Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

This vintage plastic Santa sits out all year long, but he's especially festive during the holidays. He's on skis and has room for candies in his open "bag" behind him. I can't think of a Christmas of mine he hasn't appeared in. I think he dates to about 1960 or so.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my great readers! I wish you nothing but peace, love, and happiness during this season and next year! Thank you for being so loyal and kind!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shadow Play: Porch/Bike

Winter's shadows live faster lives than their warm weather cousins, but they're also sharper, deeper, and least resemble that which is casting them. Some may say harsh. I say striking. Just a quick photoshoot as the afternoon sun changes almost second-by-second on my porch. My trusty errand bike is always at the ready.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Basic Red-White-and-Blue Winter

The garden globe now rests in a vintage milk can, much sturdier than the decaying tree stump I had arranged it in first. The scalloped bottom of a "squirrel-proof" bird house and a solitary sedum stalk create an image of shapes and solid colors. Shot from upstairs and inside with the digital zoom function, which works really well on this camera.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Voracious Readers

Some of my children are such voracious readers they always insist on sitting in the library to be read their story of the day! I  think  antique dolls and books are natural together and having a couple of pink flamingos watching over is a good thing. I find I can fit more books in this bookcase by storing them horizontally. I must have at least 1,500 books of all types and ages. I think the Mets uniform is shrinking, lol.

Friday, November 29, 2013

From the Inside These Days

Much has been dusted and rearranged for the indoor seasons this year. I wasn't going to look at everything the way it had been for so long. Some things went up to the attic, some things came down, much really stayed pretty much the same but dusted and polished.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Refinements and Updates Continue

"Buick Eight" has been refined with a photo collage and additional repetitive color work. The car image is the "bucktooth" grille of the 1950 Buick, a photo I shot in 1980 at a car show. The rest of the images were mostly shot by my father during the 1940s. If something is still hanging in my house, it's never really done.

"Grace of the Fallen" has evolved floral images and a counterpoint added to the right side. Additional pinstripes and gridwork will follow.

"Suddenly Last Season," has new layers of "needles" painted on it suggesting shadows, following in the series started by Nanny's Knitting Needles. Interestingly enough, the other morning this piece was covered in these striking early morning actual shadows.

"Out on a Limb," or "Up a Tree," I can never decide on the title of this piece, has had a layer of sepia-toned clearcoat removed—well, most of it. I left it in the low points of the textural layers. Its removal has restored some of the original brighter color paints and papers the sepia had dulled. "Dulling" was my intent at the time, but after looking at it for several years, I wanted to see the some of the original colors again. If anything, "brightening" this piece has "aged" it in an even more period-correct manner.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Dusting of Snow—11-12-'13

Garden globe was perfectly covered in the light first snow this morning. I think it looks even more like Earth now, with those scattered clouds everywhere.

Nothing fluttering by June's Butterfly bush today! Leaves hold up perfectly for a while even in this cold. They're a great sage color now.
Barely noticeable, but the brief snow shower was more intense in a few minutes. Then it stopped. Now it's frigid!

The velvety leaves of the Foxgloves provide a perfectly non-skid surface to hold the wet snow.

Even the grass is able to turn a morning's snow into a clusters of pearls.

The watering "can" won't be seeing any duty until next spring.

My little laurel bush, named Charlie Brown (as in his Christmas tree, lol), has leaves which serve nicely as platters for the light, fresh snow.

The Chipmunk's eye view of a bed of downed oak leaves. They all look like Sugar-Frosted Flakes!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November Beauty

One of my cactuses is in full bloom right now. This year it's downstairs in the foyer along with my piano. The plant is sitting on a Victrola with art hanging all around it. I shot this photo with a camera setting, 1600ISO which adds grain to low light photos. And no, I still can't use "cacti" without feeling like Jane Hathoway, the secretary on The Beverly Hillbillies, so I don't!

This cactus, with rounded leaves, blooms later in the fall closer to Christmas. It's breaking out in tiny buds though, so I think it's going to have a good year, too. Right now it's also in the downstairs foyer. The front door is to the right, and it's sitting on a dresser I've painted for a friend; it's just waiting to be picked up. Everything with a horizontal surface is fully utilized in my apartment. I captured my bare feet in this shot, lol, in the mirror below the vintage hats.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Self Portrait Polaroid, 1996-97

Self portrait taken with a Polaroid camera in 1996-97. I had just moved back in with my mom who was beginning to need some help with things at age 78-79. After New York I had found some interesting work with publishers, both full time and freelance. I began to hone my Photoshop skills but by this time I found myself managing a Sir Speedy copy center in New Haven. It turned out to be one of the best times of my adult life. My mom would die in '99 and then things began to percolate, lol.

