Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Where’s The Fire

February 28, 2016

Unless you walk a dog ( or two ), or have reason to stand at the curb while the fire department hooks up it’s hose to the hydrant in front of your burning house, you’d likely never take notice of fire hydrants.

Asheville has a preponderance of fire hydrants that are,  aside from being vintage in appearance, all different and quirky.

My newest subjects:

Meet Byron of Forsythe Street-

IMG_3578  8 X 11 oil on panel

Cloud liked him. Showered him with affection too…


We left the Caribbean after 15 years for the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and this remarkable small/big, urbane/rustic ,city/town of Asheville. And took the doggies with us. I think even dogs’ appearances are enhanced by the addition of haberdashery.


Cuba is of the opinion it was more like chicanery than haberdashery.

After tricking them and training them for 3 months with bacon, I was able to get them into the airline approved crates to begin this monumental upheaval from island life to mainland life via planes, vans and cars. It was not easy, it was not swift, but we are here and after all, WHERE’S THE FIRE?

A Rash Of Red Dots

December 20, 2010

And it’s not chicken pox.

Our winter season finally came with cool temperatures, the long awaited Christmas Winds ( the good winds, not the hurricane winds ) and the debut of the opening of Bassin Fine Art. As is the case here every year, too many events on conflicting dates often diminish the numbers of people who pass through town. Parking lots full, street closings or too many other attractions. In spite of all of those hurdles, so far I’ve seen 5 of my paintings be afflicted with the red dot syndrome.

Clearly, if you want your  work to present well, have great lighting. Check.

Invest in the best frames you can buy. Check. ( thanks to Randy Higbee at King of Frames ) Randy’s frames and service make it all worthwhile. As many people commented on the quality of the frames as appreciated the gallery and the paintings.

Be lucky enough to have a professionally run gallery and gallery owner (s ) support your work. Check.

Thanks to Sam Dike and Ted Davis of D & D Studio on St. Croix for offering me their opening show.

Ted and Sam

( photo credit- Ted Davis )

Most of all, the buyers. Thank You, Thank You.

The man in my painting- the second painting I’ve done with him – wonderful man, great subject.



Thanks too for my dear son’s visit from NY to share the experience.

Closing out the year with gratitude, appreciation, friends, health, resolutions before January 1st, and a glance at cranberry chutney, done up island style- with carombola ( star fruit ).

Oh, and of course……..THEM!

Happy Holidays to all and a New Year of Peace and Joy wherever and however you find it.



For Her Fans……Cloud ! And More…

August 18, 2010

Art, schmart.

Some times the muses are too damn cute.

The object of her stalkers’ tendencies……Angel exiting the closet.

yeah, cute, schmoot, I can bench press twice my body weight…..”

” if I tell you you’re handsome, would you get off my paws so I can get up”?

” it’s enough to drive a girl mad “…….

In case none of the preceding was sweet enough, I leave you with Tropical  Mango Pie…..

Fresh, whole nutmegs from the farmers’ market…

Remind me of the art nouveau lettering of Hector Guimard’s Paris Metro sign…

A new painting is arriving here soon… between pets and pie, there’s been paint too.

Mothers and Others

May 9, 2010

“At The Ag Fair” 8X10 oil on panel

For mothers and others, Happy Mothers’ Day.

I did this one twice. One version was direct- no drawing first, except with paint. The other one, was painted over the drawing from last post. Do you have a preference?

” At The Ag Fair ” 11X14 oil on panel

My nemesis, interpreting white without using white. Tricky.

No, what’s really tricky is how the responsibilities of raising families, which is often  multi -generational, meal preparations, cleaning, shuttling kids to school and back, baking and cooking at night to make extra money, seems an impossible juggling performance but the stalwart women of this island and perhaps the West Indies in general, get it all done. And still find a moment to share an observation with a good friend. And sit for a minute.

A tribute to all Mothers who put love in our pockets, hearts, lunchboxes, and DNA.

Nurturing comes from unexpected places….

Seemed like Motherhood was evident here too…. maybe too soon to cut the cord.

Place Your Money Here

September 20, 2009

How to turn a generic, unexciting plexiglass donation box into something that you’d feel guilty NOT putting change or a bill or two in.


Can’t rely on puppy faces or kitty poses. It’s all about fresh food for our island.


I spend every Saturday volunteering with the VI Farmers Coop at the produce tables, connecting locally grown vegetables and fruits to locally eager shoppers.

I’d never painted on plexiglass before and didn’t know if the paint would adhere. What kind of paint? Some online research pointed to acrylic. No drawing, just fearless brushes, my favorite Sta- Wet Palette and artistic latitude with fruit pigmentation. After I painted the outside, it occurred to me that the colors would pop more if they were on black. So I painted the inside black. Not only a forgiving surface for painting, but great fun- something I haven’t felt about oils lately.

The perfect triad: We buy fresh food, farmers do what they love and make a living at it, and none of these characters have to go homeless again…….

ackee alien


Or would you still rather have a puppy?

pink ears in bed

New York Frames of Mine

June 30, 2009


Returning to my home city of NY is like being the observer of your own dream. You’re both the participant and the watcher. I’m from it but no longer of it.

