Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 4:23 AM
There is a fabulous Danish restaurant on Seneca Lake called Dano's. If you are ever in the area...don't miss it. The food and architecture are unique...the former is delicious...and the owner welcoming and friendly. But what I also muse about are the paintings! No surprise! Dano's wife is an artist. She has several large scale ...huge scale...abstract pieces. In my memory, which may be distorted...they consist of blotchy shapes of color which optically merge into landscapes. At least that's what my mind did. A walk in the woods...
I so admire the loose freedom of that painterly technique and am perenially attempting to "loosen up". I think it's a generational thing that came from art classes. Most of my painter friends aspire to that!
So, I bought a large canvas by my terms...36 x 48...not huge but big for me. My plan was to start with one of my little colored pencil drawings since I had already made color and shape choices...and try to interpret the same path down Peglow Road using that technique...big loose shapes of color.
No matter how I tried, I couldn't stop defining those shapes...but this is pretty loose for me...more like Impressinism than abstract...but maybe next time...looking at this one sideways gives me an idea................so here's phase 1 (I even used big brushes!)
Phase 2 ...
It needed some interest...that was a lot of empty road!
...three of our 5 precious grandchildren...
To which Jim questioned why they were wearing bathing suits on Peglow Rd. Oops so much for using that reference photo! Well...not too tough adding clothes (later)! And it also screamed for the parents in the foreground. Suddenly it became clear to me what I wanted to communicate.
We stand behind our children...nurturing, guiding, teaching, protecting, loving...but they are headed down the long road of life toward that unknown ahead. We can only pray that what awaits them will be what they and we dream of for them...but we must let them forge ahead on that journey
...so...it's tight again! But I feel pretty happy that it talked to me about life and love and letting go...a lesson I have trouble learning...not just in my painting.
Monday, September 8, 2014 - 5:40 PM
Wow! It's been over a year since my last post! September has always represented a clean slate, so here I go again with great intentions of posting regularly.
Some follow-up from the things that I described last year...
I saw Mark Peace at the clothesline show. His exhibit was great...beautiful new work. He mentioned that he just sent the drawing I gave him (in last year's post) to the framer. Sweet!
I ran into Liz Porter at Aldi's one day and she mentioned that she purchased my chair at the Rockin' the Arts Fundraiser. How cool to get that feedback. She followed up with a photo of her granddaughter snuggled up in the chair. They had purchased it for her as a gift.
I also heard that Jim and Linda Brewer had purchased my watercolor at the fundraiser for the School in Kenya. It makes me so happy to know that my work is in the hands of good friends!
Thanks for the support everyone!
Last year I talked about my intentions for upcoming work. The sculpture of the model's head was on the front burner. As it always goes...while working, the project took on it's own life and the direction shifted. Along with great critiques from Christine Frederick and Jeanne Beck, the pillar itself informed me that the head no longer worked! It is now on a back burner but is certain to visit again!
I just completed the pillar having worked on it a little here and there all year whenever I got studio time. It is titled Channel One and my thoughts about the piece follow:
When our son was bedridden, dying of cancer, he left us one day for many hours. Upon his return,he was very animated and repeatedly exclaimed, “I found you!”…”I can’t believe I found you… You’re here on channel one!” He described being out in a vast universe where we exist in a tiny frequency…channel one.
My column represents life - as I know it - here on channel one…as well as the unknown that is ever-present slightly out of our "grasp”. Birth, beauty, struggle, joy and pain - blend together in this thin veneer, which shrouds the mystery of our destiny.
Although experiences create occasional occlusions in this veneer, allowing moments of insight, it is not until we leave channel one behind that we finally can hold whatever fruit awaits the end of our journey.
This is the finished piece above. Below are details of the 4 sides as it was in progress.
I totally enjoyed working on this project. As it neared completion, I started working on something else which I will write about in my next post...tomorrorw?!
Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 8:37 PM
As always, summer was a blink of the eye...
I must start my catch-up with a follow-up...
Bradley Allen and the whole 4K team made it the full 4000 miles from Baltimore to Seattle.
