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Sunny Summer day at the BBG 2015Summer day at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden – 10 1/2″ x 15″ on 140# Arches coldpress

NO, The Husband and I are not expecting a baby.  “We’re pregnant” is a phrase that just irks me to no end.  WE cannot be pregnant. I can be pregnant.  (Well, not me, personally, I can’t be pregnant, that ship has sailed.) But I, as a female, could be pregnant.  We, as a couple, cannot be pregnant.  Last time I checked only a female can carry a baby.  (Or a petri dish, but that’s a different blog.)   I just heard a person on a talk show say she and her husband were pregnant.  After I finished yelling at the TV (something I have started to do frequently since I stopped working) I looked up the word “pregnant”.

The Oxford dictionary defines pregnant as:

(Of a woman or female animal) having a child or young developing in the uterus.

Whew,  Glad I got that off my chest.

My work here is done.

The painting above is from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  A beautiful sunny summer day in the garden. The paths were bright and dappled with sunlight and the flowers were in full bloom.

Kevin's card 8-2015

And the above hand-made watercolor card was done for my nephew who is off to college to study automotive repair.  Good luck Kevin!

Subway ridersAnd it was just another day on the NYC subway when I spotted these two.  I was more fixated on the fact that it was SO HOT in NY and even hotter down in the subway station and here are these two in what seemed like really hot latex body suits.  Whatever.  Luckily the came train shortly after I took this picture of them and we all went to where ever it is we go.

Bonus Fun Fact:   This symbol: # is also known as an “octothorpe”.

It was so much fun to do this painting.  Yes, it’s dark and gritty.  I like that. I can hear the noise of the train going by when I look at this. I also remember that scene in the Blues Brothers movie from 1980.  The brothers are in an apartment right next to the Chicago El:

Jake: How often does the train go by?

Elwood: So often that you won’t even notice it.

Myrtle Ave. El  maybe finished“True Grit”

NYC elevated subway line, Brooklyn.  Watercolor on 300# Arches coldpress.  Size is 163/4″ x 25″

I did this City-scape in the style of Tim Saternow and Joan Iaconnetti using the “breaking all the rules of watercolor” technique.  I started with a grisaille first painting only values starting with the darkest to the lightest using W&N Paynes Gray.  Once that was done, I took a large brush with clean water and splashed that clean water in spots over the painting.  I then used a warm color, burnt sienna, and a cool color, paynes gray and splashed the painting some more.   I then left it overnight to dry.


After painting using only paynes gray and painting the values - splash with clean waterFinal Grisaille splashed with clean water.

The following day all the paint had dried and I was ready to work on it some more.   I softened some of the edges of the splashed paint, I reestablished some areas that were lost from the splashed paint and finally I added some “local” color including the orange in the sign, some blues and greens and yellows in the cars and some earth red for the rust in the steel.

After splashing with clean water splash with diluted paynes gray and a warm color I used burnt sienaGrisaille splashed with paynes gray and burnt sienna.

Galapagos Sea Lion  WIP  3-10-2013Galapagos Sea Lion – Work in progress on 1/4 sheet of Arches 140# coldpress

The husband and I finally got rid of our 20 year old, 200 pound Sony Trinitron. We got a Samsung LED, LCD, HD, IRT something-or-other flat screen.  When Time Warner Rat Bastard Cable (TWRBC) came to hook everything up they told us the best way to use the new remote was to press the “system” button which would easily turn on the cable and TV at the same time.


Remember when you would press the button on your the TV and it would just come on? I press the system button and nothing happens.  Samsung’s TV has a red light that goes ON when the TV is OFF!   This is completely counter-intuitive.   (Note to self, write a scathing letter to Samsung telling them about their epic failure.)  I press the system button again. The TV goes on and the cable box goes off.  I press system button again and the TV goes off and the cable box goes on.  Finally I turn them on individually and think about how much I hate TWRBC.

Now to my cell phone.  I recently got an iPhone 5 with 4G.   Unfortunately, I discovered that my apartment does not have 4G.  It has NO G.   Zero G. Nothing, nada, zip G.

The reason I’m telling you this is because in the Galapagos there was no TV, no phones, no cell service, no internet, no wifi, no nothing!   Just sea lions and sting rays and orcas and blue-footed boobies dive bombing the water.   Penguins and frigate birds and sharks and brightly colored fish and fur seals and lots and lots and lots of iguanas.  Land iguanas.  Marine iguanas.  And more sea-lions.   Ahhhhhhh.

On my first day back to work I get to the subway to discover the trains are delayed because of signal problems.  When a train finally arrives I get on and we are going jauntily along until we stop and sit at a station.  We sit and sit and sit.  Finally the conductor announces we are delayed due to police action at the next stop.  I think to myself  “there was no police action in the Galapagos”.

Which now brings me to my painting.  Here’s a sea lion on the beach.  He was sleepy and sandy and beautiful.  There is a young girl who has been coming to our studio.  She is 11.  Her name is Isabella and is another Matisse!  She is an inspiration and her work is wonderful and beautiful. Loose and free. I started this painting keeping young Isabella in mind.

I hope to post more paintings from my trip soon.  Thanks for your visit.

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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