Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Fire

This is how the fire looked from our back porch. 

I wrote this and sent it to The Independent:


I can't read music. But someone out there, someone who may have spent their days and nights, playing and composing it, must be mourning a loss.

Early friday morning, I walked outside my home on the Westside of Santa Barbara and looked up toward the Riviera at the smoke, as it billowed and spread it's grey cloud toward the Pacific.

At my bare feet was ash, not minute particles, not some grey dust that accumulated in the crevasses of my porch steps, but pieces, pieces I could pick up, I could hold in my hand....pieces of someone's home, their life, it lay at my feet, subject to the slightest breeze.

I looked again at the smoke that hung over the foothills and shook my head. How I wish I could gather these fragments of someone's life and miraculously transform them back in time...just a day.

Television brought the fire into my home. The local news, its constant coverage, kept me informed. My husband spent the night of the fire, on the roof of the house we are building on the Eastside, watching flames expand and contract, waxing and waning, their way past our home. It was spared.

We loss nothing but sleep. But on the ground, outside, my daughter picked up a piece of fragile, charred paper...and there, if you looked closely was a single musical note on a ledger line. Just one note, but enough paper to see that there were others...the day before there were others. The day before this was a composition. The day before this may have sat on a desk, or in a folder, or on a music stand. Today it was on the ground, charred and unrecognizable.

I can't read music, but I carefully placed this slight piece of fragile paper in my day planner. Whomever lost this will most likely not think of it, amidst all the things they lost in that fire. Whatever the song, the tempo, it has transformed into a silent reminder that so many people lost so much.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama. People actually understand what Hope means. We understand what Change means, and people don't care about color any more....thank God.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Last Mural (for awhile)

The day before my hand surgery I finished this mural. It's not my most involved...but it was fun to do! I sure do LOVE painting murals! 

S here's my hand post-surgery. I get a cast tomorrow, recovery is gonna be a bit longer than the 4 - 6 weeks w/cast...but I'm tired of talking about it...and its not very interesting anyway.

(that sounded bitter, huh?)

Next post, Halloween Party Plans

Sunday, October 12, 2008

'Martha' Golden Visit's the Anderson House

I recently returned from a trip to Kirsten and Chris's house...Kirsten had a bit of premature labor...and needed bed rest. They flew me out to help with Soren and whatever they needed me for. I'm happy to say all is well with the Anderson family, and 'Duece" is still cooking (??)

I love New England this this time of year! The first Monday I was there, Soren and I walked to the Farmer's Market and picked up some corn and a pumpkin. Soren pushed it home in his dump truck..he's sooo cute the way he runs along pushing a dump truck, chatting the whole way.
Kirsten and I put together this table centerpiece and I hung the corn on the door to the basement. (cool door huh?)

I found the idea for these skulls in a paper catalog, I thought they were so cute I had to make some....I made the ghosts for Soren.....


I love Kirsten's house...Chris did a GREAT job finding's in a fantastic town, a short walk to town and nearly every house is picturesque. 
       Their's is 'The Ichabod House'    this is their gate.

I am very happy Deuce decided to wait for the Big Day...I'm thankful that Chris and Kirsten flew me out to help out, I was thrilled to see Soren and I actually didn't mind that I lost all but one game of Scrabble that I played with Kirsten (we played at least once a day). I enjoyed spending time with Chris and of course I was in my element being able to make a few decorations.

I suspect at this writing Soren is now sleeping in his Big I got one last shot of him in his crib.....
   Good Night Soren!

Happy Fall All!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's New?

As you can see I changed the look of my blog. Something to do...

I have been writing and illustrating a book of poems named, "My Name is Katrina Too."
The idea was inspired by the anniversary of Katrina, and the threat of 'Gustav'.  The poems were inspired by stories and news articles I read about children and families that were, and continue to be affected by Katrina's devastation. I want to donate 90% of any proceeds I receive (assuming it gets published) to So here are some samples of the artwork and a poem:

rainy, windy
blowing, tearing, destroying
wet, dark, strong, fierce
floating, retreating, receding
muggy, hot

Saturday, August 2, 2008


While Kelly Ann and I were away in July, the Art From Scrap show was going on. I had this piece in the show: "Cycle"

The reception for the show was July 19th, while I was at Kirsten's. I had an arrangement with my neighbor, Mary Price, to pic it up when the show was over....

