slightly wonky

September 5, 2014, 10:34 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., Photography, travel | Tags: , , , ,

You know those bumper stickers that say, “I survived blahdy blah“?  I feel that I need one of those for these last three weeks of summer vacation.  I have a bumper crop of gray hairs as material proof of the ordeal.  (Because I have frizzy hair, my gray hairs look EVEN WORSE than most people’s…pity my hideousness…)

During this three week period, I noticed that the words “play date” would often put me into a mild panic.  It might be because most of my son’s play dates usually devolve into complete pandemonium.  Can one use the word “tsunami” as a verb…as in, “My son and his friend have “tsunamied” the house?”  Possibly.  (An image of our post-play date living room could be used for the wikipedia entry.) I spend most of the time being the “house goalie,” trying to deflect the path of destruction that my six-year old son and his friends are typically on.  Sometimes, I can calm their craziness with a bowl of cheddar goldfish and lemonade.  Sometimes, I just rock absentmindedly in the corner as I clutch the bag of cheddar goldfish for dear life.

I’m not really cut out to be a mom, but I’m doing my best.

I had the bright idea of taking my son to NYC for a couple of days, in order to show him some tall buildings and to escape the craziness at home.  The trip actually turned out better than expected, as I was worried that he would hate it for some reason.  We didn’t get a chance to visit anyone, as we weren’t there long enough, so we just ran around…the two of us.


I had the bright idea of finding a hotel with a pool.  That large object at the top of my picture is my finger, not a flesh-colored UFO landing on my son’s head.  This was the first thing that we did in NYC.  I know…not very NYC…big whoop.


We went to the top of the Empire State Building.  He liked it, but didn’t like the crowds of people.  I bought the  “express” tickets, as we would never had made it if we had to wait in line for hours.  Actually, “I” wouldn’t have made it.  I would have just slipped back into my catatonic state again, much like my reaction to play dates.


My son had the wherewithal not to practice parkour when we were up there.  Apparently, he does have a sensible bone in his body!  I take no credit for that.


We spent the ENTIRE DAY at the American Museum of Natural History.  That’s a fantastic place. I normally avoid places where lots of people and kids congregate, but this was really cool.  (Probably because it didn’t feel like there were lots of people and kids there.)  They had an amazing exhibit of LIVE SPIDERS.


I am deathly afraid of spiders…so these huge, hairy ones petrify me.  Yes, that’s my finger in yet ANOTHER photograph…but this time to show scale.  (don’t all professional photographers do that???)  That thing was HUGE.  Beyond gross.  It’s so enormous that I can’t even call it a spider, but must refer to it as a “thing.”  You couldn’t pay me to touch one of those creatures.  I stopped myself from yelling, “SO BEYOND GROSS!!!” at each of them, so that I would not taint my son’s opinion of them.  Those things have eight eyes, so I bet they could see my revulsion.  If one of them had jumped or made a sudden move, I would have lost my mind.


In spite of my stress at seeing the spiders, the museum was generally calm.  See how it doesn’t feel crowded?  That kind of tourist attraction…I can tolerate.  For some reason, the Museum of Science in Boston is always a madhouse.  I can’t go there.  I’d rather remain dumb in my living room than go there and learn something.


We also had some time in Central Park.  Hallelujah!  Something that mommy will let me climb on!  I would just go into another mild panic when he ran out of view, but I had no bag of goldfish to clutch and comfort me.


And, of course…bubble tea.  Luckily, it was noisy in that cafe.  The hipsters wouldn’t have appreciated our loud slurping to eat every last blob.

We got back from NYC, and almost immediately left for a week at the Cape.




Of course, that last picture is from Provincetown, and, of course, my son found that wildly entertaining.  We tried to get tickets for the show, but were told that it was only for cool people.  (Just kidding…about the tickets…)

We found some neat stuff at the beach:


Okay…so, I obviously added the eyeballs in Photoshop.  But isn’t this rock BEGGING for eyeballs???  If this were a Pokemon, it would be called “Flobu” and it would do 30 points of damage by either sitting or shedding on its opponent.  (Please send help.  I think that I’m still recovering from 24/7 mommy duty…)


We caught a pretty fantastic sunset over the water one evening.  We also ate gobs of ice cream.

