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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Happy birthday dad-His woodpile

Today is sort of- but not really- my dad's birthday. He is a leap year baby so, at 71, he misses out on it this year. Hopefully he is celebrating in Jerusalem today. In his honor I painted the wood pile. Since woodburning is the main source of heat for the house all winter, gathering and splitting and stacking wood are central responsibilities for him. I remember him laughing at me as I returned from an aerobics class- offering me instead a chance to stack wood. After the summer and fall efforts would be stored away, dad often could be caught admiring his woodshed- he said "it's better than money in the bank".
4 x 6 inches, acrylic and pencil on canvas,

the Station Art's Map

Still not sure where the map will be placed- originally the commission was for a mural- then they took away the wall and it had to be self standing. Then it turned out that Metro North was in the midst of renovating the station, so they needed the self standing mural to be movable and easily dismantled and re-installed by union workers. It is now up to various committees- the railroad, the historic preservation society, the arts council, and the department of tourism. It could be placed out by the garage or in an empty side vestibule, or where they have boarded up access to track 5! Where ever it goes doesn't really matter to me much- the nature of it is that it can be relocated at any time. I am just anxious to start creating something that captures the whimsy of travel and the inspiration of the Dutchess County arts scene.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Home base- farm house with flag

4 x 8 inches
painted canvas

station Map maquettes

I am gearing up to start this massive project creating a treasure map of Dutchess County, NY for installation in the Poughkeepsie, NY railroad station.
Here are two maquettes to give you an idea of what it will look like. Think 8 feet tall!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Pug on the porch

Can the weather really be so bad today? 
Bruizer looks pretty cold. This is a small (roughly 6 x 4 inch) painted and drawn image of our pug on my folks front porch after we've taken a walk down there to do the chores. You can see the wreath is still up from the holidays and the floor is dusted with snow. School has been closed so my house is full with Max and Rick and Frank, (son, husband, and father-in-law). My mind is scattered. I won't be ordering the train map supplies today, or painting much...just cooking and reading. And cleaning counters, picking up wet clothes, and wistfully telling myself to sit and enjoy the sight of birds at the feeder. (Now there's a picture!)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Little House In Snow

4 x 6 inches, acrylic on paper, Unframed for $50-
Another snowstorm is blastling it's way this way.
On another note- it's official! I've recieved a contract from the Arts Council for the train station sculpture!
I'll be ordering supplies tomorrow!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tractor in the snow

6 x 4 inches, acrylic on handmade paper from Mexico.
A blustery freezing day...everyone is tucked in, even my dad's old case!

Friday, February 23, 2007

army truck in the snow

4 x 6 inches, acrylic on gesso coated Mexican handmade paper For the next five weeks I will be doing farm chores for my folks. This may be the begining of a series of small sketchy daily paintings...
Many years ago my dad and husband put together two vintage army trucks from boxes and bits of parts trailored enthusiastically home. My dad uses this one almost everyday for getting wood and checking the fence lines. While he is in Israel it will sit parked by the woodpile, a convenient haven for the cats, in the shadow of the barn.
Unframed and currently available for bid on EBAY

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Red Flowers

This is the fourth part of my "Flower Suite". 8 x 6 inches, paint and collage on paper. It has been a cold winter but infectious enthusiasm has kept me warm and inspired! On another note, my dad and stepmom leave for Isreal today so I will be in charge of taking care of the farm- the animals, etc. for the next five weeks. I think I will be painting on location each day after chores are done. Look for farm scenes tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Daisies and the Muse- at my mother's

Another small painting in my "Flower Suite". The paper measures 8 x 6 inches so the painted area is about 6 x 4 inches. Acrylic and collage. Daisies are my mother's favorite flowers. One of my sisters wondered aloud if she only said that because they were cheap and affordable for us as we were growing up. But mom just smiled in answer. I admit they are one of my favorite flowers as well. Especially when seen growing wild and spread out across a field.
Mom often brought puppies home from the pound. We grew up with dogs named "Black eyed susan" and "Daisy"...and there were "Daffodil" and "Begonia" and "Tulip". But I remember Daisy the best.
She saved my life. When we were living in Haiti my favorite game to play with my sisters was airline stewardess. We would set up an imaginary plane on the long steps and collect baggage from the storage room. Once I was searching for the perfect suitcase and I came across a plate of deliscious looking cake. Ready to scoop a finger full of it into my mouth, I was thwarted by quick moving Daisy. Later that night my father, who is a veterenarian, tried on the dining room table, with all sorts of IV's and blocks, to valiently save Daisies life. The cake had been rat poison.
After she died my sisters and I lay next to dad in the hammock and he explained to us that daisy was up in the stars now. So I still see the glittering love filled eyes of our beloved dachsund in the constellations...
My- how a painting can feel so loaded!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras Tulips

