Saturday, September 30, 2006

BAD BOYS

This is a new series of cards I am making in addition to Nursery Crimes, called BAD BOYS. BAD GIRLS will follow shortly.

The Nursery Crimes series was inspired by an old Mother Goose book. I had broken my ankle, was laid up for a long time, and had this mother goose book laying around. In my heavily drugged delirium, I took the words out of context, sometimes jumbled them up, put them next to an image which may or may not have had anything to do with the rhyme, and I had pretty girls telling us that "Jill stopped to polish Jack's nob" or a picture of Jack jumping over a candle stick, with the words that tell the real story, the story we have surmised all along..."Jack burned his cock". See, there WAS a reason that God threw me down the stairs.

I have a lot of fun with these as well as the mixed up letters of the BINGO cards that tell us to GO BI.

Today, under great pressure to design and produce, I made the prototype for a new line of cards, and was in my studio rubbing my hands together gleefully as I had a new antique book that I found last weekend with some REALLY good phrases that will rock your socks.

Today's card is listed on ebay.(link is on the word if it works, or to the right) It could be anythings as wicked as a piece of hot pepper gum, a bumble bee, or something else quite naughty that was popped into someone's mouth. The nice things about the card is, you decide what you want it to be, and who deserves such a card.

I have to finish another order of "normal" cards as my buyer already has quite a collection of my risque cards and needs some that she can send anywhere. But that will not stop me making them, so be prepared to find some popping up on ebay in the next week.

Doing the BAD GIRL dance, Miss Pootie

Early Saturday Morning

No entry yesterday. Just ran out of steam. Had an incredible session with my therapist late in the day and that and the PT and the school day just wiped me out. In a good way though. Both body, mind and spirit worked to the max.

My therapist Peg is the most intelligent amazing woman and I am so blessed to have found her. Not only for healing, but for the journey into a spiritual journey to peace, and divine inspiration. I leave feeling healed and energized to continue on my journeys. She loaned me an article she wrote on a Jungian interpretation of the Mona Lisa ---- and ironically I have been reading the book How to Think Like Leonardo and teach some of the methods in my classroom. I just love such synchronicities!

So the coffee is hitting, I have Alanna today, and she is dancing and enjoying an Elmo tape I found online. We will cruise the market, go to the bank, find some breakfast and enjoy a crisp Autumn morning in the Catskills. I will feed on her innocence, her joy, her amazement at the most simple of things, things that we too often pass by without notice. I will see, hear, smell and feel her world for a while, and it is all good.

Till later, Patti
PS another view of the Mohonk Mountain House!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tip; A Retro Reader

It is 10:30 and just walked in the door a little while ago. Had a busy day. Taught all day, then dropped off artwork for an art show, then off to meet a friend who was in town from Algiers, where they filmed the movie Ray, which is across the great Mississippi from New Orleans, or as she calls it, Nawlans. Then off to German class, and now I have heard that there is the possibility of heavy rains, so I have to go out to the studio to make sure that there is nothing on the floor that can get ruined. Things always get ruined when my studio floods, no matter how much I check it, but I will clear away books and papers off the floor near the wall where the water comes in, and throw down some towels in case it happens. AND PRAY. The open studio is next week, and all I need is a muddy mix of water to make life even harder for me. My neighbor did major yard landscaping just about the same time that my studio was being made out of 1/2 of my 2-car garage. I knew it had some dampness, but never had standing water on the floor. Imagine my horror when it first happened. We had dug out all the old concrete, dug down, laid gravel, poured new cement and then laid tile. I figure that the built in olympic size pool plus the addition that was added behind my garage mucked up the water flow and it pours into my garage in a bad storm.

This book whose photo is featured tonite is a flash back to the early 60's of parochial school in Long Island. Similar to the Dick and Jane books, it features tip, a terrier, and Jack and Janet. It is in great shape and is on ebay. I am not a retro girl, perhaps it is some bad memories I have of my childhood and that era that leave a bad taste in my mouth. I do cherish the few things I have from that period in a sentimental way, and perhaps my love of things that are from a period much older than that are a yearning for a life I never had. A romanticism and fantasy world, a world of happy rosy children and cherubs and paste jewels. I think it also reminds me of my great aunties whom I adored who had lovely Victoriana in their Queens apartment. They were my solace, those Irish aunts, in their dotted 40's dresses with thick black shoes and heavy stockings. Even they could get me to eat eggs, which I hated, and I would even eat the dark purple kelp that they had in their server in a paper bag......

I don't collect polka dotted mugs or bowls, and the only turquoise I am interested in is around my neck. Barbies are foreign to me, I was not allowed to have them.
But I know Tip will make someone very very happy. He came from a world that means joy to some person, and I am sure he will find a good home.

