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Friday, December 24, 2010

Watercolor your Tree for the holidays

Watercolor is such a nice medium... It travels well, and lends itself to contemplative moments during the process. I like it because you have to be patient to build up your colors, and your darks. So it's an excuse to be too busy to help in the kitchen, but not too busy to pay attention.

This is one of my mom's trees, painted the winter of 2005! I understand she has one up today that is being decorated by my niece and nephew as I type this!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A gift of chicks for Zambian child!

Ann gave me some chicks through the Heiffer Project- look at their cute little coop? I've got coop envy! Isn't it fantastic?

Is it too early to start thinking of New Year's resolutions?

Along with things like exercise and consuming less salt, there is the practice of keeping a daily journal. My history in all three has been a complete failure. I used to have to hide my words. No convincing, through arguments or begging, kept them private. So I snuck pages in the backs of books, in random hidden notebooks, in letters written and never sent. It's pretty insane. Recently, as I start to organize my life, I come across excerpts of pain and risk scattered in the oddest places. Safely hid under barely worn gym gear, or even in the basement freezer. I have started to gather these loose missives and sew them all together so that I can dispose them in one final shape. Everything is out of cyclical order, but there is a spiral repetition to the theme of time and question. So
Now... should I start a real journal? I could do it with a new freedom to be authentic and open.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cold air hot air .... Spent the day baking coffee cake for my neighbors

It was a lot of fun, trying to do something nice. A girlfriend came over and cooked as well. We aren't sure if the oven temperatures are accurate because it took us a while to get everything baked. This was a recipe I use only once a year at Christmas time.
Look at my loaves! They look burnt on the top. One caved in because I was looking at them too long (the old cold air hot air thing) I was going to fill out recipe cards to go along with the gift, but is there really a point? My family sure was tolerant of my cooking skills. Can I assume my neighbors will be as well? Is it still possible to give these away?
I don't want to insult anybody...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Now here's an idea

I'm willing to toss out there. Wishbone swizzle sticks! It could be a conversation ice breaker. It could symbolize hope and potential!
... You may have guessed that I haven't been painting. Oh well.
Eddie Fisher is singing "wish you were here" and I'm going to go sit by the fire.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Doing the elf thing

with Michael... together, we made
missile toe with hugs and kisses, xxoo

A couple reasons not to work at home

the kitchen can be so distracting from my studio in the old dining area... My impulsive needs divert the focus away from my thoughtful goals. I guess it comes down to those pesky time worn questions about the balance between household and art, isolation and snuggley love, airing laundry or journal painting, and the nest versus suitcase.
Right now the music is rocking loudly, and a pot of mushroom ham soup is simmering, and I am just being. No labels. I just am.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gift ideas for the teenager and even your ex

Mill Street Loft's Junior art institute has fun classes after school February through March for the 11-14 year old on your list. I'm hoping to teach a mixed media class where we will play in assorted new experimental art media, such as Golden gel skin transfers and Derwent inktents.

Also, as Nora Ephron says, "Marriage comes and goes, but divorce is forever"- how about my 20 page art book with 40 paintings saying goodbye? It's $30 plus shipping. As a bonus I will throw in one of my "You've ruined my life" postcards with the purchase.

And if you are in the region please check out my small paintings at the Mill Street Loft (45 Pershing Ave) and at the Twisted Soul (47 Raymond Ave) in Poughkeepsie through January 19.
And several interesting (if I may say so) new works at the Hanbeck Gallery (South Center Street) in Millerton on weekends.

Thank you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Remember that shopping is a political act.

There is a chill in the air and it's perfect weather to keep you moving! Hit the local (maybe indoor ) farmers market for gift items. Spend money where you want it to come back to you- i.e. locally, on the arts, on sustainable organizations, on charity, on life experiences...
Unbelievable beauty-the daily painters calendar:

Unique Christmas cards by Roxie at

Musical contribution to contemporary composers music project.

life experiences- Private art lessons or even group painting parties (everyone goes home with a painting!) at my studio-

Friday, December 10, 2010

Who's doing cards this year?

