Saturday, October 31, 2009

Photo Tribute to Lilo

I must hurry and put my dinner in the oven, which is left over pizza, then scramble to decide what tonight's costume will end up being...and then guests here at 8 for a drink/snack, and then off to a party that our friends are hosting/DJ-ing at a local club.

I promise some photos, as at the very least, Larry will photo us here before we go out.

Here is a tribute photo to Lilo Raymond. Larry took the photo of the orchid and photos that were on display for the memorial last weekend.

Have a splendid evening, all you Halloweenies!

Patti O Batty
Photo copyright Lawrence P. Lewis 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mischief Day

Today was mischief day, but in school you might have been it sure looked like Halloween instead.

Halloween is a time where we all get to play, and a high percentage of the staff dress up in one way or another....or the ones who remember what it is like to play, and some of the students also dress up too - even the toughest of them.

I had fun being in costume, letting the girls help me glue on my fake eyelashes. Lots of kids wanted to know about my costume, and I explained that some of it was authentic clothing and jewelry from the 1930-50's such as a rhinestone piece found at a flea market 25 years ago, my grandmother's opalescent glass beads, and a heavy old strand of costume pearls. I sported A sequin embroidered top with fringe on the bottom -- another article of clothing much older than I. They had a mini art and fashion lesson about the 1920's and I explained that I was one of the artsy ladies from that period....a vaudevillian type-of gal.

I had also bought some face paint in case any of the kids wanted their faces done, and I found myself painting clown faces that mimicked the musicians from ICP and other bands . Next year, I will buy better paintsand I need to do a bity of some research on the subject.

Tomorrow I am going to the Center of Photography Fundraiser in Woodstock, where for 20.00 you can have your photo taken in your costume by Dion Ogust. It's for a good cause, and heck, you get a portrait for 20.00!!! Hopefully the weather will hold out so I can get up there and back before it gets crowded and crazy.....

Off to read about fibroids. More on that one later.

Patti O Costume

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In the Show/Snow? Zone

I always do this.

I have a year to prepare art and craft for my one and only local show, and I end up doing everything the last month and then feeling the weight of the "crush" of that, the holidays, and the fine art shows that I am in. (and the art has yet to be made)

I don't know how the month of October just slid right out from under me heading into November, and before I know it the first weekend in December will be here and I have to be READY.....I try and still centered, but by now any mellowness from the summer has faded into a distant memory.

WHEN IT ISN'T RAINING the sun still has some strength and I have been known to ditch an afternoon plan to drive for an hour with the top down, shooting a few desperate last photos from the open top of my silver bullet. (I bet Barbarella would have loved this car). But lately it has been cold, or seems to rain a lot. (I am trying to love my new rubber rain boots)

I don't like that I have to heat/preheat the studio now.
I won't like that I will soon have to shovel to get to it.
I don't like that I can't run out there in my bathing suit.
I don't like that there isn't much natural light when I get home.
I never want to leave the house.

But on the other hand.............I love the colors of Christmas.
I love looking at the design of my collection that are 100 or more years old.
I love making new out of old and discarded.
I love to design ornaments with what I have.
I love laying down in front of the fire and feeling the heat..
I love walking in the snow,
and I LOVE snow days.

The yin and the yang,

Patti O Seasons

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Memorium

This afternoon was the memorial service for photographer Lilo Raymond, at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY.

I knew Lilo and George before I knew Larry. They had moved into my strange little neighborhood in Eddyville, which I had nicknamed Freddy Kruger-ville. I was excited that another artist had taken up residence.

Shortly after meeting Lilo in 1987, I was shopping in a high end department store that was going out of business, and came across a lovely book titled Spa Food: Menues and Recipes from the Sonoma Mission Inn, photographed by none other than Lilo. I didn't have much money in those days raising 2 babies on my own, but I bought the book, and to this day, still have it and cherish it. The photos are delectable as are the recipes...

I met Lilo around the time that my marriage to No. 1 fell apart. Eventually there was a No 2, but that too fell apart after 5 years. And it was during that slow relationship demise that I went to a neighborhood party where Lilo and friends introduced me to Larry. And the for another time.

I owe it to Lilo ....who planted the seed, and I am inspired by her endless energy and sense of adventure and kind spirit. favorite vision of you is of you tooling around in your Jettas. You had joie de vivre....

And astonishingly beautiful photographs.

In light,


To see Lilo's work, click on the link in this blog, or else search her name on Google images. She also photographed John and Yoko... Yoko sent flowers.......

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Night of Simple Fun

6:00 pm Judi, Colette, and I hit Columbia Costume in uptown Kingston, NY for a costume for Halloween. Colette already had her costume, and it was evident after spending a few hours with her in there, that she knew the store well.

It was a fun time, trying on masks that looked like something out of a Fellini film, or the film "Eyes Wide Shut". We took photos of one another, which promptly ended when we saw the sign that said NO PHOTOGRAPHY. Uh oh.

I tried on an Egyptian costume, but it was one of the less expensive ones, and it looked like it. Thin clingy nylon (and not in the right places either) the slits way too high for school. I felt like a frumpy Cleopatra, and that idea went right out the window. The head dress was just about the same price, and oh-so-much-more glamorous.