So, thank god we’re back home and have returned to our normal routine.  Now, you can be sure to have more blog posts and more minutiae!  I’m thinking that the topic of my next post will be:


Are you a user?

What’s your tip of choice?

Are you careful?

Or, do you use them with reckless abandon?

Discuss…a la Linda Richman.




Christmas is coming…and I’m getting fat…

Okay, just kidding.  Sort of.  I seem to be the only member of the family who is interested in making a wide variety of Christmas cookies and eating them.  Meanwhile, my son is still sloooowly making his way through his Halloween candy.  I kid you not.  He gets to have 2 pieces per day.  Is that bad?  Probably.  Anyway…his memory for what candy is in his plastic pumpkin is like a steel trap…I don’t dare throw out the candy or eat some, lest I be willing to bear the tsunami of vitriol that I’ll receive from him.  He’s definitely my kid.

a-20131220-03What are those, you may ask?  Well, I’m the over-achiever mommy who had to lovingly hand craft with a glue-gun these delightful gifts for my son’s kindergarten class.  Not only am I up to my eyeballs in Christmas nonsense…my son’s birthday is Christmas day, so I’m also managing birthday nonsense.  BTW…craft fur is pure evil…I may have a sort of mild case of “craft fur mesothelioma”, as a result.

In the true holiday spirit of giving, I bought myself this book recently:

a-201312202LOVE IT!  Not only are the Gee’s Bend quilts amazing…but the architectural photos and references are beautiful enough to satisfy this lapsed architect.  These quilts seriously put to shame all of the boring, traditional quilts and fabrics that are today’s norm.  I bask in their artistic and crafty glory.

So, I did manage to shovel my way out of the house to see some gorgeous art & fashion.  (No, I wasn’t looking at what’s stuck on our kitchen refrigerator or at my son’s mismatched/backwards outfits.)  I went to the MFA and the Peabody Essex Museum!!!

First…the Sargent show at the MFA:

a-20131220-06John S. Sargent, Alice Runnells James, 1921, watercolor

Oh. My. God.  Sargent’s watercolors are STUNNING.  Look at her hand!  Look at her face!  Look at the smushed pillow!  INCREDIBLE.  (Please remember that this photo looks like complete garbage in comparison to the actual painting.)  His watercolors are phenomenal.  Watercolor painting, for those of you who have never attempted to tame that wild beast, is VERY difficult.  It’s difficult because you’re trying to control pigmented water over the surface of paper…the pigment can settle in weird ways (if you’re incompetent, like me)…the colors are translucent, and thus every mark is indelible.  There is so much that is so amazing about these works.  With the most minimal of marks, he creates images that are luminous and, at a distance, appear nearly photographic.  In a way, his painting are simultaneously abstract and realistic.

a-20131220-07John S. Sargent, Venice: I Gesuati, 1909, watercolor

Can’t you just get a sense of the cloudy day in Venice?  Look at that doorway!

a-20131220-08John S. Sargent, Magnolias, 1908, watercolor

The shadows and dappled light on the water are gorgeous.  You can practically see this bough, weighed down with its enormous blooms, bobbing in the breeze.  MUST SEE.

Be warned…it might be crowded.  It was when I went.  I feel that when you are at a crowded exhibit, you need to be hyper-vigilant about your gallery etiquette.  For example…please don’t stand directly in front of a painting chit chatting with your friend about what so-and-so said the other day.  Go stand in the middle of the room and do that.  Better yet, go get a coffee.  Please don’t stand in front of a painting for more than, literally, sixty seconds.  Come back to it if you need more time…there are thirty other people who’d also like to see it before the museum closes.  Need I say more?

There was also an amazing photography exhibit:  She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World.  These images were gorgeous, albeit often disturbing.

a-20131220-04Rula Halawani, Untitled I from Negative Incusions Series, 2002, pigment print

This negative image is so frightening and intense.  These is something so eerie about the tone reversal…it does make it look like an electrified night scene.  I also can’t imagine how Halawani felt standing right there to take the picture.

a-20131220-05Rula Halawani, Untitled XIII from Negative Incusions Series, 2002, pigment print

Again…look how horrendous the subject matter is.  She looks in danger of being crushed by a falling chunk of concrete.  Was this her home?  Did she know the people who lived there?  So unbelievably sad.

