I’m slowly adding a few more paintings and cards to my site. I had a friend that died recently. He had a temper at times but he was loyal as heck. We laughed and ate dim sum and helped each other through life. To my friend – This card says: I have a prickly side, don’t we all? I’m blowing through life but I can blush red with love and loyalty. http://www.sales.penzart.com – where I thought it would be fun to mail original art to you friends and loved ones.
Category Archives: Observations
Prelude to Earth
The place I grew up was heavily wooded. It offered a place to escape, play, build forts and feel free. I had a route that I followed through the woods. In the winter it led to a frozen swamp that I skated on. In the summer I went to an outcropping of huge rocks that tilted towards each other to make a cave. It was one of my many secret retreats. I would always leave something in the cave like a button or ribbon. When I came back the next day it would be gone! Someone, animal or person was taking my cave offerings! Pretty sure it wasn’t a person.
This doesn’t look exactly like my cave but it’s close. Plus I can’t really remember seeing any purple trees in upstate NY. http://sales.penzart.com
Kitty-Cat for Kids
I saw one of my neighbors walking her dog. We stopped to chat and she said she was engaged to be married and that they had bought a place in the city. It was so sweet. We talked about her moving on and becoming an adult. I thought about my life as I draw little kitty-cats on a stone wall talking to the moon. Am I un-adulting? Do we revert, getting mentally younger as we age? Will I be going all the way back to finger painting and crayons? This drawing and several others are from a children’s story I wrote recently about a cat that worries she’s losing her home and her best friend the moon, only to be surprised by how it all works out in the end. Hopefully I can get all the drawings done soon! They’ve become cards for sale on my site. sales.penzart.com
Yes, a little corner of the paper it torn, the paint comes over the edge, and my corners aren’t square. I’ve always had trouble with perfection. Perfection requires patience, which apparently I don’t have 🙂 Having said that, how can there be life with no cracks, torn corners or smudges? It’s unnatural. So the question is, do I just not have the right amount of skill, talent or control over my art? Maybe I’m making excuses for not being good enough to pull off a perfect piece of art. Or do I like imperfection, like the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi? It’s probably a combination. It might be time to explore this more deeply. This is a painting on mat board sales.penzart.com
This is an unframed botanical watercolor, acrylic and colored pencil painting. It is floating on an 8×10 mat board.
Which Medium Will Do
I wrote a sweet little children’s book and am trying to decide what medium and style to use. It would be nice if the backgrounds didn’t overwhelm the main character – a cat. I’ve tried pen and ink and it was just a little too boring for a kids book for this particular story. Colored pencil mixed with graphite has captured my interest lately but I’m not totally convinced. Without knowing the story I can’t really ask for thoughts but I’d thought I’d share what I’ve been working on.
I made this card thinking about valentines day. I reflected on what that first dizzying few years felt like. It was floating in our own orbit, not much mattered but the magnetic pull between us. Even with rough times the pull was, and I guess, continues. This picture could also be I the last picture in my book the Glass Bottle. sales.penzart.com
Open To You
Another card entry with description @ sales.penzart.com
For decades I was lost in my own head trying to figure out what life was all about. Why was it so difficult, and why don’t I feel like I belong? After a lot of reading and tons of meditation I figured it out! It’s all about opening up the heart chakra. Really! When that one piece is open the world opens. I found I didn’t have to struggle as much with judgmental relationships. As it turns out I was the one judging. Opening the heart allowed me to go with the flow and just live in a gentler place.
Art with a Reason
This one painting has gotten so much attention that I thought I post it on my sales website and share the story behind it. This is what’s written in the description of the painting. sales.penzart.com
A whimsical painting if crows had a bar. I imagined my own experience at bars and night clubs (many decades ago). As an introvert I’m usually observing. Expressions, body language and big gestures were fascinating to me. This started with a small soft sculpture of three crows on a branch. On the branch are martini glasses and beer bottles. Eventually it turned into a painting. The outer frame is roughly 23″ x 19
Crane on Paper
Birds have always fascinated me. When I was about three or four years old I very clearly remember asking my mother when I would get wings so that I could fly. She said she was sorry but people don’t get wings. I thought to myself what use is a body that can’t fly? I asked her if I could get rid of this body that felt like a lead weight and get a body with wings. She was not at all happy with that idea. I was crushed.
Adding Memories to Art Site
I’m slowly adding small paragraphs to each of my paintings and cards on my sales site. ( sales.penzart.com ). For instance here is a painting and what I said about it in the description. Sometimes I’ll add something to the description that I remembered, so it’s evolving and yes I need an editor. In the meantime, here is the card and the description that goes along with it.
