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Monday, May 31, 2010

ON our way to Angouleme

Lovely ride up from France's Luberon Valley to the west side of the country... a region I have never traveled to before! Leaving my mother at my sisters, I set forth with niece and son, both a little grumpy and nervous. Is it my driving?
They should have more confidence, after all, I managed to avoid the giant boar in the road last night!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Poppies and snail

4 x 6 watercolor and some color pencil with wax
Giant snails are everywhere!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Poppies and old windmill

4 x 6 watercolor and pencil. Max explored inside while I painted from across the field. He says it has a giant fire place- a second floor and two ladders to get up there. It smells like the fresh herbs Gwen uses on the duck.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Max on Sophie's bike by the Cherry Grove

4 x 6 ink and watercolor on paper... he gave me 5 minutes of pose time!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

watercolor of the orchards

This is a little 4 x 6 inch watercolor painted from the right side of my sister's driveway. It's so beautiful... cherries (in the middle ground), and poppies (wild all over- but here in the gulley between the fields) in ripeness, lavendar and grapes (the front yellowish rows) immanent. (spellcheck is all according to the French language here... very distracting)

Sketchbook from the Luberon Valley

Flying over with my son and mother, (it looks as though we are flying backwards because I was seated at the window seat, drawing to the right and to the left of me). Once in Bonnieux we spent the day and evening relieving jet-lag in my sister's courtyard.
All watercolor and pencil on sketchbook paper.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Divorce document #15

I ran out of foam core and had to sew these scraps together to make one piece. It's kind of like making the best, making more, out of what little we may have. Art has the alchemical power to change outlooks, to nurture new ideas, and jump start the paralyzed heart.
I think I will stop now. Go for a trip. Celebrate my birthday in Paris. With or without divorce papers.
Return in a couple weeks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Divorce document #14

It's time for a fresh start. So many of us are facing trials and deaths, whether of dreams or reality, and in those conflicts there are tiny openings for new beginings. All in all I am more blessed than cursed. I am so grateful for my friends and family and for paint.
Wouldn't it be something if I never complained again? What would I paint!? Ha! There's a thought to ponder.

Tonight is the opening in Denver at the Abecedarian Gallery. I won't be able to make it... but I hope someone goes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Divorce document #13

Looking ahead.
5 x 5 mixed media on foam core.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Divorce document #12

I have been drawing runners most of the day, most of the week and one slipped into the painting. I have to run.

The comments about yesterday's painting being more about "the elephant in the room" were shocking, surprising, and uneasily true. Wow.
I will have to get back to that. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Divorce document #11

Elephants never forget. I won't either. So even though the tradition, the "married forever" thing, is over, I can still keep the family memories. The house is full of them... and I rearrange furniture, dust off baby pictures and iconic art projects, sort through throw pillows and talk to the cats. Truth is some things can't be negated by a document... and I am glad in that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Divorce document #9 & 10

Hadn't time over the weekend to photograph, upload and post new works, so here are two at once... one is "the dissolution of our union" and the other is "Dreams"! Did these two paintings while clearing the house of heavy debris. Like a hammmer hitting me on the head, I am begining to believe that it really DOES take the end of something old to be prepared to begin something new. And I am starting to feel really, really much better. (The hammer can stop now).
They are each 5 x 5 inches acrylic paint with found newspaper headlines on foam core.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Music in the day

I started the day, before the "yard sale" with hot coffee, flower seedlings, and a melodious horn serenade from my almost-brother James W. How great can a day start? Add the rooster crow and the cows on the front lawn and you have a fabulous life. Deborah, Brian, Leesah, and Micheal were priceless help sorting through the remains after the sale was over. So the place looks great, I am happy, AND I have time to fit in a sweet walk before heading to the 14th colony meeting. James auditions for the Metropolitan Opera on Tuesday. I am hoping it is a perfect fit.


Strong, an#!^y woman selling his sh*#t today! (and yesterday)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Divorce document #8

Oh really- I am setting out and having a HUGE downsizing sale tomorrow...well, it's been almost a year living with all his STUFF. Come on over and see if there is something you'd like! It may be worth a laugh. Or twenty dollars.
I am not going to answer his phone calls at all this weekend. Possibly forever. All he wants is to argue money numbers.

THIS is my 100th post this year. Wow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Divorce document #7

There really isn't a map for this terrain. But I have tried. 5 x 5 inches, mixed media on foam core. Am I wallowing or is it therapy?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Divorce document #6

There is a push and pull dynamic to the actual signing of papers... first you don't want to do it, then you do... first he wants you to want to do it, then he wants you not to want it. We both move through minimal to major demands and hopefully, eventually, to somewhere in the reasonable limits of what's at stake. Tonight I want to scream out the windows, "For God's sake just sign the #*@! papers and lets move on!!!!"
In the last few days I have been in the new company of brave incredible people who have faced worse challenges with a lot more dignity. They are inspiring and a source of strength for me. This really isn't so bad... first and formost, the kids have to know they are loved. I feel the faith of my God and am blessed with a creative language to express myself. So I feel safe. I miss my sons.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Divorce document #5

I shot this while still slightly wet... so the glare.
5 x 5 inches acrylic on foam core... Taking this day by day.