Below is a photo of Bradley - with Bret - standing in the Pacific Ocean at the culmination of the journey.
I am eternally grateful to Bradley - and all his teammates - for honoring Bret in this way. Thank you...thank you...
(As always. It's all over the map!)
I started the season with a drawing that has been on my back burner for...ten years?...maybe longer...? My good friend and talented potter, Mark Peace, and I did a trade many years ago. He gave me a beautiful vessel and I did a watercolor of it. But in addition, he loaned me several of his pitchers which I intended to incorporate in a drawing. It finally happened...
Next were a series of projects for donations to really important projects...
- a mixed media piece - helping to raise funds for a school in Kenya...
The chair that I mentioned previously went to "Rockin' The Arts" for Livingston Arts and Kid Start
...and a necklace to support fund-raising for three colleagues doing the The Susan Komen Walk for Breast Cancer ...
Colored pencil is a great "Take-me-along" medium for summer and I did just that. I decided to do some drawings to pay homage to my favorite places and memories of our years in Springwater. I'm not through by a long shot! But here are a few that gave me a start...
The Locust Tree
Another project which dominated much of my creative energy for a good portion of the summer was a conference room renovation for the Orthopaedic Department at Strong. Jim invited me to sit in as a design consultant with a couple other people in the department. I was flattered and it was a fun project and a great team. The best part was the opportunity to culminate the renovation with photos by Ryan and Betsy Hoefen! Ryan is an amazing photographer and has been giving me lessons...one new trick at a time! We did a few photo shoots together...(a dream for any parent) ...The team selected twelve photos for the room. We had them enlarged to 23 x 30 with matting. I did the matting and framing...then Jim and I hung them last weekend with Ryan's input for placement. What a great feeling when it was finished!
Below are the before and after photos...
Now I look forward to Autumn and finishing some more things from my back burner...
_ A mixed media piece I started last spring...
...and a sculpture I stated a long time ago...
The sculpture and model - phase 1
Ready for firing
Thanks for visiting! I hope you had a great summer!
I'll finish this post with a few favorite summer photos:
Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 6:21 PM
In my last post, I didn't get to Friday...the highlight of our little get away. To start with, we arrived at Taughannock Falls....
...spaectacular in its own right...
...but on Friday, something else rendered it into the magical...as we approached, there was a group of cyclists taking a lot of photos and then...suddenly we saw their vehicle...
We struck up a conversation with a couple of the riders and learned that their misson, through a group called 4k for cancer, is to ride 4000 miles from Baltimore to Seattle to raise awareness of cancer in young adults. We shared our story of Bret, gave the address for his blog, and expressed our appreciation for what they were doing. One rider, Bradley Allen, mentioned that they would be in Rochester Saturday night! Could this be a coincidence? He invited us to join the group for the "Morning Circle" on Sunday before they leave for the next leg of their trip. He mentioned that he would ride for Bret on Sunday. We were totally amazed and honored...
Before heading out, we followed the trail leading to the Falls from the base and enjoyed a beautiful walk in the misty weather...but the spectacular majesty of the falls did not even come close to the enormity of emotion we felt from meeting the cyclists.
Returning home, I contacted Mary Ann Zutes, who lost her son, Chris, just three weeks ago. Chris and Bret had the same rare cancer at the same time. Bret blogged about Chris and Mary Ann on May 7, 2011 in his post titled Finding a common thread. I knew she would be as thrilled as we were to meet these amazing young adults. We met early Sunday morning and headed to Pitsford where the parents of Bethany, one of the riders, were hosting all 28 cyclists.
Everyone was eating breakfast and preparing for the ride...On closer look I was shocked to see that not only was Bradley riding for Bret...but everywhere I looked were arms and legs sporting his name!
Then it was time for the circle...
One by one, each of these heros shared what had made them choose to make this commitment...who their trip was for...and who they would be riding for that day. Mary Ann and I were moved beyond words to hear our sons names mentioned over and over...