My older brother once made a holiday card that was elegant and sweet. It was a branch of a Christmas tree with an ornament on the ground and bird tracks surrounding the ornament. You never saw the bird just his tracks. I keep trying to duplicate the simplicity and beauty of that card. He also drew a candle monster. I was about five years old and knew from that drawing that I needed to create images that came to life like his always seemed to.
August 27th. That’s s Might’s’Well Day. Never heard of it? It started about 40 years ago, fourteen miles off the coast of Maine, on an island, on top of a mountain, in a cabin. Max and I started it that day as we lazed around watching the sky for eagles and the ocean for seals. “Should we go down to the water and get some mussels for later?” I asked.
“Might’s’well,” was Max’s answer.
You can guess where this is going. With every adventure and question asked or suggested, the answer was the same.
“Let’s jump the rocks (huge boulders line the coast)!” I said with bucket in hand to get the mussels.
“Might’s’well.” Max said in his casual, hippy way.
“Go swimming, have lunch, take a nap, walk to the quarry?” All questions were answered the same way. By the end of the day it became official. Somehow through all the years, no matter where we are, August 27th remained “Might’s’Well Day!
Just ask any question on that day and see what response you get.
Artist Marketing (during covid)
So many rules to selling oneself! I’ve been told to tease the product, which in this case is hand-painted greeting cards. Then I’m to hash tag the f…k out of every nuance and thought about the card (which for some reason to me is like eating spaghetti left handed in a tornado). Anyway, here is the tease progression for one card that’s on sales.penzart.com
Like everyone else during corona time at home, I’ve been cleaning and de-cluttering. Above our garage is my studio with three closets, a stack of shelves and a couple of vertical files for photos and paintings. All of these storage nooks and crannies are packed with 40 years of art supplies, books, and with a trillion hiding places. If nothing else, all of this adds up to the insulation of the room above the garage.
As it turns out, those trillions of small hiding places are perfect stink bug motels. I’ve concluded these noisy, little beasties are not only dumb, but I think they might not have totally evolved into their full potential. Yes, they’ve picked a warm place (probably because of all the insulation), but there’s nothing to eat up here for a stink bug, and all they have to drink is dirty rinse water from paint brushes. Occasionally a stink bug will be floating in my tea but not often. Those few times are usually from a mistaken nosedive miscalculation, like the kind you see in a cartoon.
So it turns out that my studio doubles as a stinkbug graveyard. I found many dead bugs inside leftover material at the bottom of a bin of fabric. Or they’re in rolled-up reams of paper, in between books and inside drawers. If I move one thing on the floor, like let’s say a box filled with wrapped up paintings, underneath will be no less than 4 or 5 dried bugs. Who knows how many will be inside the box!? Admittedly that one box is pretty big. Is there such a thing as self-vacuuming floors, because that might solve my dead bug problem? I swept the stairs leading to the studio today. Five, overnight, all dead!
When the weather hits about 65°F, I have a jars ready, all over the house to swipe up the little buzzing things. It’s the first thing that has to happen in the bedroom too. It’s a drag getting dive-bombed by a stink bug just before falling asleep. Or worse, what about when your spouse gives a well-meaning smack in the head in his effort to catch a bug? That happened the other night. He thought I wouldn’t want to deep breathe a stinkbug while I slept, so I was rudely awakened by a swat! He caught it with no passive aggressive intentions on his part, just concern. They hide in the folds of the curtains too and in the blinds. We have a window seat in the bedroom. I’m kind of afraid to look under the cushions.
When I catch one alive, I always set it free outside. I’m sure someone will discover that stinkbug stink is the cure to covid 19 and I’ll be dubbed a murderer for my bug-trapping-studio-morgue. It’s got to be a karmic setup, I’m sure of it. An enlightened monk or shaman will come along and tell me that I housed, but did not feed and ultimately killed thousands of stinkbugs that could have saved a million covid patients. Therefore, in my next life, I will probably suffer some horrible, physical malady and the only thing I’ll be allowed to drink is dirty paint brush rinse water and an occasional cup of tea.
To Group or Not
I’ve never been much of a group person. In fact one time I almost turned and ran in the other direction when I had to take college classes (on-line) with a bunch of other people. If I didn’t have to share my opinion or my work that would be one thing, but they wanted me to be a people person and participate with enthusiasm. Why does everyone want you to be a people person? I swear the world is run by extroverts. They want you to belong to a group and not only contribute but do it with gusto!
Obviously I’m an introvert and that’s just a small part of my introvert/extrovert rant, but thank you for listening. However, now that I’m semi-retired, I have started wondering if there would be a benefit for me to be in a group. Mostly because “they” (the experts who are probably all extroverts)keep saying you live a better, fuller, longer and healthier life if you have friends to engage with. So, I thought I would at least look into it. It would be my anthropological study (that’s’ how I was told to get through life as an introvert). Sit there, study everyone else, speak only when approached but do it with a big friendly smile. No one will know there’s terrified shy person lurking inside.