SIGH.  And now…to lighten the mood…besides making myself a cup of tea and eating my 27th holiday cookie of the day, I’ll show you the exhibit: Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion at the Peabody Essex Museum.

a-20131220-09Issey Miake, Dress & Coat from Spring/Summer 1995

As a complete addict to Project Runway, I was GIDDY at the sight of all of this STUNNING couture.  I have also dabbled in sewing (i.e. struggling to sew a straight line), so my jaw dropped with so many of these fashions.

a-20131220-10Junya Wantanabe, Comme des Garcons, Autumn/Winter 2000

For some reason, I wish that they had chosen mannequins that were more “abstracted.”  Maybe that’s too “Sears” of me?  Who knows.  Look at that collar!!!  Even the skirt, so plain in comparison, is gorgeous.

a-20131220-11Tao Kurihara, Comme des Garcons, Spring/Summer 2010

Luckily, they did have some videos showing runway shows.  This was good, as you miss how the clothing moves if you only see it on a mannequin.  This dress would probably be pretty fantastic worn by some moody model stomping along.  It becomes less so when I imagine myself in it (especially after my 27th holiday cookie for the day…)  DRAMATIC SIGH.

Happy holidays to everyone!  I hope to make it to 2014 with my sanity intact…albeit in a larger clothing size…

Oh well.


We’ll have plenty…
October 26, 2013, 8:48 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., painting, Photography | Tags:

Has anyone out there signed up for a CSA?  We just did.  I may have made a grave mistake.  This is what I’ve been told that we’re going to receive on Saturday:

Lettuce, bok choy, broccoli,cauliflower, spinach, peppers, kale, escarole, tomatillos, arugula, napa cabbage, parsley, radicchio, leeks, salad turnips, celery, 6# carrots, 4#potatoes, 2#beets, kohlrabi, cabbage, fennel, garlic, onions, 3# sweet potatoes.

Are. You. Kidding. Me?????

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THE ENTIRE PRODUCE SECTION OF WHOLE FOODS IN MY KITCHEN?????  SIX POUNDS OF CARROTS???  I really think that this is going to be a disaster.  We can barely fit three people in our kitchen, never mind sharing that space with 20 pounds of produce.  Ack!  If anyone out there has some words of wisdom for me, let me know.  I’m thinking vats of soup…forever…

My son and I have continued on our shrinky-dink kick.  Here are the latest creations:


What I love about these is that they become PERMANENT drawings.  I seriously think they’re indestructible.  What’s not to love?  He even makes them double sided, so that they’re drawn on both sides…brilliant!

I did manage to see some art this week.  WOO HOO!  I went to Danforth Art in Framingham…I love that place… They have an exhibit now of the work of Porfirio DiDonna and the New England Photography Biennial.  Nice!  Here are a few of the highlights…

a-egyptian gold

Porfirio DiDonna, Egyptian Gold, 1979, Oil, gesso and graphite on linen

Gorgeous color…


Porfirio DiDonna, Untitled (PDN 86), 1971, Acrylic and graphite on canvas

I love how dark this is.  The dots make me think of Aboriginal art.  I like how it’s both orderly and chaotic…


Porfirio DiDonna, Red Hook (PDN 224), 1977, Oil and gesso on linen

This painting makes me think of a piece of lacquered furniture, with the dots being tiny nails.  Beautiful!


Porfirio DiDonna, Untitled (PDN 353), 1971-72, Acrylic and graphite on canvas

Minimal and mesmerizing…She also had more colorful paintings and also drawings, but I somehow gravitated towards these works

The photography biennial was also great.  I loved how many things there did NOT seem like photographs (nothing against photos…mind you.)


Noritaka Minami, Facade, 2011, Archival pigment print

Ahh…so cool.  Actually, I love this building, so what’s not to love about its photo?  This building is the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo, built in 1972.  Here is an image of the interior:


Noritaka Minami, B1004, 2012, Archival pigment print

Pretty cool, right?  I hear that it’s slated for demolition, which would be TRAGIC.  I was lucky enough to see it in 1997, but I didn’t get to see the interior.  No one invited me into their capsule.  Probably for the best.


