Showing posts from February, 2008

The Ghost in the Machine

I had a really freaky thing happen to me when I was writing my blog last night.
I know there is a computer explanation for it, but it is not one I know of, and if any of you fellow computer heads know more than I about what may have happened, PLEASE offer me some possible explanations.

I write my blogs in Word as I am having problems with the Java Script on my computer, Every time Blogspot auto saves, it throws up a screen asking me if I want to debug.It is very annoying as at times it is constant (and how does one fixeth that?)

I make the link for the movie the Orphanage in the document body, and test it out from Word. The website comes up (I was on AOL at the time) and the music comes on. I cruise through the website, and then close it out.

The problem is, the sound effects from the movie are still playing. The wind is blowing, the stairs are creaking, and there is THE thump. If you see the movie, you will know what the thump is about.

I figured it would stop. It never did. I…

The Orphanage

Last night we went to see the Spanish movie "The Orphanage". Check out the website which is very very cool, though some of you might not be able to see all the flash, depending upon your computer and connection.

The movie was moodily filmed in Spain, and I was mesmerized, thrilled, scared, grossed out, (a few disturbing scenes, thankfully not too overdone) and moved to tears.

It has been likened to The Sixth Sense and The Others, both of which I liked, but with Euro flair, which to me means less is better.

I believe this was the first film made by this director, and it was done well. There were a few scenes which I found a bit campy, like the swirling mist, the full moon, and the light house. Such scenes were reminiscent of old Karloff movies, and I think the references and the camp were not necessary and seemed out of character with the rest of the movie.

The Rosendale Theater, where we went to see it, dates back to 1949. I have been going there since the late 70’s, whe…

Why be a tiny cocktail sausage, when you can be a mighty wiener

So with that title, I am posting a card that I made the other day for my Catskillpaper website.The card is on my site under handmade greeting cards should you absolutely have to have it. The image is from an advertising company from the late 1800's and it features a dog chasing a weiner (oh love that word!) on a stick, while unknowingly being tortured by children in a cart. Get that weiner - not.

In case you are wondering about tonight's blog, I copied the title of one of the many emails that were filtered out from my website email. I get tons of email to my websites, but alas, they mostly try to get me enlarge body parts I don't have, or fix things that aren't broken on me. Oh, and drugs, tons and tons of cheap drugs just waiting for me. Gobble gobble yumm yumm.

I spend most of my email life hitting delete, delete, delete, wondering, what if I did answer some of those emails ???

Patti O Weiner....

I'm It

Judy from Cabin Fever in Alaska blog tagged me. Here's how it works:
1) Find a book closest to me with at least 123 pages.
2) Turn to page 123 and go down five sentences.
3) Type the next three lines into my blog.
4) Tag five other bloggers.

Here it is:

"rather Yogically, is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen. Like all great philosophical ideas, this one is simple to understand by virtually impossible to imbibe."

excerpted from Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love.

I am surrounded by books, but in this room most of it is related to Digital Art, Computers, artist's reference books, guides, and a few pieces of fiction. Right around the corner in the other room is a large bookcase of art books. To the left around the corner are two sets of barrister bookcases, a total of 12 cases, one of which houses my biographies on Marie Antoinette, Edward VII, Henry the VII, Queen Elizabeth et. al., while the other 11 house poetry, art, literature from the …

Follow Up to...In Search of...

It is only 10:30 am, and thanks to Larry for delivering me my coffee in bed I have finished a great article on How to Be Creative by artist Hugh Macleod and just tuned into his blog Gaping Void.

The article is quite good, and all you artists/creative folk should download it. It is one of the amazing free things in life, and there were several points that hit home, one of which is Chapter 24: Don't Worry About Inspiration; It Comes Eventually.

So, when I don't blog, it merely says either I am exhausted, busy, or simply don't have anything to say. It gives me permission not to write lest I bore you with some meaningless drivel -- and you get enough on the TV and radio, never mind from me.

Yesterday Larry and I dug out from the storm, and I actually enjoyed doing some shoveling. Rather than look at it as a chore, I looked at it as getting some fresh air, and working out my upper body.

After that job was done, I headed to the gym to work out my lower body. 5.5 miles on a new el…

People Actually Read my Blog?!

I woke up to a lot of snow coming down, a day off from school, and a bunch of comments made on my blogs.

It is always cool to get comments, especially from people that find me however they arrive to my pages -- in other words, not my friends or relatives that read my blogs - strangers from all over the world.

Two very interesting people who left comments on my writing were musicians, whose work I checked out and found really wonderful.

One is Stefan Andre Waligur whose music and background can be found on his website and blog Songs of Peace Read his 2/4 entry on A Very Modest Proposal (about bringing the troops home for Lent and more--a MUST read). Touche Stephan. Head over to his website too to hear several of his works.

