Sunday, December 31, 2023

A Colourful Melange

 A Colorful Melange for 12 31 23

I was inspired by Karel Appel's color palette and his pure abstraction.  As seen below

Karel Appel painted Life in Colour

This one I found in an old 1967 Unicef book that graced our house in the 60's/ 

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Alfred Lesbros


I copied and Alfred Lesbros painting in hopes of learning his style. He was an expressionist painter about 100 years ago in the South of France and I love the way he simplified his work. Perhaps I will learn a thing or two. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

The mysterious American Soldier

In 1918, all the soldiers who had not perished in the horror of the Great War were returning home. The French government asked French families to accommodate American soldiers while organizing their repatriation. Régis, my great grandfather, offered to host one. The soldier is the photo below wearing a hat. The rest of the young people are my grandfather, Marcel, his siblings and three girl cousins.

The story goes that there was a flirtation with Germaine (my grandfather's sister) to the extent that they even considered getting married. Germaine said it was love at first site but her father Régis did not accept the idea of his daughter moving to the other side of the Atlantic. In the end, the soldier left for home.

Later Germaine married Jean Saïn, a jeweler in Avignon.

Top Row from left to right: Roger (who died of TB at the age of 19), Régis Jr. , Marcel, The American Soldier, Pierre, and Jean
Bottom Row from left to right: Germaine and 3 cousins 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

The Met on Degas and Manet

 Three portraits,  three people

Fillippino Lippi Self-portait around 1500AD

Edward Degas copies this one while studying. Circa 1860's

And so Sandra Moreano couldn't help but take a stab at it using colored pencils. 
I love the unevenness of the eyes lending an expression of ignorance from which I am also quite guilty. I have much to learn.

Monday, November 27, 2023

The MOMA at Thanksgiving

Emily took me to the Moma (Museum of Modern art) last Tuesday and I savored every moment. The impetus for the photo below were the words "Artist Who Do Books" in the piece that stands behind us. Bookmaking is a passion we both share. 

And here a few favorites from the permanent collection. 

And this one by George Grosz and is called Self-portrait with a Model 1928
He seems to crowd himself into the painting. While she looks almost bored with the whole thing. I wonder what she thought of the painting when he finished. 

Florine Stettheimer also paints herself into the painting as she is shown on the left.  Family Portrait II. Painted  was completed in 1933.  Multi-talented as also a set designer and poet here she is portraying her family living at 182 W 58th street with grand views of the Chrysler building and Rockefeller center. I don't know how serious she took her work but she did call it her "Masterpiece." 

This one below is by Merit Oppenheimer called Fur Covered Cup  from 1936. 
How perfectly unappetizing.

This one is painted by Richard Oelze, a German from 1936 Called Expectation 
I wish I had more back story on this one. It seems so ominous. 

And of course Picasso is always a treat. This one is called Woman Dressing Her Hair  1940
He painted this in Paris just before the Germans invaded. I love the political commentary as she certainly does look stuck with little freedom to move like so many in 1940 Paris.

Picasso again this time from 1944 The Charnal house. A spectacular response to the ghastly ovens that slaughtered so many, 


As we move farther and father from the 20th century I become more interested in its treasures. All of these artist express themselves in unique ways. And that was a luxury that the 19th century artists could not imagine.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Trust - It's hard to know what to believe and what to trust.

But when I sit down and doodle with a friend, I trust that moment is where I need to be, doing what I should be doing.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Working on my style


I'm working on my style these days. This one is black ink with a watercolor filling. I stayed simple and just used diluted yellow ochre for the skin color. I am beginning to realize that although I like mixing colors I never mix up enough or I soon alter the shade. Which means if   I need more, I have to struggle to match the color all over again. At this point in my life I need to accept my preferences and skills and just work within those parameters. I have so much to say and if I spend the rest of my days working on perfection than I will never get the story told. So this is me, this is my messy imperfect style.

And so the story will soon unfold on this blog. A story about the summer I sent to France in 1962. I have been working on it all summer and will wait until it is just right to post the pages one at a time. Writing this memoire has been pure pleasure. 

Here is one more. I think smooth skin is what I seek and so I finished this one off in Procreate

Sunday, June 11, 2023

The Chicken Dance

In the summer of 1962, my mother flew us to meet our French family. We didn’t speak the language at home and so struggled to relate to these strange cousins who looked at us like we were just plain dumb.  But Luke came up with the best ice breaker, the chicken dance replete with the  bluck bluucck bluccck sound. Before long my cousin Veronique was trying it out.  Great laughter ensued. This was one language we could all speak. 

