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.




Shot through the eye…and you’re too late…
August 17, 2013, 2:08 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , , , ,

No post last week because we were at the Cape.  AHHHH. I spent a lot of time vegging out, trying not to get sunburned, and struggling to maintain my sanity with my five-year old.  I thought about trying to exercise in some way…maybe doing a pushup or two.  I couldn’t be bothered, and so I continue to look like the “before” picture, in spite of my exercising somewhat consistently for two months.  SIGH.  Nobody tried to harpoon me or ran away screaming, so I guess that means a successful beach trip.

We had good weather…too much ice cream…and mini-golf…



My son felt that we needed a “mini-golf action shot”, so this is it:


Perhaps photojournalism is not my callling?  Does it kind of look like that lady in the background is walking along the club?  Or, is that just me? Don’t all photojournalists hope for that kind of quirky coincidence?  Probably not.


At what age is it possible for a child to eat an ice cream without THIS happening?  I’m hoping by 12.  Only 7 more years to go.  Hey, at least we were using my husband’s car for the week…sorry, Honeeeey!!!!

I didn’t bring my latest drawing to work on at the Cape.  What a slacker!  I thought about it…saw the packed wad of luggage in the back of the car, and decided against it.  Do I really need sand and sunscreen smeared all over it?  No way.  INSTEAD OF BEING TRULY PRODUCTIVE, I worked on this little sewn pouch, which I am SUPER excited about…CHECK IT OUT:


Eh?  Not bad, right?  Lookit all the tiny fabric pieces I sewed together and quilted!  And the back:


I attempted a sort of “sashiko” stitching to relate to the front.  Nice!

The inside:


And a detail:


This was my first little pouch like this…I loved making it!  There’s something seriously wonky about it, but if I make another…I’ll try to do better next time.  The majority of it is hand-sewn…with just the zipper and overall construction done on the machine.  Now, if I could just sell it for $1000, it will be worth the time/energy/materials I put into it!  Ha ha!   Just kidding!  (Well, sort of…sigh…)

So, this week hasn’t been totally unproductive, as the previous week has clearly been.  (Unless you consider getting all of the sand and ice cream off of my son at the end of the day “productive”.)  I managed to get to the South End to check out a couple of galleries yesterday.  Naturally, I had to stop by Carroll and Sons to see who they’re showing…


Raul Gonzalez at Carroll and Sons, Boston

The work of local artist, Raul Gonzalez, is in the main space.  Two words: LOVE. IT.  PLEEEEASE, go and see this show.  It’s only up until Aug. 31, so leave NOW…esp if you are coming from Australia (that means you, Ruth…)


Raul Gonzalez at Carroll and Sons, Boston

Gonzalez paints exquisite scenes of horrifying depravity, decapitation, and dismemberment.   Each painting could capture your open-jawed attention for an hour, at least.  In most scenes, you’ll find a skeleton, possibly a lucha libre mask, and a pitiful character who is often simultaneously dishing out and receiving some heinous crime.


Raul Gonzalez at Carroll and Sons, Boston

The linework is amazing…the bright, yet dirty, palette is amazing…the composition is amazing…never mind the content, which is fascinating and horrifying at the same time.  Stunning.


Raul Gonzalez at Carroll and Sons, Boston

I’m sorry that this one is blurry.  I love how the bullet is ricocheting around the drawing perimeter.  Naturally, it had to shoot out the eye of the snake…

Go see this show NOW.  Just don’t bring the kids, lest you want to spend your whole time explaining why that guy no longer has a head, or why this guy’s eyes have fallen to the ground.  I don’t know either, but it’s awesome.  Gonzalez is oozing brilliance.  I bask in his artistic glory.  His work is AMAZING.  A must see.

Speaking of oozing, THIS is what my son brought home from camp this week:


What in God’s name is that lumpy stick, you may ask?  Why, it’s a “magic wand” of course!  It apparently has a few coats of plaster of paris and paint on it.  Hmmm.  I’ve tried using it.  It doesn’t work.  My house is still a mess and I still look like a “before” picture.  I might have to ask the camp for my money back…


My son drew this this week.  What is it?  I have no idea…but perhaps he’s a burgeoning Raul Gonzalez?  Does anyone else see a lucha libre mask in this????  No?  Maybe that’s for the best.  Actually, maybe I need to get out of the house more than once a week…at least for fresh air, or something.  I’ll be sure to bring my son’s magic wand…just in case the thing decides to start working.  It may help me to finally find the fast moving line at Stop & Shop, or something non-existent like that.  If nothing else, we can serve it to daddy after dinner and tell him that it’s a vegan cookie.  Good times…

A shriveled Cheerio kind of week…
May 30, 2013, 11:33 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , ,

So, yet again, I have done NO new artwork.  I did, however, eat two bowls of Pirate’s Booty just a minute ago…does that count for anything?  Seeing as my latest body of work involves drawing food, I’m just going to chalk up this indulgence to professional R&D.


