Thursday, March 25, 2021

A Work in Progress: Celebrating the Green

 Last Monday, March 14, my friend, Lois, invited me to a Zoom St Patrick's party.  the invitation said, 

                                        Get your Green on for a Green Rendez-vous!

On the same day the NY Times ran an article about the Irish American Society and its beautiful townhouse, which sits on Fifth Avenue, across from the Met. 

You know how much I love drawing houses so I perked up. I've often stood on the steps of the Met and looked at this house, saying, I should draw that some time.  The time has come! A new idea! What color should I use?  More Red?  I'm just finishing up House of Red and so could use a little rest from the Red family.

St Patrick's Day?  Irish American Society?  So it's the House of Green and for the Irish flag, a few touches of orange.  Then I remembered that when I put out a request for ideas as to who should live in the House of Red my cousin, Anna, voted for a mermaid. 

I said, I'll have to wait until I do a piece with blues and greens.  And now, here I am. But isn't there something more Irish than a mermaid?  A selkie? A mythical creature who's a seal in the water and when she comes on land she sheds her seal skin and becomes a woman.  I might even have one in this early etching. Pretty close, don't you think?

So here I go.

Yes, I'm setting the house in the sea and yes, that's a whale in the parlor.

Watch this space for more to come--a school of goldfish, for the orange, a hermit crab, maybe a ship or two.  Yesterday I listened to the Beatles all afternoon so...maybe a Yellow Submarine. I'm having a blast! You can tell because the studio is getting really messy! 

I want to thank all of you who came to my Zoom event on the 13th; it meant a lot to me to see your lovely faces on the screen.  

Thanks also for coming to the New York Artists Circle show, Fragile Earth.  If you missed that, you can see it at this link:

Lastly, after the attacks of 2001 the people of the Netherlands gave New York City a gift of five hundred thousand daffodil bulbs, to remind us that spring always comes. 

Those daffodils, their children and grandchildren are now appearing all over the neighborhood, delivering a much need dash of joy. Wherever you are, I wish you daffodils.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Beauty Under the Street

This morning I got my second vaccine shot and to celebrate I took myself on an Artist's Date.  Not to a museum, but to the Subway. You may remember that I've written about several of our loveliest subway stations and everyone has told me that I MUST see the Delancey Essex Station. So I made a pilgrimage. At first I saw nothing- you have to go two levels down, to the F and M Platform. There's a lot of stair climbing so I got a workout as well.

 Here's the first thing I saw.  


                                              Glass mosaics  by MING FAY

Ming Fay is a Shanghai-born and New York City-based sculptor and professor. His work focuses on the concept of the garden as a symbol of utopia and the relationship between man and nature.

He extensively researched the neighborhood's history, and created watercolor sketches that were transformed into glass mosaic murals by craftsmen.

 On the Manhattan-bound platform Shad Crossing celebrates the return of the once abundant fish to New York and water as a metaphor for "crossing."

On the Brooklyn-bound side is Delancey Orchard, inspired by the prominent DeLancey family's eighteenth century farm, which stretched from the East River to the Hudson River. The farm's cherry orchard grew where Orchard Street now stands.

These pictures don't capture the scale and awesomeness of these walls.  I suggest you go there right away!

I decided to walk home through a neighborhood I don't often visit and ran across this frog, Large Coqui,   by Tom Otterness. the sign says his name comes from the sound he makes.


 I have mixed feelings about Mr. Otterness but I like this little guy very much.  In fact, I think we've met before-in one of my own collages.

Then I saw this guy;

You've gotta love a neighborhood where they make art out of tree stumps.

 Then I ran into an old friend;

It was a great Thursday. When I was almost home and the rain was getting heavier I saw that the tulips in Abingdon Square Park are working their way up!

I hope you will tune in this Sunday at 5 for the Zoom launch opening of a show I'm participating in--
 Here's all the information you need to join us.

Fragile Earth: Artists Respond to Climate Change

The New York Artists Circle is delighted to announce the launch 
of their latest curated exhibition:

Fragile Earth: Artists Respond to Climate Change
Curated by Fran Beallor and Barbara Sherman
March 1 - May 1, 2021
Opening reception - March, 21st, 5-6:30
Meeting ID: 858 5762 3504
Passcode: NYAC

Save the date:
Earth Day event - April 22, 2021
The earth is the source of all life and one of our most revered inspirations and yet, is under dire threat for survival. The works in Fragile Earth represent an artistic call to action from a group of 48 creators who remind of the reverence and awe unique to the planet. This collection presents a new iteration of an exhibition scheduled to hang at Art at First Gallery in New York City in 2020, but canceled due to COVID-19. The New York Artists Circle is proud to be able to offer an online platform for this important work.

Co-Curators, Beallor and Sherman are thrilled to present Fragile Earth: Artists respond to Climate Change. Inspired to action, Barbara Sherman, director of Art at First Gallery, teamed up with NYAC co-leader, Fran Beallor, to curate this important show. NYAC artists responded from a myriad of vantage points. Some seek to educate, some call us to action, while others seek to memorialize endangered species or wilderness settings. All see the crisis against the backdrop of their individual aesthetics and believe that voices and art have a significant impact.  
The shows title is a nod to The Fragile Earth: Writing from The New Yorker on Climate Change, from October 2020, which features some of the best writing on the climate crisis for non-science audiences from the last three decades. Like our artists, these writers sound the alarm: if nothing is done, there will be nothing left. In Fragile Earth, using paint, sculpture, mixed media, print making, collage, and photography, the combined voices of these 48 artists creates an iridescent richness of sentiments of both hope and horror, beauty blended with the sadness of loss, and a bloom of optimism.  

