Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Vermeer-less Show

Tuesday I took off as a personal day to go to the Metropolitan Museum of art to see the Vermeer show. I am in love with the movie Girl with the Pearl Earring, and show it in some of my high school studio art classes as and I looked forward to seeing the actual painting.

The trip down was fun. A stop at Smiths Pub for a grill cheese and Bloody Mary. A stroll down 5th Avenue for a bit. A stop into St. Patrick and Rockefeller Plaza, where the skaters grinned widely as it was over 50 degrees and the sun was shining. The tree and sculpture peered out from the scaffolding teasing us with what is to come.The 5th Avenue shops were decorated for the holiday and the windows sparkled and beckoned like German glass glitter.

The MET was crowded. But since it IS so huge, only the special exhibits showed any signs of over crowding. After wandering through Ancient Egypt, Greece, Roman, and Oceanic art, we arrived at the Vermeer Exhibit. Very crowded, (and a bit stinky I have to say--too many weird odors in too small a place for MY nose) and much to my dismay, after running around all three rooms quickly, I found that there were only 6 Vermeer's out of the 32 that he painted, and the Pearl Earring was not one of them!

It was nice to see the few that I saw, but I was disappointed. I did not some to see his teacher's work, or read about the symbolism in the art of the time, I came to see the Vermeers dammit!!!!! I can read about the rest of that stuff in books or online!

Later on, slightly disappointed, we landed in the cafe, mulling over the show sipping on a martini and slurping squash soup.

Still I was inspired by the day, and realize that for the years that I have left in my teaching career, I am going to do some more direct research/interaction and photographing for my classes by hanging out in NYC Museums from time to time.

Oh and I did get one photo of one of the paintings before the guards snagged me and said NO PHOTOS. I guess becaue the Met makes money from special exhibits through post cards, books,etc., they don't want you to photograph the art. Pretty much everything else in the place is fair game, as long as you don't use a flash.

Here are a few to do some research... (LOVING MY CAMERA LARRY!!)

Patti O Tripper

Friday, November 27, 2009

Count Down

I gave up Lois's party today to work all day in the studio. I hope she forgives me. I have three shows to get ready for next weekend; paintings for Donskoj's Fire and Ice winter show, the ASK show, and the Unison show on Saturday and Sunday. If I don't make money next weekend, I going to have to do some creative selling to pay the heating bill-or bring the paints inside.

For the most part, I am using what materials I have, including frames, and not spending money, making art with the detritus of my studio and my mind. I did not make the ornaments, jewelry and magnets that I usually have, mainly because I have tired of doing small labor intensive little things. If I have to do little, I will stick to my cards. BUT I did design up a lovely group of ornaments with antique paper, garnished with authentic vintage rope tinsel from the 40's or so. And those are lovely, glittery, and hopefully seductive....

Here are a few photos of a calendar I am going to list on eBay tomorrow. In nice shape, has about 15 cardboard pages, printed by the chromolithographic method.

Tomorrow is a luncheon, then I hope to spend a few hours working. Sadly I work best under pressure, so we shall see what kind of miracle is to come!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fire and Ice II

My sewing machine was getting quirky, so I had to finally bring it to the shop.
It is from the early 70's, and has never been serviced, and has sewn many things over the years. Its primary focus the last 10 sewing years has been sewing together paper. I was forced to paint this weekend, as I could not make any cards.

I wish I could keep each version of the paintings I make, as at times I look back on a particular stage and think "maybe I should have stopped right there". But then there are times IF I stop "right there" I am not learning, so I push ahead into unknown territory and make the mistakes, and most of the time, learn from them.

I like the spontaneity of the acrylic painting that I posted a while back of this painting. It was my blocking in coat, and I was very loose with it, knowing that I was going back into it with the oils. Yet I could not leave it as I am anal, and there were parts that did not work for me, and I had a decision to make. Go back into it with just acrylics, or paint in oils...of which I chose the latter.

The oils are so much more creamy and sensuous than acrylics-I liken the two to skiing: oils are like skiing on hard packed snow and acrylics are like hitting granular snow that's been in the sun all day.

This is layer two. I had to stop as I was beginning to make mud, especially in the lower heaves of ice. Perhaps in the next day or two I can do some touching up and resolve the bottom half of the painting.

This scene is very bittersweet. It was the landscape of the every changing Hudson that I observed from fall to winter, as I drove along it to my daughter's house when she was very sick from the chemo. Often I would photograph the light on the ice, and
the painting speaks of the coldness and difficulties of the winter, but is resolved with the beauty of the landscape that I so love....

Off to The Elephant, and then work on the house which is a MESS.

