nyc water towersNYC rooftops, WIP – oil painting value study.  Approx 8″ x 11″

Green tulipsGreen tulips – watercolor practice on Strathmore paper

The Husband and I are taking beginner Spanish classes.  Again.  We’ve tried this once or twice but don’t keep up with it and forget everything.  This time we say we will stick with it.  We’ll see.

Last week a student in class asked the teacher what the difference was between “usted” which is formal, singular “you”, and “ustedes” which is formal, plural “you”.

The teacher explained it this way:  “Usted” is “you”.  “Ustedes” is “Y’all”.

Only in the South….  :)

I’m still struggling with oil painting so I’m staying with using only one color and white and doing value studies.  One of these days I’ll graduate to color.  The above oil is of some of the rooftops and water towers in NYC.  The next is a fun little watercolor of some tulips for #worldwatercolormonth.

Hasta luego, Y’all.  Thanks for visiting.

 

3 pots3 pots – watercolor on Strathmore 140# coldpress – approx 8″ x 10″

The bears have been very active lately.  Two nights ago we came out to walk the dog. As we got to the top of the driveway there was a black bear standing in the road.  We stared at each other for a few moments. And then it went into a neighbor’s yard and stayed there while we walked the dog.  It was still there as we returned, behind the trees, looking at us with someone’s white trash bag next to it.  Looking very guilty.  LOL.

Yesterday there were two bears walking around our house.  One in the morning and one at night. They are always out there.  When we are out in the front, in the back, chatting with neighbors, walking the dog. They are there. Mostly we don’t see them.  I’m torn between thinking this is very cool and being over bears.  I remember the days in NYC when we had neighborhood crime watches. Now the neighborhood watch consists of texting neighbors to alert them of bear activity.  I kinda miss the criminals. OK, not really.

Here’s a little painting of 3 terracotta pots for #worldwatercolormonth.  Have a wonderful day.

chardinOil painting after Chardin – WIP – approx 8 x 10″ on canvas paper

begonia leaf

Begonia leaf – graphite and colored pencil in sketchbook

rhododendron leafRhododendron leaf –  graphite and colored pencil in sketchbook

hydrangeaHydrangea –  graphite and colored pencil in sketchbook

Miss LucyMiss Lucy from the St. Croix markets  – Watercolor for #worldwatercolormonth

The Husband and I recently went to see the band Kansas at the Thomas Wolfe arena in Asheville.  As we were driving to the venue we ran into some friends.

US:  We are going to see Kansas.

Them:  Asheville gets the best bands…40 years later.

I wasn’t expecting much, but Kansas was actually pretty good.  As we left the Husband said “They sounded as good as they did on my 8 track cassettes!”

I’m still taking the “nature’s notebook” botanical drawing class.  I just started an oil painting class. I haven’t touched oil paint since the mid seventies which is interesting because I was only a toddler in the mid-seventies.  :)

We did our first painting, above, as an exercise in looking at values.  We used one color and white. I used burnt umber and copied a still life from Chardin, suggested by the teacher who is big into the old masters and which auto-correct wants to change to chardonnay.  Perhaps if I had some chardonnay while painting, it would have been easier, but I am not entirely displeased with the result.

I have not been neglecting my watercolors.  Above is a picture of Miss Lucy from St. Croix with a reference kindly supplied by Bonnie Luria, formerly of St. Croix and now comfortably settled into Asheveille, NC.

Happy 4th of July everyone.  (And even if you don’t celebrate it as a holiday, it’s still the 4th of July and I hope it’s happy for you.) Thanks for looking.

caladium leafCaladium leafchristmas fernChristmas Fern
flower - pencil fake sweet shrubVenus Sweet Shrub in pencil

flower pen and inkVenus Sweet Shrub in pen & Ink

branch with lichenTree branch with lichen

I decided to take a drawing class at the local community college.  That class was full, but they offered a class called “Nature’s Notebook” and since I’m now surrounded by a whole lot of nature I thought I’d give it a whirl. The instructor, an avid gardener and artist named Peter Loewer, a/k/a “the wild gardener” brings in items from his garden for us to draw.  He will lecture a bit at the beginning of class about styles of drawing and particular drawings of plants and then we begin drawing.

I was in the art studio one day when some women from NY came in looking at the art.  One woman who had a thick NY accent told us about the NY Accent test.