Participating Artists:
Ellen Alt, Audrey Anastasi, Cecilia Abs Andre, Marianne Barcellona, Bascove, Karin Batten, Fran Beallor, Lois Bender, Alli Berman, Karin Bruckner, Pamela Casper, Irene Christensen, Diane Churchill, Jaynie Crimmins, Elisa Decker, Laura Duggan, Elaine Forrest, Diana Freedman-Shea, Barbara A. Friedman, Pauline Galiana, Pearl Rosen Golden, Eleanor Goldstein, Norma Greenwood, Eileen Hoffman, Lori Horowitz, Sandra Indig, Suejin Jo, Yvonne Lamar-Rogers, Jenna Lash, Gwyneth Leech, Alise Loebelsohn, Patricia Miller, Carolyn Oberst, Ellen Pliskin, Jacqueline Sferra Rada, Kristin Reed, Amy Regalia, Charles Seplowin, Ann Shapiro, Regina Silvers, Barbara Slitkin, Barbara Sherman, Bonnie Steinsnyder, Sandra Taggart, Teressa Valla, Yona Verwer, Lucinda Wilner, Alice Zinnes 


Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @nyartistscircle 

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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Pink Balloons Day Please come to my Soiree tomorrow evening

 When I'm asked to briefly describe my work I say,

"I draw architectural fantasies in pen and ink and populate them with animals, angels and baseball players."


I'm hoping that makes you want to see for yourself.

If it does, now's your chance.

Tomorrow at 5 o'clock I'm hosting a Zoom gathering with my co-host, the artist Fran Beallor, to talk about my work and show you how it's evolved.  I'll talk about inspiration, about recognizing an idea, catching it and bringing it to life.

We're doing this on March 13 because it's the birthday of my grandmother, whose last day I wrote about  in Pink Balloons, the story of a day I had to find a way to celebrate in the midst of grief. We're also commemorating the one year anniversary of the quarantine, with all the fear, grief and anxiety we've gone through.  How do we go on from here?  

Lately I've heard or read the same thing from Dave Chappell and Barack Obama; 

"You have to find a way to find joy."

Let's see if we can do that together-or at least let's try.  Here's the link-just click here at 5 tomorrow.

See you then!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Here's your invitation--and the link

 By now I hope you've read my post Pink Balloons Redux Redux and are eager to hear more about what I have to say about finding joy in the midst of grief.

I'll be saying a lot more about my drawings and how I get my ideas.  You might find it interesting.

Here's the link to the meeting at 5 pm this Saturday, March 13.

See you then!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

My First Forsythia!

 The first sign of Spring!!  Is this early?  Spring can't come too early for me.

When I was little forsythia was one of my favorite words although I could never remember it; I'd say,

"What's that yellow flower again?"

Forsythia-what a great word.  That and espadrilles;  the exotic shoes my mother wore with laces around her ankles that I thought were just fabulous and made her look like a gypsy.

This reminds me of one of the most fun thing about raising children--the way little kids make up their own words--sometimes improving on the original.  Like the kid who called the place where you keep the food cold the Ray Ray Frasier.

There's a quote that I can't find--but I really love it.  It's about "the funny words and pet names, little private jokes and phrases that families share." I think it's either Nabokov or Tolstoy--those guys knew how to go deep and at the same time hold onto the fun things.

In our family when we say good-bye we also say I la.  My cousin Kate recently said, "Where does I la come from anyway?  Is that some Scottish thing?" No, Kate. Long ago when our grandmother would put my Dad to bed she'd say, "I love you," and he'd reply "I la." It stuck so much that Dad once told me, after he hung up with his broker, "I almost said 'I la!'"

I once asked Dad where the garbage can was and he replied sternly,  "In this house we say Bobo Can."

My brother Larry called his favorite food, baked beans, chocolate beans, and on a really good day, sparkling chocolate beans

I was at the beach with my friend, Nori; Jessie and Sam were playing in the waves but Nori's daughter, Eugenie, was scared of the noisy water and cried for her mom to pick her up.  Nori did and said, "It's Ok, look, I'll move back so the waves can't get us."  Eugenie patted Nori's cheek and said, "MmmmmMommy Good Girl!"

Now whenever I find that I actually paid that bill, or put my glasses where I could find them again I give myself a pat and say, "MmmmmMommy Good Girl!"

Two friends wrote back to my blog about William Steig that their families all say "Frank U berry mush" in honor of Doctor Desoto.

Of course, one person's sweetness is another's treacle.  Dorothy Parker, reviewing Winnie the Pooh in her New Yorker column, Constant Reader, wrote, "At that point, tonstant weader pwomptwy frowed up."

 That was not easy to get past spell check!

So tell me your favorite family colloquialisms.  

 I promise to love them as much as you do.

And remember, Saturday, March 13 at 5pm EST. 

Christmas in July

I've been feeling a little uninspired and overwhelmed by papers and stuff, torn by needing to clear the decks and get rid of everything ...