You Been Axin’ Where I’ve Been?

Not painting. That’s where. Here’s the winter line up so far: Major outside land overhaul, some with help, much of it by my own hand.

To the tune of ” Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend”

” A kiss on the cheek may be quite continental, But a pick ax is a girls best friend”.


Yup, pickin’ and axin’ for back trouble but the good things grow as fast as the unwanted ones so you have to work fast after the land is cleared. All 39 holes dug and filled. Quick before those relentless snake plants take over again. Here, they’re referred to as Mother in Law Tongues. ( that’s only if the son in law is a jerk ).

More beds defiled of unwanted invaders and enhanced with things I actually like looking at:

new bed

Done. Actually the bottle of Advil is empty.

Next on the lineup: Coordinating a considerable size art show as a fund raiser for a newly formed non profit organization called the Sunshine Foundation. They provide much needed low cost spay/neuter services for those families who otherwise could not afford it. Overpopulation and feral packs of animals are a blight here.

” Artists For Animals” is going to be held on December 5th in a beautiful gallery space here. We’ve received eager responses from 32 of the islands most sought after artists to show for a one night event.

Pulling this together has many of the same characteristics as herding cats and collecting spilled mercury from a broken thermometer ( yes, before digitals ). I’m putting three of my newest pieces in the show and luckily they’re already completed.

And then, and then, the arrival next week of FIVE, yes FIVE friends from NY and Boston who expect to sleep in beds devoid of spider webs, mold, unidentifiable rust spots, and wish also to eat, and even imbibe in some beverages generally associated with vacation.

I’m in uber-cleaning, shopping, vacuuming, laundry mode ( damn where’s that bottle of Advil and Advil PM?)

Three of the five are friends first but also fellow bloggers:

Judy of Lobos Rants, Carol of Carolking, and Mary of 2Frames per Second

Away went the paints, easel, dropcloths and the nasty detritus of an oil painters warren to allocate sleeping space on the Murphy Bed in my studio which will become a photographers’ dorm since both Mary and Elise are professional photographers.

Fearful that my painting hand would not only atrophy but strike at midnight for better care and, well, some kind of recognition from it’s owner, this same owner thought it a good idea to try something in watercolor. Much less to take out and put away.  I’ve been a long time fan of Peggi Kroll Roberts and the gorgeously simple way she sees shifts of color and values. I’ve had some of her postcards on my bulletin board for a few years and have been reading about her terrific workshops of late, taken by Faye Christian Phillips and Ed Terpening. Ed’s comes with a video demo by Peggi- very cool.

I’ve tried an imitation as I don’t know how better to flatter her and thank her for her great work. It’s not that I want to paint like her as much as I want to SEE like she does.

So Peggi, pardon the pedestrian-ness but here’s to you!



Not Peggi :


Well, excuse me, but I’m off to find little paper umbrellas for beverages  for friends who think they’re coming to the Tiki room or something……

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24 Responses to “You Been Axin’ Where I’ve Been?”

  1. judith wolfe Says:

    As one of the returning honored guests I am happy to supply my own Advil PM, Xanax, Zone Bars and Folgers Instant Coffee. You more than amply supply the ambience, scenery, four legged critters galore, fabulous food and drink, a fine husband and one super duper anole, named Larry.

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Judy- you sure pack the essentials. And that’s one of the reasons you get invited back every year.
      Another reason is that I know I’ll get about 872 great photos on a disc. Actually.

      And then there are 110 other reasons……

  2. Donald Diddams Says:

    Now Bonnie, you know it’s not fair to compare your watercolor to an oil. That second painting looks more like a lovely Luria, anyway!
    What I really want to know is whether this will satisfy your painting hand for another week or two? And will the Mother-in-Law Tongues sneak back into your garden while you are entertaining such fine friends? Or will they politely wait until you are back at the easel?

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Don- you know, the painting hand takes it’s orders from the painters mouth. And if that mouth says ” look, leave me alone, I’m on vacation too “, then guess who gets its way!

