Monthly Archives: April 2015

KCRW airs a segment on my ARTernity Leave

Wow, I was so excited to have Lisa Napoli from KCRW come on out to the mosaic. What a great lady. I don’t ever recall being on the radio, so this was a first for me. I am honored that KCRW showed interest in the year-long project I have been working on and the road I took to get there. You can listen to the show by clicking on the KCRW blog here:

Just as the interview was wrapping up, two of my students walked by on their way to the paddle boats at Echo Park Lake. These two are terrific kids and it was great to see them!


Lucinda and Miles stop by on their way to the park.

A very gregarious and animated gentleman stopped to tell me how much  he loves the colors in the mosaic. He told me he was a telenovela actor in Mexico, but now he lives in Los Feliz and Palm Springs and he was very happy to tell me he got the pants he was wearing for 1.89 at Fallas! Fallas is right down the street from me in Highland Park and they have super cheap stuff. It’s a very popular store. He made me laugh out loud. A very fun fella!


Rafael Rabago in his $1.89 camo pants!

IMG_4004I’m almost finished with the eggplant circle. I ran out of cut tiles yesterday and need to cut about six more today, then back at the wall. Thanks to photographer, Martin Cox,  for coming out today and documenting the process. He is an amazing artist, check out his website:




I know I have to get over this jet lag, but I am so excited to start cutting tiles for the eggplant circle! Look at these purples! Armed with some geometric ideas from Granada, I’m ready to get back at it!!

Gathering all the purple hues together.

Gathering all the purple hues together.

So excited to see how the eggplant circle turns out. As soon as I can get over this darned jet lag, I’ll be back on the sidewalk! NOT a good idea to use a massive, electric tile cutting saw when jet lagged. I’ll wait. I need my fingers. Look at these little eggplants!


Eggplants getting ready.




Beautiful tile design and walking the Camino in Spain

One of my goals for this sabbatical was to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I knew I didn’t want to walk all of it, but I did want to experience a taste of. I set out for Spain three weeks ago  with the intention of spending time in Seville and Granada to soak in some tile inspiration for the mosaic I am working on in LA and then head off to walk the Camino.

Tiled entryway on a Sevillian home.

Tiled entryway on a Sevillian home.


A tiled bench in a public park in Seville

Andalusia is well known for its decorative tiles still produced in the area with roots dating back to the region’s Arab past. Walking through the streets and parks of Seville and the astounding Alhambra in Granada, I indeed found much to inspire me. I spent a week with my friend and my nephew in Andalusia. My nephew recently returned from three years in the Peace Corp in Panama and it was a real luxury to spend time just listening to him share his stories of life in Panama. One of my goals for this sabbatical year was to have time to really listen, spend time in conversation, hearing what people have to say.



Tile work at the Alhambra



Tile work on a wall in the Alhambra

Geometric designs found in this region sparked ideas and got my creative juices roaring and gave me much to contemplate as I hopped aboard a train by myself headed for Sarria in Galicia to start walking the Camino.


Black and white work on the floor of the cathedral in Seville

Black and white work on the floor of the cathedral in Seville

For those of you that are not familiar with the Camino de Santiago, it is an ancient pilgrimage road system spanning hundreds of miles from France, Portugal, and other points with all roads leading to the Cathedral of Saint James in Santiago de Compostella in Galicia, Spain. In days gone by it was strictly a religious pilgrimage, but nowadays there are many different reasons people choose to make the walk. For me personally, I chose to walk as an homage to my parents who were kind, generous, and lovely human beings. My father died while I was in college and mom died in my thirties. I walked the Camino as a way of reflecting on all they gave me and I also wanted to show gratitude for the way my life has turned out.

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The first day on the Camino near Sarria, Spain

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There are more than just humans on this walk:)

I know it is still unusual in the majority of the world for women to not have children, but for me it has been a blessing. I love being an artist, I love my friends and husband, my dogs, and I love having vast amounts of silence. I really enjoy silence. I also enjoy committing and volunteering time to the betterment of my community and the environment. I enjoy teaching art to children and like kids immensely, but I am grateful I do not have my own because my life is a joyful and fulfilled life without them and so I walked the Camino for about 80 (5 days of walking) miles and contemplated how we are all walking such different roads and how important it is to be grateful for the path you choose or are given to walk in this life. I look forward to returning to the Camino in the future and walking another section of it. My favorite moment on the Camino was on my second day walking. I was all alone on the road, walking through farm land, when an old farmer and his equally aging dog walked up and smiled, saying “buen Camino” to me and handed me a walnut. He held it in my hands and smiled with utter joy. I kissed him on the cheeks and hugged him and then walked on down the road with everything I needed on my back.

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That walnut made it all the way back to LA:)

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Shadow of a tree and my backpack in a town that the Camino passed through.

Here are a few links if you are interested in learning more about the tile work in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain and learning more about the Camino de Santiago in Galicia, Spain.

A brief history of the Alhambra with photos of tile work:

Brief history of the Camino de Santiago.

A documentary about the Camino:

Martin Sheen starred in a movie with his son about the Camino called The Way:

I end this post with some street art I saw in Spain. Spain has had some hard times lately, but there is much optimism and young artists are extremely hopeful about the future. I found the street art in Spain to be very exciting.


Ama que lo haces. Love what you do.