Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grandmother B

Berdena Ruby - 12x12 - Acrylic
I've added another painting to my Ancestry project....this is my maternal grandmother, Berdena Ruby Wagner.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mary Jane

About a year ago I started a project I called "Illustrating My Ancestors".  I had planned to begin making some paintings and illustrations of some of my grandparents.  Typical of my M.O., I did a bit of work on the project and then got distracted - "Squirrel!" - by a million other things.  Alas, during the last year I have done little to further my ancestry project.  But I'm happy to report that as of today, I've added another painting to this little project.

So, please let me introduce you to Mary Jane Story Proctor (1826-1917),  my 2nd Great Grandmother.  She was married to Daniel Proctor (his second wife), and was the mother to nine children, and 4 step-childern.  The only good source photo I have of Mary Jane is typical of photos taken back around the turn of the century, featuring a stern, serious, unsmiling countenance.  Although, I can imagine that mothering 13 kids might also contribute to such a look...!

I decided to portray her a little younger, a little bit softer than that photo.  I like how this one turned out.  Now I just wish I could travel back in time to meet her, and perhaps a few of her kids.

Mary Jane Story Proctor - by Alisa Proctor, 12x12, Acrylic

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Journey - New Painting

I just completed this new piece - "Journey"

Many thanks to Ron McCabe for the wonderful word-smithing: 
"She embarked on a journey of discovery even before she understood those words."
"Journey", 11x14, Mixed Media by Alisa Proctor
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Arizona Tripping

 I recently took a trip to Tubac, Arizona and visited the Tumacacori Mission.  Here's a peek at what I saw through the lens of my iPhone...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Compilation

Here we are at the beginning of a new month, and so as is my plan, I am presenting last month’s color compilation.

Clearly I haven’t concocted a color for each day this month. (Only 15? I’m such a slacker!)   Oh well.  Here’s what I did come up with during the month of March…

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pink Berry - Color A Day #63

Today’s color is Pink Berry.  Pink, with a touch of purple to keep it from being sickeningly sweet.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lavender Dream – Color A Day #62

I like the lavender/purple in this little mixed media piece I painted awhile ago.  It just feels like it’s supposed to be the color today.  Why?  I dunno.  Just feels right.  Lavender is such a dreamy color.  Fresh and young…perfect for spring.  Dream on.

Lavender Dream – Color A Day #62

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Color A Day #61 – Juicy Plum

I love a good, juicy plum.  Especially one that’s shaped like a heart.  My son devoured this one…juice dribbling down his chin.  Delicious.

Color A Day #61 – Juicy Plum

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Koi - Color A Day #60

Sometimes I wish I had a pond.  I would fill it with koi and water lilies.
Color A Day #60 is…Koi.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Nice Soft Yellow - Color A Day #59

Lily in the fountain, Mission San Juan Capistrano

No spark of inspiration today.  And I haven’t posted a color in a day or two, so I’m feeling the self-imposed pressure to come up with something.  As I think about it, I don’t often choose yellow for the Color A Day.  Why?  Hmmm.   I guess it’s just not a color I am drawn to.  But this is a lovely image, and a nice soft yellow.  And I’ve got nothing else….so this soft yellow will have to do for today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Color A Day #58 – Robin’s Egg Blue

Today’s color is Robin’s Egg Blue.  One of nature‘s loveliest colors, I think.
The first (of many) nests on furniture that I've painted and sold.

I’ve painted many a bird nest over the years…probably hundreds of them…on a variety of furniture pieces, stools, walls, and canvas.
In spite of the nest painting overload, they are still one of my favorite subjects.

Color A Day #58 – Robin’s Egg Blue

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Leprechaun - Color A Day #57

It’s St. Paddy’s day.  So what choice is there?  Today’s color is Leprechaun.

Do you see the little green man?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Orchid White - Color A Day #56

Today’s color is Orchid White.  It’s inspired by the lovely orchid presently growing in my kitchen window.  For some reason, orchids seem to thrive in this spot,  apparently appreciating the morning light and close proximity to the sink.  Orchids are fascinating things.  Full of curious designs, and interesting colors.