This small work fits on a piece of Mexican made paper that is 6 x 8 inches. The lady in the center is disguised and dressed to party! That is why I am inspired to call this a Mardis Gras piece and this IS the time for it! This is the second small work in my "Flower Suite" series.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Flower suite- queen of hearts and a rose

This is a small paint and collage work on paper- the outside edge to the paper is 8 x 6 inches.
I am planning on making 3-4 more so they can be framed and hung together on a wall. Meanwhile- you may not be able to buy love, but you can buy this image of the queen of hearts and a rose by emailing me your interest. $50
This rose, by the way, was a gift from Dolores who came by the house while the boys were home and I was away. She CLEANED my house for me! What a nice thing to do...and then the rose on top of it!
Within the surface of the painting there is a small strip from the chocolate Kisses- that says: be my valentine, as well as a Queen face card from a deck of playing cards.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Orange Poppies- a collaged painting

6 x 4 inches acrylic and mixed media on canvas panel
$50- just email me if you are interested-
I layered fruit stickers and tissue between paint and emulsion, sanding away to reveal surprises. It was a loose was to play without pre-owning the vision of how it should look finished...
I have been traveling, recovering from not feeling so well. My mother's house is full of flowers.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Florida flowers

small paintinng- 6 x 4 inches...collage mixed media and paint...this is one of the whole bouquet sent to grandma Kate from all her grandsons...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

love cures

Love Cures all Ails...sewn paper paintings....You've Ruined my Life...sewn and collaged paper. These are two valentines I created a while back in the spirit of my muse, Esther Howland. She was a 19th century Worcester woman who made awfully mean and sweetly ornate valentines that she sold door to door for a penny. They were called "penny dreadfulls". Soon Esther's cards were so popular that she hired seven lady friends to work in an assembly line fashion to create these intricate and sinister cards. They were the rage until the first world war. Esther got really rich.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I love the history of Valentines Day- the Muse's inspired combo of death and unextinguishable love. Whether the Roman armies' ban on soldiers marrying and the secret ceremonies privided by Monk Valentine, or the myth of his secret love notes for the jailor's blind seems a unique reason to celebrate. Pain and risk.
Here is a question: Do you think astronauts in space should be allowed to marry? Each other? Or via satelite, someone on earth? Does this inspire anyone?
My favorite story about the creation, promotion, and perversion of the Valentine's day icon is the story about Massachussetts native, Esther Howland.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

For Steve, heavy heart

I have been struggling with making Valentines...nothing comes out right. And so I sent some lame store bought ones. There is nothing wrong with store bought cards- and these were "vintage". BUT it is... just... they don't convey as much, I feel, as my originals that are made per person in mind. Today I recieved a package from my friend Steve Dieckhoff (see website below) that had chocolate, and cartoons and fantastic art reviews and even an Xray valentine. And my friend Krisse sent me "chick magnets" and plant clippings from her tropical yard. And Julia called to tell me she starting to paint again. And my husband surprised me with an incredible solar powered watch. (Then the sweetie proceeded to call me every half hour to ask what time it was)
So I am blessed. Tomorrow I'll post some other valentines I've made...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Uncle Pat

Here is another sewn paper painting...mostly boarding passes. I was thinking of one of my uncles and his traveling invitations. We just got back, a little while ago, from South Africa. While we were there, every evening, at dusk, I liked to make sure he had his cocktail. With my kids, the cousins, my husband and all the chaos involved in moving a crowd, I was sure he was in danger of being overwelmed. So getting him his evening scotch was the least I could do. We might be traveling again...he seems a glutton for punishment. I wish I could say more, but it is a sweet secret.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I keep working into this and yet...
Now the horoscope is lost.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Red wine

12 x 12 inches
sewn paper boarding passes, canvas, concert tickets, maps, stamps, etc... This piece has serendipitous juxtopositions through out- I could call it ROOM TO BREATHE or AGED TO PERFECTION.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Going deeper: Should I stay or should I go?

