Monday, May 23, 2011


I am taking an amazing course on Abstraction and Drawing at the Woodstock School of Art, with artist Meredith Rosier every Wednesday night. 

Abstraction is the furthest from my style, studies, or interest.  My art has a wide range, but abstraction was never in my art vocabulary.   It is hard for me to draw without representation, and  I keep wanting to make objects or figures out of my drawings, but as I learn to let go and feel more than visualize,  and l rev up my right brain and subconscious,  I am beginning to "get it " and enjoy it, and see where it takes me.

There is so much to learn about abstraction.  My new words have become density, air, stillness, integrity of the surface...

Every week Meredith emails us homework assignments.  They are not mandatory, but I try to do as many of the exercises that I can as there is much to learn when doing them.  

Since it was raining - again -  I went into the studio and did most of my homework and took the assignment one step further by making a painting based upon one of my drawing exercises.  It was great fun and oddly enough, I felt like a little child while doing this work.

And I am smiling.

Patti O Drawing.....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Beds

Just when one week of absolute insanity fades behind me, another one rolls in.

My father's sister, my Aunti Mo, passed away this week.  The final remaining sister, awaits placement to a hospital who can address her mental illness/dementia which descended upon her quickly and rather harshly.  The family is dwindling, crumbling, and I am aware of my movement up to the next slot in the life/death cycle.

Megan's lupus has reared it's ugly head again with vengence, but we are all relieved that the mass the doctor's found are not cancer, and though she will eventually need surgery, it can be done on her time schedule, and we have more time to breathe on the cancer front.

Layoffs, transfers at work, and I have to move my art room AGAIN.

And then there's the rain to tweak up the level of depression just a little bit.

How do I get by?

A trip to the store with a friend to buy something pretty for spring.
A drink at the local French Bistro.
Fresh picked salad from my garden.
Painting, drawing, Scrabble on my iPad.
Dinner and a lovely bracelet from Larry to celebrate our first "real" date 17 years ago.

And today, we finally accomplished what I have wanted for a few years now, the addition of four new raised beds on a piece of land that straddles two driveways.  Still some work to be done, but in a week or so we will be planning out the rest of the garden,  planting tomatoes, squash, peppers, beans, cucumbers, and whatever else I can get in there.  There is nothing like eating organic from the garden, and currently we have spinach, arugula, romaine, red leaf and green leaf lettuces.   Oh, and  volunteer cilantro.

Larry and Will did an amazing job, and every time I go out there I will smile, and for four or five months, eat off my city plot of land.

It's all good.

Patti O Garden

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Self Portrait

I have been making a lot of art these days, and this is what I wrote in my art journal and as my Facebook status this week:

I run to art for escape.
I run to art to grieve
I run to art to bleed
I run to art to heal.

I have Wednesday evenings Drawing Class, complete with lots of homework. I also have a Sunday morning painting class, which has been the ONLY time I have had to paint as I am drawing, designing cards, teaching, and trying not to crack under the pressures that life is laying before me.

I do maintain a sense of humor through much of my life, but now and then I find myself an emotional train wreck and then further immerse myself in my art. Friends, you are not forgotten, it's just that I am better off alone.

I know that I have some tough things to face in the near future. I have a sick mother, aunt, and daughter. The uncertainty of the future makes me jittery, so I force, FORCE myself to remain in the present. It is perhaps one of the most valuable lessons I have learned other than that the only thing I can control is myself.

I have a large toolbox, but there never seems to be enough tools though I am lucky to have a grounded husband, and lots of friends who truly care for me.

And, I have my art.

Tonight's college made with antique text and Victorian card. I want to make it into a card, but part of me also wants to keep it.

Patti O

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Tonight's art is from my Abstract Drawing class. Blind drawing, then worked into. The objective: stillness.

Like I know what that is.

In the past 7 days I have flown round trip to Nashville, attended a graduation, babysat, taught, attended class, worked in the garden, and may collapse if Friday doesn't come soon enough.

I am not complaining, I love my life, my job, my family.

But understanding stillness: NOT.

One of the things I learned about creating stillness was by "boxing things in", whether thru form, line, shape, or color.

Perhaps I should box myself in.  Into my house and studio and not come out till I run out of food.

Patti o

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

And a Great Coke Commercial Shot with a Canon 5D Mark II


Done with a camera which is way less expensive than the usual video camera that filmmakers use.  Beautifully filmed, and I love the commercial. Now they need to make one showing the boy cleaning them all up and bringing them to the recycle center, lol.

Short Video About the Catskills I Love

This video depicts all that I love about the Catskills.  It will be interesting to see what the final version is, and I look forward to seeing it.  Enjoy....

To Be Forever Wild Trailer - Fine Cut from David Becker on Vimeo.

Monday, May 02, 2011

May Day

 My facebook status tonight was "I celebrate life, not death."

That statement has so many layers of meaning behind it.

I contemplate the fragility of life and the fine line it walks along side death.

Yesterday I celebrated May Day with a walk in the Mohonk Preserve.  The view of the Catskills filled my heart with joy. And yes, I felt a little like Maria......

Both photographs taken by my most amazing husband.

"The world's favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May."
-  Edwin Way Teale