topiary cats

topiary cats

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

FLIP: Shoes

Poor Daya has been pining for pointe shoes- badly.  She still has to wait a little while, we are waiting on teacher approval, but I gave her this painting for her room, so she has her own pair of pointe shoes like only her mom can make.  :)

9x12 pastel (mostly Unisons) on pastelmat (it was grey)
About 2 1/2 hours

What a surprise this morning, my pastel plein air painting from a couple of weeks ago was featured iin a Sennelier article!! Wow!!  Thank you Sennelier!
(they also called me young so I love them)

I'm telling you, my pet Central Park raccoon was good luck!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Remove the Blockades!

It happened right in front of my office, and we were on emergency lockdown.
It was a horrible thing for sure but now, Tuesday, the New Years blockades are still up and there is a group of armed police with huge guns standing outside.

Take the New Years Blockades Down!

What happened was awful but there is absolutely no need for this nonsense.
It was such a freak thing- a guy bent on a suicide mission taking people with him. An American from the Bronx who wanted the cops to shoot him.

Times Square is a really safe place..... what that Bronx guy did could not be predicted nor prevented and these blockades just promote some kind of police-state fear mentality.

Security here has always been amazing.
Freak things can happen. ANYWHERE.
Driving on the highway is a very dangerous thing to do--- far more so than walking around in Times Square.

Besides, the blockades are only on one block...someone could drive up 8th ave and do the same thing.  You can't blockade the whole city nor is there any reason to.

This stuff happens all over the country--- hell, all over the world.....and I dislike anything that promotes irrational fear and underlying panic. And traffic jams.

Times Square is no less safe because of one person's stupid suicide attempt.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Pastel Paper Test

I have been working on sanded paper so much lately, especially for plein air.  The Richeson sanded paper I love so much is really gritty.  It is a lot grittier than Colourfix and even Uart.

Sanded papers are great because they take so many layers- which is good- but when I was out painting the other day I was thinking about clouds on sandpaper vs a smooth paper.

I have a whole lot of nice pastel papers (all surfaces) but in particular I haven't been such great friends with Mi Tientes.  But there are effects that night be easier with a smooth paper, though it definitely doesn't take the layers.

Here is a little experiment just for workflow and feel.
Less than a half hour.

9x12 pastel on gray Mi Tientes, smooth side.

For mother's day I did 5 loads of laundry.
Daya didn't acknowledge the day at all, which honestly would have been nice but that's how it goes, and these kinds of society-attention days shouldn't matter.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

FLIP: Spike

Once every several years or so I get a short-lived but intense urge to use watercolor.

I always start out well enough, nice and light and transparent- and then I muck the whole thing up.  This got mucked up mostly because I changed my mind about the colors, and you can't really do that with watercolor without having to start over.

But then Carey moved and we took a Flip break and during that time my watercolor urge passed. I didn't worry too much about the mucky state of the painting because that's why I have clear gesso, which is lovely and toothy under pastels.

5x7 watercolor and pastel (mungyo semi-hards)
on watercolor paper (strathmore for the paper geeks)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Pet Central Park Raccoon

I went up to the reservoir yesterday to paint some clouds.
They would not stay still, not at all so I had to settle on a composition and just kind of fudge it.  The sky went from all grey overcast to clear.

8x10 pastel on black richeson sanded paper

There is a running track around the reservoir where the Manhattan after-work crowd goes to run, jog, walk, whatever.  I have a spot up there which is on the running track but tucked away next to the gatehouse building at the top, so I am not in anyone's way.

People were overwhelmingly friendly- many people either stopped to say hi and say something nice about the painting, or they yelled out something nice as they ran by.  Even when my painting went through a *really* ugly stage.

I was so involved in my painting I didn't notice the raccoon who kept coming over to sit by my feet- on the running track.  Four people stopped to tell me he was there, which scared him off.  I finally saw him when he came back again, and he was big and fluffy and cute.

Here he is, running away- I couldn't get any other pictures of him.

Everyone was out yesterday.  The raccoon, dogs, and horses.




Sky pics


I thought the raccoon thing was cool because I started reading a book on St Francis yesterday, and this arrived in the mail:

Monday, May 08, 2017


It is true that I haven't been blogging as much lately and I'm also not productive at the easel. Not lately.

Carey has been in a long moving process so our weekly FLIPs have been paused, and will hopefully resume soon.  I am planning to go out painting after work tomorrow.

Throughout this whole year I am noticing a gradual shift, some of it natural and some of it unwanted.  I will be 40 this year and I feel a transition happening. This is a natural part of life.  What I don't like is my over-sensitivity to anxiety which seems to be a new thing.

Unwanted noise in my home is my kryptonite.
It really, really throws me off, even anticipation of it.
Even when all is well..... that's a bit crazy isn't it. Silly, even.

I am starting to become concerned more than I ever have been about the years to come- basic stuff, like living situation.  There is no problem with where I am now.  Actually, it is a very good situation. But I worry about long-term maintenance. And worry is a huge misuse of imagination.

The thing about all of this is that I need to re-align to all the things I have learned up to this point in my life.  All of it is just fear.

Why is it, even armed with awareness and the knowledge of how to connect, that it is difficult to stay connected to a place of Source? With the knowing that everything is being handled?

