Archive | October 2014

Thought for the day

Today’s NY Times magazine section deals with aging, and when I read this quote I was immediately inspired to do it in brush calligraphy (lacking a calligraphy pen at the moment). As a woman growing older, I don’t really think about my age; I don’t think Kerfe does either. We both are the same people we were back in the 70’s when we met. Although I am not jumping for joy each and every day, I see the world as a mostly wonderful place despite the truly horrible things going on. Doing this blog and reading the blogs we follow inspires me and every day I learn something new–art, poetry, cooking, books…it is all here. Every person I meet has something to teach, especially the older ones, but all of them. (All technology skills I have are thanks to my darling daughter). So despite the length of this quote, I am posting it with all respect to T.H White. I may have to reread this book which I read so many years ago. All hail the elders!

Headline Haiku: Skulls and Lost Children

far too many s

I was a bit taken aback by the juxtaposition of advertisement and news story on page 4 of the front section of the New York Times last Sunday.  Surely it was obvious to any editor scanning the page…or did they lay off all those kinds of editors?

page 4s

While the Mexican people continue uncovering skulls and bodies that are NOT their missing children, here’s a $300 Lucky Skull Bracelet…”for the fun and fearless”.  Tasteless doesn’t begin to cover it.

lucky skull s

far too many close up 3s

OK, benefit of doubt.  Maybe someone DID see and thought:  surely somebody will notice and at least ask,  “If I had $300 to spend, would I buy a bracelet or help a child?”  I wonder, did Erwin Pearl notice?  If they did, did they care?

protesters lifeline s

The headline haiku doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the words certainly reflect the state of the earth here in October 2014.  The story headline has it nailed:  far too many lost…far too many.

far too many close up 2s

Roussillon, France

We spent many happy times in Roussillon, a little village in France known for its multicolored ochre cliffs. When we first started going it was a pretty obscure place; after the publication of “My Year in Provence” by Peter Mayles lots of tourists started showing up. Well, we were tourists also, but since my parents rented a place for a month, we felt as if we lived there. “Another day in paradise”, we used to say. On the first day there my Dad and I would go to the vineyard and buy three cases of wine: red, white and rose. We would grill whole fish over a bunch of herbs that grew right on the property.
I painted this plate for my mother at one of those paint-your-own-plate places (they are actually pretty fun). On the back it says “Pour Maman”. The border is olives, of which we ate plenty with our many glasses of wine. The scene depicts the hilly nature and rustic beauty of the town. I miss France but I miss my family even more.

Matisse Again: Color and Form

matisse spiral s

red letter day: red
alert, red hot, red carpet.
paint the town red red

I bought a postcard at the MOMA Matisse show that I liked because of its colors and exuberance.  I wanted to use it as inspiration for something, but a collage from a collage is always problematic for me.

matisse postcard s

out of the blue, wild
blue yonder:  once in a blue
moon, talk a blue streak

One of the videos in the show showed Matisse at work:  he just picked up a piece of paper and started cutting.  I loved that spontaneity.  But I didn’t want to cut the same shapes.  I collected some bright colors from my collage stash, and decided to fold them and cut, as in the snowflakes we all made as children.  But I didn’t really fold or cut them to be snowflakes; just fold, cut and see what happens.  I tried different layouts, first in a similar way to Matisse, but I ended up liking the spiral best.

paper cutting 2s

And I realized it really reminded me more of Mexican Paper Cut Banners, Papel Picado.  My own hybrid:  Mexico/Matisse.

little green apples.
little green men.  the grass is
always greener.

And I had fun with the color idiom haikus.

Red-eared slider

I had a couple of these lovely creatures once. When I got them they were the size of a nickel. Their lifestyle consisted of eating (a lot), basking on their rock under a sunlamp and eliminating waste (also a lot). I had to clean the tank every other day, but I didn’t mind because I had this bit of nature in my house. They grew pretty rapidly and I made the decision to release them. I drove out to the Great Swamp here in New Jersey and sadly let them go. I found a pretty area and let them go. They seemed very happy as they swam off and I’ve always hoped that they had a good life.

Northern White Rhino

white rhino 2s

With the death of Suni, one of two breeding males, last week, the Northern White Rhino population is down to 6.

All species of rhinos are endangered because of poaching.  Rhino horn is in high demand in Asian countries, especially Vietnam, as a symbol of status and wealth.  It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine, and as ornamental handles for daggers.

And, of course, there is the problem of habitat loss:  clearing land for human settlement, and excessive logging.

My dog and a thunderstorm outside

Beauregard (my lab mix) was terrified during the thunderstorm yesterday. His brother Birdman had hastily retreated to his corner upstairs. Beau was hanging out with me but his eyes were pretty scared looking. This is the iPad drawing app over a photo, cheating I suppose, but a lot of fun.

Invisible Eve 12: Two Views

akeia 1s


Wishing and hoping
won’t erase the results of
drinking and driving

akeia 2s

I wasn’t thinking,
I was doing, doing, not
now:  always thinking

Akeia’s face has many mirrors.  I think each drawing captures some of her; I’m sure I will return to it to find out more.

See more about “Invisible Eve” at


Knitted Dolls


allpics s

I’ve been making dolls from my knitted swatches for awhile.  I finished my sixth one last week.  The one pictured above was completed several years ago, but I like the multiple view photo layout my daughter did for me.

eye idol 1s

The original inspiration for these dolls came from eye idols.  Hundreds were found in the Eye Temple in Tell Brak, located in northeastern Syria.  Dated at 3000 BC, they were thought to be offerings to the gods.  The eye is a magical and religious symbol in many cultures:  a window to the soul, a gateway to awakening, offering both protection and enlightenment.

eye doll 1s

The first knitted doll I did was simple, like the eye idols.

peruvian doll s

Another inspiration comes from Peruvian fiber dolls.  The ancient ones were found in graves, and seem to have been created specifically for each burial.  Modern textile artists in the Andes have used ancient textile fragments to recreate dolls in the old style for sale.  I was lucky enough to purchase one in a thrift shop, although at the time I had no idea of its connection to history.

magician front s

I’ve called the doll I finished last week Magician.  It took me a lot longer than I anticipated because I decided the hair and head covering needed beads and sequins.  Lots of beads and sequins.  I like the effect, although it makes the doll a little top-heavy.

magician back s