Years ago I visited a beautiful orchid garden in Cuba, the “Orquideario de Soroa”, near Havana.  Lush gardens cover this huge park, located in the Sierra del Rosario, a world biosphere reserve.  The Orquideario features over 20,000 orchid plants.  It is well worth visiting if you are ever lucky enough to visit Cuba.  It is a gorgeous spot, and this article published in the Havana Journal says it well:
el orquideario
el orquideario (Photo credit: vladimix)
English: Landscape of Pinar del Rio province, ...
Image via Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Magic Hour Blue – Color A Day #55

My favorite time of day.   Just after sunset, from the deck of a boat.  The magic hour.   I love the color of the cloudy sky…light blue and gray, touched with pink/orange glow.   Breathtaking.
Color A Day #55 – Magic-Hour Blue

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bougainvillea – Color A Day #54

I have always loved Bougainvillea.  Especially the bright “purple” variety.  Today I saw these blossoms beautifully highlighted in the sun, and had to capture them on “film”…OK, digitally on my iPhone.  I love the leafy, lacy blooms.

According to Wikipedia this beautiful, but thorny bush may have been “discovered by Jeanne Baré, Commerçon’s lover and assistant whom he snuck on board (despite regulations) disguised as a man (and who thus became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe).”   This interesting little tidbit comes via NPR’s All Things Considered,  from the book “A Female Explorer Discovered On The High Seas” by Glynis Ridley.   (
Our sailboat at anchor in Mexico, framed by Bougainvillea.

I have spent a good deal of time on the water, at least partially circling the globe on a sailboat.  On my travels in Central America I found my eye always drawn to the ubiquitous Bougainvillea.  I understand why Jeanne Bare may have done the same long ago.  Great story, lovely flower, beautiful color.

Color A Day #54 – Bougainvillea

Monday, March 12, 2012

Living Viridian – Color A Day #53

I love this image…and this green.  This wonderful photograph by artist-activist Yann Arthus-Bertrand can be purchased at  Here’s a bit about the artist from the website:
French aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s awe-inspiring images from high above rain forests, farms, volcanoes, cities and many other geographical points of interest are transformed into abstract photographic art. An avid environmental activist, he’s been raising awareness for sustainable living for over a decade. He’s produced 60 books and was honored with France’s most prestigious award, the Legion D’Honneur. He founded the Altitude Agency in Paris, specializing in aerial photography.
For more of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s amazing photos visit this link.  His TED talk/videos are worth viewing as well.
Français : Yann Arthus-Bertrand à l'université...
Yann Arthus-Bertrand
I appreciate this artist’s efforts in regard to sustainable, green living.
And I love this wonderful living, viridian green.
Color A Day #53 is….Living Viridian.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Crab Cooker Red – Color A Day #52

The Crab Cooker, located in Newport Beach, CA

The Crab Cooker is a staple in my world.  I drive by the Newport Beach peninsula location no less than four times a day as I drop and pick up my kids from school.  This seafood restaurant has been in business since 1951.  We stop in weekly to buy some smoked salmon or albacore from the deli case.  Their smoked fish is absolutely delish.  But most of all, I love the sense of humor this place exhibits.  I laugh almost every time I see the sign posted up high above the roof demanding, “Don’t Look Up Here”, and smile at the changing chalkboard proclamations like “Eat Lots A Fish”.   My favorite signs found at the Crab Cookers are pictured below: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”, and “Through these portals pass the most beautiful fish in the world.”  Just so.  Inside the place is chock full of bric-a-brac, like a huge stuffed shark and assorted old photos.  There is also a delightful CD of “fish songs” available for purchase at the counter.  But what may be the most notable thing about this place is the in-your-face, no-apologies RED that this building is painted.

The Crab Cooker in Newport Beach, California
Image via Wikipedia

Today’s color is….Crab Cooker Red.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nice Cup of Chai – Color A Day #51

I love chai tea.  I’m addicted to the stuff.  Actually my addiction is brand specific: Big Train Chai.  Vanilla flavor.  I buy it in bulk.  And, I’ve had about 3 (ok, 4) cups today.  That’s pretty typical.  I suspect that level of consumption is not particularly healthy, considering how much sugar is involved.  Because I like it sweeeeeet.  Truly, it’s mostly sugar and non-fat dairy creamer….and probably not much more than a suggestion of black tea in the mix.  No matter.  I’m drinking anyway.  Mmmmm.

Today’s color pays homage to my vice of choice: a nice cup of chai.