LOTUSLAND

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: Madame Ganna Walska (1887-1984) was the type of Southern Californian eccentric over whom  people from back East love to roll their eyes, muttering “land of the fruits and the nuts.” Born Hanna Puacz in Brest-Litovsk, Poland, she was an opera singer who was married six times. […]

ART WORTH DYING FOR: JAMES DICKSON INNES

Born in Llanelli, Innes studied at Carmarthen Art School and the Slade. A colleague there noted that he ‘was of middle height, black haired and thin featured, handsome to many people… there may have been something satanic in his look.”… He was already dying of tuberculosis, having been diagnosed at 21.

THE RESURRECTION: MY URBAN GARDEN

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Cicero, 1st century B.C. Isak Dinesen had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills. I have a native plant garden in Pasadena. Unlike Dinesen (“Out of Africa”), however, I don’t “own” my garden. It’s behind the Craftsman where I […]