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New Jersey Tropicale 19″ x 13″ on 140# Arches Cold Press

One should never assume. That was the lesson I learned many years ago from THE ODD COUPLE when Felix showed Oscar that when you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME.

I never forgot that lesson.      (See mom, I DID learn something from watching 70’s sitcoms when I should have been doing my homework!)

Fast forward to 2011.  There is a Puerto Rican woman named Ceci in painting class whose husband works for one of the airlines. She can fly for almost nothing and frequently does, jetting down to PR for weekends, often returning with beautiful photos for classmates to use as reference.  The above painting was done from one of her reference photos.

As I completed it, a fellow painter asked where the photo was taken.  I replied Puerto Rico.  Ceci said, “No, It’s New Jersey”

NEW JERSEY????   The state that mocks me?   The state that is only there as a pass-through to Pennsylvania?  The State that is famous for the Thruway? Oil refineries?  No left turns?

I STILL remember the time when an audience member asked Johnny Carson to say something nice about New Jersey.  He thought for a minute and then replied “You can’t smell it from here.”

I ASSUMED I was painting a lush tropical scene in Puerto Rico, but in fact I was painting someone’s backyard in scenic New Jersey!  Lesson learned…again.

Tree Study 1 - 9-16-09

Last week the husband and I had to go to New Jersey.   The “Garden State.”  Should be called “the Jug Handle State.”  Or the “No Left Turn” state.  Or “whatever plans you had on getting somewhere I’m gonna get you supremely lost” state.   Or… oh, you get the idea.

There is never a time where we don’t get lost in New Jersey.  One time I got lost in the parking lot of the mall across the road from my brother’s house.  I had to call him for help.  New Jersey really mocked me that day!

I don’t get lost that often.  Plus, I have a GPS system in my car.  Her name is Svetlana.  She talks to me and nicely tells me tells me that I have strayed from her carefully crafted route.  Her favorite word is “recalculating.” She always gets me back to where I want to be.  Except when in New Jersey.  The “evil state.”

Tree Study 2 - 9-16-09

I do not like to leave the City.  Being on the other side of the Hudson makes me nervous.  (Well everything makes me nervous, but that’s another post.)  And it never fails.  The moment we get through the tunnel or over the bridge and land in NJ we get lost.  What is up with that?

Tree Study 3   9-16-09

I don’t think anyone will ever figure out what is up with that.  It is, as my sister-in-law always tells me, what it is.   New Jersey, the “you can’t get there from here” state.

In my penultimate Wednesday watercolor class we painted trees.  We spattered trees, painted wet-on-wet trees, drybrushed trees.  We wet the paper with clear water in a “tree” design and then added some paint and lifted the paper and let the paint roll around the wet areas.   Since it’s Autum in New York, everyone is into the trees which are turning beautitful fall colors…red, yellow, gold.  I love seeing the autum trees.  But not in New Jersey.

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