Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I just received amazing news a couple hours ago that will allow me to continue to be a full time painter for at least the next 6 months (as long as I'm prudent, don't overspend and barring emergencies)! Life is good and I am truly blown away.

I'm heading on a pre-planned mini vacation for the next 4 days and now I'll really be able to relax into it. And I'm looking forward to stepping into the studio Monday morning to paint without the nagging worry clunking in my brain. I can be more present to my painting.

(Photo taken on Sunday from a sign outside of the MoMA in NYC)

I'm still thinking about Sunday night's Manner Effect concert.

The intimacy of the venue was a perfect forum for a band whose music is just as intimate. Each musician was 150% present with their instrument. Manner Effect IS the definition of Synergy. Even when each soloed, I was acutely aware that it was still one powerful, breathing organism on stage. The perfect completion to this magical musical experience was their cover of Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" which brought tears to my face by the end of the song. The video I've linked to is from a recorded session. Listen all the way through as it builds.

Monday, July 30, 2012

15 Hours in NYC~
It was a day of cars, buses, and trains all while seeing good art, working on a new series, hearing fab jazz, surrounding myself with greenery and eating some of the most fall off the bone, tender, flavorful food I've had in a while.

I was up at 5 am yesterday to grab the 7 am Megabus and we arrived at 7th and 28th at 9:45! So I walked up 7th thru Times Square to head for my next destination, stopping to finally pick up coffee and breakfast.

I was at the MoMA by 11 am and spent a couple hours in the museum not only immersing myself in the work, but also working on one of my ideas for one of my other series that's been percolating. While there I finally purchased my MoMA membership.

At 1pm I met up with my sister Lucie and niece Sarah outside of the MoMA. We headed to Crown Heights in Brooklyn to meet Sarah's boyfriend who was taking us to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Spent about an hour wandering the Brooklyn Gardens and then enjoyed super amazing West Indian food from a little place around the corner before heading back into town to get ready for the evening's festivities.

Rockwood Music Hall for a killer show of one of Sarah's bands at 9pm. My friend Matt joined us for the concert and a late dinner at the little meatball place in the LES. We had a table of almost 20, filled up with the band, other musicians and their friends. It was a fun-filled evening which ended when I dragged myself into bed about 1 am.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

These two images are details from one painting that is also in progress in the studio. The piece is 24"x24", oil on canvas. I love having the emotional and physical space to work on many different things at the same time. I'm excited with these. It's a canvas that I'm painting from a gorgeous photo taken by a friend.

It's raining quite hard right now which is a problem because I need to run down to the trunk of my car to find my umbrella and don't want to search for it in the rain. My trunk is filled with beach gear which means emptying the trunk. The upside to this is, I need my umbrella for tomorrow because I'm hopping Megabus at 7 am for a quick trip to NYC to hear my niece and her band at their NYC cd release event. I'll grab the noon bus back on Monday and crashing on a friend's couch on the lower east side.

I will say the above paragraph has two of my many reasons for being thrilled I'm in Providence: proximity to the beach which warrants having gear in the truck and proximity to NYC so I can make an impulsive mad dash down to the city.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I think they are on the lookout for boats.

Photo taken today at Narragansett Beach. While walking the length of the beach walk I noticed little rock sculptures the entire way.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

in addition to my beach series, I've begun a couple paintings that are quite different. This one is from a photo I took while on a boat returning to shore at my brother's place at the lake. i've only worked two sessions on it and have a way to go but am having fun with the people and even a dog. the painting is 24"x18". Maybe I should name the painting "Dixie" for the dog. :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Save The Date!

Our buildings are going to host Open Studios on Saturday Sept 8 and Sunday Sept 9 from 10 - 5 pm. I will be posting invites in a week or two. There will be munchies, beverages and some older paintings at discounted prices to make room for the new.

For a few years now, I've wanted a large work table. It needed to be 3 ft high, and about 3'x6'. I also needed something that could be easily moved.

Sunday, while scanning Craigs list, I found an ad for drafting tables...$20 each, 3 ft high, 2'x3'. I drove to Woonsocket to check them out and picked up three of them. The seller even delivered them all to my studio! They are super sturdy, metal frame, solid top which can be propped at an angle if I need it. Huge score.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I just booked a working week in Provincetown for the 2nd week of September in a little condo on the beach on the Truro/Ptown line. It's going to be a painting/photography week. I'm bringing my easel and will be spending much time in the dunes at the National seashore.

The prices are dirt cheap and the owner rents to lots of artists. To wake up in the morning, make coffee in my own little kitchen and sit on the deck in the sand overlooking the water before going to paint will be pure bliss.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Enjoyed a fab Providence sunset over the Narragansett last night after filling up on some pretty fab sushi with my friend Matt.

Kind of a perfect evening.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

14"x18", oil on canvas

28"x22", oil on canvas

Still pretty inspired, here are two more beach paintings.

