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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!




Inktober shells

Sea shells for Inktober in a 5.5″ x 8.5″ Strathmore mixed media sketchbook.

Lest you think I was swallowed up by a Western North Carolina black bear, I assure you I’m still here and finding my way in a new place. I miss NYC.  The Husband, not one bit.  However, We already have lots of friends and great neighbors and I’m amazed by the beauty here. We just had a spectacular showing of fall foliage.  Interesting fact: I read that in Europe the trees only turn yellow. When Europeans saw an 18th century American landscape showing fall foliage in glorious reds, oranges and golds, they thought it was “artistic license”. (Europeans? What say you?)

This is the last day of October/Inktober.  Now it’s on to Napvember.

WNC landscape in oil pastel

WNC (Western North Carolina) fall foliage – oil pastel in Strathmore mixed media 5.5″ x 8.5″ sketchbook

Today is also Halloween.  We got some bags of candy in case any kids come by. But if they don’t the bags have to go away tomorrow.  The candy is “fun size” but if I eat it all I won’t be. Any candy left tomorrow will go with my neighbor to his office.full size snickers

On a ride north of Asheville we came upon these guys.  Wonder what they are?   Anyone know?  I don’t think they are native to NC.

my what long horns you have

“you lookin’ at me?”

my what big horns you have

“What are you lookin’ at?”

Cherry Blossoms in Brooklyn, pastel on board, approx. 8″ by 12″

When one is at some fancy art show, what’s the worst thing one can say about an artist or their art?  Sneer and say it’s so derivative”!

Derivative, adjective:  (typically of an artist or work of art) Imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for that reason.

Well, I recently heard this word: mimesis.  It is the basic theoretical principle in the creation of art. The word is Greek and means “imitation” (though in the sense of “re-presentation” rather than of “copying”). Plato and Aristotle spoke of mimesis as the re-presentation of nature. According to Plato, all artistic creation is a form of imitation: that which really exists (in the “world of ideas”) is a type created by God; the concrete things man perceives in his existence are shadowy representations of this ideal type. Therefore, the painter, the tragedian, and the musician are imitators of an imitation, twice removed from the truth.

So there.

Mimesis not derivative.

Istanbul not Constantinople.


This is for a show called “Art from the Heart”  in a new gallery called the Look Art Gallery. I chose to go back to something I had already done.  The cherry blossoms seen here.  I rarely use pastel because it’s so messy.  So I only use it when I am at my sister’s house.  Thanks Alice!

I have discovered the magic of masking tape.  And not for use in a watercolor painting sense.

Pear or light bulb 8-16-09

Every workday I leave my apartment and walk a few blocks to the subway.   There are two staircases that lead down to where people ride in a hole in the ground.   One day I noticed the staircase I always used was boarded up.  An official MTA  sign said that the stairway was being repaired and had spots where one can write in the dates that the staircase would be out of service.

The sign said that the stairway would be out of order from 6/30/09 to 7/30/09.   I silently laughed when I saw those dates.  HA!  The city can’t do anything in a month.  “We will see” I thought.  And each day for the month of July I watched and waited.  August finally rolled around and the sign still said the same thing.  But then ONE DAY, masking tape appeared over the completion date.   With no new date for completion.  Just masking tape.  As if masking tape was MAGIC tape and by putting it over the completion date, it just made that date disappear.  Wow.  How stupid does the MTA think we are?  Really?   No,   Really?

Wouldn’t it be nice it we could just put masking tape over our calendar whenever we had a due date for something that we weren’t going to complete on time.

Carol to IRS on April 16: No, my taxes aren’t due on the 15th.  I put masking tape over that date on my calendar.  And I haven’t filled in a new due date yet.

IRS to Carol: Nice try.  Pay up.  With interest.

But for some reason The City (and by The City, I mean NYC, but I have a feeling other major cities in the US and around the world would also fall into this category) manages to get away with stuff like that.  I want my stair case back.  I don’t want to have to walk all the way to the corner to use the other stairway.  Rat Bastards.

*Update to the completion of the staircase*  I passed by today and some cynical person had hand written something in.  It now says the staircase will be out of service from 6/30/09 to Infinity.  I laughed.

On another subway note, today, after having to walk the extra 50 feet to the dreaded OTHER STAIRCASE, I boarded the R train to City Hall.  I was very lucky to get a seat.  I looked across from me and there was a rather plainish looking girl rummaging through her rather large purse.  Suddenly, out came foundation, blush, mascara.  I’ve seen all this before.  I used to laugh and laugh and the woman who would pull out her eyelash curler right around DeKalb Ave. on the D train every day and squeeze it on her lashes and look around like she was holding some sort of bizarre monocle above her eye.  But I digress.  The woman today transformed herself in just a few stops.  I really wasn’t paying that much attention until she pulled out a pair of tweezers and started tweezing her eyebrows.  HUH?   Now is that really a good idea?  One sharp jerk of the train and I was expecting to see an eyeball roll across the subway car and hit my feet.   Come on!  There are just some things that should be done in the privacy of your own home.

Oh,  and I worked on the pear/light bulb painting.  It didn’t come out anything like I had expected it to when I started it.  But I like it.  And I think it works well as a companion piece to the crab apples.  Once again I over-worked it so I ended up having to add some gouache at the end.

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