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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.

 

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 system.map 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.

Xmas card 2014Holiday subway girders from an original painting posted here.

Dear family (except my brother who does not read my blog) friends, fellow bloggers (whom I also consider friends), Here’s wishing you a wonderful and happy Holiday Season, whichever holiday you celebrate.  May 2015 bring us peace all over the world.  Here’s to your health,  happiness and continued creativity!  Thank you all for visiting, reading, commenting and always putting a smile on my face.   And thank you all for sharing all of your wonderful artwork.   See you next year!

 

red tulips wip 11-30-2014Red Tulips WIP watercolor on 1/2 sheet of 140# coldpress Arches

I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  And if you read the name of this post you might be thinking “that smell” is turkey, gravy, stuffing or sweet potatoes. It’s not. I am referring to the smell of my dog’s paws.  They smell like corn chips. I had always noticed it but I recently read this article in the “Dog-ington Post” which says that smell is bacteria and yeast. Oh great.

The Husband and I were thrilled that we were able to bring along our pooch to the Thanksgiving festivities this year.   Luckily no one complained about her smell since she went to the doggie spa the day before and smelled like a nice, clean dog.   I am very thankful to have such a wonderful rescue dog. (I am the person on Thanksgiving who wants to watch the dog show instead of football.   I was out-voted.)

I’m also very thankful for all of you who read my blog.  Thank you so much for your comments.  They always make my day.   :)

Kaiya and a ballMy dog

paws

My dog’s Frito smelling paw

The painting above is a work in progress of red tulips I had purchased & photographed in the spring. I’m working on painting more loosely and saving more of the whites of the paper.   A little more to go and then I’m done.

Finally, in keeping with the dog theme, here’s the thought for the day:

Karma

 

birch trees

 Birch Trees – approx 9×12″ on 140# Arches cold press (SOLD)

figures 11-18-2014

figures A 11-18-2014

Many years ago I saw my then teacher and now friend Joan demo birch trees.  I was fixated on them and while I never got a chance to paint them in a class, I never forgot them.  On a recent get together I asked her to show me the demo again.  Finally, I got a chance to paint birch trees.  I have no idea where this fascination with birch trees comes from.   It’s not like there are stands of birch trees in the middle of Manhattan.   I painted this with a subtle background of blue and quin gold.   The trees themselves are painted with a flat brush held flat against the paper and then dragged up the page.   It was so much fun, I’m already planning another one.

More figure drawing with K this week brought us back to the Spring Street Studio. The model was a zaftig woman and was fun to draw.   I got there about 5:20 for a 6:00 pm start and apologized to the owner of the studio for being so early.  She looked at me quizzically and asked if I was the model.  hahahahahaha.   I told that to K when he showed up.  He looked at me and in a droll voice said “those gym sessions are really working out for you.”  Oh that K!  The studio is down a flight of stairs right next to a subway.  You get to hear the rumbling of the #6 train as you draw.  Helps with the creativity.  :)

 

FATE on the Gowanus

FATE on the Gowanus Canal , work in progress- 140# Arches Coldpress

The Husband and I have just returned from a trip to California.   We went for a family wedding and stayed to celebrate our own wedding anniversary.  I have to say, I love California. Other than the mega-drought, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, taxes and traffic, it’s a wonderful place.  I really would live there if I could afford it and wasn’t constantly in fear of the above named items.  We were in San Francisco and Napa Valley and did all the touristy things we could in San Francisco including walking the Golden Gate bridge and riding a cable car.

Then we were off to Napa Valley which is gorgeous.   Not a place for a non-wine drinker like me, but I learned a bit about wines. One of the more interesting things, for me at least, was reading the descriptions of the wines or more specifically the “Tasting Notes”.  For example:  brims with classic, savory aromas of boysenberry, ripe red plums and black cherries which is then complemented with hints of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. Concentrated blackberry jam, coffee, black pepper and tar.  TAR?   What about the descriptions that include “cat pee”.  Yep, you heard me right, “cat pee”.   Who, may I ask, is drinking cat pee and admitting to it?