Patti O Ice

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fairy Tale Land

Two days in a row that I had not set foot in the studio. I have not been home in time to do much more than eat and fall into bed. I went to bed at 8:30 last night to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas with Larry, but I could not stay awake and missed a good 20 minutes of the DVD. I bought it for Larry for his birthday (he was Jack at Halloween and he LOVES the movie) so I will have to go back and see what I missed.

Tonight's art - Leah gave me an old print in a frame. The print is worth Nada, but the frame is a cool vintage mock Rococo style in off white/gold.

Flash forward-I had an idea for a collage using a few pieces I loved, but it never materialized because I never found the right last piece to make it work. Then I pulled out an old linen book I bought a few weeks ago, and voila, there it was.

The collage looks FAB in the frame, and will be beautiful in some child's room, or if you love fairy tales and fantasy like I do, you might just like it on YOUR wall.

Find this and more at the Unison Fair, December 5Th and 6Th..but more on that another time.

Oh, and I think I found a venue to have a show next year. After Thanksgiving I am going to bring some images over to have the owner look at them. It is a very cool coffee shop uptown Kingston that has a round room with wonderful walls upon which to hang large landscapes. I had better keep working!!

Patti O Designer

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Knave of Hearts

The world is eating my time up in large chunks. Over time at work, studio work when I can grab it, personal and family legal and health matters. Good thing my estrogen is on an even keel this week, otherwise I fear I might not have made it through.

How do I find a way to keep sane, to laugh, and to play? Those moments between my work and family responsibilities, I make things like this out of papers and images rescued from old ripped books and antique papers. I play with words. I play with images, I play like a child. Sometimes I laugh at my own stupid jokes, and interact with my supplies like a child does with his blocks and soldiers.

This uses very old block printed wall paper, and images and text from an old antique linen book. It is stained and imperfect, but that is what I love about it. As I age I have an affinity for the imperfect and for the rejected, and give it a new life.

I still have not finished my painting. I am not ready. I need the light and a few hours, neither of which I have much of these days. But then again, the weekend is almost here.....

Patti O

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Studio work

I passed up entering any work into WAAM this afternoon because I could not stand the thought of driving my work up to Woodstock after a very busy day at school, when I could more wisely spend that time in the studio making art.

I have three landscapes at the Varga Gallery, I have to finish two paintings for the Donskoj Holiday Show, and I am planning on entering a piece or two at the ASK Gallery. I also have the art/craft show at Unison in early December, and I need work for that. How many places can I show???

This year I am creating a body of whimsical and decorative art for the fair. I will show both paintings any my collage/mixed media work. As always there will be everything from auto-biographical art, to humor from my Nursery Crimes Series, and some small landscapes. I will have handmade cards, and a few ornaments and other smalls, though I am not making as many smalls as usual.

Part of the art journey for me has been not making myself crazy about what I bring to the fair. Each show is different, as each year I am different, and though this is not a good economy to sell larger pieces, I have the need to make them. I will have some ornaments, magnets and such, but they will not be in the quantities that I usually make. I remind myself "jack of all trades, master of none".

Here are a few pieces which I am working on (still in progress). I use unusual antique images and items in my work as well as frame many of them in antique frames. Lots of glueing, framing, and painting to go yet. But a little very day gets it done.

Feedback always welcomed.

Patti O Art

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Before and After

I have not been writing much because I have not been in the mood, had time, and would rather not bore you, my readers, with constant whining; all it does is make people not want to be around me. And honestly, I have not wanted to be around myself.

I have too much estrogen flowing through my body, which is feeding a rather large fibroid. When I was a teenager I used to PRAY that I would get my period like every other girl I knew, and now I pray that it will go AWAY like other women my age.

But no, the hormones keep pumping. Between them and the fibroid, I am experiencing nausea, pain, and things you don't even want to know about. My options? A surgical procedure that I am not thrilled with (very painful) or a hysterectomy. Or do nothing and be monitored for a few more months.....I am on a mission to find a natural path who will fix my hormones, which in turn will make my body a much nicer place to live. I have a few names, and once I clear the financial part of it, (you KNOW that insurance won't pay for this, and I want to see if my Flex Plan will at least reimburse me for what I have to lay out) I am trying a more natural way first before letting needles and knives go near me.

Because it was my birthday last Tuesday, and Larry's this Tuesday, we escaped to the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass, for a mini vacation. We had a wonderful time doing things we love to do..going for a stroll, eating, watching movies, sipping on hot cocoa in Peace, Love and Chocolate, while looking at Vogue magazines on their plum velour sofa; Larry looking at the fashion photography and who shot them, and me, shooting photos in the place while glancing at the fashions. Larry enjoys shopping more than I do (how strange) so we popped into a few small shops to do some holiday shopping.

It is a wonderful escape to be able to get away to a place that you don't have to clean, answer a phone, or cook at. We did only what we both WANTED to do, and it recharged our relationship, refueled our creativity (in art, NOT in the relationship, hahaha) and was very peaceful.