G'nite to all, Patti

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I am no Mermaid

The title of my blog is a song from Sinead Lohan, from her CD titled NO MERMAID. She is quite wonderful, this diva from Ireland, but since the late 90's she has produced no further CD's. I believe she is busy being the mother of a few children, and I look forward to hearing more from her.

Speaking of being no mermaids, my husband and I were at the New Jersey shore last year before my accident. We paid no heed to the flags set upon the beach as we were just so excited to be on a trip together by the ocean, on a wonderful beach. He and I went in .... and before you know it, he has the look of panic spread across his face. He is shouting, I can't touch bottom! I am shouting, "well, then come back in!" and before I could finish, I too realized that I was no longer touching bottom. I guess a riptide gently swept the bottom of the ocean out from under our feet, which for me is not a problem as I am a decent swimmer, but for Larry, who hardly goes IN the water, it was. I asked him if he was OK, but I knew that things were not looking good.

It was a horrid feeling. I was about 20 feet from him and treading water. I knew I could not save him as he might pull me under and then the both of us would fall prey to the clutches of the sea. I remember reading something about throwing something out for the person to grab onto, and wondered if my string bikini top would work. I did not have too much time to debate the issue, and started shouting for help. A wonderful man came from nowhere, and gave Larry his arm. He asked if I was ok, I nodded, and swam along side of them parallel to the shore till we could get in. As magically as he appeared, he was gone. I never got to thank him for saving my husbands life, and for a life of guilt that I might have carried because I could not go and save him.

Ah to be a mermaid..to be the object of dreams, stories, poetry and song. To be shimmery and beautiful and have the ability to lure men to their death. Ok...I only have a small list of men that I might lure, but the fantasy is appealing.

This wonderful antique print is on ebay, link to the right. It is sweet, and would be wonderful matted and framed.

Off to splash in my dreams.........patti

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Geishas and other Prints

As I mentioned, I went away for the weekend and went junking in a few of my fave spots. It gets harder and harder to find good things for both myself and for resale, but I did manage to get a few things that I fell in love with.
I have decided that I will only sell what I love..that way I am being true to myself. And, if it doesn't sell, I get to keep something that I COVET!

I have a little geisha collection in my dining room which includes a few vintage dolls, some of which are broken but have a loving home in my display, some Victorian papers of course, and a great geisha paint-by-number. I also have a few wonderful assemblages/shadow boxes that have Asian items in there, by my friend Kitty --- who shows at the Unison fair once in a while. Her art is AMAZING. She makes shadow boxes filled with antique, and other unique and lovely collectibles. She is a GRAND woman, and wished she were closer cause we would be sharing lots of tea and whatever together.

Anyway, this lovely photogravure (a process very complex and done by few these days...) is for sale on ebay. Also there are a few other prints that are remarkably beautiful and worth the money. A mat and a frame and you have a piece that is AB FAB.

Off to try and list a few more things. Ebay is trying to change some things and it is causing havoc and frustration on my end. Grrr........

Till tomorrow, Patti

Monday, September 25, 2006

One for you, Stephanie!

Today in school my friend and co-worker, Stephanie, said to me "your blogs are getting too heavy Patti", "I can't read them!". I thought about it for a moment, trying to remember the last few blogs, and thought, she's right, time for a fun story.

A week ago I mentioned that my friend Bardet was in town. We have quite a history together, having done many craft shows and flea markets, hiked, danced in the fields of Wittenburg, gone on road trips with fighting kids, had one crazy night of dancing together till the gallery threw us out and our dates wondered if perhaps they should just leave us behind....

Once Bardet fell off the mountain while rock scrambling and called me the next day. She needed a ride to the docs. I said, heck, no problem, and went over to her house which was in a refurbished chicken coop on a piece of land owned by a European sculptor. I was not prepared for what I saw. Bardet looked like an old lady, banged up and bruised, her arm in a sling. I stifled my tears as I had never seen my friend so damaged and hurt. Shortly after that visit she had surgery to repair her shoulder in NY and decided to take the few days after surgery to heal up at Mohonk. Since it was summer, and I was off, she asked if I could accompany her.

No problem. It took me no time at all to pack a bag, get my paints, grab a few beers and some munchies to have as we had missed lunch. Upon entering the gate, we gave her name...Wardell, and the guard had a hard time hearing. WHO? they inquired, "the Whoredells"? We laughed so hard that I thought they were going to send us away as we appeared to be babbleing fools. They let us through, and from that point forth we became the Whoredell sisters.

I settled Bardet into a gazebo once we got there, opened up our light lunch and the dark beers which I had bought along. I had developed a headache as it was hot and I was again hormonally imbalanced. Bardet offered me her medication and said it would help.... so I took one of her pills, and as the afternoon wore on, things went slower and slower and slower..........I went to stand up and almost fell into the lake. What I had unwittingly taken was much stronger than motrin, and with the heat and the beer, I did not know who was going to be holding whom up!

