Tag Archives: art

One Photo Prompt ~ Two 100 Word Stories


Unwanted Painting

“Sally! Come here this instant!!!”

“Don’t you think you’re being a little overly dramatic, Dear? What’s she done now?”

“You know what she’s done, Mother. Look at this mess, she let Bobby get into the finger paints. I told her to keep them away from him, and she left them laying out. Where is that girl?”

“Maybe you should talk to Bobby?”

“You know Bobby doesn’t understand things.”

“Maybe if you spent more time with him, showed him how to finger paint, he wouldn’t make a mess.”

“Easier to yell at Sally.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I truly am.”

🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨

Trip to Dick Blick’s

“Exciting news, Cheryl!”

“Well, hi to you too, Ethel.”

“Sorry, I know you like me to say hello first, but I’ve got big news.”

“You always seem to have big news. Spill it.”

“Kristi has accepted me into her class.”

“Okay. Who’s Kristi?”

“The painter you liked. You know I love her paintings and how I’ve always wanted to do watercoloring.”

“Is this that crazy one at the Bucktown crafts fair?”

“Yes, and she teaches classes. I’m accepted!”

“How much to get accepted?”

“Only $45 a class. I’ve a list, come to Dick Blicks with me

“Okay, Blicks is always fun.”

👩‍🎨   👩‍🎨   👩‍🎨   👩‍🎨   👩‍🎨   👩‍🎨   👩‍🎨   👩‍🎨   👩‍🎨

keck-ff (1)

I don’t think I need to give credit to the photo prompt this week, anyone knowing Rochelle Wisoff-Fields will know why. Be sure to read her story and the accompanying link for a fascinating look at a painter’s too short life.

To read more stories by Friday Fictioneers writers click the frog above. This week I stole him from my neighbor to the north Delectable Dale (I’ve never figured out how to add a link to an image so I have to ‘borrow’) She has a good story too.






Painting with the Masters


Copying Leopold Schmutzler’s Here I Am, c.1910

At the Frye Art Museum



Trifecta Writing Challenge #66 ~ ONE LAST PIECE


Ruth hadn’t glazed a pot in what seemed like, forever.  He always did that part.  Her ‘job’ was the throwing… his, the decorating.  Such awards they had received.  But he wasn’t helping anymore.  She had decided on a simple sgraffito cut through the soft slip.  Selecting a chisel ended bamboo for her doctor, she wondered if she was up for the task.

He loved Temmoku, and though she disliked working in stoneware, it seemed only fitting.  She had found a glaze he made years ago before she had insisted they use only porcelain.  A near-black, which could break to an iron-red at the right temperature creating a fire-change.  A bit of Titanium added as doctor to the process.  He would be so pleased.

She had decided on just their marks intertwined with his name, as she pushed through the soft clay.  No dates.

There would be comparisons, of course.  Ruth didn’t care.  This was to be her last work.  Her tears would only add to the decoration.



Trifecta Writing Challenge Week Sixty-Six : Write 33 to 333 words using the third definition of the word: DOCTOR (noun)  a : material added (as to food) to produce a desired effect ~ b : a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface


Temmoku is a type of glaze popular in Japan.  It is used on stoneware and is a very complicated process.   Sgraffito is a form of decoration, scratching through the surface of a glaze to reveal the clay beneath, or another glaze, before firing.

I named her Ruth to honor my first ceramics teacher, Ruth Rippon.  An amazing artist and a wonderful teacher.  Nobody but Ruth would glaze her work.

ruth rippon           ripponlollies

This photo of Ruth in her studio in 1980 was taken by Kurt Fishback.   One of her most famous works is called The Lollies and can be found in Sacramento.  I don’t know who took the photo of young Ruth above.


