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Xmas card 2014Holiday subway girders from an original painting posted here.

Dear family (except my brother who does not read my blog) friends, fellow bloggers (whom I also consider friends), Here’s wishing you a wonderful and happy Holiday Season, whichever holiday you celebrate.  May 2015 bring us peace all over the world.  Here’s to your health,  happiness and continued creativity!  Thank you all for visiting, reading, commenting and always putting a smile on my face.   And thank you all for sharing all of your wonderful artwork.   See you next year!


I admit it.  I am a profiler.  A subway seat profiler.  When I saw this article in the NY Times, I thought, ha!  I’ve been doing that since the subway cost a buck!  (Ok, maybe even since it cost 50 cents, but I’m not admitting it.)

Here’s how it works.  You wait and wait and wait and wait for the subway and when it gets to your station there are no seats.  But you are tired and really want to sit.  SO…you look around the car and see who looks like they might be getting off at certain stops.  At this point for me, I think it’s almost instinctual.   Hmmm, that person looks like they are going to change at Atlantic Ave.  I will position myself in front of her.   Sometimes it works.  sometimes you’re screwed and you think, I really shouldn’t have worn these shoes today.

That’s the way it goes.  I just hope the person who had 12 bulbs of garlic with his dinner last night isn’t the one breathing heavily down my neck while I’m trying to hold on and read my book.

I did not get a seat on the subway this day.

The above drawings are a few I’ve done so far for the SKETCHBOOK PROJECT. I was working diligently on my sketchbook until I put it “someplace safe” when I left for Peru.  And then couldn’t it find it for weeks after I returned. Luckily it was found.  Apparently “someplace safe” means shove it into a bag in your closet.   My theme is “A day in the life.”  And now I better get crackin’!  I still have tons of pages to fill.

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*

jack August 09

July 4th Millie in Red White and Blue

This weekend was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.  Which, as everyone knows, was not held in Woodstock, NY, but in Bethel, NY.  And I almost got to go!

I remember I was in a mini-skirt watching the Smothers Brothers on TV when my cousin Bobby from California rang the doorbell and surprised us.  He was out of the army and was going up to Woodstock.  He asked my mother if he could take me.  She said yes!!!!!  (I’m sure she had NO CLUE what he was talking about)  But I was so excited.

When I woke up the next morning, I went looking for Bobby.  He was gone!  I asked my mother where he was and she told me that during the evening my father and Bobby started drinking, got into a fight and my father threw him out of the house.  And with it my chance to go to Woodstock.  Damn!  But in retrospect, it saved me from a weekend of mud!

Here’s some quick portraits I did of my nephew Jack and of my mom.

Jack, my 16 year old nephew would not stay still.  He was playing Texas Hold ’em on my phone.  (Hello Gamblers Anonymous?)   Mom on the other hand never moved.  (She was medicated.) She is a good model.  Please note that she is not that blue in real life!  🙂

I started my “Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner” class this week.  What fun!  I’ve never actually had a basic beginner watercolor class so this was very interesting.  Turns out I knew more than I thought.  Also turns out I  don’t  know a lot.  (No surprise there.) We played with the paint, learned about how the consistency of the paint affects the color.  We made color swatches, lines, blobs.  We painted and then lifted paint from the paper.  And finally, the teacher showed us how to make some basic flower shapes which are here:

flower study 8-19-09I’m really looking forward to the next class!

*Update to my masking tape post* the subway stairway repair at Union Street is still not completed.  Is anyone surprised?

Masking Tape sign

crabby apples 7-25-09

For those of you who didn’t check this weekend’s subway travel advisory, I’ve got news for you.  TRACK WORK.  Shocking, I know.

I leave the apartment NOT CRABBY and slowly I become crabbier and crabbier.

Today it was the subway again. There were no #2, 3 or 4 trains stopping at Eastern Parkway, Grand Army Plaza or Bergen Street which meant I had to somehow get to Atlantic Ave.  (Bus.)  Luckily there is a Dunkin Donuts at Atlantic Ave. where I was able to get a small Coffee Coolata.  I am fixated on Coffee Coolatas.  FIXATED!!!  They do not make me crabby.  They are cool, coffee, slushy delights of happiness for a mere $1.99.  $2.16 with tax. (while the promotion lasts).   And I have Jim to thank for this fixation.  (I have many fixations.)

Jim?  My 6’4″ trim, muscular, athletic, healthy eating, gym going, volleyball and tennis playing brother-in-law Jim?  Yes, that one. He once told me that he loved coolatas.  One day I tried one.  It was like crack.  I was hooked.   So although I was completely inconvenienced once again by our subway system, I had my yummy coolata to make me happy and forget my crabbiness.  Small Coffee Coolatas are probably 4 billion calories and 100 million grams of fat.  (no, I do not tend towards exaggeration – what are you talking about?) But that’s a small price to pay for happiness.

Class today was small.   I started this picture of crab apples, leaves and branches.  It sorta reminded me of this one of leaves I did a while back.  Ugh!  And don’t even ask what’s going on at the bottom of the painting.  I don’t know.  I must have drifted while painting….   I like the purple, red and green but it doesn’t yet work with the rest of the painting.  I’ll work on it again next week.

Time to go home.  Back on the subway.  Get off at Atlantic Ave where I decide to take the complimentary (ha) shuttle bus to Bergen St. where there is ANOTHER DUNKIN’ DONUTS.

Crabby. (and now hot as well)  Got another coolata.  Walked home.  Now ready for a nap.

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