Sunday, July 31, 2011

sorry

Bad me - not blogging for a whole week. I have already been scolded by several people. Ouch!  But the idea of blogging without images bothers me and I left my camera in the studio early in the week.  Is this an excuse?  Should I chatter on without pictures?
Been using my iPhone camera and it has been such a busy week that I didn't have time to upload/resize them -- till now.
THE EXHIBIT
Friday night I went to my nephew Oliver's art opening at a gallery in Chelsea.  When I was teaching in Colorado, he called me to ask some advice about doing batik on silk. He had done a little batik in Bali recently and was not happy because the dye was not spreading the same way as it had in Bali.  Nonetheless, these two pieces were drop-dead gorgeous -- from an artist self-taught in batik.

 The rest of the works were drawings with sumi ink.  All were very spiritual.

Here is a detail from the green piece; the red is even more amazing but I didn't get a close-up of it.
 Here I am with my sister-in-law, Irène Halsman, Oliver's mother -- a talented artist and wonderful photographer in her own right.
 In the other room there was a wonderful exhibit by a ceramic artist whose name I neglected to write down.  These are just a few of the pieces - very cool work!
THE HIGH LINE
The gallery was on 20th street.  I got off the subway at 23rd street and walked the High Line down to 20th St.  What a delight!  The High Line was built in 1930 as part of a project to get the train off the streets: it used to be elevated train tracks.  Long story short - when it was going to be demolished in 1999 , Friends of the High Line lobbied to save it and turn it into a park. It is unique -- and it was about 10 degrees cooler and there was a breeze.  Here is the High Line when it was being used. 
By 2006, the old HIgh Line had been turned into a park! I took lots of pictures as I strolled. Those dark lines to the left are the old tracks, still there.
                           There were kids eating ice cream, people relaxing and reading,
and gawkers like me with cameras.  Wild flowers grow everywhere.  I love the landscaping - this echoes the railroad tracks.





What is this contemporary-looking sculpture?

When you get close and look at its partner on the left side of the walk, you can see - a bird feeder!
signs of autumn?

 
 More tomorrow.

Friday, July 22, 2011

beating the heat

 100 degrees and 100+% humidity.  What's a girl to do?  Gazpacho for lunch!  I had taken a container of frozen tomatoes out to defrost last night and since they were still icy, I thought it would be good to throw them into my trusty Cuisinart.  I threw in a cucumber, a green pepper, some cumin, a little olive oil, some vinegar, plenty of salt, scallions, cilantro and whirred it all together for about 30 seconds. It needed some heat so I added a pinch of hot pepper and it was soup! (well, really, a drinkable salad). No matter, it was icy cold!
Here's my lunch in all its glory.  I added a green salad and that was it.  What, you may ask, is that green blob in the middle of the soup?  You may ask. Normally, I would add a slice of avocado.  But I used the avocados up earlier in the week when I made avocado ice cream.  One of the ice cream books recommended putting a scoop of it in a bowl of gazpacho, so I did.  It was a little strange at first, but
it grew on me.  Pretty, isn't it?
I stayed in all day because it was just insane to leave the house.  i didn't even walk up to the mailbox.  But I did go out to dinner tonight with a friend.  We had a lovely dinner, drank wine, and it was a pleasure to have an intelligent conversation.  Afterwards, I dropped into the clubhouse at the condo to kibitz with the bridge players. 

I played college bridge (that and knitting got me through. You could knit in class, but bridge was confined to after dinner on the livingroom floor) and when my kids were little, my friends and I used to have group therapy and wine with the bridge game every Tuesday night. Never serious players, we nevertheless did pretty well. But the game has changed (new bidding rules) and I couldn't play today without going to a refresher course.
Tomorrow, I pay attention to my hair.  By the way, strangers stopped me to tell me they love my green nail polish. LOL.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm back and I'm green

Not that I have been away in the past week -- I have just not had anything blog worthy to say.  This has been another difficult week with another heartbreaking loss. Life is not fair. My children heard me say that over and over again as they were growing up and unfortunately, they have all discovered that I was right.