Monday, June 5, 2023

Look at the moon, Gilgamesh


“When you miss me, look at the moon Giglamesh, and I know that wherever I go I will be looking as well.” 

Friday, May 26, 2023

One Speckled Egg

To get to the O’Connell ranch, Jonah had to walk through the ancient forest. For breakfast, he feasted on the mushrooms and fresh eggs but left this special egg alone. It was speckled and quite rare. He wondered about the mother bird. Would she be back before it hatched? 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

His Sacred Place

As he watched the sunrise one last time, Jonah wondered about his ancestors. How long before they would be forgotten? He could almost hear the children running across the field chasing rabbits and searching for eggs. It was long ago and he was a child of the old ways. But today he would start on a journey into town and begin anew at the O’Connell ranch. Of course he didn’t know what lay in his future. All he knew was that he had to leave this sacred place. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Hilda learns to Spray.

Blow hard and spray! It is that easy! Tomorrow Hilda leaves the cove to practice her tail spinning deep dives!

Monday, May 15, 2023

Graduation Day for Natalie

Natalie graduated this weekend for the University of the Puget Sound!
She has a BA in Psychology. We are so proud of her accomplishments.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Spinach growing

My spinach is growing well this year. No doubt they will be harvested and eaten in one meal. Perhaps I'll make spinach gnocchi’s or  a nice spinach gratin. I have watched them grow for 40 days and will take 40 minutes to harvest and cook them. Finally, I will eat them in 4 minutes. 

Is it worth all the work? It depends. The calories expended in preparing the soil, planting the seed, watering and weeding is greater than the calories in these leafy heads.

What is worth the endeavor is to experience life unfolding. And to see myself connected to the whole. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Renaissance Art from the MET


Young Woman with a Pitcher 1662 by Vermeer

I liked Vermeer so much that I copied the style to make a post card.

Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse by Rembrandt. 1665
This sitter was a painter in his own right and painted the tableau below. A drastically different style from Rembrandt. I can't help but wonder if Lairesse gravitated to the more fantastical, ideal style because of his own infirmity. He suffered from congenial syphillis which cause him to later go blind. 

Apollo and Aurora 1671 by Gerard de Lairesse 
This was taken out of storage from the MET to contrasts the two artists style. 

Two weeks in NYC

I'm still experiencing Trip Lag. It's been three days since my return but my heart and soul will remain in New York for a little while longer. It's an emotional kind of lag. 

New York is home and I feel like an expat out in the Northwest.  I imagine I could move back and my entire adult life would feel like a very long trip. 

My first day I traveled to the Central Park Zoo with Colette and Eamon. They have been animal lovers from the beginning. We used to head to the Seattle Zoo on a regular basis.

 Having lived in the city for two years now, they have become street savvy, which made it easier on me. They know their address, how to hail a cab and how to walk home as well.

The aviary.

Playing sink or float.


Here we are in the park playing around like we were in the country side. 

And here they are at 5am headed for London and Paris with their parents. 

The first thing I did on my own was to head  to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and meet up with my old high school friend Fern Estrow. The day was delightful, free spirited and thrilling. I returned to the MET three more time and still didn't have my fill. Not even close. 

The second day I went to visit my BFF from High School up in Peekskill,  Donna Ellrodt Dahl. She came out a little fuzzy but at our age, this can be a good thing.

Before I knew it, Alex arrived and we rediscovered the joys of riding around in the subway..

I have to say, it was actually fun. It kept us feeling young and remembering our teen years. 

Here I am with Claudia Keenan. She has a wealth of knowledge on New York History. Alex and I so enjoyed a of morning brew with her at Bryant Park.

No trip can be complete with out this iconic scene from Central Park.

At the Cloisters. This stone work surrounding the door way was found in the 1950's abandoned in a park in France. 

The Cloisters, a medieval garden of medicinal plants. 

 An Espalier

This time Mary is the sleeping baby held by her mother St. Anne. A curious piece. 


And now I am back at the MET. The Madonna and Baby scenes fascinate me.

Meanwhile, Colette took Paris by Storm

And in London, the grandkids discovered the Rosetta Stone. How cool is that?

Meanwhile I got a licking from the beloved Taz.

Shopping with Colette and Emily in Brooklyn.