The other was from a young Seattle musician John Brysonwhose writings are thoughtful and poetic. The recent blog "recordings" features his guitar playing with a young singer Kendal Sasso Her music and his guitar are lovely together. I especially like th…


I was not going to write a blog tonight. It is late and I am tired after a very long, and as always, interesting day.

I HAVE STORIES, but as a friend told me: "when in doubt, leave it out". That keeps me grounded and wise in my decisions of what to tell here. I also don't want to become a tabloid blog for juicy stories, although it is sure tempting, and it is only human nature that makes one want to hear them.

I was ready to go to bed when I got an email from a dear friend titled: "JFK Airport STained Glass Art Falls Victim to "progress"." It had a link to the Associated Press article which did not work, and the fine print in the article forbid it's publication. Google it-- I am sure you will find it.

It is the story of the destruction of the HUGE 317'x 23' stained glass window at JFK, revealed in 1960. I found it sad and pitiful that an amazing work of art was going to be destroyed (save for a few sections that were going to be display…

In Search of......

I think that this piece of paper that I used in my digital collage was an early lithograph of King Edward VII - but I could be wrong. But assuming that it is, I now know how he tuned out his mother, wife, children, and lovers...he had earphones that fit.

I work out on the elliptical for an hour. I listen to my Ipod as I work out, as it helps me get a rhythm, and tune out all the extraneous grunts, tv, bad music, and conversation happening around me. I go into the zone, or try to. But just as I get there, and the music sounds great in my ear, one of the ear pieces falls out, or loosens, and I am back to fiddling with it.

I have used the standard Ipod earphones. They keep falling out so I bought a pair of over-the-ear headphones that I could not test as they got so hopelessly tangled that I got disgusted and stuffed them in a bag. I bought 30.00 Skull Candy headphones that won't stay in my fact, I use the smallest of the earplugs and they are too big for my ears. I have…

Valentine Oysters?

Today's Google ad was Valentine Day Oysters. the universe trying to tell me something?

Then my friend who knows my passion for antique and vintage ephemera sent me this site which depicts a nice collection of condom envelopes from the 30's and 40's.

So I leave you tonight with a brief blog entry and some fun graphics and reading.

Off to bed......

Patti O Safety

Lillies of the Mantle

I have not taken many pictures inside since the holidays, so for tonight I dug out the tripod and took a few photos of my Valentine Stargazer Lilies.

The house still smells heavy with their perfume, overpowering most anything we have managed to cook, even over the cat box when one of them makes an obnoxiously smelly poo. (usually right before someone comes over---ever notice that - cat people?)It makes me want to always have fresh fragrant flowers on my mantel every day. That, and a housecleaner would be LOVELY (I spent too much of my weekend deal with house and bill issues etc.)

Today I had a painting date with Lois, and we painted in my studio nearly the entire day, with a break to take a 2+ mile walk as the temps were in the 50's and the sun broke through the clouds in between showers.

We looked at photographs of the Hudson Valley and of Tuscanny, daydreaming about future trips in the field. In the meantime, we are quite content painting in the warm and cozy heat of the studio…

The Great Soup Bible

Today was perfect for making a big pot of Pistou soup for dinner, and for lunch tomorrow when Lois comes over to paint. I got some good whole grain bread, and fresh parmasean cheese for the soup. From the south of France, it is made with a tomato and pesto base, with fresh veggies such as peas, green beans, carrots, potatos, shallots and more.

It came from "The Ultimate Soup Bible", a must have for you soup lovers. I am making notes directly on the pages, (like my friends did after they made each soup). One needed 1/2 the amount of veggies (it made 2 huge soup pots and I got sick of it after a while!) while this one was just PERFECT.

It was a fast soup, and Larry went back for more twice!

I love the simplicity of a bowl of soup, a piece of fresh homemade whole grain bread, and a glass of red wine.

Europe, here I come. When Lois and I do go to paint in Italy or France, we shall easily be able to eat the most simple of foods, because they are often the best.

One of my favo…

Night Reading

In my quest for simplicity and keeping the detritus of my life at a minimum, I have had to do a lot of excavating. I have a four day weekend, so I have decided to put some effort into organizing my life.

In doing so, I have reunited several pairs of socks and gloves, missing for a few GULP, years, and today's photo reveals the reading material underneath my 40's nightstand.

