Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Faces" in Places....

All systems go!  When I looked at this antique piece of equipment inside (yes, inside!) the famous Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia, I saw a face and it is saying, "Yay!  I'm eating these cords as fast as I can!".  But then, that's just how I roll.....

And then there is this guy, a bit slow, maybe he doesn't have both oars in the water.......
Simple..... but happy all the time.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In and Around Philly: Bartram's Garden, the Italian Market, Community Garden

I was in the New York/Philly-area for a week and a half.  In between my youngest daughter's senior show and commencement, I spent a few days in Philadelphia visiting my oldest daughter.
I hadn't been there in several years.  It seems every time I was in the northeast, my daughter was traveling on business.  This time we were both in the same area.
My oldest, who has become an avid gardener, was anxious to show us Bartram's Garden.  This place is lovely and magical:  the first Botanical Garden in the country.  Founded in 1728 by John Bartram, a man determined to collect a specimen of every plant in our country.
Seated on the banks of the Delaware river, the place is a hidden jewel.

 “whatsoever whether great or small ugly or handsom sweet or stinking…everything in the universe in thair own nature appears beautiful to mee.”  John Bartram, 1740.

An old millstone near the river.

to give you a sense of scale...

hopefully this guy will eat something we don't like.

wild strawberries

mossy pathway

Now, on to the Italian Market

Then, to my daughter's community garden plot.

It thrills me that she is so interested in gardening.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"I Got Nothin"

My dear friend, Karen, has an active counseling practice.  As a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker she does individual, marital, and group therapy.  She also puts out a great weekly tip column which arrives in my email box.  When I read this particular post my first thought was that any artist could benefit from these strategies.  With permission, Karen is allowing me to "re-post".  Please drop by and sign up for her email tips.
Her practice is located Overland Park, which is in the greater Kansas City-area.

And, on a completely unrelated note, Karen and I will be taking a road trip together this summer.  Twenty five years ago, when we were both young mothers and sorely in need of a little escape, we took our first road trip up Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  We are looking forward to repeating this trip as a celebration of our friendship.  Stay tuned for future blog posts about it!

I Got Nothin'

We all have to be creative in our lives. You may equate creativity to expression
in the arts, music, or writing. But, in your personal or professional life,
you often use your creativity to problem-solve, strategize, and negotiate, too.
So what do you do when you are stumped, when the creative juices aren't
flowing, when you need "it" but you just got nothin'?

Rather than beat up on your self esteem or question whether you have a
creative bone in your body, try the following to get yourself into the flow:

Set the Mood - Before getting into the creative mode, set the creative mood.
Get the lighting in the room just right. Put on music that brings you pleasure.
Light a candle. Turn on a fountain. Perfume the air with a fragrance that you

Visualize Success 
- Just as athletes visualize winning, spend a few
minutes prior to beginning a creative session with images of past creative
successes. Feel how your body felt when you were in your groove,
experience the excitement and the quickening of your pulse as you realized
 that what you were doing was good, and re-live the pleasure and pride you
took in whatever you accomplished.

Talk it Out - Meet with one person or gather a few kindred spirits and start
talking about what you are trying to create. Brainstorming with others gets
the adrenalin pumping and the creative juices flowing. A collaborative
approach often jump starts everyone's inspiration.

Take a Break - When you feel stuck, stop what you're intent on doing
for about 15 minutes, and do something completely different. This isn't
procrastination. Consider it to be clearing the air. If you've been sedentary,
 get up and move around. If you have been isolated, make contact or conversation
with someone. If you are trying to figure out a technical problem, turn your
attention to something "softer."

Self care is about honoring and encouraging your creativity whatever it may be.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Luke Haynes' show, "The American Context", in NYC

I am so thrilled that I was able to be in NYC in time to see my friend, and fellow AAQ board member, Luke Haynes, amazing show at the Eli Alexander Gallery.  The show has since been taken down, but this was really, in my opinion, an important show.
Luke, by admission, is fairly new to traditional quilt piecing and patterns.  In this show, he has done several things that I think are brilliant:  he has taken his expert method of constructing large portraiture and overlaid these onto large quilts, pieced in traditional methods, but using cloth from deconstructed, recycled clothing.
Each quilt uses a classic pose borrowed from well-known American paintings.  The figures are appliqued onto the traditionally-pieced quilts.  The effect is simply mesmerizing.
The use of a wide variety of cloth types and textures gives a very unique sensibility to the quilts.  My first thought was that these quilts were as close to the look of the Gee's Bend quilts as anything I have seen.
He utilizes a huge, old American flag, deconstructed and re-pieced, to create an enormous, beautifully worn-looking textured quilt.
Please enjoy a few of the images I captured when my daughter and I visited the gallery.