I've been back since July 22nd..I still haven't gone over to Mary's to pick up my piece, or to even see if she brought it home for this morning I get a letter in the mail from the Gallery...with a check in it...someone bought my piece!!!!! Life is Good.

More shots:


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Save This One

It's always nice to have pictures that will inevitably embarrass the subject. Saved for those special events in their life which warrant their's one of those pictures....Gramma Loves You Soren!

If the Shoe Fits

As some of you know, Soren is a Trucker (he likes trucks) Gramma (that's me) bought him some white sneakers and drew the faces of two of his favorite "baby trucks" on them , turning the 'body' of the shoes into cars....(He's into the Car movie, so I put the lighting on one..."Lightening Mc Queen"'s the result:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Rain in Maine stays Mainely on the....

Hi Y'all!

Kelly Ann and I just ending a relaxing week in West Bath, Maine....We stayed in a boathouse at Foster's Point, hosted by Katy and her daughter Molly...we fell in love with both of them, meaning the ladies AND the Boathouse. Richard could not join us which made for a lonesome week, we missed (still do, as we're now at Kirsten's house in RI) him terribly! 

I could go on and on about how beautiful the boathouse was but I thought I'd attach this little movie instead....enjoy! 

See you in a few weeks!

Claudia & Kelly Ann

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some Like it Hot

Welcome Summer!!!! or not.

Today 100's of 1,000's of people descended on Santa Barbara to partake in one of SB's annual events, known as the Solstice Parade. Those of you who know me know it has been a tradition to stake claim to a curb well in advance...OK the evening before, as soon as we're allowed to put down chairs. Years ago there were a few of us who would creep out to State St at 5am to assure ourselves a front row seat...but those days are over! Now the chairs start to go up around 4pm Friday 7pm there no spots to be found!

This year our neighbor, Mary Price was an artist in residence for the parade, which entails weeks and weeks of planning and creating a float for the parade and hours and hours of labor intensive preparation....I helped her one day with some paper mache'...note I said ONE day...not much help am I?

So as the Big Day approaches...let's say, about a week ago, it starts to get REALLY HOT!! Many of you know that AC is not a common appliance in SB....maybe at Von's and Macy's but not at my house!!!! Well, back to my story...

Every day I am thinking of poor Mary working tirelessly in the heat of the warehouse that has no AC, to build this float that she will be Merrily (get it? Mary...Merrily) following down State street in the now predicted 90+ degree weather....the theme of the parade is Solar'd they know? So I asked her the other day how it was going...she told me the float was done (the float was a HUGE satellite dish with someone dressed up like Sputnik (how does one dress like Sputnik?) and other satellites dancing around it) and that they were now trying out costumes and the silver paint they were going to cover the exposed parts of their bodies with...

I want you to imagine for a moment standing on asphalt in 95 degree weather, the sun 'flaring' all over you, with a large paper mache sphere around your torso, your skin painted silver....and dancing around for 2 hours....hmmmm.

Today 100's of 1000's of people descended on Santa Barbara to partake in one of SB's annual events known as the Solstice Parade. 

It was 70+ degrees all night last night, couple that with hot-flashes and you get...NOT 4pm on friday it had not yet cooled down to 70, I was at home with some sort of cooling device (ice pack). At no time on friday was I on state St. claiming curb space. I awoke with my family, at, I don't know, let's say 7ish this morning, poured my coffee, fed and watched the fish in the no time did the thought enter my mind to join the now swelling crowds downtown. It was approaching 90 by 9am.

The parade generally starts at noon, we were out the front door 5 minutes chairs, no coolers, just water and sunscreen. It was now 92 degrees.

Some people will tell you that there is no humidity in Santa Barbara...I would have been one of them in the past. We parked 4 blocks from State street and walked ..... we arrived on State St. 4 blocks from the beginning of the parade and the very 1st float was just passing, we stood  in the shade of the Wendy Foster storefront and watched the first few groups go by.....ahhhh the those folks on the curb looked pretty hot! aww the shade...Oh did I mention we could see the parade just fine? Cuz, those hot folks on the curb just sit there in that solar flare and we see fine over the top of them!

