Saturday, June 30, 2007

Off to Dylan and then NYC

I am rushing trying to pack to leave for NYC at the crack of dawn to play for a few days with my friend Annie/Loel in a nice apartment on Riverside Drive. And, in a few hours I leave for Bethel Woods to see the Dylan concert with Larry and Megan. Turns out a bunch of my friends are going too so we are trying to hook up before the concert. What a trip it is going to be! What a trip it is going to be getting up at 6 AM tomorrow. Sheesh. I used to do it well, about 30 years ago!!!

I FINALLY BOUGHT A LAPTOP, a Toshiba, but I have not really had time to set it up yet. I hope I figure it out before I get back, LOL. I got a great deal on it..did my research on Consumer Reports, and got the "BEST BUY" computer. Sale price 599.00 and it has as much RAM and storage as my home computer which serves me just fine! Someday I will get a MAC. Not now. Anyway, if you don't hear from me for a few days, you will know that I never figured out how to set it all up.

Gotta run, will HOPEFULLY be reporting to you tomorrow from NYC!!! PSYCHE!
(can you tell I have been hanging around teenagers for far too long?)


Friday, June 29, 2007

Hiking in the Shawangunks

Today was a great adventure. A hike on the Mohonk Preserve, rediscovering the flora and fauna such as the fresh wild blueberries that graced the paths higher up, the mountain laurel, and the wintergreen that I immediately picked, crushed, and smelled in my hands. We had lunch, and then had an outing in a row boat on the Rondout Creek.

I went with Michael, a teacher friend of mine whom I have known for about 14 years.He is the real outdoorsy kind; hiker, biker, scrambler, boater, adventurer. You know, the kind that you trust will get you up and back DOWN the mountain, and be able to handle that boat when launching it means going down a steep embankment and getting it over some major logs.

I used to do a lot of outdoor things, but over the years they diminished gradually. First it was the kids, then the work schedule, finally the broken ankle. This was actually the first time in two years that I did something that I would have done BEFORE I broke it!

We found a flat of rocks that we climbed up and sketched the mountains from for an hour or so. The air was warm, but not humid, and was barely warm enough to consider swimming. Though I bought my suit, and even put it on, I never did go swimming. I would have done so on a dare, but no one dared me......

The outing on the Rondout was lovely. We used a combo of silent electric motor and rowing to get us about. There were moments in time where I could imagine myself to be on the bayou, or on some river from another part of the world. Ah...imagination....

I am a bit sore, a bit tired, but definitely will go to bed smiling from a day of sun, fun and art. THANKS MICHAEL!!!!!!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Joys of Summer

Today I made lunch for a some friends of mine, and spent the afternoon hanging out in the kiddie pool with my good friend Bardet who is here for the summer from Sausalito. Lunches have been salad from the garden, as well as any variety of cold salads that I have made. Summer is my favorite time to cook as there is such an array of fresh produce available. I escaped to visit her over Easter break, and am glad that she is here in town for the summer with her grandson.

Somehow the afternoon turned into a pool party, (uh, in my 5.5' kiddie pool) with family and friends.

It reminded me of when my kids were little, when I was a single parent (for years) and we made the best of the summer, with kiddie pools, sprinklers, and what ever else we could come up with. My friends would come by with their beach chairs and lunches, probably a few beers, and we all hung out. Though they were very hard times for me and the kids, I had the most wonderful times. We kept it simple, but enjoyed every small thing.

Megan and I reminisced today about how I made a home-made slip-and-slide one summer for her and Will out of a shower curtain. I figured, hell, let's try it out. I got a running start, slid, and then slipped, forgetting how hard the ground was when I fell and hit my head so hard that it knocked the wind out of me and I saw stars!!!! Megan said "you know you are from the 80's when your mom made her own slip and slide". I could not help but crack up.

What was even funnier is that my 23 year old daughter borrowed one of my bikinis, and I decided I looked almost as good as she did in it! (I am near 50)

Anyway, by 4:30 I sent them all home. I needed to get into the studio and paint.
I managed to finish a painting in a few hours. It was of a sunset over the Catskills as I was coming back from Rhinebeck and traveling over the bridge.

I think the two clouds look like the fingers from Michelangelo's "Creation" from the Sistine Chapel. Anyway, here's to painting and going to the "zone".

Tomorrow is a sketching hike on the Mohonk preserve as well as a row on the Rondout creek perhaps.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Today I had another IMPEACH sign incident. I have an impeach sign on my lawn, in a fairly conservative neighborhood. I think there are a lot more closet impeach supporters, but they don't dare to put the sign out.

It usually happens like this. Scenerio: I am standing in my driveway talking to a friend or a neighbor and someone pulls up in a car, and comes running towards me. Now I never know if it is friend or foe, so there is a brief moment when my heart pounds. Both times it was friend who wanted to know where I got my sign. This time, a WWII veteran, last time a retired California professor.

