Archive for March, 2010
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
VT Snow, Oil, Image Size 5"x7"
Snow… Finally, the winter snow is nearly gone, but I’m still painting the “white stuff.” Truthfully, I’ve got several oil paintings – summer, fall and winter scenes – that I’m trying to push to completion. As you may recall I attempted to paint this scene in watercolor sometime ago and just knew that I could get a better result using oil paints. I was right again. What a burden, this always being right!
I’m really enjoying the oils even though I feel like a real rookie with every stroke of the brush. In time if I continue to practice and explore I’ll feel more comfortable and eventually confident when using oils.
Monday, March 29th, 2010
Peter Noone at Proctors, Schenectady 3-27-2010
I think it may be time I became a rock n roll groupie! Okay I’ll admit it may be just a little late for that, but after seeing Peter Noone (Herman without his original Hermits) last Saturday night at Proctors in Schenectady, New York I’ll at least be joining the fan club – No Doubt!
Bet, Conrad, Tom and I did a little time traveling on Saturday night hopping on board the sixties time machine while letting The Grass Roots, Davy Jones (of Monkey’s fame) and Peter Noone, (the witty and charming band leader of Herman’s Hermits) lead the way.
We’d stopped for dinner and a couple of beers at the 99 before hand and then headed over to the venue with plenty of time to spare. The crowd – not surprisingly – was mostly gray-haired, balding, fifty to sixty somethings gathered for a short trip into our collective past through the music.
Not the best seats in the house, but I was there!
After getting settled into our cozy seats in the upper most reaches of the theater I was ready. Ready to listen, ready to sing along and ready to remember when things were simpler.
In the “old days” being a concert go-er was a rare and coveted experience. I recall attending only one concert in my youth – Paul Revere and the Raiders. I can’t honestly say how we were actually able to afford such a luxury, but we (Bet and I) were there. Bet said that not many “big” acts came to Huntsville (Alabama), so instead we’d buy our favorite 45′s and spin them until we had all the lyrics memorized and had driven our entire family to distraction.
What a treat that finally – all these years later – I was finally able to see several of my favorite sixties idols. What a night. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this concert more than any other – including my Toby Keith concerts… I know… Shocking!
I suppose it’s because as Tom and I prepare to sell our house and move to who knows where, I’m feeling a bit disconnected and lost. It makes sense for me to look back for some kind of connectedness right now.
How nice of Rob Grill to start things off by delivering classic “Grass Roots,” and the lyrics of “Let’s Live for Today,” have become even more profound to me these days. Davey Jones was energetic and lively. Energy I suppose he’ll need in order to keep up with that young wife of his.
Autographs for the fans
But, for me by far the best of the night was Peter Noone, whose voice was still strong and pure “Herman” after all these years. His humorous commentary, sweet voice and full line up of Herman’s Hermits hits made me wanna say, “Keep um coming!”
Anyway… on Sunday as I sat and mulled over the previous evenings concert I sat down at my laptop, searched for and found the Official Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone Website. After browsing around a bit I noticed a “Contact” button and decided – what the heck – I think I’ll send Peter Noone an email to let him know just how much I enjoyed the concert.
What surprise when just this evening I received a response from Peter Noone himself! How rocking cool is that?! I may just have to reconsider becoming a rock n roll groupie after all!
Saturday, March 27th, 2010
Winter in Upstate New York, Original Watercolor, Image Size 3 1/4 x 2 Inches (SOLD)
Gosh, I can’t believe the week is gone and I’m here enjoying another Saturday! It was a tiring week since I’ve been fighting a head cold, but I’m feeling much better and plan to get the home front tidied up a bit today. Tonight Tom and I have dinner and concert plans! We’re meeting Bet and Conrad for dinner and then we’re off to Proctor’s Theater, in Schenectady, New York for the “Sixties Spectacular.” The Sixties Spectacular concert features Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits), Davy Jones of the Monkey’s and the Grass Roots! I’m pumped.