Wanna take it?  OK, here goes:

Say L-O-G…log

Say H-O-G…hog

Say F-O-G…fog

Say D-O-G…dog

If you pronounced dog just like log, hog and fog, congratulations, you have failed the NY accent test.  However, if you pronounced dog unlike the first 3 and more like dawg, congratulations you passed the NY accent test!

If you’re wondering, I passed the test with flying colors.  :)

 


two slices to goTwo slices to go –  watercolor on Arches 140# coldpress

Did you ever say anything and as the words exited  your mouth you thought “never in a million years would I ever think I would say that”?

It happened to me two days ago.  As The Husband and I were preparing to leave the house to go pick up friends we saw a mama bear and cub in a neighbor’s yard and continued to watch them as they proceeded across our road, down our driveway and around our car.  It was then that I realized we would be late.

ME texting friend:  We will be late because there are bears in our driveway.

FRIEND who lives around the corner and knows about bears:   HA!

I guess this is our new normal.  They are cuter than NYC rats and about the same size.  :)

Bear in drvieway 1

Bear in drvieway

bear - these weeds taste good

The Brother, sister-in-law and two nephews were in town last week.  We had a great time but despite all of our talk about bears they didn’t see a one.  What they did do is sing a song that I now can’t get out of my head.  It’s called: It’s raining tacos and it’s very catchy.  Have a listen. You’ll be singing along with me.

The above painting is based on the two slices I got on a recent trip to NYC. Nestled between the 8th Ave. subway entrance at 40th street and a homeless shelter was a hole-in-the-wall pizza place and the pizza was yummy. And just as much fun to paint.

 

 

 

waiting“Waiting” 22 1/4″ x 15″ watercolor on Arches 300# cold press

I’ve always wondered this?  I guess I am too old to write “U” for “you” and “Ur” for “your”.  Unless you’re on Twitter, why would you write this way?  WHY?  Or should I ask “Y”???

On a completely unrelated note, Mexican food in Western North Carolina (“WNC”) is a sad state.  (And don’t even get me started about pizza, which, for the most part, is just vile here.)  There’s a restaurant not far from our house where we go to sometimes.  It makes me crazy that they offer rice OR beans with their meals.   RICE OR BEANS ? EVERYONE knows that it’s Rice AND Beans. They go together.   Like cookies and milk,  peanut butter & jelly, wine & cheese.

Ugh! Rice OR Beans!  Makes me crazy.  I give them a lecture whenever I’m there.  Like they care.

Waiter thought bubble: “Shut up crazy gringo lady.  You want rice AND beans, order the rice and get beans on the side and get over it.”

OK,  I’m over it.  In Maine where my old dog walking buddy Charlie and his wife Liz now live they have a Mexican restaurant called El El Frijole (LL Bean).  I laughed and laughed when I heard this. Maybe they can’t cook Mexican food well in Maine, but at least they have a sense of humor about it.

Finally, the bears have returned.   We saw a mama and cub crossing the road on the late dog walk about 2 weeks ago. Seeing them announced the arrival of spring and also had us quietly but quickly backtracking back to the house. As soon as we saw them, we noticed the trees started blooming and the daffodils and crocus have come up.  Groundhog Schmoundhog. We got bears!

The above painting was one I posted sometime last year but it wasn’t quite finished, but now it is. And for no reason here’s a painting of an Asheville fire hydrant:

asheville fire hydrantAsheville fire hydrant – 9″ x 12″ watercolor on Arches 140# coldpress

It looks a little drunk but it was fun to paint.

Thank U for visiting.

 

 

View from I 240
View from I 240-Watercolor on 300 # Arches cold press approx 15″ x 22″

Why are emojis so damn small? People text me with emojis all the time and I have no idea what they are sending.  I need to know if someone is sending me a picture of a dog, a monkey, or a martini?

TEXTER:  Want to come over?  I’m doing the laundry *martini emoji*

ME:  Nah, I’ll pass (thinking “that sounds really boring.”)

However, If there were martinis involved with said laundry, I might rush right over to help!

I was pondering this emoji issue last week when comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert discussed this same problem.  He couldn’t distinguish between the “crying” emoji and the “laughing so hard you are crying” emoji.  He accidentally sent the latter when a friend’s pet died which caused some problems. I’m just gonna stick to the old fashioned colon dash parenthesis  : -) face so as not to screw things up.

I’m also working on a new Mac computer after years of working on PCs.  Insert very frustrated emoji face here.

And I’m still getting used to this new place.   Sometimes I feel like this:

Green Acres  But I never lived on Park Avenue with a penthouse view.

Insert sad emoji here.

