Showing posts from April, 2008

Dance Light as my Heart Lays Under Your Feet

The title of tonight's blog is also the title I used for my daughter's blog MEGANAID. It is a poem I found in an 1800's book, and I used it in the artwork which I posted tonight. The piece is actually called Hope for Megan; it is one of the many phrases used throughout the piece.

I finished the work, as well as the other two, and am prepared for tomorrows drop off
I am happy with it; it is intense and wrought with symbolism.

The two shells on the top were used in the Victorian era to ward off the evil eye, and the hope piece was given to me by a friend. The Milagros are Mexican symbols of hope and healing, as are the daffodils. The photograph of Megan was taken by Larry several years ago, and was used for a poem that I wrote. I used encaustics (wax) in the piece, and mounted the print on top of a CDV photo from the 1800's. The box is a damaged wood cigar box, and it is filled with antique images and text. dripped with beeswax and encaustic medium.

Two of the three…

Difficult Conversations

I am typing from my laptop as my desktop is in big trouble. Ordered the portable hard drive, and when I am not working all the time, I will take the back off my computer and see if my fan is malfunctioning. That would be a relatively easy fix. If it isn't, I will check to see if it is dirty inside, give a spray of canned air, and if it is still malfunctioning and giving me the black screen of death and safe mode, then I know soon it will soon have to be laid to rest. In the meantime, I need to get my files off it!

I have this great headset which I wear when I talk on the phone while I am working in the studio. It is hands free, the receiver clips onto my pants or fits neatly in my pocket, and is one of the best investments I have made. The battery on it goes forever, which can be a disadvantage at times as I don't have the excuse that the phone is dying, and I fade into the air waves. (I have a phone that gives 3 warning beeps and then I am gone...)

Yesterday I had a lot…

Crash of the Titan

I have been having horrid computer problems, but so has Google/blogger. I was unable to access blogger from my home computer which keeps crashing, nor from my laptop which is just fine.

I am sending off for a 350 gig portable hard drive from H and M in NYC today so that in the event it totally crashes, which it is about to, I have all of my files. I have many of them on DVDs already, but not all. I am barely able to do this without it crashing or doing things I have never seen before happen on a computer. I think it has run out of memory, as one of the hard drives is only 15 gig...the one that I am running all my programs from, and it may be the power pack too.

IMAC here we come this time around. Too bad it is happening at a bad time when I am looking for a car and don't need to foot the bill of a computer and new programs that I will have to buy for the MAC.

Off to work. I had lots to tell, but will have to wait on that as shower time draws frighteningly near.

Patti O Crashe…

Why I MUST Have a Sunroof or Convertible

I spent all day yesterday test driving cars. I started out with the most divine car, the VW Eos. A hardtop convertible WITH a sunroof, and no pillars between the front and back seat windows. Pure unostructed camera views. It had the best seats and lumbar support I have found yet in a car, and it was just plain fun to drive.

I then went to the GTI--a fun spunky car that I took out in a standard but was overpriced it seemed for what it was, and then a Jetta.

I was disappointed in the plastic and controls inside the Jetta and GTI. It was just not the luxury that I am looking for in a car. I will take out the Passat next time, and the EOS again for a longer ride.

I still have the Acura TSX, and the Mini Cooper to test. That is a bit harder as I have to travel further to find a dealer. I am not sure if the Audi is a financial option, unless I find a good used one.

My head is spinning from all the stats, the research, etc. that I am doing. But I do know that it MUST have a sunroof, roc…

On Beaver Pond

Beaver Pond
Cody fetches a stick
Bardet and I
Bardet and Karen.

Yesterday I felt terrible, so I called in sick. It was on a Conference day, and I was not about to sit and listen to lectures with a splitting headache. I have weathered going to work and being there for kids for 2 weeks now, and decided I needed a day to take care of myself.

Of course taking care of myself meant sleeping in, swallowing several Tylenol, breaking down and taking a Claritin, and drinking hot tea and ciders. After I felt I could go on with my day, I focused on taking care of art business.

I finished the second of three pieces for a show which are due by Thursday, and I finally managed to submit photos of my paintings and mixed media work for another show in September. I don't know if I will be juried in, but as they say, you can't win if you don't play. My life has been so centered around my job and this horrid In Design class, and I have had to push everything else aside.

I ended the day with a th…

More Lessons Learned

A big part of my life recently has been learning about what I DON'T want to do in or with my life.

For example, as I have discussed, I don't want to be a graphic designer. I will design cards for friends, and use Photoshop, Illustrator, and In Design for my own needs and as necessary in the classroom, but unless you are really a good friend of mine or have something wonderful to trade, no go baby.

I have also lost all desire to continue my education to get my doctorate. I was encouraged by a few people, but for what end? I have no desire to go back to school and give up huge chunks of my life for another degree. I would rather take the classes I like, learn about what I am interested in, and leave it at that. I am SURE that a doctorate will involve classes that I will not like, much like some of my undergraduate and graduate classes. I want to get a PP degree..Patti's Passions degree, dictated only by my interests and curiosities.

One of the classes I am dying to take i…


I have had a very full two days, thus my being absent for a day or two.

Today I had to take 1/2 day off for a few appointments, and somehow in between them I managed to sit down in the sun with a few magazines and just relax and turn one shade darker than pale. I have a pile of magazines that have been unread for the past year, (or more..)and in fact, I did not even know what lay between the covers of one of the trade magazines which I was receiving.

At the end of the day I headed up to artist Melissa Harris's studio to buy some inspirational gifts for my girls who are graduating this year. Melissa is an a very special amazing artist and woman, and I always feel gifted when I spent time with her, whether in one of her workshops, or just chatting about life. Check out her line of greeting cards, candles, sketchbooks etc., and had over to her fine art gallery. She is hosting a workshop this weekend, and there may be space left, so contact her if you are feeling the urge for a wonder…

Lessons Learned

Lovely spring day here in the Hudson Valley.

Lois snatched her friend's Mercedes convertible and we went for a late afternoon cruise to Woodstock for a light dinner at the Bear Cafe, one of my fave places in Ulster County.

After our delectable appetizers we drove through the back roads to Saugerties, then down to Kingston along the waterfront on the Rondout Creek.

By the time we arrive downtown, my eyes are dry, I am rubbing them incessantly wanting to rip out my contacts. I look in the mirror, and whatever makeup I have not rubbed off lies underneath my eyes. I cannot breathe through my nose. Great.

We have a drink, and a liquor salesman named Peanut starts to chat with us. He wants to know what we do, and we tell him. He does not believe us. We ask him what he does and he says he is a prostitute. I tell him that he had better change his name as no one will hire a man named Peanut. We laugh. After he realizes he won't get far with us, he leaves, presumably on his Harley…

Canary in a Coal Mine

I don't know if these are canaries, but I found it in my paper collection, and I flashed back to another time. It is from a late 1800's book, and it seemed the appropriate picture for spring and for tonight's thoughts.

The phrase Canary in a Coal Mine refers to the use of canaries to check the quality of the air in coal mines. If the canary was singing, the air was free of methane gas. If the bird meant it was dead and you had better get the hell out of there.

My mother's grandfather came over from Lithuania with his young wife and settled in Brooklyn, where he raised canaries for a living--I hope they were put to better uses than for coal mining. I suspect so as Brooklyn is far from any coal mines that I am aware of.

My family lived in Brooklyn for nearly 100 years. It came to an end with the death of my grandmother at the age of 90 something; she lived in the same apartment on 22ND street for 50 years.

I have romantic visions of those times where …


Yesterday I asked the kids what they were doing this weekend. They reminded me Sunday was 4-20. I groaned and said GREAT---I will have a bunch of brain dead kids on Monday.
They laughed.

SO last night I did my own celebration at my friend's Karen and Phil's. They had the fire set up since the fall, and decided that the first WARM night of the year would be celebrated in a huge fire.

Karen pulled together some quick food, and we all bought a bottle of something, whether seltzer, wine or beer.

The fire was amazing, and just long enough to get in some good conversation. The usual crowd was there, a mix of very liberal interesting people whom I have come to know and enjoy over the years.

Karen's daughter was there with her four friends, all about 16, playing soccer, playing the silly games of teenage girls who still have some semblance of innocence in a world where innocence is taken at a young age.

I am grateful for the times we spend there, in a huge yard, with a big pool,…


Cars. Remember that group? Flashback to the 80's.

Anyway, I am doing a survey. A car survey. Yes, I know, you are sick of my car talk by now (hey, that is a GREAT show on WAMC--- I LOVE listening to those guys!) But I won't get it out of my system until I make the purchase.

For those of you who follow this blog, and like surveys, I am interesting to know the following:
1.What kind of a car do you own.
2. Do you love it? If so, what about it do you love? If not, what about it do you hate?
3. If you had a magic wand, what would be the next car you would buy?

I know I am going thru some kind of mid-life car crisis. If I could have a magic wand I would buy TWO cars. One sports car, and one really cushy one. Being that I can only afford one, I am going for the cushy one with the great sound system, leather, and smooth drive with room, but efficient in gas. This is not an easy choice you know.

And if you don't want to post on this blog, my email addy is readily accessible thru m…

New Rule #5: Never Test Drive a Car in Rush Hour

The past two days have been a whirlwind.

Medical tests, work, then on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-9 I am taking classes in Adobe In Design. My eyes were crossing by the end of the night.

Thankfully, after exhausting myself, I slept a solid six hours.

I must be slowly getting better, at least my cold is, as I found my sense of humor returning. I actually laughed a few times today, much to the relief of my students and co-workers.

I screwed up an appointment today, and found myself with an extra hour or so of free time, so I stopped by the Honda dealership and test drove a top of the line Civic, and an Accord Coupe.

My salesman has been a friend for 30 years, and I totally trust him. He gave me the keys, and told me to take them out in the highway and on some of the windy roads to see how they drive. I went home to pick up Larry to join me, and we had a blast except that we got behind every SLOW driver out on a nice spring evening sightseeing, or there was lots of rush hour t…

Just Resting

So though I have gone to work (again, no fever) and struggled through the day, my spare time has been for the most part car sitting quietly on the computer online, or resting.

This car thing has me nuts. I have come to the decision that I cannot afford what I want unless I lease, and that what I can afford in the sporty style amounts to a VW.
Perhaps I can get a nice GTI or Jetta for my money, and I have decided that the Mini Cooper, though adorable, is just that--a fun, adorable car that is not practical for the adventures I have been known to go on. I need to be able to fit anything from canvases to people or luggage in my car at any given moment. I know I have the CRV, but that is for hauling the big and messy stuff.

I have my sonogram tomorrow morning, and if I get really brave, I will get my blood work done too. Then I will see what those results are before I schedule any more testing. I am keeping a positive outlook.

I get squeamish about it all, but then feel foolish as I t…

Light the Way

I have been sick. Chest cold, suspected gall bladder problems. It has put a huge cramp on my otherwise busy life. I have not been able to do much, work out, and now it appears that all that I love to eat and drink is causing me great woe. It is to the point that I MUST get my sonogram done (one of a few) but the symptoms with the most pain get handled first.

We went to Catskill last night for dinner at the Thai restaurant and a lovely stroll through the village. It was their open house night and I was amazed at how much work and dedication has been made to revitalize what was once a fabulous little town.

It is hard to do something like that when there is so much poverty in the surrounding area, but advances have been made, and my brother in law has worked very hard along with other people to develop a community center for kids.

Speaking of doing things to help others, Aveda has a promotion going on now with a candle called LIGHT THE WAY that is available in Aveda Salons. 100% of t…

The Joy of Surprise

I have been sick with some choking post nasal drip that has settled into my chest and now I am losing my voice. (oh is Larry happy). I am pretty sure it is viral, and not from allergies. If it is allergy related, then I am in BIG trouble as the only things blooming are a few crocuses.

I did go to work today as I did not have a fever, and I still can hear my mother saying "if you don't have a fever then you can go to school". And so I did.

But there were a few surprises yesterday that made me smile.

After my massage, I headed over the Rhinecliff bridge and marveled at how the clouds and jet trails left geometric designs against the fading blue sky. I have not been carrying my camera with me these days, so I had to document the essence of it in Photoshop for tonight.

When I got to Lois's, she said, "come outside, I have a surprise." There behind her shop was a FABULOUS white Mercedes hardtop convertible, with red leather seats. She said "hop in", …


I regret not bringing my camera with me today on my 4 mile walk with Karen on the Rail Trail.

The trail is the old railroad track which has been torn up, and the path left for walkers, bikers, runners etc. to enjoy. It is rough in some places, smooth in others, and where we walked winds through the woods.

We came to a HUGE pond/lake, where I asked Karen if there had been a fire. She said no, it was all built by beavers! There are acres and acres of water, and I was amazed at what the work of beavers had done.

I got to see trees in the process of being cut down by beavers, the fresh chips scattered about. I saw the huge dams they had built, as well as many trees which were dying from all the water.

Karen said beavers are rather Imperialistic, turning as much land as they can into an aquatic environment.

Next time I will bring the camera.

I did make it to the doctor today, and I have a long list of tests and specialists that I have to go visit. Gastroenterologist, dermatologist, my…


"I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man." Chuang -tzu

I spent many hours in my studio after work this afternoon after a failed nap. It was more of a meditational session than work, though I did manage to make some cards for both of my clients.

I have not been sleeping well, in fact to be honest, I have slept rather POORLY for 5 days now. I tried to lay down after a busy day, but within 30 minute I was wide awake. I may have gone into the zone for 20 minutes. Perhaps that is all I needed.

I wrote in my dream journal while I was in my studio.

It has been a long time since I have written in a book; most of my work has been done on a computer. I relished the flow of the ink pen I used, the character of my writing, the kinetic energy of the act of writing.

I rarely have excerpted anything from my written works, perhaps this is a first time.

"My dreams have been too disturbing and bizarre as of late…

Two Things that Make me Nuts

Again somehow it has gotten awfully late and I have run out of time to do much around here.

A long day which started with a horrid headache and ended with a meeting. I came home to discover it was a delightful spring day after being cooped up inside the building, so I took a long walk up and down the hills of my city, listening to my Ipod. Afterwards I worked online, and made a trip to the store to buy some art supplies. I stopped at a friends house for dinner, and now I am home with a few minutes to spare before I have to head to bed.

I can not help but comment upon two things that make me nuts.

One is poor driving etiquette. When I am doing 55 miles an hour, and someone pulls out right in front of me, then proceeds to do 35 miles an hour the entire time he/she is driving, I want to commit some road rage atrocity. Please take note that I am for the most part, a very calm and generous driver, who is NOT prone to road rage, but come on, is this not tempting fate? And, I live on roads …

It's About Time

It's about time

I wrote this blog
I cleaned my house
I paid my bills
I got a massage
I went to the doctor
I started cooking dinner
I watched another movie

I am choosing only a few from the list for the evening, and that is first blogging, then starting dinner before my stomach consumes itself, and maybe, if I get lucky, another movie, and maybe Larry will get lucky.......and watch another movie. (Tidelands was disturbing and intense, though good, and Memoirs of a Geisha was a full of nice visuals and a good score by John Williams)

I have been silent due to trying to recover from doing my taxes. I pay the state (in NY, no big surprise there)and I get a few grand back from the feds, but I wont' tell you how much they kept of my money....and I get chills thinking about what my money is being spent on.

And, while I BRIEFLY touch upon politics, here is a link to an essay written by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, and her thoughts on the state of the elections, found on CommonDreams.or…

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art copyright pagibbons 2008

If you could see the inside of my head right now, you would see numbers and html fragments floating about in a sea of art images. I have been married to my calculator and to various computers, with little time for creativity save what I can inspire in my classroom. (you know how that makes me crazy). And to boot, I have received calls from shops, galleries, and customers wanting art. Of course that is a good thing, but I have GOT to get these damn taxes done as well as some problem computer work before I can free my mind to create!

I am having a hard time sitting and doing such chores. After I got home I laid down for a nap. That was unsuccessful as the phone kept ringing. So I got up, walked around the dining room table, which is covered in taxes, re-arranged the piles, then went for a nice walk.

Once back home, and cooled off, I sat down and looked at the piles for a few moments, then got up and stared cleaning the house because it looks like a cl…

I'm Not Wearing Wool

It is April 1st, and I am tired of the cold, the winter weather advisories, the high wind warnings, the flood warnings, and the grey.

I want sun AND warmth with only a minimal breeze. Is that too much to ask?

I have been in clothes crisis. I am tired of velvets, cords, and wools. I yearn for the light cottons of summer, but am willing to meet half way. But the mornings are cold, and for the most part, so are the days.

I have decided to take all the turtlenecks out of my room, as well as corduroy, velvets, and wools. From this point forth I will layer in cottons only and be ready for a morning below freezing, and a day of 70. If my neck needs protection, I will procure some wisp of a scarf.

I want to show my body to the sun so that it may be a little pinker than the palest of white with veins mapping out my true age on my legs.

I want to swim again in cool waters and I want to be brown.

I want to wear next-to-nothing.

Patti O Summer