Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Back to the Real

November 4, 2011

After my solo show of assemblages and mixed media works a year ago, I felt tired of the mess and bother, the glue and little bitsy pieces of stuff, and decided to return to painting and drawing, focusing on technique and simple subject matter.  The decision was aided by the fact that it was winter, and my “mess” studio, a closed-in garage, gets very cold…and is expensive to heat.  I set up a working space in my “clean” studio (which isn’t all that clean but at least doesn’t have paint on the floor) – the “family room” of my house.  And I started taking classes with Manhattan/Woodstock artist Chris Gallego, whose work I have greatly admired since first seeing it at his solo show at the WAAM.  (See his art at http://www.chrisgallego.com). I painted still lifes, something I’ve never done before, and found it completely engrossing, especially under his expert tutelage.  After an arduous painting of a plastic bag, pencil and paper called to me and I’ve now started a series of drawings…below is the first one, the subject of which is a rack of old clothes in a vintage shop in Virginia.  I’m obsessed now, seeing drawings in everything.  This coming weekend I’ll be doing an intensive 2-day workshop in Chris’s Woodstock studio, and I can’t wait.  It’s always surprising to me how very much more there is to learn about even the “simplest” art techniques, and how much I don’t know.

A few of my new paintings follow the drawing. I’ve sold two, and one will be in NAWA’s “Vernissage des Femmes Artistes” show in Miami during Art Basel week.

 

 

I’m a sucker for kittens.

September 16, 2011

When 17-year-old Marley died last February, I missed him.  Of course.  But oh, how quickly I grew to love my cat-free life.  No litter box scooping!  No cascades of furballs!   I could take off overnight or for a week without finding a cat sitter!  No more litter carried all over the house by his water bowl-dipped paws!   Ah, the freedom.  I figured a cat would find me when I was ready, and hoped it wouldn’t be too soon…but they’re here.  Jerry’s next door neighbor/jerk acquired a young tabby but then fell in lust with a lady and took off, dumping the cat outside.  Meanwhile, my friend Joan was driving at night on Tinker Street in Woodstock and spotted a teeny tiny cat in the middle of the road.  And guess what…yep…they’re both living with me now, though technically I’m sharing ownership with Jerry.  He kept referring to the kitten he rescued as “my cat” so his name became “Mike”,  with the prefix “Big” because…well, he is.  He’s about 3-4 months old, and little Tinker, also a tabby with sprinklings of white, was just 4 weeks when found, and is now around 6 weeks.  They were quick to become friends and start pretending they’re a hurricane and tornado as they tear through the house.  But my house feels like a home again, and I wonder how I ever could  have been happy without purring pooping shedding felines to share it with.

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Good night, Irene…

August 31, 2011

The big storm has come and gone.  Over-hyped?  Yes and no.  It surprised everyone, as Mother Nature is wont to do; the storm wasn’t as bad as predicted, but the real damage occurred where we weren’t looking for it: the small villages and hamlets in the Catskills.  And it’s awful.  I’m always excited at the prospect of bad weather, thinking it will be like watching a great disaster movie, but when it’s real, and you see its results, it’s not fun at all.  There’s enough on the news and facebook, I don’t have to relate it, just wanted to post some of the pictures I took.  It wasn’t so bad in Saugerties, probably because most of the houses are built on the hills. Lower areas flooded, trees came down, many had no

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power, but mine didn’t go out, I just lost internet for a couple of days.  A plastic chair blew over.

Tough decision

July 7, 2011

I never thought I would turn down an opportunity for a gallery show, but after wrestling with my conscience and my reasoning, I just did that very thing.  I was offered a show this coming September, at the lovely Doghouse Gallery on Phillips Road, between Saugerties and Woodstock. Tom Wright does a wonderful job with this place…it’s an old barn behind the Wrights’ home, cozy and rustic, where summers offer a series of beautiful exhibits by local artists.  Back in March it seemed like an easy prospect, such a long time away.  Well, it’s not a long time away now, and the past few months have been so crowded with activities, travel, and obligations that I haven’t had the studio time I need.  I’m currently working on a series of small still lifes and trompe l’oeil paintings, and studying with Chris Gallego…I was worn out by the messiness of assemblages and collages, and felt a need to return to basics.  And there’s a lot I never learned in college or my MFA program about painting.  I’m not sure if I learned anything at all there, actually.  I’m enjoying the process, studying and learning and working slowly, but unless I speed up and “crank out” work, I won’t have enough new pieces for a show.  I could easily show some photos instead, or old work, or drawings…but that just doesn’t feel right to me.  It feels like cheating, like just throwing stuff on walls for the thrill and attention (and possibly sales) associated with having my name on a postcard and a flashy opening.  I feel like I’m learning more than just painting; I’m learning to focus, to let work develop as it wants to without my rushing it, and that there’s a time for showing…and a time for working.

