Archive for the ‘video’ Category


April 30, 2010

When seated, they become your lap. As is the case with these women. Taking in the throngs of people at Ag Fair last February and maybe sharing some thoughts about the changes they’ve seen over the years.

Aside from the one hand ( er, claw, ) in dead center, there was no erasing. You could C.S.I this canvas with a team of forensic experts and not find an erasure. Just that hand ( claw ). I didn’t intend for the sketch to : #1 come out so well, and #2 get this detailed. But it wouldn’t stop so neither did I. Getting to the painting phase next.

There are many, many legs here on St.Croix this week. We host the infamous Half Iron Man Triathlon which translates to this: A one and a half mile swim, jump on your bike and ride 50 miles part of which includes a 21 degree incline that goes on interminably, and then run a 13.1 miles. That hill is known as The Beast. I offer my CAR a sports drink when it takes me up that road.

Check out the survivors’ humorous description of this event- ( I suggest you sit down and pour a cold one  first ):

Unbelievably this event is up to 1,300 + entrants. It’s been unusually hot/humid and will make this course more horrific than it already is.

I’ll be folding my legs into lap formation, myself. Running my own game at the easel.

This guy never has to worry if he sprains an ankle during athletic endeavors.

With forgiveness, Pat , really I am so sorry you had to look at this and I know you’re asking yourself why would she even bother with her name and copyright as if someone would want to HAVE this thing!

Chili Peppers’ languid leg layover is one stretch away from careening him off the precipice of his perch. I couldn’t catch him and grab the camera. He remains to all of you, dignified. And aloft.

Thinkin’ Bout It- A New Painting

July 31, 2009

Don’t Just Do Something, sit there!


We’re used to the opposite edict.

Hurry, do something, clean, paint, organize life’s relentless messes, write letters to Congress, save a life, call your mother,  but do SOMETHING!

I’m going to do what she’s doing. My doppelgänger, above.

ˈdäpəlˌga ng ər| noun
an apparition or double of a living person.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from German, literally ‘double-goer.’

It’s high summer, and low motivation. Why do I  think I can be Superwoman in the Tropics? Why am I the only senseless organism  still pushing it at 3 in the afternoon when every other mammal in the house is sleeping off the mid day heat?

Because we were supposed to Not Just Sit There- We were supposed to Do Something.

So I did this 6X8, loosey goosey, alla prima, fear of green painting. I’ve photoshopped for corrections in sharpness, but fear overcompensating and losing it completely. She really looks sun sprinkled in the original.

As I expect to be this week. A good friend arrives tonight from NY for a weeks’ vacation with us. And I’m going to show by example, how taking your time is not only essential, it can garner you extra attention.

Maybe a manicure though……..

The “Casablanca” Mirror

February 2, 2009

You all know the scene: Hearts about to break, tears barely contained in the lower eyelids.

One of the best ending lines of a film- watch a brief 31 seconds.

I volunteered to contribute a  frame for a mirror as an auction fundraiser for The Womens’ Coalition of St. Croix.  It’s big- 4 feet by 3 feet and about 4 to 5 inches in width.


The two kids in the mirror are familiar to you, no? Minus the broken hearts and absence of tears. We kid ourselves about the kid part. There were other mirror shapes, some chests, a few doors, some headboards- about 35 in all.

A close-up which does a better job of conveying the method.


Three coats of tomato red orange paint, sanding in between, X-acto cuts of thick black construction paper glued on with Mod Podge ( see, the kid part was a lie, no one under 40 ever heard of it, I’m betting ). Three more coats of varnish.

The trial by fire was the getting the  lettering with 3/8 ” mirror tiles, measuring to fit the Jetsons style wavy edges.

This is what happens when I think of the concept and then have to adapt my ideas to the prowess of my abilities. But the idea was too good to pass up. What does a mirror do when you look in it? It looks back at you.

This is the same organization I did  Chairman Meow for, last year. They provide unending services and support for abused women and children, and after school havens for kids at risk. Theirs’ is a business of heartbreak and tears. This is their biggest annual fund raiser, and to my surprise, the Chairman brought in $2200.00 !!!!

I don’t know what the final bid on the mirror was- I couldn’t stay awake for the long nights’ event ( see, if I really WAS a kid, I could have ) but I donated the full 100% of the bid price. I think the days of giddy bidders may be over.  I’ll find out next week.

Early Holiday Present is Making A Mark

December 21, 2008

Making A Mark– authored by Katherine Tyrrell. Her stamp appears on many blogrolls that I scour and is often accompanied by high words of praise for her dedication to her art and the business of marketing art. She’s thorough, extremely knowledgeable and ( so unfair ) very talented. Generous with her readers too. You should have her bookmarked if you don’t already.

I’m a little late in responding to  this wonderful recognition on her blog which she posted last week ( See HERE ).

I was nominated twice for her year end “Best of ” Contest. She called for art bloggers to send in nominations for ” The Best Female Portraitist “, and best all around Portfolio.

Sue Smith of Ancient Artist ( in my blogroll at right ) nominated this one of mine for Portfolio:

From this previous post.

