slightly wonky


Verklempt
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.

a-pool

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

a-spider

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.

a-museum

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.

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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.

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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.

a-beachagain

a-surf

a-ptown2

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:

a-hairy2

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…)

a-sunset

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:

Q-TIPS: THE CONTROVERSY

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.

a-linda

 



Zip-a-dee-do-da

This past Wednesday, I got back from a fabulous FIVE DAYS IN PUERTO RICO.  No, it’s not April 1, I’m serious.  This was a birthday celebration that my friends and I did because we are all turning/have turned 40 this year.  SCARY!  Luckily, we still have the maturity level that we did back in high school, so we had a blast.

Before I left on my trip, however, my son made me this birthday cake:

a-halloween cake

I think that it says “Halloween…40…For Mom.”  I thought this was hilarious.  Isn’t it creative, and adorable???  Look at the candle he drew!  Awesome.  It was pretty odd to be leaving my family for 5 days, as I haven’t gone anywhere since my son was born.  For me, a trip to the grocery store is a big to-do.

a-laconcha1

Umm…let me just say that the oddness quickly went away as I was in pure Mommy heaven for those five days.  Sitting by the pool…sitting by the beach…going for a swim…reading and finishing Orange Is The New Black…and gabbing almost continuously with a cocktail in hand.  WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE????

a-laconcha3This was my view one morning.  I know.  Ridiculous, right?  If I didn’t have a son and husband, I might not have come back!  Sigh.  I had to swap my flip flops for socks and boots when I came back to the Boston area.  BRRR.

Okay, while we were outrageously decadent and lazy, we didn’t sit around the WHOLE time.  We did go zip lining one afternoon:

ziplineThis was beyond fun.  (This is a photo of one of my friends…who shall remain anonymous…gracias.)  I have no idea how fast you go on these, but it feels like 40 mph.  Actually, when you’re midway…the wind is whipping past you and you’re looking at the amazing scenery…you don’t really notice how fast you’re going.  BUT, when you are hurtling towards the end, then it gets a bit disconcerting as you can’t imagine how you could possibly stop without crashing into the cable support.  Luckily, they have some kind of braking mechanism that kicks in during the last 20 feet.  It’s kind of like how a roller coaster stops at the end…jarring, yet efficient.  Most of the photos I have of people coming in are just a blur.

Okay.  So, now I think that we need a zipline in our yard.  Right???  (You must agree.)  I’m a housefrau re-evaluating the laundry line for alternative purposes.  During the day…it’s mommy’s koo koo adrenaline ride… but when my son/husband is home, it’s got clean towels on it again.  Brilliant!  I think that the neighbors already think I’m crazy, but this will ensure that they never come to my house to borrow any butter.  Now, if I could only zip line to Starbucks and back, then I’d be a happy camper…

While I didn’t see ANY art on my vacation…I went yesterday to see the opening of the small group show that I am participating in.  It’s in Harvard Square, so all you locals have no excuse for not stopping by…

image001

Cambridge Art Association show

Let me just say that the work by the other artists is really amazing.  I’ll show you some of the pieces:

a-strassman

Ann Strassman, Singularities IX – (Woman with cigarette)

Strassman does these fascinating portraits of people about town, often on a park bench.  She uses discarded boxes as her canvas.  I love how the people are caught in these familiar scenes…unaware of the viewer.  I also love the cardboard with it’s own mundane story.  Amazing!

a-schappler

Patricia Schappler, Coming and Going

Schappler does ENORMOUS, phenomenal drawing/collage/paintings.  Mind blowing.  I love the mixed media…the layers, the beautiful way that she draws.  So gorgeous.

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Daniel Kornrumpf, Mr. David Lasely

Kornrumpf does GORGEOUS portraits that have an unfinished and open ended feel because he often doesn’t paint parts that he has sketched in.  There is a beautiful mix of complete/incompleteness to his work.  Even his line drawing/painting is amazing.  His sense of color, composition, and overall skill is breathtaking.  I love that the subjects are often pensive and relaxed…aware that they are having a portrait painted, yet real and at ease.  His work reminds me of Alice Neel, whose work I also revere.

a-melamed

Yair Melamed, The Extrovert

Melamed is a physician AND a photographer.  I couldn’t find a website for him.  I absolutely love the contrast between her gray hair/background and her warm face.  I love how her face fills the frame.  He has a series of really compelling photographs…a must see.

