Monday, October 26, 2009

Norman, New England and the Darling Clarice

....Or "What I did on my Summer vacation".
Yes, I realize it is the end of October but we are now in the stage of life where vacations are not dictated by the public school calendar. So, last week we headed up to Connecticut and Massachusetts to retrace steps in one of our former neighborhoods and to check out the Fall leaves. Yes, MD has colored leaves in the Fall, but the grass is always greener or the leaves always colorfuller...yadda, yadda.

We passed through Litchfield, CT and stopped to visit a college friend, meet her family and talk to the animals. Clarice is a beautiful llama, one of two, and queen of the farm. ( I won't mention what Louise's husband calls her. Not flattering but funny. ) Shy of hands, she welcomes you with warm fuzzy kisses. Love is a warm fuzzy llama kiss.
We continued on, (in the snow ) to Stockbridge, MA our base for the week. One of our day trip destinations was the Norman Rockwell Museum, just outside of town. Now, Norman gets a bad rap for being a self professed illustrator and too American quaint, but I like his work. Call me sappy but I do. And it was a thrill to see one of his studios that had been moved to the museum location. With the use of older photos the staff had arranged the studio as it was when he used it, including the order of the placement of the books on the shelves. One photo reveled a napping Rockwell curled up on the green sofa perhaps recharging after a morning of painting. Another reason to like him, justifiable naps !
I of course sent the link to this blog to my friend and her response follows. I thought others would enjoy it ! One obviously needs a sense of humor with a llama.

.... the pic is lovely, and the words capture the essence of llama. One loves the llama for just being a llama.... nothing more. How simple life is when you break it down that far! Dogs demand (sun connures, I guess, take demand to a whole new level....) kids expect,
and so it goes. The llama just enjoys life for the moment, spits when the need arises to resolve conflicts and arguements, then goes back to relazing and enjoying life. They do pause for "tea" daily at 3, retreating to their shed for an hour of quiet(er) reflection, then back out by 4:30 to await dinner service. Queen though she is, Clair is a benevolent dictator. And yes,the only thing better than a soft llama kiss is one followed by the sweet scent of grassy-burp right in your face.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Yesterday was a day for friends. An old one : The Little White Girl (Whistler)
A new one: Vickie Branas (above right) and getting to know better
one whom I've come to know through the world of water color ( Debi Watson) . The three of us spent an enjoyable day at the National Gallery in DC. The crowds were gone, the weather was miserable and it was a perfect day to spend inside surrounded by art. These little trips always get the juices going, to keep painting and renews my interests. It is especially nice to have friends along to share the expeience.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Morning at Steven's Studio

I just returned from a delightful morning at Steven Dobbins studio in Mt. Airy, MD. He opened his studio for anyone that wanted to drop in and see what was going on. He is in the final preparations for an upcoming show in NYC at the Cuasey Contemporary Gallery , Brooklyn. Steven is a fellow member of TAG (The Artist's Gallery ) in Frederick, MD where he last year had a "trial run" of this show. Hey, if it plays well in Frederick take it to New York ! Upon entering the studio one comes face to face with more than a few paint cans that he has emptied,dried, treated, some repainted the insides, cut or bent, drilled, wired and anything else that the muse tells him to do. He is planning to stack the cans in a couple free standing pieces and another piece will cover a large section of wall space as it did at TAG. New to the mix is at least two pieces consisting of the can lids wired together as almost a fabric to be draped or hung. While I was there a couple other colleagues showed up and it was a great time discussing art and materials, shows, studios, etc. Times like this are inspirational. Whenever I'm with this group I feel like a "real" artist and I want to run home and make stuff. Thanks Steven !