This time I was ready. I had one in the car, and he readily bought it from me. I will have to get another sign to hold for the next excited supporter.

I have had no ill will towards me save for the neighbors who countered it with a huge blow up flag, but that did not last long. I swear I did not pop it.

Tonight's picture is of Marc Anthony. It is a photogravure from the late 1800's. Quite nice actually. Eventually I will list it on ebay. Maybe.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


My word of the day was venerate:To treat someone or something with deep respect, reverence or deference; to revere.

I use this word in my studio art class to describe they were objects of veneration. Though we used it in reference to Byzantine art, we discussed objects/people of veneration in pop culture. The kids came up with Rolex watches, certain cars, movie stars, and singers. Interesting how 600 years later we have moved from the spiritual to the material world.

One of my issues about the big hubbub of the movie/book "The Secret", was the focus on the material, rather than the gifts of the spiritual world. The concept is fascinating, and I believe in it, but I think that it is a shame that we think of our self worth in necklaces, or millions, and that is how our happiness and success is measured.

I revere the beauty of the earth, of God/Allah/Buddha, whatever you want to call the "entity" that is greater than us. I revere love, peace, fortitude, empathy, and faith. I revere all of the arts. Such things bring me closer to to a place of pure joy, love, and spirituality. I like all the finer things in life, but without such spiritual things, the material means nothing to me.

The images for tonight...photographs of Thomas Cole's've heard of praying to the porcelain God...well here is an object that must have been venerated many times. It almost looks like a little church!

Always with a touch of humor, patti

Monday, June 25, 2007

First Day Off

My first day off. Alone. It was heaven. Though I did not feel well (ok, I felt horrid, something at last night's dinner made me dreadfully sick) I worked on the house, in the garden, in the studio. It was almost like I was driven to work like a maniac and make every moment count in my life.

I did take time to cut flowers so that I could enjoy their beauty. I also took a dip in the kiddie pool and laid out in the sun pouring over an art supply catalog for an hour while listening to my Ipod. Oh what turns me on! I also checked out my latest issue of Martha. (I failed Martha school but I still can dream, can't I?!)

Later on Megan, Dole, and Alanna came by to hang out for a bit.

For dinner, I foraged in the organic garden and made a delightful salad, and along with a bit of tuna, cottage cheese and fresh mozzerealla and tomato, made my favorite summer meal.

I also managed to launch my new blog, which is purely about art for you art folks...the link for it is here...Catskillpaper. I had such fun designing the logo for it and also chuckled at my double entendre. I am the queen of double entendres, though they often get me into trouble! (I think they caused one the major break-ups in my man did NOT like my feisty sassy lewd commentaries at times...)

BUT I DON'T CARE! patti o dancer

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Back of the Buddha

Ever since I ended school I have not quite gotten the feel of what vacation is supposed to be. All I have done is go to my doc appointments, babysit, clean up the messes that have piled up over the weeks..

I finally had some quiet time to myself for an hour and put on my bikini top and laid out in the sun with my headphones on. I normally like the quietude of silence, but I listen to music because I want to drown out the sound of the ringing phone, of the cars that race down my street, and the barking of the neighborhood dogs.

As soon as I sat outside the sun hid behind thick clouds and my neighbor came over for an hour of incessant chatter. I wanted to scream. I felt like my entire day was this photograph..looking at the back end of the buddha, never quite getting to see him head on and absorb his peaceful face.

I will try tomorrow. I have no responsibilites other than to myself and will try once more to escape from the needs of others. I did get a good part of my new blog designed, some cards made, and had dinner on the Hudson, so all is not lost. For that I am grateful.

Here's to a day of work but with no one around, and to getting SOMETHING DONE!!!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Beautiful Start

What a glorious day. Clear sky, slight breeze, no humidity, and perfect temps. The only thing that might have made it better would have to been sailing on the Hudson, or hiking the top of a mountain.

A trip to the local farmers market, a purchase of a piece of sculpture for my garden. Some time in the studio. Sitting in the sun with a drink and my headphones on actually doing NOTHING while Alanna was napping. A party with cool people.

I felt blessed. My mind and my soul were quiet for once, and I rejoiced in the beauty of the day. I reflected on feeling love in the most general of senses. It was a place of peace.

To keep days and moments like this in my mind will help quiet the murmurings of the wounded heart and mind. To let go of old wounds and sorrows will bring peace.

The ball in my garden seemed magical today. I suspect I will find much magic in my own back the words of Dorothy..there's no place like home.


Friday, June 22, 2007

And it is Over

The day arrived..the one that all kids and teachers look forward to-the last day of school.

It was rather anti-climatic for me. I am always excited, but there is an element of sadness each year. Saying goodbye to kids I love, to staff who have been my friends and my support for the year. I don't get to see many of them over the summer, and some never return. I spend a lot of time alone as many of my friends are working, and I am grateful for the phone calls asking me if I want to meet them for lunch. I am on austerity budget for the summer, but I can always find something I can afford on the menu.