My own work is minimal in comparison:

a-kostojohn

Elizabeth Kostojohn, Are You Still There? series

Because my work is so small, I think that it’s good that they are grouped together.  I wish the lighting was a bit better, as there isn’t direct lighting on the drawings…just the downlights for the hallway.  As a result, I think that the drawings look slightly washed out.  Hmm!  In any event, I am super grateful to be participating in this show with these other, talented artists.  The show is in the University Place building, at 124 Mt. Auburn Street.  Go see it!

Now, you’ll have to excuse me as I’ve got a clothes/zip line and a latte calling my name…

zipline2

Starbucks, here I come!!!  Make mine a double!!!



Ginger hell…ginger hell…
December 14, 2012, 10:12 am
Filed under: Drawing, travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

Why are the holidays always so exhausting?  I feel as if I’m at mile 20 of a marathon.  (Can I say that even if I don’t exercise / dislike sweating?)  Hmm.  Perhaps not.  I guess that my main stress is that my endless holiday errands are preventing me from getting any work done (I mean drawings, not housework).  Take, for example, yesterday…I had to mail a big package off to my nephews.  I took the gifts to UPS to see how much they would charge to send them.  $20 minimum to ship (as they weren’t packed yet) and an extra $14 if I wanted them to pack it.  WHAT????  That’s SO expensive!  So, I planned to pack it myself.  I asked them how much a cardboard box was.  They said $10.  WHAT????  Are you on crack?  For a piece of CARDBOARD????  Disgruntled, I walked out with my gifts.  So, I decided to go to Staples to get my packing supplies…$4 for a box (more sane) and $7 for packing peanuts (eco-friendly-corn-based, mind you, I could have had them for breakfast with some milk…).  THEN, I take my self-packed box over to the post office…and it turns out to be $25 to send it parcel post with signature required.

The moral of the story:  I should have just paid UPS $35 to send it.  I hardly saved any money, and I spent LOTS of time running around like an angry housewife (which I am).

I tried to get into the holiday spirit this week by making a gingerbread house FROM SCRATCH with my son.  It started off okay:

a-cookies

Everything was fine…until the pastry bag.

I’ve decided that several things are tools of the devil:

1.  pastry bags

2.  tinsel

3. packing tape that splits every time you try to peel it off the roll

Notice how they are all holiday related…it’s those three things have made my holiday season MUCH more distressing than is needed.  Anyhoo…the pasty bag.  The first time that you fill it…it’s sort of ok.  Yes, I managed to drop some icing, and YES, there was icing oozing out of the top of the bag as I was squeezing it…but those challenges pale in comparison to this: refilling the bag.  HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH IS ONE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT????  Peeling apart the squished sides of the bag in order to attempt to shove in goopy icing, which is simultaneously falling off of the spatula, was a joke.  There was icing everywhere.  It was: a. in my hair, b. on the dishwasher, c. on the floor, d. on the UPPER kitchen cabinets, and e. partially on the gingerbread.  Mommy was trying not to have an aneurism.  Luckily, the house turned out fine:

a-house

Not bad, right?  Notice how the trees in front had no frosting.  Forget it.  I’d had it by then.  Notice also the odd lump of gingerbread in front of the left tree.  My son made that.  Apparently, it’s a ball.  It sort of looks like a present from a large rabbit, but I decided not to tell him that.  From reading all of my parenting books, I think that would have been “detrimental to his self esteem”.  Needless to say, I’m not eating that thing.

In a fit of desperation, I drove to Newport, Rhode Island on Wednesday.  That’s almost a two-hour drive EACH WAY.  Why, would I do such an inane thing when I’m so busy, you ask?  Because I had to SOMEHOW shoehorn in some “ME” time.  I drove there to see a drawing show.  Yes, “LocatingPLACE”, curated by Joseph Carroll, was at Salve Regina University. This show is only open until Dec. 19, so HURRY.

