Saturday, January 31, 2009

365 # 34/35

Just back from the printshop-decompressing from a day of printing. I brought some of the prints home to hang to dry and to ponder. I have been in the process of making my very first book for some time now. It involves much more than I thought it would ! Each sheet  will eventually be it's own 8 page book. The "how" of it is the complicated part! (Don't ask me how just yet!) 
The last color of the day went towards a Valentine print-originally begun last year & never completed. I sometimes find that I hit a wall with prints and have to stop, put them away and come back to them later. It's that or risk ruining a print and that can be heart breaking! So now it is time to sit and mull and come up with the next step...
Post script:sometimes I'll create a etching or new piece of cut paper and that will cause me to return to some already finished prints to add to them yet again. A recent teacher of mine has come to ask: "How do you know when these are done?" My only answer : when I am dead. Otherwise, there may always be some element just waiting to be added-even years later! 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thought for the day...

I have been thinking & listening & looking - a lot lately. As I walk I look around me-what is changing-are there any new signs that things are getting worse? As I make breakfast or dinner in my  small kitchen I listen to N.P.R.  and the stories they are telling. They began a very interesting segment today: " Uncommon Economic Indicators"  where folks can send photos and write about the things they are seeing in their own backyards that are indicative of  the current impact of the  recession. It reflects what I have been doing since Christmas , since November  & the election & before-looking at the world and people around me & trying to sense where "all this" is going. Is there a light yet at the end of this tunnel? Will it get worse & if so-how much? My grandparents lived through the depression and I remember some pretty vivid remnants of it's impact on their lives : a ball of (used , saved and waiting to be recycled ) twine and wire, jars of nails and screws-also previously used and  saved for the next need or project. Everything had value. Even the smallest of things that we, today, toss without a thought -  Everything got saved for next time. Is this the next time? I guess my thinking is very colored by my personal view on the environment. To put it in a nutshell and not take up  hundreds of words to spell it out:I am an "Al  Gore environmentalist"= take that to mean I pretty much buy what he is saying including his warnings about the direction we are going in. So I look at all this :at everything that is going on and has been going on for a long time and say : "It kind of looks bad, doesn't it?" 
I am writing this today because I look at this blog and it strikes me as fairly "sunny" in it's disposition. Perhaps I take these photos and write these things to balance out the hard truths going on all around me & the even harder truth that I suspect  is waiting  ahead. 
 I think about my 4 grandparents a lot -more and more as I get older .   Without getting too sentimental, I'll close with the words my Grandfather often said to me, my brother & my cousins as we grew up:  
1. Rome was not built in a day.
2. There is nothing to fear but fear itself.
3. He who thinks he can can.
4. There's not such word as can't.
5. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
6. If you don't have patience you'll never get to heaven.
I think we all leave impressions once we are gone and that maybe our real legacy. I hope that whatever legacy I leave behind will be as meaningful as my grandfather's was and I have the feeling my art may not be where my legacy lies...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

365 # 33

Today was all snow, rain & SLUSH = no photos today. But, as usual, I have my back up ready-a magical place nearby. A nearby home has the most amazing  front "garden"- overflowing with  flowers into which are mixed holiday decorations. It is up year round and the effect is of a magical garden, created by ...elves? I pass by every now & again just to see what has been added or changed. But it is the overall effect that I love most-you happen upon it unexpectedly and it really is like something out of a fairy tale. I have been lucky enough to meet the family and their sweetness only adds to the magic! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

365 # 31 / 32

First: "my" Karmann Ghia. It may not be much but it's mine. Or something like that...
Next: John Updike died today. Kind of a shock as I grew up reading him and you somehow figure folks like him will always be around.
Finally, regarding this photo a day thing: it can be very hard! I actually thought I would not find something today. On the last leg of my walk I spotted the vibrant red lights that mark a dead end street. They are so mesmerizing. They also have graffiti on them which kind of ruins the effect but from far away you do not see it. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

365 # 29/30

No photos from today but I DID take this one yesterday, just in case. I happen to love old cars. I find todays cars to be lacking in aura. Old cars have wonderful colors, amazing designs and I love the typography used in their "logos". I have this dream of going to Cuba just to see all of the architecture and cars. When  I spotted this on the street I was reminded of a car my grandparents had-in green. One of my favorite cars is the Karmann Ghia. So beautiful! 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