The few days we spent there were actually quite lovely, and being on top of the mountain is magical. (see some of my July entries about the magic of Mohonk Mountain House) I rocked in the great chairs on the porch, fed the fish, led my friend around who was in great pain, did some painting, enjoyed the smell of 150 year old wood and furniture, gazed upon faces now living only in photographs on the hall walls. This painting is a view from one of the chairs I sat upon --- I think from our balcony.

She lives in California now and whenever she comes back east we try and go to our mountain of memories. We have been up there a few times for a girls spa day, for walks, but no hikes or skiing, as alas, now I am the injured one.

I am blessed with such times and hope you got a chuckle Steph, cause you are right, I need to balance the dark with the light!
nite! patti

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Great Trip!

We just got back a little while ago from a wonderful weekend trip. If any of you live in the northeast, a wonderful area to visit is the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Only 1.5 hours from us, it is a journey full of lyrical landscapes, farms, and tempting shops.

We stayed at The Village Inn in Lenox. Reasonably priced, fun people to meet, and comfy rooms with a pub downstairs, made it ideal for us. You can walk into town and eat at any number of restaurants and shop in the galleries and shops. Some I can't afford, but they are fun to look in and search for the bargin or unusual object d'art that you have to have!

We are book fiends, and with my addiction to paper, a stop at the Book Barn in Hillsdale was a must, along with Berkshire Books. I found some really cool ephemera for my art, as well as some things I am offering on Ebay.

Over the years I have become really select in what I buy. Not only for my work, but for sale, as it gets harder and harder to find things that I can afford. I have been collecting for years, and it is amazing how Ebay has changed everything. It is fine, as I spend more time on my art than on gathering things for resale. But I do love the hunt, and finding things that are very special to offer from time to time.

We toured Edith Wharton's estate, which though still being restored, is fascintating and inspiring, with beautiful Italian gardens, and rooms that have been decorated by living designers. I love learning about history, and walking though grounds which echo of another time and place. We were about to wander through the gardens, Larry with his cameras and I with my paints, but a strong wind blew up, the sky darkened with rushing clouds, and it poured. We had to walk the quarter of a mile back to the car in the rain, but we were prepared with umbrellas and armed with adventure, and laughter. Life is precious and we rejoiced in the warmth of the rain and the love and friendship we have nurtured this past 10+ years. It is all good.

This little print is from the 1800's and is titled Playmates. Our little cats were so happy to have us home...and this print was so cute that I had to buy it so that someone else could have it. It is on ebay soon, the link is to the right.

Tomorrow I will post a picture or two that Larry took on the trip. He has me laughing...he said "I whip his ass around and keep him going", and I replied, "and you keep me from flying off the handle".

It is all good.

xxx patti

Friday, September 22, 2006

House of Sand----one more comment

Long day today, full of teaching, lectures about ancient Egyptian art, meeting with the seniors, Physical Therapy, stopping to see my son......

I decided to go to the tanning booth to try and keep a bit of my tan from Mexico for an upcoming wedding, and I fell asleep within 3 minutes of lying down. I was only in there for 12 minutes, and I went out cold FAST. I am still not well, and have not slept decently in over a month, so I passed out in the warmth with middle of the road rock and roll playing in my ear.

Before I drifted into lala land, I was thinking about something that bothered me in last nights movie. There is a scene where the mother, after being alone and presumeably celebate except for one heart breaking fling for 10 years, has hot, hard sex with a runaway slave. A Brazilian woman and a black man. Her daughter, who is about 10, comes upon the final throes of their lovemaking and hides under a table.....angry, confused, with her mother reaching out to her, in a haze of fulfillment and wanting to reach out to her child and comfort her. She is rejected.

In the next scene (the scene that threw me and took a bit to get into what happens) has the daughter now 30ish, is a drunk and having free sex with men. Perhaps there was no connection intended, but Larry and I both agreed that we felt that there was some subliminal message there.....exposing your child to sex (just so happened it was interracial) will make them drunks and whores, where the reality really was, that she was so unhappy that she sought comfort in the bottle and in men. Perhaps it was just the way the scenes were connected that gave us this impression...but it bothered me and I felt I had to comment on this.

I have to get ready for the weekend as we are getting away from life for a bit of fun. This is a pic of Larry and I being silly late at night after coming back from our night out. I won't have an entry for tommorow, but will post on Sunday night.

Always thinking and musing, patti

Thursday, September 21, 2006

HOUSE OF SAND

It was our 10th anniversary and Larry and I skipped over the bridge to Rhinebeck for some light fare at the Bistro at the Terrapin, then to see the movie House of Sand. I had the cream of garlic soup, which I LOVE, but now I am regretting it as I forgot how it my body "processes it" and that might be ruining our chance for any romance for the rest of the evening.

