Sunday, October 30, 2011


On the way to Cleveland Thursday night. 

On the way home Saturday morning!

Snow covered fall trees...some of which were actually falling...on the turnpike!

This is not a country road.  This is the PA Turnpike. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Another thing I can never seems to figure out ahead of time is whether I am wasting time or processing information.  It seems to take a certain amount of "down" time to let my brain work through complex problems.  I noticed this particularly in writing where my process involves about 10 minutes of writing for every 3 hours of what seems like avoidance.  These activities can include: cleaning, watching tv, playing on the computer.  Anything that is essentially mindless and distracting.  It took years to figure out that this "waste" of time was actually critical processing time.  I know I am done when I sit back down to write and the words come flowing off my fingers as if -duh- what else could I ever have written.  This does not happen if I "buckle down" and keep trying.  So processing is extremely important.  But sometimes it goes too far.  Like this morning I complained to my husband that I didn't have enough money to purchase my Spanish Galleon.  Seriously.  Gardens of Time may have moved from processing agent into obsession.  But since I started playing I've quit watching those ridiculous housewife shows.  If only I could "process" while reading Derrida or something.  I'd be a genius!

Monday, October 24, 2011


As I was driving away from Fleisher I looked into my review mirror and saw my flag.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fleisher Challenge Show

There's about one week left to see the latest Fleisher Challenge Show.  I stopped by on Friday and was glad I did.  First up, Alana Bograd's paintings are exciting, both in color and mark making.  Sometimes they seem a little gross.  Are those the muscles on the face or is it melting or just a psychedelic trip?  Either way one gets the impression of something gooey or messy, something that I personally don't want to get on me.   When the figure is absent the works are less disturbing but then you can really get in and enjoy the paint.  I love her paint.  It's colorful and aggressive.  At times it flows easily from the brush and other times it seems tortured into piles.

Alana Bograd

Alana Bograd, Vanitas Jinx
Walking from Bograd's show into the next room one enters a dark space in which the sound of breathing catches your attention.  The breathing is coming from Jennie Thwing's small framed video piece on the front wall.  An image of a (dead?) bird pulsates with the breath.  A large video, titled "Buried but Breathing" occupies the large wall opposite the bird piece.  The animated work- nails, string, firewood, clamps, etc- are punctuated by several human appearances.  The narrative is engaging and nostalgic.  At least I was reminded of early hours in front of television watching the herky-jerky stop action videos on various PBS children's shows.  This video, with it's strange hooded figure and suggestions of violence (particularly against fruit) is not one of those, but I can't help loving watching pieces of firewood make their own way into the stove and twine wrap itself around nails.  It seems like a celebration of everyday overlooked tools and the motions of life.

Jennie Thwing, Buried but Breathing (my photo from her video projection so not quite a "still")
Sarah Steinwach's cut works occupy the third gallery.  The delicate cut mylar, tyvek, and paper are sandwiched into sturdy plexiglass containers.  The lines might be delicate but these containers are serious structures.  I particularly loved this piece with it's fine black lines. 

Sarah Steinwachs

Sarah Steinwachs, detail

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Newer Work

This one is the smaller of the two.

This one is about twice as big.  Many of the pieces are the same size as the first one.

Studio Wall 

I thought I'd share a few other things from the studio.  (Yes, I need to repaint my wall!!)  The two middle pieces are made from the scraps of those boxes I posted yesterday.  I envisioned making one huge piece out of them but I'm liking these little ones the way they are so I don't know if the big piece will happen. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Almost Done

I need to get it out of my studio to get a good photo.  This image is a not very seamless composite but I think it gives a better idea of the piece then the standard photos I took.  Eventually the viewer will be able to walk around and enjoy the back.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Stress of Waiting for Hindsight

If you've been reading this blog you probably know that I've been working on what I call "the boxes" for a really long time now.  At least 6 months.  I'll tell you a secret.  Much of this time I've been in a panic that the piece is a big mess and will never amount to anything. 

This weekend I took it apart and reconstructed it for at least the 3rd time and I think I've finally got it.  Actually, I think I love it.  If this is true, if it is a really good piece that I love, then I can begin to look back on the past 6 months as a really excellent use of time.  Wouldn't that be nice!

But what I would like is to know for sure ahead of time.  Because honestly the stress of waiting to find out if I was wasting my time really gets to me.  Ever since I was introduced to the word "omniscient" I have wanted it in the worst way.  Imagine knowing for sure how things really are, knowing for sure that you are making the right choices!!! 

Instead, my reality always seems to involve making important decisions without enough information.  Not, mind you, because of lack of research but rather because the information I need will be revealed tomorrow.   Like the time we bought a new TV the day before Matt lost his job.  Or maybe it was a computer.  Somehow I think we got caught on both of those purchases!  Oh life.  You are so fucking funny.  It's a good thing I have well developed senses of irony and sarcasm. 

And of course, the thing to remember in art is that if you are working then you are never wasting your time.  Something will always come out of it, even if you have to wait six months to see what it is!!

And the seemingly irrelevant picture?   Some of the peace and quiet that I keep making myself feel guilty for not feeling.  Tomorrow I hope, a photo of the piece in question!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Marching Band

Our busy weekend included two band performances, a football game Friday night and a competition Saturday night.  Our hard working band took first prize in the competition!  Congratulations Marple Newtown Tiger Marching Band!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Two years ago I wrote about visiting Longwood Gardens on a day they were removing lily pads.  That day I was out drawing and didn't have my camera but this time I got it.  The structure underneath these lily pads is so amazing!  And so beautiful.  Many people were out enjoying our unseasonably warm Columbus Day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler having a snack
and here's the yellow rump!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Working through some unexpected changes this week.  And maybe, just maybe, I've finally figured out how to finish the box doing what I had originally planned.  Can that seriously be the answer??  I should find out soon. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday and found myself drawn to the medium to small paintings, especially the ones that were overflowing with information in some way.

Still Life with Flowers and Fruit (detail), c1890, Pierre-Auguste Renior

Still Life with a Bowl of Fruit, 1933, Pierre Bonnard

Water Lilies, Japanese Footbridge, 1918-26, Claude Monet

Still Life with Terms and a Bust of Ceres (detail), c1630, Frans Snyders

Monday, October 3, 2011

Elisabeth Nickles in the Studio

Yesterday I took a trip into Germantown to visit Elisabeth Nickles' studio.  She was open for the Philadelphia Open Studios Tour (POST) which my half of the city will be doing in two weeks.  She had just gotten back a bunch of works from a show I never got the chance to go see.  It was great to see them hanging out in the studio.