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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


We are home. It seems to be weeks since I last painted. I can typically get into a lot of trouble if I go a long time without working. Emotionally. Obstacles: I lost my favorite brush weeks ago moving from place to place. Today a blizzard has me housebound where the TV is consuming the air and driving me nuts. I ate too much during the holidays, so perhaps I should go to the gym before considering any other goals. So... IS my goal for the new year to get back on track? I NEED TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF. How is that? Body mind spirit.
I can try sit ups. Meditation. Church.
I need to find a well lit minimally heated (at least) place to work for the next 8 weeks. I have a couple of options to look into. From the foot of my bed to the center of main street. Once I get there, I hope to caress my left over dust coated brushes, squeeze out the paint and work on a series that just moves the pigment around in newer, craftier, and smarter ways. I want to get better at painting.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

1 dAY OF CHRISTMAS: identity

This double panel painting was done in 1992 in collaboration with my son Kent when he was barely able to hold a crayon. He would prop next to me and scribble on the edges of my vellum paintings. It was a time when I knew I was changing and I saw myself as a clean slate peering forward. Who would I be? On the other hand my child was so full of expression and gesture. I felt he was just waiting to be interpreted. Who was he already?
5.25 x 9 inches

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Contemplating family

sold- thanks gretchen!
This is a tiny painting on a wood panel- a study, from our art history, of a Degas pastel.

2.5 x 3 inches.
My boys and I are headed today to my mothers for a week of family celebrations and warm Florida light. There is something about mom that brings me back to myself. Perhaps it is the luxury of her nurturing, and the generosity of her planning, that provides me restorative moments of contemplation. I can't help doing my own inventory when faced with the history of who I have been and the lore of my youth that exists in hints throughout the furniture and fabric of the house. And my mother so cleverly spins up tales of my teenage woe for my kids sakes. Then she sends me for a pedicure or a facial, bringing memory and body together. I am certainly blessed with a large loving family!
I hope everyone can stay centered on the important big things this season. Like our connectedness, our families (traditional and not so), and love.

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Shelter for baby

Faith, hope and Love
This poetic little piece is about motherhood and the unique treasure of a newborn child. I painted it back in 1993- waiting for Max. I haven't done anything more powerful or important than raising my kids. Each one arrived and took my breath away, stripped me of everything I knew, and showed me that knowing nothing was the real way to live. They gave me wonder, awe, and literally radiated with light. I am so blessed. I am not sure what I am doing, but I try to protect them, cover them with my strength and knowledge and give them a good portion of my life. This little baby is now a teenager... he has wriggled out from under me and often I have to pray his protection comes from a bigger source. My frail body can't do it all these days.
Its' a panel of wood, 5 1.4 x 6 inches painted in high gloss.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

4 dAYS OF CHRISTMAS: baby on the brain

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,
Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today. My dad brought it to my attention.
That said- this painting was made in 1993- when I had a 2 year old and was pregnant. I found it in a shoe box with a lot of other small paintings. We all need a little art in our days and it is never to late to purchase a work for the holy days. This wood panel is 5 7/8 x 4 7/8 inches, high gloss.
Maybe next year I will work on the original idea of the 12 days.... hmmm. Thanks, dad!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Here is a little 8 x 10 canvas panel
Thanks for all the kind notes I have been receiving. Here is a woman bare and full of prayer!

Friday, December 19, 2008


SOLD- collection of Tesoro family
8 x 10 canvas panel.
AHHHH. It is a snow day- a blizzard is settling us in our cabins. This painting is a bright spot of color perfect for a day like today, which begs a bit of red to be tucked in on the walls. Rose colors each have their own symbolism. The deep red means "I love you". It represents romance and love. I've collected evergreen boughs to decorate the kitchen, and a pan of pumpkin loaf is rising in the oven. Both the boys are on computers or phones tapping messages to their friends.
Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, roses have long been a symbol of confidentiality - the Latin expression sub rosa (literally "under the rose") means something told in secret. People used to suspend a rose over the table if what was to be discussed was to remain confidential. (Many dining rooms today still have a rose ceiling medallion).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

