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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Banana Flowers

I am in Miami visiting my best friend Krisse
She is gifted with a green thumb, among other praises for her hands. One of these days she will have a website to show her one to two feet tall fabulous porcelain sculptures. It drives me nuts, no! BANANAS, to know they are so hidden from sight. Krisse has more talent in her pinkie than I have in my whole being.
This drawing measures 9 x 12 inches
color pencil on heavy archival paper

Friday, January 30, 2009

Four Palms in pencil

My favorite thing about Florida is the palm trees and the weird lighting. This pencil and watercolor painting can be shipped to you for $85... it is a little piece of southern exposure. 12 x 9 inches on heavy archival paper.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Meditation drawing: Buddha

This is an exercise in being still.
Color pencil on paper 15 x 11 inches.

I am actually flying to Miami through the ice storm...

remember to breathe!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Flying Chair

My mind is racing ahead of my body. It is another snow day. All the schools are closed. I have been clearing my desk, and spent some time (between feeding the boys) looking over last years sales totals and expense numbers. It's a challenge, really, to keep upbeat. My resume is updated. I've filed for grants and submitted work to databases. A voice in the wind says I need to find another job. Maybe this little painting will sell? $100 or best offer.
Ink and paint on paper, 5 x 4.5 inches

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Remains of the hearth

I read somewhere that visual artists are caught between an external world and their product- be it a painting/sculpture/production- which is an external product of the world. Artist's don't know, and perhaps they are searching, for who they are somewhere in the air between life and art.

This image gets to me because the sky is SO blue... like nothing traumatic has ever happened. The world just keeps on spinning and time passes. Flowers eventually grow on battlefields.

acrylic on canvas 9 x 12 inches.

Monday, January 26, 2009

House Up in Smoke

Where there is smoke- there is fire.

Started with a spilled cup of coffee...
Paper pencil and paint
12 x 9 inches

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year- OX

Here are two meditations... color pencil/paper drawings, measuring 7 x 5 inches. 
January 26th marks the beginning of the Chinese year 4706, also called the year of the OX. The ox, one of the twelve-year-cycle names, is sturdy, dependable, solid and, believing he is always right, the ox rarely backs up. In Christianity he is the symbol for Luke, the apostle, and a signifies sacrifice. The Chinese new year is always celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice. I have included Ox Eye daisies in my designs as well as the chinese calligraphic symbol, Ji Chou, for the ox.

I am going to a Chinese new years party this afternoon and am eager to taste some dumplings! One of these drawings will be a gift for the household.
Happy New Years... may the symbol of the ox- in both it's strength and it's sacrificial persona- give us clarity.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reclining Nude in Winter woods

An old gem.
9 x 12 pencil and watercolor on canvas

For love or money, Life, Transitions, Death

If given a choice to either settle for a great true love without financial security or solid financial security and life without passionate love... which would you go for?

19 x 26inches
acrylic on paper


Bird of parad-ice, Bird of paradise, Rooster returns

Two images from the same day...

I am so happy... my rooster is back in the coop with the hens! What a nice surprise- my neighbor George with his traps must have done this. So now the rooster, Stahford, has access to heat and feed. And I can sleep at night.

Lots of student work and opportunities out there

Yesterday I dropped off two sewn paper paintings to the Barrett House in Poughkeepsie for the upcoming Student/Faculty show. I also attended the Mill Street Loft's Student Show at Vassar College. Camille Roccanova, a local high school senior, has some fantastic work. I particularly loved her long horizontal painting of her self portrait with a spider camera. The level of the work on exhibit speaks a lot about how strong the vision is of Todd Poteet's. Earlier in the day I met with Ann Linden about the fundraising programs for the Indian Rock School. I think we are going to sponsor a tshirt design contest for students only. Then I had a meeting at the Maplebrook School to discuss future art exhibitions with the "art committee". We discused getting the word out for an upcoming student art show as well as the major "Hill and Dale" open show coming up in May. If you are in the area and interested in more information on any one of these projects- please email me.
Or leave a comment. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


A hand colored three plate etching done a while back.
Just got home from being away for over a week. I caught sight of the presidential inaugural parade on my aunt's wide screen TV. We are both so hopeful and inspired by the new president. My chickens are alive and the boys are well..., thank goodness my step mother dropped off food regularly- they must have been starving. The near empty refrigerator makes it easy to clean! No painting yesterday or today- but I hope tomorrow...
5 x 7 inches... about... not including the watercolor border.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Palm TREE AND SKY for Martin Luther King

What a beautiful day... fit for a king.
4 x 6 canvas panel with collage- a bit of a rough surface... I just LOVE palm trees- if they could grow in New England I would be living in heaven.

