Follow by Email

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mandala meditations

on money and art and doing what you love inspired me to do this pen and pencil drawing. As the first assignment of the year, my studio art classes concentrated on the simplicity of radial composition with a push for a range of values to lend the work more depth. Here are some of their samples. I think some of them are very inspired.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Staying one step ahead

can be hard on a girl. Some days I take advantage of the kids being gone and I go to bed at 7pm and I dream all night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Thank you for all who bid on art work. I don't know who bought mine, but I now own a fabulous photo of a fair ride that will go in the family (my son's) collection of fair photos. It's so nice to bring new things into the home.
One of the nicest gifts I've ever received is (for the surprise and for the whimsy) addition to my art collection given to me by Leo. Leo's my baby sister's new beau. The art on the plates is by Cuban artist David Rodriguez. I googled him and found there is a shower curtain on the web of his middle plate design. I am afraid Leo has found out my obsession and mirrored it back at me. (ndp)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

LAST few hours of art auction

Do yourself (and me) a favor and check out the arts council's sponsored fairgrounds paint -shoot-out.

My studio has been dry all weekend... guests and the community picnic have been mixed with chores and paperwork, at the very least.

Oh- well... Panels 11 and 12 await!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Even the squirrels are feasting

After the harvest moon, the local community gathers together at the Indian rock schoolhouse to celebrate the end of summer, play softball, and praise all our teachers. A couple hundred showed up today and enjoyed BBQ chicken with fixings cooked by the Lions Club. Back at home...on my deck, the acorns seem to pelt down in angry bursts. When I feel brave enough I cover my head and sweep them up. I think I will gather a few of the nuts for the future... an art project, a squirrel meal, a forest, Christmas gifts?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do we stay the course or make a change?

I am astounded by the recurring question in all aspects of mid life- but especially now in the realms of finance... I hear it asked in the personal, cultural, service, and corporate boardrooms. There seems to be hovering amongst us a dense layer of fear... not enough money and no sight of change. Do we keep doing the same old thing and hope there's a turn for the best or do we make some radical cuts? Making no decision has become a choice as well.
If I die tomorrow will I have wasted today worrying about whether I have enough to get through life in the long run?
I am so grateful to have a job, even temporary as it is. There is a steep learning curve and I spend most of my week nights and wee hours worrying over lesson plans and technological operations. That's why they call it "working for a living". Not easy stuff...

But isn't it lovely? This lovely foggy lane is on my commute to work. (ndp)

Monday, September 20, 2010

In the closet

I may not have painted a masterpiece this weekend BUT I DID PAINT THE CLOSET. Last June I had the closet reconfigured so that there was a more reasonable access to the attic where the heating system- ONE of the multiple heating sytems this house thrives on- lives. Before this ladder was installed you had to sort of leap up to a shelf, bend over backwards and squeeze to the north and then to the south to fit through a hole in the ceiling. Since my husband moved out I have had to go up there to find the loose connection where bats were getting into the duct-work and I learned to replace a filter and a belt up there. My youngest son and dearest dad recently insulated the ducts and cleaned up debris left by years of visiting service men. This new closet, green and red and white, is an ode to gradual claiming of the hidden corners and inner workings of this house... Facing my worst fears and getting beyond them. (ndp)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flights of fancy

Painting on the fly... Those are keys above the head board- not a funny looking bird.
There is never enough time this last week to get a real daily painting going- but life is full and I am happily filled with the company of fabulous people, extra ordinary music, art shows, celebratory feasts, and laughter.
And work. There is always teaching theory to hold up my mind... I am going out now to take a walk.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thanks to caffeine

I find myself one week into classes. I have not had time to do my daily painting and I wonder "do any of the daily painters have full time jobs as well?" I feel a bit off balance without the discipline of it.
But it is o.k. My students are really sweet and they bring a lot of different perspectives to each class so I feel immersed in concepts about art and motives behind mark making.
This weekend will be full of art openings, and laundry, and celebrations (my niece turns 21!). Perhaps I can fit a couple paintings in. Drink up! ndp

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Capture the summer

through art. The 33 artists (including me) who painted over 48 hours at the Dutchess County fairgrounds have work placed at auction. It took me 8 minutes to figure out how to register and bid on a work today- and many of the works- by wonderful artists- have starting bids of $50! What a way to capture some of the essence of summer in the country! Even better, you will be supporting the Dutchess County Arts Council as well as the artists. The council does a ton of work advocating for the arts, educating the communities, supplimenting the schools and providing services to art related-businesses.
Hurry- the auction ends on the 27th of this month!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pulp Fiction Friday

