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The Husband’s quest for the west continues with a week-long trip to New Mexico.  Land of Enchantment.  At least that’s what their license plates say. Now why would he want to take me away from this?

cityscape - Brooklyn 11-2013Street scene, Bushwick, Brooklyn – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

 To this?

Cotton wood trees New Mexico 11-2013

ABQ Balloon - Nov. 2013

Rio Grande New Mexico 11-2013

Yes, I’ll admit, we had a great time and while we were there all the cottonwood trees had turned a gorgeous bright yellow.  We had perfect weather except for the trip to Santa Fe and Taos.   Luckily the weather didn’t get bad in either city until the afternoon so we did get to see some sights. The Santa Fe Museum of Art had an interesting collection including some works from famed collectors Herb & Dorothy Vogel.

We took a hot air balloon ride, which came complete with a crash landing. We rode horses down to the Rio Grande. And when I say “rode” I mean we slowly walked with a guide except for once in a while when my horse decided to trot because he thought we were going too slowly all the while I was shaking and looking for rattlesnakes.  Yeehaw!  My horse was “Chief”  and The Husband’s horse was a GIGANTIC Belgian staff horse named Bob.  Bob was the size of a 50’s Cadillac!

Before the trip to New Mexico I was lucky to take a workshop with Jean Haines.  I took the workshop because I wanted to paint more loosely.   Of course I hadn’t read any of Jean’s books and only saw a few pictures of her work so I was totally unprepared.   Luckily Jean is a wonderfully warm teacher with a great sense of humor although she did look at every photo reference I brought and hated all of them.  She does not draw at all except with her water and paint and really discouraged everyone in the workshop NOT to draw before painting.   Here are a two things I painted.  Flowers and half a dog.  half a doggie a la jean haines

Jean Haines flowers 10-2013

6th Ave. Bike completed

I finished the bike and started a new painting of two raccoons I saw in Central Park when I went to see the Tatzu Nishi exhibit called Discovering Columbus.  You climb up 6 flights of stairs and end up in a “living room” in which the statue of Columbus overwhelms the space.   Interesting, odd and fun, one can walk around the statue, sit on a sofa and watch TV, read a magazine, look through the bookcase or out the windows at the views of Central Park, down Broadway or up Columbus Ave.  All with this GIANT statue in the middle of the room.  My niece Caroline and I were fixated on the flat screen TV in the room.

Me:  There’s a 13 foot statue of Columbus in the middle of this room

Caroline:   Look at that flat screen TV!  That’s the flattest flat screen TV I’ve ever seen!

Me:  Oh yeah,  wow.

We have priorities.

After we discovered Columbus we took a stroll through Central Park.  Walking over a bridge we stopped to look at the fall foliage and the ducks in the water. Suddenly we saw two raccoons pop out of a drainage pipe.  That’s the painting below.  Yes, I know it doesn’t look like anything now.  But it will.  My favorite part so far?  The orange “frisket”!  LOL!

Central Park Bandits – just started – 140# Arches cold press

I know I’m a little late, but Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  My sister-in-law who is displaced from the storm was supposed to have Thanksgiving this year, but couldn’t, so my sister stepped in and both families had a wonderful day together.

There are too many damn people in this city! And they are always in your face.

Soho Buildings - 10-25-09

As I was getting off the subway at my stop, I accidentally knocked into a woman who started yelling that I didn’t have to push her, she was getting off too.   I was not in a good mood that evening (like THAT’S a surprise) so I said something back.  Nothing clever.  We had words and went on our way.  I always think of the really clever stuff  HOURS later.  I hate that.  She could have at least given me her phone number so that when I came up with a clever retort I could have called her and we could have continued our witty subway banter.

Subway woman: Don’t push me I’m getting off at this stop too.

Carol: Push you, I wouldn’t touch you, you cootie laden dirty skank!

How’s THAT for witty subway banter?   It was probably best that I didn’t think of that.  Or the next conversation would have been:

Carol: Matt, I’m at the police station in handcuffs.  Can you come and get me?

Matt: Who is this?

I wasn’t sure what to write about today and when I showed this painting to Judy she told me she liked it but it made her feel claustrophobic.  We are claustrophobia friends.  Neither one of us like feeling closed in and we always like being in the “go position.”  (That means that we like to be near an exit, not near a bathroom.  Although at our age, being near a bathroom is good too.)

So here you go.  A painting of  buildings on top of buildings.  These buildings are in Soho.   They are a bit wonky, but then again, so am I.

I decided to try another cityscape after doing one in my drawing on the right side of the brain class.   I did not do this one plein air.  I did it sitting on my butt. From a reference photo. I did not want to use a ruler.  I didn’t want it to look like a stiff architectural drawing.  I was hoping to give the  buildings some personality.  I may have just made them look like they are drunk.  Maybe I should be drunk.

*wanders off to get a cocktail*

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