Showing posts from September, 2022

A collaboration

 One of my most favorite projects with my second graders was an art history book. A class mother, who was also my friend, asked why I didn't teach Art Appreciation and I said, "You're right!  I should do that." So I gave my students postcards of famous works of art from the Met and  assigned them to draw the image and write an essay about it.  Some writing prompts were, What do you think of this picture?  How would you describe it? What do you think the artist was thinking?  "How would you like to be inside this picture?" Here are a few samples. They had to pick the cards sight unseen and I was glad that a little girl chose this one.  When she turned it over her eyes popped! Here's what she did with it. The handwriting is excellent but I'll print the text.  She wrote; Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres French, 1780-1867 Portrait of the Princess de Broglie If I was Princess de Broglie I would be happy.  I would think I would live a long life. Every day I w

Start the School Year

  In writing about Yellow, how could I have neglected to mention my granddaughter, Sunny?   Then look who I found on Facebook; a Yellow Warbler by photographer Peter Riley, a friend of my brother Rob.  So I'll start with an addendum to last week's post on Yellow. Last Sunday in church we celebrated that ancient ritual The Blessing of the Backpacks, to herald the new school year, always a wonderful time of beginnings and fresh starts. And I could use a fresh start.  It's been a little weird in my studio this summer; this is the view from my windows. Remember, we're on the fifth floor. Our building's facade is undergoing a legally required resurfacing.  Sometimes these guys use a jack hammer.  I'm told they'll be finished soon. I'm not sure if I can blame the intrusion and racket for my ennui.  I began a new drawing with high hopes but it's going nowhere. There's nothing wrong with it but after I started I realized that it's a rather poor imita

I'm thinking About YELLOW

 Yellow is the color of Intellect, creativity, happiness and the power of persuasion.  Okay, cowardice too, but why be a downer.  Maybe call it caution. The yellow traffic light says, "slow down, look around, be prepared." Not a bad message. Once I was gazing out the window from my studio on Broadway and I noticed an imbalance in what I was seeing. What was it?  There was no Yellow!  Then I remembered that there was a Taxi strike that day and the pallet of my view really showed it! I've got yellow at home, in  our fireplace.   We built this fireplace in January 1982 while we waited for Sam to be born.  Jessie and I were working on her potty skills, so we sat on the sofa and watched workmen deliver cement blocks in wheelbarrows. When putting on the cement finish the foreman wanted to decorate it with elaborate  scrolls but I wanted him to keep it simple, so I  watched what they did.  I pointed at my belly and told them my due date, saying I hoped they'd be finished by

It's Funny How things Fall into Place.

Have you seen my spiffy big cats?  A nice look for Fall the King of the Jungle in Ralph Lauren  I had just decided to write this week's blog about my Big Cat collages when I heard on NPR a story about Bertie Gregory, nature photographer and filmmaker, talking about what it takes to film wild animals--that would be passion and persistence. He followed a pride of lions for months, working with conservationists to attach tracking devices on them. He got to hold a Lioness's head while she got pinned and said he'd never realized how really big a lion's head is.   He learned that among the greatest threats to the lions is snares; they get entangled in the traps set for smaller animals and then they're in real trouble.  My first thought was, "Call the mice!" Remember Aesop's fable of the Lion and the Mouse? Where the Lion caught a mouse but didn't eat him and later he got ensnared in a trap and the mouse gnawed away the ropes and the Lion was free.  Aesop

An extraordinary show and two important lessons for your own practice

Save the date for the opening of Fran Beallor ’s extraordinary show titled  Self: 2020 Hindsight, 366 Portraits At El Barrio's Artspace PS 109 215 E. 99th Street N ew York, NY 10029 Opening reception Friday, September 9, 6-9  Exhibition dates: Wednesday, September 7 - Saturday, October 1, 2022  Show open daily: 10am - 7pm For the fourth time, Fran Beallor has set herself the challenge of making a self portrait every day for one year.  She even chose leap year to add an additional day.  Each image is 5x7 inches in pencil on a 9x12 inch toned paper. Fran has written a fascinating account of the project which you can read at but I want to tell you about  two elements that stand out for me, that have resonance for all artists, actually anyone who embarks on a creative project. First, discipline. Chuck Close said, "Amateurs wait for inspiration, the rest of us just show up and get to work…All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itsel