Just spent an afternoon with a friend (Michael G) who had dropped his latest painting at a gallery for an opening this weekend and was showing another dealer his current series of paintings when he got a phone call from a third art dealer wanting to schedule a visit his studio. A triple crown!
And though I am so happy for Michael, I couldn't help but ask myself where my paintings might belong. Which galleries might be the perfect fit? I mentally traveled through art spaces of Great Barrington, MA, Hudson, NY, and Kent, CT... till the answer was "no where there". I create pulp fiction out of my own life. They are sensational images about lurid and exploitative stories from observations of a heroic main character (me?). Perhaps my artwork fits best in cheap magazines, on subway posters, and in your personal collection?
This is acrylic on panel, 7 x 5 inches. $100 plus shipping.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Need faith in a big way

WHO says we get smarter as we get older? This is one of my two classrooms. I will be teaching digital art to 12 beginers, medium level and AP students starting on Monday. It may be the craziest thing I have ever signed on to do.
It is also the reason I haven't painted much this week. I've been cramming tutorials and figuring out how to plug in the printer!
I am praying that the administration's faith in me is well founded and that I don't waste the students time with my own idiocy. I am praying for patience. It's also, I realise, one thing to know the stuff (I am learning) and another to be able to teach it (yikes). (ndp)

Monday, September 6, 2010


or.. Madeline's Harmony.
Hope the colors work?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shake her

my tears of surrender
on a stripped bed for salt.
shake her shaker
8 x 10 acrylic on wood panel

The Northern Dutchess art Studio Tour

Had a wonderful day visiting studios in the northeastern area of dutchess County. unfortunately I could only visit about 6 of the 22 artists. Too much.
I found Roxy Johnson and Christine Livesey to be particularly inspiring. They are all making art that moves from inner passion to the study of their surroundings. This is a rich county for the arts! we should support them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

HOW a painting is made

Just having put the finishing touches on a painting I started last spring- it occurs to me that the process might be of interest to some. It certainly baffles me! Where did this painting come from? How did it get here?
I really do not have a clear answer.
When I start a painting it is often from a seed of an idea. The finished image is a culmination of a dialogue through out the process... the paint talks to me. The image yells at me. I keep stabbing and "fixing" it until it rests calmly.

So... looking backwards... the idea for this untitled painting came about last spring. As I was leaving an art opening this young woman, resting her chin carefully on her fingers caught my eye... she seemed dreamy and lost... and best of all, she gave me permission to photograph her! In the early summer I found the appropriate sized panel and sketched her in...with a slight change to her bench. Immediately the redness scared me, and I felt there was too much exposed ground for the figure to float in. I wasn't sure what I was trying to say so I zoomed in to focus more on the chin resting. After a few fitful painting attempts I took the panel outside to find the right setting for my figure. I was looking for hay-bales, but just missed them. All the farmers had pulled them off the fields- In fact the sky was cloudy and threatening. I found a murky slime green pond around the corner from my house. It was perfect and in less than two hours I had a setting. THEN, the direct nature of the stag, it's veritable precious whiteness, started annoy me... my answer was to try and disguise him. I Xeroxed my piano bench for the tapestry texture and thinking of the Unicorn tapestries I slowly layered the stag with weave and maps and flowers... After another month I worked into the flesh tones of the female figure, glazed some warm tones, and added some text. This September, five months after the germinating idea, I topped off the sky with map transfers and the trees with map names...
No title has come to me of yet. I am open to suggestions. According to my habitual pattern, I know it takes me aother two years to get an understanding of what the MEANING of the painting might be. Right now I just wrestle with intuition, guts, and my eyes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


THRU ideas by the dozen... I am hardly ever in my bed. Out early and in late...The new teaching job has me mulling over lesson plans, learning new technology, and burning with inspiration.
This little painting is 8 x 10 inches. This really is my bed. And... what it stood for is all burned up. So the picture can mean anything, or something. There is a vague symbolism to it, if you ask me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hot peppers and sour limes in bed

If my "bed" is the proverbial "world" where I deal with the consequences of my decisions, then there is bound to be evidence of the ingredients for sustenance. If I am to rise up cool and sweet, my dreams will be made of the hot and sour.

These seem to be the warmest days of summer. A margarita with some salsa and chips would be nice. It works for me to paint in a series. Especially when I am stretched in my schedule and too tired to think of what to paint each day. I work through a thought in an almost literal way... Making a list of possibilities... and painting them. This is perhaps the 4th bed I've painted? I don't really know. It's a small painting- like 8 x 10 inches on wood panel. Make of it what you will, and enjoy!