Watercolor cards of coffee and a doughnut – 140 #arches coldpress scraps glued to a pre-made card 

Every morning I stop by my local coffee cart run by John and Mohammed, immigrants from Afghanistan who run this cart like a well oiled machine.  John sees me coming down the street from the subway and if there are no other customers he immediately prepares my coffee.  I told him once what I wanted and I never had to tell him again.

Sometimes Mohammed has to sit in the van until alternate-side-of-the-street parking goes off at 8:00 am.  But if he’s in the cart too then the coffee and doughnut serving ballet really begins.  John gets the coffee, Mohammed bags it with the requisite baked good that the person ordered, takes the money and makes change while John is on to the next customer.   If only the City could run that smoothly.

For a while I tried not to get a doughnut with my coffee, but either John or Mohammed would put it in the bag anyway.  One day they ran out of chocolate frosted so they gave me a whole wheat.  I eventually gave up fighting with them and just accepted the whole wheat doughnut with my coffee.  Hey, it’s whole wheat. Ergo, it must be healthy.

Tomorrow, April 1st will be my last day of work.  I will have retired. And it’s not an April Fool’s joke even though some people in my office may think it is.  It’s a very strange feeling.  Clearly, I’m happy about it, but my daily routine, starting with John and Mohammed will now be over.  I’ll have to create new routines.  Unless of course I decide to take the subway every morning to get coffee from John and Mohammed’s cart, chat with them, and then come home.  Yes, I will miss these guys.  But that would just be silly.


Trade winds Feb. 2015Tradewinds – watercolor on 140# coldpress  Approx. 9 x 12

You know how now with email or Facebook if you look anything up THE NEXT SECOND ads begin to appear in the sidebar for what you just looked up.  Write an email that your roof leaks to your friend and next thing you know roofing ads start appearing in the sidebar of your email.   I wrote about it here.   Today I received an email from my sister and Google asked me if I wanted to translate it into Afrikaans.  Huh?  Afrikaans?  What’s up with that? It was an email she sent me with pictures of her neighbor’s two dogs “Tucker” and “Glacier”.  Maybe Tucker and Glacier mean something in Afrikaans and Google wanted to know if it should translate? Big Brother is always watching…and listening…and translating into Afrikaans!

I was inspired by Rhonda Carpenter to do an abstract piece.  This is what came from my brush.  I was pleased.  My sister said she liked it too.  Although she texted it to me.  She didn’t email it. Otherwise Google would then be showing me ads for boats or sea food restaurants.

birch trees 3-1-15Birch Trees – 1/2 sheet of Arches 140# cold press

All cars look alike to me.

Someone:   “What kind of car do you have?”

The Husband:  “A 2014  four-door Ford Taurus”

My brother who does not read my blog: “The V-8 engine in my car has fluid and sporty handling, while allowing me to maintain control….suspension…curb weight…transmission…powertrain….”  He could go on and on.

Me: “A gray one”

If The Husband, the doggie and I are walking down the street and our dog stops and sniffs at a car and then keeps going, the Husband will say to me, “do you know whose car that was?”  I will say “no” and he will say “OURS” (subtext: dimwit).

Last week we arrived at the Sister’s home after a 2 and a half hour drive from my office. I was inside with the dogs and The Husband pulled the car into the empty spot in the garage.

Shortly after playing with the dogs, we decide to head out for groceries. I pressed the button for the garage door opener and began to walk past OUR car. As I stood between the Sister’s car and ours I look out to the open area where we normally park.  “Where’s our car?” I scream.  The Husband just stares as I realize I’m standing next to it.

We both laughed and laughed.


Flowers for a friendFlowers for a friend

No you’re not seeing the same painting as the previous post.  I needed a get well card or gift for a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  (She’s doing great.)   And after I painted the last bouquet I decided I would paint some flowers for her.  On a card. With the breast cancer ribbon on the vase.

I hope she likes her flowers.  I hope you do too.

Pink Flowers 3-8-15Vase of pink flowers based on an image from a Janet Walsh watercolor book – on 1/4 sheet of Arches cold press

The Sister and I were very excited to attend The Metropolitan Opera’s Production of Rigoletto a while back.  This production was set in 1960’s Las Vegas and who wouldn’t like that?  Maybe there would be an Elvis impersonator?