Mom got her arm unwrapped- the incision is a full 7 inches long- seven jagged inches up the back of her arm... She really did it this time! The metal plate will slow her down through airports- but perhaps that is what she needs- to SLOW DOWN...PICK UP HER FEET. I'll spare you the drawings.... even though the surgeon added his own!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lawn Chair with sweet cherries

Sunday! It's a beautiful day. I went for a quick walk early this morning. Everything is so green here- and so white at home. My son told me they had almost 5 inches last night and he was off to ski.
Enough with the tree studies/ shadows- I feel a bit surreal.
So this painting, made as I sat on the back lawn, is a playful account of "when life gives you cherries". Mom is doing tons better and we have had a few good laughs. I love this landscape. As I was painting this the eagle flew by at eye level, snatched something out of the water that looked like a stick, and flew gracefully back over me to the thick trees across the pond. Then a pelican came by with all the grace of an angry old man...
The canvas panel measures 4 x 6 inches. Even though this is a hard time, there are some sweet moments to treasure.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Florida trees

9 X 12 inch canvas panel painting of the Florida trees... I painted over an image I started of my heart with a paintbrush coming out of it, so the under-layer with reds and yellows now shows through in the edges of the shadows.

Mom is home, resting and we are managing the pain as best as possible. Everything went well yesterday.

There is an immature bald eagle on the lawn. He is scaring away the ducks. My camera doesn't zoom anymore, so this is a bad shot. The nest, mom tells me, is across the pond on top of an old pine tree.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big morning gratitude

This a.m. we head to the hospital for early check in. They should be screwing a plate in my mother's arm to hold her humerous bone pieces together. I say a prayer up to the sky, to the trees, to the beauty around me- in gratitude for the blessings of my family, especially my children and my parents, the gifts of my hands and the colors of paint, 7 X 5 inches canvas panel.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sunrise in the Palm Trees


Here is another view from the bedroom window. Early, early morning... painted on canvas panel 7 x 5 inches. When the light fills the day the area gets completely complex...a veritable jungle of textures and subtle shifting range of colors. I am rendered useless before the scene.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

St. Pete Shadows

This is a small 5 x 7 inch canvas panel which I painted just after sunrise this morning. I enjoy the beginnings and endings of each day as the light softens and the silhouettes form isolated and often quiet kooky shapes. My mothers backyard is a wonderful blend of pine, oaks, and palm trees. This is my view from bed!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bathtub Peace

THIS 7 X 11 print was made from carved linoleum. 
I am at my mothers, helping her since her fall. Hope to paint tomorrow... meanwhile- there is a really nice bathtub with my name on it!
This is an edition of three black and one green.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Antler X marks the spot

Here is a painting- 19 x 26 inches, done, again, during a snow storm and again with one brush. The short round #4. Hmmmm.

I have a snug little place in the basement...a short and relatively safe commute. With a little pre-planning, I was able to spend a good chunk of time painting... almost 6 hours while the sauce and meatballs simmered on the stove upstairs. 
The sensuousness of the curves and the windows between the antlers seem potent reminders of treasures in my life. The scene is an abstraction of the Strauss marsh and the island lot. Does the antler's "X" mark last summer's exercise with my sister, or a memorable moment when I felt myself falling in love, or a search for a sighting of the rare trumpeter swan, or the abundant crop harvested by the neighbor, or the ancestral spot for picnics deep under the oaks, or my brothers hairy trek across the ice with his daughter, or the site of a leaning cow and a faulty fence-post, or... the list is as deep as the number of my years combined with unbridled imagination as well as with the memories  of my ancestors.

Since it was from memory the light is not quiet right... I struggled with what should be dark, and what should be light, the edges of the antlers versus the busy-ness of the background. I think the next painting, which I have already started, will be simpler in detail. I must plug on.

