Posts Tagged ‘party’

catching up

October 8, 2009

Well, this is weird.  I wrote and posted, and then saw that the entire first paragraph had disappeared…now, what was I saying?  That the Doghouse Gallery opening was last Saturday evening, and it was a terrific party.  Lots and lots of people came, lots of wine was drunk and cheese eaten.  Mary Anne and I both sold a couple of things, which was wonderful.  I would have liked to sell more, of course…had  hoped to pay for my framing costs…but I didn’t really expect to, and I’m delighted to have sold anything at all. Nice things were said about the work, and it was gratifying to have it seen, and to be in the company of so many dear friends…and some new friends.

These events are draining for the artists showing work…I am NOT complaining, mind you, not at all, and of course it was great fun…but after the stress of getting everything finished, framed, hung, polished, cards and invitations made and sent, and then the high of the opening itself where you try to talk to everyone and remember names and not spill wine on yourself, or drink too much of it…well, then there is a sort of crash.  It takes a few days for the adrenalin to depart, days in which all I want to do is sit and stare into space.  I’ve learned to accept this period and just go with it; I’m going to be unproductive anyway so I might as well enjoy the little island of calm.  I am managing to do some much overdue house-cleaning; I can’t seem to get work done in the studio AND keep the place tidy at the same time, it’s gotta be one or the other.  There’s more to do, but the bills are paid, the cobwebs brushed from the corners, the papers cleared off my desk.

And then there’s the reflection, the doubt…why do we artists keep doing this?  I think of all the hours spent making stuff, sometimes full of joy and sometimes anguish, the expense of framing, the hauling and hanging, only to bring home yet another pile of pictures no one wants and find a place to store it.  I can only say I do it because it’s what I do.  I don’t think I can say I love it, though often I do…do I “have” to do it, as many art-makers say?  Maybe.  I don’t know; I wonder if that’s just a romantic myth.  I do get grumpy if I go for very long without making something, that’s true.

So what’s next? — a question that follows every such event. I’ll have a show in the next few months at Oriole 9 in Woodstock, and next November a solo show at WAAM, more reasons to keep on working.  Right now I need to shift my focus to figuring out ways to make an income; having recently been dropped by my longest and most faithful illustration client, my financial situation is on the verge of being dire, and my job skills are nil.  Well, there’s always Wal-Mart; they might need a greeter!

Opening, me with guests, and Tom, the gallery ownerwe drank a bit of door


what, it’s May already?

May 4, 2009

And I didn’t post a single thing in April?  Damn.  I meant to.

What are there more of than stars in the sky, droplets in all the oceans?  Answer: pine needles in my back yard.  I’ve been raking them up for days and days, heaving huge heaps of them into the wagon my wonderful next-door neighbor Jim drives to the dump.  And still there are more, and more, and more. And leaves and twigs and branches.  Another dear friend, Steve, cleaned up my front yard for me for a reasonable price, but I really have to count pennies now so instead of hiring someone as I usually do, I picked up the rake and am going at it.  I don’t usually fret much about the yard, but there’s going to be my daughter Jessica’s wedding reception there in August, so it needs to look all clean and trim and spiffy and flowery, and I’d rather spend my yard budget on pretty things than raking. Can’t do too much at a time because my back starts screaming at me, but I have to admit it almost feels good to be doing physical work after the long sedentary winter.  I am SUCH a slug.

fading magnolia blossom

fading magnolia blossom

Now I’m about to take my sweaty self to the shower…blisters are stinging, and the tickling at the back of my nose is warning me of sneezing fits to come.  Off to deliver art to WAAM and Varga (if she’s around today) for this coming weekend’s shows.

pocket Buddha

December 13, 2008

This past week’s ice storm kept me indoors, so I heated up the studio and got to work.  We didn’t get many problems around here…it was very wet, but the streets didn’t freeze and the trees didn’t fall; it was another story on the other side of the river.  My eye exam got cancelled because the optometrist had a tree across her cul-de-sac, and my son and daughter-in-law just informed me they’ve been without power in Elizaville since Thursday night.  They’re coming over tonight with their cat Liam to warm up.

