I’m gearing up to do the annual Spring Art Show in Great Falls. May 5th and 6th. I was reluctant at first but with some encouragement and incentives I’ve decided to go for it. They want to set up a time for me to read my children’s book. I’m not sure which one, maybe both? If enough kids show up, that makes it more of a community event rather than a sales event. I also have a dozen or so watercolors to hang up. I’ve been matching the paintings up with fabric and scraps of paper, like this:
Some are more elaborate than this one but they’re already under glass making it harder to photograph. All but one out of the dozen or so, are in an 11 x 14 black frame with the same off white mat-board. Hopefully it will look professional and enticing. Of course there’s always insecurities but I guess I just have to suck it up.
These two lessons came when my sister and I would visit our bohemian uncle in New York City. He was an artist and writer/illustrator of children’s books. During the week we were with our parents in Westchester County in a very remote, wooded area. It was idyllic and peaceful but for some reason we would end up in the city on many weekends and often during vacations. I loved the country and built forts and wandered in the woods, but I equally loved the city! Maybe it was because our uncle always seemed so happy to show off “his” New York. Daily outings might include a bagel, dim sum or some other treat. Wollman’s Rink was on the going-out-list, as was Times Square, Chinatown, Zabars and a host of other places to eat including the automats (ask your grandparents what that is). On any given weekend we might end up in Brooklyn to visit Gram. On all these excursions we would walk, take the subway, then walk some more. Taking a cab was for the “swells” not for artists. Continue reading →
We are staying in hotel with casitas. Each casita has huge sliding glass doors that lead to a little plunge pool.
We decided the air and temperature was so delightful at night that we wanted to leave those doors wide open. In the middle of the night I heard something and saw the tail of a rather large animal jumping down from the kitchen counter. I woke my husband and with two small flashlights we searched the villa. We saw and heard nothing further and decided I must have been dreaming.
However, the next morning I noticed crystal powder on the floor leading out to the pool. Sugar? Then saw a tea bag(brought from home) that was in the sink but there should have been two more. There on the counter was the second. It had been gnawed open with tea sprinkled around as if it exploded. I still haven’t found the third tea bag.
Finally we noticed our two bananas were gone. The peels were left by the pool. One to the right of the pool and one to left. It must have been a party!We were told it had been raccoons or coati. Apparently they can open the refrigerator door if they think there’s something good in there.
In my silly mind, I wondered if we closed the door tonight, will they knock to be let in?
Anyway, the sun was just right for picture taking.
Do you have a building pass? The kind you have carry with you at all times. It either clips to your belt or hangs from your neck so everyone can see just how un-photogenic you are. Well, if you have one, don’t do what I did!
I’ve had a busy few weeks. First was a studio tour last weekend. The kind of event where artists open their studio for people to visit and drive from one artist’s studio to another. They came to my house; mostly older women dragging their husbands. Continue reading →
Welcome to Vinalhaven. Maybe I shouldn’t advertise it and keep it a secret… I mean moss covered pine forests edged with giant ferns, I mean, come on! Even the dog smelled fresh and hug-able after a few days here.
Its been really hard to not do stuff while on vacation. I’m really trying to not think about stuff like making the the reservation for the ferry to get off island, or making painting for the next book, or anticipating the long ride home. So little outside paintings, walks, watching the tides roll in and out and so on. Why is it so hard to relax? Anyway, actively trying.
My older sister once said, in her most snide voice “Why are you always drawing trees?” I was stunned and didn’t know how to answer. I love the trees, I thought to myself but she, being the big sister must right. So, I stopped drawing trees or at least was very aware of all my seven year old obsessive tree drawing. Continue reading →
Just a little summer offering. It clouds, it rains, it suns, it winds. I can’t tell when to walk the dog. The path next to the creek is way too muddy. The clouds are bouncy thick…will it rain now? Now? Maybe I just have to get wet and muddy.
I bought grey ink and wanted to see what it would look like on watercolor and pastel. This is it but it doesn’t look very grey….However, the paper was white. Not sure why it looks pink.
If you ask an older person how old they feel on the inside, they might tell you they feel like they’re 35, sometimes younger like 25 or 18. Walking with the dog today, I realized that if I answered that question it somewhere between nine and twelve years old.