This foggy, misty night scene is just outside the window where I stay with my good friend Judy of Lobos’ Rants Blog.

My two week tour through familiar streets and many now unfamiliar streets ends tonight.

New York needs no additional PR from me. It is it’s own best agent.


Atomic radishes on the left, smaller beets on the right.


Rainbow chard in case simple green doesn’t appeal to your aesthetics.


Sign in a restaurant window, or what to do with that chard.


Because it’s not the Hamptons

beetle copy

And because while eating outside, this fellow landed, right out of the central casting that is my life, on my camera strap! A reminder that I’m heading back home tomorrow. The god of props works overtime in NYC!

“Caught”- a New Painting

June 9, 2009

We have spiny lobsters in the Caribbean unlike the New England version that have the large claws, ours are mostly leggy with the meat found in the tail.


Caught 9X12 oil on stretch linen canvas

The size of the fish and lobster is getting smaller as the overfishing continues to be paradoxically problematic. It’s a source of income for fishermen as well as a pride of heritage. And a desired food source for people who appreciate fish over meat.

How to justify the balance is elusive.

As is the color adjustment on this blog. In life, this piece is much more vibrant and contrasted. Even with tweaking on Photoshop, I can’t get it right.

And while some living things have the natural desire to escape, others seem to prefer wanting IN, as noted in our local newspaper recently:


Let us in or we’ll shoot?

Sorting Cukes- New Painting

May 31, 2009

Every Saturday since January, I’ve been volunteering at the newly formed Virgin Island Farmers Cooperative.

It’s a stellar combination: sustainably grown local produce, appreciative customers, banter among the crew, and a day outside. Oh, and inspiring subjects for photos and paintings.

sortingcukesblog” Sorting Cukes ” 6X8 oil on panel

St Croix was long known as the breadbasket of the Caribbean. After years of a downturn in recognizing the importance of locally grown food ( 90% of our food is shipped in- old and nutritionally deficient by the time it arrives here ), the VIFC is revitalizing food production as a vital and greatly appreciated necessity to the residents of St. Croix.

Lettuce, mustard greens, peppers, cucumbers, local fruits, real eggs with orange yolks, free range chickens, goat, lamb, pork, all hormone free.

It’s one of my favorite days of the week, tiring, hot, fun, and a refrigerator stocked with real food.

Taste being one of our senses, smell is definitely another. It’s humid, hot, things get moldy and mildewed faster than you can launder or bleach them.

So I laughed when I saw this sign for a new ” fragrance ” shop that opened here-


( Thanks Ted, for the photo )

I have personally forsaken Chanel No. 5, and Angel, my two previously favorite perfumes for the only fragrances that have any useful purpose here:




and the new fave,


Some days, turp smells great by comparison.

These Are a Few of My Fauvorite Things…

April 21, 2009

Les Fauves “- The Wild Beasts. A group of modern artists of the early 20th Century. Those wild beasts played with strong color and painterly brush work.


I started this late in the day, outside during the workshop I took here a few weeks ago. The colors reminded me of the Fauvist movement.

I like the top two thirds of the one above this but haven’t found my bliss in the foreground. I’m going to walk away and move on to something new.

Like identifying these vegetables?/gourds?/cucumbers?/ that we carried at the VI Farmers Coop this past weekend.


Since no one was able to really identify it by spelling, it shall forever be known to me as the phonetic vegetable ” Kor-riley”. That’s the best I could extrude from a few local farmers who might have even pronounced it three different ways.

Bitter melon is what it’s known as in Chinese cooking. They sure  were the oddities of the market and despite their curious appearance, no one wanted to buy any. Even the vegetable kindgom has wild beasts, it seems.

Now it looks like we’ll have to monitor the statues too, as this fellow will barely pass the newly enacted Modesty for Statues Statute:


Wild Beasts are everywhere, so keep moving and ducking and painting.


March 24, 2009

…………whoever tires of it?……


I’m not posting a painting today, just catching up looking at everyone elses’. I’m taking another plein air workshop this week and today was the first day. We’ll be going to a different location on the island every day this week.

What looks good will get posted, what doesn’t, gets scraped and sent to the corner.

It’s been a year since my last workshop so along with sunscreen, I’ll bring a can of WD40 for my rusty landscape joints.

But not to deprive anyone of an artistic submission,


A last minute invite to a birthday party. Cookies, the food group that stands alone, were the right idea but I didn’t have tray big enough to transport 60 of them across bumpy roads. And one that I could leave there.

Finally a use for that heavy corrugated cardboard lurking in the closet since before forever. A few coats of acrylic paint on both sides and then the scavenging began outside. Dried palm fronds- cut off the leaves, hot melt glue gun ( love that thing ), and there are the two lengths. Dried banana leaves shore up the shorter sides.  One giant monstera leaf for drama and a tray is born.

If you were going to toss your cookies, wouldn’t you want to toss them HERE?


Fill up on these, as the next posting might be a while. I’ll also be away for a week after the workshop.