I have been wondering a bit about this "daily painting" regime and can't help but see there could be a problem. I mean, if you let yourself think- "Oh, I've done my daily painting, I'm an artist"- you can really trap yourself on a superficial level. You can stop yourself from taking risks, going deeper, really exploring, and making a mess. I need to let go of the idea that everyday I will have a product (at least for a little while). Here is a piece that is a total flop really. I found my horoscope (center and upside down) was the inspiration for this. It is made out of sewn tickets, maps, etc...painted and drawn on top. After today I may throw it out or I may keep working on it- so it is UNAVAILABLE.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Happy hour

So... I started fantasizing today about a trip I'll soon be taking to visit my mom and my sisters. We'll be celebrating. This painting was made by sewing together a handful of boarding passes, map fragments, and a rental car agreement. It measures 11 x 13 inches.
I think the daily painting strikes a chord with our society. So much questioning of our purpose, and so many ways to mark the passage of time. I just read about a young lady named Suzan-Lori Parks- who was the first African-American woman awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Since then she has been writing a play a day, called "365 Days/365 Plays". Now the plays are being produced in an innovative grassroots premiere- every week for a year professional and college theaters around the country are staging plays! The UMass Amherst Rand Theater, as well as Mount Holyoke College's Rooke Theater, are presenting 7 of the plays. Get more info visit

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


FINALLY-a Soulful Sundae- the last painting for the "Month of Sundaes". I've reinterpreted an image from earlier. Now I am making a poster- actually my friend Jennifer of is making it. We just spent an hour laying out the works in a gridded patchwork and, in the interest of space and design, have eliminated 3. Can you guess which ones did not make it to the poster? Hint: you can find out by ordering a copy of the poster for $30. If you order before March 1, you will get free shipping. Thanks! Email me:

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Snowball Sundae

Another "resist" painting. I worked from a live model. It has been sub zero these days and finally a bit of snow cover!

Monday, February 5, 2007

View of diner with sundaes to go

I continue with the resist method of painting. The resist method is really freeing me up. I like relinquishing control as well as the surprise factor, when you rub off the cement and see what you've done in the end.
In this painting I attempted to capture a different view of Main street using sketches as reference since I was sitting in one of the buildings pictured. This is the north side of town. Just above the diner is the Millerton Market where I have been painting. Next to that is the BW Eagle Eye clothing store with the blue awning and then above that is the large grey antiques center and the top of the street where the road curves off to the right, is the brilliant orange Saperstein's Department Store. Saperstein's is family run and has been around before time. So long, they even remember my mother when she lived briefly in the area in 1965! They know me, my kids, and just exactly what I am looking for. It has a great feel when you walk in and everyone seems so happy to see you. The Diner has also been around for a long time- and it is a beautiful stainless steel and neon construction, yet it has changed ownership over and it is run by coach Ali. I couldn't really see it from my window vantage point so I had to leave out many details and work from a quick early morning sketch. The Diner would make a great subject for painting with it's shiny reflections, curves and angles...(Must add to my list)
Have you ever tried these sundaes in a Cup? They are quiet good- I was eating the red (strawberry) one as I painted. They frankly taste much better than they look.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Udderly delish!

Driving to Millerton, and turning up Main Street always takes my breath away. Not only is the place beautiful but on the weekends there are tons of people. You can't find a parking spot and you have to drive at a crawl for fear someone will suddenly open their car door on you. Papa frank, my father-in-law, always says they must be giving away $20 bills. The store is hopping. everyone anticipates the opening of the new Card and Candy store. Poor Robin seems buried in lists.
I am getting a bit restless with this theme and my ability to turn the brush this way and today's painting of a cherry topped cow- they CAN look like vanilla ice cream with chocolate dribbles-was made with acrylic paint and the rubber cement resist. It challenges me to loose my control. Dive into the unknown, destroy the competant lines, bury and rub to reveal...
I think I am going to miss the store front. So many nice people have stopped by and chatted. There are a ton of artists, writiers and children in the area. It is a special place.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Top

another canvas, another day...8 x 10 x 2 inches, acrylic painting
I have been feeling crummy with a head cold. Showing up each day takes the most I have right now. Thanks for understanding.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Whipped Cream and Other Delights

8 x 10 x 2
acrylic on canvas

Thursday, February 1, 2007

WHO can Resist?

I felt pretty crummy today, with a head cold- My husband told me to forget about it- just skip a day- "who would notice?" But I couldn't- because I would notice. So I went with an alternate plan, a method that takes the skill right out of the equation: "the resist" . Remember doing this in grade school? I painted the lightest areas on the canvas with rubber cement and followed each application with another color wash and more rubber cement. The canvas ended up looking completely dark. Then I rubbed away at the surface, removing the cement and revealing the image. It is an out of control method and it ensures that no one is to blame. If it turns out yucky- well- you never know...and yet actually it turned out pretty nice. Who can resist?