this among the Grand Sequoias when they were burned one year in Yosemite Nat. Park. ( for Texture Tue. & Black and White Wed.)

Trre&Mushrooms_8770 statueSidemother&child3 THE RANDOM:

TO angels: Little cupids – they’re cute, but a human invention. The real angles are much more powerful. rescuing people on a daily basis:) I got into painting them when my – then teen – daughter complained that “everyone” portrayed angels as  wimpy and fragile. “Paint me a real angel, mom!” Which I did …. not knowing it would take my approach of painting into a whole different direction not focused so much on beauty, but meaning. The angels below all have different personalities and “jobs” In the painting I left the faces blank to say “anonymous …”

TO WARRIOR: One of my earliest  – 24 x 30, oil.  “Army of Light” © StGermain Remember Copy right? It means you can’t duplicate this image without my written permission

Army of LightOilPaint copy PondAuburn_1248

transfixed on barbed wire fence and reflections passing one day on our way to our 3 grands in North. CA. Left everything in the pic, because the poles are a reflection, but the barbed wire is part of the fence in front of the pond.


SunsetUnfinished 053 THE FUN: Zipping all over in California –

  • a sunset above our first house in Southern Cal. where we’ll go for an art show in the weekend. All I have is a wonky old Ipad – a loan from my daughter, because mine “died” yesterday. My big contemplation is now not the paintings I show, haha, but if we’ll get another Ipad, or shoot for a lap top – decisions, decisions!

sorry bloggie friends, this IPad does not like the “I’m not a robot images”  – I keep getting stuck there- so mr replies need to wait till I get home

Would someone  finish painting this sky…? (Six Word Saturday)

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THE TALE of one of my PLEIN AIRS … and an Imaginary Walk

Most of my plein air painted in oil or watercolor, have been done in Yosemite Nat. Park or Bryce Canon or Zion Nat. Park. These small scenes  take the place of my vacation snap shots!
Yet when you see them they don’t show the story behind them.


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THE GOOD: Zion Nat. Park, utah
Quickly grabbed the Ipad (… sorry, he was too far away for
a clearer view since the Ipad does not have many pixels)
this detail of the KEEN photographer who gave a big yelp
echoing through the mountains that “I made it” to the top.
It made me smile.

It probably was a treacherous climb with this tripod and camera:) for the guy
Then I heard him talking to his child who I couldn’t even see





Also Tuesday Texture

You see him? Hardly visible on a “cloudy” day.
Every day it was between 104 and 108 degr. F. Was only able to paint half an hour at a time in the shade. I know I’m a wimp. Heat definitely has an effect on my concentration!

What happened on this location, was that we were each sitting in a fold up chair on the sand. Hubby pointed to  the ground on my left, because it was lower than on my right, where I had put down my palette and brushes. I indicated I had seen it.

Only one time, when I was bending a little too far sideways to get another color from my palette. My chair suddenly folded, and I and my canvas and brush went flying through the air.

I landed so deep covered by sand, that hubby needed to help me get up. We both burst out laughing, because it was kind of comical. Am very thankful that hubby forgot that we had our camera with us!

I never  know what’s going to happen on my painting trips…:)




Red against White in Utah, 12 x 16 inch, Oil, © StGermain

Left out items that would distract from these rocks, like the trees on the photo .
Minimum on details for the white background ridge of mountains.
Since white is the sum of all colors, I blended the (Titanium) white with whatever smidgen of color I detect on the rock in the foreground. My challenge here is to keep the white in the background.
Satisfied with my capture – coming pretty close to the colors in the painting.





Now it has found a place on the top shelf  of the mini gallery hubby built for me some time ago.
All the orange-red plein airs are  scenes in Utah, and the rest is from Yosemite Nat. Park.
Some are not quite finished, but looking at them daily will eventually take my brush there!





Koi world_9213

If there would be a city of imagination it would be a cross between San Diego, Pasadena, and El Dorado Hills.
Like a Fish in Water (Koi in Huntington Gardens in Pasadena) they say – at the moment it is to see the sun shining through the trees, and a blue sky above me. They seem minimal requirements, but it means the big fire from last 2 weeks is getting under control! A restful feeling as well as full of energy



High RiseSanDiego_2427

Sipping coffee in Sea Port Village in San Diego, after a long walk through the Huntington Garden in Pasadena (African Garden – below). I have wings, didn’t you know?








For dinner we choose eating out Thai in this street of restaurants in El Dorado Hills


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Took this header  pic last Fall after the rain. Summer abruptly disappeared. Foggy (read ashes) when looking outside my window. People driving with headlights on during the day –



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Things last-and-this week are definitely NOT idyllic, like our visit to the waterlily pond with  the duck and the Koi – Huntington Library Gardens, as well as the striped flowers nearby).