This afternoon, to cheer myself up, I asked for green polish on my toes.  Not bad, but a tad darker than I had thought it would be. Well, a nice change from the usual red. And green is the color of renewal and healing.

On the way home I stopped at the produce market and stocked up on - yes - greens (mostly): lettuce, escarole, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, arugula, scallions, tomatillos, cilantro. Goodness! I came home and started cooking.  First order of business, green beans, onions, garlic, tomatoes - a recipe from my Lebanese cookbook, to be eaten cold.  I am eating out with a friend tomorrow night, so this is Friday's dinner -- or part of it, anyway.
Next up, sautéd escarole. It's one of my favorites in an Italian restaurant, but with escarole at 69¢/lb, how could I not buy it? It shrinks; I should have bought two heads.  Sautéd with garlic and I'll add lemon when I am ready to eat it.
 
 I don't see tomatillos often enough, but there they were - at much less than Whole Foods carries them for.
I bought just a few, since I am only one person. The skins are rather papery but when you take them off, you have what looks like a green tomato. It isn't. I threw them into the food processor with cilantro, lime juice,salt, garlic, a green onion, and some cumin and it was excellent. 

 Here is the result - not quite as wonderful as the one at the Mexican restaurant we used to go to that made its own (but no longer does) -- but pretty close.  Great for dipping those chips into.
The salad greens will have to wait. Meantime, I will go to bed and think healing thoughts with my green nail polish helping me along.

Friday, July 15, 2011

the days are getting shorter

After two days of sitting, I finally went for a walk after dinner tonight. 8:pm and it was already getting dark.  Boo - hisssssss!  Where did the summer go? Or did we even have one? 

Since Tuesday, I have been working non-stop on revamping my website.  It's mostly there but not entirely, so if you go take a look you will probably still see some glitches and inconsistencies. The workshop page is not quite finished, I have not redone the Portfolio pages; the navigation bar is missing from some other pages -- But it's going in the right direction, I think.

Let me know what problems you run into, please.  I am done for tonight!

I'm in my 10th year of using Homestead.com but now that I have a mac, I can't use my own computer to work on the site.  The software only works with Windows and the on-line design stuff they have is slow, unwieldy, and drives me nuts.  So I am working on the PC and networking with my mac for pictures. Bah.

I'm developing some new classes and have some other exciting things in mind for 2012.  For now, I am trying to get back on Eastern time so I don't go to bed so late, get up so early, or eat at such weird hours.
See 'ya.

Monday, July 11, 2011

stuck in Denver once again



I have decided this is a sign.  Last time I taught in Grand Junction, there was a blizzard in Denver. This time I was supposed to fly through Houston, but due to mechanical difficulties with the fly-by-night paper airplane from GJT, I was re-routed on United through Denver.  That is the short version.  I should have landed in Newark 1/2 hour ago. But, oh well.  NO stress because it doesn't really matter when I get home. Nobody is there waiting for me; I have alerted my kids about my adventure, and all is just swell.
Except that somewhere along the line I left my little red mouse somewhere and now I have to use the trackpad, which I HATE.

On the bright side, I had a nice dinner at the airport.  This was accompanied by some good food.

and followed by coffee and dessert at Ben & Jerry's which was conveniently located on the way to the gate.  Well, small detour but there was plenty of time.  

At the moment, the airplane is scheduled to depart at 9:10, which (if it does) will get me to Newark at roughly 3:00 a.m.  My airport guy actually said he will pick me up, but we shall see what happens.

I was going to show you some pictures of the last day of the class, but it seems moot now.  But here are two pictures from GJ.  Carol Waugh and me, the last day.
And my breakfast companions: Jeanette Davis, Jane Aldoretta and me on the way to the airport about 12 hours ago.
 and outside the gate at the Denver airport - this fuzzy picture of a rainbow. Oh, irony.

