Archive | May 2022

Memorial Weekend 2022

I received the paper I ordered from a very nice lady on Etsy. I’m well stocked on black and I also ordered a package of different colors.

The colors are kind of meh but in a good neutral way. I did a couple of drawings on them right away, the one on top and this one:

My husband is 17 days post surgery. He’s still very tired and says he feels like a beached whale. He’s had a physical therapist and a nurse visit a few times at the house and will need to continue that as he is quite deconditioned. He will emerge stronger!

Today I honor my father and all the brave soldiers who have upheld our country. I fear my father may be turning over in his grave. Things are not looking good here in America and it’s frightening.

And on that note, I wish everyone a good Memorial Day! Nina

The Kick-About #54 ‘Whirligig’

Dreams of flight.

Red's Kingdom

Our last Kick-About together invited us into the spectacle of Toulouse-Lautrec’s circus paintings, and so to spin around for a bit in the company of clowns and acrobats. Thanks to Kick-Abouter, Gary Thorne, we appear to be turning in circles again this week, and departing on other flights of fancy…

Gary Thorne

“Having swam my way through sciatica, it seemed appropriate to channel that commitment into a Whirligig self-portrait. It is not quite pivoting smoothly on turning into the wind – so more engineering fun ahead yet, it was massive fun to make. Apology for the amateur film making!”

James Randall

“I found myself with a bit of time for a 50 second whirligig video, made of junk I had, but not having touched Premiere or After Effects for years – and playing in Garage Band too… It was fun. Thank you very much!”

Kerfe Roig

“I had no…

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Unemployed (Thursday Doors)

What is a door
without a wall?
What is it for?
It has no frame,
it has no floor–
no in or out,
no surrounding decor–
without a wall,
what is a door?

Another poem for the Thursday Doors Writing Challenge. I picked the theme for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday this week, useful, and Manja’s photo seemed well suited to it. My poem is in a form called “Magic 9”.

I’m still collecting walls that formerly had doors (or windows) and now only contain their phantoms.

This wall lost both its windows and its door.

The former entrance to Number 201 comes with a message and some ventilation.

And, as always, find more doors with host Dan Antion, here.

over and over

I was going to write something new, but what more is there to say? A post from 2019.

method two madness

never endingeternity magnetic s

What dark fire is this
melting the air with fresh blood?
endless broken days,

ghost voices lingering in
an eternity of tears

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Weekend Work 5/23/2022

This biblical phrase came via a gift of handmade paper sent by Kerfe. The piece is done on that paper which was not flat and had to be dampened with water and pressed with a board and rocks; I had to do this several times as the paper’s instinct was to curl up.

I kept that little slip of paper with these words and did this piece for myself. I am an anxious person: it’s in my DNA. Through my husband’s ordeal I could feel the ball of anxiety in my gut. He is home now, feeling better and bearing the scars of surgery. But I must not be anxious.

Posted this one in progress. It’s done now and added to the collection.

Have a good week! Nina

Hendrik Hudson Apartments (Thursday Doors)


shoots and captures–
hand lens in concert–
in or out of focus each subject

developed reproduced
in surprising ways–
shadowed, magnified

I lived in various apartments within ten blocks uptown and downtown from this building at 110th Street and Riverside Drive for 30 years. I must have passed by hundreds of times. But never once, until a few weeks ago, did I look closely at the front door.

I observed to Dan last week that since I started looking for doors I see all kinds of things I never saw before. To be fair, I never knew anyone who lived in this building, so I never actually walked up to the entrance. But still! How could I have missed this?

The Hendrik Hudson Apartments was one of the first large buildings on upper Riverside Drive when it was opened in 1907. The architecture firm Rouse and Sloan were inspired by Italian villas, and the red tile roof was capped with two towers connected by a promenade for the residents. The building also contained, in addition to luxury apartments, a smoking room, a billiard room, a banquet hall, a restaurant with private dining rooms, and a barber shop.

the building as originally constructed

Interestingly, none of the articles I found about the building mentioned the doors.