This is one of my favorite stories I’ve written. I thought I would share it with AnythingGoes. Check out their blog for other stories:

My Random Musings


Trifecta Writing Challenge # 64: ALL FOR A STRAP…

moonshineHere’s another blast from the past for my moonshine grid friends…  I wrote this for The Trifecta Writing Challenge last year, about one of my favorite obsessions… enjoy.



Amélie adjusted the strap and tried to stand still. She was getting tired, but more so bored. “Madame, please try to stand straighter. I’m almost finished. You will be the toast of all Paris soon.”  She liked the painting, although not sure of the pose. And why did he dwell on the color of her skin so? She was one of the most sought after beauties of the day, and was looking forward to the Salon of 1884.

Varnishing Day came, and Le Gaulois had given John a favorable review. Fourcald called the painting “remarkable”.

She stepped from the carriage, dressed for the occasion. Congratulations and praise sure to come. But, that was not to be the case. For Painting #2150 in Gallery 31 was to be the cause of ruined reputations and changed lives that day. Instead of words like “superbe” and “magnifique” the shouts from the crowd were “détestable”, “clown”, “harlot”, “monstrueux”. Not at all what was expected, and the reviews in the days to come were scathing. All for a strap and the color of too much bare skin.

After the Salon, the artist did not show the painting publicly for 20 years. Madame Virginie Amélie Gautreau went into seclusion for the rest of her life.


Thirty-two years later, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City, would buy one of the most famous portraits ever painted. Madame had died in Paris the year before.  John Singer Sargent had become one of the most famous artists of his time.  A stipulation of sale, was that the painting not bear her name, but be called “Madame X”.



Trifecta Challenge Week Sixty-Four : Write 33 to 333 words using the third definition of the word:DWELL

In 2007, I visited New York City to see two of my favorite ladies… I wrote about it early in my blogging career…  Jennifer and Madame.


If you are on facebook, check out my Friends of Madame X




trompe l'oeil painted door

trompe l’oeil painted door

Oops… this was destined for my PhotoLog… TedBook’s Daily Pics … to see more doors, go to my PhotoLog.  

Friday Fictioneers… MUSE

It had been years since he touched a wheel.

Nothing said ‘vacation’ like daytime drinking, and he had been on vacation a long time.  No creative spark in sight.
It bothered him, and in clear moments would go to museums, hoping a muse would find him.

Now, kneading the clay, the familiar slap on the plaster bat bringing it all back, he couldn’t wait till the first kick.  He felt this might save him, for as in times almost forgot, he had no doubts it would be good.

Funny what pointed the way, another artist’s work,  a jeering face saying … “Loser.”


Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Flash Fiction… This week’s photo prompt is by Joyce Johnson… Go see Rochelle… ADDICTED TO PURPLE … for info on how to join us.

To read other Fictioneers’ stories…


I have a lot of things to do today, some really Important Things. I got up early to do them. Here’s how it went…

Got up early. Made coffee. It was cold, so I decided to fire up the wood stove for the first time in five months. My wood stove was being used to display artworks during the ‘wood stove off-season’, so that meant I had to find space on my wall for my newest acquisition, an encaustic mixed media work by talented young artist Fiona Small, entitled ‘Rose Window’.

So, moving artwork ensued. I decided to move a photograph of my grandparents and mother, taken in the Redwood Forest during a camping trip… I would say in 1927… to my Family Wall.

My Family Wall is kind a family tree… a place to put a lot of family photos I treasure. A few of parents and sisters, but mostly daughters and grandkids. The only one without a person in it, is of the Golden Gate Bridge… I like the GGB… it was taken by my granddaughter Isabel, while in her ‘I want to be a photographer’ phase… it is very good and makes me think of her, and that’s why it’s on the Family Wall.

Actually, this isn’t the photo on the wall… I just like it and thought I’d throw it in… I think I’ll put it on the wall.