The movie was a well done and artful movie, though eerie, sad and poignant, but thankfully had some redemption in the end, unlike House of Sand and Fog which morbidly depressed me for days. This film was full of strong surreal images, as it was filmed in the sand dunes of Brazil (who ever knew Brazil had desert and sand dunes?) and had an air of overall desolation, loss, depair, and the strained and sometimes painful but loving relationships between three generations of mothers and daughters over a span of 60 years. I don't want to tell too much here, as I hate reviews that do that. It starts out with a mother and pregnant daughter (played by mother and daughter in real life) deserted by a string of bad luck in the desert, miles from civilization in the early 1900's. I won't tell more.

It is worth seeing for the cinematography and stunning and strong images. I like a movie that is thought provoking and moving...and this certainly fits the bill. The story is well done save for a rough transition in one part that took me a while to ease into, but in general the acting is impressive.

I am sensitive to the mother daughter relationships in the movie. They have a strong bond, yet there is a distance created by both situation and the need need for independence for both mother and daughter. I have struggled with my own daughter for 12 years on this, and I still have so much to understand and learn about the relationship we have. I believe it is a universal struggle, and often it is soooo painful.

Off to drink my tea. I hope I was not too vague and esoteric in my description of this movie. If it is so, it is because I think you should watch it and fill in the blanks yourself, and I am tired and need to take myself to bed and spend what waking time is left with my husband. patti

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Girlfriends and a business to help South African Women

I had a visit with my dear friend Bardet who is here on the east coast visiting from California. We have known one another as friends and artists for about 14 years now, and being an interfaith minister she married my husband and I 10 years ago tomorrow. She has been one of the most important influences in my life, and we have helped one another through some pretty tough times.

We were laughing over some of the rough times tonite. Like when she was hiking near Mohonk and fell off a rock cliff, and severly broke her shoulder. That is a story for another blog..and I hope that I remember to tell that one. Perhaps tomorrow night. It is a chuckle. But we can ONLY laugh at it some years later, as back then she was pretty damaged and needed some intensive surgery.

Then there was the time I fell and impaled myself on a 2 x 4" and she walked in as I was lying on the floor gasping for breath and cut on the head......

Good friends can pick up where they left off, whether it be 3 weeks or 5 years. And tonite we played "girlfriends" looking at clothes and shoes she had bought, the hats she designed for her daughter's business, Be Sweet, and sipping tea from herbs in her garden, lolling about on her bed.

It was a time of joy, of love, of sisterhood.

She is a designer now for this wonderful business BE SWEET which sells the most AMAZING mohair wools and products made by women in South Africa. Check out the link I just created for a look at the products and mission. I have a FAB scarf that Larry bought me a few years ago..it is luscious, warm and knowing that I am supporting women in an area where there is 75% unemployment makes me feel that I am contributing where it counts.

I am off to bed as it has been a long day and will write more about our adventures and about BE SWEET The women pictured are a few of the group of women who make the wools and products you see on the site!

In sisterhood, Patti

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

ART MUSINGS PART II

If you read yesterday's blog then you know what this part II is about. If not, then give it a read, and this is the final part to it.

Subject matter…

I love the landscape. I am frustrated that I can’t do figures well, and collage has given me the medium in which to express the human figure without having to draw/paint it etc. I would like to change that, but that, like anything else, takes time and work and practice. But if I could paint the landscape, develop a voice in that, I can still collage a means to express myself in other ways. I would rather pick one thing and learn how to do it well and find or create MY style.

What I would like to get out of this weekend. ….

I am looking forward to the spiritual part of the workshop in addition to learning technique. I have never meditated, but I yearn to go to other realms of reality and to explore the universe, the brain, and how to connect with it all. I am a spiritual person, and look to developing that even more. I am at a point in my life where I have a great yearning for this. To heal, to love, to live in peace and joy.

I have, however, worked from my dreams which have been quite fertile, interesting grounds. I would love to explore lucid dreaming and daydreaming……

In regards to technique, I am a sponge. I love how you work in oil pastels, and how you paint. A lot of it I know is just doing it and learning how the medium works, how far you can push it, and how the colors relate to one another. And not to have fear. Like the ad says JUST DO IT.

I know that I will grow in spirit, depth and as an artist from your workshop. I look forward to working in your space, with you, and want you to take it as far as you feel you can with the group you are working with. You have a very willing and hard working student here, LOL.

Fave artists….

Whew. I love my friend Rob’s work as it creates a mood…..a feeling. I love yours for their narrative and spiritual and free qualities.

I have always loved the Pre-Raphaelite Painters…Rossetti, Burne-Jones. Also the Surrealists, and the Symbolist painters such as Redon, Blake, Klimt and others.

I guess I love color, story telling, with an element of spirituality and emotion in them. Though I like and enjoy realism, it is the mood and the story that captivates and moves me.

The role of art in my life…..