Luke and my daughter in front of the deconstructed American flag

optical illusion quilt...on the wall

and on the bed

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

On Mother's Day I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art specifically to see the special retrospective exhibition of Shiaparelli & Prada:  Impossible Conversations.  I love fashion but am no expert on it.  Therefore, I was an open book when it came to this show, and I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by it.
First, I found it stunning that I had to look carefully at the signage, at times, to determine the provenance of the piece.  There was an uncanny parallel between the two designers, even though Shiaparelli claimed to design primarily for fashion "above the waist" and Prada "below the waist".  The era of Shiaparelli determined that women were seen sittin in bistros and at dinner parties, therefore mostly seen from waist-up.  Interesting.  Prada is more interested in the power of women's sexuality, being grounded to the earth.
I loved some of their quotes:

Right on, Sisters!
One garment from 2011 and the other from the 30s...amazing symmetry.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I'm currently in New York for my daughter's senior show (she is a sculpture major @ SUNY Purchase).  We enjoyed the day very much, even playing around in the grass afterward.

One of her cast bronze figures

Her show includes her photography and sculpture.
She even cast the frames from water-based "resin".

Now....time for fun!

The sisters visit her studio space.
Note the hair-twirling (she has done it since she was a baby)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Continuing With My Orange Theme....

Year #3 of my Blog, as a book

Do you know about Blog2Print?  It is a fun way to print out the contents of your blog.  Each year I mark the anniversary of blogging by ordering the previous year as a blog book.  It is an interesting way to use the blog as a more tactile journal.  I recommend it!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Secret Road Trip

As a graduation surprise my daughter and I drove her younger sister's car from San Antonio to NYC so she could have it for her summer internship in the northeast.  I tried to avoid outright lies.  I told one:  Finally, exasperated by the fuzzy info everyone was giving her about arrival date/time, asked me point-blank which airport we were arriving into.  I told her LaGuardia, and the approximate time, then I said I would call her when we were in the car and heading toward her.  That was a "version of the truth", right?!
The Jenisons enjoy a good road trip.  This one, sadly, did not allow for much stopping to see the sights.
Still, you never know what you will see along the way.  For instance:
Just south of Dallas, along I-35, sits this crazy "Starship Enterprise-esque" structure, a vacant restaurant-bar.  We HAD to stop and take photos.  This idiot was fooling around on his skateboard.  We were waiting to see if he would actually skate down the side, but apparently he didn't have a death wish.

Lake Ray Hubbard.
Serious deja vu for me:  I hadn't seen this lake since I competed in the US National Snipe Sailing Championship here in 1977.  (We got 4th place, BTW).  It was July, and hotter than hell.  I got sun poisoning.  

We passed signs for "Dollywood".  We wanted (!) to stop.
Pigeon Forge, birthplace of Dolly Parton.  We love her.
I don't care.

Day 3:  Woo Hoo!  
We have now traversed through Texas, Arkansas, the entire width of Tennessee,
West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and finally, New York.  Woot!

Getting ready to enter the Holland Tunnel.
You will be relieved to know I was not taking these photos whilst driving.
This time, anyway.

In the tunnel.  I love the reflections.

We drove into Manhattan midtown and dumped our stuff at the hotel.  My traveling companion was anxious to meet-up with her former roommate to celebrate his birthday so we parted ways for the evening.  I got back in the car and headed north to Purchase NY.  Now I am taking the occasional shot with my iphone, but only when I am stopped in traffic.  Which was often.

Ha ha ha!  We really fooled her!  She was sitting in the coffee shop on campus and saw the Scion driving up.  She told me she thought it was weird that I rented a car that looked just like hers.  Second thought:  "Huh.  Texas plates... how odd".  Then,  "Holy S*@t"!  

We were .5 mile from rolling over to 1800, the distance from our house to my daughter's school.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Two Orange "Girls"

What a dreadful photo!  I cannot seem to remember to park them side-by-side during broad daylight.
I recently sold our minivan to a young couple with 2 babies.  With its high mileage, I no longer feel comfortable taking it on any long road trips.  Still needing some sort of vehicle with bigger loading capacity than my beloved Cooper, I found this used Honda Element, a 2007, with only 37K miles on it.
I really like it!  So now I have 2 Orange "girls".  I have to figure out a name for the Element.  I call the Cooper "The Orange Peril" (a back-handed reference to Amelia Earhart's convertible, which she referred to as the 'yellow peril').  
Any ideas for a name?