At the completion of the circle, I passed out Bret's wristbands. It seemed so appropriate that they each have one with his motto, "Ride in a good direction! " Bradley Allen surprised and honored me with the gift of his alumni wristband which he received for being on his second cross-country trip with 4K For Cancer. He also announced that he would be riding for Bret for the rest of the entire trip.
Soon it was time to head out. The group broke up into teams of four and headed out one by one.
After the last rider went down the driveway, we, too, headed out. Mary Ann suggested that we take a route that would bring us past the riders. I was so grateful for her convertible because I was able to get a few more shots...
When we reached Jefferson Road, they got in the left lane, turned and road away.
Just like their Moms, we worried about them and will continue to pray for their safety.
To Bradley and every rider in 4K For Cancer,
our entire family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts.
Friday, June 7, 2013 - 6:56 PM
When our Anniversary approaches, the fields, roadsides and streams adorn themselves with Dame's Rocket...often confused with Phlox which bloom much later. They look very similar, but have only four petals instead of the five on a phlox. More importantly, as beautiful as they are, the Dame's Rocket are incredibly invasive and endanger tree seedling germination and other native vegetation. Like so many things in life, they are a study in contrast...beautiful but not so friendly to the other guys in the neighborhood...
* * *
We usually go somewhere for a night or two to celebrate our Anniversary. This year we found a B&B on Cayuga Lake that looked lovely on the Internet and lucked out with a reservation... We headed out Wednesday morning. With no specific plans, we allowed ourselves time to stop and enjoy whatever caught our interest....a mini-roadtrip.
Jim is an expert at spotting cool things everywhere... his creative outlet. Whether unique concerts, unusual stores, festivals...or interesting places...his radar beams right in. This motel tucked back off the road had seen the last of it's weary travellers...now looking quite weary itself. We have long been interested in all those little private motels along routes 5 and 20 and other routes that have been supplanted by expressways. Sadly, many share a story with Radiator Springs just waiting for Lightning McQueen to come by. We particularly love the motels with little individual units...once cozy havens...
...another story of contrast...bitter/sweet...
...but some of the days and ways of old thrive on...
...we were delighted to come upon a couple bringing in hay together with a team of horses...
a lovely Amish farm...
...and just down the road, we headed to the Knapp Vinyard for lunch. We remembered years ago having lunch in the garden...
Just as we remembered, it was idyllic. The grounds were lovely...the waitress sweet and the food fabulous. In contrast with neighbors down the road where they were celebrating old ways, ... here they were preparing food in a whole new way...
...fried corn on the cob in dill butter with a chipotle dipping sauce...
As the waitress promised, it was delicious!
After lunch, we arrived at our destination_ The Silver Strand at Sheldrake Point.
The location was spectacular, the hosts incredibly gracious, and the breakfasts delicious!
We highly recommend this B&B for a great Finger Lakes vacation.
Thursday morning we awoke to rain...rain and more RAIN! Fortunately, we were prepared so it wasn't a disappointment. We had rain gear and headed out for another day of adventure.
Driving along, Jim spotted another treasure...
...and later took a random turn down Texas Hollow Road...which led to the Texas Hollow State Forest Preserve. ..
...a beautiful ride through miles of thick woods.
Given the rain, we did a little shopping in Watkin's Glen and then headed out for lunch. We had been to Dano's on the east side of Seneca Lake three times prior and weren't disappointed this time! It is very unique in its Austrian architecture, atmosphere and food. Another strong recommendation!
Enroute to Dano's we passed a new winery - Ryan Williams'. We considered stopping but decided to wait until after lunch. So when finally we turned down the driveway, we were excited to try their wine. As we turned I couldn't resist taking a few photos, despite the rain. The mist was rising from the lake and the vines were lush.
Just as I snapped a last photo, a pick-up truck came back up the driveway from the winery. I smiled and waved but was unprepared for being admonished for having the audacity to take photos. "This is a working farm..." Surprised, I apologized but was further chastized and schooled on what would have been more appropriate behavior.
A working farm?...Is there another kind?
I sweetly replied that I would be happy to return to my car.
A different perspective of our get-away...we did!