Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I've Got My Ticket!

Many of you have asked if I will be returning to France this summer & the answer is... YES! 
I made my reservations today & have downloaded my e-ticket.

I leave May 22. Yikes! That is soon, I have a lot to do!

......Thanks Linnea for sharing La Machine.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Throw Open the Windows

Yesterday we were given a reprieve from our cold, rainy weather. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. Perfect! Although, today we have returned to the damp & chill, that brief taste of glorious weather, made me want to open the windows & let springtime in.

This is one of the things, that I love about France. There, without screens, it is truly possible to trow open windows & invite the fresh air in.

It is a common sight to see French women shaking out rugs or airing out bedding from their open windows.

One can lean out of a kitchen window to hang out a wet tea towel...

or just to chat with a passing friend....

One can simply pass the time watching the breeze blow the curtains bellowing in & out of the window.

Or, as what so often happens to me, one might open their window to discover a wonderful gift of fresh garden vegetables & herbs, left by a neighbor on the sill.

I am looking forward to this liberating feeling of openness after, what to me has been a very long & closed up winter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrating Earth Day

 Last year, in celebration of earth day, I shared some of my own paintings, but this year I have chosen to feature artists that use trash as their medium.

Steve McPherson has collected plastic objects from beaches on the North Coast of Kent in the UK for over 15 years. 

Wave worn, sun bleached and scarred with unknown histories, these finds are collected and collated by type or color to form lovely yet provocative works of art.

Although beautiful to look at, these pieces remind us of the fragility of our planet & what we are doing to her.

 Peter Tonningsen's eerily beautiful photographs, in his Flotsam & Jetsam series, consists of discarded objects collected from the San Francisco Bay.

Of his work, Tonningsen says "The transformation of this detritus to art appeals to me, as I feel like a child on a spirited treasure hunt, conveying value to what is commonly overlooked."

Vik Muniz, a successful Brazilian-born, Brooklyn-based artist traveled back to his homeland to created portraits of Brazilian garbage pickers using trash as his medium.

The collaboration between Muniz & the pickers or catadores transformed their lives & is documented in a beautiful film, 
"Waste Land" by Lucy Walker.

WASTE LAND Official Trailer from Almega Projects on Vimeo.

Happy Earth Day everyone! Let us be ever mindful of our precious mother earth.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Red Hook

The last day we were in NY, it was cold & overcast. We stayed in Brooklyn & explored the neighborhood of Red Hook. Once a shipping yard, this neighborhood is one of the oldest in NY, & has one of the best views of the Statue of Liberty.

With no subway lines & the old trolly system now defunct, Red Hook can be a bit of a stretch to get to. However, the isolation & run down industrial charm is drawing many artist residents to the area. 

 And there is always the possibility of taking a water taxi.

We walked along the water front. Then visited the amazing Fairway Market, which not only has a wonderful assortment of fresh produce & gourmet items but also has an out door café overlooking the water & incredible view. 

Last but not least, who would have ever thought, that this southern girl, would taste the best key lime pie ever, in of all places, Brooklyn NY. But it is true!
If you should find yourself in Red Hook it is an absolute must, that you get to this tiny whole in the wall shop. Steve's  sells one thing & one thing only, the very best key lime pie in the world.
No kidding!

NY Memories

Although, we have been home for weeks I am still thinking & enjoying my memories of our trip to New York. 

Thanks Jack....

& Amy for a truly wonderful time.

I love your new apartment. I especially love Amy's cool trash find of the lacy sheet of bark painted gold. It is so cool & I love how it reflects the light.

We had a great time just being with you both. 
Thank you so much!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Amy's Bakery

One of the many highlights of our NY visit was a trip to Amy's Bakery, where our son, Jack, a school teacher by day, works part time.

All the bread is super good, especially the Semolina with Golden Raisins and Fennel, & the Chocolate Rolls with Cherries. Yummm!!
Thanks Liz, Jack, & Nefi for such a warm welcome. We really enjoyed all of our treats!
By the way Amy's Bakery isn't wonderful just because our son works there. They have been credited with the best bread in NYC by The New York Times, Gourmet Magazine, 
Martha Stewart, to name just a few.

Mabel Pike

I could not help but be moved by this women's devotion to her craft & the beautiful way that she describes the act of creation.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


While in NYC, we visited the Museum of Modern Art, & in particular, the exhibition 

This impressive collection includes 200 works by 120 artists.  It offers an overview of photography's history, from its earliest inception to present day, through the lens of female photographers.

Except for, what seemed to me, to be some glaring omissions, the show does a superb job of portraying the evolution, 
of this relatively modern art form.

Simply but elegantly hung, the exhibit begins with early works dating from 1850, featuring soft focused portraits by
Julia Margaret Cameron & other female pioneers of the medium.

With so many artists represented it would be impossible to name them all here, but I will highlight just a few of my favorites.

It is certainly hard not to stand in awe, when in front of the iconic photographs of Dorothea Lange, each of her images as beautiful, as they are telling.

I would have liked to have seen just a few more photos by the Mexican artists, Tina Modotti, whose work I have always admired.

On the other hand, I was not familiar with the work of  
Helen Levitt, whose gritty New York street scenes, I immediately fell in love with.

Nan Goldin is another favorite, who has a Massachusetts  connection, having grown up in Lexington & attended the Boston Museum School.

The exhibit remains up only until April 18, so if you are in the NY area & have not already seen it, I highly recommend a trip to MoMA to check it out ASAP.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Hopeful Update From Japan

I have felt guilty going on with my life while there is still so much suffering in Japan. You may remember a post I made  featuring the beautiful photographs of Redrose.
 I am glad to report, that she & her loved ones survived the devastation, but the impact of the disaster has taken its toll. She has recently posted on her blog Green Tomato about both the sadness & the hope that she & her country are feeling. 
Here is just an exert, along with more of her beautiful photos:

The impact of radiation leak is becoming more serious. The shortage of electricity has severly damaged not only lives of people but also many operation in manufactures throughout Japan, and the situation has not been expected to improve yet.
However, a lot of people work hard all day and all night believing inJapan’s rebirth with a mobilized new dynamic.

Aid groups from 134 countries are conducting relief activities in the disastrous areas. An American aid group named Operation Tomodachi, which means operation of friends, is actively helping the sufferers there. Many foods and water are carried by helicopters from Ronald Regan in harbor off the east coast, which we are really grateful.

Cherry blossom loved by Japanese people is going to bloom in April, which will brighten up people’s hearts. Though the tragedy is still going on, we believe that with people’s great courage and help for each other, a light to recover is going to be seen soon. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Birthday Wishes

My grandson, Jack, turned ten years old yesterday & I would like to wish him a very 
Happy Birthday!

His fourth grade class has been studying Egypt. So recently we took a trip to the MFA's Egyptian galleries. He served as guide & shared all that he has been learning with his sister Emily & me.

We also had a good time taking these fun photos in front of statuary & super sized photographs of excavations.

 Happy Birthday Jack! 
I am mighty proud of you!