Showing posts from September, 2021

A Village Hero

Saturday's Times ran the obituary for Doris Diether, Guardian of Greenwich Village.  Doris Deither worked with the legendary Jane Jacobs to thwart Robert Moses in his efforts to build a massive highway through the Village and Soho.  You can read about her here; the part that gets me is that she served on Community Board 2  for more than fifty years.  I must have met her in my many meetings with the Community Board as my fellow playground moms and I tried to effect change in Abingdon Square Park. She's one of my heroes and I didn't even know it!  I could have been friends with her!  How many times have I said in my life, "Gee, I wish I'd paid attention"? Like with the late great Penn Station.  Living on Long Island I frequently took the train into the city and must have travelled through those beautiful spaces but I have no memory of it.  I wish I could open up a window in my memory and go back there. But I digress. I read

It's My Anniversary

 I got serious about posting this blog, Seeking the Sublime in the Everyday, three years ago right about now and I haven't missed a week; mostly on Friday morning.  thank you so much to you who have read and responded.  I hope you know how much it means to me to hear from you. To celebrate here's an oldie, a story about traveling with Arthur, about Georgia O'Keeffe, D.H. Lawrence and a raccoon.    I have long adored Georgia O”Keeffe.  My first year in art school the Whitney Museum held a retrospective of her work; I haunted that show and bought the catalogue and a ton of postcards.  She said, “Fill a space in a beautiful way,” and I thought I could do that.  I painted many imitation O’Keeffe’s and read everything I could find about her.  I kept her in my head, sometimes speaking to her, sometimes asking myself, “What would Georgia do?”     The Lawrence Tree is one of my favorites.  It’s painted as if we’re lying at the foot of a great tree, gazing up through her branches at

Finding a Quiet Place

 Last Saturday, September 11, our church held a memorial service that featured this poem; When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.  I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.           Wendell Berry That reminded me of  this drawing, from years ago in my teaching days. A wood duck and a Mandarin duck. And my Great Blue Heron. Do you have a place like the one Wendell Berry wrote about?  Where you rest in the grace of the world? It doesn't have to be an actual place.  My grandmother's home in Sag Harbor is like that for me; in my mind I walk across the lawn and down the hi

Up the Stairs

A few weeks ago I wrote about this staircase I saw in Greece, And how it just stayed with me until I drew it. Now that I look at this drawing after about ten years I think it could use some work. I'm not the only one who loves staircases; my friend, Anne Finkelstein, has done some gorgeous stairs.  She told me, "I grew up in an apartment and so the first time I ever saw a staircase it seemed magical-- something that could take you to a whole different place." This is "The Golden Railing" "Stairway to Heaven" I see Anne's work every day, because these depictions of the old McBurney YMCA  now hang in the stairway at   t he New McBurney Y on 14th Street between Seventh and Sixth Avenues. Anne has found something sublime in the everyday.

Making a Start

 Now that I've announced my Saint Barbara project I'm having technical difficulties with the questionnaire but I'll persist, nevertheless.  I made a promise to myself to begin a new stage drawing every Monday. When I had my studio at Broadway and 81st Street, that was pretty much my routine and it's high time I got back to it. Here's my first. Here it is on Thursday afternoon. Some progress, but I have a lot to do if I'm going to finish by Friday. I have several of those stage drawings that I didn't think were successful but they're going to work very well for this project.  Here's a view of my work table. That green shape is AntahKaren, an ancient symbol of healing.   Here are some of my brother Rob's lightning shots.  I'll be incorporating these.   I've heard and I kind of believe that it's a bad idea to talk about your ideas--you can talk or you can act and too much talk and the energy evaporates but I can't help it--I love thi