Steve Duede, Evanescent I, 2013, Photograph, C inkjet print

I love this image.  It obviously makes me think of my own series which uses thrown about food.  The colors are gorgeous, and you can practically feel the humidity from the rotting veggies, fruits, flowers, etc.  The color of the grapefruit rind is amazing.  I wish that my trash looked this good.  (Right now, I’m fighting a cold…so my picture would be mostly of wadded up kleenex.  TMI?)


Andy Anello, 90 Worms From My Father’s Garden, 2013, 90 silver gelatin prints

Yes, all of those delicate little squiggles are worms.  I LOVE how these prints look:


Andy Anello, 90 Worms From My Father’s Garden (detail), 2013, 90 silver gelatin prints

I apologize for my bad photography of what are very beautiful B&W images of worms with grainy bits of earth still stuck to them.  Unlike typical photo paper, this paper looks like it has an actual tooth to it.  Lovely.


Samuel Quinn, Untitled, Archival inkjet print

This is from his series, “A Houses Echo.”  PLEASE look at his website to see the photos in this series.  I love this image.  While the landscape is just a projection on the wall (I think), I imagine instead that the hallway has been transformed into a camera obscura (even though the image should be upside down…)  The natural beauty transposed onto the garment and the decaying interior is really compelling and haunting.  Brilliant!!!!


Samuel Quinn, Untitled, Archival inkjet print

Another amazing photo…I want this one.  I love the color palette, the composition, the emptiness, the space…GORGEOUS.  I think that this image by Quinn might be my favorite from the show.


Jim Nickelson, Pyrotechnic #53, Archival pigment print

The deep umber color of this image is gorgeous.  Look at the detail of it:


Jim Nickelson, Pyrotechnic #53 (detail), Archival pigment print

Aren’t those delicate and smoky marks stunning?  SO beautiful.  I suppose this is a negative of the actual image?  I have no idea, as I’m not a photographer.  This also appeared to have been printed on a matte, toothy paper.  Love it.  Please check out his website…there are more in this series.

So, wish me luck with this CSA pick up…send me recipes…let me know if you want a carrot or two…we’ll have plenty.  Carrot soup…carrot stew…carrot muffins…carrot cake…carrot puree…carrot au gratin…carrot pancakes…

I may be a lovely shade of orange by November’s CSA pickup.

Still lifes on steroids…WALCAM!

I know…I know…it’s been TWO WEEKS since I last posted.  Sigh.  Things are just so busy.  Hopefully, to make up for missing the past two Fridays, this post is an image-filled extravaganza, so hang onto your triple espresso…(and get me one while you’re at it!  Make it a decaf though…I have plenty of self-induced stress, so I don’t need to rely on caffeine to put me in a state of hysterics…)

So, my big news is that the group show that I’m participating in (Still Life Lives!) opened last week at the Fitchburg Art Museum.  WOO HOO!  I was thrilled to see some of you come out to see it.  Thank you!!!  I totally appreciate the time and energy it took to head out there.  I hope that everyone found it worthwhile, as I think it’s a very interesting show.


Elizabeth Kostojohn, Nameless Problem #2 & #1, 2013

Here are two drawings from my new series!  (Yes, that’s food.)  I think that they looked pretty good.  It’s hard not to panic when your work is on the wall.  But, as I wasn’t wearing a name tag, I managed to calm down a bit…


Elizabeth Kostojohn, 6 drawings from Hurt & Damage series

These are more of my drawings!  I’m happy to see them up.  This show is kind of a big deal for me, as I’ve got two bodies of work up…never mind being amongst the super talented people that are also participating.  I kind of wish that we had name tags, as I would have liked to have met some of the uber talented artists!