There’s 1st Lieutenant Theodore Strutz, my dad not me. My favorite photo of my mother Edna, taken in the 40’s, with a photo of my daughter, the actress, in the play ‘Talley’s Folly’, with her hair in the same style as my mom, hanging above. Another one of the actress, taken in Chicago in the 80’s, when Krista took me to Graceland Cemetery…https://tedstrutz.com/2012/05/28/the-crusader-and-the-acting-student… it’s one of my faves, because it reminds me of some fun times we shared in that great city.

Another from Chicago, is when Ashley and I attended a wedding at Harry Carey’s Restaurant… she made me very proud to have her on my arm that night… and one 10 years before, with her sitting on my lap in our jewelry store.

Of course this required a lot of shifting around of photos on the Family Wall. And that required a lot of dusting and cleaning of the frames, which in turn brought out a lot of memories. This is why I like the Family Wall… the memories. Each photo tells a story, like the cast photo of The Man Who Came To Dinner… taken around ’72.  Ann, the original family actress, was in the play, and I came in at the last minute to replace an actor who had quit the day before the show opened. Ann is right of center with the pearls. I made some important friendships in that play. Let’s play ‘Where’s Waldo’… can you find me?

I didn’t plan the Family Wall, I have lots of family photos elsewhere… even on the fridge… it just happened. There’s me with one of my favorite women at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It should probably be on my Madame X Wall… yes, I have one.    

So, after the moving, dusting and remembering, I decided to share my Family Wall. I haven’t taken the time to write in TedBook for some time… people have been talking. “Too many Important Things to do”, I’d say.

Well, it’s now 1:30, and the Important Things still haven’t been done today… Or have they?


It was early in the morning last Summer, when Sky Bergman started setting out her supplies.  In a few hours, she would be teaching people how to make books.  Sky, is one of many sharing their skills to show those attending Sweet’s Mill Music and Arts Camp,  how to tie-dye or batik, make hats, jewelry, ceramics, musical instruments and in her case… books.  My son-in-law Steve,  has brought his printing press to teach printmaking, along with Kristen’s dad, Steve Wilson.  It’s a hands on deal here in the Art Area of Meditation Meadow.
Press made by Steve Gutmann

High in the Sequoia National Forrest somewhere, is a gathering of Musicians and Artists sharing music, dance  and experiences during a giant two week camp out.  There are a lot of talented people, from all around the world.  What am I doing here?  After hearing about Sweet’s Mill from my daughter, like forever, I decided to attend.  Krista and her BFF Kristen have been going since they were kids, and now my granddaughter, Ula, has been attending for all of her 11 years.  Krista is an actress and Kristen is a Belly Dancer.  I have no musical talents and marginal artistic skills, but I do like to take photos, so I decided to chronicle life at Sweet’s Mill.

I had my camera ready when Sky started her first bookmaking class.   Actually I did make a book, in fact two, but my modesty prevents me from being the subject of this story… and it is hard to make a book with a camera in one hand.  So, I was delighted when Kristen arrived and said she wanted to make a book.  A group had gathered and the class was underway…
soon the ‘bookmakers were deep into cardboard, art paper and paste…
               Sky began the process with making the cover of the book and concluded after adding the pages.  The books were done, and the campers had a journal to record their experiences in…
making the binding
attaching cover plates
sizing art paper for cover
gluing cover together
press together
adding the pages
Kristen’s Book
Kristen & Sky

And, that’s how you make a book!

I’m looking forward to Sweet’s Mill next month… I will probably make another book, but Sky is also the head of the Photography Department at Cal Poly… and I just bought a new camera… I have lots to learn.

And, I’m not that modest… here’s my book…


  • Which celebrity would I like to be for a day? Well I would have to say Warren Beatty… back in the day!