7 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Pots Pans Bugs Crow

Not a very seasonal specific image...but perhaps a daily muster, to tackle the dishes and find the gift of wisdom AND GRATITUDE.
5 3/8 x 4 3/4 inches paint on panel with his gloss finish. Perfectly protected for installing in the dampest rooms- bathrooms, kitchens, mud-rooms, etc, or for glowing as a dark jewel among the library shelves.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

8 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS:Woods with Roots

Painted in Millbrook, NY, these woods with ferns and roots were in a hiker's paradise near the Cary Arboretum. 8 x 10 panel, acrylic on canvas panel. On the back it is titled: Fern Glen. But I am, this morning, more struck by the implication and poetry of the ground and roots.
We have lost days to ill health and can hardly scurry to catch up with the holiday scramble. I am forced to do less for everyone, and take each day as a gift, finding the peace in still moments. Being sick is horrible- but it does force you to be still and give up half the trivia on your to-do list. I lay on the pillow thinking of how in the past I had gifts for my yoga teacher, the UPS man, the school secretary, the kid's bus driver... this year I haven't the time or energy to do the holidays like I would love to. I have to be still, rest, count my blessings. enjoy my rooted existence for what it is. There is always another time for gift giving- New years, Mid winter, valentines, etc... so the gift I am giving myself (and I would hope for you, the reader, too) this holiday season is the acknowledgement of the ground beneath our feet. If we could all take stock for just a moment, we might find some sanity and sweetness in the holiday schedule.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

9 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS:Woods in Winter Light

This is a precious oil on panel painting that measures 5 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches.
I love trees and the character of their seasons. I would be miserable in a desert for very long as I crave branches over head and roots at my feet. I love the way the winter light peers through spaces dissected by limbs. Often it reminds me of stainglass windows in cathedrals. One of the best things about the church my kids and I attend, St. Peters, is that you can open or close your eyes and be reminded of the woods... from the scent to the ceiling rafters to the winter light... I feel God's light in the woods.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Here is another sewn paper painting, 5 x 3 inches.
Our good health is the best gift of all.
Its the time of year we all start suffering germ warfare... first one son comes home with a virus, then I get a head cold, then grandpa goes bedridden... I need to concentrate on the nest, disinfect corners, put soup on the stove, clear the air, read to the boys, fluff out the comforters. I like her purple comb. This is a house hen, I guess.
Thanks for looking and stay healthy

Sunday, December 14, 2008


This sewn paper image is only 5 x 3 inches. It is a collage of canvas and found paper scraps. I love the setting sun. We are getting close to the shortest days of the year. I would like to offer this rooster to the first person who pays me $25 plus shipping. It's the countdown to the darkest moment of the year and the celebration of Light.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


This is a sewn paper painting of three ornaments. The ornaments are pale shaded gray marble paper, a sublime contrast to the brilliant red and green support. This was made in 2003, and it measures 7 x 5 inches. While searching the basement for bird feeders to put outside, I found a stash of small works made over the last 2 decades that emphasize the emotional countdown to Christmas. Enjoy, and God bless you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pomegranate sewn paper

Did you know that the Pomegranate was a symbol of the resurrection in european paintings as well as the inspiration for the development of the grenade? Two such different connections!
Whatever. It is also my son's favorite winter treat. I try to pick one up for him with every trip to the grocery store. In this piece I've sewn together my grocery receipts, lists and food source stickers to decorate and enrich the visual potion of this juicy red fruit.
10 x 8 inches.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Apple art Picasso still life

We are taking down the Movie House show today. It's been wonderful having the work up at such a central location, and being involved with a group of artists. This apple of mine is embedded in a sheet of paper (made from my son's kahki pants and dryer lint, with collage (SEWN) image of Picasso's cubist composition using apples. An apple a day...
Rough edges, 6 1/4 X 7 1/4 inches

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You say tomato...