Monday, November 4, 2013


This is a work in progress, "Flag-ish," approximately 25 x 15 inches on a new "cardboad quilt." Besides my wooden pieces, I have about a dozen of these sandwiched pieces started. I think this series of "quilts" may have a hard backing and glass fronts with small clamps and no visible frame. I've added several layers to this piece I began almost a year ago (I think...). I have perhaps 15 wooden pieces in various states of finish all around, too. These will be part of the "Needles," series begun with "Nanny's Knitting Needles." In this case the multicolored, thin "needles" are, in fact, meant to portray stitches sewing this piece together—Americans are the bright threads sewing this crumbling nation together.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Day!

I need to work on the smile a bit more, lol, but today's a happy day. On Sunday mornings I always listen to the last 5 minutes of ABC's This Week for their tribute to our fallen soldiers. They list the names and their hometowns of those killed this week in our war(s) around the world. For the first time in a long time, no Americans were killed. I was making pancakes at the time, so I finished up the batter with this [almost] smiley face!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Nanny's Knitting Needles, 2013

My newest piece, done in a brief but furious 24-hour period recently. Approximately 19 x 28 inches on pineboards once used as a blackboard.

M Y  A R T — "Nanny's Knitting Needles" is the first of a new series I've just started. I'm still using fairly rigid stripes but I'm not adhering to a graphpaper-like grid. Looking close, the grid is still there, but I'm trying to work with a type of "balanced chaos." This first piece is an homage to my grandmother. When I was just a little kid, staying at my grandmother's after Kindergarten and the early grades, she was confined to her bed or a wheelchair. We did everything together anyway. She even claimed I helped her learn to walk again as I'd stand in front of her walker and help move it forward. I remember telling her "just one more step, Nanny" and other encouraging words, and more than once I'd get a kitchen chair for her to sit down because we'd gone one step too far, lol. She used to toss her big container of knitting needles on the rug for me and have me pick up all the red ones, or blue ones. She taught me colors that way. Later she'd have me pick up all the No 4s. or 7s, as I learned my numbers. We were so close! We laughed a lot, even though she was dying of cancer and I had had my own traumatic experiences by then, but I have nothing but the warmest and most loving memories of our short time together. She died in 1969 when I was 12. I still have her container of knitting needles, and if I show this piece in public, I will make an arrangement with those needles to show my inspiration.

This next series will explore this "balanced chaos" and the second piece I'm working on has a photo collage in the background.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tomatoes for the Takin'

Quite often at this time of the year tomatoes fall off the bushes before they're fully ripe. I leave them in this basket on the porch to ripen and my neighbors and friends know they may have as many as they'd like. They're photographed on my 1950s folding cardtable, the work surface I use when I'm working on my art. I'm going to hang it, too, on the wall someday...

It's a Bee for All!

Midway through October and this variety of dahlia is attracting entire bee conventions, lol!
Using the flash gave this later afternoon shot an evening feel.
Almost appearing to hold up the center of the dahlia, three bees angle for as much pollen as possible.
This was the record. I believe there were six bees on this one flower!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Looking Forward Towards my Future Past

Kodak Instamatic photograph I shot in June of 1979, Point Clear, Alabama. It was just after I graduated from Vassar on my 22nd birthday, and I was driving across the country with my late friend, Toby Caron. She had graciously offered me a place to stay in Los Angeles to begin my new post-grad life, and we were stopping in various locations to stay a night or two with friends. This stop on the coastline of Alabama was to see our friend Ellie Crosby, whose parents owned a vintage beach house here. We ate Hush Puppies and Shrimp Grits, and were soon on our way to the west coast. Toby's roommate, Andy Hixson, soon became my best friend for the rest of his life, and I like to think of this photo as the beginning of the rest of my life. I was hopeful then, completely unaware of all the tragedies that befall almost everyone's life, but at this point in time, I was nothing but optimistic, hopeful, and very, very thrilled to be starting a new chapter!