But enough about me…here is some of the AMAZING work that is up…


Emily Eveleth, Snake Eyes, 2000, Oil on Canvas

I wish I had a wall in my house big enough for this painting.  It is stunningly beautiful.  Eveleth’s mastery of oil painting captures the soft and sticky essence of her subject in an intense gaze.  This painting alone is reason enough to come to the show.  This painting is breathtaking and mesmerizing.  It’s gorgeous even on this lousy computer screen. It will blow your mind in real life…


Mary Kocol, White Crabapple Blooming Branch, 2011, photograph

Kocol had several photographs from her Ice Garden series.  These are AMAZING.  In spite of being frozen, there is something very dynamic about these images.  I think that’s particularly true of the images where you can clearly see the sky beyond.  I keep thinking, “POW!” in my head.  (Please don’t ask me to explain myself…I am neither a writer, nor an art critic…)  So beautiful.  I love it.


Georgia O’Keeffe, Untitled (Pink Camellia), 1935, Pastel

Oh yes…I forgot to mention that this show also features work from FAM’s permanent collection!  Amazing, right?  This work by O’Keeffe is in the same room as the Kocol photos…brilliant!  It’s like rubbing elbows with celebrities!


Elisa H. Hamilton, An Apple a Day, 2013, Mixed media on paper

Hamilton has an amazing talent with color.  Each of these drawings really pop with vitality.  Please take a look at her website!!!  I also love her drawings of domestic interiors and objects, especially “Vermont Studio Portrait.”  Very impressive.


Cynthia Greig, Nature Morte no. 18, 2010, chromogenic development photograph

Okay.  This is a PHOTOGRAPH.  I kid you not.  I believe that the artist paints everything white, and then actually outlines the objects with charcoal…THEN photographs it.  My brain still can’t wrap itself around this.  It’s so clean and beautiful!  I’m amazed at her analog virtuosity.


Victor Schrager, Untitled #7 and #472, 2011, Pigment print

These gorgeous, saturated, soft focus still life photos are the work of Victor Schrager.  I love the vivid colors and in focus/out of focus combinations.  Amazing, right?


Kathleen Volp, Wan-Li RUMBLE and Still Life with Impostor and Wan-li, 2008, Mixed media, oil and aluminum on panel.

These pieces are enormous, glossy, and embossed METAL.  No joke.  Volp’s work always amazes me…it is always compelling, masterful in technique, and truly impressive.  Please take a look at her website so that you can appreciate the range of work that she does. Mind-boggling…


 Evelyn Rydz, Gulf Pile I, 2012, Pencil and Colored Pencil on Drafting Film

This is an AMAZING and delicate drawing.  Rydz is my “drafting film god.”  She and I both use pencil/colored pencil on drafting film.  I bask in her drawing brilliance. Her work is so delicate and GORGEOUS.  She often draws piles of objects that have washed ashore.  I’m sorry that this is not a good photo…it does not do her work justice.  I just checked her website, and it says that she is having a SOLO show at the MFA in 2014.  So impressive!!!  That is MUST SEE show.  (I’m not kidding.  Check her website.  Mark your calendar.)


Mary O’Malley, Altar #4, 2010, Gold Metallic Ink on Paper

Ahhh…this drawing is SO beautiful.  I am in such awe of O’Malley’s work.  I was lucky enough to meet her at the reception.  She is a lovely person.  I hope I conveyed to her how much I love what she does.  Her work is so timeless…it feels both historic and yet so contemporary.


Shelley Reed, Ribboned Flowers, Ribboned Fruit (after Mignon), 2010, Oil on Canvas

These paintings were really breathtaking.  I love how dark and intense they are.  I believe that she looks at historic works and then interprets them in her own artwork.  Please check out her website.  I pretty much want to own all of her work.  Maybe if I eat ramen noodles exclusively for a year, I could swing it?  Hmm.  I’ll still need that fantasy house with enough wallspace, though…more noodles for me, I guess…


Janet Rickus, A Bird Painting, 2012, oil on canvas

Yes, that’s a painting…not a photo.  Rickus’s work is hyper-real and beautiful.  Beautiful composition…color…light…realism…I love it.  Her work will definitely make your jaw drop.  I feel almost like they are views into a gorgeous world that I WISH I could be a part of.  The elements in the images are unpretentious, yet they are so perfect that they are still awe inspiring.  I might have to get this for my house so that I can meditate upon it, and somehow be inspired to make my disaster-area home be marginally more lovely.

