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When the Rain Washes You Clean- story #2

December 5, 2015

The evening that the pod left Newburgh, with all our worldly possessions, we were left wondering. Will our stuff get there ok? Did we do a good job packing? Are we nuts? Are we doing the right thing? Are we really doing this? Well, yes. We have set the wheels in motion, and we are off on an adventure. Right or wrong, this is it.

We were exhausted physically and emotionally. Our wonderful neighbor Cathie, was letting us stay with her until we would pack our car to finally depart. So we went to her house, took showers, and decided to go have a nice dinner out. We deserved it. Not knowing quite where to go, we got in the car and drove to the corner. Which way? I said “turn right and see where the car takes us”. Ahhhh. By mid block, the answer presented itself. The River Grill. A nice restaurant down at the waterfront. Overlooking the Hudson River. How apt. As I said when I left off last time, it had started to rain. Not hard. But how refreshing. It was still rather warm for this time of year, and the rain seemed nice.

We got down to the restaurant, and it was a little crowded. But the waiter took us out onto the deck area, that was now protected with plastic, and had nice tall heaters to keep us warm. It was enchanting. Not crowded out there, and very intimate. We got to watch the barges going up and down the river, the ferry going across to Beacon, and it was just so beautiful. So familiar. Our last time there? As we ordered dinner, then ate and talked, the rain got heavy and wind picked up. There was now a palpable edge. It was exciting. There was a real energy in the air. More rain. More wind. And then, the electricity went out. All up and down the river. Blackness! The other diners and Terry and I drew a collective breath. And then we all started laughing. I know I did. The waiters and the owner of the restaurant came out with candelabras, votives, and any candles they could find. Picture that! It was magical! It was a sign, that all the years we had lived here, invested in this city, was coming to an end. A beautiful end. All the wild energy, the ups and downs over the years, was presenting itself in this storm. It was right. It let us know that we were doing the right thing. A song came to mind. A Fleetwood Mac song. One where Stevie Nicks sings how “when the rain washes you clean you’ll know. You will know”. And I knew. We knew. This was the right thing to do.

We had a wonderful meal. We had a wonderful time in Newburgh. But it had run its course. It was time to go. We left the restaurant in the dark, laughing, and feeling good. Hopeful. Relieved.

Goodnight, Newburgh. Goodnight New York State.

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A New Phase of Life- stories about moving. Story #1.

November 29, 2015

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Today is Sunday. I think. The days sort of blend together these days. I am in a new place, an unfamiliar place. Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is early in the morning, as my system is still on Eastern Standard Time. East coast time. Colorado is 2 hours behind that.
My mind wakes me every morning, because it is churning away with thoughts and stories, and I would like to share some with you. I might jump around a bit with stories, but that can’t be helped.

We have arrived here with some sort of luck. Meaning, that things went our way weather wise, and I take that as a very good omen for the future. When we were loading up our pod, it never rained. We ordered a 16’x 8’x 8′ POD, and gave ourselves 2.5 days to load it. Just the two of us. No professional packers, just my husband and I working incredibly hard. At our age, I’m sixty, and he is 68, we felt we were still able to meet this challenge. And we did. But not without a bunch of Advil every night.
We have not moved in 23 years. So it took us all spring, summer and fall to prepare for this major event; a change of lifestyle. I posted things for sale on Facebook, we had a yard sale. We tried to get new homes for our two cats, to no avail. As fall set in, we realized we were still in the house, and needed to really get on the ball. So we did. We made it happen. The POD company says this size POD holds three rooms of furniture. I’m not really sure about that, but we filled it as best we could. The thing is, easels, art supplies and paintings probably constitute one whole room. That didn’t leave a lot of space for everything else.
The idea of culling all of one’s possessions to fit into a box is a bit overwhelming. Can I save this? What about that? It truly was a difficult thing, and a mind blowing thing. And a liberating thing. My mother had periodically done this as she got older. One needs less and less, and once you embrace that concept, it gets easier to do.
As we got down to our self imposed wire, the weather held out. We packed boxes, we took a lot of stuff to Goodwill. We donated lots of nice furniture, tools and things to The ReStore of Habitat for Humanity. That felt really good. Still good weather. Wow.
The cats were getting really nervous, as their environment changed daily. They needed lots of extra love, and food. So as the house emptied, this move became a reality. There was no turning back. Our direction had changed a few times, and now we were set on Colorado Springs, with reasons I will relate another time. The final days were upon us. The Pod was packed. The POD left. That was a Thursday. The Thursday before Thanksgiving. We hoped to leave on Friday. The schedule says the POD will arrive in Colorado on November 30th.
So, that Thursday, waving goodbye to the last of our possessions, we watched the truck with the big box on the back, the box that had our stuff, head off on its journey.
What a feeling. Overwhelming sadness, excitement, uncertainty; so many emotions were bombarding me simultaneously. It started to rain.

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A beautiful day for……

June 22, 2015

 

It is Monday, June 22nd, 2015.

After a long week of celebrations, my 60th birthday, Father’s day, the Summer Solstice and a visit from my oldest brother who lives in California, today is recovery day. Get back in the groove day. We have had all kinds of crazy weather, but today is high pressure; sunny, hot, and breezy. Just perfect for varnishing paintings from 2013 and 2014, and laundry.

 

 

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New Class

April 23, 2015

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I finally was able to take a class that I had been trying to get into for a long time. Monotype. At the Woodstock School of Art. It was a three day workshop, which was Monday through Wednesday, 9-4 pm. Wow. Long days. I had to leave here by 8 am., to get there for 9. Up the Thruway and then up the mountain.

