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Bike and graffiti on wall – Work in Progress on 1/2 sheet of 140# Arches coldpress

Now that Hurricane Sandy has come and gone the devastation still lingers.   Thank you to everyone who emailed, called, texted or commented on this blog to check on us.  We are both fine although I haven’t seen the husband in about two weeks with the exception of a quick hello or goodbye.

Everyone I know lost power, but some lost much more.  My sister-in-law and her husband live on the Rockaway Peninsula and lost everything on their first floor of their home as well as their cars.  My niece lived on the first floor of an apartment building and she lost everything. Here’s an interesting piece 60 minutes ran on a particular area called Belle Harbor where they live: 60 Minutes Belle Harbor.   But it wasn’t just Rockaway,  It was so many areas in the NY/NJ/CT/PA Metropolitan Area.  Little by little we are on our way to getting back to normal.

I finally got a chance to paint and started with the work in progress above of a city scene.  This is a building I see from the art studio window.   Someone painted a blue bicycle on a yellow field on a brick wall.  Add some graffiti, water towers and it’s right up my alley.  I’m thinking that after I finish painting it I may deconstruct it a bit by splashing water and paint on it.   Everything else in the City has been splashed with water!

11″ tall decoupage under glass vase

Here’s another vase I’ve recently completed.  It’s got blue birds and apples.   Silver metallic with a white background.  When I start out with just a clear piece of glass it’s called a vase.  Long “A”.  When I’m done and it looks like the above it’s called a VAHSE.   Just so you know.

Furman Street by the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) on 140lb Arches rough

Mostly I haven’t posted because I’m tired.  Really, really tired.  Physically tired. Mentally tired.   The tiredest person that ever lived.  But you know that already.

Stephen Quirke had a wonderful description of how he felt one day after being super busy, which was “interaction fatigue”.   I LOVE that phrase.   I have interaction fatigue all the time.  Just riding on the subway everyday gives me interaction fatigue.  Apparently I am not the only one.  In the Gothamist this week, they had to post yet another story about pole hogging.   HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO TELL YOU PEOPLE THE SAME THING?

It’s tough when you get on the subway and there are no seats and you are 5’3″ (ok, 5’2″ but I’m not going any lower than that) and you can barely reach the bar where the straps used to be.  (Even though they still call us straphangers.)   So I try to hold onto the pole.  But when you have a pole hugger and no place else to hold on to while the subway is lurching you forward to the next stop, it can make one fatigued. Very, Very fatigued. I shared the article with Charlie, which of course was a mistake.   It got him started.  Which got me started.   After pole hogging we discussed how other things would make our list of things not to do on the subway.  Don’t pick your nose.  Don’t ride naked.  Don’t clip your fingernails (or toenails).  Don’t eat sunflower seeds and spit the hulls on the floor. And this was only what we could think of in the first two seconds.  Nowhere near a complete list.  We could go on and on. In fact, we did. (and yes, all of these things have happened to us.)

Although, I am very lucky in that I live in a somewhat decent neighborhood.  It wasn’t always nice.  We had a crack dealer a few buildings up and the weed dealers in the bodega on the corner.  Now we have crime like this:  (I’m not complaining…just saying.)

The city scene above is Furman Street by the BQE.   It’s still a work in progress.   Watercolor on 140lb Arches rough.  First time I used rough and I liked the texture.  I did this in a 2-day workshop I took with Tim Saternow whose paintings I love.  And he was a great teacher.    I think I will do a subway scene next.  But fair warning, there will be no pole-hogging in my paintings!

Water tower with graffiti.  Approx. 14″  x 21 ” on Arches 140# cold press paper

I find the criss-cross of NY buildings make interesting shapes, along with the water towers, vents, pipes, graffiti and iron work.  The husband has many opportunities to photograph quite a number of  buildings all over the City, but mostly in Brooklyn.  Many of the old buildings have now been turned into “luxury condos”  That, apparently, is the only adjective that can be used with the noun “condos”.  Luxury.  I long to see a sign that says “adequate condos”.

I believe I may have a theme going here and will continue with these buildings/water towers/cityscapes. (Until I decide to do something else.) Just like Stephen and his “pipe” series.  (The Pipe is a beach in South Africa.  I hope to visit someday as I’ve seen so many versions of it I feel like I’ve already been there.)

On another note,  here’s a picture of something I hadn’t seen before,  A man completely covered with cans.  The husband shot this photo before the “can- man” hopped on his unicycle and rode away.  He was spotted under the “el” in Williamsburgh.  (The “EL” is an elevated subway line.)  Was he making a political statement about recycling?  A fashion statement?  Or was this just the easiest way for him to get his cans to the recycling center for nickels?  I’m guessing he’s wearing about $5.00 worth of cans. Whatta you think?

Moving on…..   The sketchbook project!   Here’s what I’ve done so far.  The paper is super thin, so I’ve been working on other paper and then gluing that paper into the book.  Sometimes it can get a little messy.  You can see what I’ve done so far here:

And if you want to see another sketchbook in progress, here’s Alex’s (Pencil Scribbles)

If you’ve done anything for your sketchbook, please send me your link or become my friend on the website.  If you don’t know how to set up your profile and upload your photos, just ask.  I’m a pro now that Alex told me how to do it.  🙂

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