I'm so jazzed that I am in the processing of booking a week in Provincetown, for the 3rd week of September…on the Truro/Provincetown line in a little efficiency condo on the beach with a deck that looks out over the water. It's going to be a mini self-residency. I spoke with the owner today and told him that I just need to sleep on it. But, for a waterfront condo, it's dirt cheap and it's out of season (so most of the tourists will be gone). I plan on biking and hiking the dune trails, taking photos and doing sketches. I'd also bring my watercolors, ink, and acrylics to work while I'm there….along with my french easel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

what does one do on crazy, over the top, hot, humid days? today...not much. i was too zombie-like from almost a week's worth of too hot, sleepless nights. but yesterday, i hopped the free bus (on bad air quality days, providence's buses are free to encourage people not to drive) down to the rhode island school of design library and spent a cool, quiet and delightful 5 hours doing some art business stuff, including researching grants.

or…you can do what these kids were doing in our backyard last night. playing in the sprinkler. the light was so beautiful i had to grab my camera and snap a few pics.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I hopped a train into Boston to have brunch with friends. Good food and good company at the South Street Diner.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The one thing I dreaded with my return to the northeast was the heat. And it's been hotter than expected. But, I'm lovin' my new fan because, along with the two large overhead fans, my studio is tolerable.

Life, in the last 24 hours has been super interesting. I'm currently writing an article on the importance of art walks for an artist newsletter as well as this morning was corralled to be part of an organizing committee for a fall arts festival. New possibilities have blossomed for a life that I once thought was fantasy but now see as reality.

Now...it's time to dunk myself in a cold bath before heading out for the burger I've been craving for a month and then a comfortable evening in an air-conditioned film house.

Friday, July 13, 2012

This is what happens when you call about a job you were hoping to get...knowing you were one of the finalists, and someone finally gets back to you and says "the message I received was they decided to go with another candidate."

Not only are you feeling the sting of rejection...which is normal, but you become enraged due to the fact that the appropriate parties didn't tell you themselves and you only found out because you took initiative to call and had some poor person on the other end of the line have to track down the info for you and it immediately rips open old wounds that were scarring over and your heart starts bleeding all over the place.

What do you do?

You need to paint big and so grab a 40"x30" painting that you weren't planning on painting over but need to lay down a bunch of paint fast because slamming paint on canvas is more productive than throwing things around the room.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

2 more from my new Beach series. These are all 14"x11", oil on canvas.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Here are some of the black and white photos I took while on Martha's Vineyard.

The cliffs in Aquinnah...

A fun sign...

Oak Bluffs...

and Menemsha. I want one of those fishing shacks with a dock near the water...

Monday, July 09, 2012

I'm finally getting around to posting my NYC Pride photos. It was pretty awesome having the Empire State building as a backdrop.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

I received a phone call about 4:30 Friday afternoon with an invitation to a cottage on Otis lake for the weekend. By 10:00 pm, I'm driving in the dark down little curvy roads in the woods being guided by cell phone. This is what I woke up to the next morning.

It was a pretty awesome time hanging out, getting out the high temps in Providence, relaxing and spending happy hours zooming around the lake on a motorboat.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Beach 1

Beach 2

Some of what I've been working on in the studio. Both oil on canvas, 16"x12"

Thursday, July 05, 2012

D and I headed over to the overcrowded India Point Park last night after we returned from the beach to check out the concert and then the fireworks. It was a sultry evening with beautiful skies, a deep red full moon rising, a symphony, an abundance of glowsticks, many boats on the water and then, fireworks. The perfect end to a perfect day.

Yesterday was a beach day. My roommates and I packed up the car and headed to Goosewing Beach yesterday, next to South Shore Beach in Little Compton, about 45 minutes away. I had discovered this beach online a few months before moving to Providence and was looking forward to checking it out. Thus far, it's in my top 5 beaches. It's not packed because it doesn't have accessories such as a concession stand or bathrooms...only a couple outhouses.  It's a gorgeous beach.

The rainy morning didn't dampen our spirits. We were still headed for the beach. I remained optimistic and packed sunscreen and my bathing suit. The pragmatic Capricorn side of me grabbed my raincoat.

The rain stopped as we got in the car and within an hour we were at the beach with a beautiful blue sky. The ocean was warm, compared to the Maine shore, and I spent most of the day happily swimming, laughing and bouncing around in the salt water. I am so an ocean baby and wicked glad to be back.
Diane celebrating her first Independence Day

On our way home from the beach yesterday we stopped at Evelyn's Drive In where their little car is powered by clam cakes. (see the bottom of the website).   My french roommate from Lyon wanted an American lobster roll and we figured the 4th of July after beach time would be perfect.

It's a lovely little place with a/c dining room and a patio with tables and umbrellas out back up to the water.  There's a dock where boats can pull up to eat.    And they have a take out window and many picnic tables under a large roof near the water.  

We had a lobster roll (the smaller one)   They come in small and large.   Massive hunks of lobster meat in a grilled hot dog bun, not dressed with mayo or anything.   They offer choice of mayo or warm butter on the side. It was pure and simple bliss.