When filling out your Christmas cards this year take ONE CARD and SEND it to this address:

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington , DC 20307-5001

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Money Obsession and current woes

I want to paint more joyous images but looking through time and art history I see the unforgetable fringe characters in paintings of both rural and city scenes. They find their way into these collage and finger painted images... Hunger and exhaustion are taking a toll. The elderly, the mental patient, the addict, and the convicted have limited resources. I heard a lot of their stories. Even the four legged friends have spokespeople. They need some safety net. Will there ever be enough money? Will it be spread equitably? Why should it? How do we judge a society? What role does art play in the lives of the most needy? One answer is in my favorite book for this season is Frederick by Leo Lionni.

Let me bring a little sunshine this winter... it is a small wish, and hope.

Monday, December 6, 2010

First snow

Dad's army truck by the barn
acrylic on paper
5 x 7 inches, unframed
$91 plus shipping

the chickens in their winter palace

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh a tree? Or not a tree?

Today I struggled with the big debate- a tree or not this year? With no kids at home, what is the point?
Perhaps the need stems because it's such an icon of the season. And, really, I do love the lights and the scent of a tree. Of course I always have a fake one because I can't stand the senseless mass extermination and disposal... I know! My sisters think I am a freak. I nip evergreen boughs to decorate the mantel from the woods for the scent. My children once begged to have a live (really a dying) tree, but I just can't do it. So the question is... do I lug down from the attic the 27 piece fake spruce?
Here is a painting of my mother's tree. She always has a giant one---brought in with a flatbed, and it is wrapped with her mother's satin embroidered sash that says: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another Reason to go to Poughkeepsie

The Mill Street Loft @ 45Pershing Avenue is holding a reception for a Small Works Holiday Show this Sunday December 5th from 4-6pm. I will have several paintings there... among pieces by Carol Pepper-Cooper, Claudia Gorman, "the" Todd Poteet and others! Plan 9 Jazz Guitar Trio will be giving a performance during the reception. A portion of the sales will go to support the incredible work that the Mill Street Loft does. It's one mutually satisfying way of stepping in to help offset the inevitable legislative cuts in funding. The exhibit will remain up with works for sale until January 20, 2011.
Keep in mind- It's right (sort of) around the corner from the Twisted Soul where my other works are hanging through January 19th. I have replaced the sold paintings with others so you may need to get back there and check it out! ( And this is sponsored by the Mill Street Loft as well)

Obsession over the money

Last night at the Badavon the public was invited to speak up about the proposed budget...
it was a long long night.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Imagine no money for the arts

It's easier than you think. This evening the county legislators will hold a public hearing on their budget cuts. As of this moment there is no money allocated to the arts. No money for artists to work with school children, no money for 40% of the local theaters' operating budgets, no money for the hospital's healing arts programs, no money for the stadiums music concerts... As a board member of the county arts council and a working artist and teacher I have a passionate interest in things being resolved differently. It would cost each taxpayer 67 cents a year to keep the arts funding level to what it was this year (which was hugely cut from previous years). Imagine if people spoke up and said they thought they could afford to spend that 67 cents!
Lack of imagination may be a poverty of society, but soon we may have a whole generation lacking exposure to anything other than their TV and their cell phone.
Imagine what we would be missing. Is anyone interested in a show of paintings only half there, a concert of music only 1/3 played, a film without editing or ending...? (ndp)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Organizing the X files

I have barely started my lists and I KNOW some of you are almost done with your shopping! My day was spent at home filing, sorting, and narrowing paperwork while it rained a torrential storm outside. The power went out for a while. If it had been any colder it would have been an incredible blizzard- this IS the first day of December. It's been a mild winter so far. But not like New Orleans...
What a gift that was to be there last week. I got so much joy in simply being with my sons again. What would the right gift be for you? Here is one of my works from...2007? It's painted Mexican walnut-dyed paper, 5 x 7 inches ($91)