I hadn’t been feeling great on the subway from my office to Lincoln Center.  I met my sister for dinner, but couldn’t eat.   As we sat there my nausea and pains got worse, but hey, just like the show must go on, the audience must attend.  (and we paid a boatload of money for the tickets.)   I was determined to go.   The chimes rang indicating the performance was about to start.  The chandeliers went up, the orchestra bowed and started to play, the curtains opened and there was what looked to me to be an amazingly fun and tacky stage filled with neon lights, roulette wheels and dancing-girls.  And then it happened.  I won’t go into detail, suffice to say I had a bout of food poisoning.   But guess what!  Lincoln Center has a doctor on call who sits in the audience and is there just for sick audience members.  He was a cardiologist and really wonderful.  Apparently there is a cadre of doctors (mostly urologists I was told, what’s up with that?) that rotate seeing performances for free in return for emergencies in the audience. I told my friend what happened and she said based on the average age of the Met’s audience she wasn’t surprised.

I was escorted to the small medical office and examining room by the doctor, the Sister and two lovely Firemen who moonlight as EMS techs at the Met.  They were both wearing tuxes.  When my sister asked why they responded “It’s the Opera!” (Like Duh!)  As I’m being examined by the doctor and curled up in pain, I could hear The Sister talking to the fireman in Tuxes…turned out we were all from the “old neighborhood” and a good time was had by all (except me).

To add to the night, when we first sat down I was happy that we were on the aisle and there were two empty seats next to us. Just before the opera started two people showed up to sit in those seats.  And wouldn’t you know, out of everyone in the universe is was a co-worker and her mother. After I got up because of the illness, my sister left her seat to check on me.  (This was before they called the doctor.)   We never returned to our seats.  The next morning I saw the co-worker and explained what happened.  She told me her mother thought I was so upset that Rigoletto was set in 1960’s Las Vegas that I got up and left!

Pears revised 2-8-15

Besides the pink flowers above, I also decided to rework the pears from the previous post.  I thought I’d spice them up a bit.  But not too spicy.  Don’t want to have to call the doctor.


It’s Superbowl Sunday and unlike most people I couldn’t care less. I just asked the Husband how many points did one team get when they scored a touchdown. (I knew, really, I was just checking.) He stared at me and asked me what country I was born in. I’d rather be watching the puppy bowl. I have been switching back and forth.  The Husband doesn’t mind.  A puppy just got a penalty of five yards for tail biting.  How cute is that?Birch trees 1-31-15

It’s cold and they are predicting more snow tonight just in time to make tomorrow’s commute a joy. At least they are not talking about another snowpocalypse.

I did some tree practice.  Above are some birch trees.   Below a really fun spatter tree.

Splatter Tree 1-31-15

Trees 1-31-15

Another tree style using a flat brush, working wet in wet on damp paper.  And some pears below because everyone loves painting pears.

Pears 2-1-15

Kaiya snow

And here’s a picture of my doggie in the snow.  For those of you who’ve asked, she’s wearing what’s called “a gentle leader” or a “haltie” and not a muzzle. The gentle leader allows someone like me to walk a 90+ lb dog and control her.  I’m giving her a five yard penalty for laying in the snow and not wanting to walk!


Turned out the snowpocalypse was a NOpocalypse for NYC. Good for us.  Bad for areas further East and North. They did get the expected bazillion inches of snow.  I believe they are still digging out their cars.

Snow Day 1-27-15

Doggie Snow Day 1-27-15

I took a snow day because they shut down the subways.  Never before in the past 110 years have they shut down the subways!!!!  Since I couldn’t actually get to work,  The Husband, The Doggie and I decided to make the best of it and went for a lovely 2 hour walk in Prospect Park.  Someone (not me) LOVES the snow and will take any opportunity to roll around in it and stick her snout in the snowdrifts.

We also got to see a bunch of cardinals, beautifully bright red against the bare trees and glistening new white snow.  And finally, we saw a hawk, so well camouflaged in the trees I couldn’t see it until he moved his head.