Wish me a safe flight.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

during and after

After yesterday's class and a sumptuous dinner out, I was too tired to blog.  Now that it's morning and I have coffee in hand, I'm catching up on day one of Sophisticated Screenprinting (not my title). It was about creating (or re-creating) fabric with thickened dyes, screes, and resists...and the point was printing in layers (big surprise).

It was exciting to see the cloth evolve, especially since most of the class had not printed their own cloth previously.  They all started with blank cloth (which I didn't think you needed to see - LOL) and just kept getting better and better, even when I thought they couldn't.

Here is what Chris did.
Lynn had already added three layers by this time
but she needed to add just one more before she was happy with it.
This was my demo piece. It had been sitting around like this for several years, incomplete.
This is how it looked, drying on the wall last night.  It's done.
Today will be more of same - a studio day using all of the things they learned yesterday. This process of creating cloth requires more thought than some of the other workshops I teach.  After the first layer or two, you really need to step back and think about what would work and what should be next in terms of color, design, scale, and so forth.  Some of these pieces may remain whole cloth, although most of them will be cut and used with other fabrics.  How to make the pieces you printed with other fabrics is another challenge. Ask me how I know.

Off to class!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

you're running on reserve battery power

I'm not sure whether that message on my laptop was referring to itself or to me. Or both.  Another busy day where we continued printing and used wax on a screen and did some discharging on the batik'd fabrics with thiox, discharge paste, and a few other things.

Here's Carol Waugh at work on one of her batiks. It will be good to see how it turns out when it is all done, tomorrow.
Remember the turtle from yesterday?  Well, here it is -- layered and partly stitched!

 Sandra managed to transform her ugly blue bargain bin fabric into some way cool batiks - this is only one of them.  I couldn't resist showing you the difference.
Gjeneve's wax on a screen made a strong graphic print.
And here's Gjeneve showing Karen at dinner, how she made those colorful strip necklaces clustered around her neck.  Very clever and lots of fun - having nothing to do with batik, of course.

Tonight, I spent an hour on the phone back and forth between Amazon.com and my bank after Amazon informed me that somebody had made an unauthorized purchase today using one of my credit card numbers.

T'was not I - I was too busy teaching to browse around the computer and order stuff. Neither they nor the credit card people could/would tell me what the item was or the ship to: address. But Amazon said it was from a different name/different email address from mine.  Glad they are so vigilant. Card cancelled and I await a new one.  

We've put away the wax (well, some of us have) and for the next two days will be screenprinting with paper resists and thickened dyes, working in layers with a bit more intent about where we want to go.
A different kind of challenge.

I am grateful for lots of things about this class; not the least of which is that it has got me printing again -- even just makng demo pieces.  I already have a couple of things that will look great cut up into strips and reassembled with other things. 

stay tuned.  I'm off to bed, still in the wrong time zzzzone. The alarm woke me with a start this morning!

Friday, July 08, 2011

rust mountain

Just to give you an idea of scale, here I am in front of a mountain of scrap metal.  Isn't it lovely?

Intrigued by some of the metal objects i used for batik and  by the beautiful rust-dyed fabrics Jane Aldoretta creates, some class members visited the junkyard after lunch. Naturally, I had to go along. For 25¢ a pound, the whole mountain was up for grabs..  Here, a couple of closer looks at the treasures.
We all came home with a few things that were ideal for soy wax stamping (class) or for rusting fabric (not in class) I spent a big $2.00 and was thinking I'd put the few items in my carry-on but then I remembered my last experience with the TSA guy at the Grand Junction airport.

Everybody was busy with soy wax and dyes this morning - here are a few pictures from before we ironed/steamed/washed and dried 'em.

There were more, but that's enough for tonight.  Tomorrow we are doing more.