This was inspired by an email query....12 x 12 inches. painted on paper. $120

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Madonna and child

Time for the decorations. This is a classic made years ago. I was inspired by the holiday and my own entrance into motherhood. I identified a little with the idea of Mary's future suffering. Motherhood isn't easy. I'm told it gets easier when you can let go. But then I am also told that you never stop worrying. What happened to Jesus during his teenage years? Did Mary keep her serenity?
For now, and every Christmas, this picture hangs over the fireplace. This year it is flanked by creative expressions of my children. The ceramic mugs are a sampling of an array made by my eldest son and the abstract still life encaustic was done by my youngest. Not for sale. (ndp)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Miami Basel Recap

I had a great time at Miami Basel
Attended 5 of the 21 fairs- and wish I could have done more- as it was, I left each fair with aching back, aching feet, aching eyes, (not to mention starving and delirious). The Fairs each had a unique flavor and subtle differences that stood out to me.
The first evening just down the beach boardwalk you could walk into an ULTRA environment featuring the architectural and sound installation by Frederico Diaz. It was very 1960’s, lava lamp-ish and all. Fashionable people held cocktails and lounged on Styrofoam carved mounds, or perused the 20 shipping containers converted into art environments. In the containers, I rarely witnessed any artifacts of the consumer strain; it was mostly lone video displays. All the containers seemed from Europe. How did they pay for it? There was one commercial looking display featuring Teresa Margolles’ jewelry of gold bracelets and pendants made from broken glass taken from sites of drug wars. The display cases featured descriptions of the crime scene in Spanish etched on the glass. Most everything else was ephemeral entertainment. At one point the crowd between the containers proceeded to “arm wrestle for art”. A winner won a tar-covered coconut.
Early the next day I walked through Bridge Fair/South Beach, where individual galleries had set up in the bedrooms and bathrooms of a hotel. Even though I was thrilled to be in Miami, surrounded by art and great weather, there were signs of gloom and doom. In the lobby was NJ artist Mary Ellen Scherl’s Mamorial- Life size casts of breasts and bodies from cancer survivors around the world. The work hopes to encourage the focus on a cure. I heard that the Bridge Fair/Wynwood had artist Eric Fabian’s reminder of the current crisis- he had a stack of 1000 one hundred dollar bills that visitors could hold (one visitor at a time). The money was borrowed from the artist’s own credit card. My favorite rooms were hosted by the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions (Rutgers University), Madelyn Jordon Fine Art (Scarsdale NY) and Gallery Bienvenu (New Orleans).
In the afternoon I rushed over to Nada in Wynwood and rambled through a delightful warehouse building, (great ceilings), called “the ice palace”, trying my best to find a gem or two among the 88 avant-garde dealers and embedded performers.
There were bananas infiltrating the visual dialogue- can anyone tell me what that is about? My favorite art booth featured a video surround display by Marcus Coates- the work was titled Dawn Chorus- humans were “filmed in their natural habitat” and Coates makes them look and sound as though they are songbirds. It’s hilarious and mesmerizing. There were lots of birds used by other artists as imagery through out all the fairs. ALSO lots of paper cutting as a medium.
After Nada, my friends and I ran to Pulse- stopping at Pierogi’s (and Ronald Feldman Fine Art) along the way. That was a pleasant surprise-12,000 square feet filled with art they represent. I loved almost everything I saw- which was a distinctly different feeling from NADA. I wish I had written down some names. Guess I will have to re-visit them at the home base in Brooklyn. Lots of collage work.
At Pulse we paid personal visits to my Uncle, Charles Cowles and Sally, Jay and Esme at MLG gallery. Nature reined in fantasy form with Spain’s Galleria Horrach Moya’s work of sculptor Jorge Mayet- small trees suspended in space with their roots dangling below the midline clump of turf. They were magical. Hilary Berseth’s Programmed Hives at Eleven Rivington (NYC) were thought provoking and delightfully organic. Kim Keevers large-scale photo of constructed landscape shot underwater in a fish-tank had a ghostly atmosphere at KTFGallery (NYC). One medium missing seemed to be encaustic. Most of the large scale photographs and paintings were covered in a thick glossy laquer.
The next day Miami Basel- the grand beast of fairs, with something like over 300 galleries, lay in wait. Obama’s image was the entry piece I first noticed, and it contrasted with the established tone of some of the galleries.
It took us about 3 and a half hours to circle the perimeter of the fair, an estimated 110 gallery booths. After a brief rest and a willing of the soul, I wove in dazed trance through some of the center galleries before realizing my eyes had gone all bleary and mad. I know there were Alice Neel portraits at several galleries. There was a wall of gouache paper basketballs that would have looked good in my life. There were erased pictures from Germany that I fell in love with, there were slabs of solidified paint I wanted to eat off. There was this giant bell from Antwerp cast in the 1920’s that some artist brought over and signed his name to. There was so much stuff intersected by with corridors packed with people who looked like artworks themselves.

