topiary cats

topiary cats

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


It is so odd how there are so many things that just roll off me, and then something very small and meaningless hits me in a sharp way.

Does it matter? No.
Does it have any real bearing on my life? No.
Does it make me think it is part of a pattern of interactions I keep experiencing? Yes.
Why does it matter with this specific person? I don't know. That's what I have to look at. The circumstance, I guess. Words spoken. I actually believed it. And I wanted a friend.

People always change their minds.  They say one thing, nothing happens (that I am aware of), and then their minds just change.

I'm done.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mad! Super Color

I came home yesterday AND THE HEAT WAS ON.

The building's sensor was zapped or something and it is controlled by a computer in the landlord's office. Which mistakenly switched the heat ON in heat-advisory 92 degree weather.

It was worst pun ever NOT COOL.

Carey said our theme is Super Color because she is very astute and she knew somewhere in her maze-mind that I have Diane Townsend fluorescent pastels. They are obnoxiously bright.

That's how cool Carey is.  She knows Things.

If this is not super color then I do not know what is.

Melting Tree
ACEO pastel on colourfix primed watercolor paper

These things are so fantastically bright 
they almost hurt your eyes.

Monday, July 25, 2016


I'm trying to figure myself out which is probably not possible this time of year in this awful heat. I'm such a heat-wimp.  Cannot deal.

I had no AC when I was pregnant and that was beyond terrible. I might have heat-related PTSD from it. (although my stupid ex had no problem installing an AC in his girlfriend's apartment that summer..................)

Summer is just so awful.

I'm having really odd dreams, which is pretty normal for me but last night I had a wacky time-travel NYC dream.  It was the 1800s I think. The stores and shops looked pretty cool and there was a particular family that had just moved here from Somewhere Else.  They had no money so they did what everyone does- they found work. In a shop. the girl- the daughter- met a man and was engaged to be married.  During the work day there was a problem with the water in the shop, a flood, and the girl got soaked and caught a chill. She needed to get warm (still at work) and no one would help her change into something dry due to religious beliefs about a baptized Christian woman (which she was and they were) not having her chest bare.  So she died right then and there from wet cold while they all stood around with their stupid religious beliefs and refused to help her when it would have been so easy to do.

Being awake is no less odd.
I'm trying to sort out why some people (ok person) have (has) been a Big Deal and yet, someone else who is really awesome (truly) and "now" just isn't.

I'm trying to work out why the person who was a Big Deal was so because maybe a couple of times in a lifetime you meet someone you connect with like that and why this other awesome person (who really is fantastic) just isn't a Big Deal. And it seems so very, very wrong and messed up that life is like that.

Or maybe I lost the capacity...maybe it got burned out or bruised or it just quit and died, I don't know.

To make this an even wackier post, you can use rubbing alcohol with a brush with panpastels.  It works especially well with the metallic colors.

Keep cats away from panpastels, they have messed up a few of mine. I don't know what it is about cats and panpastels, but keep them covered and away from cats.

Cat Damage.
There is a cat claw hole in 
the bottom pink pan (not pictured)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Well DUH

SUMMER IS DANGEROUS, people...avoid at all costs.

Notify NYC

Notification issued 7/23/16 at 7:33 PM. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for NYC for Monday, July 25 from 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. An Excessive Heat Watch means that conditions are favorable for high heat indices to occur, which can be dangerous to health. Avoid strenuous activity. People without air conditioning, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions are most at risk. Cooling centers will be open. More info: or call 311.

For the latest weather information, visit

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Energy Shift

Sometimes I'm really slow.
Too slow. I take too long.

Then, I start saying these things to myself and I answer myself, "Hey- but you have had this, this, and that to deal with."

And I say to myself, "You know, you're right. and it is a lot."

And I tell myself to be nice to me because of all the stuff I have had to deal with.

I have been very brave and sometimes a little unexpected fun is nice.
It's sad that my heart isn't there, I know where it is unfortunately but I do need a little more fun in my life.
So i'm ok with it.

Sometimes a little fun is what we need when we don't have what we really need and want.

