Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Last Wednesday the chestnut tree that Anne Frank viewed from the attic window where she hid from the Nazis during WWII was scheduled to be cut down.
The 150 year old tree suffers from a fungus and poses the possible risk of falling and endangering the thousands who visit the Anne Frank House each day.
Fortunately, an Amsterdam judge ruled that the tree be destroyed only as a last resort.
The tree is still standing as a historical monument and a symbol of freedom.
Conservationists have been ordered to devise an alternative plan by mid January 2008 to save the tree.
For now the tree has been anchored with cable supports and tests have been made proving the tree is stronger than they originally expected.
When we were in Amsterdam last May for the tulip festival we wanted to visit The Anne Frank House. We decided against it because the line was so long. We couldn't even see where the line ended.
I was lucky enough to find this graffiti image on a building nearby. I used this cool photoshop site to create the postal stamp image. http://www.bighugelabs.com/flickr/
Many of us remember reading 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in grade school. I now want to reread it.
In an entry dated February 23, 1944, she wrote: "From my favourite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind... "
"As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy."
You can visit http://www.annefranktree.com/ and create your own leaf for the tree; a symbolic gesture to keep the tree alive.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
At this moment I am not wishing for that possibility, but only wondering how I could have done it better.
Would I have invited our German neighbors to my first Thanksgiving?
This is the question.
I had spent an exorbitant amount of time cleaning my house. I was prepared for the white glove test from Ingrid. She had us over to her house a while ago for dinner and I swear we could have eaten off the floor.
The Germans are notoriously good at cleaning.
Everything seemed to be going well until she excused herself to go to the bathroom. This I knew was my ultimate test. While the rest of my house looked fairly clean by candlelight, this was her chance to break out the white glove in private behind the bathroom door. I sat nervously chatting with the other guests for what seemed like an eternity. She returned with a horrified look upon her face requesting "essig". Essig.. essig I knew this word. I’d seen it on the menu at our favorite gasthouse, but why does she want salad dressing? Then it dawned on me, the word ’essig" is always paired with oil... AHHH she wants vinegar. Vinegar to clean my bathroom. I didn’t pass the test. Begrudgingly, I handed her the bottle of vinegar and off she went to clean my bathroom and then on to kitchen.
So back to the question.. Would I invite the Germans to Thanksgiving again?
The answer, why yes, but a couple of days early to help me clean.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I am the featured vendor and will be showing a number of my paintings inspired by a cooking class that I attended last Fall in Tuscany.
In fine print they bullet point- one on one time to speak with the vendor. This should interesting- something I am sure you won't want to miss.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I believe you can tell a lot about a person by looking through their home. Collectively, you can tell a lot about an entire community by perusing the realty pages on the internet. Looking at the photos that people choose when advertising their home on the market just fascinates me; their taste in furniture or lack thereof.
The following description of this house has me wanting to pack up and move to Yellow Springs, Ohio right away. "It has a wood burning fireplace in the living room with large windows overlooking a front yard with a beautiful mimosa tree that blooms every spring and it's known by many villagers for its outstanding flowers. Down the hall is an office that has windows that look out into the flowering tree also. "
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
This is day 2 on this still life. These pears really are that big. The biggest ones I have ever seen. I just had to paint them. This is Katherine's pitcher from Deruta, Italy. The same pattern I have used before in a few paintings.
I should be finished with this one tomorrow.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
This is not finished
and I don't know when it will be.
I have been commissioned to paint this for an old friend. It is a portrait of his daughter; a gift for his wife's birthday. Her birthday is not until December, so I have more time to struggle with it.
Lately, I have been a bit shameful posting photos of my paintings. There are artists who view my blog whom are more advanced than me. I feel that my still life paintings are sophomoric.
My non-artist viewers ooh and aah.
But isn't that the response every artist strives to receive? Truthfully, it's one of the reasons I created this blog in the first place. We are programmed early on when our so called masterpieces get haphazardly arranged on the refrigerator door. That is our pat on the back for a good dog that only aims to please.
Sometimes if I am feeling overly confident, I like to present a new abstract to this non- artist audience. I find it amusing watching them squirm to respond. They know how I yearn for that "atta-boy". They usually try to make sense by finding objects-I see a face or I see a fish. This is funny to me because my abstract work is purely formal. It is non-objective which means no objects in case you didn't know.
After 9/11 my agent decided I should only paint still lifes and hold back on the abstracts. It was safe. Safe art didn't confront and confuse you like my abstracts did. It was a crucial time when people wanted something to come home to that made them feel safe like a bowl of fruit or a vase of flowers. Something they could relate to. Gradually, I have been able to return the work that I prefer.
There is a huge part of me that feels that I don't measure up as an artist. Unfortunately, I define myself by my inability. The real stuff is very challenging to me. I love working abstractly. It seems to make more sense. I also enjoy its elitist nature by communicating to such a small audience. It's like a special secret.
This audience is growing smaller and smaller thanks to the negative media surrounding the petite Picasso(whom I won't go into right now) and the elephants and chimpanzees who miraculously yield brushes to produce paintings
that sell for thousands.
But it is this new product that has me seriously considering relinquishing
all my brushes to Schatzi and Sienna.
Maybe they won't find painting real subject matter as challenging as I do.