Today I went through bouts of frustration, anger, and sadness. Tears came to my eyes a few times thinking about all of it, and when one of my co-workers stopped in who is very sick with cancer, I lost all control of my emotions. I had to turn and walk into my room as I did not want her to see me cry. It was too close to home for me, and I knew how sick she was.

I was wrapping my boss's farewell gifts up and I cried again. I will miss her.
I felt so empty, on this last day when I should be joyful.

I delivered work to a show that I am in this weekend, stopped at a party with Alanna, and then went to therapy.

The session was so heavy, that I ended up going BACK to the party I had left so that I could have a stiff drink. Being with people inevitably cheers me up, and after some time saying goodbye to my friends for the summer, I headed home to Larry who was waiting for his sushi date for the evening.

My first day off I have Alanna. It is OK as I have lots to put away that I brought home with me, and I will take care of myself and heal from the raw emotions of a rough week.

I have started a new blog which will be devoted to just art, though I have not posted to it yet, and this one will be reflections on life and other things. I love to write about both, and it seems fitting that each should have its own forum.

Here's to peepers and lightning bugs and warm summer night walks where I can look inside people's houses---and to art.


PS Hey, where's the brandy????

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Soltice Blues

Today we had the maximum amount of sunlight in a 24 hour period. It also marks the beginning of summer. I celebrated it today by having lunch with two friends on the Rondout Creek, which runs into the Hudson River. It was a crystalline afternoon as the temperature and humidity were perfect.

Yet in my celebration sadness crept in, its tendrils deeply wrapping around my heart. The light will become less and less each day. Already I felt the emptiness from friends and family moving on.

As I drove over the Hudson the sun was slowly lowering itself for sleep over the Catskills, cloaking the sky in hues of pink and blue. The tribal beat of Dead Can Dance was lightly drumming. I struggled to feel grounded.

I went to see the Alice Neel movie at Upstate. I had received an e-mail from a an artist who had shown a fabulous fresco in my Erotica show in my gallery Her son was one of the cinematographers in the film. I am always up for a glimpse into the art souls of others, and it is was even more interesting that it was a woman.

It was a moving documentary about a woman who gave up everything for her art. What so many today value as necessities did not exist in this woman's life. She sacrificed a child, and at times the safety and well being of her remaining children for her passion.

She lived in difficult times. Woman were just earning the right to vote, the depression hit. It was many years before she received recognition in the art world for her painting.

It was a moving and sometimes brutally honest story. Her sons talked about the pain and uncertainty of living in the Bohemian world. There was anger yet forgiveness.
But most of all there was great love and respect for a woman who captured the very soul of the people whom she painted.

I think sometimes that I am an intense person and I live an intense life, but after this movie I realized how relative that is and how safe a life I lead. I don't really give up that much for my art. I have a nice house, I eat well, sip on my spirits, and have a steady income from teaching. My art is fluff.

Sometimes I think - if I only had the guts to leave it all and just paint.

Inspired, enlightened, encouraged and empowered, I left the movie in deep thought. I was silent the ride home. One of the last lines of the movie was Alice talking about how you could do anything if you set your mind to it.


In praise of Alice. Patti

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I am so very sad. There are a few people who have been involved in my life that I am facing saying goodbye to in the next few days. Each has bought something very special and unique to my life and my career.

I am grateful for having met these very special people. They have given me gifts that are priceless and I hold them dear to my heart. Though I have told them this, I don't know if they will ever understand just how grateful I am for their having touched my life. I can only hope that I have given them something equally important in return.

I spent much time creating something for each one of them. Though simple, they were truely gifts from my heart.

Tonight's art was for one of them. I wanted to make a piece that symbolized them using my own art and photoshop. I wrote a farewell on it, deep from my heart. It is the most honest gift that I could give.

To both these people my parting words are simple but ring true "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. (Garrison Keillor)


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Curiosity and Exploration

I am typing in between storms. I had much to say (I always have something to say..go ask Larry) but I hear the thunder getting louder so I had better shut down and get to bed.

I bought Alanna a pool this afternoon, and almost passed out from blowing up the THREE rings. The pool is about 5.5'in size, so you know that took some air. Of course, in spite of the dark clouds, we filled it up a few inches so that Alanna could go play before it got too late.

This picture is after she got out of the pool and I took off her bathing suit. The first thing she did was run around the yard exclaiming that she had no clothes on, and quite joyful in her freedom. (oh I wish I could do that, but they would certainly take me away). She stuck her head in the chiminea (which we can't use due to the city regs...want to buy one cheap??)and made all kinds of sounds in it. She loved the echo of her voice.

Oh to be naked and fascinated by the most simple of things. I watch her with great joy and celebration. She will be with us for the summer...after that she will be leaving the state with Megan and an Army base.

I will enjoy the time with her and relish her innocence, discovery, and love of everything that brings her happiness. May I also celebrate this in my life.