I have some images from the show.  Generally, I loved the work.  Some of it I had seen before, but that didn’t bother me one bit.  Here are some of the highlights:

a-osborn

Ali Osborn

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&t=k&hl=en&msa=0&ll=44.854673-93.242018&spn=0.001031,0.002178&z=19&msid=108427223874472554307.00047edb154d25d12f46b,

2012, Graphite on paper, 30″ x 40″

Okay.  THAT is just plain brilliant.  This is an aerial view of the “Mall of America”…drawn in graphite.  This is a spectacular drawing.  I love how it looks like some kind of Beaux Arts rendering of an ancient Roman ruin…except that it’s a MALL.  So soooo brilliant.  I even love the title, which is the link to the view.  PLEASE look at his website here.  This was just a gorgeous drawing that I could have stared at ALL DAY.  (I only allowed myself 45 minutes in the gallery, however…I’m on a short leash here).

Next:

a-glovinski

Carly Glovinski, Area 8, 2011, ink, graphite, colored pencil on paper, 11″ x 14″

Just look at that for a minute…it looks like an abstract work, almost like a small weaving, right?  Well, it’s not.  It’s an interpretation of a PHONE BOOK.  I love this.  How beautiful is that???  She’s brilliant.  She has a series of these, and they are sooo fascinating.  Glovinski captures so much with this drawing: abstraction…modernity…obsolescence…memory…humanity…

I bask in her artistic brilliance.

Next:

a-spicer1

Nancy Murphy Spicer, Biking in Berlin 12, Biking in Berlin 13, Biking in Berlin 15,

2010, Flashe, gouache, collage on guidebook page, 8.25″ x 5.75″

This is a beautiful series created from painted/collaged guidebook pages.  Each one is so beautiful and delicate.  What you can’t see here, is that some of the colored forms appear to be not just collaged ONTO the paper behind, but they are actually SPLICED in.  So lovely.  These feel so architectural to me.  I think it’s because of the splicing.  Look at this lovely way that the exhibition was hung as well:

a-spicer2

Nancy Murphy Spicer, Biking in Berlin 28, Biking in Berlin 44, Biking in Berlin 66Biking in Berlin 79,

2010, Flashe, gouache, collage on guidebook page, 8.25″ x 5.75″

Don’t you love that?  I thought that was really brilliant and compelling.

Next:

a-evans

Andrea Sherrill Evans, Marker #2, 2012, Silverpoint and acrylic on prepared paper, 29 1/2″ x 33″]

This was gorgeous.  Not only have I seen her work before, but I actually met her once!  Her studio is in the South End, and I was lucky enough to stumble upon it.  I love the mix of delicate marks with the splotch of paint.  Her work is really delicate and beautiful. I’m sure that she’s getting tired of hearing the word “ethereal”, but too bad.  Her work is stunning and ethereal.

Next:

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Raphael Griswold, Assignments (46 drawings from the series),

2008 and ongoing, Mixed media on paper, 9.75″ x 9.75″

There were several of these drawings laid out on a table.  Each one was colorful and with an amazing mix of media.  I love his sense of color and how he uses the disparate materials to create different textures or qualities.  He sometimes washed ink or watercolor over a resistant crayon or oil pastel texture, creating really beautiful effects.  I love that these are small and not fussy…with a great variety of color and marks.  His subject matter seemed to be the built environment in nature.  I wish that I could have seen more of them…beautiful!

Speaking of beautiful drawings (prepare yourself for a typical annoying segue…), check out the latest from my son:

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LOOK HOW CUTE!!!  Those are space aliens.  I like how geometric they are.  I also like that he’s starting to write by himself.  Look at their legs especially…aren’t they great???  I wish that I could get him to stop drawing on the back of each drawing…this is another one:

a-aliens2

Apparently, this is a mommy alien and her baby.  No, I didn’t reverse the image…my son just wrote “mommy” completely backwards.  Should I be concerned?  Hmm.  Is it dyslexia when someone turns an entire word backwards?  Hmm.  It may be several years before I give him my car keys.

I’m off to go dream about drawings and distress about dyslexia whilst I grouch my way over to Stop & Shop.

