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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Country Chicken pepper soup ingredients

12 x 23 inches collage and acrylic on wood panel. 
I am getting ready to:

--- rope up friends to help Millerton parade across the Walkway bridge in good form this Saturday October 3rd. We are three people shy! Why? Oh why?
--- address 80 envelopes to locals who either do not have email or can't get an ArtEast studio Tour brochure and map any other way
--- send out my e-newsletter and make an ArtEast Art Tour flyer
--- hang 8 semi-erotic chicken paintings at the Lick Ice Cream store on Warren Street in Hudson as part of the 15th annual Arts Walk which runs from October 3- 18th.
--- call it a day, and go to the diner with some girlfriends.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Projects in the beginning

I have an idea...
Now I need to find the time!
A little later:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two nests again

I don't have the size of this one but is is bigger than 18 x 20 inches.

Stringing up the flags



North East

I keep counting and re-counting and hoping to get different numbers, and then re-counting. I have to pull this all together by Monday and several flags are still OUT, not done, or possibly  missplaced. Yikes!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A meal in more than one nest color orange

This is in process... Mostly orange with a few strand of other colors peering in. As I paint these nests I struggle with a constant series of night dreams concerning meager offerings of food. It's like a PBJ sandwich or some crackers and cheese... but always of being unable to find my food. It's ussually buried under other people's luggage or whisked away by a robot waiter or dropped through a crack in the floor.  I paint some food into my nests... maybe it will help.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beaver hut and swamp water in box

This is a fun piece... the beaver damn is kind of an upside down nest. It is about an inch deep, and maybe 7 x 3 inches width and height. Found painted wood.

ACTUALLY the "found wood" is from a bush my dad accidentally mowed over when he was doing me a good favor. (His motto is "no good deed goes unpunished"- and here I post it for the world to see!)

I used hot glue to create a shallow semi transparent swamp water surface.

At the end of this month I hope to do another retreat on the river. It's a guided retreat for women called "The River of Life" Hmmm...

Flag workshop pulls together now

I am stringing them up! And they look pretty good. Today a new person came in- actually three people came in- and two of them are famous cartoonists in different areas! Nice.
I also taught myself how to oil my old sewing machine. Patience and a good attitude go a long way.
The green and blue flags are for Amenia. The blue background flags are for North East, and the yellow flags are for Millerton.
Only 6 left to be designed. Anyone interested? Email me right away! I want all 75 to be done by noon Sunday.

My big boys

Back from visiting my sons- my how they have grown. I sat in the back seat most of the weekend. I need the least amount of leg room!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nest of letters

While away for a few days I was able to journal and gather myself around my thoughts. We make our own histories. We edit and mold our memories. I know that not everything I say is true happened exactly that way. But my memories and truths make me who I am. It's imperfect but the reality.
Three simple days to gather my dream images, to sit and meditate over coffee, to watch the river and enjoy fantastic meals, have made me relish all the senses and hope for a brighter future. I am nesting in words. The individual letters are bones and maps and the structure I can build the next story from.
9 x 9 inches collage and painted maps on paper panel.

Monday, September 14, 2009


While I am away for a few days... I've gone ahead and arranged the posting of old paintings which are all about cleaning the house and searching for the trail that got me here. my birthday blog.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nest in Chair with fleeting car

I've decided to go on a short retreat before doing a weekend visit to my boys. A lot has been whirling around my head and I don't feel as though I have given myself any time to treat my soul... and I intend to turn off the phone, enjoy the scenery, and contemplate the wonders I have been given. Time to silently spin silk out of Life.
This is another version of the nest in the chair...I can't sit still for long!
Painted and collage on wood panel... not sure of the size... Hmmm. about 12 x 18 inches

Now touched up the nest details a bit.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Indian Rock School Community Picnic

What a wonderful, almost dry day it was for the whole community to get out and get together! The after-school boys club were busy signing copies of their book, A Year in the Life. The bunch of them, full of laughter and stories, lent a mischievous and historic (of course) air to the morning. Nancy Offenhauser, another local celebrity,  was signing copies of her memoir, Healing Cancer Peacefully... a must read if you have, or know anybody with, cancer. My walkway flag project got a real boost from participants young, old, and in between! After a couple hours almost all the flags are finished. What was nice was that some of the participants said they had no artistic talent and yet were willing to try and pleased with the results! I missed the pie baking contest and the kids games and Abe Lincoln's birthday cake.

Friday, September 11, 2009

NEST with one egg

This is 19 x 24.5 inches paper . The image is 18 x 22.25 inches
Collage, pencil, paint on paper
One egg. Does anyone understand?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nest in Chair

My painting is another matter. Nest in chair. It deals with my sweet sorrow and the comfort of misery. I often just want to slip into bed and have someone wipe my fore head and say over and over, "you poor poor thing". Or at least I think I do.
9 x 9 inches paint on paper panel