Monday, June 18, 2007

New Music

Another incredibly busy day at school, but I am counting down the hours....

I was able to put a bed of flowers in by the Buddha....nothing has been doing well there and I bought a flat of verbena hoping that those will take OK. I think I need some fertilizer for the bed. Maybe that will help.

I also managed to put up a new "mini Etsy" link on my blog. I think it is really cool that they provide code for blogs (it does not work in typepad I think) but any of your who have Etsy stores can get the code and install it yourself. It will link to specific items, but then you can view my entire shop. I have started adding things to it again for the summer. I hope to put on much more, but since school is not out yet, I don't have much time to devote to the work that it takes for a while.

New music.... I just bought a CD titled The Reminder by the artist "Feist". A blend of genres, an indie artist who is up-and-coming. Google her name and NY Times and read the review they wrote of her. I also bought a great CD for Larry titled Namaste on the label Real Music. It has fabulous New Age music without the typical boring predictable space groans of much of the meditational goop that I have heard. Of course Rasa does a live piece on it which is FAB and there is a bonus CD of guided meditation.

Speaking of which Larry is calling to me... the A/C and music is on. It has become a habit now..playing quiet music which we drift to sleep to. I love it.

Photo is a picture of Larry's sister's house in Catskill, just down the street from the Thomas Cole house. They got it for a SONG about 10 years the same houses are going for 400,000...which is actually nothing as if it was in Westchester, it would be an easy million. My house is actually a much smaller, more humble version of hers from the 20's...and A LOT less upkeep and house cleaning. I can't keep ONE living room clean, never mind 3 parlors!!!

Till tomorrow, sleep peacefully, Patti

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Visit to the Cole House

Another quick blog as it is late. I got up early to garden, work on the house, and on Larry's father's day card and gifts. I had bought him some homemade Cassis at a local farmer's market. I know a guy who sells it, but you have to ask him privately as he does not have a license to sell alcohol, but he has the best Cassis around. I whisper in his ear, he walks over to his vehicle and I go home with liquid gold.

The bottle is plain, so I collaged it with a cascade of antique paper sweet peas. I also made him a great card, and collaged his wrapping paper. I bought him a book of wise words from the Dalai Lama, a new meditation/sleep CD called Namaste (great CD by the way) and took him to French restaurant for dinner where we dined for two hours on exquisite food and drank black current Cosmopolitans and Martinis.

Late afternoon we took a ride to Catskill to go to Olana. Because we were so "Zen" about the day, we missed the last tour inside the newly repainted house. We decided to go to the Thomas Cole house several miles away, but again we missed the last tour.

We did meet the tour guide, who told us to come back next weekend if we can for his tours, and he would allow us to take any inside photos we wanted. I had donated an engraving of Cole's from around 1835 for a show a while back, so my generosity might pay me back in the way of photos not otherwise allowed.

Today all I could get was a photo of the outside of the house, the front door with the rope, and a rose from the garden.

Cole was the founding father of the Hudson River School of art, and Church was his student. Cole sadly died around the age of 46, never quite realizing his full potential, but he was a prolific artist during his 20 year career.

Come back for more info on new music, and other stories as I have run out of steam.
And, Larry is waiting for his last gift of the day.

Happy Father's day to all my readers! xxpatti

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gift in my Bed

After a busy day of cleaning my classroom, doing grades, going to to the senior class dinner, I had no energy to blog. I headed up to bed to wash my face, brush my teeth, and collapse into my soft bed.

As I drew back the covers, I saw a large package that looked like a brick.

I asked Larry what it was, and he said "it is a present for my wife".

I opened the bag and in it was Fiona McCarthy's book "William Morris: A Life for Our Time". Now some of you who know me very well know I have a collection of Pre-Raphaelite books, some of which are rare and I have had to sell from time to time to keep my business going or to take a class. I regret selling one particular book as it was so rare that it could not be found but one place on the Internet, but what is done is done.

The piece de resistance was when I opened the book and there was a postcard dated 1936 which was written to May Morris who was living at her family home - Kelmscott Manor, two years before she died. She was Morris's younger daughter and an important designer in the Morris tradition.

Morris was an incredible man. A poet, artist, architect, pioneer of the socialist movement in England, and much more. I rank him up there on the list with Da Vinci and other great genius's. He influenced and changed the course of art and design, founding what is known as the Arts and Crafts movement. He was a man who worked himself to death...but not without leaving behind a legacy.

The book is 775 pages long. It will take a good part of my life to read it.
I am inspired and influenced by the work of that time period, and look forward to being further inspired.

I am redoing my kitchen. We don't have much money to put into it, but we have stripped the wallpaper, and the walls and ceiling of this 1920's house is being patched. I am choosing the palette of Morris, and plan on incorporating some arts and crafts pieces into it. A tile from the Burne-Jones show I bought at the MET. Prints I have collected of Rossetti's work. I already have the rich tones of wood in my ancient built-in cabinets with their glass faced doors.