Hawk in the park 1-27-15

Of course The Husband was the one who saw all the wildlife and pointed it out to me.  A lion could have crossed my path, I wouldn’t have noticed!



figure 2


NYC and the northeastern part of the US is preparing for Snowmageddon 2015 (a/k/a snowpocalypse).   Yesterday we were getting 20 – 30 inches of snow, today the forecast is 18-24 inches.  I just went to the store to get some olives, because really, what else does one need whilst snowed in.  Luckily there was no rush on olives.  I don’t know why.

I’ve been figure drawing with K.   We were going to go again tonight but decided that if it’s really snowmageddon, we didn’t want to be trapped in a tiny room listening to the subway rumble until they shut it down and we couldn’t get home.

When we went on Friday the model was Mark and he was very good.  Lean, but not too skinny.   I’m realizing that I don’t like the really skinny models. There’s nothing to draw.  I might as well draw the skeleton that’s in the room with us. K of course is amazing.  So amazing that the model came up and asked if he could photograph K’s drawings at the end of the session.  Lucky for me, I can also learn from K so it’s all good.

Now, why is there no weather on the weather channel?   I wanted to see what was coming and there was show called “Fat Guys in the Woods”.  My brother who does not read my blog loves that show.  Some guy named Creek (I’m already frightened) teaches fat guys how to survive.  Don’t they know that “outside begins with ‘ow'”???  I hope snowmageddon doesn’t require us to become survivalists.  I’d go down in the first wave!  I guess the take away from all of this is, fat guys are more interesting to draw, but don’t expect them to save you during the apocalypse!

I am thrilled to report that my painting “Girders” got accepted into the tri-state juried show “Line Describing a Cone” at the Katonah Museum of Art.  Even more exciting, the juror is a curator at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

Girders Smith 9th St - 11-5-2014Girders – Watercolor on 140# Arches – approx. 19 1/2 ” x 22 1/2 ” framed

If you’re in the area, the show will be up until February 15, 2015.  Please stop by.

Here’s my name tag…so I guess it’s official :)

Carol King  Artist

Lest you think I’ve been resting on my laurels, here’s a study for another painting I’m working on.

Girders tooGirders two, WIP on 9 x 12″ Arches 140# watercolor paper.

I’ve also been working on some collages.  Here’s one I just completed.

Science SilenceScience Silence – collage on 8 x 10″ Bristol paper

As I type in all the sizes of the artwork, I am reminded of this map of countries that don’t use the metric metric systemWe are sorely outnumbered!   The US just never embraced the metric system.  Which is why every time I read a blog post that is not from the states I have to go to The Google to find out what size 20 x 25 centimeters corresponds to in inches.  I remember they tried to get us to change to metric when I was in grade school.  Clearly, that did not work.

Last but not least, my brother who does not read my blog emailed to say that my 7 year old nephew has his painting hanging in his grade school.  However, he also told me the Katonah Museum called.  They were going to bump a painting in the Katonah show to make way for my nephew’s.

Dillon's dinosaurs

Dinosaurs with volcano and pteradactyl

I may be biased, but I love this painting!  They can bump one of the paintings for this masterpiece any day.  Just not mine.  Actually, I’m sure they can find some wall space somewhere.  We can exhibit together, my nephew and me.

Cherry Blossoms 1-11-15Cherry Esplanade – Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

Now, I’m not one to complain but…oh wait, I AM one to complain.  So let me begin.  It’s a new year and after we’ve finished wishing each other a happy, healthy and prosperous new year it’s now the middle of January and really, what’s changed?  I work. It’s cold. It’s dark. I haven’t lost the 8 lbs I gained over the holidays.  I’m tired.  Everyone one the subway seems to be sick and breathing on me.  But,  looking on the bright side, the days are actually getting longer.  Yay!

I’ve been working on a few paintings and finishing up other ones. Since it’s been so cold, nothing says Spring to me but cherry blossom trees.  So I decided to paint some.   This is of the Cherry Esplanade in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

reid wine bottle 1-11-15

I also decided to do a painting from a Charles Reid book for practice. It’s a wine bottle with an orange and lemon.  Charles Reid is always fun to study from.  For fun I changed the writing on the label.

I finished FATE on the Gowanus Canal and the Red Tulips.

Fate finished 1-11-15

red tulips finished 1-11-15

Hope you are all hanging in there! Stay warm.  Stay healthy.  Spring will be here soon.

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