Striped FlowerHuntington_0555




Tuesday Texture & Black and White Wednesday
Instead, last Friday, one of several planes flying over our deck helping to drop off fire retardant stuff on the fire Butte (see map below) . Firefighters of South Calif. – L.A. came to help this job get done. This fire is one of 12 fires burning in N. California and governor Brown declared CA  a state of emergency.








Road Closed_2437

Butte is the largest fire  (on Sunday 65 thousand acres – 135 houses destroyed, 20% contained)
a half hour away from us – has kept spreading overnight since last Wed. evening.
Friday an evacuation started for the S. side of the highway we live (a mere 3 min. away), so we packed “just in case.” Several neighbors had already left on Thurs.

Embedded image
7:45 AM – 12 Sep 2015
 THE RANDOM:  many centers have been set up for the evacuees. Sat. morning we put towels against the door posts because the smell of smoke and ash started coming in.
Our mountain has become smoky and foggy from the ashes in the air.
4409 firefighters (no typo) are fighting this fire.
Another fire in Napa Valley is worse off, Middletown (Valley Fire) has been destroyed, and 4 fire fighters were hurt. This is the one that is in the news.




Wed. Sept. 9 we came home to … electricity outage. It means we couldn’t cook (most houses on the mountain have electric stoves), the fridge didn’t work, computer, and even the Ipad.

THE GOOD: Happy our cell phones still worked. At night we still could read and knit, since hubby had bought this larger camping light earlier this year.
Friday midnight power was restored but my main experience about living so close to a huge fire : it’s on our mind 24/7 and keeps us in a state of RED!




seeing this at noon when looking out the window
is when it gets a little spooky




Hope that in no time my focus is back to enjoying the scenery on our way back home instead of the ominous sky, avoiding to breathe in the unhealthy ashes.
Prayers to the God of miracles for all the fire fighters  working day and night, putting their lives in danger to get these fires under control.


(Six Word Sat.)

  • UPDATE Tuesday: we had rain at night, enough to wipe the ashes from the deck, and patches above blue clouds above my house. Am thankful!
    Wednesday: fire is now 37% contained. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief:)
    Thursday: 47% contained. 432 houses destroyed & outbuildings. A common sight in town is small groups of extremely weary firefighters (walk like drunk), covered with soot, grabbing a quick lunch. Signs/banners on residences saying: THANK YOU Firefighters!


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Jackson’s Towering Tree


POWER OUTAGE  here propably due to a fire (that increased in size three night) probably, because it does not cool down from 95-100 degr. weather) – Friday midnight – the power went on -overjoyed:):) So now I can cook on the stove, make coffee and tea, and don’t have to drive half an hour to link to the memes!

After memories of Beijing, China last week, I’m craving for something I see at least every few weeks.  Places we visit or drive by. Have been eyeing this little restaurant with a half-German – half English name, but haven’t made it inside yet. The cool thing is that two reflections were caught, one from across the street, and a reflection of the window seen on the ground.


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Towering TreeJackson_1480

THE GOOD:when  left the yarn store I happened to look on the hill side …

This towering tree
a feeling of home
longer than a life time



Dangerous Fence_1560

A pretty wild stream next to a hilly and windy road – up to my adult kid’s family – me thinks it needs a better fence!





For Tuesday Texture
View of a vineyard taken in Spring. There’s much red soil around here.
Sorry, a little blurry, taken from great distance with Tamron lens.






They started with ten baby chicks a year ago – what an increase! And quantity… and quality:):)



LavenerWldflower 103





Can you see with children’s eyes?
(Six Word Sat.)


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Am giving you the cultural view -what struck me as a Westerner. We went the year before the Olympics for a week, so many things were more authentically Chinese. Our son lived there, and  staying at his apartment,  gave us more insight of the life of the locals.



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PandasChina 319

THE GOOD: The Giant Pandas have a den you see during the tour of the Great Wall

Also Good: You barter for anything, except in Western stores or restaurants. Everything is dirt cheap and our son kept saying “You pay too much!” Food is super cheap (also in restaurants) and hotels are half of the price in the USA.




Fence in the foreground for safety. Hazy sky and 95 % humidity!

THE RANDOM:  Hubby and son went to the Great Wall, and I went painting here, left from this bridge. Some of you have already asked for the painting,  Here it is, below





Two Bridges in Beijing, Oil, © StGermain
Painted like a fairy tale and other worldly style, which this whole trip was for me. Also, so I could break some naturalistic rules here (like, putting the focus in the middle)

The middle new bridge is the one above. On the right is the old marble looking bridge-very close by.
One of the workers at the bed and breakfast told it’s very unusual here to paint in the street, and even more for a woman to be alone and paint, but since I obviously was a Westerner, they let me get away with it:)
Felt safe, even though I couldn’t speak one word, let alone read Chinese, and felt those watching eyes. Back then westerners were still kind of a celebrity. We got used to people staring:):)



GteatWall 299

THE FUN:  At the Great Wall most visitors were Chinese.
Surprisingly for Asia, most women work and have a voice here.