Thank you Larry for being the kind loving man that you are, always thinking of me. You are also an inspiration in my life in so many ways, always having faith in me and in my art work.

Though I will never be a William Morris, I will have left my own special legacy scattered in the world in the form of the thousands of cards and pieces of artwork that have been sent all over the world.

I hope that the next 30+ years of my life will be even more productive than ever, thanks to you, and the many others who have supported me!

In art, Patti

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sail Away

The balm of the week so far was sailing on the Hudson. My friend has a 30' sailboat, and almost as long as we have worked together, he has taken me sailing in the spring. Sometimes I get lucky and I also get to go out in the summer, sometimes with his family and sometimes with friends.

Today it was cloudy and cold. I asked him in the morning if we were still on for our sail date. He said OF COURSE! It tends to be even colder once you get on the river, but I told him I was still on.

I had this boyfriend who took me out in his sunfish on the Hudson on a similar day. It misted the entire time, he motored instead of sailed, (mainly because I don't think he knew HOW) and it was a miserable first experience. I landed on shore wet and cold. A week later I was out in my friend's vintage wood motor boat, and spied the creep out on the river with another woman. I ran circles around his little sunfish with the bright yellow sail which made it oh-so-easy to spot even on the Hudson.

Once we got out on the creek which leads into the river, the sun came out, the clouds cleared, and it was a cool but beautiful spring day. I did most of the steering while he worked the sails. He has taught me what little I know about sailing, and it is fun to play with the wind and see how fast I can get the boat while paying attention to the compass, the depth finder etc. I don't know all the technical terms yet, but I was able to figure it out for the most part as I have sailed before. I got it up to 6 knots when I could get a good wind.

We sailed for about 3 hours. When I returned to the docks I was so relaxed. In fact, I have never ever returned to shore stressed after a sail.

I forgot my camera, but the Hudson was lovely, as were the mountains and lighthouses that we passed. We sailed along side of the Amtrack train, giving its passengers a lovely scene.

I forgot how I love sailing. I would love to get a sunfish for some of the many small lakes around here and practice on that, but I bet that would feel very strange after sailing a 30' boat. Of course, a sunfish I can sail myself, a 30' boat is too hard.

Off to bed where I hope I still feel the gentle rocking of the river that I love so well.

Captain Patti

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just Counting the Days

I am not much in the mood for blogging. Let me say that I am upset as my boss of 7 years is leaving. I HATE the fact that I cannot say what is on my mind as this is a public blog. I have to censor myself A LOT of the time and it drives me NUTS. (I bet I would have a lot more readers if I did not have to censor myself!)

I liked my boss. I respected her and I hope that the feeling was likewise.

I just want this school year to be over. It has been a tough year...though it has also been a wonderful year.

I have been buying some paper on ebay and getting ready to make a shitload of artwork this summer. I have orders to fill and if I were smart I would start to build stock for the fall and winter. I also plan on joining a paint out in Marlboro which will benefit an organization that is trying to save the farmlands from investors that are trying to buy out the farms.

I hope to fill my spare time with as many trips out of town as I can. I want to be a gypsy, but I don't want to be a poor gypsy. My adventures may be be an important way of purging myself of the sorrow, and conflict I have been feeling. I also know it will reviatlize me and give me an opportunity to grow as a woman and an artist, and what I learn is always bought into the classroom.

Carpe Diem. Patti

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In the Midst of Craziness is Innocence

Today was my last teaching day, a day where I had to fix yearbook files over the phone while teaching, deal with hundreds of questions as to when it will be printed (by kids AND staff), and deal with interpersonal problems with other staff members. Perhaps I was indeed more sensitive than usual. After all, I have been sick, have worked single handedly producing a 48 page document in both Photoshop and In Design with students, co-advised the senior class...all the while teaching. I give up my lunch for the kids to have somewhere to go that they enjoy, etc. So off-handed flippant remarks do leave a sting. And you know about Scorpios.....don't back them into a corner....

The joy of my day was Alanna. I picked her up from great grandmas, and off we went to my house. We played with blocks, puzzles, watched Peter and the Wolf, colored, and discovered that cookie tins and chop sticks make great drums. For a long time she played the drums with Larry while I cooked home made marinara and tortellini. I love to cook things that she loves to eat! Occasionally I went out to the back porch to play with her, or to dance to the beat of her drums.

At one point, she looked at Larry, and said "I am so happy Yi Yi. I love you and I love Mimi so much". Amazing for a not-quite three year old.

I gave her a bath which we call "going swimming", bandaged her boo-boo, and crawled into bed with her. At one point she looked at me and said "I need you Mimi".

My heart melted. All anger and anxiety dissipated, and I hugged her till she fell asleep.