I look at my life as a work of art in progress, a performance piece, my environment and ever changing installation work. (often a messy one hahaha) I am the embodiment of art itself. I need not be actively painting or making anything in order to be making art. BUT I am at my best when I am actively making art and it is there I come to terms with my angels and demons.

My intention concerning creativity….

I teach art full time. Though I love the kids and my job for the most part, it keeps me from my true love, and that is making art full time. The problem is, until I can find a way to make as much money on my art as I do teaching, I have no choice but to keep working. I do plan to retire w/in the next 10 years, and hopefully I will have many good years left to explore art full time while collecting some kind of retirement money and supplementing it with my art. It is necessary to sell my work on some level in order to live that life that I want to live. And that includes keeping up a house, traveling, having good food etc. I figure I am on the 10 year plan with the understanding that life throws curve balls at us all the time and I may have to adjust my plans. But at least I have a vision and plan on living to 83, dying in my sleep with a paintbrush in hand, happy and fulfilled.

Music….

Ah……I love music by Bliss, Loreena McKennit, David Darling et al. Classical is good too. Folk, alternative but nothing too harsh. I like a sense of peace and tranquility in my space.

There is a PS to the above..once in a while some good old rock and roll gets me pumped up, which can be a good thing when in the mood.

Off to bed. It has been a very long long day. I had to work from 8-5:30 today and then got dinner, came home to do some business and now off to do the dreaded PT exercises. BLECH. Till tomorrow. xxx patti

Monday, September 18, 2006

Musings About Art

I am taking a workshop with Melissa Harris and am looking forward to a new experience. You can access her website by clicking on her name that is in blue...I have made it a link. The title of this painting is Margaret Mary and is an oil on paper. Melissa combines meditation and other methods of going deep within ourselves with art. I have known Melissa for a long time and have purchased her work. She is a successful fine artist and business woman to boot. Plus, her work is infused with spirit, peace, and beauty. All the things that I desire so dearly to become a way of life for me and for the world. Visit her website and read about her workshops and appearances. Oh, and I asked her permission to include this image on this page!

She recently sent out a questionaire so that she can prepare for the October workshop. After writing it, I thought that others might want to read my responses over the next few days on my blog. I have shortened the questions a bit, but not the answers. I think when we visit other artists and see how they think, it provides a connection between us which is important as often we feel rather unique and alone in our thoughts and world.

Please feel free to post comments on my blog. I know I get them, and I think the public can access them if they click onto them. I am still learning this blog program!

PART 1

What makes me want to create?

I love to make things, whether it be earrings, cards, or fine art. It is deep within me. It calms and soothes me, and gives me much joy. I also like the additional monies that I can earn from my art. It gives me a sense of success and power when I actually MAKE money from what I love to do. Like most artists, I make art because I want to, I need to, and love to

Things that inspire me…..

Antique paper, paint, a beautiful landscape, the wing of a bird, a visit to a gallery, a visit with a friend. Art, books. The world around me inspires me and it is varied. Sometimes music, and sometimes tragedy and pain or joy. Or at times complete silence. Life itself is my inspiration

About being blocked…

I stopped worrying about being blocked. If I can’t feel I can paint, I will go to another medium. I can always make something creative, even if it is not the medium I am blocked in. As long as I can create something, then I feel ok. I know it will come back to me at some point in time….and if it doesn’t, then I seek out things to jumpstart me or explore other avenues of my life.

My creative cycles….

My creativity is directly related to the amount of time I have on hand. I tend to create more and better when I am under a deadline or given a challenge. I am a busy woman who fits in my creative time when I can. Family comes first, then my job that pays my bills, then my art. I lock myself in my studio when I am depressed or angry, as it is a safe place for me to be. And, I might add, these feelings are sometimes related to my nutty hormonal cycle. Or my crazy family. I have no choice but to go with the flow and get in there when time allows me. Sometimes I do have to stop the world though so that I can get in there otherwise it would never happen!

Creative Urges…..

I do try and follow them when they arise, but quite often life gets in the way, leaving the ideas and urges in a back “waiting room” till I can get to them. I don’t think they ever go away, they just wait patiently. When I can , I try and fulfill them when they arise, but don’t get too upset when I can’t.

What would I like to change…..

I would like feel less insecure and scared to make art. I would like to just do it without the pressure of wondering if it is good enough, will it sell, etc. I would like to be a better artist and painter. I would like to develop a cohesive body of work that explores who I am and how I relate to the world. I would like to be freer, less anal about my work.

I will put on the rest tomrrow. Thanks again! Patti

Sunday, September 17, 2006

And I shan't bite you!

When I was a child, I had arachnaphobia. BAD. I would see a spider and scream for my mother to come and get it. She would get this evil look on her face as she grabbed a tissue and pretend she was going to drop it on me. I know she was sort of joking around, but that is not nice to do when your kid is freaking.

