Archive for November, 2008

Tagging Trifecta

November 24, 2008

It’s almost winter and it’s not the flu that’s going around. It’s the art bloggers’ form of homage. I’ve been beaned three times this week and a fourth just today, by someone who’s let me off the hook. Thanks Marian!

Any more details about my life and I’ll be in the witness protection program.


( photo courtesy of Ted Davis, one of the D’s in D&D Studios, St. Croix )

The guidelines ( we’re artists and hate ” rules ” ):

1. Put a link in your post to the person (s) who tagged you.
2. List 7 unusual things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 other bloggers at the end of your post and comment on their blogs to let them know.

So first, with some humble degree of blushing, thank you:

Frank Gardner

Theresa Rankin

David Lobenberg

Here’s the not so Magnificent Seven:

1. I’m directionally inept. And find maps useless because I can’t orient myself to where I am in order to know where I want to go. When I moved here, I was told if I got lost, just make a right at the water. Maybe it’s a feature of being left-handed.  (With apologies to other southpaws who aced orienteering. )

2. You might not want to play “ Name That Tune “ with me, especially if it relates to the 60’s and 70’s. If social studies facts could have been put to a Motown tune or a Beatles song, I’d have fared way better in History. I almost caused a driver to careen off the highway by knowing who the drummer was on the Beatles’ White Album. It’s not Ringo. And that was before Google.

3. Although I live on an island, I don’t like being ON the water or UNDER the water. Being ON the water means a boat. In one incident off Long Island with friends, we almost capsized in very deep and rough water, as furniture, wall mounted TV and diving tanks inside the vessel went flying in the cabin. We were on the top deck without life preservers, pale, sick and terrified. Underwater doesn’t thrill me either. A little too claustrophobic for me.

4. I tend to worry over things real, things imagined, and as one of my favorite writers Mark Twain says “ I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life, most of which never even happened.” My husband is the exact opposite and worries over nothing. Nothing seems to upset, frighten or shake him. Which prompted me to write a large sign for our wedding which read “ The Worrier Marries the Warrior”. It’s what also prompted me to marry him.

5. After living in NYC for my entire life, in the epicenter of mass everything, I moved to an island, sometimes referred to as a two and a half world country, a notch up from third.
From riding subways every day, and a 30+ year career as a textile artist, I became a farmer, grew vegetables and watermelon and sold them at our local farmers’ market, undoubtedly a first at that market. And loved it.
The first chapter in the book that lurks in this machine under “ documents “, is the heading: “ I Used to Have a Concierge, and Now I Have a Machete.”

6. I was a docent at the Central Park Zoo for 5 years before I left NY. You might have guessed that I’m drawn to animals.

7. It’s been a 38 year hiatus since I last painted on canvas, which was in art school- Parsons School of Design, and only started again less than two years ago. Archeologists are looking for the rust spots in between my joints and that should improve my technique, hopefully, sooner than another 38 years.

I’m not tagging the three  names above which I think they’ll be happy about.  Some of them ( one, really ) has had to resort to a fib so as not to run out of things to reveal…….

Here’s my pick – some known, some new. Tough among so many to choose from:

Terry Miura

Maggie Latham

Pat Coakley

Nava at Unchain My Art

Jala Pfaff

Mary Sheehan Winn

Bill of “On Painting”

I’d better start keeping a journal of ” Interesting and Unusual ” things in the event that I ever get tagged again.

And as promised, the holiday entertainment blockbuster you’ve been waiting for :

” Larry and Beamer “

Thanks Judy!

Fund Raisers and Fun Raisers in St. Croix

November 19, 2008

Three friends were here visiting last week- one from NYC and two from Massachusetts. All three go nowhere without cameras. Two are professional by trade and one by avocation. Best not to greet them in the morning unless you cast off the bed hair and questionable garments you slept in. Count on three lenses aimed at you like cannons as you exit the kitchen. I’m not posting any of THOSE.


November heralds the beginning of “season” here and the fund raising events begin. Some posts ago I wrote about an organization here called Haiti Community Support.

Sixty artists and photographers from St. Croix and St. John were contacted about donating art for a %100 contribution to raise money for a specific village in Haiti.

Have a look at some wonderful Caribbean art photographs of fellow islander Don Diddams, here who also contributed.