Lobster is quickly becoming one of my four food groups. I think I'm simply making up for lost time.

photo taken by Diane Micard

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Fourth of July - from Goosewing Beach in Little Compton, RI.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

she sells sea shells by the sea shore

I took the photo while at Aquinnah. It makes me smile. Tomorrow I'm planning a beach day with my two roommates. I want to explore Goosewing Beach. It's managed by the Nature Conservancy and is one of the most unspoiled areas in RI.

While I have this blessed gift of time, in addition to job hunting and my return to the studio, I'm trying to grab as much seashore time as I can.

Goosewing Beach photos and more info here.

A sea captain had three loves: sailing, good food and the vineyard. One day in 1969, Captain Douglas became fed up with the stale store bought donut. At the time, there weren't any good year round restaurants. So he sat and sketched his dream of a restaurant on a paper napkin. His sketch took life and he opened the Tavern in 1971.

Like many, I've always had a thing for The Black Dog. Essentially, we almost grew up together. We first arrived at the Vineyard somewhere around 1975 or '76. By the time we first stepped foot on the island, the Black Dog had expanded to a little bakery next to the ferry.

On this trip I researched The Black Dog. I found this beautiful piece on the legacy of The Black Dog. In reading, I saw where my attraction came from. Captain Douglas dared to follow his passion and create his dream. And, as impossible as it feels at time, it is something I continue to strive to do.

The true story of a man and a dog.

The Legacy

"For many men, there is something especially alluring about a sailboat and the sea. It is the bond between a man, a boat and nature - a dream of stepping back to a simpler time.

Robert Douglas had that dream.

At an early age he had escaped the hustle and bustle of his hometown Chicago by summering on the Vineyard. From the cockpit of his fifteen-foot sailboat, he would watch the MV Islander and MV Nobska ferry visitors back to Woods Hole and New Bedford.

It was on such a visit that Robert Douglas made three promises to himself. One day he would build a ship. One day he would get a dog to sail by his side and to warm his feet in the winter. And one day he would call the Vineyard home.

In 1958, now a young Air Force Captain, Robert Douglas flew his last mission and then walked away from the twentieth century and toward his dream.

His vessel would be modeled after the schooner Joe Lane, a revenue cutter (in the 1800s revenue cutters patrolled the US coastline, enforcing import tariffs) built in 1850. Wherever possible, Captain Douglas would incorporate materials and techniques used in the 19th century. This proved to be quite a challenge. Cotton canvas, manila rope, and marlin along with oak frames and hanging knees, white pine decks, double sawn frames, and masts of Douglas fir, all had to be carefully woven together. In February 1964, after two years of careful construction, Douglas' one hundred and fifty-one foot topsail schooner, complete with coal stove, kerosene lamps and hand pumps for water, slipped into the icy waters of South Bristol, Maine. Captain Robert Douglas was at the helm. His boat, christened the Shenandoah, sailed a course for Martha's Vineyard.

A black Lab-Boxer mix would come aboard in 1967. Named The Black Dog after the character in Robert Lewis Stevenson’s "Treasure Island," for sixteen years man, the boat and the dog would be nearly inseparable.

For Captain Douglas, life was good. He purchased an old seaside inn that sat on the beach in Vineyard Haven. From the downstairs library window he could see Shenandoah, swinging on her mooring in the harbor. Sailors from all parts of the globe would walk down the beach, their sea bags tossed over their shoulders, headed for the Captain's house. The Black Dog would greet them at the door. The Captain and the sailors would sit around the fire and drink coffee, and sometimes rum. They compared ships and captains and talked of cargo and foreign ports.

While summer brought many people to the Vineyard, few remained year-round. In fact, the island had not one year-round restaurant. One cold day in 1969, over a bitter cup of coffee and a dry, packaged, store-bought donut, the Captain decided enough was enough. His dream would now include a place where Vineyarders and visitors could enjoy a good cup of chowder and great conversation year-round. That dream began as a sketch on a napkin.

One New Years' Day 1971, the doors to the Black Dog Tavern opened. Everyone said the chowder was just right, and there wasn't an empty seat in the house. In the corner by the fireplace, the Captain and his dog watched with satisfaction. The food was great, and the fire warmed the room with a glow that only a fireplace can impart.

The legacy had begun."

Monday, July 02, 2012

On Saturday, my final day on the island, I spent the afternoon heading to the other side. Checked out a bunch of galleries on the way and picked up business cards for potential connections and then continued on to Aquinnah, where the Gayhead lighthouse and white cliffs are found. From there I looped back because I needed to check out one of my favorite beaches, South Beach.

I love this landscape. It is extreme and serene at the same time.

Walking up the dunes from the road to South Beach. It too is unspoiled, protected area. Windier. Massive waves which look deceptive until you head into them. Strong currents. And nothing but water, beach, dunes and those who love it. There are some trails where, with a permit, you can off road to a more remote area. It's all pretty sweet.