I also remember that science fiction movie about the giant spider. I can't recall its name, but if you were born earlier than the 60's, you probably know this movie, the black and white movie with the giant hairy spider that knocked over cars and sent people screaming in the streets? No one made me watch that movie, I just had this sick fascination about the very object of my fear.

One day when I was about 5 or 6 I did something really bad and my father took me outside and made a bed in the garage out of cardboard. That was to be my sleeping spot for the night. I was horrified only because I KNEW there were spiders in the garage and they were out to get me. I was sure they were going to band together and drop on my head while I was in there. I don't remember how long he left me out there; I never forgot the punishment, though I long forgot the crime.

After we left Long Island we moved to the woods at the base of Panther Mountain in the Catskills. Talk about SPIDERS...they grew GIGANTIC there. Those hairy jumping spiders that lived in the wood pile, waiting for you to grab the wrong log for the wood stove...and the giant garden spiders with webs the size of Hollywood!

Nowadays I am not so scared of spiders. They live and reproduce in my studio, and I only sweep them out when things are out of control. I figure they eat the other bugs that seek refuge there, and that can't be all bad.

Todays card celebrates the tarantula. They are actually quite beautiful. And they won't bite you unless you frighten them I am told. This card is on ebay, but it might not be there for long...............patti

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Nocturnes


Just got back from my friend Rob Hacunda's opening in Poughkeepsie at Albert Shahinian's gallery. Rob's website is at Artroof I am pretty sick and can barely think nevertheless talk about art, but his work is etherial, pensive, his use of color amazing and I wish I had one of his large paintings for my meditation space. I don't have a space yet, but I will make one soon. I have one of his sunsets in the Catskills which remind me of Frederick Church's work. It is much more impressionistic than Church and creates more of a raw mood, a snapshot of a moment in time. He paints more than just a beautiful picture.

Rob's art deserves more than I can give right now. The picture on my blog was one of the pieces there.

If you live in New York, Poughkeepsie is not far from NYC, and the train station is within walking distance to the gallery. As an aside, the Wailers (of Bob Marley fame) were playing down there tonite. Too bad I did not have enough energy to stay...

I am off to bed with my vodka. I have had some clear soup and spicey rolls and raw pickled ginger, but I think that the vodka will help the most...at least to get to sleep. Larry is calling me, no, pleading for me to come to bed. I must look pretty bad. Till tomorrow, Patti

Friday, September 15, 2006

Fairy Godmother


I am too sick tonite to get into anything long, heavy, or intellectual.Larry has made me MORE giner tea, I am drinking a bit of vodka, and had chicken soup for dinner.

I have gotten the proverbial BACK TO SCHOOL cold. My students have not been trained to cover their mouths, and cough and sneeze all over my room. (they are teens no less). I am sure that lack of sleep, the stress of going back to work, and my family life has weakened my immune system which is usually strong. I sneeze more than I talk, and am into the package of dinner napkins as my tissues are gone.

I used my last bit of energy dancing to the Scisson Sisters with my granddaughter who thought the line "take you mama out all night" was something worth repeating, and had a blast dancing and spinning. However, a few minutes of that, and I was spinning myself.

This print is a great print by Gustave Dore which can be found on the Etsy -- link to the right. It is titled Fairy Godmother and is from the 1800's. We all have fairy godparents---they are all the magical people in our lives. Friends who send us presents, spouses who give to us unconditionally. Love them, thank them, appreciate them,
In love xxx Patti

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Drawing From Life: a book review

Every day I put up a different greeting card or artwork. I try and make it relate to the topic at hand. Sometimes I use a piece from my antique paper collection, but most of the time it is something I have made in the recent past either as a painting, a collage, a card. This blog has become my cyber journal of my thoughts, my journeys.

The main focus of this post is a book review, but I thought the verse from a card I made this afternoon which came from an old nursery rhyme made a lot of sense. This book is about the passion of journaling in its many forms. They are as individual as the artist. "Water won't quench fire" is a good analogy for those of us that must make art. That art can take many forms, and without art they are dead, lost, unfulfilled. The passion for art is unstoppable. When I speak of art I speak of the act of creativity, whether it be painting, writing, or dancing.

The book Drawing from Life: the Journal as Art, is by Jennifer New and is published by Princeton Architectural Press, NY. It was sent to me by a customer with whom I have had some wonderful correspondence. I am making her a little journal, and she has bought many of my cards. She sent this book to me as a gift. People like her renew my faith in the kindness and goodness of mankind, to counterbalance what politicians and the media tries to sell us as otherwise.