Stay sane…

(I’ll try and do the same.)



Soothing Sol and psycho Sandy…
October 29, 2012, 11:38 am
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., painting, travel | Tags: ,

Yes, we’re bracing ourselves for hurricane Sandy.  She’s a-comin’, and no one is looking forward to her arrival.  How have I prepared?  Umm…I bought a couple of cans of soup?  It turns out there are no more D batteries for sale in the entire state.  Considering that my 4 yr old son LOVES to play with our ONLY flashlight, we may be in for some lighting “challenges” here when we lose power.  I’m also thinking of the general domestic challenge to be locked in the house all day with my 4 yr old.  I may have to be like Odysseus and lash myself to the bannister outside the house just to get some “me” time in the midst of this “epic” storm.  Did I mention that my son also has a raging cold?  Ah yes…there’s a storm of viruses swirling around in the house from his hacking and sneezing.  Blech.  I can practically FEEL my white blood cells reeling from the onslaught of germs.  I think that if there ever is “germ warfare” against our country, it will be the parents and teachers of preschoolers that have a chance of survival from our “special forces” immune system.  My throat does feel scratchy.  I’m not sure if that’s because I’m getting sick, or if it’s because I just ate a gross quantity of Trader Joe’s “pirate’s booty.”  (puffed corn blobs covered with powdered white cheddar….YUMMY!)  But I digress…actually, I haven’t really even gotten started yet.  Sigh.
ANYHOO, this weekend…my husband and I took our yearly pilgrimage to the Berkshires to the Lodge where we were married.  I love going there…it’s so laid back and idyllic.  Did I mention that my mother watched my son for the weekend?  Yes, we were kid-free for 48 hrs.  Did I also mention that my son decided to sleep in until 8am this morning?  His normal time to wake up is 5:30.  WHY does he sleep in ONLY for Grandma???  But I digress, again.

Doesn’t that look peaceful and dreamy?  I love the Berkshires.

One of the decadent things about going to the Berkshires is going to Mass MOCA.  This is a large contemporary art museum in a renovated complex of factory buildings.  I have to say, I really loved quite a bit of what I saw there on this visit.   I’ve got photos of the highlights to share with you. The current exhibition is focused on Canadian contemporary art.

Shary Boyle

Bloodie is Born, and Born Again, 2009

Angel Trumpet Flower of Death, 2008

Wow.  I LOVED these paintings.  They are ink and gouache on paper, and they are GORGEOUS.  I know that the imagery is disturbing, but I thought that her work was stunning.  They have the look of historic book illustrations, but the scenes are bizarre.  Her minimal use of color in the predominantly B&W paintings was amazing.  I’m a big fan.  (Hint. Hint.  Just in case any of you have started your holiday shopping early!)

Joking, of course.

Etienne Zack, Silent Frames, 2011, Oil on Linen

This painting was over 8’x12′ in size.  It was stunning.  I really could have looked at it all day.  I love the scene, the color palette, the space she creates, the odd moonlit feeling of it…so gorgeous.  It’s hard to tell from this photo, but she also had elements like the wood posts with transparent reddish ghosts of the forms nearby, which almost made the image look like a manipulated photograph in a way.  So incredibly brilliant.

Hans Wendt

Clay slab, 2007, watercolor on paper

Paper #2, 2007, watercolor on paper.

Yes, read that again.  Those are WATERCOLORS… and they are BIG.  Each one is around 3’x4′.  I especially love “Clay Slab.”  It’s gorgeous.  You can almost feel the cold, wetness of the clay, right?  These were outrageously stunning.  His technical skill was also mind boggling.  I love the limited palette and hyper-real quality.  I’m telling you…GO. SEE. THIS. SHOW. NOW.  Next:

Chris Millar, 370H55V, 2011, mixed media

This was fantastic.  Here is a detail:

Chris Millar, 370H55V, 2011, mixed media (detail)

This was outrageous and amazing.  I used to have a fascination with miniature things, and this sculpture was the EPITOME of the kind of miniscule things that I used to love.  Here, though, it’s a freestanding agglomeration of childhood curiosities and total excess.  I LOVED it.  It’s hard for me to know what to say, but it seriously held both nostalgia and joy for me…as if I was stepping into some forgotten recess of my childhood.  It’s made so much more perfect with that galaxy background that he created.  Sheer genius.  Here is another of his works:

Chris Millar, Uncharted Galvanized Hut, 2008, acrylic on canvas

This was also amazing.   Again, I loved the density of it.  The other thing was that it had almost a 3D/embossed look to it, where different elements were raised and layered upon other elements.  It was almost like a painting decoupage.  This artist just oozes brilliance.