      And would the plural correctly be ” Mothers- in – Law Tongues?
      They wait politely for nightfall and THEN they shoot up 17 inches while you sleep. Sheeeesh, everyone knows THAT…..

  3. Carol King Says:


    I am counting down the days, minutes, seconds until we are drinking an umbrella laden drink in your Tiki room. (WHAT? there is no Tiki Room at your place? Everyone, Flamboyant Lounge in 15 minutes! Call now for your drinks.)

    Can’t wait to visit. I’m a little nervous about you and that pick axe though.

    And your watercolor is fabulous! (I like it better than the oil, but don’t tell anyone!)

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Carolllllaaaaaa, for you, I’ll transform the house into one giant air conditioned hut. I can’t wait as much as you can’t wait.
      Not to worry about that ax- I’m betting Matt can trump that article with one of his carry-ons.

      Let’s, now that I’ve made it bloggily public, try to get in an afternoon ( notice I said afternoon and not morning…) of watercolor doodling….whaddya say?

  4. Marian Fortunati Says:

    I LOVE your humor and warmth and vision….. I’m sure Peggi would be honored.
    And those friends of yours….. wow… how lucky you ALL are to have such great bonds!!! ENJOY one another…..

  5. JoAnn Sanborn Says:

    I’m so envious — of your yard, your painting, your visiting friends, but mostly your drinks. Have a wonderful time and an umbrella for me.

  6. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Ha Ha JoAnn- I’m guessing you can find some paper umbrellas in the great state of Florida.
    Thanks for the good wishes and I hope after it’s all over, I remember what paint looks and feels like!

  7. Paz Says:

    So, THAT’s where you been at! LOL! Busy, busy, busy! Have fun with your friends and all the events in which you’re involved.

    Love your painting.

    M-I-L’s tongue? LOL!

    Great job with the pickin’ and axin’.


  8. wrjones Says:

    I think your paintings are so much better than Peggi Kroll’s. I can’t stand the thought of that Carol getting to be there and not me. There is no justice in this world at all. I’m so jack jawed by it all I’m on my way out to mug a trick or treater. That way I may bring myself some much needed comfort with a bit of illegal candy.

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Bill, I’ll urge Carol not to taunt you or in any way make your jaw go jacked.
      If the comfort of illegally obtained doesn’t quell your ire, you might need to bump it up to something with a little more muscle.

  9. Nancy Moskovitz Says:

    Glad you’re back and all is more than well. Nothing like a visit from friends to inspire landscaping a pretty place for umbrella drinks.

  10. w1kkp Says:

    I understand now why your husband felt quite rightly that bat shit would be a good welcome home present for your landscaping self. I’m just hoping you welcome your guests with mints on their pillows or mango in their salsa.

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Pat- although the guests aren’t fearful of bat guano ( one’s a Zoo Guide at the Central Park Zoo, another is an animal stalker/lover, and another an EMS Police Officer NYPD ), even I know waaaaay Southern hospitality.
      Mints, mango and gecko poop.
      The poop comes without asking.

  11. Melinda Says:

    You’re right! We do have a kind of Fall Cleaning thing goin’ on, but you’re gonna have so much fun with your friends visiting and I’m wishing you all the best this week.

    Love your post and your work as always.

  12. Bonnie Luria Says:

    Thanks Melinda, it’s only when friends are here that I even get in the water. Otherwise, it’s just life, like it is for everyone else.

    So glad you left a comment here.

  13. planetross Says:

    Have fun with your guests!

    Gardening, guests, and guano!!!

    It’s sounds like a full life. hee hee!

  14. Jala Pfaff Says:

    Do I need to send you some Advil? Oy!

  15. Jala Pfaff Says:

    P.S. I can see that watercolor painting on the next WeeklyMonthly cover…

  16. solvay Says:

    what a great painting, and an equally great watercolor tribute to it. …hope tribute is a good word to use……


    and seeing where you are and what you do delights me.


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