So soon we see a HUGE satellite dish was rather was HUGE!!! and I look to see my neighbor and her group dancing Merrily with NO SILVER PAINT!!!!! Man.....I didn't know if I should be proud or disappointed?!? 

Well I must say, they don't make Hippies like they use one in the entire procession had body paint on!....OK there were a few with heavy robes and masks, but I think they had AC under those garbs???!!! 

So we have all learned alot his year thanks to Global Warming....I enjoyed the parade so much more, arriving in a timely manner and standing in the shade (then going to see "Get Smart" in the AC theater), no chairs to carry, just a bottle of water and sunscreen....and apparently the Hippies learned that body paint is the stupidest thing you could put on your body when its 95 degrees outside ON  THE ASPHALT in the Solar Flaring parade.

I didn't take any pictures.

OBTW I hate hot weather.

Have a nice day. Happy Summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meet My New Little Friend

I wanted to introduce you to my new little friend.
I've been asked to develop a character for a children's book. She was the winner! When I get the "OK" I'll let you know more about her. But for now I thought I'd give you a sneak peek!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action!

The end of the school year is here! (cue the children's applause!) 

Kelly Ann's school, HBP (Home Based Partnership), put on a play written and directed by Kim Tennberg called "The Disney Princesses Revealed". It was a cute play exposing the truth about such princesses as Sleeping Beauty ( who actually drinks coffee and stays up all night playing video games!) and Snow White (who's into Goth and wants to be a rock-star). 

I offered to paint the sets and had a  GREAT time doing it! Here's Snow White's cottage and Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Kelly Ann helped with the stones on the side of the castle, she's a natural.

I'm hoping to teach a set design class at HBP next year to build the sets for Kim's Drama classes next performance. 


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Check Out My Site!!!!!

Erica finished my web-site.....It is sooooo awesome!!!!! 

Check it out:  Claudia Golden

Not so Coy


I had started to make this shoe (fish), for the Reynolds Gallery show before I started the Shusi one (see previous post). For some reason I don't really like this one, but my neighbor Mary and Kelly Ann convinced me to enter it as well. They seemed to think it was "very cute" when I dropped it off for the jurying, but I still there's something fishy about it???!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

shusi (shoe-sea)


I made this shoe for an Art Show at Westmont's Reynolds Gallery (the jurying is the 10th of May). Of course the theme of the show is "Shoes" I wanted to make something different. I'm a painter, 3-D art has never been very easy for me, so I needed to be inspired....

One of my favorite painting subjects are fish...I was walking thru a local Japanese market and I saw some lovely koi art, I don't quite know how I got the idea to use ingredients used to make sushi for my shoe, but it was all right there....I found dried kelp, seaweed (used to make sushi rolls), toasted sesame seeds and of course rice. 

I used a high-heel shoe for the template, the kelp was a bit stiff, so I experimented with ways to make it pliable without converting it back into good old floppy seaweed. After a bit of trial and error I figured it out. Forming the soul of the shoe was much easier than the heel. 

The entire shoe is made of 'sushi' parts, I was concerned about the smell, and had to keep it in a sealed container when I wasn't working on it, the cat's were a bit interested in it!! I did end up sealing it with a spray sealer. 

The piece I enjoy the most is the part of the shoe that has the painting of the fish on it. I was stoked to find there was this piece of the kelp that was shaped like the toe of a sandal. It was the hardest piece to make pliable and form. As you can see it worked!

So this is my Shusi....wish me luck on the jurying. I'll let you know!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thanks ALOT Kelly Ann!!!

Kelly Ann sent me this link to add to my Blog...the Big Red HAVE to try it...hope you've got a minute....

Thanks ALOT Kelly Ann!!!

But I do LOVE you!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Excuses Suck

I have little patience for excuses..we do things or we don't for a reason...sometimes we don't know what that reason is, sometimes we do, yet we feel the need to make excuses.

First, Here's my do/don't do list:

I finally got back into the habit of going to the gym 5 - 6 times a week. I have gone twice since Feb 14.

