Archive | October 2021

Book and a visit to NYC

I hadn’t seen Kerfe since January 2020 and finally made it into NYC. Kerfe showered me with gifts. The embroidery above she knew I loved and she gave it to me.

I was extremely touched that she saved these mezuzahs from her new apartment. In Judaism these are placed on a doorframe; they contain portions of the Torah. This was a very thoughtful act on Kerfe’s part.

Kerfe wanted me to post about the book which was recently self-published by a young (12 year old) friend of mine. I think I may have posted the illustrations I did a while back. Here’s the book:

He hired me again for Volume 2.

I haven’t been painting lately. They’ve asked me to work more hours as the office is busy and we are understaffed. I’m hoping to get back to it soon.

Kerfe also gave me a book on Richard Diebenkorn and this pendant which I’ve been wearing. It goes well with my grey scrubs. Thank you Kerfe!

A Bit of Color: Halloween Doors

skies are grey now, days
shorter, winter closing in–
a bit of color

in a window, orange glow
reaches out, warms with its light

A tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday where Harmony Kent provide this week’s theme of kindness. This window brightens my day every time I pass by.

The spirit of the season is evident everywhere I walk too. I want to particularly mention West 87th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive. Here’s a selection of Halloween doors. Enjoy!

And a tree.

You can join in Thursday doors here.

The Kick-About #39 ‘The Children Of The Night’

To get you a seasonal mood…

Red's Kingdom


Our last Kick-About together was kicked-off by the cut-outs of Henri Matisse, and specifically his White Alga on Orange and Red from 1947. Inspired by one of Matisse’s less well-known cut-outs, regular Kick-Abouter, Kerfe Roig, treated us to something with touch of Halloween about it – a trio of rather dashing devil masks, and a foretaste of this week’s showcase. With dialogue uttered by Dracula himself as our starting point, it’s little wonder things have taken a spookier turn…


James Randall

“One of those Kick-Abouts that seemed to have a life of its own. The colours were fun to try to control.”



Vanessa Clegg

“Based on childhood nightmares this is a painting I did a while ago but by re-photographing the unmountedslide, it could become a still from a seriously spooky film…make up your own narrative!”



“All I can say is that it’s a classic thriller/horror trick of…

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Thursday Doors:  Lost and Found

I am collecting photos of doors.  Sometimes my eyes and camera are subject to amnesia and repeat earlier photos, as if I had lost the map to my previous tours of the neighborhood.

Sometimes I can’t locate the photo of a door I remember—is it missing?  or am I evading the fact that occasionally I can’t distinguish what I’ve seen from what I’ve imagined?

No matter.  Like the fool I will keep stepping over the cliff, the one that falls into more photos of more doors.

lost and then
found again—the door
between time

The Schinasi Mansion is located on Riverside Drive at 107th Street in Manhattan. I lived nearby for many years, and the rumor was that it was owned by a Columbia University professor, although it always looked as if no one lived there. When the house was listed for sale in 2011, I viewed the listing with its floor plan and interior photos with interest.

The doors are imposing, but not exciting. But the mansion has an interesting history and its own Wikipedia page. After being a private residence for the Schinasi family, it has been a finishing school, a daycare center, and a coed residential center for Columbia/Barnard students. Hans Smit, a Columbia professor, bought the mansion from the university in 1979. He restored the house and used it for hosting events, and sold it to Mark Schwartz, a vice chairman at Goldman Sachs in 2013.

The architect was William Tuthill, who also designed Carnegie Hall.

My haibun is a loose intepretation and response to Maxine Chernoff’s “Lost and Found” for Laura at dVerse. I used it to accompany this week’s Thursday Doors because these are doors I’ve photographed multiple times without exactly remembering it. I did not do the mansion itself, however, until a few weeks ago when it was quiet and I could stand in the street without fear of being run down to get the entire house in my lens.

And it’s true that sometimes I can’t remember the source of an image or experience I have in my mind–did it happen? did I read about it somewhere? did someone tell me about it? or did it happen in a dream? I wonder if it would be possible to photograph a dream door…

You can join in Thursday doors here.

Church Doors and more

vesper bells—echos
bowed over the door–
luminous

murmured, luminous–
whispered echos
permeate the door

the bethel door
cast in echos–
sacred, luminous

behind the echos the door waits, bathed in light—luminous

Holy Trinity Church has wonderful doors–above is a close up of one of the three main entrances. But the rectory doors are also beautiful–and the gate to the parish center, and the side door too.