Mary Lum

Uncharted 4 (2011), Uncharted 2 (2011-12), Uncharted 1 (2011-12)

Uncharted 5 (2011-12), Uncharted 3 (2011-12), Uncharted 6 (2011-12)

All are acrylic on panel

Okay.  I love her work.  It’s SO architectural, but not stuffy or static.  I’ve seen her works before at the DeCordova Museum, but this work is even better (IMHO).  I love the collage-feel, the layering, and the enormous depth and dimensionality that she creates.  These crazy constructs float in a field of color, like some kind of vignettes of part of a building or part of an experience.  Gorgeous.

I included this photo just so that you can get a sense of the scale of some of the rooms at Mass MOCA.  This room is enormous.  See that blurry thing floating halfway up the wall at the end?  This is what it is:

Hmm. No comment.

I must admit, I have been to Mass Moca many times, but there has only been one time when I truly loved what an artist did with that huge space.   Ann Hamilton is an installation artist whose work was titled, CorpusHere is the exhibition catalog.  She truly made the space into a work of art.  She had several tall reams of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper up at the rafters in different locations.  Then, a robot/machine would move along some tracks to a stack of paper, pick up the top paper with suction, then drive back over to a random point on the tracks and then with a “puff” sound…drop the paper to the ground.  The entire floor was covered with the paper, and random pieces would be falling intermittently around you.  In addition, she had a grid of megaphone shaped speakers which would descend in unison to the floor, then raise again.  I can’t remember the sound coming from the speakers, but I remember the “puff” sound when the robot would release the paper.  Oh yeah..the windows were all tinted pink.  It was brilliant.

Mass MOCA has other amazing spaces:

This sliver of space separates is also amazing.  Look at the brickwork!  Crazy.  The grand finale is, of course, Sol LeWitt.

Sol LeWitt

His work is located on three floors, with the early works on the lowest floors, and then you progress upwards to more recent work.  This man could do anything with geometry.  I love that triangle wall.

Sol LeWitt

While I loved the walls with the eye-pain inducing colors, I was really drawn to the walls of graphite drawing:

Sol LeWitt

Yes, those are graphite drawings.  On the walls.  Closer:

Sol LeWitt

Mindblowing, right?  These drawings (or whatever I should call them) are stunning.  Such beauty in their chaos and order!  More:

Sol LeWitt

I know that I’m obviously enamored with graphite, as it’s the medium that I’ve chosen to grapple with.  These works really elevate graphite to stratospheric levels.  It makes me want to grab a pencil and start scribbling on the walls (at home, of course.)  But, as I can’t do that while telling my son that he’s not allowed to, I’ll just have to restrain myself.  If you feel that this whole post has been a parade of superlatives, check out the last work that was in an alcove next to these LeWitt masterpieces:

I can’t remember if the title of this was, “Bucket and Mop, Alone at Last“, or “I Thought You Loved Me?“, or “Everything Filthy Must be Mine.”  JUST KIDDING!  This really was just a mop and bucket in the corner.  Fooled ya, right?  Just keeping you on your toes…seeing if you were paying attention or daydreaming about all of the better things that you could be doing with your time besides actually READING this blog.

I’m going to post this now before we lose power from raging SANDY.  Feel free to send me care packages.  I’m partial to cookies and pirate’s booty.



Ahhh…the Cape
September 7, 2012, 9:10 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., travel | Tags: , ,

I have no artwork to show you, as we were at the Cape last week.  Sooo…lovely.  I love escaping from my own house and routines.  Yes, we still had to do the dishes, cooking, and laundry while we were there…BUT we didn’t have to WORK!  (even though I love my work) 

We went to the beach!  We went for a walk!  AND, I ate numerous fried clams and soft serve ice creams.  I think that I gained ten pounds there…so I’m feeling a bit squishy as a result.