The above painting is a view of one of the buildings in Asheville glimpsed while driving by on Interstate 240.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pastel landscape - rightonChalk pastel on Canson watercolor paper approximately 8×10″

Not long ago a neighbor talking to The Husband and me uttered the phrase “right on”.

What? I had not heard that phrase used in regular conversation since the 70’s. And then I heard it again. And again. And again. From different people. Is “right on” a thing now?  Has it returned?

I immediately thought of that classic anti-war song by Arlo Guthrie where he sings “you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant” at the draft board:

“You know, if one person, just one person, (says) it, they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him.

And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both f*****s and they won’t take either of them.

And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin’ in, singin’ a bar of “Alice’s Restaurant” and walkin’ out? They may think it’s an Organization!”…

Now I’m not saying that “right on” is an anti-war phrase like “you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant”.  I’m asking, if you hear a phrase you haven’t heard since the 70’s more than 3 times is it now a thing?

Or do I have too much time on my hands?  Ok don’t answer that.

Cathyann Burgess, a former virtual blog friend and now a real friend invited me to her home for a pastel lesson with 3 others. Not having any pastel supplies Cathyann generously let me use hers. The above painting was the result of the day using a reference supplied by Cathyann. As I was leaving her house I was asked by the other students, “did you like using pastels?”  I replied that I thought Cathyann was like a drug dealer.  The first one was “free” and now I’ll be off at Cheap Joes buying whatever pastels I can get my hands on.  I loved it.  Messy, but I loved it. Right On baby.  RIGHT ON!

 

 

 

clothed model 1-12-16

Last week was the largest lottery drawing EVER in the history of lottery drawings.  A $1.5 Billion dollar jackpot had everyone fantasizing about what they would do with that kind of insane money. Myself included.

ME:  One day I will win the lottery…..

The Husband:  You already won it 27 years ago.

We laughed and laughed.   Yes I did, my dear.  Yes I did.

Still. Stoopid money like that would allow one to do so much stuff.  Help charities.  Travel the world.  Afford tickets to the hit Broadway show Hamilton which I am currently fixated on.

I waited on the Hamilton lottery line twice to try to win $10 tix to see the show. With only about 11 pairs of tickets available and a bazillion people waiting to get them, I probably had a better chance of winning the actual powerball lottery.  At which point I could have afforded to pay for real tickets to Hamilton and get to see it sometime in this lifetime. Sadly I won neither. So it’s back to whatever it is I do all day.

I’m still getting used to this new place and my re-wirement.  I found a drawing/painting meetup group here and went to, so far, one meet-up.  Since it’s been cold they met indoors and had a model,  A clothed model.  And boy was she clothed.  A turtleneck sweater, a shawl over the sweater and a long skirt to her ankles.  My two-minute gestural drawings looked like a potato sack with a head.

I was finally able to get the drawing above even with the handicap of having a fractured bone at the base of my right pinkie of my dominant hand.  The fracture was a result of a fall while walking on an unpaved road.  4-6 weeks from now I should be splint and bandage free and able to draw with more than the first two fingers and thumb.

Once I have all 10 fingers working properly again, I’m sure it will feel like I’ve won the lottery.  Woo Hoo.

 

 

 

 

3 ravens not pumped3 crows – watercolor on Arches 300 lb coldpress

Western North Carolina welcomed me. With over 300% more rain than they normally get.  Gee, thanks.  I’m aware that there was a drought, and I’m happy that it’s over, but seriously WNC.  You didn’t have to go out of your way and overdo it.

Settling in has been interesting.  The Husband and I were behind two women at Ingles, the local grocery store. They had 20 bottles of wine and a few small cans of cat food.  The Husband  looks at me and says “I hope they have a cat.”  Then my niece sent me this article: Never Drink Alone Again Because Now There’s Wine for Cats.  So there’s that. In NYC you can’t buy wine in the grocery stores, so if you were getting 20 bottles of wine AND cat food you had to make two stops.  Not here.

I did the above painting using the grisaille method, shown below.  Then I added color resulting in the painting above.grisaille crows

The grisaille has a Asian feel to me which I really liked.  But I liked adding the color as well.   Maybe I’ll do a 2nd one in gray only.

And here’s something to cheer you up for those who may feel like you’re getting a cold this holiday season:xmas tree cold products Carlene

My friend Carlene, one of the most creative people I know, got a bad cold and ran out to the drugstore for supplies.  She created this holiday tree out of her cold medicine and tissues.  I love it!

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  I’m happy and thankful to have you in my life.

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