The tools of my creativity today took the forms of lawn tractor, push mower, and weed whipper! "I mowed the lawn today". It had been a freaking fear of mine to figure out which oil/ gas can went to which machine, and how to turn them on, and then, how to stop! But with my father-in-law visiting I was able to get him to focus and brainstorm which can contained which fluid, and then explain to me the mechanics of each machine.
Initially I was going to ignore the lawn because I have really always been a fan of meadows and held the energy consumption of weekly lawn mowing in total disdain.  I tried to move my chickens across the lawn as fast as it would grow, but I couldn't. And then I noticed the grass growing tall enough it started to tilt over. With the coming of cool weather and colorful trees, I know that leaves will soon be ensnared and tangled in the shoots and it makes an awful mess to mow or rake through. So I threw on sneakers and threw back my shoulders and just did it!
No one ever told me about the feeling you get looking back and seeing your path cut clean through the wilderness. When else do we ever get to see progress against time? And no one prepared me for the thrill of weed whipping juicy jungles down to the bone of rock! It was therapeutic and thrilling. I feel totally empowered. Afterwards I washed the car, checked the fluids, and drove her to a car lot to shmooze with a salesman. I feel on top of the world.

Paintings on pins... badges for walkway over hudson

Oh they are beautiful! I can't believe them... my paintings in miniature! Thank you I guess these are for the towns people who walk the bridge on the day of the celebration. October 3rd. Though I want to give one to my mom, and my dad too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Trompe l'oeil fools the eye

Inspired by the tricks of Trompe l'oeil in great museums (Louis-Leopold Boilly, french. 1761-1845) and my father's imagination I have harnessed a fellow artist into teaching a couple tricks... for Sunday painters.
Trompe l'oeil for Beginners
Learn from demonstration and hands-on, some of the
tricks of this classic drawing and painting technique.
Join any Sunday, 10-12:00am at the Amenia studio of
Tilly Strauss, with instructor Michael Gellatly.
For more information and preregister email

Painting above is my first attempt... two hours, 9 x 9 inches

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Landscape after passion: Dove/ O'keeffe show

I had a wonderful day viewing the Clark Museum's exhibition of Arthur Dove and Georgia Okeeffe paintings. I was able- being free from any responsibilities at home- to peruse the show backwards and forwards at leisure. Struck with how brave the artists were, both on and off the canvas and intrigued by the unconventional in their personal lives, I loved the scratchy surfaces of Dove and the syropy smoothness of Okeeffe. Somehow I cannot look at the landscape the same after seeing a show like that- they got Mystical Nature captured on the surface of a piece of linen or primed panel. The walls nearly exploded with passion.
Small painting made on the way home, 6 x 6 inches. On a lake above Pittsfield.

Monday, September 7, 2009

EMPTY Nest 3

THIS IS 6 X 6 INCHES paint on panel
$100 plus shipping

I am rearranging my nest so it doesn't feel so lonely.
So far I see the important things are candles on the table and stack of good books near the chair.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Empty Nest 2

24 X 18 INCHES

I have spent too much time tonight moving furniture to be able to wax eloquent on anything. Forgive me.
I feel like there has to be something more, and so I guess, contrary to the image I painted, I will stick around.

I have been painting a lot and yet my camera is acting funny. The battery dies or the cable doesn't connect properly or it just wigs out so that documenting and uploading images is a flesh biting chore.

On a better note. I am remiss on getting the word out. Need to send out a newsletter to share all that is going on in the studio. Today I had a guest artist, M.Gellatley, teach a two hour workshop at my studio on trompe l'oeul. He simplified the goals and explained the three steps to making a convincing and playful illusions on a flat surface. I did a small painting and though I am not at all close to happy with my skill level, (and I am still working in monochromatic orange range) I look forward to another Sunday Painter's Tricks session next week. 10-12am $50, all levels and ages welcome. Snacks included. Please email to register. Next we will explore our "shadow sides"!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The empty nests

Had to make a couple quick signs for The Indian Rock School Community day picnic...While searching for stored signs in the various barns on the property I found two empty nests that practically fell at my feet.
I thought it something I should tackle... The empty nest. Still in the orange phase. 24 x 18 inches on panel SOLD- thank you, and shipped to Baltimore!

Empty Nest begins

MY sons are growing up and off on their own- sort of. Kent called a couple days ago saying he might have the flu and then, after I urged him to go to the health center, I never heard from him again. Until last night when he told me- in a surprised kind of way- that he was just fine- and had just forgoten to call me back! My other son, Max's second football game was last night and I have yet to hear how it went.
He posed for me the afternoon he left for school- He posed with his grandma's hourglass. I like the painting because he is my baby but he looks on the brink of being a man, and yet... it is undeniable that time is pouring away! 6 x 6 inches on panel

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yesterday was really busy- I wore many hats! First spent the morning with the sewing ladies of South Amenia working on the flags. It was a wonderful and relaxing and fun way to start the day.

Then I flew to my friend Amy's side and we tried to lay out the whole Arteast studio tour brochure. Only 14 of the 19 artists have submitted the proper information. I hate making phone calls... Then I raced to Poughkeepsie to drop off my three emblems. Sophia and Alex were there and gave me a tour of the work space. It looked awesome. Anyone can walk in- noon to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10-6 weekends to participate in creating the props for the walkway celebration. I thought it looked like lots of fun. These two, with Jeanne Fleming, have been so thorough- have thoughtof every detail- have such a wonderful attitude- they are nothing short of brilliant! I seem to be meeting a lot of brilliant people these days. It inspires me.