While my two guys were taken up with bartering for a Sony phone in a giant mall specifically for gadgets, I watched a woman – across from us, blast a Middle Eastern man – no doubt wanting the special treatment – not giving in to his demands.
I loved watching when Miss High and Mighty spewed fire and won the half hour lasting loud argument. Priceless:):) Didn’t need to understand Chinese for this. The body language came over loud and clear!




BougainvillaChina 312




Quang Zhou 050

Only pic from Shen-Shen in this post.
China loves replications ….  and mishmash – From left to right, German Dutch, English, and in the back the Eiffel Tower:) The mainland has an unusual mix of communism mixed with  a democratic slant in business. Hong Kong is called (which is a half hour walk over the bridge) “the West.”



RoyalRobeForbDity 268

All the reflections are from Catching the Light  behind us.

Royal silk Robe display behind glass in the Forbidden City (that means China had a royal family before Communism took over). The Forbidden City are the former Royal palaces, and visiting them is like the Louvre – never enough time!


 Mind boggling for a Westerner
No special education for the handicapped*
(Six Words Sat)
yet 2 and 3 year olds start learning English in (Pre)Kindergarden


* mentally handicapped. Some are taken care of by the parents. Others are abandoned and wander the streets

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Now we are approaching our first year anniversary having the forest view, I am thankful!



Two of our littlest grands had the most fun on those extremely hot days:)


still, for the amazing forest view  – the most OPEN window view I’ve ever had
survived days of triple digit heat
& below zero degrees
on most days stunning sunsets

Wish I could say my studio is finished, but More permits needed than in the city for “a barn!”
We have been warned before for “some” people being difficult and resistant in this area.

YET, I am thankful for countless things …

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My ears perked up when hubby said that.

rug unevenpole_2638

THE GOOD: May sound strange to you, but am thankful for my new rug by the couches in the living room.  We had beautiful tiles throughout the condo, but it was out of my comfort zone to sit on the floor (writing, painting, reading) –  a leftover habit from my college days.
The mid-brown of the “flames” are higher than the light and dark, which I really like. It’s an extension of the forest floor, and I can still sit or walk on it, even without my flip flops.



Window View2Live_2715





The sunsets here are stunning – every day different. And many kinds of fences, usually not seen in the city




THE RANDOM: about the time I have my giant cup …
If there’s anything that helped to adjust to daily life here, it’s little things like being able to buy a coffee I like. If you don’t know it – Dutchmen AND women are extremely particular about their coffee.








Now I see these deer regularly, I can’t eat deer meat anymore. I just can’t.
One of the neighborhood gang -a group of about 6 deer, bambi and a male. This one kept looking at me for the longest time while I kept clicking (the camera) – standing higher on the deck of my house.

Also met two of the girls while I was struggling to take the hill back up to my house.
They came walking – saw me – first not knowing if I was safe – I looked away –
Smiling. Someone here told me  these animals flee when you stare at them.
I know it won’t be long before I’ll start giving them names!


Thankful for One Year Forest Life
(Six word Saturday)

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Lucca, even though small, has city walls, and is an hour either way between Pisa and
Firenze (Florence) close to the marble mining sites in Carrera in Tuscany. One of the
paradise places for painters, for the light they want to catch in their landscapes.

Went from Amsterdam two years ago with Transavia (a smaller plane co. our US travel
agent couldn’t find!) to Pisa, so we booked it ourselves and saved several hundred dollars:)



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THE GOOD: Leaning tower – not in Pisa, but still in the area (W Italy)
where we were.  Easy to see that the building styles are simple and sturdy.
Also, many towers and many gates (below).









No travel without some brushes, paint and foldable water bucket! Italy is famous
for Fabriano watercolor paper – oooh- in 3 1/2 x 5 inch postcard size
in downtown Lucca’s art store
sent the Tuscany plein airs with an Italian post stamp to a few art lovers




So simple …but not! I was hanging over the balcony five stories high while standing on tiptoes on a chair to catch this view. In the process of painting  had to come back from
my opinion that the long tall cypress in the van Gogh’s paintings were exaggerated –
there’s no other way to paint with the sun shining on them!





The plants and flowers made me feel at home – similar to California. Oleanders in a simple vase




Old arched bridges –  notice the way they trim these cypress trees (like on my postcard)





Have never passed so many tunnels cutting through mountains in a 4 hours. drive.
This one we went through –reflecting the sun– at time of sunset when leaving
Nice (pronounce niece), France.






The famous Mediterranean coast between Italy and France. My honest opinion:
don’t go in the summer, when tripping over the people laying on the beach!


Tuscany’s warm breeze and distant mountains
(Six words Sat.)
inviting the morning into my room
they are indelibly written on my soul


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Sunday in my city
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