  • Actually, I would not want to be a celebrity, even for a day, but if I could meet just one, it would be Jennifer Garner. My friends know that my infatuation with JG is almost as famous as my fixation on Madame X (who is one celebrity I will never get a chance to meet).It all started when I saw the above photo in USA Today promoting a new TV show called ‘Alias’. I immediately loved the show and watched every episode for five years. That was when I fell in love with JG. I embarked on a crusade to watch Everything Jennifer, which I think I succeeded in doing. I loved her in ‘Hey Dude Where’s My Car’, saw her potential in ‘Rose Hill’ (an early TV movie) and was moved by her portrayal of a young woman desperate to have a child in ‘Juno’. Of course, I cried tears of joy in 2002 when Jennifer won a Golden Globe for… Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama.  In fact, I think I escorted Jennifer that night… isn’t her dress lovely…

Oh, I could go on and on and on… well, you get the idea… But the question of celebrity intrigued me, and I could only really think of one I would really like to meet (well, maybe Jack Nicholson… he’s pretty cool) and that’s Jennifer.

I actually had a chance a few years ago… Jennifer was appearing on Broadway in  Cryano de Bergerac opposite Kevin Kline.  On impulse, I bought a ticket to the November 9, 2007 performance at the Richard Rogers Theatre…

I knew this would force me to go to New York City, where I would get to see JG in person, and finally get to see my one true love… Madame X!

I had a wonderful time exploring the city!  What I packed into 1 week was amazing.  After all, I might never get back and so many things I wanted to see… The Met of course was my first priority… Two trips were needed to get my fill of Sargent’s Masterpiece.  The Frick Museum, Statue of Liberty, Top of 30 Rock, MOMA, Guggenheim, NYC Public Library, Corned Beef at Katz Deli, Central Park, GreyLine Tour, Three Broadway Shows, Riding the Subway (brought back such happy memories of my days in Chicago) and just walking the famous streets of The Big Apple.

I was never exhausted… because I was on a mission.  I was lucky enough to be able to stay with a friend of Krista’s… Noted Filmmaker Greg IvanSmith and his dog Olive.

Their generous hospitality, well his anyway… Olive didn’t like me… was the Cherry on top of a wonderful week.  I do hope to get back to see Madame Pierre Gautreau once again some day, but if I don’t, I have some wonderful memories of spending time with her and my trip to New York.

Cyrano was Great!!!  Kevin Kline was amazing and Jennifer was wonderful… when she entered the stage my breath was taken away and I was absolutely enthralled for 2 hours.

After the show, I was too afraid to go backstage and maybe get a chance meet my idol.  I felt that I didn’t want to intrude, and that she wouldn’t want to be bothered by me.  I knew in my heart that would not be the case, because that’s not the kind of person she is… but that’s how I rationalized it…

I was just chicken.  I did wait outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of her as she dashed to the limo that Ben would bring to take her home.But it was pouring rain and no doorways to stand in, so I went back to Greg and Olive.  So, even though I didn’t get to meet My Celebrity, I did get to see her in person.

On a side note: The day after I saw the play, the Stagehands Union went out on strike closing all shows on Broadway.  Someone upstairs must have been smiling on me… I got to see my two loves in NYC!


I think this was right before we got married in 1965… I was taking a drawing class from Robert Else at Sacramento State College.  We were living at 23rd and J sts.  Ann was wearing a green shift and sitting in a high back chair in the kitchen while I sketched her.  I painted it the following week.  She never liked it.   In fact, my second wife, Annie, didn’t like it either, but that was because I insisted on having it on the wall… I figured it was on the wall when she met me, etc.  I always liked it and thought it was a great work of art.  My first and last painting.

Ann did not know I still had it.  Ann did not know I was entering it in the San Juan County Fair Art Show.  I was not expecting it to win a prize, much less First Place!  My daughters Krista and Ashley knew I still had the painting and was planning to put it in the fair… they thought that was pretty funny.

I just happened, by chance, to run into them as they arrived at the exhibit hall… to view the photo and art shows.  I realized they both came with her to see her reaction to the painting, so I tagged along with my camera… Surprise!!!


I'm not sure my granddaughter shares my enthusiasm for fine art...

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