Back to the studio–with no biggish projects in mind, I busied myself working on some ACEO’s…(Artists’ Cards, Editions and Originals–same thing as ATC’s –artists’ trading cards–except they’re to sell rather than trade.) I want some for gifts, and I do hope to sell some.  With no illustration work, finances are tight, and I figure a bit of income here and there from little things might help keep me afloat for awhile.  And they’re so much fun.  I pulled up images and quotes from Buddha, and I’m making the cards with pockets, into which I insert a smaller card with an image on one side and a quote on the other.  Here’s the first completed one:


Now the studio’s heater is going, and pretty soon I’ll be able to head in there with scissors and glue.  Meanwhile, a word about some art hereabouts that’s worth checking out: I’m in a great little holiday show with about a dozen artists at Michael Nelson’s gallery on Partition Street here in Saugerties.  We had a great crowd at the opening, and it’s a lovely show.  My friend Patti Gibbons has work in a nice show at the Donskoj Gallery in Kingston–I haven’t been yet, but I know it’s worth seeing.  Last Saturday we went up to Hudson where my friend Anique Taylor is showing some of her recent gorgeous work at Deborah Davis Fine Art.  The gallery is beautiful, and Anique’s work is stunning.  Don’t miss it if you live around here!  img_55291

Another Saturday event was a crafts fair in Tivoli, where  my son Alex and his wife Faith displayed their wares: Faith’s wonderful ceramics, and Alex’s hand-built amps.  Here he is with a small sampling:

alex-craft-fairI was impressed by the sculptural beauty of the amps, and I continue to be amazed that he knows how to put these complicated things together.  Here’s the card he designed, just in case anybody out there needs an amp!

alex-card-finalOkay, that’s enough for today…back to my Buddha pockets!

WAAM holiday show

November 19, 2008

The holiday show at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum will be opening next week; this is the piece I put in.  I helped sign people in, and there was a lot of good work at great prices…well worth a visit if you’re in the area.  This is a collage I did a few months ago.


To Kansas and Back

November 4, 2008

Today I stopped at the carwash on my way to vote, and got 3,000-plus miles’ worth of dirt rinsed off my new Subaru.  I cleared out all the trip-trash, washed the mats, vacuumed and polished it, and it’s ready for its second oil change in 2 weeks.  Jerry and I returned from our road trip last evening; I deposited him and his stuff after a celebratory dinner at La Florentina, then came home to my very happy cat, who purred and rubbed against me all night.  It’s nice to be missed.  I spent much of the night in a half-awake state wondering which motel I was in…my house and life always feel strange to me after time away, and it takes awhile to settle back into my routines.  This morning I was dumping hundreds of junk emails when there was a pounding on my door; I opened it to a police officer asking me if anything was missing from my car.  It seems that at about 2-3 AM some teenagers from Middletown ransacked all the cars on Boxwood Court and many more in the neighborhood, stealing Ipods and GPS devices.  He had looked into my car (how embarrassing, with all the junk strewn everywhere!) and we checked…GPS and Ipod were safe and sound, and I don’t know why I was the lucky one on the street–usually I do lock the car, but I was tired and left it open to greedy hands.  Maybe the thieves were grossed out by the mess, or maybe the light that goes on automatically in my studio when the door is opened came on, if they came near the house–I don’t know, but I’ll keep the thing locked–and clean–from now on.


It was a great trip.  We set the Garmin to the address of my old friends John and Elaine Brewer, in Lawrence, KS, and adjusted it to find out-of-the way eating spots and motels.  How easy that thing makes travel. img_4713We got a late start on Wednesday, and stopped in Lock Haven PA that night, Carrolton Kentucky the second night…a grim dark town where we were lucky to find a pizza place open after passing on the local dive, where desultory youths tossed darts, slurped Bud, and chewed on greasy unidentifiable substances.  img_4738Boonville MO was our third stopover, a rather pretty place where we dined in a high-ceilinged old hotel, and on Saturday we landed in Lawrence which was mobbed with football fans, a party at every house. (KU lost the game badly but the celebrants were having a grand time anyway.)  Elaine has created a very beautiful living space in their large, graceful Arts and Crafts house, full of elegant furniture, plants, and art, a grand piano and two harps.  She’s a harpist and a Rolfer, and Jerry and I each got treated to an hour of body work. John is the primary cook, and he dished up fabulous Indian dishes for us.  John and I have known each other literally since birth–his father delivered me–and I’ve known Elaine since she and John were dating in graduate school.  HIghlights: the evening I sat back and just listened to Jerry and John deep in conversation while playing with John’s Soma Cubes and Elaine and a friend practiced harp and flute pieces.  img_4839The Doggy Halloween party at a local jazz place, all wiggly tails and silly costumes, ballerina dogs, skunk dogs, clown dogs. img_4830 Being guests of honor at John’s weekly “salon” session with his good friends Sally and Christy, both delightfully eccentric women.  img_4872Revisiting spots I knew during my first grade year spent there, when my dad had a Sabbatical at KU and my brother was a student.  Food.  Lots of food.  Art shows.  Watching Chris Brewer dance wildly with his DDR thing–a computer game activated by elaborate dance steps. The Spencer Art Museum at KU, where the fire alarm went off and we were hustled out an exit and had to wait till the firetrucks left before I could retrieve my coffee mug, which was left at the front desk.  (Maybe they thought it was a bomb??) Elaine’s garden–what a massive and gorgeous piece of work, an oasis of stone walls and paths, ponds and waterfalls.  We left on Tuesday morning, to head on west to Hays, my hometown, where one of my oldest and dearest friends, Pete Felten, stone sculptor, lives.  But this is enough for now; I’ll add some photos (I took hundreds, mostly out of the car windows) and continue the rest of my travel tale tomorrow.img_4736