On this note, my son (5 yr old) has decided that we should make our house a museum.  He doesn’t seem daunted by the fact that we have nothing museum-like in our house.  I’ve told him that no one is going to want to come to see our “junk.”  We joke about this.  He’s still determined to do it, somehow.  In fact, he’s trying to entice passersby with this “advertising” at the front of our house:


Yes.  That says, “MUSEUMOPNEG TADAY.”  Yes, I allow him to do this to our house.  Yes, those are little purple flowers stuck to the tape for aesthetic effect.  Oh but wait…there’s more:


He wants to make sure people understand that they are “WALCAM” to come in.  And:


Just in case there was any doubt that we were “OPEN” or not…

If you do stop by to check out our “Museum”…please note that the mess inside is what this museum is actually all about.  Imagine taking a Joseph Cornell box and shaking it vigorously…it kind of looks like that, but with more Lego.  Just try not to trip on it all whilst taking the tour. Currently, we’re working out the “gift shop.”  Brace yourself…

July 26, 2013, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., Photography | Tags: , , ,

My big success this week was to meet with Mary Tinti, the Fitchburg Art Museum‘s new curator.  I’m NOT kidding.  She’s putting together a show of still lifes, and was interested in some of my drawings.  NO JOKE.  I was so thrilled that she contacted me.  She was very generous with her time and feedback.   Besides getting to know her, I also really enjoyed hearing about the museum, its collection, and its history.  I’m embarrassed to say that I had not ever been to the Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) before.  YIKES.  Actually, I don’t think that I had even been to Fitchburg.  I know.  What’s wrong with me?  (Don’t answer that…)  Check it out:


The Fitchburg Art Museum

This is the main visitor’s entrance of the museum.  It was founded in 1925 by Eleanor Norcross, an accomplished artist and educator.  The museum has a wonderful and diverse collection…paintings by John Singer Sargent, photographs by Charles Sheeler and Walker Evans, African masks and statues, and a series of Egyptian art and mummies, INCLUDING a mummified crocodile (it’s small…and it kind of looked like something that my son would make, but I digress…)


It looked sort of like THAT, but more shriveled.  YIKES.  This is the kind of thing that I’d find in the bottom of my son’s backpack…(not a result of my poor housekeeping skills, mind you…) MOVING ON…


The Fitchburg Art Museum

This is an addition to the museum, completed in the late 80s by Burr & McCallum Architects.  The materials are really nice, and it’s well detailed.  Yes, I know.  The architect side of my brain has been feeling neglected lately, and it desperately wants attention.  (The housewife side of my brain is undeveloped and primitive…BTW).  It’s hard to divide my multitude of interests among my limited brain cells.  Well, at least I only have one brain to keep track of, although I do feel like THIS guy sometimes…


BRILLIANT!  I think this comes with the territory of raising a kid and trying to work from home.  (I have Terry Jones’s impatience.)  But I digress again…FOCUS!

The current show at FAM is the 78th Annual Regional Exhibition of Art and Craft.


Juan Jose Barbazo-Gubo, Cervus Transformatio, 2011

This gorgeous piece by Juan Jose Barbazo-Gubo won “First Prize” at the show, which was juried by Nina Gara Bozicnik, Assistant Curator, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire.  I should have taken a close up photo for you to see the amazing linework, collage, painting and textures in this piece.  I even love how the fragile paper is puckered around the image.  Beautiful.  Barbazo-Gubo is a Somerville resident…next time you see him at Highland Kitchen, tell him that his work is GORGEOUS.


Edward Monovich, Snake In The Grass, 2011

Check out this crazy drawing!  Amazing.  It’s actually all done on graph paper.  So cool! The imagery is both appealing and disturbing.  Who is that skunk boy?  The drawing actually has the irregular profile that you see.  Monovich’s got mad drawing skills, right?  Also, he’s another local, and lives in Belmont!  So give HIM a big “hello” if you see him at Stone Hearth Pizza in Belmont Center.  (Actually, he’s probably too cool to eat there.)  I’m not!  I like that place, but it’s always packed with screaming kids.  I feel that I can complain about that, as I’ve got one at home too.  When I go out to dinner, I’m trying to ESCAPE and PRETEND that there is peace and sanity in the world.  Hmph.