I need to go put away my overnight bag, and get a good night's sleep. Here is a before and after photo from my mini vacation. I know, so silly, but sometimes I just can't resist....

Patti O Break

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Man Who Left His Wife for a Book

I have been helping my aunt with this huge mess by calling around to find out info on storage facilities. Her sister, my other aunt, left no will, and the estate is being disbursed according to NYS law. There are a lot of problems, and we have no choice but to help her empty out a house in Queens- a house that has been in the family for 100 years.

Now we have the Collyer gene deeply imbedded in us, so you can actually, YOU CAN'T imagine how they have three houses FILLED UP with stuff. Antique stuff and recyclable stuff, and I fear - garbage stuff.

I have memories of the Queens house 40 years ago, when it was still fairly neat - except for the two bedrooms of my aunts - which were always filled with bags of "stuff". To a child, it looked like such fabulous stuff. After my grandmother and great aunt died, the bags of "stuff" filled up every room over nearly every inch of the floor in 2 apartments.

And now, it has to be cleaned. (there is much more to this story, but I will save that for the book)

But I am having my own battle with stuff---and the books and papers that Larry brings home. Now to be fair, as an artist I LOVE paper and art STUFF, but he tops me. The last few years I could be heard stomping my feet yelling " I WANT TO DIE IN BED, BUT NOT BECAUSE THE CEILING CAVES IN WITH YOUR TONS OF BOOKS OVER TOP OF ME. HOW MANY COPIES OF MOBY DICK DO YOU NEED???

How we figure this all out...the aunts and my house, remains to be seen However, If Larry had to give up his books or his wife....I suspect I might lose. I fear that the clutter always wins.

Tonight's photos were shot with the OLD camera from the car when I was driving to work last week at 7:45 AM. It is a soft and warm light, though the nip in the air reminds me what month it is.

Patti O Mover

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fire and Ice

A lot has been going on in my life that I have not talked about. My own health problems that are causing mass havoc. My daughter's health - or lack thereof. The estate and family issues which have shaken up our entire family into needing therapy.

Yesterday it was my birthday, and I was very depressed. I assured those close to me that 75% of it was hormonal, and my withdrawing from the world was merely self-preservation.

I had today off, and I spent time sorting out and dealing with some of the issues, went to lunch with the girls and subsequently got sick while out. The rest of my plans got nixed because of it, so I spent the rest of the day in my studio at home, working on some cards and the under painting, shown here, for the Donskoj show "Fire and Ice".

The story of this painting is apropo for today as my 25 year old daughter is a veteran of this Iraq war, and two years after coming home, she was diagnosed with a very rare and deadly form of cancer. The fall/winter my daughter was getting chemo, I would go to her house after work every week to bring home made soup, visit, and give my granddaughter a kiss.

The house she lived in overlooked the Hudson River, on a big farm whose buildings were made into apartments. Joe Lewis used to practice boxing was a lovely place, even though the apartments were funky and old. I would often stop along the river, and noted how it changed from November through the spring. I would sometimes the icy beauty of the river and the pain of watching a loved one suffer was too much to bear.

The underpainting is done in acrylics, but I think the next layer will be oils.
It was an intersting journey back to a painful time, and I will always remember it by the ever changing river, the ice, and the blues.

Off to look up information about full spectrum light lamps....

Patti O Ice

Friday, November 06, 2009

On Aging

Next week the big 52 is coming to visit. I told the kids in school that we would have a breakfast to celebrate it since I was going to work this year instead of taking off, and one of them said "if you don't mind, can I ask you how old you are going to be"? Now normally they are shocked by my age and think I am much younger, but this one said "is that all?"

"Is that all?" I shrieked. "Heck, I know I am old enough to be your grandmother, but not your great great grandmother!!!"

Somewhere in the conversation, I became animated and in throwing my hands up in the air, I put my back out. It almost took my breath away and I had to hold onto a chair to keep from falling down. I suspect that this has been building---stacking wood, raking leaves, dancing like a young thing, and going a step too far in yoga may have inflamed some underused muscles.

The rest of the afternoon I was in pain, and had great difficulty getting in and out of Leah's Miata, and then in and out of the Eos. As soon as I pulled into the driveway, I called Gina, my girlfriend who is a fab masseuse, and begged for an appointment, then hobbled up the stairs and eased myself into the bed and onto the heating pad.

Larryman came home and sweetly put Icy Hot on my back, and I spent hours just laying still.I am still in pain, but it has lessened, or else the meds have kicked in.......or both.