The book has heft, quality, and is graphically motivating and fascinating. It provides us with an intimate look into the artists minds through their journals. Included are the journals of many insightful artists, geologists, musicians, travel writers and thinkers. It includes David Byrne from Talking Heads, the 1,000 Journals Project, John Copeland, Mike Figgis, and dozens others. There are painted journals, collaged journals, journals abounding with mini works of art, photographs, calligraphy, cartoons and stories. These aren't people seeking to make "altered art journals, ", it just happens that way. In these journals they give us a visual and literary voice to the inner workings of their minds, their relationship and observations of the world and universe around them. 31 journals, 192 thick, juicy, exciting pages.

This book is not fluff, it is not craft. It is pure inspiration, art, intellect and a direct connection with people who give us flashes of their minds within the confines of the two covers of a lovely, thought-provoking book.

You can go to the website, www.papress.com to check out this and other high quality publications.

I am off to bed. Larry has made some of his magical ginger tea. I feel something coming on, and he swears this will heal me. I know that rest and taking care of myself will certainly help, so I am off to burrow under the covers and continue reading A CASE FOR ISRAEL, another book sent to me by a good friend and customer.

Oh, and if you like the card, it will be on Ebay momentarily.

Patti

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Affinity for Monkeys

People might wonder why monkeys show up on my greeting cards on a fairly regular basis.

Monkeys have been a family joke for a few generations now. You just can't shake the fact that a gibbon is a type of monkey, and my last name is a troop of them.

When I was in first grade in Catholic school, one of the many mean girls yelled at me and said "I am going to look your name up in the dictionary!" and gleefully pointed out to the class that not only was my name IN the dictionary, but I also had my picture in it...a funny looking kind of ape-like creature. It destroyed me for years.

At some point I figured if you can't beat them, join them, and I practiced walking on my hands and screeching like the monkeys on Wild Kingdom. One crazy night after a long night of dancing and partying, I entertained a bunch of people with my well practiced calls. That is a moment I am NOT proud of.

Now my sister and I send each other monkey cards, monkey magnets, stuffed monkeys, monkey bookmarks......and whenever I find an antique print of a monkey you KNOW I am going to gleefully make it into a card. Once someone bought a whole bunch of my monkey cards, but usually they sit in cyberspace till I take them off and sigh, and send it onto one of my brothers or sisters.

Todays card is a patriotic monkey and is listed on ebay (link to the right) . Perhaps I will send it onto our one and only GW.But then again, that could be a waste of one good monkey.

p.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The House of Broken Chairs

My house should be known as the "House of Broken Chairs". Only 2 out of my eclectic collection matches, and probably about that many have stable, glued joints. I have old T-backs, 30's chairs, Windsor repros, a beautiful Captain's chair, and a few turn of the century hand made chairs. They all have character, but they all have a problem of some sort or another.

It all started when I was married to my first husband. We had a party, and as usual in those early 80's party days, it got to be a bit out of hand. Hormonal young bucks started pushing one another around, and one of them landed in my goose neck rocker, smashing it to pieces. I loved this rocker I might add. I found it in the house when I bought it, brought it upstairs, promptly cleaned it up, recovered it, and nursed at least one of my children in it. I left ridges in the carpet from rocking in that chair while waiting for my ex to come home from his nights on the town. Sometimes I rocked all weekend.

Last year, now on my second house and husband, we had another party. All of us were twenty years older, and at least 20 pounds heavier. One of my friends sat down upon one of the new more modern junk finds - which promptly exploded! I mean exploded...rungs, arms, pieces flung about! Fortunately she didn't get hurt, and we all were hysterical for the next half hour at her expense.
Now when my company comes over to eat, they carefully inspect the rungs and legs and put them back together if need be. I have given up caring if they match and anyone who visits knows enough to do a precursory inspection.

Just look before you sit down with glass of wine in hand, and hey, pass the cheese!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One Step at a Time

It's been a long day. Teaching, then finishing the jewelry job from hell..you know, one of those art jobs that you take on that ends up COSTING you money?! I was supposed to go to the Jewish Federation Art Show/Auction tonite, but my friend Lois was sick, and cancelled, and I was just thankful that there was one less thing on my plate. I took Alanna for a walk, made gazpacho, some popcorn for the her and my daughter, and am ready for bed. I have to figure out what to teach in a few of my classes tomorrow, and I will most likely do that while trying to wind down for the evening. Or get up nice and early and sit on the toilet with a cup of coffee or take a LONG shower to get inspired. Don't YOU get inspired in the bathroom? LOL. It is one of my favorite places!

This is a card I made with antique paper this week. It is listed on ebay along with some very cool antique owl cards and a few Halloween and Thanksgiving cards. Fall is around the corner and I want to be ready for the holidays on time for once. In my quest for organization it is but one small step. But I take life one step and moment at a time. Till tomorrow, patti

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Struggle Begins

Though a small picture, I love how the little boy is climbing up this dirt hill to get what I assume to be is a look at the cow. Or, he is hiding from it. Either way it is a funny picture and one I am putting on with a quick blurb before I go to bed.