My sister and I just loved all their music and when I listen to it now I’m transported to a time when I was a kid and things were simpler. We were living in Alabama in the 1960′s and were somewhat insulated from the “free love” and drugs that the 60′s have become known for. All us “Dewey’s” were innocent and looking back I’m glad of that. Bethy and I would dance with great abandon while watching ourselves in the mirror. We were good dancers (or so we thought) and danced the jerk, the swim, the pony, and the monkey over and over again. Oh how fun!
Those were good days. I’m lucky to have experienced them! Can’t wait… Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter….Daydream Believer….Midnight Confessions…. Good stuff! LaLaLa! Gotta practice my singing so I can accompany them all tonight! LaLaLaaaaaa! Cool I sound good inspite of my cold! Lalalalala!
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
As I watch yet one more high-profile man [Jesse James] exposed for being a cheating, philanderer it makes me wonder why? Why would you betray someone you have vowed to love? Why not just get out if you find the relationship you’re in so unfulfilling? More to the point, does it really matter why?
I recall just a few months ago when Tiger Woods’ multiple extra-martial affairs came to light and I heard more than one person (woman) say, “You might be able to forgive one, but ten, fifteen and eighteen…” With that one more question comes to mind. Are there degrees of betrayal, one being less of an infraction than all the others?
Then just last week it was revealed Sandra Bullock‘s husband screwed around with some tattooed bimbo. All the more heartbreaking is the fact that Sandra had just days before referred to him as someone, “who had my back.” This latest betrayal has left me more disappointed and disillusioned than ever. Watching another woman burned by some self-absorbed, self-important man it frankly getting old and I can see that every betrayal – whether it’s one, a dozen or more – exacts a price.
Every romantic relationship, friendship or human connection experiences some kind of disappointment from time-to-time. We’re not exempt from being inconsiderate and unfeeling at times and each level of betrayal leaves its own damage to repair. Whether you’ve experienced betrayal in the first-degree with limited injury to the surface layers of your relationship or second-degree betrayal where the damage is deeper, but still repairable the idea is to exhibit behavior that is honorable and respectful.
I believe that betrayal in the third-degree leaves behind such deep and injurious destruction as to be unrepairable. I’m not saying that forgiveness should be withheld, but I have a zero tolerance level for this type of egotistic behavior. Extend forgiveness? Yes, and then give the bastards the boot!
[On a side note: My friend AB brought to my attention a story on ABC News, "Wife Wins $9 Million From Mistress," so if all else fails it's time to sue the bimbos who are horning into relationships where they have no business. Maybe if these strumpets are kept tied up in court it will keep them out of the beds of married men.]
Saturday, March 20th, 2010
"Ever Green," Watercolor, Image Size 2 1/4 inches x 3 1/2 inches (SOLD)
Saturday’s – I remember when I was a kid every Saturday we cleaned the house – dusting, vacuuming, floor washing and more. By the end of the day the whole place was spit-shined, polished and ready for another week. As much as I’m sure I complained about that Saturday routine, I now find comfort in bringing order where there is none. That’s how I spent my day and though I didn’t accomplish as much as I had hoped the place looks better than it did this morning. I’ll finish it up tomorrow…
In the meantime I wanted to post my Art Auction Saturday painting before the day is through. This piece was painted without using a reference photo, which is quite unusual for me. I’d been browsing through one of my watercolor painting books and used some of the instruction as a “jumping-off” point. I admit that it was freeing – not being bound to a photograph. That freedom allowed me to play with the process.
Friday, March 19th, 2010
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been painting with great abandon and I do mean with abandon! I’d started at least a half dozen oil paintings over the past year or so and they’ve been sitting for sometime in various stages of incompleteness.
With my work schedule it’s difficult to paint everyday and oil paints don’t take well to sitting around squeezed onto your palette unused for even a few days. In spite of the fact that I store them in a plastic, sealed container it’s important to use them before they’ve developed a “skin.” Ugh…
What you see here is one of those half-starts painted with abandon to completion. Had this painting been done in watercolor on a piece of paper it would have long ago ended up in the trash. Painting on a canvas makes me feel more “invested” and it’s not so easy to just toss the thing into the trash without calling attention to my failure.