The following was unearthed from the pile:

Art Books:
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Treasure's From Olana; the art of Frederick Church
A local Art Guide
2007 Woodstock School of Art Workshop Booklet
Doug Ready's Greeting Card Manual

Fiction and Non Fiction:
A Case for Isreal
Inez of my Soul
Handmaid of Desire
Cold Mountain
Roar Softly and Carry a Pink Lipstick (something close to that)
Mrs. Dalloway
Crossword Dictionary
Secrets of the Powder Room

Out of Body Experiences: Leaving the Body
A Path with Heart
Voluntary Simplicity

an LL Bean and Victoria's Secret Ca…

Happy V Day to All

I am sitting here, my head reeling with the smell of the Stargazer lilies that Larry sent to me at school that are gracing my mantle, making it look like something out of Southern Living.

The bouquet was 3' long, and I could not circle my arms around it. I had a hard time getting it out of the school, into the car (they took up nearly the entire back seat of my CRV)and then find a vase large enough to these fabulous lilies.

I spent the night without Larry as he had to work. I did not mind as I knew at least I had a Valentine, and even though he was not around for the evening, he would eventually find his way home to me. I was out with a few of my single friends, and we definately spent some time lamenting about how we don't understand men at all.

I agreed with them on many accounts, but they reminded me a few times that I should not complain too much because I HAD a nice man, and they did not. I was humbled and knew they were right.

The Valentine Card I gave to Larry is …

More Flooding

Had today off due to snow/ice and then heavy rains. I had grand plans for the day, and about all I accomplished was getting the guest room tidied up as it looked like a hurricane hit it.

I have been designing my web sites, and due to the learning curve and my computer, I am having some issues and it is taking a tediously long amount of time. The fact is, I need a new computer.

The other fact is, I need an entire drainage system behind my studio because it got water in it for the second time this week.

Instead of painting or making cards for my orders and sites, I was mopping up water with my half a dozen or so old bath towels, and then spinning the water out of them and drying them for the next round.

I got paid in advance for a shipment of cards, which is saving my ass as my next heating bill is due.

Why couldn't I have been a trust fund baby, or married a wealthy man?

As I was mopping up messes, I thought, this too, will make me stronger.


Patti O Bucket

The Life of an Artist

My days are packed. Today after work a 4+ mile workout. Then home to the studio to work during the last fading light of day which is my favorite time to get into the studio. Cards to design, orders to pack. I wanted to work a bit on my Olana painting, but I ran out of energy.

Inside I work on my WE DO website, more on Catskill Paper, thinking all the while how I am going to make my mark on the internet.

Problems with the paypal shopping cart....and I don't know how to resolve them. Do I have to install a shopping cart. I am sure that both of my websites will undergo MANY changes before it gets to a level that may work for everyone. In the meantime, PAYPAL will have to suffice till I figure out the fixes. Too much to think about.

All the while as I perseverate on my art, I am also sub-perseverating on the weather of the next two days, trying to focus on an early dismissal, and at the very least a delay the following day, or even better, a snow day. All I can think is about work…

Olana Painting

I had a splendid weekend at the workshop. The hours flew by, and I worked most of the 7 hours of the workshop each day. I am mellow as most of the fourteen hours spent painting I was in the "zone", a meditative state totally where I am relaxied, contemplative, and let the muse flow through me. I cherished all aspects of a weekend of snow, wind, paint, and friends.

The piece de resistance was when Larry came home and walked into the studio where I had hung the paintings to dry. His mouth was in a big "o" and said, "wow, this was an amazing breakthrough weekend.".

Oddly enough, my favorite painting is the one I feared most. Complex in design, and on a LARGE canvas, or at least it was huge to me, it is one that I hope I can complete and still keep its essence. The next challenge is to finish these paintings using a technique that takes five days to dry in between each layer.

I discovered that I like working larger. The painting process is more kinectic, …

Art Day

I spent my entire day from 9-4 painting in a wonderful studio at the Woodstock School of Art. under the tuteledge of artistChristie Scheele.

It was fascinating to learn new techniques, and I was intrigued by working on a dark ground, and using a thick wax paste to mix with the paints and make thin glazes.

I took a deep breath and broke out my largest canvas as I am often intimidated by a huge blank canvas. The first thing I did was paint in dark tones very abstractly. As soon as that was dried we worked in the first glaze.

Unfortunately I won't be able to finsih them in the workshop as they need to dry 5 days or more before I can go to the next level. I will start two more and hope that I can finish it on my own without guidance!

I forgot the camera, so I did not get the first step of both of the paintings, however, I will photograph them before I go to the next glaze.

This is the business card that I designed today for my Catskill Paper business. Though the ephemera museum i…

Pumping Iron

Well I blew off writing, making art, AND going on the computer last night in lieu of a massage, a therapy session, and then dinner and drinks at the Armadillo. It was half price margerita last night, which was PERFECT and I ordered up a nice filet mignon. I don't eat meat much, but when I do a want a FABULOUS cut and it has to be perfectly seasoned and cooked. This one passed the test with flying colors, and beat out the Depuy Canal House, and at about half the price.