August Sun


Look into Sue’s blog for great motivational musings on keeping all the facets of an artists’ life on good speaking terms with each other. She’s not ancient at all. She’s open eyed wise.

The second surprise for me was a nomination by Paulette ( also in my roll ) of Becoming a Renaissance Woman.

Paulette’s use of colored pencil is wonderful. It was a search for roosters on the web that brought her to my blog where she found:

CaptuREDFrom this previous post and the goose bump story that was its’ narrative.

Thanks Sue, Paulette and Katherine. Really, the mention was  present  enough. The ribbons and bells of the outcome are secondary. What carries heft here is the exposure to fellow artists, and the daily gifts of shared information, support and the variety of creative expression that makes this format  as vital as it is to all of us.

Maybe another post before the new year, maybe just time enough to eat too much cake.

Happy Holidays.

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!

There’s Been a Mistake……

August 5, 2008

The perfect way to announce an uh-oh moment. And no pronoun usage to denote blame.

August 5, 1948

I didn’t make a mistake, HE didn’t make a mistake, THEY didn’t make a mistake, but somehow, a mistake has been made.

This handy phrase comes from Michele, friend for life and therapist fantastico. So no one made a mistake, and yet, this is the unavoidable reality of the birthday I was not so keen on having.

Until I encountered this shop window in NY last month and thought- ” who cares what number the age is, as long as the goddess of Props is working overtime for my amusement, that’s all that matters “. And wasn’t this the perfect prop?

Photo, of Miss 60 – thanks, Judy.

It’s an oddity, being the age that only your mother was. And now it’s you. Look at the disparity of company I’m in:

President George Bush is one of many baby boomers hitting the age of 60. Some other boomers turning 60 this year include Dolly Parton, Donald Trump, Diane Keaton, Suzanne Somers, Reggie Jackson, Cher and Jimmy Buffett.

What a contrast – Cher, Dolly, me and Dubya. Don’t you feel a sequel to Nine to Five in the cooker?

It happens- you pass a store window, look at your reflection and think- “Crap, I really DO need Botox!”

But the rest of me looks pretty good, right?

Wasn’t i just the wise cracking 7th grader, who, when asked in English class, ” Does anyone know who wrote A Farewell to Arms “?, there seemed only one correct answer to this budding artist?? ” Venus de Milo”, I said.

I didn’t get a note home for irascibility, just a partially stifled guffaw from Mr. Lichtenstein, the teacher. And an appreciation of art AND English.

A lesson early in life: humor is a passport.

Now it’s serious stuff, the daily concerns of metabolism, exercise, favorite jeans that feel, well, like there’s been a mistake…..

So AARP mail that would be fireplace fodder if I had one, who cares? I get discounts to movies, for groceries, art supplies, my gym and on occasion, still get a cheesy, smarmy, obviously pathetic comment from the guys in the car wash that want to know if I’m 35 cause ” You be lookin’ fine”.

No, silly boys, you’re way off.

I’m feeling so good now that it’s as though I’m….

Thirty five, are they nuts??*%)#

My gift to you is the very funny and short Birthday Video from Joe Cocker- yes, please sing along and don’t stop too soon- it gets better as it goes:

Be Seated, Do Good

July 17, 2008

Meet ” Chairman Meow “.

My entry last season to the annual live auction benefiting The St. Croix Womens’ Coalition. They’re a non-profit organization that provides counseling, shelter and family services to abused women and children here.

The evening is billed as a “Chair-a-Table ” event because alternating years they provide local artists with an unpainted chair or table to festoon, paint or reassemble in any way they choose. This is the mainstay of their biggest fund raising gala and aside from private donations, brings in the most revenue to support their sadly needed services.

All the items go on the auction block and the bidding frenzy begins. A few glasses of wine, champagne, people outbidding each other -it’s a terrific night and everybody is a beneficiary of something good.

Opening bids start at $400 and it goes from there. As the artist, you have the option to donate all or %50 of the final bid price. I indicated a total donation, thinking it would fetch ( oh it’s a cat, they only fetch live mice and release them in your bedroom ) seven or eight hundred dollars.

I worked on this for weeks- 5 coats of red lacquer paint, drying and sanding in between, the lettering, the tassels, and the Chairman himself with his Peoples’ Republic jacket. I remembered while I was doing this, how much I enjoy the craft part of art and craft.

Seems the Chaircat had a secret admirer who called in a pre-auction bid of $2200.00!!!! Yikes and whaddya know? I fell off my chair. Must have been the whiskers….

A great night indeed.

Take a look at some other kittie stars here-

St. Croix has the -est

June 11, 2008

The -est? What?

Am I referring to the self improvement training program popular in the 70’s? No, not that.

OK, then, is it about changing the clocks to Eastern Standard Time? Unh-uh. Not that either.

Little known to most anyone – assuming most people even know about St. Croix (” Is St. Croix, you know, off of the Canary Islands?” Even my best and smartest friend refers to me as a Croatian. ), is that we’re on Atlantic Time and never change our clocks. Ever.

For those of us digitally dis-inclined or disinterested in changing every device and electronic wing-ding in our house, this is a lifetime exemption.

The -est refers to the deepest and the largest. What, already, you’re asking- of course, if you’re still reading.