Friday, January 9, 2009

SELF Portrait and new brushes

This is a monoprint self portrait I did a while back. I spent the last two days out of the studio and in NYC seeing gallery shows and eating ethnic food. I bought 4 new brushes- I like short handle, rounds best, but felt a need for a few flats since I have started working on larger panels. I need to apply paint to broader areas. I also was inspired by the winter orange skies to splurge on a tube of pigment. Not sure what Pyrrole Orange will do- but now I am eager to paint again!
The monoprint is 5 x 7.5 inches

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snow day in the basement studio

The kids had one day of school before being home again following a three week vacation! I have been setting up my paints in the basement among the motorcycles. Thought I would loose my mind if i didn't get to paint today. My dad loaned me a rack form a colorado MULE DEER someone had left in his woodshop. It is the first time I've painted in weeks and weeks. I loved it- painted for 6 hours straight. The kids (ages 13 AND 17) were left alone and unmonitored. I am sure they benefitted from some time without me nagging them, as well as I benefitted from forgetting they were upstairs.
NOT SURE IF THIS IS DONE YET- Though I am done for today. Size: 24 x 30 inches. Happy snowday.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Self portrait expressionism in print

The Dp gallery artists are all posting self portraits tomorrow. I haven't been able to put myself together for this... I have lots of ideas and yet a procrastinating impulse when it comes to looking at myself. Today I just spent my day clearing space to work. In the flat files I found a two-color linoleum print self portrait that I did a while back. I was in the German expressionism phase... adoring artists such as Paula Modersohn-Becker, Max Beckmann and Enrst Kirchner. Modersohn- Becker had a daughter late in life, named Tillie. Unfortunately Modersohn- Becker died soon after. Tillie grew up to catalogue and champion her mother's art. Ernst Kirchner was interested in the european contemporary art movements as well as in reviving the German tradition of woodcuts and he looked to the artists of Germany's past- like Lucas Cranach the Elder ( my great x15 grandfather), Albrecht Durer and Matthies Grunewald. He taught printmaking for many years. Beckman gained early popularity with works in the Berlin National Museum and a professorship. But the rise of Hitler meant the fall of modern art and Beckmann was reviled, exiled, and his works destroyed. He died in NYC five years after the war ended.
On another synchronistic note I spent yesterday at the German consulate in NYC filing paperwork regarding my father's stolen citizenship. My grandfather fled Germany in 1934 and in 1935 met my French grandmother who, with her brother, worked in the underground resistance. Soon after, in 1938, Hitler declared all Jews non-German. Hitler said, "the Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human". If you had 1/8th of Jewish blood you were to be exterminated. So in 1936 my dad, the couple's first born child, was first a German citizen and then without a country. In the ensuing years of the war my grandfather fought with the US as one of the original OSS members.
The files I brought to the consulate contained original passports, exit visas, birth certificates, marriage licenses and were really a factual conceptual self portrait of who I am today.

But here-on larger sheets of paper, with the image size of 6 x 4 inches is my expressionist self portrait. I found six of them in assorted color combinations. Unframed with shipping, $80 US dollars each.

Note: Most ALL artists are expressionists, but the term really refers to intentionally creating work that is built upon emotion. Typically expressionism flourishes in societies when there is social unrest.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Antler study

This is 4.5 x 7.5 inches- sewn paper scraps painted with an antler image in acrylic paint. Lots of random stitching, and end of brush scratching. The work is smaller than I want to be working. There just doesn't seem to be space to work as big as I'd like. The bedroom ironing board corner is just too cluttered, poorly lit, and precious. With temperatures in the teens the barn studio might as well be in Alaska.
I have been scouting out temporary heated studio space in to rent, and though I have found a few spots- nothing is really affordable. I can probably raise the money from sales to pay the higher rent- but I hesitate to divert my goal from strengthening my brush skills. January and February seem the perfect months to divert my attention inward rather than outward. I feel like hibernating in a cave until spring. In fact I have just been given an awesome antler horn paintbrush and it is the perfect tool to paint the winter away. It is so beautiful it might just become the subject as well as the method behind the next series of paintings.
So this evening I set up a corner of the basement- which used to be my studio and is now full of motorcycles and skateboard ramps. But there is one corner that- with a hanging florescent light to boost the ceiling lights- I am possibly seeing my space for the next two months. The work will be intimate.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Window on a new year

This is a small painting on panel 6.25 x 11.75 inches

would write more- but the cows are out!
happy new years!