Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I made a choice to stay in this evening and be with myself. 2013 has been probably the most difficult and scary year thus far. There have been some amazingly magic moments tucked within, but the anxiety and fear would loom large.

I've had years involving deep heartbreak, the kind I wouldn't wish on my enemies, but…this, this was different. It wasn't about heartbreak which, regardless how brutal, we get through…in some fashion, even if a part stays with us. 

No, this year was about financial questions and wondering how I'd pay my bills and the low esteem that comes with rejection after rejection from sending out a multitude of resumes. Averaging 10 to 15 resumes sent each week, I received a handful of responses….to then be the "almost but not quite" girl. I didn't have a partner who could pay the bills while I looked for work. There were times when I'd have no idea how I'd pay rent. It's just me. RI has a rough job market. It affected me on a core level. It definitely affected my painting practice, which I'm struggling to regain. And yet...I knew I needed to trust myself...and all would work out, yet still made for many sleepless nights.

But now, I have a job. I've been returning, albeit slowly, to a more rigorous discipline of exercise and more importantly, to my painting. And, I wonder what 2014 will bring. I try to leave a few unopened presents for the new year. Anticipation. A little mystery. And patience. 

So tonight, I am thoroughly enjoying being surrounded by my deep red curtains and twinkly holiday lights. I chose to bake my mom's Toutiere (Canadian meat pie) and enjoyed it with pickled beets and red wine, then followed by some very nice chocolate that was gifted to me. 

It's a time of reflection and soothing myself after being battered around these last 12 months.

Happy and magical New Year to all of you!

The sheep ornament was purchased to remind me of the times I attempted to "baaahh" like a sheep and would fail miserably. And also the glee I'd feel when I saw sheep in fields.

The round ornament was my first ornament purchased in RI....last year.  It's one of Providence's iconic buildings on the canal at the mouth of the bay.  Like all my ornaments, they remind me of something.  And the fish?  I love the water.  Like fish. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

From my trip to Boston the Saturday before xmas.  Look at those orange feet!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tonight, while going to get mail.  Photo taken at the yoga place next to my mailbox place.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Yesterday was a day trip to Boston.  After a delightful walk to the train station, I leisurely took my time buying my ticket, grabbing coffee and going to the restroom. Then I checked the board to find my track number only to discover it was supposed to have left a minute earlier. A guy raced past me and I tear off after him. We managed to hop the train with 30 seconds to spare, laughing and hi-fiving each other before grabbing our seats.

Friday, December 20, 2013

From my window.

Snow a few nights ago.  It was so lovely.  Today, it's warm and all melted.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Over 30 years ago I introduced my mom to a wonderful holiday animation called "The Snowman".  We both love it for the simplicity of story, the animation and…especially for this song "Walking In The Air".  We watched it again last year, my first xmas at home since 1998 when I moved to Seattle.  Here is a video of the song.

And because I've got big like for my little tree…here is another photo. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A photo I took on Friday the 13th, all the while forgetting it was Friday the 13th.   I cut through a parking lot to get to work and saw the birds in the tree.  I had to loop around again to photograph them and was gifted with a few birds in flight.

Monday, December 16, 2013

This is my first real little tree during my first holiday in my first apartment since I've returned to New England from Seattle.  

Last year, in December, I was renting a room.  It was a wonderful apartment but not my own space.  This year, it's my own home.   I intentionally try to make my living room the most relaxing room.  This space is coming along but there is more I want to do to it once I become permanent at my new job.

Over the weekend I picked up a little tree and spent Saturday evening setting it up.  My neighbor from downstairs came up and she helped me decorate.  We spent a great evening sharing stories, getting to know each other, having dinner delivered, watched a movie, put up the tree and enjoyed some brandy.  A nice time.

I love my little tree.  The wooden star at the top was made in the mid 80s by my first girlfriend.  This tree holds a disco ball, a flamingo, a Gumby, a girl softball player, musical instruments, a turtle, a whale, a bird, little fishes, a Seattle ferry boat, a pig with wings, a firecracker…and so much more.  

I choose my ornaments to remind me of the people that either are still in my life or have touched my life.   My tree is filled with stories.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

First snow.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Tonight was the tree lighting in downtown Providence at the outdoor skating rink next to City Hall.  The Brown University marching band performed.  On skates.  Here they are whizzing past…even the tubas.

Monday, December 02, 2013

This is the 7th year for the little hot pink feather tree and it's a trooper.  Still hanging in there.

Now it is finally really a painter's holiday tree.  I didn't have a spare table to put it on. Looking around the room I realized I could use my Jullian easel as a stand. But because of the easel bars in the front, to create a level surface I had to place two boxed large tubes of titanium white oil paint on either side.  From there I was able to lay my drawing board on top which then was perfect to hold the tree.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

(a proud moment for me)

Many years ago, a friend made a pie for one of my gatherings.  To this day I had never forgotten it because I thought it was brilliant:
Pear, Ginger, Black Pepper pie.

I haven't baked since 2001 or 2002 but had a strong hankering to make not only any pie…but the pie that had embedded itself in my memory.  After contacting my friend Jack, I received vague instructions, and nervously with cautious optimism, I peeled pears and pulled ingredients together.

"Tarte aux poires, gingembre et poivre noir!" exclaimed my mom as I pulled this out of the oven on Thanksgiving morning. I was excited because it looked lovely and the kitchen smelled sublime…filling the room with ginger. The recipe was "to taste" with no measurements...a little bit of a challenge for this girl who hasn't baked in eons.  

The texture, nice firm chunks of pear, pleased me…but it didn't gel.  I was a little light on the flour. But the taste was glorious.  I intentionally put hardly any sugar (barely a teaspoon) because I am not a fan of very sweet desserts, much preferring to actually taste the flavors.