Confused and fascinated I finally found this article from The Week which was quite helpful.   Still not drinking cat pee, but was more informed.  17 disgusting descriptions for delicious wines.

What about a NYC wine?  What would the tasting notes be?   Opens with a splash of gunshot residue, followed by the buttery sweetness of hipster beard, ripe, red sidewalk bloodstains and the leathery taste of back-seat taxi sweat.  High kicks of Broadway and soaring notes of skyscrapers & diversity. Hints of subway overcrowding and non-affordable housing.  Finishing notes of  despair.

Finally to add to the list of things I hate (flying was listed in the previous post) we can now add daylight savings time (yes, I know it’s officially “daylight saving (NO “s”) time).   I get home from California which is 3 hours earlier than NYC only to have to change my clocks back for Eastern Standard Time.  “Spring ahead, fall back”.  I changed all the clocks and I bet you can guess what happened! Every clock in my apartment is wrong and now I have jet lag combined with SAD.

The painting above is of the extremely polluted “Venice of Brooklyn” a/k/a the Gowanus Canal, a superfund site of seriously polluted water.  The graffiti on the corrugated metal said “hate” but I didn’t like that so I changed it to “fate”.   Who believes in fate?   Are things destined?    I would rather contemplate fate than hate anyway.   I need to make this painting a little “dirtier” and add more graffiti. Then it will be finished.   Like NYC wine.  I need to finish it with some despair.

Flower for Gabriella 9-7-2014

 

Gayle's flowers 9-7-2014

Roses card 9-7-2014

 

Why do greeting cards cost so much?   Why?   It’s a piece of paper with something printed on it.   I love the cards at Papyrus with their glitter and sparkles and hand made things glued on top of other things.  Then I think to myself, I can glue things to other things.   After 3 hours of cutting and gluing I think, I could have just paid $4.99 for a card and be done with it and gotten my 3 hours back.   And then what if you need like 4 cards all at once. Then you have to decide if you are going to buy lunch or buy cards!

I wanted to send some cards to friends who had done some very nice things for me.  So I painted them.  No gluing, no sparkles, but at least they were hand made and I hope they liked them.   Someday, when I am no longer working full time for the man, I will stay home and glue things to other things and maybe have my own card collection.  When I was in college my friend Jim and I always dreamed that we would have our own card/stationery/disco store.  (Hey, we dreamt big in those days.)  If I had a job where I could cut things out and glue them to other things, I would love it.  Yes, I know it’s called kindergarten, but hey…I’m young at heart.

On another note, I had to fly recently.  I am not a fan of flying.  I don’t like it for many reasons.  The claustrophobia, the cattle-car experience, the seats that get narrower and narrower while Americans get wider and wider, the nickel and diming of the airlines who now make us pay to check a bag (how am I supposed to fly somewhere and stay for more than a day without clean clothes?) and the fact that now you can’t bring anything with you through airport security so that bottle of water you could buy on the street for a dollar is now $10,000 in the airport store.   So when I read this article https://medium.com/travel-adventure/what-its-like-to-fly-the-23-000-singapore-airlines-suites-class-17d9f3fee0d I thought to myself:

1.   I want to fly like that!

2.  When the revolution comes, the people that fly like that will be the first to go!!!

 

Asparagus at Market BasketPhoto by Mary Schwalm

Asparagus is the only thing left in the produce section of Market Basket during the recent boycott.  I wonder what it says about the people in that neighborhood?  If you don’t know the story, Market Basket is a grocery store that treats its employees pretty well and they can actually make a decent living according to my friend and photographer extraordinaire Mary Schwalm. The majority owners ousted the CEO Arthur T. Demoulas and replaced him with Arthur S. Demoulas. Yep,  they are cousins so this wasn’t just business drama, this was also family drama! Customers and workers boycotted until the old CEO (Arthur T.) was reinstated.  Yay Market Basket.  My friends in New England are happier today.

Asparagus

I felt badly for the asparagus.  So badly I decided to paint some.  Now that I’ve painted it, I’m going to steam it with some olive oil and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and eat it.  But only the tips.  I don’t really like the stalks.  So out they go.  Sorry stalks.  (I will put them in the compost pile now that NYC is composting.)

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