February 6, 2021

Art and story published in the SLO Tribune, Sunday, January 9, 2000. Original art was done with Prismacolor colored pencils and watercolor on Strathmore cold-press illustration board.

Hard to believe, but as of this particular art and story, One California Girl has posted something here almost every week for a sum of 200 times. Yikes! And if there are 52 weeks in the year, that puts me in the running for presenting something weekly for almost four years. And because there are 52 weeks in the year the 4 year mark for One CA Girl should be my 208th entry which should occur Saturday, April 3, 2021. That bit of calendar math seems about right as I started all of this on my mother’s birthday, March 25, 2017. I marked that day as the first birthday I celebrated without her as she had passed away the previous August. It is a kind of bittersweet milestone I guess. Both of my parents were always so proud of my art skills and I know for a fact both to them would have enjoyed following my blog as they were the “Mom and Dad of One CA Girl.” Thinking back, and forward for that matter, it fascinates me that I have created so many sketches and paintings over the years. As I have also said in past posts, I really don’t have much more “long ago” art to share anymore. But as I was trying to imagine how to mark today’s milestone I thought of some old art I had yet to post here. The timing was rather perfect, I think. The time was January 9, 2000 and the place was Paso Robles. My son was little and I had started illustrating and writing short pieces to go in The Tribune’s Sunday paper. Here is what I presented then and there. Blogging was not uncommon then, but I was still drawn to contributing my stories and art to our local brick and mortar paper. I don’t have the original art of this primrose anymore. I had it framed and gave to one of my nieces. I do have a copy or two of the actual newspaper depicting this art with story. In 20 years the paper is just starting to turn a little yellow. I store it away (away from sunlight), except for the other day when I took it out to take a quick photo. Then it was back into a portfolio and out of sight. 

Even though the paper has yellowed a little, you should still be able to read it. I still believe in the immortal words of Miss Rumphius, “You must do something to make the world more beautiful.” She did that with her accidental, then definite and diligent, planting of lupines. The story is based on a real person and it seems she ordered her lupines from England. I’m not sure what I really think of going too crazy planting non-native flowers. I hope such spiky and colorful exotic beauties have not aced out any native flowers in the hills and dales of Maine. 

Tribune ad from Wednesday, March 15, 2000

This image may seem like a strange thing to put with my long ago art and story. But one day, later that winter in 2000, I noticed something very specific on a random page of the paper. (Maybe you’ve already noticed it.) As you can see, our little local paper had distinguished itself with other newspapers at the time. I really had no idea then as now what they were so excited about. International acclaim? Who were they competing against for the six prestigious awards? Sometimes when I see the word “international” attached to something like this, I wonder if that just means Canada was part of what someone meant by international. However, when I first saw this ad (which ran daily for a number of weeks) I didn’t notice or read the words at all, but instead saw that they had obviously used my January 9, 2000 story in the photo that accompanied their great news. I guess they liked my piece, and maybe it was representative of the great design in their newspaper. Funny, at the time, the publisher told me he could make me famous with my work. (He added that he wasn’t sure I would get rich, but definitely famous.) He seemed nice enough, but nothing ever came of it. I’m still not rich or famous. Oh well. Maybe I’ll be rich and famous next year. Maybe I don’t really care about any of that. I think what’s really more important is for each of us to take Miss Rumphius’s advice—do something to make the world a more beautiful place. I don’t think I’m going to plant lupines. But, I will try to make the world a little more beautiful by sharing my California art and stories one week at a time. Stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “February 6, 2021

  1. Hi! I can tell you are a plants woman like myself. I was at the Descanso Gardens on Saturday and they had a huge terra cotta pot filled to the brim with yellow primroses–quite a lovely sight. They are pretty right now, but oh my the slugs. Another reason I don’t plant hostas anymore–wake up in the morning and every leaf is shot full of holes with slime tracks. Yikes!


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