-This is a sign posted about 2 miles from my house that indicates a place on this island where the water drops off to a depth of about 3,000 feet, but quite close to land. So although there are deeper waters in the world, none is deeper THIS CLOSE TO LAND!. Hmmm, little ol’ St. Croix.

OTEC was an idea presented to the government in the 90’s- you remember the 90’s when your car was bigger than the house your parents grew up in? The technology was dismissed then. It’s a low cost, carbon neutral energy producing technology that would be ideal in this location.

Now that gas per gallon is more than ice cream, it’s time to reconsider this. It’s going to be another option presented to our power utility ( we have the highest electricity rates in the NATION! ) and our government. Talk has been about using coal! COAL!!!

Cheap, shortsighted, total lack of vision or concern for the future and akin to seeking an 8 track cassette player for your car to replace your iPod.

The other -est is our refinery- Hovensa. The largest refinery in the Western Hemisphere- on an island in the Caribbean- so unlikely. It’s otherworldly- as in Mad Max Superdrome humongous. A belching, smoking monstrosity. Driving from North to South, you’d think you were not in the Caribbean but in Pittsburgh in the 60’s. Yes, they employ thousands of workers and donate significantly to the community.

I’d show a photo but I’d probably be breaching security. And as well, diminishing the aesthetic content of these pages. If you’re hankering to see it- check their web site above.

We are also the eastern most land mass of the United States. So we get to celebrate New Years Eve after Guam, but, eat your heart out Times Square, before New York City.

Which is where I’ll be for the next few weeks, so there may be postings, who can say?

I’ll leave you with the Cute-est Sand Crab, thanks to my good pal and hotelier in NY, JudyLobo.

And tell me you don’t just love the music!

Wife Imitates Art

April 8, 2008

In one of my previous posts, I presented this painting called CaptuRED. I had no idea it would be as popular as it was, and on a greater level, never suspected it would become a totem of fertility to a woman who was told she would not be able to conceive. The woman I’m referring to, had seen this painting on the web and went mad for it. She told the man in her life and he contacted me about purchasing it as a surprise for her for Christmas. ( What a good guy! ) I shipped it to him in California and the night it arrived he presented it to her. I imagine there was that particular way in which a woman can express her absolute joy at getting such a surprise and guess what?? That very night, she conceived and is now 5 months away from the birth of a baby she was told she would never have! Women have a way of knowing almost to the second with accuracy envied by the NASA space team, when they conceived. She said she knew that very night.

There ARE of course other methods to determine when is the best time, like the lunar cycle.

You can move to a part of the world where fertility rates are the highest, like Africa.

There are ancient totems of fecundity that have been known to increase the potential for fertility like the Venus de Willendorf

But what would YOU rather have hanging in your bedroom?

This same couple was also here on St. Croix last month and she attended my art show at the Atrium Gallery, glowing, slightly rounded, and brought the painting back here with her from California in order to hang it in my show to entertain the many who attended with the magic of this great story. What’s next? One of her next year substituting the baby for the rooster!

I can see another commission coming……….

The Pressure of Commissions, The Pleasure of Recognition

March 24, 2008

Ahhh, the pressure of a commission painting!

Will they like it? Will I like doing it? Will I regret the minute I said ” OK, I’ll do it? ” Maybe all of these things are present when the process starts. One way to minimize surprises is to have a preemptive understanding that you do not wish to reproduce, as if by photography, every eyelash, mole or freckle. That this is an artists’ perception of the ” capture ” of some essence that will at least make the painting recognizable as a portrait.

I was graced with a free rein of interpretation when a very close friend commissioned me to do a painting of herself and her first child- a 6 month old daughter , as a surprise for her husband for Christmas.

picasso.jpgWe both agreed ahead of time that whatever style suited me would be fine with her. I think she knew I wouldn’t translate my vision into something reminiscent of Picasso’s Les Demoisselles d’Avignon.

camimelcropblog.jpgThere were no live sittings- I live here on an island in the Caribbean, and she on another- in Manhattan. She emailed me lots of photos, and I studied the one I thought best summed up her love for this little girl.

camiliamelissablog.jpgWe were both very happy with the results.

The hardest thing for her to do was to keep it hidden for a month before surprising her husband. The hardest thing for me to do was to get over the doubts I’d had about keeping it soft, real, and not obsessing over exact likeness. We both managed to succeed, I think.

I bet Paya the elephant didn’t obsess for one minute as she picked up HER brush. I may have to travel to Chaing Mai and study with her!

A long overdue mention here- I had never thought of setting up a blog, I just enjoyed reading everyone elses’. Had it not been for my friend Mary Schwalm, a most talented photographer who visited here in the fall, I never would have set this thing up. It’s Mary’s wonderful photo of St Croix on the heading of my banner. After morning coffee one day she pronounced: you are going to have a blog! And I’m going to set it up for you! Who could deny such a luxurious offer? So now I recognize, officially, the great lens and funny caption maker, Mary.

She shoots for Associated Press and her own pleasures which include animals, sports, and the oddball. She’s on my blogroll under Is Today A Zoo Day
See some of her wonderful work below: