Showing posts from October, 2019

Something you've just got to do

This is an image of the first painting by Georgia O'Keeffe that ever caught my eye--it was the poster for her retrospective at  the  Whitney Museum  in 1970.   From the first time she rode in a plane, she wanted to paint the clouds. This is what she said about it; "I painted a painting eight feet high and twenty-four feet wide—it kept me working every minute from six a.m. till eight or nine at night as I had to be finished before it was cold—I worked in the garage and it had no heat—Such a size is of course ridiculous but I had it in my head as something I wanted to do for a couple of years so I finally got at it and had a fine time—and there it is—Not my best and not my worst." the painting hung in the Whitney show then traveled to Chicago.  It was too big for the other museums on that itinerary so it still hangs in a stairwell at the Art Institute of Chicago. Joan Didion wrote that when her daughter, then aged 8, saw this she said, "Who drew that?  I gott

Friends Write Back

I love it when you respond to my posts.  Recently two good friends shared stories that I think you'll like too. First, Carol, the youngest of the Skinger girls, who grew up with my friend, Valerie,  (post for March 3, "My Friend, Valerie")  responded to my September 3 post, "Let's Sit down and read" with this story. "Reminds me of when the 3 of us went looking at colleges. We were in Philadelphia staying right in the center of things near City Hall. It was Friday night and we went next door for dinner at McKormick & Shmicks and there was a line. They asked if we’d eat at the bar as there was immediate seating. Yes. Upstairs the bar scene was jumping and it was a free show just watching the masterful bartender fill all the orders.  After a while, Adam took out an enormous paperback, I don’t recall what but some fantasy action-adventure tale. It was very very loud and our dinners took a long time to order and to arrive. John and I enjoyed watchin

A Historic event

FIFTY YEARS AGO THIS WEEK On October 16, 1969,  The Mets won the World Series  and I was there.  I'd like to say I was in my baby carriage but I was at my job in midtown, watching tons of shredded papers fall from office windows.  those were the days when you could open windows. But first, a little family history.  In the months before I was born my mother stayed with her in-laws while Dad finished his semester at Babson College. Everyday Mom and MomMom would go to the ball game; to the Bronx to see the Yankees or to the Polo Grounds to see the Giants. I had always thought we were exclusively Yankee fans but look at this picture of Alan, aged five.  That's a Giants uniform--he wore it every day. I don't know how Mom ever got it off him to wash it. Here he is with our grandfather, PopPop Brown.  You still can't see the writing, but the orange and black socks are the clue.  This is definitely a Giant's uniform.  Dad always used to say, "

Another Artist I love; Claus Oldenburg

Oldenburg's work is an interesting combination of serious and silly.  Spoonbridge and Cherry  The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.   To think of a giant spoon with a cherry is one thing, to draw that image is another thing. To convince the world that it's serious art and then to carry it into reality takes a lot of conviction, plus serious engineering, not to mention money.  This piece with the graceful curves of the spoon, the birght red of the cherry on top is perfect. It speaks to me of pleasure-- anticipation or satisfaction?  Do you eat the cherry on top of the sundae first or do you save it for last? Shuttlecocks The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City I love the birght white diagonals against the sober  beige horiaontals and verticals of the building.  Badminton speaks to me of summer afternoons and tea on the lawn. Oldenburg's wife, Coosje van Bruggen was his partner and collaborator and I approve of


I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Write. That's from the book of Revelation in the Bible. I once  read in a novel, I can't remember the title or the author, "Finding a handwritten letter in the mail is like spotting a cardinal in the bird feeder." What's so amazing about a cardinal in the bird feeder? I couldn't resist that. Thank you, Charles Addams.   Here's a cardinal caught by my brother, Rob, at his birdfeeder. . But enough about birds--I really want to talk about letters. This collage is from 1998, in my early days of decorating my datebooks.  On the right is the envelope for a birthday card from my friend, Doug.  I remember the lift I felt at finding it in the mail-- seeing his distinctive writing and the Georgia O'Keeffe stamp. My grandmother was a letter writer.  Dad told me that when he was in the army, in training at Camp Hale in Colorado, he got a letter every day. A man who worked in the mess hall said