All my mind can handle right now is walking the dog, drawing and painting, meditation, cooking and making yummy things like chocolate and a few other basics. When I go beyond that, I begin to have anxiety attacks. I don’t know how to handle dissidence. As a nine year old are you expected to understand why people don’t just get along? This is where I am during tRump time.
All I want is harmony, birds chirping, the smell of damp woods, honey, thoughtful discussions and laughter, my dog, a crackling fireplace on a cold night and rolling down a hill in summer. Is that too much to ask?
Do you wear an apron when you cook? I don’t. I have one, but I have never bothered to take the time the put the damn thing on. Why? Why bother? I run into the kitchen after work and begin. There is no dawdling; no pondering the situation, no gazing into the depths of the deep, dark, refrigerator. And no measuring devices will ever taint one of my dishes. Let’s just get the job done! First you open the freezer and check out the meats, and if no meats are being sacrificed, then move on to the vegetable drawer. Easy, sauces, pots, pans, a little of this and that and, voilá, we have a meal!
I’ve been told that I cook the way I paint – with no patience. When I got married, my husband was aghast at how dirty the kitchen became when I cooked. I’m still not sure what he was complaining about. I mean, I always put my ingredients away after I use them. But preparation is like conducting an orchestra. Things splatter, pop, sizzle and fly across the room. I have stopped throwing the spaghetti against the wall to see if it’s done, mostly because our ceilings are really high in the kitchen.
I was going to title this Why Drain the Swamp. But then I thought wait a second I wouldn’t mind draining the stinky, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, rotting parts of the swamp. Otherwise, what’s wrong with the swamp?
I used to make up bedtime stories for my kids. One story that we all loved was about a a very smart Macaw who adopted a family and then takes them on an adventure to find his home. “Clever” was one of those stories that survived the test of time (about 25 years since my kids were little). My eldest requested an illustrate version of the story so that she could share it with her children.
I don’t know, it was the color of the sky, the silhouetted shapes, the setting sun…the picture just had to be taken. It’s not great or anything but there was something whimsical about the berries and the stems they hung on and the rhythm of the leaves.
I didn’t think my first day as a 60 year old would make that much difference. Yes, I had the normal amount of anxious thoughts. For instance, does “old” start now? Am I now decrepit? I wondered if my body was going to start breaking off piece by piece, like in that great movie Death Becomes Her. Or maybe it would be more like Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the knight is being hacked to pieces and he’s left with no arms, no legs and continues to insist “it’s just flesh wound.” I’m already beginning to feel a little bit like that but that’s not the point.
So, the birthday was great, family, gifts etc. Then the next day, it’s off to workout. The gym is not my kind of place. I’m a loner and sedentary at best, so when I go, I hide behind my earphones and close my eyes while on the elliptical thingy and pretend I’m not really there. No one bothers me and that’s all I ask while I suffer through my exercises.
After warming up, it was now off to lift weights and there the problem
presented itself. I was happily lifting away the old-lady-flabby-arm-parts and doing those squatty-lungie-things while holding a stupid amount of weights, when I realized too late that I had made a fatal mistake. I had taken off my earphones and was left open to not only the whole world but to the man that was one bench over pumping iron like his life depended on it. He looked at me. I quickly looked away but I could feel “it” coming. It was like the electricity you feel just before the storm. You can see the dark line of cumulus clouds rolling in straight for you but it’s memorizing and we’re just to transfixed to move out of the way. Not only that but in this case there was nowhere to run to. I just had to resign myself that I was about to get dumped on.
I paused for a second and thought about my rights to be there, in the weight room, even though there were mostly macho-dudes and intimidating equipment. I stood my ground and watched as the storm came in. His name was Joe. He hadn’t seen me here before but boy did I look fit! (Could I say f*** you now or did I have to take more?) He looked to be in his late 70’s and all of a sudden I got dizzy. This is who I’m attracting now that I’ve turned 60?!!? I turn 60 and I lure octogenarians? He told me to enjoy my work-out after a little more ogle, but the damage was done. I was shaken and could only stretch for about 30 seconds more before feeling the need to flee. Most of my exercise came by sprinting out of the rec. center with downcast eyes so as not to attract the attention of any more senior citizens…like me. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! Such was day one of being 60. Do I now have to be thankful that I got flirted with at all? Jeez.