RIP: Henrietta, Blondie, and GoldieHen

Sometime between midnight at 6am it must have happened. Blondie has completely dissapeared and I figure she, as perpetual bottom of the pecking order, was pushed in front as a sacrificial offering. But the others were found lying in and outside the cage. The surviving three (Lydia, Stahford and Redhen) seem stricken with near paralysis. I contemplate the horror that must have happened with both my imagination and an artistic eye and then berate myself for thinking of injustices. What do I expect? I have delicate domestic fowl in mobile metal cages and the fox and raccoon have spring babies to feed. One little opening under the edge is an invitation to dine. This is balancing the impulisive decision to purchase chicks last week. My 6 chicks inside the house, under lamps, seem nothing short of McNuggets.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Divorce document #4

WELL no matter what people say it often comes down to money. By definition Money is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts.
Marriage is a debt. That is her story. And His.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Divorce document #3

The paperwork lingers, and a family dynamic shifts to the sound of opening and closing doors.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Divorce document 2

5 x 5 again, acrylic and headlines (from the LA Times) on foam core.

Had to talk about the kids, and it was near impossible. Why did I think it would be?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Divorce document 1

I couldn't believe it had to be 40 pages! I mean... did we have that much to negotiate... and, at the same time, could our 23 years be reduced to just that? Its all about my assets and his debts. Soon to be my debts and his assets.
"My husband" is now a time-limited term. I'm sure it's all for the best. Really...
So, I strive to paint through this confusion....and my lawyer asks- "is it therapy or wallowing?"
I am not sure.
5 x 5 inches acrylic on foam core.

Lost and Found at Her House

a new establishment in Millerton with exquisite home furnishings and rare finds for the tasteful... including my lost and found leaf map paintings... range from $300-$400 for a painted leaf mounted on a painted map in a shadow box... documenting a move that never happened.
Anne has a sense of the unique quality that can be found in a single hand painted mug, a suede key ring, a well crafted purse, and linen towels... she even shows a couple silkscreens done by her husband Jeffrey Wasserman, when he taught in Haiti in the 70's. Her house could be mine!
Hours are Friday thru Sunday 10-4.
Located in the Hotchkiss House in Millerton Ny (63 main street).

Channeling my emotions in stages

is a process through painting. Here I try to capture both nostalgia and acceptance...
Not quiet finished yet....

Monday, May 3, 2010

I am so very thankful for all the artists in the area.

What incredible diversity and talent. And also- people are so kind! Here I am with the main man, the one who keeps the lists and believes- Mark Liebergall.
What a weekend!

Yesterday two- no three- great highlights for me:
While sitting on the front porch of the 14th colony exhibit I overheard a visitor say "there's a daily painter in here"- I blurted an interruption, "Who!?" (because I saw Jaime Grossman's work at the Maplebrook Show and I wondered if Gretchen Kelly had slipped some work by me. But he said, "Tilly Strauss"! I said, "That's me!". Turns out my new friend Steve is a local professor and a DP follower! His wife says he starts his mornings that way- checking the site with his coffee! Isn't that cool?
Second highlight- one of the cutest 6 year olds I have seen was lazily kicking the dust in the doorway while his mom, fellow artist Austin-Rolo was working the crowd. So, in the matter of distraction (for the both of us) I asked the child what his favorite work was- besides his mother's of course... and he thought for a moment and tilted his head and said, "the one with the eggs in the hair". I just could have squeezed him! After I told him it was mine- he talked non stop... and what a mind that kid has! I am so honored by him.
The third thing is... just as artist Svede showed up to pick up his work a friend of mine interested in fly fishing (life and art) came by and I was able to introduce them! Very serendipitous. Both Svede and I have work hanging this week in Cornwall Ct- I am hanging this morning in the Iron Bank and he is to be in the library. More on that later!!!! Got to go....

14TH Colony show

Bruce Morse with his Spring mixed media work... literally marking a new begining, the work was produced recently after a long hiatus of personal darkness. The wood used was all gathered on a walk along the river. Craig Wickwire and his pencil drawings were a strong hit. Here he is with Karen Culbreth's oil pastel shoes and Rosemary Barrett's Egrets. Kevin MacDonald rearranges his lamps on his amazing wood table while Virginia Lavado advises. Crowds throughout the weekend exceeded all expectations! Merchants sold. Artists sold. The economy was revitalized in a Spring for Art village wide charge! Again and again, why should we be surprised that history shows thats what art does?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Meet me in Millerton!!!!!

At Hanback gallery...
and with the 14th Colony and HerHouse...

new work hangs briefly

I call it Home. It's installed in empty realestate with 39 other artists today.
At the 14th Colony weekend exhibition in Millerton

Painting performance at the school house

Yesterday, in honor of Indian Rock School's arbor day, Rudy Eschbach and I took our show on the road! Well- we just came up with a show. He played the guitar while a crowd of 2nd grade kids from Webutuck sang the "Garden Song" and I painted the lyrics. It was a lot of fun. I had forgotten how wonderful paint can be!!!!