Spider-Cat Kid

Daya has turned into a Spider-Cat.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mad: Mist

I'm late on the theme again because I have a terrible case of summer lethargy.
Summer is the most dreadful season and I will be so glad when it is over.

Here is some misty snow.
8x10 pastel on Richeson sanded paper

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pink & Middle School & More Flippy

Daya got on the Pink Team, which she wanted.

We also went down in person to get her into our preferred middle school which we are not zoned for but really should be. They looked at her straight A report card and the rejected appeal and immediately registered her and stuck her in the honors program.

While waiting to start middle school, Daya flips around and walks around on her hands.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fuckwit Neighbor Update

So, this is pretty funny.....

1. They moved the piano. Olga thought she was so clever to hack my bluetooth speaker signal but I prevailed with good old-fashioned wires and plugs.  I guess they got sick of my sonic revenge and the piano is no longer a problem.

2. I was chatting with the super the other day and I mentioned Olga had moved the piano. The super said he thinks something is wrong with Olga mentally (duh!).  And apparently her upstairs neighbors left music on for ONE NIGHT and she went nuts over it. The super said it wasn't even that bad, and it was a one-time incident. (It prob was loud but one night is just one night.)

I'm pretty sensitive to noise but I only consider it a problem if it is a chronic thing. Something not chronic is ok.  It ends.  Not a big deal.

3. Last night after I posted my ice cave, I got ready to sleep.  I went in the bathroom to brush my teeth. My window was open and I heard commotion in the courtyard behind my building where all the stupid teenagers hang out. They are loud and annoying but I can't hear them with my AC on.  And they haven't been as bad this year as in previous years when I had to call 311 every single night. (Though that hangout spot is problematic and the police show up fairly often)

Well, Olga was freaking out at them.  Not out the window, either- she actually walked around the block to the other building to go yell at them in person. The teens are residents of that building so they weren't trespassing.

When I say Olga lost it, I mean she really, really lost it.  She was ranting and yelling crazy things at them, and was louder than they ever were!  ALSO Olga allows her two kids to play back there during the day!

One of the girls told her to go to the psych ward. They were still yelling when I went to sleep, but I couldn't hear it anymore over the AC.

And all I can say is....


Mad!! Ice Caves!!

My ice cave is late even though I started it last week.
pastel on colourfix primed paper, 5x7

Carey and I just happened to do almost the exact same composition!!

Also, I think the whole point of Ice Caves was for me to use my iridescent Senns.  Obviously.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Playground Plein Air

I insisted we get outside today, so we went to the playground.
Daya did her thing- flips, hanging upside down. etc...and I did my thing- painting.

I am finding that pastels travel really well.

Here is my plein air.
Pastel on watercolor board that I primed with green colorfix primer.

Oh, and I sold the Book Genie! YAY!
I'm so glad she has a wonderful loving home.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Tortie ACEO

I have a project at work which involves a bunch of waiting for files to publish.
So I brought my small set of Rembrandt half-sticks and did this little ACEO.

Pastel on Colourfix

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

A Night Painting

Here's a little 9x12 I did last night.
I'm kind of shocked I finished it to be honest.

Pastel (all Unisons they are like butter omg) 
on maroon Colourfix paper

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Mad: Notebook FINISHED

A week late but done!!

Book Genie
9x12 pastel on Uart 400

Friday, July 01, 2016

Bloggy Break Sort-Of

Just today I very suddenly reached a point of needing to take a break from daily blogging.
Not sure yet if I'll actually be able to go to sleep without having a blog post lined up....

That will be weird.

But it's been..,, what- a year and a half of dailies and I think I need a bit of a time-out, at least from posting daily.

Like a bloggy summer vacation.

It is July and July is gross and leads right into Pigeon Risk Time (PRT).

Thursday, June 30, 2016


32 floors up.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Straight A

Fifth grade is officially OVER and Daya got a straight A report card, except for gym. 
Which makes no sense but I don't care.

THIRTEEN dance classes, assisting two classes, and being on team and she still managed to knock out straight As!

I told her I don't care how much dance she takes as long as she keeps her grades up.
She did it.