Sound convincing?  Should I run for Congress?  Perhaps…but only if I could attend all sessions wearing my fuzzy, mint green bathrobe carrying my half-eaten bag of Pirate’s Booty under my arm.  I’ll be representin’ the moms out there…I MAY even brush my hair…

I did attend the reception for the National Prize Show at the Cambridge Art Association.


I ran into some friends unexpectedly, which was great.  My cousin and his friend also came, which was wonderful as well, AND greatly added to the evening.  My work ended up in a corner of the room:


There it is!  Actually, there’s my husband!  Poor guy.  Little does he realize his portrait is hanging up in Cambridge.  He may not be able to handle the fame of people coming up to him on the T saying…”Hey!  You’re the guy in the drawing who mysteriously has no hand!  What’s up with that???”  He can just nod and mumble something about his crazy wife as he tries to hide under his Kindle.

Sometimes, my posts aspire to be “marginally intellectual,” or at least NOT ridiculous.  But…as a result of my son’s continued absence from preschool…any remaining braincells that I might have had to create a “marginally intellectual” thought have shriveled up and are now forgotten…much like the errant Cheerio that rolls itself off the dining room table from my son’s cereal bowl and ends up underneath the radiator. (Just wondering…do I need a third bowl of Pirate’s Booty?  Thoughts????)


I was digging that pen and pencil drawing of a grasshopper on the right, in spite of my bug phobia.

During this past week, as well as getting nothing done, I stumbled upon the work of Joan Linder online.  Check it out:linder

Joan Linder

She recently had a show at Mixed Greens in NYC.  I WISH that I had seen it.  Her show was titled, “Sink.”  She has numerous drawings of her kitchen sink/countertop that are mesmerizing to me.  Some of the drawings are realistic, and they almost have a “family portrait” feel to them.  They are long, colorful and detailed…and they make me feel as if the viewer has interrupted a private party amongst the artist’s kitchen items and food.  The black and white drawings look gorgeous.  I love the look of the drawing and the entire theme.  The multicolored line drawings have a very frenetic feel.  I almost relate to the faucet in the center…it’s trapped and trying to deal with the culinary fracas.  Amazing!  Did anyone out there see the show?  If so, let me know what you think.  I would love to see her work in person.

It makes me wish that I could make something amazing from my lowly kitchen sink.  (Yes, I’ve heard of Bon Ami…thankyouverymuch.)  I’m going to hold off on posting a photo of my own kitchen sink …lest I get arrested by the housefrau police.  They have spies everywhere.   I think that I can pretty convincingly plead ignorance.


I’m just like that, except that my dress is red, not blue.  I’m also right handed.

This past weekend, we went to the Cape…


AAAAHHHHHH.  Now, I know it’s not the Caribbean (unless we took a wrong turn after Albuquerque), but it still has a zen effect on my psyche.  I am lulled by the sparkling waves…the noisy seagulls…and my son asking repeatedly when we can see his friend who lives nearby.

Have you noticed that eating soft serve ice cream seems to have a zen effect similar to being at the beach?  I have.  Or, perhaps it’s just the beach and  ice cream combo that work together so well?  Beach + ice cream = zen.  As opposed to: 5 year old boy + 5 year old boy = NOT zen.


I find that sprinkles are helpful too…especially when applied topically to my temples during one of my son’s raucous playdates…

(FYI…they’re also easier to pick off the floor than shriveled Cheerios…)


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….

Back from the Cape…
August 20, 2011, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Collage, Drawing, travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

We just came back from a week at the Cape.  I love Cape Cod.  As long as the sun isn’t beating down on my head, I’m happy as a clam to sit and watch the waves.  Here’s my view from the beach:

Dreamy, right?  Okay…it isn’t the Bahamas…but it’s great anyway.  Do they have fried clams and soft serve ice cream in the Bahamas?  Probably.  I ate a grotesque quanitity of both.

I didn’t do too much, other than chase after my son…slather him with sunscreen…and try to control the amount of sand in his clothes, my car, and our rental house.  Here’s a slightly wonky sketch of the house:

Kind of an interesting, contemporary cape-ish house.  We spent a significant amount of time in there on Monday, when it rained like a monsoon.  But, we did manage quite a few trips to the beach.  Here’s a view of an ocean view beach…well, mostly a view of the lifeguard stand…with no lifeguard in it:

I didn’t add too much shading, as I thought that I would watercolor these sketches.  That never happened.  Another sketch of a beach day:

There were actually some people sitting in the chairs in the foreground.  I edited them out.  Unlucky for me…they decided to move their chairs back from the water a few feet while I was still drawing them.  Hmm…this “en plein air” stuff is a challenge.

I did another collage before I left on my trip:

I also drew on it a little.  I know…I’m still doing collage in spite of the fact that it leaves everyone scratching their heads.  It really is fun.  Seriously…try it.  Grab some random paper and a gluestick and go crazy.  I’m still not taking any classes at the moment.  It’s nice to have a break.  It also allows me to try all sorts of random stuff.  I’m hopefully meeting with a couple of friends this week to discuss what we’re all working on.  Should be fun!


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