Lee Su, Twinkle Twinkle Little Hypercube, 2013

Don’t you love this?  It’s got an interesting mix of flatness and depth.  This somehow looks vintage to me.  I love it.


Coelynn McIninch, Castle #9, 2013

Okay.  I LOVE THIS TOO.  So stunning.  I believe that McIninch builds a physical model, and then photographs it and manipulates the photo.  PLEASE look at her website.  I love her work.  This series in particular is gorgeous…and not just because of the architectural content.  The images are so ethereal…ghost-like…  I love how they are both beautiful and disorienting.


Nora Valdez, Baggage /Bagaje

Nora Valdez was also having a solo show at the museum.  Her sculptures were amazing.  She also had beautiful drawings.


Nora Valdez, Paper Bags / Bolsitas de Papel, 2009-2011

Crumpled bags carved out of limestone.  Look how soft they look!  I want those…

There was also a photography show going on:


I know!  So much to see!  I loved this:


Carl Chiarenza, Triptych: Don Quixote, 153/148/158, 1992

I wish that my photo was better.  This was gorgeous.  It’s so abstract, and yet the richness of the textures and materials are so incredible.  Very beautiful.

I had a chance to wander around the neighborhood of the museum as well…this is what I found:


Hmmm.  I’m glad that they labeled that.


This wall was so great!  I’m not sure who the artists are…schoolkids?  People in the community?  Either way, I loved it.

Ah…so my trip to Fitchburg was a treat.  In contrast, my main challenge of the week was that my five year old son has been creating “drop-off drama” at camp in the morning.  Perhaps he thinks that he’s actually AT a “drama camp?”  They do have those, right?  He’s been upset when I have to go, but within ten minutes of me having gone…he’s fine (at least this is what I’m TOLD…)  SIGH.

I’m wondering if I make a stuffed effigy of myself, complete with crabby face and disheveled hair, would this abate his separation anxiety?  He could bring it WITH HIM.  Brilliant, right? I can’t decide if I should use a mass of angora yarn to represent my humidity-induced frizzy hair, or perhaps simply an errant dust bunny would do…thoughts?  Then again…this “faux mommy” doll may temporarily assuage his need for me (as I have about as much personality as a wad of polyester stuffing), but it will likely lead to odd looks from the other kids and subsequent years of therapy to get over this complex.

Perhaps I’ll just bribe him with ice cream, instead?


No, that’s not my attempt to create the “faux mommy” doll.  This is my son’s piñata from camp!   Isn’t it adorable? He whacked it with a wiffle ball bat in order to get the goodies out.  On second thought…maybe this IS supposed to be me???  Did my son make this mommy-fetish to seek revenge for my leaving him at camp??? Egads. Now, I’VE got a complex.  (Try to act surprised…)

Useless groundhogs with their fraudulent shadows…
March 8, 2013, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Drawing, painting, Photography | Tags: , , ,

Dear Town of Arlington, MA,

The next time that you decide not to declare a snow day, would you please also plow the roads?

Thank you.


So, today is NOT a snow day…but my son is home with me because our road was impossible for me to drive on.  I got 25′ from the house, turned the car around (carefully), and headed back.  BAH!  So much for some sanity today.  The only reason I can even write this is because he’s watching Dinosaur Train right now.  Bad mommy!

I think that I just heard a plow go by.  Maybe it’s not to late to go to school?  Sigh.  Maybe it’s not too late to trade in my little Toyota Matrix for a dog sled team?  I’d even settle for a cat sled team today…ech…forget it.

[update: 3+ hours have gone by and the roads are still a mess…helllooooo???]

Luckily, yesterday was clear weather, so I managed to go down to the South End to check out what’s in the galleries now.  Lucky me!  I’m going to try to go more regularly…SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!


Sandra Allen

This GORGEOUS pencil drawing is by Sandra Allen at Carroll and Sons Gallery.  I have seen her work online, and I think that I even featured her once before in an earlier post.  Well…as is with most things, seeing the work in person was 1000 times better than seeing it on the internet.  I was pretty much awestruck by how absolutely beautiful her work is.  Look at that texture!  Look at the amazing range of values!  Once again, if you are in the Boston area….GO SEE THIS SHOW.  NOW. (how do I convey a stern look and wagging finger?)  The art gods have spoken.



