Showing posts from January, 2020

A painting I love

Sometimes an image really grabs me.  Like this painting,  Tobias and the Angel.   by  Andrea del Verrocchio  1475 I just dug this out of my files. I found it years ago in one of my favorite places in New York--a treasure, really, the picture collection of the New York Public Library.  It's a magical place.  Say you want to look at pictures of mole rats, or shoe fashions in the fifteenth century, or Byzantine architecture. You just walk in with your library card, ask the librarian, who knows exactly where you should go and writes down the shelf and file numbers--you find a fat folder and sit down at a table to leaf through a pile of pictures, some of them decades old.  I  know you can do the same thing on the internet but there's something about holding those papers in your hand. You can take them home, too. I must have been looking for pictures of angels and came upon this painting.  I was knocked out by the energy of these two figures, the rich color and the intens

Happy Birthday, Sam

Yesterday was the birthday of our son, Samuel Lawrence Woodhull Sherman. In the middle of labor, when Sam was minutes away from birth, our nurse said, “Let’s check that fetal heartbeat. ..Whoa,” she said,  “This kid’s made out of STEEL!”   For years after that,  I would look at him in his Superman pajamas and say,  "Yup, made out of steel." At our kindergarten parent/teacher conference Ms. Stewart said, “Because you teach here, Barbara, Sam knows his way around, so he’s very helpful, without being boastful.”  Helpful without being boastful.  I liked that so much I asked my Latin teacher friend to translate it and made it into Sam’s motto. Fert Opem Haud Superbus Dictus I think it's "open hands with no proud words."   Latin scholars?  any opinions? Was there ever a sweeter child? Could you imagine a more loving brother and sister?   A friend took this picture.  When I saw it I felt absolute disbelief and then

Less is a Bore

I made this etching after I gave up teaching to concentrate more fully on my art.  My children were in school full time and my days were now my own. I first spent hours and months just filling little blank books with images and quotes that caught my attention. I crammed into this piece everything I could think of to define a new phase of my life. As I think back, maybe I was defining myself as an artist. I put the seven continents across the top, each with an indigenous animal. On either side is a great ocean—on the left, the Atlantic, with  an allegorical figure of Europe from the plaza outside Musee D’Orsay in Paris. She’s sitting with a stag under a pine tree. On the right is the Pacific, with a palm tree, a parrot, and a pineapple. I'm not sure why I put a seal there. Two cows honor my years in Vermont. My family is represented by our signs of the Zodiac; an Aquarius Bear for Arthur, Taurus, the Bull for me, Cancer, the