trees across summary comp

…is almost gone, and for the past 5 weeks I’ve been taking a photo each day out my office window.  It would have been better I suppose if I had managed to get exactly the same angle and taken it the same time each day, but it still gives a pretty good idea of the process of autumn this year on my little block in NYC.

trees across all s

December next week and 2016 on the horizon…yikes!

At an art show in Sarasota


We went to a schlocky outdoor art show in Florida with lots of corny dolphin sculptures and hideous seascapes. I fell in love with the work of Mel Fleck whose intaglio etchings with an Egyptian theme were beautiful. I purchased one for my fellow Aries daughter as a housewarming present. 

I hope Mr. Fleck doesn’t mind my posting his work. I intend to purchase another one that I think my dear co-blogger would love if she has any more room on her walls. The artist’s wife died eight years ago but he still credits her in his work. Both signatures are on the pieces. His email address is 

My husband also purchased some cards with the Hebrew Chai imprinted.  

 The back of the card explains the significance of this symbol. Sorry for the wonky photo.  

Wishing everyone in Blogville a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude.

Long Ago and Far Away…

70s self portrait oil s

I know Teresa said she would link my recent self-portrait post for selfie day, but I feel like I need to post something appropriate today too.  I haven’t done any new self portraits, but I found this painting from the 70s.  Must have been during my perm days, since my hair looks a bit fluffy.  Around the time my brothers came to visit me in New York for Thanksgiving and we made lasagna instead of turkey.  My mother never got over that, every year at Thanksgiving she would bring it up…miss you mom, miss you dad.  Still have the stories and the smiles they bring.

Big Cat


A beautiful lion that I saw at the Big Cat sanctuary in Florida. A drawing could never capture the majesty of this creature. It was the closest I’ve ever been and it changed my mind a bit about animals in captivity. These guys were all rescued from zoos or Texas billionaires who didn’t want them anymore. They sleep 18-20 hours a day so why not do it in the Florida sunshine?


tabby relax comp

Cats know how to take it easy.

tabby curled comp

They have a knack for changing their relaxation posture just after you’ve put a few lines down on the paper though.

tabby 27

Sometimes meditation is good.

tabby watching comp

But every once in awhile a cat needs to be on alert and keep an eye out for squirrels or other cats.

Have a relaxing Thanksgiving with family and friends!  And by all means, have that extra helping of your favorite food.

Chelsea Again


sheila hicks 1s

I realized that the Sheila Hicks show I’ve been meaning to see was closing this week, so despite the usual confusing weekend subway changes, I made the trek downtown.  It was definitely worth it.  I’ve always loved her small woven studies, and the one pictured above was a favorite.

hicks comp

There was also a lot of fiber work I was unfamiliar with though, including some wrapped pieces, some of which were then woven in places.  I liked the white on white pieces.

hicks white 3s

You can see how they are constructed from looking at the side.  Interesting technique.

morandi 2s

Another draw to go downtown was Giorgio Morandi.  Wow! is all I can say.

morandi 3s

So beautiful.

riley comp

As always, I walked around and stopped into other galleries along the way.  Interestingly, they told me not to take photos of Bridget Riley, although her stuff is available easily in photos online of course.  I had already taken these two photos…

riley stripe graph s

but what I really wanted was pictures of her studies done on graph paper.  They remind me of my days in the knit textile industry, because that’s exactly how I designed (and still design for my hats and scarves).  So I found one online to post, above.  Riley works with geometric pattern and color and I enjoy her graphic explorations.  The paintings themselves are very large.  She has a kinship to Sol LeWitt for sure.

miranda rug s

This ruglike work by Miranda Lichtenstein attracted my attention.  It’s actually composed of layered photos of stitching printed on some kind of plastic.  Which makes sense since she’s a photographer.

miranda rug close up s

I’d love to see the original textiles though.

lambie comp

Jim Lambie is an artist who was once in a band with members of Teenage Fan Club.  The color attracted me here.  Those are painted books under the hanging sculpture…not sure how I feel about that as a use for books.  Some of the work of his I saw online looks more interesting.

vibra 1s

Viba Galhotra had a fascinating exhibit at Jack Shainman Gallery.  One wall was composed of tiny framed pictures, some drawn or painted, some altered photos, some altered text.  I spent a long time looking at this meditation on how humans are changing the environment.

vibra comp

There are also some very large wall sculptures composed of tiny metallic bells.  I will be looking for more from this artist, as I liked her work very much.

tal r 2s

And as I was heading home, I was attracted by these pink walls of black and white woodcuts.  They turned out to be the work of Tal R, an artist I know and like because of his colorful and exuberant paintings.  But he is effective in black and white too.

You can read about other visits to Chelsea art galleries here.

Callinectes sapidis


Callinectes is Greek for “beautiful swimmer” and sapidus is Latin meaning “tasty” or “savory”.  Blue crabs are found down the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to Argentina but I haven’t seen them on any menu here in Sarasota.

My husband spotted the cards I’ve been drawing from. They are by Emily S. Damstra, a freelance science illustrator with a Master of Fine Arts degree in science illustration. I haven’t found colored pencils down here but her card with its subtle coloring is beautiful.

No sun yet but a man in a kilt told me there’s a Renaissance Fair today. I’ve never been to one and my husband thought it sounded fun. Will report back later.

Kemp’s Ridley Turtle


Indigenous to the waters here around Longboat Key, Florida. The Big Cat Sanctuary was a rare experience but without color I cannot capture the incredible coats of these animals, the tigers especially. I’ve never been that close to animals like that before and they deserve gouache at the very least. Kerfe, I don’t have my big iPad with me but even that app would not do them justice. Instead I offer a very lovely turtle. The beasts will have to wait until I return to my paints and Arches paper. Still no sun but lots of palm trees and the family is getting along well by some miracle. 

My source of inspiration: 


Morning, Sarasota


The view out the hotel window. We are down here for a family wedding and I only brought pencils. The sun is not shining now, sadly, but hopefully will later. Going to a big cat sanctuary later and will attempt drawing some creatures. 

Self Portrait #9 (after Marlene Dumas)

sp#9 comp 2b

Based on a childhood photo I have always loved.  I’m not totally satisfied with either attempt, although I learned from doing both.

sp #9s

The one on the left was done without any pre-sketching, in a loose and quick way.  It doesn’t look like me, but my chief dissatisfaction is that I colored in the bear.  Maybe if I also colored in the pajamas it would work better.  I’m still thinking about that.

sp 9bs

The one on the right was sketched out in pencil first, and I carefully painted layers of grey.  It looks more like me, but less like a child I think.  And I got too heavy on the hair.  But the coloring is more in the spirit of Dumas’ painting.

Dumas is a good exercise for me, because I’m still uncomfortable with watercolor.  The only way to get better is to keep painting.

You can see the whole “100 self portraits” series (so far) here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 433 other followers