Caroline Myss said that one of the universal experiences of growing spiritually is having gone through time alone, sometimes a lot of it. I have written about that before- but I still have thoughts around it that I need to change when I feel sad. So instead of thoughts around having been alone, I am thinking instead "I have not been alone; I have just spent a lot more time with god,' which is true.

I am not sad that my mother isn't in my life,
No one knows where my sister is, as far as I am aware no one has heard from her for years and I am at peace with that, too.

But I do get sad about my father sometimes.
The situation won't change so I need to rearrange myself to be in peace.
The truth is that I have managed just fine without his presence or assistance.
I do not actually need it.
Would it have been nice to have that relationship, assuming it is a positive one? Yes.  However, he is his own father. I have to release it in peace.

What I want to say about this is that it is a process and a practice. A practice that needs to be- well, practiced.

Living in a state of anxiety is not living in god-realized consciousness.
It shouldn't be challenging but it is, which means I need to practice.

I AM THAT I AM is the greatest spiritual truth/secret/teaching.
It is the most powerful thing in existence.
Conscious alignment requires constant diligence and daily practice.

I might need to implement a morning and evening practice, because I need to maintain conscious alignment.

I need to remember that I have been on this Path consciously from the start- since I was a small child. I need to remember that I have always been taken care of.
Perhaps somewhat unconventionally, but it is true.
Two people have told me on two separate unconnected occasions that I have divine protection- which is good because I have needed it.
I need to release the how and just know all is and will be well.

I need to remember that because I have been walking a Path of conscious alignment for my whole life, this will continue and the way will unfold in a positive benevolent way.

It is practice.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

T-shirt Womb

When Daya performed at Barclays Center they gave out t-shirts. 
One size: HUGE!

She wears hers and probably mine too (i dont know which is mine; neither i suppose) around the apartment and also as sleepwear. 

Tonight she discovered she can fit her entire self inside the t-shirt. 
She called it a womb. 

I might have to see if I can also fit inside the t-shirt.
Maybe I am not quite as flexi-bendy but we are both basically the same height so it might work.

Yes Daya still has fleece snowflake sheets on her bed because she loves them that much. For the record Jackie loves her fleece sheets so much she also uses them year-round. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Tuesday to Tuesday

I know my blog got neglected for over a week. That's longer than usual...just haven't been able to muster up the effort.

Tuesday: Drusilla came to the city and I took a day off.  It rained all day so we drank sake and went to the museum of natural history to see the mummy exhibit, which was very good.  There was absolutely no photography allowed so of course I got some good pictures.  Only got yelled at once.

Weds-Thursday: It's that time of year for dance placement auditions for next year.  Daya is eligible to apply for a solo/duet/trio. I refuse to pay for it because 1) I can't and 2) I'm actually not willing to put extra money on top of the already significant monthly dance allotment.  Especially since Daya has now started tutoring in the neighborhood...she's really good, too, and cheaper than the college kids.  She has her first client and has already worked 5 hours. So if she does extra she has to pay for it.

Friday: Rob has a favorite restaurant in Williamsburg.  We go there a lot, which I like because they have all my favorite stuff.  It is an Asian-themed place, really beautiful inside- sushi, Thai, rice, noodles, Rob's favorite orange chicken....and we found out they shut down as of this past Sunday.  So last Friday was our last night at Hachi.  Sad.

Saturday: Daya had a HORRIBLE day. A Thunderstorm woke her up at 5:30am.  She hurt herself (she's ok) in her acro class. She had her team placement audition which she said she messed up badly. She forgot her keys and locked herself out....and I wasn't home because I was in Manhattan for a co-worker's choral concert.  So I told Daya how to climb the fire escape...she got yelled at once but finally made it and now we have both used our Break-In cards and that has to be the one and only time for both of us.

Sunday: Rob wants to get a cat and we went to see one on the Upper West Side.
We were on 92nd street. I had my cat carrier which was a cat-hair bomb (from Pebbles) and I was cleaning it out on the street...a ridiculous lady yelled at me because I was removing cat hair from the carrier "where families and children walk."  There was NO ONE on the sidewalk.  Rob really ripped into her and it was pretty hilarious. So 92nd street is a block where multi-millionaires live. Amazing old architecture, loads and loads of money.  And one building that is the projects, which is of course where the cat was. Such an intense contrast. So we went to the ASPCA (still on 92nd!) and they had no kittens.  Rob wants a kitten and he decided Manhattan cats are too messed up so he'll probably go out to Long Island.

Monday:  I have new neighbors upstairs and they like to BLAST their horrible music. It makes me insane...I get all the drums and all the bass. Have written a letter, have complained, will probably have to keep complaining because it is HORRIBLE when they do it.  I don't want to come home from work with their party pounding through my apartment.  If they want to do that they should move to the Bronx.  I get so messed up from stuff  like this....I don't want that nonsense in my home and there is no way to block it out.  It is distressing and awful.

Tuesday: Jackie and I went to dinner and had a nice time. Rob locked himself out of his apartment due to leaving his keys in Brooklyn at his job. His friend helped him get in.

I have pictures for this post but I'll post them later, maybe.