One fabulous thing that I got to do was go to the Provincetown Art Association (PAAM) for 20 WHOLE MINUTES, but hey…better than nothing!  (note the air of grouchy domestic angst) 

It’s a lovely building designed by Machado Silvetti.  Check it out:

Apparently, there was a lot of flak from locals who wanted the building to look like an old house, even though the NEW building WASN’T an old house.  This gives many architects migraines, including me.  I understand that people are more comfortable with a plastic McMansion (which is bad), than a contemporary eyesore (which is also bad).  BUT…if you hire talented people, you can get contemporary, contextual AND beautiful.  Sometimes, though…I don’t totally begrudge fake-traditional.  Take the rest stops on the Mass Pike:

It looks like residential architecture, not commercial.  Maybe that’s ok in this instance, as people are travelling and would prefer to be led to believe that they’re eating at someone’s “house”, and not in a “food court”???  Those dormer windows though…there isn’t anything up there.  I tried to find an example of good, contemporary rest stop design…but I couldn’t find anything.

This is a reststop in Georgia.  No, not our Georgia…the other one.  It’s by J. Mayer H. architects in Germany.  Now, I’m NOT suggesting that this would have been good for the Mass Pike…but they’ve definitely not made their reststop into a McMansion.  Here’s a little airport that they did:

Now, THAT…I think is lovely.  We’d never do that in the US.  Sad.

ANYHOO…what a ridiculous tangent!  I was going to talk about the Robert Motherwell show at the PAAM, but instead I got onto REST STOPS????  What’s wrong with me?

Just so you know…the Motherwell show was lovely.  He has a series of ink drawings which are meant to embody the power and force of the sea.  They were really amazing.

If you can get to the show…I’d recommend it.  It’s open until Sept. 30.  I may be inspired to thow some paint around as a result.  Looking at the state of our kitchen cabinets, though… what I should actually be doing is picking up a brush and painting those instead.  Maybe they need some splashy black blotches on them?  No?  Could go with the splashy dirt blotches?  Eww…so gross.

Just kidding!  (nervous laughter)

I should probably go on some kind of diet now to lose my fried clam pudge.  Maybe I’ll start by only eating stuff that we grow in our garden???  Example:

This is our carrot.  I’m going to look like Heidi Klum in a week if I stick to this diet! 

Actually, the odds are not good that I will either:

a. stick to a diet

b. look like Heidi Klum…EVER. 

The bottom of her FOOT is probably nicer than mine.  Actually, everyone within a 1/2 mile radius is likely to have more pampered feet than I have.  Hmph.  At least I don’t wear those shoes with the toes.  Perhaps, I should, though….



Devlish lattes in Seattle
July 17, 2012, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., travel | Tags:

YES!  We are back from Seattle…and we had a GREAT time.  So much fun.  As I have done no artwork this week, I’m going to dazzle you instead with images from the trip.  Scroll down to get to some actual art…keep reading from here if you want the unabridged version.  It’s kind of like a “choose your own adventure” book, and yet not even close to that interesting.

Still here?  Wonderful!  This was a sublime latte that I had:

I know.  Isn’t that ridiculous???  Can foam be an art medium?  Yummy.  It came from El Diablo in Queen Anne.

The locals in Seattle thought that the weather was warm.  Pshaw.  It was maaaaybe 85 degrees with no humidity.  Mere child’s play compared to our 98 degrees with 75% humidity.  BALMY.  That’s just jealousy on my part.  I think that it’s the coffee drinking capital because it never gets hot there…

Can you believe that they painted the top of the Space Needle orange?  I’m told that it’s called “Galaxy Gold”.  I think that they had some extra spraypaint from a construction site and just thought that they’d “jazz” up ye olde needle.  Not a fan.  (But that’s just the grouchy, Bostonian side of me talking…)

This is that crazy fountain that shoots water a bajillion feet in the air.  Boston desperately needs one of these (did I mention that it’s hot here?)…I was too chicken to run up and try to touch the fountain without getting drenched.  I should try to live more dangerously.  But who wants greywater falling into his/her devil latte, thus ruining both the beverage and the foam art?  Not me, thankyouverymuch.