 

There was a lot of information given, and it can sometimes be an overload. But in this case, the teacher, Kate McGloughlin, had a wonderful way of presenting everything, in her easy but no nonsense way. What a great instructor. What fun. And on top of all that, the other students were brilliant artists, and nice people. Serious and dedicated to the medium. It was a pleasure and a treat to be around such a wonderful bunch of people.

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Rain is Coming

March 8, 2015

Yucatan Rain

Here is a new piece I did since we got back from Celestun, Mexico. This went through a lot of changes before I got it the way I wanted. Stuff happens along the way that you like, but sometimes you have to let that go to achieve your original idea. Sometimes you can go with the flow. I stuck to my idea, and this is it. Loose and colorful.

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Back again.

December 30, 2014

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After all this time, I am back to writing. I do love to write. But I have been writing more emails, in short story style to family and friends. Maybe I should write and not paint. It is a thought.
Or write, paint, take violin lessons and not cook and clean. But wait.
I love to cook. And talk about cooking. And write down recipes I have come up with. And photograph the dishes during the cooking process, and then plated. It is another creative outlet, that satisfies the soul and the stomach. And friends and family. Ah, what to do, what to do?
There is never enough time to do it all, if any.
As I am getting older, turning 60 in 6 months, I need to do better. Health wise. So I am swimming again. We go in the morning, and do laps. Then lunch, and, by the way, what’s for supper? So, where does painting fit in? I have to learn how to manage my time.
I wake up during the night, thinking about all this stuff. That is when things become clear. Because I am processing while I am sleeping. Interesting how the brain works.

So, attached, is the painting of the restaurant that was blocked in at the Open Studios Tour. You see it in the prior post. Well, after all this time, I finished it. It took a while, as there were many interruptions. Like a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. To see if we could really live there. Hmmm.
And, a stress test nightmare. And Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And I sold my truck. AUGGGHHH. Why did I do that? Many reasons.
But here we are, and here is the finished painting. Cafe Macchiato, in Newburgh, NY.
Love that corner, love those curtains! Pure Vermilion. $62.50 per tube. Uh huh.

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Open Studios

October 6, 2014

 

 

This year, 2014, was the most exciting Open Studios for me. This is my fourth year on the tour. We had around 50 people exhibiting this time. The first year we had maybe ten.
I was fortunate to have a space offered to me, so I could be downtown in the walking tour. The last two years I was in my home.
This was much more fun, for two reasons.

First, I was in a twenty two hundred square foot loft space, that was brand new, and in a wonderful old factory building that is being being rehabbed with artists spaces. The owner has his own company in the building, but is allowing a whole wing to be devoted to artists lofts. Very cool.
Secondly, while I had one section of the wide open room, an amazing and very professional photographer used the other area. She was wonderful, and the two shows flowed nicely from one to the other.
I set up my area exactly like my work space at home. I brought easels, a work table, and all of my tools, brushes and a couple of new paintings that I am working on. It is, after all, Open Studios. So why not show people how I work? Look at the pictures. The light coming through the windows was very dramatic, and enhanced the show. Wish I could always bein that room to paint. Wow. That would be amazing.

 


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September 23rd, Autumnal Equinox

September 24, 2014

 

I have been a little lax lately. You know. Uninspired, confused, or distracted. Even sick. Ugh. Allergies. All of the aforementioned.

But I have recovered, and am excited to be showing at Open Studios this coming weekend.

Here are a couple of new paintings I am starting, and one I recently finished.

Come see what’s going on! Sept. 27 and 28. Newburgh Open Studios Tour. 11:00-5:00 both days. Get your map at Newburgh Art Supply. A free walking tour, 50 artists.

 

 

 

 

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Newburgh Open Studios 2014

September 23, 2014

Here we are, and Open Studios is this weekend. The 27th and 28th of September, 2014. It should be a glorious weekend, with blue skies and about 50 artists participating. It is a wonderful walking tour of artists in our community.

I will be downtown this year, sharing a 2200 sq ft space with another artist, food photographer Ann Stratton. We will be showing on the second floor of Atlas Industries, on Spring Street, in Newburgh, NY.

Pick up your map around 10:00 a.m. or later, Saturday and Sunday morning at Newburgh Art Supply. Michael and Gerardo are the guys who brought us the concept, and made Open Studios happen. This is the fourth year, and I have been in each one. Happily. It is wonderful for all of us to have people organize an event like this. It brings us all together- artists and community. And makes us grow.

The hours are 11:00-5:00 pm both days, unless otherwise indicated on the map.

I hope to see you all there!

 

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Energy of Patterns

July 23, 2014

I just finished this new piece. Interestingly enough, it came to me in a dream. At least the pattern did. The soft green background pattern. I thought I should go with it, and see where it led. The pattern is hand painted in watercolour and gouache on rice paper. The orange lilies and the wren are block prints added over the painted pattern. They were then highlighted with paint. The task then was to finish the piece, making it cohesive to my eye. Something in me reverted back to my work in the 1980’s, when I worked with block prints a lot. I used to add fabric in the mix, but that didn’t work in this case. But in tacking up different fabrics, I discovered what I needed. More hand made papers. With patterns. I found exactly what I was looking for at Manny’s Art Supply in New Paltz. They have the most extensive and beautiful assortment of papers I have found anywhere. At least around here. The polka dots and grass designs provided the perfect contrast to the original painting.

It was about the energy that the initial green C’s presented. The way they went left to right, with subtle variations in color. They directed you away, softly, from the bird, in waves. Gentle waves. The bird’s energy resounds. Such a little bird, with a powerful voice and presence.

This piece took way longer than expected. Way, way longer. It was a good experience.

It measures 2 ft across by 3 ft high.

 

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