The New More Odoriferous Me
Can I tell you a thrilling aspect of corona induced isolation that you might not have considered?
Two pieces of background you need to understand the thrill. First, you have to know that for decades I’ve worked as makeup artist in film and television. Second, to understand my perspective you would either have to be a woman, a tv reporter, tv correspondent, an actor, or a television pundit.
Ladies first: Have you ever gotten your makeup done at a department store and your artist smelled like he or she had eaten a pile of Roquefort cheese from the compost pile? No. The answer is no you have not! They are a scrubbed cleaned and polished, always hyper aware of their personal hygiene, their appearance, smile, and whether there is any possibility of emitting offensive odors. It’s a thing. This is for obvious reasons especially so we don’t turn off any current or potential clients because of a slight miscalculation from a night of pungent odor producing debauchery. Before work it’s an intense workout of showering, and the heavy lifting all the various personal cleaning products needed for the kind of clean, freshness required to be in close proximity with others.
So imagine this; for the last 40 some years in tv and film I was one of those conscientious stylists. Out of respect for my guests (sometimes called victims – playfully of course) I wouldn’t eat garlic for dinner the night before or heaven forbid at lunch during a shoot! And if I did happen to eat the pungent herb(bulb, vegetable?) during the week, or a Sunday night, I would apologize profusely the next day as I did someone’s makeup at arm’s length (hard to do). I’d lightheartedly say, “I’m sorry, pardon my garlic hang-over.” They would laugh and say: oh I don’t smell a thing, but that would be because I would be holding my breath in between eyelash applications.
Now for the first time in decades because of isolation, I am using far less products, mostly just soap, shampoo, modest amounts of deodorant and…fanfare please…I can freely eat as much garlic as I want!!! I’m so excited for the first time in years I can really reek and I don’t have to apologize!!!
I never thought about this before but now I can eat garlic anytime I want because of current mask-wearing-etiquette. My clients will think I’m just being politically correct! Genius, thank you covid 19, you just made a huge change in my life, that is if I ever get my job back.
The Pimple and the Plague
A weird thing has been happening since staying home to avoid the corona virus. In my effort to not angst about the spread, I’ve strangely stopped caring too much about my appearance, maybe just to have one less thing to worry about. This might be partially fueled by the giant pimples I keep getting at the end of my nose. One goes away and another appears. What’s up with that? Who did I wrong in a past life to get end-of-nose-pimples at age 63? Continue reading
Trying to be Random
Sometimes the camera on the cell phone turns on by itself. If I were paranoid I’d say someone was watching me through that innocent little lens. An actual picture is rarely taken but sometimes I’m feeling a little exposed (pun unintentionally intended). I’m sure it’s just my clumsy handling of a delicate piece of technology, like a butt dial. Is there a name for that like a cheap shot or something?
In any case, some of the random shots were intriguing enough that I felt the whole shoot-at-will thing needed some more study. What I found out is that being “random” on purpose is really hard! It was almost painful to not compose the picture, not adjust the surroundings and so on. Could it be that I just can’t let go of my “eye” and the need to make the shot right? Maybe that takes a certain type of personality. Someone that can let go of control. And here I thought I was just that loosey-goosey-artist-type that could do that. Nope, apparently not. But I’m going to keep try until I get bored with it.
I will be trying this again. Standby….
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
It all began on a farm hundreds of years ago miles from town. There was the farmer, his barn and workshop, the chicken coop, and his chickens.
One cloudy day in the summer while feeding the chickens, the farmer looked at the sky and said, “Glad it’s going to rain today, the fields are dry.”
One chicken heard the farmer and was taken with the sound of his voice. She cooed and clucked along as the farmer spoke. Indeed, she loved the sounds of the farmer’s voice so much that from then on, she would travel from the hen house each morning to the farmer’s house just to hear the farmer talk about the weather.
The farmer enjoyed the routine too. Each morning he’d go outside, and wait for the chicken to make her way from the hen house. It was quite a distance, but she made it every day. The farmer would then talk about the weather and the chicken would coo and cluck along. After the weather report the chicken would make her way back to the hen house where she would go about her daily job of pecking and cleaning.
After so many years of this routine, a very clear path was worn from the hen house to the farmer’s house. When the farmer went to get the eggs each morning, he would also use the chicken’s path, and eventually the path became the main trail leading past the barn to the hen house.