I finally cleaned out my garage so I could have a place to do my art, took lots of stuff to storage, threw lots of stuff away. I can barely find my way from the front to the back of my garage now, it's full of stuff that needs to go to storage.

I started an art blog to motivate me to produce some stuff and get it out there...or at least post it on my blog. I haven't produced a piece worth posting since ???

I picked out a great color to paint my bedroom. The paint can (plastic w/handle) sat in my closet so long that something heavy fell on it and broke the lid. Its now in the kitchen covered with foil. I don't want to put it out in the garage (see above), my bedroom is still unpainted.

Everyday I discover something I should/could do and add it to my list......

Here's my excuse:

My stupid right hand is in a cast!!!

My solution:

I get it off Thursday!!!!! more excuses ! -)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Visit to Gramma's house

It's been almost 2 weeks since Soren left (and Kirsten) and I keep running into reminders of their visit (Kirsten I found a sock of ur's). For the first couple of days I just left all the trucks where he left them outside...He got to play outside alot...But now the toys are put away., haven't quite gotten them to storage seems strange to take them to storage?!?

So I thought I'd share a few photos (see Blog slideshow) with ya..first, since this is an "Art"'s a piece of artwork Soren produced while he was here:

He enjoyed the painting for about 30 seconds...then it was truck time!!!

We made it to the beach one afternoon...we took daily walks...our neighbors the Mitchells gave Soren a car to ride around in, he helped Grampa Richie in his office...It was a JOY to have them both here, can't wait to see them in July!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Daze Gone By

Like my cast?

I tho't I'd dress it up a bit....

Much has happened since my last post...aside from the cast, Kirsten and my grandson Soren came for a visit. Kirsten left 1/2 way thru' to meet Chris in Hawaii and I got to have Soren stay for 5 days!!!! What a great visit! check out the photos

I haven't done ANY art since the cast...OK I did decoupage the cast...

I'll have to post some Soren/Art soon as I get them to download:>/

Thursday, March 6, 2008

2 thumbs up!!!

This whole ATC (artist trading cards) thing has given my creativity a boost! I love the format, 9-10 small spaces to work in...prompting a theme, which becomes addictive (for me anyway!)
This is my "Thumbprint" series...Kelly Ann has a small 'Klutz' book with thumbprint art to copy and learn from...the bunnies and pigs are pretty much straight out of the book, the rest are just cute little critters.
I believe even the 'artistically challenged" can produce these, give it a try!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Left Hand Art

As some of you know, I recently fell and hurt my right hand. For those of you who didn't know, I recently fell and hurt my right hand.
The day before my aforementioned fall, I attended my first ATC gathering (Artists Trading Cards), where I met many wonderful artists and...well...traded cards with them....

It works like this: 20 or so artists meet the 2nd wed. of each month at Mesa Coffee (on the Mesa) and bring 20 original art cards (2.5"x3.5") that they made, and trade them with the others. The gathering is just what I have been needing, a chance to share my art and acquire some wonderful pieces to collect As you would any trading cards, you fill a binder, filled with plastic sleeves, with some great one of a kind artworks!

So back to ME...after coming home from the ER, right hand in cast, it occurred to me that I might have cut my ATC trading short...not being able to draw with my LEFT hand...soooo I sat down and began the very arduous task of learning to draw with my left hand...
This was the result of my first attempts....I was rather proud of myself....
Within 24 hours, and alot of left-hand cramping I produced this: OBTW, any of you that know Erica, might know about her pup Clementine, who also has a cast on her "hand", so I dedicated my first drawings to her, affectionately know as "Miss Tiny".

So...this final attempt produced my contribution to the March ATC meeting...Aptly named "Everything Left".

Toast to the Post

I get so frustrated trying to put things together, such as web sites and blogs that I nearly give up...ok well I did give up on designing my web site, so Erica, my lovely and talented daughter (ok they're ALL lovely and talented) designed one for me for a Christmas present all I have to do is get the images to her! Well I at least got this far on my own....

I hope to keep this up...I hope to hear from whomever feels compelled to comment....most of all I hope you enjoy my adventures in creating my art.