At 52 I am far from old. My spirit is still at 28 or so, but yet I treasure the lessons that 52 years have bought me. I find myself looking in the mirror, mumbling that I am getting a bit jowly, and putting my hands on either side of my face and pulling back I think "this is what you would look like if you had a face lift", and decide that it just isn't me and I am just going to be one of those funky old ladies like Louise Bourgeois. (oh I should be so talented, rich, and famous!) Besides, one wrong move and I could look like another person, and how could I deal with that?

So for now it is heat, ice, potions and lotions---and careful planning on how to take care myself so that I can eek out the next 50 years. After all, there is a lot of art left to make that is stuck in my head!! Back to the heating pad,

patti o repair

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

And If I Die....

I ventured back to the "sunless room" as I now call it, with WKZE blaring in the background. The refrain "I'm coming home" from some folk singer is playing on the station on all four speakers that Larry has hooked up - easing out into my space, influencing my thoughts, whether I like it or not.

The blog I was intending (and still intend) to write was going to be "And If I Die", became influenced by what is going on around me, and merged into "and if I die, I'm coming home"- with a little devil in my head conducting a background trio singing "to torture you, to torture you". But I digress, and go back to the original blog AND IF I DIE.

AND IF I DIE is directed to my dear husband whom I love and adore, but who needs direction, like any man.


Please remember to clean the tub
the cat litter
and the toilet.
And to pay the bills
for the
heat, electric, insuranceS-house and car/s
(especially now since you now have my convertible),
the phoneS, cable/Internet,
which I have so lovingly kept paid.
Keep the coffee off the counter
the hairballs off the rugs,
and the spray from the electric toothbrush
off the wall.
Watch where you walk
in the backyard.
I have never stepped in dog shit
while you always seem to find it.
Change the sheets before
they turn brown from the sweat of nightmares
and sweet dreams
And if I die
remember that
no matter how crazy I was,
I was always crazy in love with you.

Dedicated to Lars.....

Patti O

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


A quick blurb, because I want to get the reminder out in case you did not go out to vote today yet.You have one hour left.

I think the best line on Facebook courtesy Gloria was "if you don't vote you have nothing to say". I say, you can only complain if you voted. Otherwise, zip it.

I am bit concerned however about how accurate our polling people are. I just received a phone call from our alderman, and he asked for Larry. I asked him what was this concerning and he replied: "we checked our records and they indicate that he has not voted". "Oh yes he HAS" I replied, still fuming about the last conversation we had about my flooded studio. I wanted to tell him that if he weren't running unopposed, I would have voted his ass out the door. "How long ago did you check them?" I inquired. "A half hour ago" he replied. "WELL, I AM A BIT CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR RECORDS" I snorted.

In hindsight I should have made him go back and check them again, but at 7:30+ at night, I did not want to talk to anyone.

Kingston strikes out again.

Regardless, go out and vote, and hope that your vote COUNTS.

Patti O Polling Place

Monday, November 02, 2009

Get Swanked

Here is more evidence that we got Swanked in Swankland.
Photo by our darling devilish friend, the divine Ms.Judi Esmond.
Larry and I make quite the surreal couple......

I looked up the definition of Swank..which boils down to :

Showy Display

Oh yes indeed. We fit the part quite well.
Can you blame me for falling off the club wagon?

Still feeling rather Halloweenie tonight with the clear sky, full moon, and planets and stars fixed and bright.

Patti O Twinkle

(look up the definition of swank, an intransitive verb...)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Clubbin It

Last night was a hoot, going to the club with Larry-both of us decked out in costume. I ran into a work buddy there, who was not in costume, and while I strutted my stuff in a sexy 20's glam girl outfit I looked at him from across the dance floor, and put my finger to my lips - as in "YOUR LIPS ARE SEALED".

I danced with friends, and even a few times with my husband, to wild crazy techno music that you free style dance to whatever way you see fit. There is something about being in costume that enables me to be freer and really not care either. Or perhaps it was the blood punch.

This club had mist, an elaborate strobe/light system, and was complete with a very drunk pole dancer that was trying to wrap herself around anything that moved or otherwise.

I have not been to a club in years. Back in the 70-80's, for about a 1o year period, I was a club girl. First it was the Joyous Lake in Woodstock, when it was the original Lake and you danced to the best rock bands like Johnny Average, NRBQ, and many more. And of course, there was Disco Linda who rocked the place with disco from the Average White Band, Earth Wind and Fire, the Rolling Stones, Donna Summer.......Then when I had a car and could drive further, I frequented the gay clubs - Deja Vu and the Maverick as they had the best dancing in town. There was a few stops at Joe's, and Prime Time too along the way.

But then kids came along, and that was the end of that. Dancing became infrequent, something only done at weddings and a very rare night out to hear some music.

Until last night.

Enjoy the pics, we sure had a great time - Larry took the one of me in the house, and he did a self portrait shot in front of CPW.

Patti O Dancer