Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wrapping Up New York City

This is an old watercolor I glued on the cover of the sketchbook I took to New York. Didn't do too much sketching in it because we were too busy:

1. Neue Galerie (see previous post)
2. Cooper Hewitt
3. Museum of Arts and Design
4. Metropolitan Museum
5. Center for Book Arts

That's right - 5 museums in 3 and a half days. No pain, no gain!

The Cooper Hewitt has recently re-opened and they have a great thing going - The Pen. When you come in you get The Pen to carry around - it's just a fat pen on a cord - and you touch it to the labels of the items you are looking at.  When you leave the museum you return the pen and get a receipt that tells you your personal website that includes the images and data about everything you marked. No need to photo stuff, all saved for you.  Way cool!

Susan did take a picture of me in the middle of the Tools exhibit. It was definitely a Guy moment.

One afternoon we were staggering back to our hotel and had to stop and take a break in a pocket park.  This big macho guy was sitting there knitting. Susan told me she wanted to go over and ask him about it and of course I told her not to talk to New Yorkers, they don't want to be bothered by tourists. Naturally she ignored me and went over to his table and had a 10-minute conversation with him about knitting, yarns, patterns and whatever that stuff is. I just hate it when she comes back and says "I told you it would be fine."

Sometimes it seems like people just don't choose the right shoes for city streets. I'd love to know the story behind these abandoned ones.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering, Memorial Day, 2015

Please enjoy your long Memorial Day weekend but take a few moments to ponder why it is we even have a Memorial Day. It is a day for remembering and honoring the men and women who have died while serving in our United States military forces. Go here if you need to put a face to this day.
Barry Lynn Brown, Killed in Action, Vietnam, May 5, 1968

James Clifford McKittrick, Missing in Action, Vietnam, June 1967

I didn't have poppies to put by the path where I left a Give-Away pot but did the best I could.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tweet, Tweet

Right across the street from us is a huge area of mostly undeveloped land - 75 acres in all.  It is loaded with trees like this.  If you go to Google Earth and search for Bull Creek Road, Austin TX, you will see it just on the right of Bull Creek Road.  Right now there are only a few state department buildings on it. Otherwise, beautiful meadows full of wildflowers, lots of people walking dogs there or just enjoying a quiet walk by the creek --a very peaceful oasis in the middle of a city. Nice, isn't it?

Oops! Wrong. A developer has bought it from the state, has met with all the neighboring associations (including us) and cheerfully told us all that they are going to develop a "legacy" area there. In their minds a "legacy" means office buildings, townhouses, apartments, retail, parking garages, homes priced up to $1 million, etc. They will "try" to preserve 13 acres of it as open space and some people are buying into that story. The reality of it is that they have to leave those 13 acres on the east side alone because Shoal Creek is there as the eastern boundary of their land and it has some sections set aside as floodplain areas, so they couldn't be built on anyway.

In the meantime, until the power of The Mighty Dollar begins to take control of the area, I will continue to put my Give-Aways in the trees.

Can you see him? How about this closeup ...

So far this little red birdie is staying with me.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

OK, All you Moms, it's not a rose, it's a cabbage. Looks pretty anyway and is definitely not ordinary, and I'm sure you aren't ordinary either. And I least I sent you a flower!

These were at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC last November. I've seen plenty of blooming cabbages before but they've usually been flat on the ground, not on tall stems like this. Strange.

This little birdie could have fit right in with the cabbages.

Remember this:
Not all Superheroes wear capes.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Spiderman 2 and Egon

Another little test piece, about 4 inches high. Again, I probably won't be able to recreate the glaze again but hey, if was easy everyone would be doing it.

Do you see us there? It was in April, we were on our way to New York City. Wait! We aren't in that picture! We spent the $170 to get TSA PreCheck and ta-dah! ... I don't have to take off my belt or my shoes or, best of all, stand in a long line.  Best money we've spent in years.