Despite the economic slaughter of everyones’ statements and savings, this event raised $17,000 and every cent of it goes towards food, medicine, clothing and school supplies.

There is a real generosity of heart, will and wallet on this little island and every time I’m part of one these events I feel a pride in humanity.

This was the only painting of mine that didn’t sell at my show last spring and it was the first one to sell this night.

in-front-of-wall-blogSo where’s the fun part?

Enter Larry.


Remember him? Not just your average one night, one dog stand. No, Larry has now been named, and the subject of movies, other peoples’ blogs, and subject of a collective of 4 gigs of memory from three other cameras.

I’m telling you, in 8 years I’ve never seen this. I know it’s the same one as a month ago. The markings on the tail- identical. The behavior-the same. Will only approach my one dog and not the other. We were able to get one inch away from his face and he didn’t budge. In fact, he cocked his head in that beckoning way as if he were posing. I leave him pieces of banana. He comes every day.

Larry is not an anole. He’s a ham.

Have a look here to see Marys’ blog page and her capture of him and more.

As soon as the NY contingent gets back there should be a Larry You Tube coming up.

It wasn’t terrible to catch this pelican flying through a rainbow either…….


Fun’s over, time to get back to painting!

St. Croix-nicity’s One Year Anniversary

November 10, 2008

Almost to the day, one year ago, friends came to visit. They both had blogs- one a photographic blog, the other a politically focused one. I’d read theirs and enjoy them but never thought of authoring one myself.

I didn’t even like the WORD blog. I knew it was an acronym for web log but to my ear it sounded more like a blending of ” blah and gag “. Not an attractive imagery, wouldn’t you agree?

My laptop was seized over breakfast one morning and the birth of St. Croix-nicity began.

Apparently friends don’t let friends go without blogs.

Mary Schwalm, a great photographer, set up the banner photo at the header. Her blog is a quick study- just great images, little text and very sharp, hip titles for her photos.

Judy Wolfe– whose movie reviews, photos and art pages and political insights I’ve loved for years, manned the keyboard and I had the pleasure of just answering yes or no to questions of layout, structure, gizmos, widgets and links.

I’ve been visited by people in:

Islamic Republic of Iran


The Green Zone- Iraq

Viet Nam






Five thousand eight hundred sixty two visits and 33,972 page views.

Brilliant outreach for someone who dislikes flying.

Amidst those 5,000s’ have been some wonderful exchanges of information, encouragement, tips, and generous sharing among and between other artists. The feedback, the teeth gnashing frustrations of scraping yet another surface, the light-bulb of an a-ha moment, and the connection to people otherwise unknown to you is the joy of this blog and the exoneration of those two kitchen witches who started me on this journey a year ago.

Am I ever grateful.

Two days from today those same two harbingers of fall visits and blog hostage taking, are coming back. I’d hoped to finish another painting before they got here but got only as far as the drawing:

on-the-fence-drawing-canvas-blogTaken from a photo I took last weekend at one of our farmers’ markets.


Another Work in Progress, he’s got great shadows and lines but the painting will have to wait until these two conspirators leave.

This years visit will be the G7and G9 summit- Canon Camera owners all of us. They know how to use them, I’m just learning. I’m expecting 6 days of de-briefing in the kitchen but thankfully, no Katie Couric interview…….

Been At A Painting Too Long?

November 3, 2008

How do you know when it’s time to stop belaboring a painting?

Would this do it?

Photo taken at the National Zoo in Washington, courtesy of my good friend Judy Wolfe, artist and photographer and one who knows me well.

She laughed when she saw it, knew it would crack me up, which it did, and then what? Would the message have gotten through?

” Less is More “, ” When in Doubt, Leave it Out”, ” Brylcreem, a Little Dab’l Do Ya ” ( I think that last one would be more familiar to readers the same age as the skeleton ). You get the point. Yes, but did I ?

I ordered some Raymar panels in their sample pack to test the surface, having used stretched canvas mostly. They’re small, 6X8 and ideal for quick studies as well as plein air work.

This was a photo I took at our local farmers’ market last weekend and liked the image and the subject.

Thought I’d loosen up my hand and rather than draw first, just have at it with paint and brush and my new best friend ” SQUINT “.

One hour, not one week.

Think I want to do more of these. Just not today. It’s the day before election day and I can’t paint with my fingers crossed and my hands shaking……!