The next show at the Doghouse will feature the work of painter and sculptor Fay Wood, opening July 30.  I just created her postcard (my little job for the Doghouse)…do see the show, it’s sure to be wonderful. 4-7 PM, 429 Phillips Road.

Here’s a little sampling of my new work….

Ireland

June 16, 2011

On June 1, my daughter Jessica and I returned from our long-anticipated trip to Ireland, which neither of us had visited.  We had a wonderful time, and both fell in love with that magical island.  And it was so….Irish!  People had Irish accents!  They drank Guinness (it does taste better there) and played Irish tunes in the pubs!  The landscape was an unbelievable green, dotted with sheep and sprinkled with crumbling ruins.  We had purchased a travel package I found on Travelocity, which included air fare, car rental (well sorta, there were a bunch of extra charges when we got there) and luxury accommodations  (jeez, I just forgot how to spell that word)  for a really great price.  Jess treated me to the tickets and I bought the food…I got the better end of that stick.  We stayed near the little village of Portarlington in County Laois, about an hour southwest of Dublin (and near Moneygall, where Obama visited the day before we got there) in a fancy apartment at a spa resort.  We took day trips from there, including a day in Dublin, then had a night in fabulous Galway and a couple of nights in Limerick before heading home.  Jess drove, I navigated, and the car didn’t have a single scratch when we returned it, despite the anxiety of driving on the left.  Well, the passenger side mirror got its casing knocked off on a narrow street, but it popped right back on.

I’m still going through the zillions of photos we took because of course I have to fiddle with each one, but I’m going to start posting a few….more to come!  And YES it really was that green.  No photoshop saturation.

Studio Stuff Part 2

May 17, 2011

It was a very good idea to post my mess here and on FB…it kept me going when I really wanted to stop, and I got it all nice again.  Of course there’s a bunch of stuff that came out of the studio that hasn’t got where it’s going yet.  And the storage room….not even gonna think about that.  Here’s the after picture, and some little vignettes…as a sometimes assemblage maker, I accumulate lots of weird things, most of which come from well-meaning friends who are cleaning out their own stuff.  I have a couple of shelves that are too flimsy to support books or serious supplies, so I group them there in ever-changing arrangements.


Studio Stuff

May 13, 2011

Right now I’m taking a break from one of my least favorite chores, studio cleaning.  I have a 2-room studio; one room is the house’s family room, where I do computer work, drawing, and collage, and the other is an adjoining converted garage, where I do messy stuff. Between them is a good-sized storage room.  After my solo show at the WAAM in November, I was tired of the mess of assemblage work, and decided to simplify, spending my time painting and learning some techniques I never picked up in my non-education.  (I’m basically a self-taught artist with an MFA.) Nope, not going to digress, I’m procrastinating enough as is.  Thing is, the garage area gets really cold despite one small heat vent, and it’s expensive to heat it.  So I moved my paints and various accoutrements into the family room area, and all winter just flung (flang? flinged?) stuff into the garage studio.  Boxes from online shopping, plastic bags, dead animals, etc.  And now I’m moving back…it’s the decision-making part of organization that gets to me.    I want to put paints on a table which is covered with assemblage stuff.  Gotta move that, but where? Oh, that shelf would be good, but what do I do with the junk that’s on it now?  I could put that in a drawer…the drawer stuff in the storage room, the storage room stuff…where does it go?  On that clean table in the studio?  NO!  That’s where I started.  I keep going in circles till I’m dizzy.  And get all sidetracked by sorting out little beads and bones and rusty things. I spent half an hour with cicada wings, removing them from crumbling bodies. Once started, this job could take up the rest of my life.  Here’s what the studio looked like this morning (above), and what it looked like last year when I killed myself for the Artists’ Tour (below).  Posting the “before” should mortify me enough to get me back to work.

tattoos and masks

May 30, 2010

Yesterday I drove my friend Ann to the sweet little village of Phoenicia, where she got some new work done on the tattoo across her shoulders, at the Cosmic Art Studio.  I’ve always been fascinated by tattoos but haven’t yet gotten one of my own.  I may now, but not on my back after seeing Ann’s pain!  Next door was a magical shop where Wendy Drolma makes and sells her leather masks.

Then a bite to eat outdoors at the Alamo, surrounded by the bikers that love to ride the winding mountain roads, a visit to Lois Linet’s lovely show at Arts Upstairs, and some stops at yard sales. Nice day, but I got back too late and too tired to buy Marley’s special cat food or go to the art openings I’d planned to visit.

playing with CS5

May 23, 2010

FIrst experiment with the fake HDR feature….over the top but so much fun.

Welcome Charlie Barr!

April 16, 2010

My new grandson, my first, born to Alex and Faith yesterday at 5:15 AM, 23 inches long and 10 lbs 5 oz huge!  He is beautiful and perfect and everyone is doing fine.  Introducing Charles Oak Ruggiero Barr: