Oakland’s Spring and Robert Raushenberg at the SF MOMA

Perfect for spring; blooms in Oakland and inspiration from the SF MOMA…large and memorable, the Robert Raushenberg retrospecitive.

Happy Spring Everyone!!

Here is what’s ‘growing on’ in the garden.

I know, some of you may be rolling your eyes, fed up with the blustery winds, sleet, and snow of this week where you live. But allow me just a few photos of the Northern Pacific Coast to cheer you up; this is what is soon coming your way: warmth, Sun, and color!!

And ever so spring-like, I’m happy to say that inspiration is also coming round to my studio lately, especially for writing and poetry (which is always the precursor, the sister Muse to my musical inspirations. Whew!)  I do have projects to finish this Spring. I think I alluded to the lull earlier; family stuff last year kind of drove things quiet for a bit. I’m not one to to make art in times of intensity or drama. Not for public consumption anyway. So hopefully my Muses will honor me with some quality time this month.

But I’m excited by one major spark to my world lately- seeing the art  retrospective of Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules at the San Francisco MOMA last month. It roused my artistic doldrums with curiosity about other art mediums, got me dusting off pens and ink wells, and has me journaling lots of late. Woo Hoo!

If you are close to San Fran, you must go see Raushenberg’s work: It’s wonderful! Big color, wild textures, giant works and small zippered pieces, a feast of artistic styles, photography, and sculpture.  I just love it when a museum is filled wing after wing, room to room with the chapters of an artist’s life. Those are always the most powerful exhibits.

Artwork image, Robert Rauschenberg, Port of Entry

In the MOMA’s words “From the 1940s until his passing in 2008, Rauschenberg worked with everything from photography to items scavenged from New York City streets to vats of bubbling mud. More than 150 of Rauschenberg’s artworks, including prints, sculptures, paintings, and Combines (works that incorporate painting and sculpture),” are on exhibit. And he was a rule-breaker of sorts. He “broke down boundaries between disciplines, anticipated many of the defining cultural and social issues of our time, and redefined what art could be…”   Exhibit details.

And give yourself a couple of days to enjoy it all; this really is one of those exhibitions where multiple visits benefit; the shear magnitude of offerings is huge. I know I’ll catch things I missed the next time I see it.

Rain Lilly

rainflower8152Lilly-8144m lilly8158-L-tall-S lilly8137-M rainlilly8136-mHappy Spring everyone!  El Niño rains have brought us early blooms and thriving gardens here in Northern Cali. Except for a little unexpected flooding of basements and such, excess rains have been the greatest gift.

These happy lilies were transplanted from San Fran to Oakland some 30+ years ago. Taken in early morning light between storms.

Pardon My Spring: Beauty with a Cost

Yes, I do feel a tinge of guilt, seeing my friends in the Midwest and East Coast regions experiencing this….

I started to call this post “Pardon my Spring: or Don’t Hate Me ‘Cause I’m Warm and Beautiful”; but that seemed a bit obnoxious.  Yes, I do feel a tinge of guilt, seeing my friends in the Midwest and East Coast regions  experiencing this:


chi-ugc-North Ave. Beach-chicago-below-zero-2014-01-29Chicago

Marinas ChicagoSource


chi-ugc-photo-icy-flying into Nashville-2014-02-05 Source for 1st & 3rd, 4th photos.

…when we on the Pacific side, Oakland, SF Bay CA are experiencing this:



~ 60 deg. F, and a Spring that started in January.

But all this beauty has come at an ugly price: for the first time in my lifetime, we’ve experienced a Winter with no rain. Our two small drizzles brought us this early Spring, yes, but they have also left us 90% below normal rainfall. Our ground water reserves are unreplenished, reservoirs are at 30%, and everyone is bracing for a busy fire season.  River levels for our salmon are at all time lows, and Central Valley fields lie fallow. Gov. Brown has declared all of the state a drought zone, and Obama brought emergency funds for farmers- on Valentines Day.  As a former fisheries biologist, I worry about the fish: no one has come to their aid. So our salmon runs will likely be badly reduced for the next 4 years.

But we’ll take this embarrassing blush of beauty while it lasts. 

flowers0922Tulip Trees

If you are in the cold dead zone of Winter, come out and spend some sunny warm days on the West Coast. Oakland was voted top 10 US cities to come visit. 😉

Either way, Warm thoughts to our frigid friends to the East; hang in there- your Spring will come soon!

Winner for Guitar Strap GiveAway!

Guitar Strap winner! Jamz originals.

Thanks to those who participated.

Christine Sotelo is the winner of the May Jamz Original Guitar strap giveaway~  Yay Christine!!  Leave me your email either here or taralinda22@gmail.com, so that you can place your order with Jamz right away to get your stylish new guitar strap!

Can you believe it’s June 1st!  May just jetted by.  Aay!  I’m going to stay in my May mindset for just a lil’ longer… pure denial 🙂 May showers, Spring, blooming newness, projects begun, buzzing to get them done…

This is a pic taken in Singapore some years back, looking down off of a bridge. This man mended umbrellas. Everyday in the afternoon, warm rains would shower the city. He seemed  so content working in the rain.

Spring Gems

I call this one “What doesn’t Kill you- has the Last Laugh.”

Writing and recording the new album has been all consuming the last coupla months- blissful and stressful both.  The sugar skulls are having the the last laugh, reminding me “its only music, beauty, …the stuff of life.”  😉

I’m not keen on the color pink, and of course nearly everything blooming in the neighborhood now is pink or some such. From ground cover to trees.  Pink.  That must mean that I’m meant to see it now, explore my extreme distaste for it.  Pink.  Ergh.

I’ll start by seeing it next to black.  Everything is more beautiful next to black, yes?  The stones nearest the pendant are rhodonite.  I love the black veins running through this stone.  The large squares are cherry quartz.  Other stones- lava rounds, and rose quartz.  Sterling silver clasp and pewter skull pendant and rose and sugar skull beads by Green Girl Studios.   I’ll make another that features similar stones with rose themed pendants and beads.