I have been working out for the past month. At the beginning of the year I decided that if I am going to have pain no matter what I do, I might as well be in shape. The upside is that I think as I strengthen my muscles back to when they were before I fell, I am feeling less pain.

I can't run, my plates/screws hurt too much, but I have worked my up to an hour on the elliptical, going about 4+ miles, and burning a good 400+ calories. On days I have extra time, I also work my upper body on the nautilus machine…

Grumpy but Pleased

I have spent the past 2 or more hours fixing two computers with problems. My computer stopped recognizing cut/paste/copy in Dreamweaver. After hours of messing with the mouse/keyboard/program, and a long time searching, I found a list of possible solutions. Amazingly, I fixed the problem, and it is working fine. But the fix took a L O N G time to figure out.

Then I had a compatibility issue with my Webroot spy/virus ware and my new Windows VISTA program. The program kept going in a loop and would not let me use my touchpad or do anything to turn it off, get it out of the loop, shut it down etc. I finally opened it up in Safe Mode, and was able to figure out how to solve the issue, which necessitated a download to upgrade the program. Then I had to reconfigure my touchpad which took me a while to figure out.

So there went my working on my website, eating, taking a bath, and doing an assignment. Perhaps the universe will be kind tomorrow and let me have a delay so that I have a fe…

Rotten Eggs, over due bills and 375 emails

I know I have been working too much and not paying attention to the real world when I do things like forget to pay my Staples bill and get slammed with a 29.00 late fee, or put the bills in my book bag and forget they are there and then wonder why I am getting reminders. I lost a check for a brief day or two before I discovered where I stashed it in a moment of multi-tasking. Then there was the eggs. I am sipping my coffee in a state of much fuzziness this morning when I opened the fridge to figure out why it smelled like rotten brocolli (there is some in there, I know it!) and gaze upon the eggs and suddenly realize that I had bought a dozen fresh free range eggs from one of my co-workers at school and I don't know what I did with them.

I did find them today, tucked away in a bag on the floor buried under newspapers by my desk. Off to the garbage they went, and I was kicking myself the entire time thinking of all the wasted egg salad, omlettes, and deviled eggs.

I am in over my h…

Color My World

First of all, thank you Judy and Megan for the thoughts behind tonight's blog. My friend Judy in Alaska,(the amazing author of Cabin Fever in Alaska )commented that she loved the photo of my kitchen. I was honored, but did not think too much of it, just another piece of data in my whirlwind sort of life. Ah but now I see...

A few hours later Megan wrote me from Tennessee: "I have been looking at the pics from Xmas and the ones you put on your blog, and the colors you painted the kitchen and hallways make your house seem so much cozier. It makes it look like such a warm, friendly place. Makes me miss it more. Hmph. Miss you, Love Meg."

Such emails bring me joy. My house and my art are direct reflections of my struggles, and I have striven to make my home a place of safety, quietude and love. It is the subconsious that chooses the palette, the pictures, the stories --the past, the journey, and joy of now that makes it what it is.

So here I give you a photo of a plac…


Don't take my silence as anything else but a busy life. I have kept my life full this past weekend, catching up on shopping and chores that needed to be done, as next weekend I will be taking a two day oil painting/pastel workshop with Christie Scheele at the Woodstock Artist Association. A landscape artist, she evokes such mystique in her work; beauty with a dark edge. I am looking forward to this entire hedinous weekend of art, though I always get a little fearful and full of self-doubt right before I do such things.

I had to go out and buy a few supplies for the show. The few supplies cost me over 100.00. A half dozen tubes of paint, a palette, gesso. I have prep work to do, which includes 3 coats of gesson on my canvases/boards, and more supplies that I have to purchase. When I do these workshops, I am determined to make at least a piece or two that I can sell to cover the cost. It is the only way I can cover the cost of the workshops and materials. However, some thing…

The Ice Storm

I had a most gleeful day. The schools were closed due to the ice storm, and I stayed in all day and
I washed and dried ALL the bedding
I made homemade chicken soup
I made shrimp salad
I cleaned my bedroom a bit which is always a struggle
I worked on building a web site for one of my new domains
I made a sketch of the website for another domain
I paid bills
I photograhed and processed in photoshop
I listened to music for hours turned way UP
I started designing new cards
I called friends
And now, I am going to make the bed with all of the clean warm bedding, and watch either Lady in the Water or another episode of Rome. Either one, it is all good.

Thank you universe for the gift of a day alone to muse and create and rejoice in the gift of an "ice day".

patti o ice
PS artwork is my glass ball in my garden which is covered in ice, and has been altered in photoshop. Titled Blue Ball. I love reminds me of the ice blue candies my grandmother had in a crystal dish. It also remi…