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falling leaves 9-23-2013Falling leaves – watercolor on 9″x12″ 140# Arches coldpress

My brother who does not read my blog emailed me the story below.   He spends HOURS in his car commuting to and from his job each day and has seen many bizarre things while driving (sitting) in traffic on the LIE, the Cross Bronx Parking lot Expressway, the George Washington Bridge and many of the other terrible NYC roads.  My brother is one of the funniest people I know and is extremely talented and creative.  He really should be writing books or screenplays or TV shows.   Hey, anyone out there need a writer for a movie?   I got a guy for you.

So I’m sitting in traffic on the Harlem river drive rolling up towards the George Washington bridge.  I look over and the guy next to me is playing a trumpet in his car.

A trumpet?   That’s ODD I think.   Coincidentally I had my slide trombone with me so we engaged in an impromptu jam session.  Until traffic starting moving again, naturally.

The above painting was a fun experiment using leaves my friend Patricia collected in Connecticut and negative painting.   We painted with Joan Iaconnetti who I’ve mentioned before who is a wonderful teacher and painter of an underground/subway series which I love.  http://www.joaniaconetti.blogspot.com/  We chatted, laughed, ate organic apples from the farmers market, followed by yummy chocolate chip cookies.   We laid the leaves out in a pleasing design to get an idea as to how we wanted the image to look.   We then removed all the leaves but the first one and painted around the edges of the leaf.  We continued to do this with leaf after leaf.  We also made sure to go back and soften any hard edges we didn’t want.   Finally we went back while a leaf section was still wet to drop in some additional color around the edges of the leaves.   I had so much fun with this I will do a second one using an autumn color scheme.  Stay tuned.

Rocky Mountain National Park - house 5-26-13Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado – Watercolor on a 1/2 sheet of Arches 140# coldpress.

The Husband continues to tell me that he wants to move out west.  West where?  New Jersey?

But no,  he’s talking West, West.   Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, California West.  I say I’m not ready to move out West and what if no one out there likes me?  Like Marisa Tomei said to Joe Pesci in “My Cousin Vinny”  “oh yeah, you blend?”

I probably won’t blend.

The Husband laughs and tells me he will come back to NYC and visit occasionally.  He’d probably like this small house we saw in Rocky Mountain National Park. It seems nice and quiet for him. I need a little more action. Luckily, I check my spam folder occasionally.   For some reason besides sites to learn how to lose belly fat, increase the size of my man part and how to get low interest loans, I get a lot of dating sites.

There’s:

  • eHarmony (run by Mormons, so I don’t think I’d get any dates here)
  • Match.com
  • Zoosk  “find new flirts”.  I don’t even like the word Zoosk so I probably wouldn’t like anyone who’s on it.
  • Senior People Meet Dating (I’m already insulted)
  • Jdate – for Jews to meet Jews.  I doubt they’d want to meet a lapsed Catholic

The last date I had was before some of the newer analysts in my office were born. I don’t want to date.  Then I would have to be nice and pretend to care about someone I doubt I’d like. I’m very happy with The Husband and plus now he has TWO Titanium hips.  Now THAT’S a catch.

Since neither he nor I can retire yet the whole point is moot.  But it’s fun to talk about it.

The painting above was done from a reference photo we took while in Colorado in April.  It was very cold and there was quite a bit of snow.  But it really was beautiful and we saw tons of elk. Ok…maybe with a little time I could be convinced to move with the Husband. SOMEDAY. We’ll see.  I sketched the scene and then used a lot of masking fluid to save the white of the paper.  I then did the sky and the base snow.  As I painted I thought that I really wanted to save the whites and keep the feeling of cold and snow.  After painting the house I added a bit of green for the pine trees and then decided to stop.  Less is more.

Rocky Mountains Colorado April 2013Rocky Mountains, Colorado – Watercolor on 1/4 Arches  140 # cold press

Two weeks ago the Husband and I took a trip to Denver to attend the opening of Sense and Sensibility, The Musical at the Denver Center Theatre Company. My sister, Alice the overachiever, is co-producing this show and I am happy to report that the opening was a grand success and the reviews were all fabulous! (Yay Alice!)  The play is based on Jane Austen’s book and I was thrilled to see some people attend the show in full Regency costume.  Oh those Jane Austen people.  If you’re in the area, don’t miss it!

We also got to experience three, count ’em three, seasons in one week in Denver.  We arrived to a balmy mid-seventies day only to find the temperature drop dramatically and the wind pick up. And then it started to snow.   I wore my winter silks thermal underwear more that one week than the whole winter in NYC.  Ok,  that may have been too much information regarding my underwear, but still…baby it was cold outside.  It slowly warmed up again and we got outta there just in time.  Denver got three more feet of snow right after we left.

When not attending theatre openings we ventured out into the mountains and museums.  The day it snowed we went to the Denver Museum of Art and the Museum of Nature and Science.  We were also able to visit Rocky Mountain National Park and Red Rocks Amphitheatre where my brother who does not read my blog chose to do his imitation of Bono of U2 saying “this is Red Rocks” about three billion times.  My brother can say anything three billion times.  He always makes me laugh.

The mountains were spectacular so of course I wanted to paint them.  I decided to try a style I saw demo-ed at the Salmagundi Club.  The demo was by an artist named Joel Popadics.  He only does at a maximum three washes of color.  If you recall (and if you don’t you can read my previous blog post, I’ll wait for you.) I had taken a watercolor workshop with Antonio Masi who can do up to 60 or more washes of color on his paintings.

Boy was I confused.

I wanted to do this painting with fewer washes of color than I normally use, which I did, but ended up doing more than three.  (But not 60.)

The frigate bird I was working on is here.  I don’t remember if it is a “GRAND” or “MAGNIFICENT” frigate bird because I’m sure I was drifting as the naturalist in the Galápagos droned on and on talked about the different kinds of frigate birds. I almost said “frig it” to the painting, but it’s another learning opportunity.  Antonio Masi told us never to throw anything away.  We can go back and look at it later on and learn from it.

frigate 4-21-13

And for a  laugh here’s me with my Peruvian Hat and some shades I found somewhere between Denver and Boulder.  My brother who does not read my blog claims I look like someone looking for the medical marijuana store.   Dude!

Dude, where's my shades april 2013

Sally lightfood crab 3-19-2013Sally lightfoot crab – watercolor on 140# Arches coldpress

Sally lightfoot crabs (scientific name:  grapsus grapsus) were all over the Galapágos.  They really stood out against the rocks unlike the sea lions, iguanas and various birds who all blended in with the local landscape.   These crabs screamed, “LOOK AT ME.  I’m bright red.  How cool am I?”

OK, they didn’t really scream.  Crabs can’t scream.  But the voices in my head can and that’s what I heard every time I saw them.  Do you see why I need meditation/medication?  (See previous post.)

These sally’s are all over the rocks. One time I saw a sally lightfoot sitting on an iguana which is how I started singing Ride Sally Ride which was really a misrepresentation of the song Ride Captain Ride by Blood Sweat and Tears.  I sang it anyway.

Young Sally Lightfoot Crabs are black or dark brown in color and camouflage well on the black lava coasts of the Galapágos volcanic islands. Adults vary in color, but all are bright red/orange with some yellow and blue.  And they were all really cool to look at as they scurried across the rocks.

I miss the Galapágos.

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