After World War II, the building fell on hard times, along with the neighborhood. The owners, who had turned it into an SRO, were sued as part of a major effort by the city to get rid of slum landlords who allowed building violations to pile up while their buildings deteriorated. A new owner renovated it in 1960, returning the rented single rooms back into apartments, and even constructing a parking garage for residents on the lower level. At that time, one of the towers was removed.

In 1971, the building became a co-op. There is currently a 3 bedroom apartment for sale for $1,800,000. It’s come a long way back to luxury from its SRO days. As has the entire neighborhood.

My poem is written in the piaku form, which can consist of any number of lines, following a syllable count to match the numbers of pi. This one is 3.14159 26535 long. For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday where the prompt, provided by David at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, is the photo of his father (with camera), below.

And, as always, find more doors with host Dan Antion, here.

Beach I Ching 17: #58 Tui (opening)

#58 tui (opening)

light shimmers, exchanging waves between lake and sky
sky dances and calls spirit into the circle
the circle regulates the transforming rhythm of life
life gathers, flowing freely to reveal the truth

truth speaks clearly, stripping away the layered lies
lies pollute the conduits of reciprocity, erode trust
trust opens the way and brings people together
together magnifies all voices, singing them into light

“Be content with what you have.”–Kim Farnell
“You foster trust, and make mutual enrichment possible, by opening up your inner space to exchange.”–Hilary Barrett
“Spread the word, express the spirit in the human community.”–
“Realize that you do not need to, and indeed cannot, improve on creation.”–Frits Blok

The quotes are from different commentaries on this hexagram.

The poem is once again in the bagua form: 8 lines with 8 words in each line.

You can see the rest of the Beach I Ching series here and here.

Weekend Work and update

The baby deer skull is done. This was a unique find by my friend Neil aka Nature Boy: it had its lower jaw attached and top and bottom teeth. I’m going to give it back to him.

I added to my working space in the living room. I am quite pleased with having more area. Who says living rooms can’t be art studios?

A couple started. I counted my paintings on black paper: 48. I picked out four to frame. I just ordered more black paper from Etsy so I guess I’m not done with these yet.

Sunday’s New York Times had this as its front and back cover. An unmitigated disaster.

Husband update: recovering from surgery, it went well, we just keep trying to be upbeat. He is a real trooper and I’m grateful that he’s like this and not like me, a crybaby who overreacts to everything.

Have a good week! Nina

Cherubs (Thursday Doors)

or angel?  winged
and naked child—are you
blessing us or bringing us love?
of the sacred and the profane–
you accompany both
sides—Theos and

The original cherubim in the Bible were fearsome creatures, with two pairs of wings, four faces–lion, ox, human, eagle–and the hooves of a bull.

During the Renaissance cherubs became associated with both putto and Cupid–small naked children with wings. That’s what most of us think of when we hear the word cherub today.

You can’t see the cherubs on this second door from the front–but look carefully at both the inside and the outside of the surround.

I did a double take when I noticed that.

All the details of this door are beautiful.

The poem is a butterfly cinquain for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt.

And as always find more Thursday Doors here.

The Kick-About #53 ‘At The Circus’

some artistic thoughts about the circus…

Red's Kingdom

The last edition of The Kick-About marked our second birthday and two year’s of fortnightly creative challenges encouraging artists of all stripes to make new work in a short time. As such, it was something of a three-ringed circus, an eclectic, celebratory showcase with a little bit of something for everyone. How appropriate then our first prompt of the new Kick-About year should focus our attention on the circus paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec. ‘Roll up, roll up!’

Tom Beg

“I was instantly drawn to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s line drawings that he produced much earlier in his career, and felt perhaps there was a way to capture the immediacy, simplicity and instinctiveness of those sketches with the modern digital tools I typically use. Channelling the spirit of an earlier Kick-About, Herzog’s Dancing Chicken, which also evoked manic movement and energy, I just applied the same techniques but attempted to reduce it…

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