And it made good breakfast food the next morning.  Like a Pop-Tart.  But better.

Here it is, right out of the oven.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Photo taken in Bushwick, NYC.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Although all amazing events/experiences...I have been out and about every single night after work and am exhausted.  Hopefully…after some appointments tomorrow morning, I'll have the remainder of the weekend to myself.

Yesterday I left work a little early to hop the 4 pm train to Boston to listen to one of my all time fave artists speak at the ICA.  Arriving at South Station about 5:30, I barely had enough time to get to the museum, grab a quick dinner, rush through her exhibit before settling in the theater to listen, then get out at 8:30, rush to meet the 9pm train, and home to bed.

As crazy as the timing was…it was worth it.  So very worth it.  Moving.  Profound.  Insightful.  I hope to be able to write about it once I'm rested, and everything has sifted through me.  

I will be going back to the ICA to really sit with the work when I have more time.  And although unexpected, I again had the same emotional response to her work as I did back in 2006, when I first saw it.  Then…tears fell.  This time, tears backed up behind my eyes but I wouldn't let them fall due to the exhibit being filled with people.  Her work is me.  In a deep way, I have never before related so powerfully to an artist.

Amy Sillman at the ICA, Boston

Photo taken on train to Boston.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Busy week and its only Wednesday!
Today Is the first chance I've had in 3 days to do a daily photo.  While waiting for dinner to cook I walked into the studio with my camera and saw this.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I've been negligent with taking daily photos and have actually missed this part of my practice.  Once we've slipped out of a good habit, it's tough to return to it.  But I'm trying.

Today's photo:  Studio landscape.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Here are a few NYC photos from this weekend's quickie trip.

The trip down was rainy.  That is, until we pulled into the city when the setting sun broke through the clouds.

After the music ends.  At the Cornelia Street Cafe in the Village.

Fountain at night.

I stopped to enjoy the Bubble man in Central Park.

At the Guggenheim.

In Chelsea

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm slowly going through my NYC photos.  Here is one I took while walking down 5th on my way to Chelsea after spending delicious time with the Motherwell collage exhibit at the Guggenheim and the painters at the National Academy.

His name is Jose.  I stopped to chat with him a while and asked if I could take his photo.  He enjoys his cigars and is an ardent observer of pigeon behavior, explaining to me how he is fascinated by their colonization.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

I just returned from 48 hours in NYC.  Happy, exhausted, very sore, and deliciously satiated. It was a spontaneous trip to attend the cd release of my niece's boyfriend band in the Village.   I found $5 each way tickets through Megabus and wasn't working for Thursday & Friday.  Timing and price was perfect.

So I wanted to make the most of the trip and spent time researching art exhibits.  Normally when I hit the galleries in Chelsea, I try to choose between 5 and 10 must see shows.  This time, for varied and specific reasons, my list grew!  I thought the list would simply be a guide, but I actually managed to see all but one on the list.  In addition, I saw 2 extra shows that I hadn't researched and was thrilled to experience.

As well as being old school and loving handwritten lists, me being me, knowing I had limited time, put the list in order by address.  My nerdiness is showing.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A new very little painting.  This small piece is 4x6 in.  Oil on Arches oil paper.
Untitled, from the "Beach" series.

Autumn Lace

(photo taken thru my dirty studio window this afternoon)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A beautiful and warm November day. I enjoyed it by opening the windows in the studio and staring outdoors in between brush strokes.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Errands this morning.
Trader Joe's carrot ginger soup for lunch.
An afternoon of painting.
Great light in the studio.


(photo taken before today's painting frenzy)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A fun pre-Halloween weekend.  Yesterday it was the Iron Pour and this afternoon, friends and I took the Providence Ghost Walk tour.  The tour guide regaled us with not only ghost stories, but also delicious historical facts as we spend a delightful 2 hours in the late autumn sun.  We wandered Benefit St, shuffling through the leaves as we saw where Edgar Allen Poe resided, and the shunned house which was the subject of an H.P.Lovecraft story and many other fun tidbits.

Our guide…

Last night was the annual Halloween iron pour, a collaboration between the Steel Yard and the Iron Guild.  It's a great fundraiser for the Steel Yard.

Artists and Fire.  Always a good time.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Buffy and Jazz and Painting and Wine.
Perfect Afternoon.

I'm the kind of painter (as you may have noticed) who needs to have many different paintings going simultaneously.  Here is a canvas I pulled out after months of letting it rest.  

Today I took a tip from a friend who is a really wonderful painter, Kate Protage, and because I wanted a change from listening to music, put on Buffy the Vampire Slayer on my computer in the studio.  This painting, still in progress, is from a photo I took in September 2012 of a cd release concert at Dizzy's Jazz Club at Lincoln Center for the S.E.Charles Quartet.

Painting is 30" x 40", oil on canvas.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

While walking to work yesterday, I noticed the guy walking in front of me had these two pins on his bag. They made me smile and so as we both stopped at a crosswalk waiting for the light to change, I asked him if I could photograph his buttons.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yesterday after work I paid bills and then saw my bank balance.  I had two choices.  I could either drink and freak out…or drink and paint.  I opted for the latter.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Horseneck Beach on Sunday, Sept. 29.  Haven't had the opportunity to return but looking forward to doing so...soon.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

My friend's 12 year old niece was super excited to be at the beach and it was great fun to experience it with her. These photos were taken two Sundays ago at Horseneck.  I won't be able to return for a few weeks but anticipation isn't a bad thing.


Photo taken of the fountain in the center of Providence during one of my walkabouts.  I love how walkable this city is. 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Yesterday we went to a farm north of Providence to enjoy autumn goodness:  pumpkins, corn maze, animals, apple cider and all that good stuff.  I love autumn.