Oils lend themselves to working and reworking. Let me assure you all that went into this painting and the others I’ve not yet revealed to you. I learned a great deal by forcing myself to push on to the finish.
It’s fun and frustrating to learn something new, but learn I did through this painting process and I will take that knowledge to the next oil painting. I’m already planning my next piece, which will be a repeat of this subject in a slightly different color scheme.
Don’t be afraid to give yourself a “Mulligan” by tackling the same subject more than once. Think of Monet and the series of paintings he did entitled “Haystacks,” and then there was Cezanne who painted Montagne Sainte-Victoire, a mountain within view of his home, numerous times.
It’s all about giving yourself permission to try, fail and try again.
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Corned Beef & Cabbage by prepared Chef Mulligan
Every March 17th Tom prepares the most delicious corned beef and cabbage complete with potatoes, onions and carrots. With a name like “Mulligan” I shouldn’t have been surprised by Tom’s yearly tradition. This year the carrots got nixed, but I don’t really like cooked carrots anyway. Aside from adding a nice color to the meal I’d just as soon forget them every year. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the exception of a personal visit to Ireland and stop in one of their local pubs.
The USA Upstate New York Mulligan contingent has “All the Best Irish Drinking Songs” playing in stereo, Guinness Stout chilling in the frig and corned beef with cabbage simmering away on the stove top. Smells delicious in here and is sure not to disappoint. Cheers from me to you on St. Paddy’s Day!
P.S. Don’t hold it against me, but I’m going to to drink a Budweiser with dinner – don’t tell anyone.
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Hiding In Full View Part 1
Hiding in Full View Part 2
And then one day a few weeks ago I drive past my neighbor’s powder blue house. It’s a cold winter morning and I glance quickly to make my morning inspection. It’s immediately obvious there is something amiss. In shock and disbelief, I realize that the big, straight barn has disappeared. All that remains is a trickle of smoke coming from its charred remains. A pile of rubble can be seen smoldering, bits of scorched and burnt debris deep below the surface still afire. I’m shocked and devastated.
I report my distressing discovery to my husband, Tom, who tells me the fire that claimed the old barn had been locally televised. I never knew. I mourn the loss. The smoldering continues for more than a week until a winter rain snuffs out the last of the embers. A cleanup crew is on the property soon after. I mourn the change, the loss and being a witness to this relic reduced to charred timber and ash.
In spite of all this unwanted activity, there is never a glimpse of my neighbor in the powder blue house. Cleanup crews in vans of various colors come and go, but not so much as one single sighting of my neighbor could be had. Is it by design or by chance that we are never to “meet?”
My imagination conjures an old woman lives there, once a farm wife, now an old crone, who requires little to get by and chooses to remain aloof, solitary and alone. Perhaps she’s followed all her dreams and is waiting for her final journey. Or maybe life itself has proven too much to handle and so she remains hidden and alone. It’s possible she prefers a solitary existence or illness keeps her from tending the gardens she once cared for with pride. I’m projecting, of course, and the truth is I’ll likely never know who lives behind those walls.
I realize as I write this that I’ve become too much of a spectator in my life and admit to hiding in full view at times. Rather than being a participant I’m watching and waiting far too often. I know that big changes require courage and while in the process of summoning my courage I sometimes begin to feel an inertia and stagnation settle in.
What moves me forward is that the idea of retreat, giving up or giving in does not jive with the vision I hold for my future. We each have a book to write, story to tell, dream to follow and for me that does not include hiding in full view. I do not know what the future holds and I do not know who resides inside the powder blue house, what I do know is that I’ll not give up striving and so long as I reside here on this earthly plane I intend to be a player and party to the action.
As I drove past my neighbor’s powder blue house this morning I noticed a dark-colored van in the driveway. A visitor perhaps?! No more hiding neighbor, it’s time to get the coffee brewin’ and entertain a friend.
Sunday, March 14th, 2010
My Space No. 179, Watercolor
My Space No. 179 is one in a series of celestial images I’ve been painting. These images are inspired by photos take by the Hubble Telescope. They are great fun to paint and the outcome never assured. It’s a great way to let loose and just play with the paint.
Saturday, March 13th, 2010