One of the homeless men waiting for the parish center to open particularly wanted me to photo the statue inside. So I did.

My poem is a tritina, a form I haven’t attempted in a long time, for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, where Willow Willers provided the synonym words, twilight and hue.

In other (excellent!) news, Nina drove into the city for a visit and lunch–we haven’t seen each other since January 2020. She brought me a wonderful pot of succulents, which I put by the window in my workspace. What a treat, on all counts. She promises to post something soon.

And here are some of the flowers now blooming in Riverside Park. It’s still quite warm, and they seem to like it.

You can join in Thursday doors here.

The Kick-About #38 ‘White Alga On Orange & Red’

Some thoughts on the cutouts of Matisse this week.

Red's Kingdom


Our last Kick-About together introduced me to an artist I didn’t know, Peter Mungkuri, whose monochromatic and illustrative paintings simplified plant forms in feathery marks and concentric circles. This week it’s Matisse, an artist with whom we’re likely more familiar, but whose cut-outs remind us of the joy of colour, form and working directly. But just before you settle down to enjoy this week’s showcase of new works made in a short time, a few words of congratulation to regular Kick-Abouter, Brisbane-based artist, James Randall, whose painting,Card Players, is a finalist in the 2021 Brisbane Portrait Prize. Boom! Congratulations, James.


Phil Cooper

Matisse said collage was like ‘drawing with scissors’. Having been using collage to make images for quite a few years now, I know what he means. There’s something very direct and liberating about snipping away and playing with cut up paper. I find I…

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Honeycreepers (Draw a Bird Day)

“The forests are getting silent”
–Hanna Mounce, Maui Forest Bird Recovery

extinction–
always more words, less
habitat–
repeated
hollow justifications–
vast human wasteland

Eight birds from the Hawaiian Islands were on the official extinction list released by wildlife officials last week. Honeycreepers, descended from finches, are only found in Hawaii and have been losing species ever since explorers started bringing in invasive animals and diseases and destroying habitat in order to profit from the land.

Almost all the remaining honeycreepers are endangered. Besides their visual beauty, they pollinate native plants and keep insect populations under control.

Mosquitos, which are not native to the islands and arrived in the early 1800s, are one of the biggest dangers. They are hard to control and impossible to eliminate. The Avian Malaria and Avian Pox they brought has decimated the lower forest dwelling birds. As honeycreepers have retreated to higher elevations, climate change has followed them, raising the temperatures of the upper forests to levels that mosquitos can tolerate. The Maui Forest Recovery Project is working to save forest habitats and the plants and animals that live in its unique ecosystem.

I’ve written a shadorma this week for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice.

Autumn door and more

I noticed this intriguing door on one of my recent walks. I wonder what it’s going to become inside? I’ll keep an eye on it.

Everything around here is still green. I was reading that some people think the delayed autumn foliage is due to (what else) climate change. We are still having most days in the 70s in NYC–not normal for October at all.

There’s just a hint of color here and there.

Jimsonweed update–photos from 9/19, 9/26, and last weekend.

open seed pod
it flowered again
just remnants left

The parks department had been hard at work, clearing small growth next to trees and walkways. I hope they were wearing gloves! At any rate, they seem to have left some seeds, so I’ll have to watch next spring to see if something sprouts anew.

And this little dino was left out in the trash looking forlorn. Sometimes the sanitation people decorate their trucks with stuffed animals they find in the garbage on their routes. Perhaps that was what happened to him.

You can find more Thursday doors here.

October 2021

fallen leaves
the crunch of footsteps
clear blue sky

reflecting the rain
changeable skywind spatters
colors patterned light

full moon of autumn appears
leaves too soon amidst hopes of endless harvest
fragments linger, gold glittering

stars remember every invisible map
imprinted on the approaching dark
paradigm

earth saturated with bonfires and bones

Two haiku and a sevenling for October and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme, suggested by Franci Hoffman, the harvest moon. The photos are of September’s full moon traveling across the southern sky outside my window. In the first one, it’s half reflected on the window pane.

The artwork is the first page, front and back, of a handmade paper journal I bought on Etsy. I bought three, one each for myself and my sisters-in-law, as we all have great intentions to do art journals–and hopefully this will get us going. I painted the page, and stitched over the front with a technique I’ve been wanting to try. Since the color bled through the paper, I did a small autumn grid on the back.

Happy October!