It was quite a shock getting up at 6 AM. I slept fitfully for yet ANOTHER night. My chiropractor says all the stress that I do not acknowlegde or feel is coming out at night and I tend to agree. My body ached today more than it has in weeks, partly because I was sitting in meetings all day, partly due to the crescendo of anxiety I was feeling about the first day back at school.

This is my 15th year of teaching and you would think by now it would be old hat. But it is always the same. The gnawing feeling, the nightmares that start about a week before you go back. You know you won't be sleeping in late anymore, or staying out with friends as long as you can stay awake. NO more long vacations and every free moment becomes precious.

I love my job for the most part, don't get me wrong. But I also know the hard work, dedication, long hours, and emotional and physical strength it takes to do a good job.

People who say OH YOU TEACHERS HARDLY WORK AND HAVE BANKERS HOURS should be dumped cold turkey in the middle of an inner city class and see if they make it out alive.

Tomorrow the kids come. Some excited, some pissed, some hungover. And somehow I will make them feel welcome, wanted, and convince them that I have something to give them worth listening to.

And when they tell me to do things that are anatomically impossible, I will smile and remember that next summer is less than 365 days away......

Sunday, September 03, 2006

OBELISK III at ASK Gallery

Last evening was the opening of our local art society's show Anything Goes. An open members show, it was diverse in styles and medium.

The weather was not great, but we escaped only with intermittent showers all day long, not the flooding rains we were expected from Ernesto. There was a nice breeze, and it was cool. The only things we were missing was the colors of a rainy Autumn day in the Catskills. The preparation I made in my studio which can flood in the event of heavy rains was for naught, but it is better to be safe than sorry!

I have to thank God, the universe, Buddah, and those involved in the process at the society, for all the publicity that I got for the show, from write ups in various venues, to the show card and poster.

Early on it was a slow but steady trickle of people, and as it got later, beyond the announced hours, more people came. I feel like I am a bride at a wedding at an opening; I spend much time talking with many people, and not getting to enjoy my visual surroundings. I will go back when it is more quiet and really spend time looking at the members work.

Obelisk III was done about 4 years ago. It is a piece made with a print I made in a workshop at the Garrison Arts Center taught by artist and friend Valerie Fanarjian
which I collaged upon. As a child I had nightmares that obelisks were coming to kill me. In therapy I discovered its Freudian symbolism, but perhaps there is more to the recurrant images I dreamt about as a very young child. I have not explored past lives, at least not yet, but I wonder if there are any links! I don't remember even seeing one except perhaps on TV---the Washington Monument. How could I have known about such a thing? I have made a series of work that explores my relationship with them, this being the one hanging at ASK this month. I have sold one, and have the other two framed. The show also contained the first piece of art I listed on this blog, and a piece titled "They Cut My Hair", whose story I will reserve for tomorrows blog.

I had terrible nightmares last night in a continum of a week of sleepless nights. I am sure it is the stress of the thought of going back to teaching and the craziness that ensues from my job. My biggest challenge will to be centered and not get angry or frustrated at the administration, staff OR students! OOOOMMMMMMMM.......

Off to clean, Patti

Friday, September 01, 2006

NEW ORLEANS - adventure 2005

During spring break last year LoLo and I went to New Orleans. It was our first adventure together out of NY state. We went online a few days before my Easter break from school to see what we could find. We discovered a great deal--New Orleans for 5 days 4 nights in the French Quarter in a 4 star Hotel, The Monteleon for 465.00. Airfare was included in that price from Albany, NY. How cool was that?! It was the week between Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, and prices were low for that period.

We had a great time. The weather for March was splendid; warm, sunny, vibrant. We spent 5 days wandering New Orleans, shopping, going to the many bars and restaurants. We visited a friend in Algiers, across the river from New Orleans. Algiers is this splendid little island where part of the movie Ray was filmed. NOTE: the carousel bar at the Monteleon is one of the best bars I have ever been to. Fun people to meet, great drinks, and I love how it slowly turns, making the trip BACK from the bathroom after a few drinks a challenge.

One of the trips we made was to Garden Street. We took the trolley until the houses became opulent and then hopped out, took out our supplies and did some drawing and painting. It was a hot day, and we sat on the steps of a large Victorian apartment house that was wide enough for the both of us and no one seemed to mind that we were there. The painting above is one of the houses across the street.

I wonder what that street is like now. Did those Victorian houses survive the wind and water, or were they too at the mercy of nature.

I tried to talk politics with a few people while I was there. I quickly learned to shut my mouth as the owners of the coal and oil companies did not want to listen to my blue state liberal jive. I was obviously out of place here and figured it was more dangerous to talk politics than go for a walk in a graveyard at night. I wonder what all these people think now?

I have not seen the new Spike Lee movie but it came highly recommended by a friend.I will make it a point to rent it when it comes out on DVD.

When you think life is bad, think of some of the people who lost everything. I do.

patti