If only innocence could save the world from war, hate, and violence. If only.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Storms of Summer

Even though it is not quite summer, the storms presented themselves in their glory tonight. I did enhance the contrast a bit in Photoshop, but the essence of the photos are what the sky looked like. Not long before the sky was a beautiful blue. Then it got dark, the wind kicked up, and I got these fabulous photos.

Somewhere in my past I was a meteorologist, though I suspect it was long before modern technology. Perhaps it was in Ancient Greece. After all, Aristotle wrote in great length about meterology.

I prefer to think that I was in a civilized culture, where writing, art, and thought were highly prized.

The longest day of the year will be soon upon us. Though I look forward to it, I am also saddened by the fact that they days will start to get shorter again.

Here's to the light, and to summer, and all of its intricacies.

To the gods who throw down their bolts, Patti

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Day in Bed

I am writing you in between going back and forth to bed all day. Yesterday before I took off and went to my party, a sudden attack of lethargy struck me. I had to lay down and I passed out for 2 hours. When I got up my back was killing me, my stomach hurt, and I felt like I was a mess.

I went to my party, walked to it in fact, and decided that this time I was going to have a few drinks, which might take care of the back pain, and have a good time. Worse case scenario, I go home.

I had a lovely time, lots of food, good company, and at the end the killer bottle came out. My friend knows we love Aquaveet-----so he stuck a bottle in the freezer. After a few sips of that, I forgot how to spell pain. We all had a chuckle over the fact that if you google the word aquaveet, my blog comes up as the number 3 and 4 search, and people stop by and read my silly story. Wish my artwork came up that way as well.

Today? My body hurt all over. I have a temp of 99 which for me is high since my body temp is normally very low. I have no energy. My hips ache, my shoulders, I feel totally spaced. I don't have a hangover, (ok I had a wee one in the early morning) I am no longer tired, but I just can't do a thing.

Of course I fear the infernal lyme disease.....we have deer that stroll through our yard and gardens. I have never seen a tick on me nor pulled one off---ever, I have always supposed that they don't like my body chemistry. But what if one bit me and I never knew it?

Well I am going to get a massage tomorrow and if this lethergy and pain persists, I will see the doc. Maybe I just have been working too hard and my body is saying STOP.

So later a bath, perhaps I am going to possibly join myspace and set up a place there for my art and such, and I have a few very cool things that I am going to list on ebay. Need to start to get money rolling in as in two more weeks I won't have any more paychecks for a few months!

Today's photo is of something I have never seen, can't find thru google, called Neaties. They are printed cardboard dresser drawer dividers that are really pretty......and I think that Ebay may be the place for these. I went to a yard sale and picked them up along with a few other things I am listing. More Hawaii photos etc.

See ya soon, Patti

Friday, June 08, 2007

It's a Mad World

I have been noticing lately how angry people are. We criticize our youth and gangs for violence, but I see adults of all ages exhibiting anger on the roads, in the stores, on the street. Who do you think all these youngsters are emulating?

There is the gratuitous violence presented to children in cartoons and as they grow up, they are fed it on TV and in the movies. Phase two of our life is to work work work and we want instant gratification and when we can't get what we want when we want it we go crazy.

Recently I have made some mental notes about the anger I have encountered. A woman in her 60's is screaming out her car window at someone who was driving down the street slowly, looking for a place to park. Driving down a windy back road, I stop at the blinking red light - a truck comes barreling down the street. I wait at the light, and as the truck flies past me the woman shoots me a look that would kill. I am stopped at a stop sign letting the driver to my left go, and she GLARES at me as she takes the turn sharp and I think- My God, is she going to stop and jump me? There is a fist fight in a construction zone because someone would not take turns nicely merging. Angry angry mugs surround me.

I want to say to people, you know, what if your face froze like that?

In spite of all of this I smile, and I reach into my serenity toolbox and pull out a few tools and go into the joyful zone.

It's a MAD WORLD(clidck link for the Tears for Fears video Mad World for a treat!)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up

Recently there was a post on one of my art groups asking what we wanted to be when we grew up. I am still growing up, and still refining and redefining my dreams,but they have not changed much since I was a child.

From the very first sniff of colored pencils and crayons I was hooked. The color, the texture, the smell, the magic of art. My earliest memories involve art and gave me comfort then, as they still do now.

I went to Catholic school where we did not have art, but the times we did I was focused and often won special prizes. Of course it was cookie-cutter style of art, but I loved it nonetheless.

My love for art followed me through junior and senior high. My fondest memories of high school (and there were not many) were in the art room in the 70's,(it happened to be the high school where the Woodstock kids went) listening to Cat Stevens, live music by people like Cyndi Cashdollar (heard her on Prairie Home Companion one day!)the Kane Brothers Blues Band, Mike DeMicco ET. AL. While this amazing music was playing, I was experimenting in the arts.

The blow that rocked my world was when my father refused to have anything to do with my dreams. He said "either be a teacher or a secretary, or I won't fund your education".

