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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, 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 – 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 :)
Lest you think I’ve been resting on my laurels, here’s a study for another painting I’m working on.
I’ve also been working on some collages. Here’s one I just completed.
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.We 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.
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.
Holiday 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!
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. :)
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 – approx 9×12″ on 140# Arches cold press (SOLD)
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 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.