First Posting

September 7, 2008

I created this blog awhile ago, but have resisted actually writing anything…where to start?  How to overcome the self-consciousness of putting myself out here in blogland? Scanning my bookshelf yesterday, I noticed a copy of Pema Chodron’s “Start Where You Are,” so I figured that the way to do it is to just do it, where I am.  It’s a sunny Sunday morning, and for a change I have a whole day with no place I have to be at any particular time.  Much as I treasure the activities and friends that fill my life, I need these unstructured times, days when I can ignore the clock and immerse myself in a project or fritter the hours away. My plan at the moment is to start working on embellishing a blank white cigar box for the upcoming box auction at WAAM, the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum. Beyond that, I don’t know, and I like not knowing.

Highlights of the past few days: Friday I  joined 4  women artist friends an a trip to The Fields, a sculpture garden in Omi (pronounced Oh my) up near Chatham, across the river. The heat made the thought of exploring 100 acres somewhat daunting, but we took our time and enjoyed the delight of coming upon wonders rising from the grass or emerging from behind trees or from the pond.

(Hmmm, I think I just inserted pictures; don’t know how this thing works.)  Hot and weary, we found a restored hotel in Chatham with a delightful tavern where we had a great lunch. (When the waiter recited the choices of salad dressings, I was bewildered and asked him, “did you really say Pork Rind dressing?”  He looked at me as if I were nuts and replied, “Port Wine!”)  That evening, J and I treated our friend Steve to a long and leisurely dinner at Reginato Ristorante in Lake Katrine, an old-fashioned place with good food and lots of little courses.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the cozy Village Diner and shopped for yellow tomatoes, delicate green beans, and crunchy arugula at the Farmers Market in the parking lot of the Saugerties Historical Society.  As we headed toward the car with laden bags, we paused to admire the absolute cuteness of this town: traffic stopping for an elderly shopper making her way across the street to the home for seniors, next door to the school, down the street the diner, the church spire, the Orpheum Theater…it looked like a set for a movie from the fifties.

The afternoon was steamy, so I switched on the AC and settled on the sofa with the cat to watch a documentary, My Kid Could Paint That, about Marla Olmstead, a four-year-old “abstract expressionist” prodigy who swept the art world a few years ago…until Sixty Minutes questioned her authorship of the work.  It brought up a lot of questions about what makes art “art,” the role of parents, the importance of having a story when it comes to marketing, and more.  If it looks like art, is it art?  Is it less valuable if the dad helped?  Marla had no concept in mind, no training or intention.  She wasn’t the one who chose the size and shape of her canvas, she just was able to smear colors in an appealing way.  Hans Hoffman, abstract painter and teacher, stated it well: “The difference between art produced by children and great works of art is that one is approached through the purely subconscious and emotional, and the other retains a consciousness of experience as the work develops and is emotionally enlarged through the greater command of the expression-medium.”  The documentary was well-done and quite fascinating, and I’m still chewing on the thoughts it brought up.  If you get it (Netflix) be sure to watch the extra features; they are equally interesting.

The day ended with a friend’s fiftieth birthday party, in a ceramics studio between here and Woodstock.  Her kids and sister did the place up well with decorations, bubbles, poppers, candles and champagne and music, and we all gobbled up some amazing tamales purchased at the Woodstock Farmers Market.  I’m going to be first in line there next week.  It was well worth the mud and rain provided by the skirt tails of Hurricane Hannah.  And I got to use the fancy new umbrella I bought this summer in Halifax.

Okay, I did it, I done wrote a blog entry.  Maybe I’ll do it again.