I ended up buying a fabulous Ziegfeld Folly girl feather headdress in royal blue with silver sequins. It fit well, did not slide, nor was it hot or smelled of rubber. And, if I DO go out to the SWANK party, I can dance in it. The costume? For school I will dress as the "Queen of the Art Castle" , and if I go out, I will be a bit more wild and be a Folly girl.

I could have bought an elaborate outfit, but I figure part of the fun is making your costume with bits and pieces put together. I bought some glittery body makeup and the headpiece; the rest will be from what I have OR borrow.

After our fun foray, everyone (even Andrew who joined us) left with something to jump start our costumes. It will be interesting to see how we all put it together, and since we may end up at the same party, we will get photographs.

After was appetizers and margaritas at the 'Dillo. Simple fare, but all sooo good. And, it is 1/2 price margarita night for those of us who are feeling the economic ass-grabbing.

So simple, so fun, and really quite cheap.

Here's to play!

Patti O Masquerade

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Voluntary Simplicity

There is a book called Voluntary Simplicity. I think I may have owned it, or perhaps I just imagined that I owned it due to it's popularity over the years. If I didn't read it, it was because I was just not ready for it yet.

But now I have reached my saturation point and things need to change.

I am tired of work work work; for what what what I ask myself? To balance numbers that exist in registers and on computers? To give everyone else but myself the money? To spend most of my life working and not enjoy the little things in life more than I do? To prove something to myself or to others?

I know that I have some time left on this earth where I will have to be in the workforce, and am totally willing to give it my all and do my job mindfully. And, I am not giving up my Eos or my sweet house to go live in a cabin. I like my things and I know and accept that to some degree I am owned by them. But it is time to make decisions on what IS priority, what is fluff, and what is a time waster.

So how do I start? Wait, maybe I should get the book? Is there a workbook for this? I read the book on "right sizing" (and I am working on that!) but this is a little bit more complicated! How do you rightsize your friends, events, obligations and obsessions? I'd LOVE to open this as a forum for discussion. After all, I don't have time to read the book. Snicker.

Tomorrow is thought one. Rightsizing my business. Till then

Patti O Changin'
(Photo: after a rainstorm a few years ago--lookin' for the pot under the rainbow)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Harvest is one of my all time favorite Neil Young albums. I remember kids playing "Needle and the Damage Done" in the art room while I saw experimenting sticking my hands and arms in vats of melted casting wax, sculpting dragons, and enameling pennies. One of those kids was Cindy Cashdollar, who is a renowned Dobro player, the Kane brothers who went on to form the Kane Brothers Blues Band. But I digress...

Harvest is also one of my favorite times of the year as I like getting ready to nest. Winter forces me to slow down and live a simpler life, which I know my body and psyche need. We have ordered the fire wood, I am freezing my herbs and veggies and even went as far as buying a Food Saver vacuum sealer. I am making hearty soups and anticipate roasted chickens, potatoes and veggies scenting the house.

I don't mind dressing in layers, and have learned not to fight winter, but be prepared for it, which will include getting the garage cleaned out enough for the VW!!!

HOWEVER - I do miss the light and I have still not figured out how to deal with the blues I can get from the lack of it.

While I was in the midst of freezing my first batch of swiss chard, I shot the operation with my Canon Power Shot A-75, no flash, hand held, and ran them both through Photoshop a bit to lighten and apply a filter. The photos are lush, warm, and inviting. The veggies become rich sensuous shapes. On occasion I will take a shot that makes me want to paint it... and this one shouts to me, even though I don't paint many still lifes. But this one...this one might make me change my mind...if I can ever get BACK into the studio long enough to paint in it!

My pre-heated bed is calling to me, and I must rest up for tomorrow. I could have used another day. Couldn't we all.

Patti O Harvest

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Frost Has Gotten to my Brain.

Something has happened to me.

I think it is the fading light.
It is hard to be motivated to make art after work
It is hard to write at night
I want to go to bed at 8:00 pm and even if I do
It is hard to get up in the morning.
I want to stay under the covers all day long.
And it hasn't even snowed yet.

Full spectrum bulbs?
Move south?
Go to the tanning booth for some light?
Invest in a fur to wear when there is no heat in the studio??

At least I have the boots.

Patti O Brain Freeze

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lazy Valley Sloggin

The past few weekends have been gifts of some beautiful days, though I am not happy that I am easing out of sandals and into socks, that bare legs will have to don tights save for a day or two of Indian Summer, by which time I will be pale and not bare much skin anyway.

I know it's over - the summer and the heat, as today I heard the sqabbling in my dogwood tree. Looking out, I saw various species of birds flying in and out of the tree in pairs, including Titmice, Robins, Flickers, and Blue Jays. Each time they left the tree, they left with the berry from the dogwood. This berry is a favorite among migrating birds as it is higher in lipids providing them with lots of energy for the journey home. Today was the annual Dogwood Berry Dive.