This was a quick and short trip this time as hotels are really expensive in April. We used to go in late January-early February when rates are really cheap but just didn't get it together this year.  Turned out to be a good decision as nearly every weekend in January and February had flight problems as the Northeast was slammed with bad weather.

We were scrambling to get everything seen in three days, especially the Egon Schiele show at the Neue Galerie.  He had a mostly strange and sad life and died when he was only 28.  Some of the works in the show were things he had done as a 17-year old and his drawing skill was incredible even at that early age.  He made some really weird stuff and some beautiful stuff too.  This is a painting of his wife, Edith, and he's painted her as what I call a "gentle soul". She looks like someone you just want to give a hug to.   She was pregnant with their first child when she died just 3 days before he died, both from the Spanish Flu.

When we go to New York City we always stay at the same hotel - I know exactly where to get giant breakfast biscuits (Donna Bell's), liquor (mandatory), snacks (Food Emporium) and food (Pret A Manger).  At Pret A Manger we always see Tanya, who is an aspiring actress. We've been teaching her how to talk Texan:  "Y'all come back real soon now."

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Past History: Crystal Bridges

First, I need to make sure you know it's always all about Me.  When I leave your enjoyable companionship I want to know that you'll be thinking of me. Because I will be thinking of me, too! But enough about Me, how about taking a look at Spiderman? He's only about 4 inches high and was supposed to be just a test shape for a runny glaze.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to duplicate the glaze effect but I'm getting sort of attached to him.

In the past: Crystal Bridges.
It's a long day's drive away but the drive isn't too bad once we clear Dallas and get off IH35. The museum is small and do-able in a day and the town is small and nice and clean and the people are friendly and the exhibits are good. Past History? We were there in January. My Blog Wrangler doesn't want to discuss the delay. Moving on....

Zoe Charlton.
What's not to like about an artist who paints a man with ponies and a forest coming out of his butt?

James Lavadour.
His work was great but I'm not sure I can trust a guy who gets up at 3:00 (THREE) a.m. every day to paint.

The show was State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now and it featured 100 artists, none of them had previously been nationally recognized.  The curators made great choices as we liked at least 80% of what we saw.  Lots of interesting stuff on the link above (scroll down).

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pods and Plastic

Some pods or, as Susan calls them, "Fantasy Fruit". They languished on my table for a while and that's dangerous because when things don't move along she starts slapping acrylic paint on them.  Adding the gold was a good final touch.

Plastic? Take a look at what Veronika Richterova does with discarded plastic bottles. Love those flying foxes (although I'd definitely call them bats)!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015



 Little bird with stripes. 


 Skinny neck pots with stripes.  They were inspired by an artist named Judit Varga.  I really like her work and seeing the work she has done gave me the courage to make pieces that didn't have any glaze on them at all. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Yetta's Pot

I tried to make a pot with holes in and I succeeded. But now that it's done and glazed I lost interest in the technique, although I like the glaze.  My friend Yetta loved it and made a small saucer to go under it so a candle could be put in it.  So I gave the pot to Yetta.  She's happy and I'm happy to see my work make people happy.

We saw a great show at the Blanton Museum -- James Drake's Anatomy of Drawing and Space (Brain Trash). The whole installation would include over 1200 drawings but I know the Blanton didn't have that many, even though it filled four rooms. Go here for an interesting video of him.

Yes, that's me in the last picture. Don't you recognize my chrome-dome?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Not Pine Cones

They really aren't supposed to look like pine cones. Or even like elaborate hand grenades. They are supposed to be.... never mind.  Anyway, I was experimenting with glazes that puddle and run and change effects on edges.  More to come eventually.

I've been asked, "What do you do with your spare time now that you're retired?"

Excuse me while I laugh myself into a fit. WHAT spare time? If it's not ceramics, it's eating. Or working out. Or, as often as possible, a nap.  And then....
(Susan thinks the only way this is accurate is if my eyes are closed.)