365 #25,26,27,28-LOST DOG ALERT***

Have you noticed? : The days-they are getting longer. And the light-it is getting stronger. On Friday , before I returned to work after a quick lunch-I returned to my lovely habit of sitting outside in the fresh air and sun light for a few minutes. There still was snow to be seen, here and there. And I had my hot cup of tea in my cold hands for added warmth but it was wonderful to be out and folks all noticed the feeling of ...Spring. 
Consider my posting of the photo "LOST"  to be a kind of a public service announcement. The poor guy has been missing almost  one month. If you reside in Queens, New York and have seen him-have him call home. Here is an idea: if you live in Queens-mention this on your blog or create a link-perhaps (wishful thinking, I know) we can work together to get this guy home to his loved ones. (I would be broken hearted if my 2 cats went missing. )
The broken mirror is not MINE! Don't want any bad luck in this New Year! I passed it by yesterday but made a mental note to snap it today and I love the 2 images for what they each are. One has the dark stained cement as the focus and the other zeros in on the reflection of the bare tree top above. Cool. I took the shard home to use in a collage. 
Finally: snapped "Jim's" foot prints today after passing them day after day for weeks. Wonder who "Jim" is? Wonder how many years ago he stuck both his feet into wet cement?  Wonder where he is now? If he's out there, reading this:"Hi Jim!". 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

365 #22,23,24

Went here for great eats tonight. If you happen to be in Queens, N.Y. stop here for a burger. ( I normally do not encourage the eating of animals  but if you must -try here. ) You'll be enveloped by the scent of all things good and surrounded by the fascinating melting pot that is N.Y.C. &, in many ways, America. 

On my absolutely freezing & wildly windy walk today I  found this :I call these "architectural details"-you often overlook them and yet they are the coolest little details. This is at the base of a flag pole. Focusing on it made me wonder what type of flower it might actually be. Stunning, whatever it is!

And then there was this:both odd & funny...I am still floating in a post-Obama inaugural haze of cautious bliss...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

365 # 21

A glimpse from today. History.

Monday, January 19, 2009

365 #18,19 & 20

Forgot to post these...

365 #14,15,16 & 17

More snow fell today leaving everything covered in a fluffy layer of white. On my daily walk I came across this bench-someone had laid newspapers down so that they might be able to sit down . The coffee cup has been sitting atop a wall for several days, it's blue color calling to me. It just looks so odd & so right covered in snow. The foot prints are from a staircase that crosses over an old rail road bridge . The first photo is taken from the bedroom-love the color!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

365 # 13

We got more snow today . This ghost - a remnant from Halloween, danced in the wind and flakes all day. Poor guy!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

In celebration

I found this at : & thought it would be nice to decorate in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday on Monday & the inauguration of President elect Obama on Tuesday. The version on the link moves as if there is a gentle breeze...

365 #12

On my walk today I came upon a snow angel. This is what a several days old snow angel looks like!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

365 #11:1/15/2008

Today's images were the result of my favorite factor:snow! I also  love how light-in this case sunlight-effects things, creating interesting shadows...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Feast or famine...

Some days there are millions of photos to take. Other days-NOTHING! Yesterday there were sights to see. Today, I really had to look to find something. "FEMALE" was taken from the ladies "room" at the park. It reminded me of this great show we saw on PBS last week on the type face Helvetica. It delved into the history of the face and old school typesetting and it was fascinating to listen to all the designers give their impressions of this widely used and interpreted type face. Turns out so much of the world's typography is :helvetica. "FEMALE" is definitely not helvetica. (Funny thing is, I was never big on Helvetica. Not my favorite face. But I would love to see PBS shows that focus on all the other big typefaces. Caslon, Bodoni...)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Project 365 / photos no. 11,12,13 & 14

Today's photos had a small bit of a theme: "bird", birdhouse=tree house, tree  &  back to "bird"

I should add that I came upon the small bird (a wood pecker?) at a nearby sledding spot. I actually thought it was a colored feather from some sort of children's toy-from my vantage point of several feet away. As I walked over to take a closer look I recognized the poor bird -my husband will tell you my heart breaks every time I see animals who are injured (pigeons with limps are quite common for some reason) or dead. I used to take walks along the North Fork and if you take enough walks you come across dead seagulls, dogs , fish and even (large, soft shell ) turtles. There is a definite sadness to this kind of sight, for me. The bird house sits in another  nearby park. I do not think it has ever been inhabited. The tree caught my eye because of it's "seeds" hanging like Christmas balls, against the blue sky. And the last bird is my attempt at window decoration from a window painting kit.  