Daya rocks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mad: Notebook

Part1, more tomorrow!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Jerry's Plein Air Thing in Union Square

Jerry's hosted a paint-out in Union Square, including a free art supply sample bag!

We all know that's why I really went.

Here is the swag bag! There was a bookmark and one of Jerry's collapsible water bottles...I have about three of them so I gave it to Daya, along with the bookmark.  

I will most probably get some of the cool aluminium panels; they seem really cool and I am glad to be able to try them.

Jerry's Rocks!!


I attempted to cross 5th Ave from the West side which was a really stupid idea because I got stuck in the Gay Pride Parade**. There were absolutely no places whatsoever to cross 5th ave.....So I walked a bunch of blocks down, then over- then back up to 14th street to take the L which I should have done to begin with.

**The Gay Pride Parade is fun, wacky, and generally very friendly- normally it's a good time. The costumes are fantastic.  But it is a lot less fun when you can't move anywhere and you can't cross 5th ave because you were a dumbass and didn't take the L train to begin with.

I eventually got to Union Square.  Fran was there waiting for me.  She is in town for a few days.
So I got my free art supply sample bag and I painted a really stupid painting.  Honestly I don't care. There is absolutely no possible way I could have focused properly.

And I knew that going in; it was just that kind of atmosphere today.
I am no Casey Baugh, who did a demo that I did not attend.

6x8 oil on panel

Frisbee-Status Painting

One of the artists drew a lovely picture of me painting while I painted.
Several people came over to admire my Belly River box from Alla Prima Pochade.

I also got paint on one of the statue bases. I left it there.

I got white paint on the statue

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Topiary Dome

I checked my email. There are changes. More changes. Because minds have changed and keep changing.

It is Saturday 9:47 and I have to do these changes and I do not want to do these changes.
Maybe I can get it done in an hour....

And here is a quick little 1 hour painting.
8x10 pastel (all Sennelier) on Richeson sanded paper (anthracite)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Work Blew Up

It is Friday night at 11:16pm and I just finished working.

I got a rush project late last week, I did it, then Thursday afternoon (yesterday) I found out the stakeholders want to completely re-do it...for the fourth time.

And they need it for Monday morning London time.

So I'm done!  Again!

Friday, June 24, 2016


Daya graduated 5th grade yesterday!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Haiku

summer is stupid
way too hot i have melted
ac makes me broke

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Daya got a Drama Award in the awards ceremony at school.

There was .....a violin concert.... right in the middle of the award ceremony.
It was so very extremely odd.

Someone deserves the Strange Ceremony Award for planning that.
The violins should have played at the start of the ceremony.

Instead, about 15 minutes into announcing awards, the violins got their awards and then went offstage to get their violins and come back onstage.  They played two songs and left again.

Then, the rest of the awards were given out.

So. Very. Odd.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mad: Ajax Tree

i have been so insanely busy and I really ought to have painted our theme, since I came up with it and I was REALLY excited.....

The Ajax Tree!

Carey has an amazing dog named Ajax and he has....had a special tree.
It was the coolest looking tree ever, and unfortunately it died.

So it is an ex-Ajax Tree.

I really do need to paint it.

Here is Ajax under the Ajax Tree.  I either don't have a better pic or I cant find it....

.....and it is now very past my bedtime.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Where is Stape?

Yesterday the New York Botanical Gardens hosted a pretty wonderful plein air event.
Stapleton Kearns gave me a discount code off my entry which was really nice of him.

I don't normally go alllll the way up there because it is quite a trek, and I have to pay- so I always go to Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, where I get in free with my Pratt Alumni card.

Anyhow, I went up to NYBG which is a truly fantastic place.  I haven't been in years and I forgot just how fantastic it really is.

There were three amazing Sargents in the small painting exhibition. They alone were worth going to see.

And then I walked around the entire place- which is rather large- checking out the painters and looking for Stape to say hello.

I could not find Stape. I could not find him anywhere.

Now, Stape is really, really easy to spot.  He is 1400 feet tall and paints with a huge Gloucester easel (i want one) and ginormous brushes. You can't miss him.  But somehow, I did.