This stuff just grows on the street!  (yes, I know those are cherries) I kid you not.  I think that we only have crabgrass growing out of our sidewalks.  Did I mention that there are also no mosquitoes there???  NO MOSQUITOES.  I am a mosquito magnet, so that is particularly charming to me.

This is for sale, in case you are interested in a Pacific Northwest hacienda.  I hope that it has a courtyard inside.  I missed the open house.  It’s close to the devil latte place…score!  (how do you say “score” in Spanish?…the almighty internet says: “puntuacion”…is that right????)

So, not to be completely devoid of content, I am going to post some images of art that I saw at the Seattle Art Museum.  NOW, you can feel that you haven’t wasted five minutes on inane minutiae (actually, someone else’s inane minutiae).   How lucky you are!  I think that this qualifies me to create a Bravo TV show, but, I digress…

Kalipinya Rockhole by Elizabeth Marks Nakamarra

There was a show of Aboriginal art at the museum.  I really loved the bold patterning, and it looks so three dimensional!  So simple, yet so mesmerizing.  It almost looks like a textile, right?

Loser & Clark by Brad Kahlhamer 

and a detail:

This is an enormous painting.  I remember seeing it last year.  I love the mix of washes and loose drawing.  It is an oil painting, so I guess it’s not a drawing at all…but it almost looks like it could be a work on paper with the transparent color and calligraphic markings.  I love the depth in this…the layers…the beautiful lines. 

 

Agate World by Mark Tobey

This is actually a TINY painting.  It’s gouache on board.  Again, I love those lovely lines.  Detail:

I really love that.  I feel like it’s vibrating with energy, but in a static way.  Kind of like when you see a video of something tiny seen through a powerful microscope…and you realize the hum of energy in a living thing…

The Garden of Earthly Delights V by Raquib Shaw

Now, this is not something that I would normally like.  It’s almost like cloisonne…so it has a “decorative” quality to it.  But, look how fascinating it is up close:

I’m not sure if you can see, but the substrate is the olive green board.  The painted creatures and flora are actually sitting on the surface…almost like raised blobs of enamel and metallic paint.  This, I loved.  It becomes a drawn jewel, in a way.  From afar, I found it busy…but from close it was really lovely.  Is this some kind of traditional technique that I’m just not familiar with?  If so…please let me know!  (I’m still sticking to pencil drawing…fyi)

Manuscript by Robert Rauschenberg

I know.  What museum visit would be complete without a little Rauschenberg?  LOVE THIS.  I would be honored and thrilled to have this in my living room.  Perhaps I just need to ask.  Actually,  I don’t have a wall this big in my living room. 

Detail:

So great.  I love the mix of drips with the precision of either silkscreen or photographic transfer (?).  I just love it.  I could eat it, I love it so much.  Sigh.  Here is the “piece de resistance”:

Cardbird by Robert Rauschenberg

This is actually one in the series of eight.  I foolishly forgot to note which one this is.  I really like this series.  Brilliant!

How could I end a post without adding in some of my four-year old’s artistic work?

This is a skeleton.  I don’t know which I am more thrilled with…the spiky hands or the toothy underbite.  At least he isn’t drawing mommy in a cage anymore!  Not sure what that meant, but I’m sure that his shrink will help him work through it when he’s 30.

 



mooning over de Kooning & de 4th birthday…

The birthday planning for my son’s 4th birthday party has given me several more gray hairs.  Today, during his bathtime, he was mad at me and told me that I was NOT to come to the party.  I was to stay home and feel awful.  Sheesh.  Who taught him such nasty mind games?  Do I say stuff like that?  I hope not…I might have been more subtle and not stipulated that the other person “feel bad”.  He’ll learn such subtlety in time…

I am attempting to keep this a fairly DIY party.  No, I’m not hand-making artisanal balloons or anything.  BUT, I’m making the cake, have baked cookies to go with the favors, and have scribbled together the decor.  The theme: construction site.  A week after deciding this theme, my son decided it should be pirates.  Too bad, I said.  That brought on another barrage of vitrol from him.

So, here is one of my scribbly signs for the party:

Isn’t it cute?  Just say it is to humor me.  Actually, you’re probably wondering when I’m going to stop blabbering about this party, and talk about de Kooning instead.  All in good time…

This is probably the last year that I can do anything DIY for a party.  Next year, he’ll want lazer tag with spiderman and Doc Octopus.  Ummm…yeah, I can’t do that with cardboard and markers.  I’d have to be some kind of hybrid between Martha Stewart and Stan Lee.   Hmm…disturbing.

The ornament situation in our house has gotten worse:

I have completely given up.

Okay, enough about my preschool-centric universe.  So, this past Saturday…I had the WHOLE day to myself.  No, I don’t just mean from around 11 am when my husband is done with his marathon bike ride, until 5 pm, when I’m needed to relieve him from being “on duty” with our son.  I mean the ENTIRE day.  What did I do?  I went to NYC for several hours!  Okay…for my friends who are in NY…PLEASE DON’T BE MAD.  I had to do a tactical strike.  I was on a mission to go to MOMA and see the de Kooning exhibit, which is only open until January 9.  I can do a social visit another time.

It was AMAZING.  So brilliant.  That man just oozes talent.  Or, I guess that would be oozed.  Seriously.  I loved his lines, his enormous swaths of color, his manipulation of the human form…

and this:

de Kooning, Untitled – 1961

and this:

Sigh.  You must see this show, if possible.  You won’t believe the scale of some of these pieces…their textures…their energy…so amazing.

When I was rushing through the rest of MOMA, I saw a crowd gathered around something.  Naturally…I was curious.  WHAT was it?

Really!  So interesting.  I am not a fan of Dali, but it was really fascinating to see what was a “celebrity”.  I just like other stuff…I nearly plowed through several people when my eyes locked with THIS from across the room:

Rauschenberg, Bed – 1955

Yes, I nearly became a linebacker in order to look at this old quilt with paint on it.  LOVE IT.  As the old adage goes…it was smaller in real life.  (no, not that it tastes like chicken…pay attention).  Really.  If I hadn’t spent so much time mooning over de Kooning (!), I may have had more time to see everything else.  One other piece struck me:

Wyeth, Christina’s World – 1948

Okay.  This is a VERY familiar painting.  Right?  I’m not savvy in the least, but this has to be one of Wyeth’s most famous paintings.  Anyway…it always seemed to me a very “romantic” picture…I mean the romance of the agrarian.  WELL.  I had a VERY different feeling when I was actually looking at the painting firsthand (which, by the way, was stuck in a  corner next to an elevator vestible and a cafe).  First of all…her hair is not the lustrous brunette of youth…but actually a  harried mix of grey and brown.  This is not a young woman at all!  She’s probably in her late 30s / early 40s…you know…way over the hill, like me.  In addition…her body is neither youthful, nor supple.  She actually appears frail…weak…half-starved.  If you look more carefully, her bent arm in the foreground is very thin…(and not in a Marie Claire sort of way).  She seems to be struggling to raise herself.  In addtion, her dress and shoes are not fresh and new…her shoes in particular struck me as very worn and old.   So ultimately, this painting had a desperate, bleak air to it.  WELL, if my art history class in college had covered anything within the past 300 years, then I MIGHT have known that:

Okay..am I the only person in the world who had an entirely different impression of this painting than is actually the case???  This long-winded story is basically remarking on how important it is to actually SEE artwork in person…not on a screen…not in a magazine…not on some crazy person’s blog…(are you still reading?  amazing!)

As a result of all of this art viewing / party planning…I have not gotten much work done.  Sigh.  I have one drawing to show:

closer:

No, I’m not done with this “line of exploration” yet.  If you get tired of my subject matter, please bear with me.  I’m trying to focus and stay on a path, and not flit around from project to project.

Wish me luck with the party extravaganza on Saturday!  I’m sure that I’ll be crying with frustration and relief at the end of it, and will be sent home in order to have a nap.




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