About the time I stepped into the Orchard studio in Ojai, my attentions got diverted to LA, where I signed up for the UCLA Design Program. Classes in the arts of Trompe l’oeil, Shiburi dying and surface design (and a little dip back into commercial acting) took me all over downtown LA to various teacher’s studios (and several theaters).
I divided my time between Ojai and LA for the next three years, transformed the kitchens of my two borrowed apartments into temporary art spaces (one in Santa Monica and one in the fancy shmancy apartments in Marina Del Rey) until I rented a friend’s guesthouse in Culver City, where I could prepare my artsy homework and rehearse for acting classes unseen and unheard.
Three years! What was I thinking? Compared to my life now (where I walk to the grocery store and post office and take the car out twice a week), I was in Hell - on and off the freeway all day, stuck in traffic on Highway 10 at 11pm, looking for places to park ad nauseum. Schlepping art materials and paraphernalia up stairs and into elevators and down escalators. Driving back and forth to Ojai for long weekends, busy busy, and then back to LA for three days of classes.
On those long weekends, I reveled in my Orchard, sucked in the rarified orangey air. I drew ideas in the dirt with a stick. John Denver crooned in my ear, reminding me… just reminding me.
On an eleven day “Burro Trip” in the high Sierra with the Headmaster of Thacher School and 10 other intrepid hikers, I took my drawing pad, a few pencils and a journal and kept a few notes.
I made a Bisquick Apple Cake, buried in two pie tins in the coals of a hot fire, drank out of a tin mug, led burros, hiked trails, ate Toblarone Bars that taste like Heaven on top of a mountain after an all day hike.
Better, to be out on the trail than stuck in LA traffic. GB