Shortly after high school I moved out, worked, and enrolled as a visual arts major in a community college. He died that first year, but not before he saw one of my landscapes and said "that is quite good". They were his last parting words....or the last words that I listened to.

After my AA I applied to the State College at New Paltz to major in Fine Arts. My portfolio was rejected, and I was crushed and depressed and had less self worth than I had EVER had.

I did not go back to college until 10 years later, after I went through a HORRID (I mean HORRID) divorce and was dirt poor. I went into Art Ed, where I earned a BS and MS in Art Education, all the while on Dean's List and Magna Cum Laude.

15 years later I am still teaching art to young teens who were much like me. I love my job. But in spite of my challenges and rejections, I never stopped making art in one form or another. It was my life force, my sanity, my joy.

I smile when I think of all of this, because as I tell my students, I am doing something every day that I love..teaching and making art. That is what life is about, and it doesn't get better than this.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ways I Destress

This card describes how I felt after the end of the school day. I won't go into detail, but it was nuts and I was stressed and aggravated by the end of the day. I worked really hard, and once four rolled around, it was time to start playing hard.

I went down to the Steel House on the Rondout creek for a Union party. I had enough money for one good drink, so a Grey Goose martini was the drink of choice. It was in a glass that seemed to go forever, and the appetizers were plentiful and I ate enough to carry me through dinner.

On the way home I stopped at the drug store to pick up film, and came across the nail polish display and thought long has it been since I bought some new nail polish?

After a brisk walk while listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, I popped myself into the studio for a bit to make some my yayas out on a few of them. I make some crazy-ass cards and crack myself up while doing it.

I hear a hot bath calling to me and I think I will finish off the rest of the evening with a long hot soak. Larry bought a few new soy candles home so I will put one on the side of the tub and give myself a hot soy wax rub when I am done.
Then I will climb into clean, crisp, new sheets, pull them over my head, and hopefully go somewhere sweet in my dreams.

May tomorrow not be as stressful, but something tells me I had better start planning out my R and R now....


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Photo

A very quick blog as it is very late. I got the contact sheets from the shoot and they are amazing. I look right out of the 20's. I am only showing a head shot from one of the 25 images I got, as even though I am fully clothed and dressed in period costume (rhinestone top/headpiece and the bottom is an authentic piece of a flapper dress that I had tucked away) I think it is a bit too skimpy to be posting. The quality is not great as I took this from the contact sheet and had to blow it up a bit, but you get the idea. Now I have to figure out which photos I want printed! I will tell people that it is my grandmother they are looking at, hahaha!

Visit Isis' website. She had a show a few years ago at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, is working on a book, and is an amazing artist. She may not be for everyone, but I love what she does.

Off to bed! patti

Monday, June 04, 2007

Pin Ups Part II

One of my pet peeves is the way society uses sex to sell anything, yet if we, as women, embrace our sexuality, we are considered as someone less than moral or ethical.

The ancient Greeks, who were one of the most intelligent cultures to have developed, did not have the sexual hang ups we have now. Men had sex with men, women with women, and it was part of the culture. Out of this culture came great thinkers, artists, architects, playwrights.

The Renaissance was the "rebirth" of the classical culture of Greece and Rome, but Da Vinci and Michelangelo had to hide their sexual proclivities for fear of embarrassment or possible condemnation from the law and the church. It was not a TRUE rebirth of these ancient cultures.

This workshop I participated in was a celebration of women's sensuality. I had SUCH a great time as I was given the "permission" to enjoy all of the things that make me a woman. Time to indulge myself in the little joys of nail polish, makeup, costumes that made me feel wonderful and alive. The entire day was a celebration of all that makes me feel like a woman, and I highly recommend the class to anyone who wants to celebrate their sex, their beauty, their power.

I was the oldest member of the class, yet I was at ease with these younger women, whom I envied for their consciousness at such a young age. But better late then never I say, and I thought little of age. We were women from 25-50, all celebrating ourselves and our sexuality.

Tonight's picture is the card that I made as a thank you to Isis, the photographer. I will talk a bit more about the class tomorrow, and a link to her website for you to enjoy. Eventually I hope to have some pics to as a 20's pin up sort of gal. Don't worry, it will all be proper!!!

Till then, patti

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Pin Ups Part I

It is late, but I wanted to briefly blog. I spent my day with two writers, one dancer, and a photographer, doing a Pin Up workshop. We learned about the history of the Pin Up and the portrayal of women in art history.

The first part of the workshop was learning how to apply makeup for the period we were shooting in. I chose the 20's, while others chose the 50's. Intersting factoid: if you singe a real cork, it makes a perfect charcoal eyeliner. We did it. Amazing smoky eyes. We used stage makeup, and learned make up tricks used in film and photography. We each had the pleasure of Isis doing our make up, and that was a REAL girlie treat. And, for the first time in my life, I applied fake eyelashes!!! And eyeliner, I have not used that for YEARS!!!! Lip liner? NAH.