Sandra Allen

These drawings are enormous, and they aren’t even her largest work, which is also flabbergasting.

Tree trunks!  What a beautiful and simple subject!  I really could have stared at them all day.

Here is the look of the gallery:


Sandra Allen

Carroll and Sons recently renovated their space.  This room is unchanged (I think), but beyond the wall on the right are two new spaces.   They used to have their office back there, so I’m not sure where the offices went!  Anyway, the renovation looks great too.  Don’t you love how the wood flooring is on the diagonal?  I love that.  That wasn’t part of the renovation, but I still love it.

Bromfield Gallery is showing the work of Kathleen Volp:


Kathleen Volp, White Madonna, 40″x35″

I wasn’t familiar with her work, even though I’d heard her name quite often.  I liked the overall palette.  All of the materials that she used had a strong character.


Kathleen Volp, I am My Father’s Daughter, 54″x54″

This one felt so “architectural”, and not just because of the Lincoln Logs…


Kathleen Volp, I am My Father’s Daughter (detail), 54″x54″

Yes, that’s a vintage box of painted pink Lincoln Logs!  I found this piece to be poignant as some kind of communication with her father.  I wonder if he’s seen it?  I almost feel that the box of pink Lincoln Logs is enough of a piece itself.  But the big 2D portion of the piece is pretty impressive as well.

Gallery Kayafas has photographs by Guillermo Srodek-Hart:


Guillermo Srodek-Hart

I LOVED these photos.  The series is titled, “Interiors.”  Each was a photo of an interior filled with objects…the inside of a little shop…the inside of a deli, etc. The colors and the images were mesmerizing.  I am actually not often as interested in photography (see how ignorant I am?).  THESE photographs, however, were amazing.  Look at the color palette!  This is another must see show.  I wish that I had time to look at each photo one for an hour.  Unfortunately, the meters in Boston are expensive and fiendishly monitored by the parking evildoers.  It’s 12 minutes for one quarter.  Sheesh!  Also, after two hours, you have to move your car.  By move your car, they don’t just mean move it to another spot right near the one you already have.  OH NO.  You have to move the car off of that ENTIRE BLOCK.  (Fat chance!)  But I digress…

Kingston Gallery is showing the work of Rose Olson:


Rose Olson

Her series, Light Moves, works with translucent layers of paint washed over cradled plywood, with intermittent opaque bands of color.  What I liked about these was that her work made you feel as if the pieces were being lit up by a colored light source or dichroic glass.

studio egret

La Defense offices by UN Studio

Similar palette?  I found that optical effect to be pretty interesting.  I think that she also uses some interference paint.

Howard Yezerski Gallery has the work of Barbara Grad:


Barbara Grad

This series is titled, “Lost Horizons.”  While these paintings are abstract, the collage-like areas of stripes made me think of fields of grain, or bodies of water.  The piece above was one of my favorites.  This may not be the correct analysis of the work, but I feel that they have a “quilt-like” quality to them.  Sort of like Gee’s Bend on hallucinogens.


Gee’s Bend Quilt

No?  Or maybe I just need to get out of the house and get some fresh air?  Oh wait…I forgot that we’re still in the middle of a BLIZZARD.  Did that useless groundhog see its shadow???  Perhaps it was just the lights from the news cameras that created the fraudulent shadow.

Right now, my stir crazy child is upside-down on the couch screaming and laughing maniacally.  No, he’s not 30.  He’s 5. I think that this post will have to end early as I can barely keep my sanity, never mind form a complete sentence.  I was supposed to create a “marketing plan” for my class tomorrow.  Oh well!  I keep having to look up what a marketing plan IS.  At least I have identified my main challenge to getting any work done: being a parent of a crazy child who is acts as if he just ate the frosting section of the grocery store.

I can’t wait for Easter.

I may have to build myself an igloo today just to get some peace and quiet.  Or maybe I’ll just lie down outside for 10 minutes and get buried under a foot of snow?  Maybe if I wrap my puffy robe around my head, instead of my body, this will muffle the sound of preschool insanity emanating from my slightly unstable, yet loveable, child?


Maybe not…

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