Eventually, other families joined the farmer each bringing their own skills. One family rented the farmer’s workshop to fix wagons, and with time, the wagon repair shop became the busiest part of the farm. The wagons would roll up to the workshop just behind the main house. Once repaired, the wagons pulled passed the front of the farmer’s house and went on their way back to town. Eventually, a path even larger than the chicken’s path was created around the farm house by the wagons. That path soon became the main road running through the property. With wagons going this way and that, it was clearly the wagon’s road that crossed right over the chicken’s path, not the other way around!
So you see, the question “Why did the chicken cross the road?” should never have been asked. After all, it was the road that crossed the chicken’s path. All this time the chicken has been wrongly flagged. It’s a classic example of prejudicial gender targeting and ethnic profiling! If it had been a rooster’s path, there never would have been a road in the first place. The wagons would have been re-directed by the rooster with a toll collected by the hens. The rooster crowing at the top of his lungs, would then declare himself an expert urban planner and get paid double whatever measly sum the chicken gets paid.
Lessons From the Art Studio Tour
I’m so honored when friends stop in to support me at the art show and say hello. But boy am I uncomfortable selling my art to them. Don’t you give stuff to friends? I love my friends and want to give to them, not take their money. . It’s the way I give gifts, which I don’t otherwise give. I really suck at gift giving. So this is really perfect…isn’t it? They pick out what they like, I give it to them – everyone’s happy!! When I explain that, the thought and sentiment behind it, is brushed off.
Then to top it off I had one young lady fall in love with a painting. When she asked how much I wanted for it she lost it. “That’s too low!” she gasped “It should be at least double what you have marked here!” …and then proceeded to pay the lower price. ( -.- shrugg). oh well.
Okay big lesson – add ten dollars to each tag. ok, $20. but that’s as high as I’ll go!
The top picture and at the bottom of the other pic, is a new little kids book I’m working on. It’s about an Ant and an Elephant. Before it’s even done I’ve gotten some interest. Actually someone wanted to buy that unfinished little sketch book. Wohoo! They also like the one about the seagull that gets kicked out of Bologna cartel. He then gets a kid to help flood the market with bolgna to ruin his former comrades. Once that’s done, he starts a new gang that seeks out and hords peanut butter….something like that.
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
Walking With Them
Walking with those in Standing Rock. Water Is Life. I’ve signed every petition, prayed every prayer…now what? Water Is Life.
Political Atmosphere Selfie
I’m trying to be strong, up-beat and pro-active. I’ve written to my Congressperson four times in the last few days. Then I listen to the news and the storm clouds roll in…..
A Light Snow
Who Flirts With A 60 Year Old? What Happened On Day One
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.
Winter Trip 2016
We always go south in the winter, just for a week.Water and islands seem always to be involved. It felt so good to be warm, snorkeling in turquoise water and the smell salty air. I fell in love with the island of Dominica. “Why aren’t we living there?” I keep asking anyone that will listen.
Home now and there was beautiful flurry of snow dusting the roads and grass this morning. That was nice too. Viewed, of course, sipping coffee, curled up next to a cozy fire.
From the Frying Pan
Physicist needed! I think that’s the profession I need; someone more observant, smarter and able to use both sides of the brain at one time. I’m so weak in my left brain that I need brain exercises. Maybe that’s what dumbbells are for (sorry).
I know, usually in this blog I’m beating up on the fashion industry…taking issue with buttons, zippers, pajamas, that sort of thing.
But to show my versatility, today I’m about physics. I very respectfully ask for the assistance and knowledge of science. I like science. It’s logical, unlike the fashion industry. Ok, so here’s the experiment I need help with. Ready? Go. Continue reading
Despicable Is Alive And For Real!
This event was akin to telling me that there really is a tooth fairy or Santa Claus. Imagine for a second what that would be like. Surprise and awe come to mind first and then a grin. The kind of smile that makes you look a little dopey and brainless – in a good way. Ya know the sh*t-eating-grin – like your blissfully uninformed.
Well, that’s what I felt like when I met a cartoon that was a real human person. I couldn’t take a picture of him because he would have wondered why or asked questions. Or maybe, I was just too shy to do it which is usually the case. Continue reading
A Googol of Mensa
Hi, I’m uneducated. Umm, well, I did go to college, several times. I called it “adult kindergarten.” I was an art major most of the time which explains a lot. Finished with an undergrad in Psych. So maybe I’m just naïve, unworldly, sheltered and unabashedly think it’s okay to ask dumb questions.
You need that background before I begin inquiring how much I don’t know about the Mensa organization or its members. I am curious about a lot of things. Like, are they considered a “society” or an “association”? Maybe they are thought of as a “herd” or a “pride” of Mensa folk. I like that a group of zebra are called a “dazzle,”maybe they would consider being called a Dazzle of Mensa? That sounds pretty lofty, kind of special in a spectacular, glittery way, don’t you think? Continue reading