We also gave ourselves manicures and painted our nails red, the true color of the Pin Up girl. I have NEVER painted my fingernails red, but I did like giving myself a manicure and decided that I need to pay more attention to some of the details which I so easily overlook.

Here are a few pics that one of the women took...a before picture (I had on NO makeup with my bangs pasted back) and a profile of the finished look.

Check back tomorrow for part II of the story.

Tiny Adventures

I love when I am alone. Not to say that I don't enjoy my family or friends, but I am such a loner that I wonder how I have never became a hermit. I guess it is because life has never given me such a window of opportunity!

The demands of my job and my busy life leave me little time to myself. There has always been people in my living space...a roommate, a child, a man. But live totally alone? Not happened yet.

I fantasize about it, sometimes yearn for it. It has nothing to do with men, as I have chosen good men in the past 20 years to be a part of my life. (don't ask about the previous men BEFORE THAT!) Some did not work out, and my husband is a kind, thoughtful, and loving man. BUT OH I GET SO EXCITED WHEN I AM ALONE.

So this weekend Larry is at a workshop with Keith Carter. I got up early, and took off to wander the farmer's market, hung out on the stone wall with friends eating croissants, sampling wines, chatting away. Full with social interaction, I headed home to work in the studio. Four hours at home with hardly a disruption. I picked flowers, made art, did a few chores, enjoyed every fleeting moment.

It was the gallery opening night, so I headed off at 5:30 to the various venues around the city to check out the art shows. Another group of friends to interact with, art to check out, homemade beer to be sampled. Afterwards I headed up to the Center of Photography in Woodstock to hear Keith Carter talk. His name is hot linked; check out his website of photography. He is one of the top fine art photographers. He gave a delightful lecture, and a group of us went out to dinner at Joshua's with him. He has wonderful energy, this man from Texas. I absorbed his passion for enjoying life, and he made a point to telling us not to run from the things that obsess us...but rather face and explore them. Work hard at what you do, learn the materials and technique, because then once we know that intimately, can we push our limits as artists and people. Our life becomes our art. Amen Keith!

Today..hehehe. I have something special in store for myself. THAT I will share later on tonight. Or maybe not. We shall see. But I suspect I am going to have a lot of fun, and it is something every girl should do. (nope, it's not a toy party...)

Off to get ready for the adventure! patti o

PS One of the cards I made in my studio yesterday. I am getting ready for the Rhinebeck Craft's Fair at the end of the month. The Arts Society of Kingston is having a booth there, and will rep some of the artists. So, I am making a small body of cards and will probably hang a few of my favorite fine art pieces there for display. Sales are not my goal (thought a nice benefit)--I really want people to see what I do, and hopefully there will be those that love it enough to become a patron! I have one already, my dear client Nancy!!!!!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Kudos to the Kids

I am glad this week is done with. The yearbook is finished and being proofed. The art show opening was last night and I went after school....making a long week even longer as I did not get home till 7 pm...a long 12 hour school day.

When people say they want to have teacher's hours, I just want to slap them upside the head. I don't know what teachers THEY know, but I work every day from 8 am till 4 pm, often doing work at home and in my studio for the classroom. I scrounge for materials, I am always thinking about my students, and I give them enormous amounts of love, and energy, never mind the money I spend on them during the year.

Sure, we have summers off-but we need to recover from raising and mentoring all your kids. I get the ones who are quite the challenge too...the At-Risk youth. I bet you don't get too many people at YOUR job telling you to go "fuck yourself" call you a "bitch" or threaten you. The only teachers who might make the 100,000 a year mark (not so difficult to attain in other fields...) are the ones who have been teaching for some 30+ years. They deserve a house set up on a lovely tropical island, with unlimited margaritas or some other exotic drink for the rest of their lives!

I entered these three self-portraits in the show at the local community college's exhibit for local high school art students. Since I work with such difficult kids, I must ensure that they will be somewhat successful in their work. One of their AND my favorite lessons is this one..where we combine digital camera photos, along with Photoshop to produce an image that they work from...then they transfer using a grid method. They learn about the history of portraiture and color theory. It is a very saturated lesson, and most kids succeed in doing a decent job. These kids have only had one year of art, and most of that is laden with history and a mix of projects that give them exposure to a variety of medium. Studio Art II allows them to explore some of the technology and different medium in more depth.

So kudos to Steve, Chris, and Jessica. I did not see you there, but I represented you all. I am proud of your work, and it elicited many comments from those who went!

Off to start my day. The usual run around, I must spend time in the studio and later I am going to another opening and a lecture. Larry is doing a workshop for the weekend, so I am alone. And I don't mind as I will get much accomplished.

For you locals who read this- it is first saturday -art openings in Kingston, and the Center of Photography in Woodstock offers a lecture by Keith Carter at 8 PM. A deal at 5.00 to see his work and hear him talk. It is his workshop that Larry is attending.

Ciao for now, Patti