I knew Stape would have chosen some insane ungodly-bright-searing-hot-no-shade place to set up camp.
And he doesn't use an umbrella.

No Stape. I called him but his phone was off or something.
It was probably rebelling due to heat-stroke.

I saw plenty of other painters, though- they all have the same umbrella as I do! It was REALLY REALLY WEIRD to be on the non-painting side of plein air gear.
It felt kind of wrong, actually.

Stape called me a while later, after I left. As it turns out, he was at the Rose Garden.
Guess who else had been hanging around the rose garden?


And I still managed to miss Stape.

Can YOU find Stape?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Alternate Reality

I thought Fathers Day was last Sunday.

I sent a card, I called my father, I even wished Sid- and Stapleton Kearns- a happy fathers day.
Apparently either no one cares about fathers day or they didn't know the date either because I found out THURSDAY MORNING when I saw the Walgreens billboard in Times Square.

Wow, I'm all kinds of clueless.

It might be genetic though.  One year my father, stepmother and their daughter celebrated his birthday on the wrong day.  They all wondered why they didn't hear from me until the next day when I called.  Then they figured it out.

It is also true that my head has been in the clouds- literally- from painting all those skyscapes.
This is a side effect of too much paint---- a bad case of Artist Brain.

At least it is funny.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ice Willow

Here is a quick ice willow.
1 hour
pastel (mungyo semi-hards) on colourfix

My little box is getting dusty.  :)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016


I somehow acquired this teeny box of Rembrandt 30 half sticks.
It is adorable, has a great color range, and it goes PERFECTLY with The Box that  Sid Made.

For oils, I added a mini razor scraper to clean the glass palette.
And I stuck a kneaded eraser in the box too.

So now, all I have to do is throw a pad of paper, the pastels, and the box in my bag and I'm all set.
It isn't a plein air setup. This is for tabletop sketching.

Here is tonight's sketch.  Pastel on colourfix, 5x7.
It's not a particularly successful painting but that is ok. It had things to teach me.
ALL artists have more crappy paintings than good ones.  That's just how it goes.  Anyone who says differently is lying.

One of the main differences between a beginner and a more advanced artist is the knowledge that 1) all paintings go through an ugly stage, just work through it and 2) not everything has to be good or will be good.

I am still very much finding my way with pastels.  They have a lot to teach me. I am a beginner again.

I have known this for a long time.  Today I told Dru that I have been saying for years that pastels would be my secondary medium if I could just find the time. This year I am making the time.

Pastels have so very much to teach me.
Dru is a fantastic friend because she puts up with all my rambling.

So, micro-mini.
Here is my painting of the evening (Weds evening) as part of my wonderful micro-mini setup.

My box is so special because Sid made it.  It is a great and clever setup, but it was a handmade gift from a friend and I really will treasure it and use it for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dusty Weekend

I have some paintings from the weekend that need to be here on my blog.

Diane Townsend (who lives in Hudson) makes fluorescent pastels. I had a couple and I got some more.

Turquoise Tree ACEO (2.5 x 3.5) on colourfix

Plein air up at Olana.
5x7 pastel on colourfix

That set on the right is...was.... the 30 full stick Rembrandt set but I broke all the sticks in half and supplemented with open stock. So the color range doubled and it is super easy to travel with.

Pastel boxes are taped to the side palettes of my Belly River box. It worked out perfectly.

Dru took this pic of me painting. I forgot to bring my painting apron but especially for pastels it doesn't matter.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mad: Sparta

I have no idea why Sparta is our theme.
Carey thought it up.

I went classical with it, though I suppose there are many modern "Sparta" things that can be done.
5x7 pastel on stonehenge (unprimed! it is different working on non-gritty paper)

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Box that Sid Made

Sid made me a cigar box/table easel/paint box!
It is so clever and wonderful and I love it madly.

Sid also made an extremely clever wet panel carrier to go with the box.

I broke it in with a little oil painting.
This is what the clouds over the Hudson River looked like when I came home from Hudson on Saturday night.