I wish I had a video camera. I stood for a long time amazed at the birds aggression at ravishing my tree. From time to time there were some bully birds, though it seemed that at one point each species was taking turns screaming at each other. However, as one of my FB friend Anita said, "they figured it out without a gun or starting a war".

I am sure come morning, the tree will be bare, the birds will be gone, and my peppers killed by the cold because I forgot to pick them tonight. Or maybe the mighty Hudson will keep us a few degrees warmer for another night.

I need to get my pumpkins.

Patti O Cooler....

Photos of my ride home from the mountains.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Gifts from the Earth

I have been eating like a queen these days, tasting the harvest from my gardens, from the local farmer's gardens, and from Leah who has been harvesting chicken and hen of the wood mushrooms the past few weeks.

I have a steady supply of mesclun, arugula, I just picked the last batch of beans the other day, and am still harvesting peppers and Swiss chard. The basil is done, but the other herbs are still green and lush, and there are some greens in my garden that will survive beyond the first frost.

I am sad that soon there will be no more tomatoes, one of my favorite summer fruits. And soon I no longer be sinking my teeth into fabulous freshly picked corn. My freezer does have some frozen tomatoes, peppers and beans to pull out in the dead of winter to remind me of the season to come.

I have been looking for farm stands selling baskets of tomatoes for far less than the 2.00 a pound that they sell for. Since I lost most of mine, I did not get to make any sauce, as I ate the ones that survived the blight. However, it has been a long time since I have seen those bargain baskets of tomatoes; perhaps the farmers too did not have a surplus crop. It has become cheaper to buy organic canned tomatoes instead; they don't make such a bad sauce with the right ingredients. But I still love the process of putting up a sauce, a memory from my late teen years where my girlfriend and I "cooked with honey:, made tons of salads and home made quiches, at a time when all was new, wonderful, painful, incredible, and very, very saucy.

We are lucky that the farmer's market goes through November here, which is fairly late. Further north and west, some have already closed. So through the late fall, we will eat of the harvest of the local earth. I will switch from corn to squash, basil to rosemary, radishes to potatoes.

And its all wonderful.

patti o farmer

Art titled "Food For Thought" about genetically modified foods.....

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Getting out of the Doldrums

After a few emotionally intense days, I needed some down time this weekend, and rebuilding time for the funeral and to go back to another intense week at work.

On Saturday we took another ride west into the Catskills. The mist hung heavily on the mountains, with breaks of sunshine peeping though the mist and clouds.

We went to the farmers market at the Round Barn, where I bought some lovely spices, and soup mixes, which I can pop into the crock pot for an easy dinner, some home made raw milk cheese made locally in caves beneath the farmers land. Grey Mouse Farm was there, so I restocked on some dilly beans and snacks.

The find of the day at Loving Earth Studio where I bought some garlic dipping bowls for myself and for presents. The bowls are rough and sharp on the bottom so that you can scrape your garlic along the bottom, then add the olive oil and whatever other spices you might add for a dipping sauce. Ingenious, and practical. Put together with some lovely olive oil and organic garlic, it makes for a great gift.

I spent a few hours in the afternoon in the studio. I never seem to get enough time in there to do much more than make a few cards. While I was working away, Larry came in jumping around like a little monkey, saying "I have got some great news!". He kept hopping around, and I kept trying to think what he would be telling me. Maybe we won some contest tickets on the local radio show or something I mused. He hops and stops in front of my face (right now the image of Rumplestiltskin in etched into my mind) and says "you sold your painting at the WAAM!".

I was in shock. I think he could have told me anything else that I would have believed more than I believed this.

Sold a 500.00 painting at a gallery? Impossible. Perhaps they have the wrong person. (I am still in disbelief) Like, someone actually liked my artwork over everything else in the gallery and BOUGHT IT??? Who was it?

I am honored, excited, energized, hopeful, and I know that I can put another few months of heat into the studio with the check.

So dear universe, I am so grateful. And to the person that bought this painting that is dear to my heart I hope you enjoy it for many wonderful years. I will miss my painting (shown here) but I am inspired to paint many more.

Gracia Universe


Thursday, October 01, 2009

On Days Like These

Megan is awaiting a MRI, so we wait.

This waiting is difficult. I try and stay in the present, and not project a thousand different scenarios. I want the outcome to be good but also realize that there is the possibility that it isn't, and how do you deal with that? I constantly force myself to not get caught up in the vortex of fear, worry, and sadness. I need the energy for other for today.

The death of a co-worker and a student shook up the entire staff and student population, a building full of grief, disbelief, tears, and stories. Kids wandered about the school seeking the solace of friends and teachers, trying to come to terms with their own relationships to these people. We are a small school, and an intimate school. Tragedy like this sends a tsunami through our microcosm.

My heart ached for all..the families, the kids, my peers. The next week is going to be rough. I have to take care of myself so that I have the strength to do this, and thank GOD tomorrow is Friday.

My intentions were to go into the studio for a little while, then go out with a friend, but instead I sit and ponder, type, erase, edit, ponder, and think I should put on meditational music, make dinner, and focus on the beauty of an early fall night with a glass of wine.