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NYC Lovebirds 5-3-2015Lovebirds 15″ x 11″ watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress – based on a photo from Paint My Photo

I am over my retirement guilt.  One morning I woke up and decided hey, this isn’t half bad! Now its a whole new normal.

One new thing is that The Husband and I are home together all day, every day. He and I have both worked our entire adult lives.  We’ve had varying incomes…sometimes he made more, sometimes I did. But now that I’ve stopped working to get ready for the move out of NYC I have no income.  He has a pension.  I do not like this.  And what I like less is that he has now taken to calling himself “Big Daddy”. In the 3rd person.

Conversation regarding the big purge of the apartment:

Me:  ” We got rid of so much stuff, but I hate to give away those old fashioned china dishes we have.”

The Husband:  “Big Daddy is ok with you keeping them.”

Me:  Huge eyeroll.

We have been going out out together for the morning dog walk.  Then we pick up coffee and something to eat and sit on our stoop and dine “al fresco”.

Today on the stoop as an old man with a cane walks by:

The Husband to the old man:   “How are you?  Have a good walk.”

Me:  (after the old man passes)  “Who’s that?”

The Husband:  “He is the father of the couple that live across the street.”

Me:  Oh

The Husband:  “You don’t know anyone on the block, so why are you so upset about leaving?  Big Daddy says ‘bye-bye’ NY.”

Me:  Huge eyeroll again.   “Big Daddy will not be happy with Little Mama’s foot up his a$$.”

And so it goes.

Wish us luck.

The above painting is from a reference photo from Paint my Photo.  I want to give the photographer credit but I can’t find it on the website anymore.  :(    If anyone sees it would you please let me know.  I want to credit him or her for the photo.

And for no reason here’s a picture of the NYC skyline at sunset taken by moi on the always exciting BQE:

Manhattan sunset skyline 5-2-2015


It’s been about 4 weeks since I stopped working.  I still miss my office and my friends. I miss the routine.  I miss the problem solving of work, but not the red tape and bureaucracy.  And I certainly don’t miss the daily commute on the subways during rush hour.

New Mexico landscape

New Mexico landscape, WIP – watercolor on 1/2 sheet of 140# Arches coldpress

Charlie our friend and my late night dog walking buddy thinks I’m crazy.  As does practically everyone I know.  I’m sure I’ll get the hang of this soon enough.

Charlie came in for the weekend to visit his son. We also got a chance to visit. He’s been living up in Maine for 3 years now.   It was like he never left the City. One night while out at dinner we were talking about shows we’ve been watching.  I told him we now have Netflix.  Streaming, not the disks. Charlie said in Maine they don’t have streaming internet, just screaming internet.  He spends most of his time screaming at the computer waiting for things to load.  Then he gives up and goes to the library because they have internet access.

My retirement reWirement continues and so far I just feel like instead of having a rewired brain I have a lot of disconnected and frayed wires.   My ever so thoughtful niece Caroline gave me this book:

1001 ways to relaxI’m not relaxed yet.

At least my Netflix streams.

The above painting is from a reference photo I took when The Husband and I visited New Mexico in October of 2014.  I know….it doesn’t look like New Mexico. But it is.  I swear.  While painting this I tried to keep it loose like the beautiful beach-scapes Stephen does.  I may work on it a little bit more, but not much.  Off to see what the #476 way to relax is.




Daffodils in a Fiestaware pitcher – watercolor on 140# Arches cold press

I was so excited that spring had finally arrived that I ran out and bought some daffodils and put them in my green fiestaware pitcher.  I love this pitcher.  It was given to me by my long-time friend Jim who had boatloads of the stuff.  He has since curated his collection to a few select pieces and sold the rest.  I was lucky to get this item and I always have it on my mantle, with or without flowers.

Thank you all for your comments on the previous post.  My retirement or “re-wirement” as my friend Joan calls it is a work in progress.   I have not relaxed one day since being home. I have anxiety dreams each night and still think on Sunday nights, like tonight, that I have to get up and go to work tomorrow. I’m sure this will pass and my rewirement will begin.  I am looking forward to being rewired.

The Husband and I have been purging, packing and painting so we can move. Where to?  That’s the million dollar question. I heard about this book by Marie Kondo, a former Shinto shrine maiden:  “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:  The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” I haven’t gotten it yet, but read enough and heard enough about it to get the gist. I will get it one of these days after I’ve tidied up my bookshelves. I’ve also seen some videos she has of organizing an underwear drawer.  Now, Miss Kondo is a very petite woman.  And not an American.  After I watched her fold her teeny tiny underpants and teeny tiny bras and put them neatly in a teeny, tiny drawer, I realized I would have to modify her methods.  I have bigger drawers.  In both senses of the word.

I am continuing to purge, but my green fiestaware pitcher will be with me wherever I end up.

On another note,  I recently discovered I have a severe case of this:CarcolepsySo in case I’m ever in a car with you as a passenger, don’t be offended if I doze off.

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 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


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:



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.  :)



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