So, now I will give you what I remember of my fantasy shopping list.
For my bedroom, a small portrait with maps and a large burned boat In The Treetops by Raine Bedsole for over the fireplace. (
For outside my kitchen window, a large clothespin composition of three giant standing forms by Gerry Stecca (
For my bathroom- a Ted Larsen minimal and elegant oil on metal painting.
For the kids room- a mini hamster painting by Schroeder Romero and a 3d wall piece of sneakers made out of paintings by Tait Roelofs (@ Lyons Weir Gallery, NYC)
For my office, a Ted Knowles’ UPS drawing, or one of his drawings made by shifting tree branches that have a pen strapped to them.
For my coffee table- a Brian Dettmer Altered Atlas
For the hallway- a currency collage by Mark Wagner- maybe his Hamptons Hedge at Pavel Zoubok Gallery (NYC)


MIAMI Basel Recap

Here is picture of some of the debris from the fairs. The tray was painted by my best friend Krisse... years ago. She lives in Miami and was one of the art buddies going through the fairs with me. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Art Opening at Morgan Lehman Gallery

Join us today for opening festivities in Lakeville CT. 
Ten artists have works under $500 each at the MLG. I have 17 small paintings hanging on three walls.
The party from 4-7 today.
Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays 12-5 December 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Traveling in a box

This little box- about 5 x 7 x 2 inches is perfect for traveling. It 
is painted with a landscape, (a dirt road), inside and a suitcase waits in forground.  The words "break out the bubbly" are for the the next big scene!

I'm having the time of my life.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Miami suitcase with shoes

Painted wood with collage
13 x 10 inches.

Packing for Miami/Basel art trip. It is the shoes that create the puzzle. I need pairs that look good and feel comfortable, that can serve me well for hours on my feet and grace my toes for evening paparazzi...

Words on surface, found headline text from the LA Times, say
"A scene of hustle and flow"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brace yourself!

It's flu season, everyone around me seems to have colds, sniffles, coughs, aches and pains.
Painted block of wood- 3 x 5 x 1 inch

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Purse in stages

I want to call this "Ugly Painting" Linda Blondheim (see link in sidebar) says that every painting goes through an ugly stage and we should let viewers see that. The idea is to educate about the process so everyone can appreciate the final product much more.
Well...some paintings come flowing out of my brush as gifts from the Muse. Others are a complete struggle- like this one! 
Don't know when to stop.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Exit Bug, Life Cycle

paint on wood, shallow relief,
11 x 9 x 1.5 inches

I like the combination of buried nest and flying coffins... it is to acknowledge the cycle of life. I have a new girlfriend and she lives in the same apartment of my good friend Jen, who died last March. I haven't been able to go back to the apartment, in my heart or body, until this week- and it was really lovely.  Reborn, re-organized, and given life. I miss Jen, but I know she is free, and not at all stuck in the apartment. My new friend, a sensitive artist, has made another lovely home. It is different, though I could not help but note statues, paintings, prints, and at the window,  everywhere there were birds. Jen had birds too.