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3 ravens not pumped3 crows – watercolor on Arches 300 lb coldpress

Western North Carolina welcomed me. With over 300% more rain than they normally get.  Gee, thanks.  I’m aware that there was a drought, and I’m happy that it’s over, but seriously WNC.  You didn’t have to go out of your way and overdo it.

Settling in has been interesting.  The Husband and I were behind two women at Ingles, the local grocery store. They had 20 bottles of wine and a few small cans of cat food.  The Husband  looks at me and says “I hope they have a cat.”  Then my niece sent me this article: Never Drink Alone Again Because Now There’s Wine for Cats.  So there’s that. In NYC you can’t buy wine in the grocery stores, so if you were getting 20 bottles of wine AND cat food you had to make two stops.  Not here.

I did the above painting using the grisaille method, shown below.  Then I added color resulting in the painting above.grisaille crows

The grisaille has a Asian feel to me which I really liked.  But I liked adding the color as well.   Maybe I’ll do a 2nd one in gray only.

And here’s something to cheer you up for those who may feel like you’re getting a cold this holiday season:xmas tree cold products Carlene

My friend Carlene, one of the most creative people I know, got a bad cold and ran out to the drugstore for supplies.  She created this holiday tree out of her cold medicine and tissues.  I love it!

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  I’m happy and thankful to have you in my life.

Mountain view 1


Mountain View 2Elegant writer calligraphy pen and watercolor on 5 1/2″ x 7″ watercolor paper

Chinese broccoli or Kai-lan has the uncanny ability to stick in my teeth.  It seems to have some sort of super-glue to tooth enamel ratio that isn’t the same with other vegetables. I’m enjoying a nice vegetable Thai dish and suddenly I have some stringy green stuff hanging out of my teeth either gagging me or scaring my dining companions. Makes me not want to eat it, but I know it’s good for me.

Even scarier is kale.  Kale, the hipster green super food that’s put into everything. Kale smoothies, kale pancakes, kale burgers, kale chips and kale ice-cream.  You name it, kale is in it.  I never even heard of kale a few years ago. Recently, Mother Jones ran this article about kale being a silent killer. It can purify soil from a heavy metal toxin which goes from the soil into the kale.  Good for the soil, bad for us. Uh Oh! What will the artisinal, farm to table, organic, sustainable,  free range hipsters do without kale.

Potato chips and chocolate are looking healthier and healthier.

And then there’s this Vox article debunking the Mother Jones article.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t eat kale anymore.  It still has tons of nutrients. And my friends Pat and Elaine make a kale salad that’s to die for. Just stay out of my teeth!  I’m talking to you Kale and Kai-lan.

The above paintings were drawn with the elegant writer calligraphy pen. I then splashed water on the paper to make some of the images randomly bleed.  After that I went back with a wet brush and a paper towel, painting with the wet brush making the elegant writer lines bleed. I would blot areas with the paper towel. When you blot with the paper towel the elegant writer line color sometimes changes from a paynes gray color to pinkish/purplish.

I let that dry and the went back with watercolor and added color to the landscapes.   I like the abstract qualities of these small paintings.




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.



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