Sunday, January 11, 2009

365 # 6,7,8,9 & 10

I took a great walk today and was bombarded by unusual sights as I scanned the  landscape, covered in a thin dusting of snow & ice. I love how snow transforms everything it touches.  This time of year everything can be camouflaged in shades of brown & gray . Even a little bit of snow gives shapes definition and drama. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

365 #5

Snow, snow, snow.We were supposed to get as much as 10" but it now sounds as if it might all be washed away by morning. Only time will tell. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Years Resolution 2009

New Years 2008: For the first time in my life I did things backwards:I made a resolution. I told some folks about it. And then...I let it "marinate" as some would say. To let something "marinate"  is to allow something to evolve -in it's own sweet time. Like marinating food-you pour liquid & spices over something, mix it up to coat everything, let things sit, stop in every now and again to stir just a bit and one day-voila! Something wonderful happens. The time is right and things come together. My New Years Resolution for 2008 was to create a blog or web site - mainly the idea was to finally create some sort of web presence for myself & my art work. That resolution did not come into being until December 27th , 2008 at 8:05 P.M.-And I kind of like that fact. I did not stress about getting it done. I did not plot & plan endlessly. I did not even really know what I was doing. It all happened rather organically , it all fell together and felt inevitable. That is one good lesson to learn-resolutions are not won or lost on day 1, 51 or 351 . That they happen and work and that they MAKE YOU HAPPY-that is what is important! So,  it is 9 days into 2009 and my resolutions are hovering around me waiting to be spelled out and allowed to marinate. And the resolution that most wants to get spices (energy) and liquid (inspiration) poured onto it and get saturated and stewed (take up residence in some small part of my heart & soul) is: I want to create an Etsy site for my art works. It is exciting to say this...& to begin planning it out. What will I sell, how will I sell it, what do  I need to make and what already exists...hmmmmmmmmmmmm.Let's start with first things first: my lovely flat file: 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Project 365 #4

Last minute entries -the default subjects:one's cats!Nicki likes to hide behind the kitchen window curtain and then suddenly  pop out! Both cats LOVE boxes of any sort. As kittens we gave them boxes to sleep in and play with. I used to cut doors in them and we would put their toys into them so that they might spend a moment or 2 using their paws to wrest  each ball of tin foil from the box-basically anything to keep them busy, entertained and diverted from destruction. I think that gave both cats a love of boxes and nothing attracts them more than some new box. They love trying to fit into boxes that are clearly too small for them. Needless to say-very CUTE!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

365 #3

A photo from this evening. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Project 365": #2

We are supposed to have really rainy weather tomorrow so I'll use that as the excuse to post photo #2. (Real reason is just after spotting Job I walked past the children's section of the park and caught site of ...a bird house! Funny how -  once  you start really LOOKING you see things you never noticed before. Perhaps that is another benefit of a year long project like this=developing a keener eye...) Perhaps the most charming feature of this faux birdhouse is the 5 small birds that perch nearby. They are so small that I did not at first see them. That camouflage is something that happens with "real" wildlife too.  As I went for the remainder of the walk I would often hear leaves rustling -an audio indication of birds or squirrels nearby. I have to stop  & closely  study the leaves and branches to be able to spot the actual creature since they blend into the landscape so very well this time of year. 

" Project 365" : #1

Today I quickly squeezed in my walk before any snow/freezing rain or other foul weather hit our area. As I walked by the park I spotted a statue I had seen a million times but never really gone over to investigate. Over the last few days I have come across some blogs that deal with the "365 project" :the idea being you carry your camera with you always and chose one photo from what you have shot each day to represent the day. At the end of a years time you'll have quite a documentation of one year and you'll have honed your eye and your skills. (The project can be done as art work as well but photos seem the easier route to actually keeping to the daily posting AND there is not pesky build up of tons of art work (and materials expense) at the end of the project to deal with-an important point to keep in mind when living in a small space, trying to simplify & trying to be as low impact as possible.) 
So here is my photo for the day. The statue is of Job & what attracted me was how he seemed to be looking out into the sky, filled with bare branches and cold, gray color.