Sunday, September 30, 2007

Early Autumn Day

Life has been so busy. The week in fact was pretty rough on an emotional and physical level.

But it is Sunday morning, I sit quietly in bed and reflect on life and on all the beauty that is in my life and try and hold onto that thought while the world rocks in craziness around me.

At near 50 I am seeing that there is no time like now. That a clean house is the sign of a person who is not an artist (no way will I ever be a neat person..)and it is OK.

I should stay home today and clean, work on painting the inside of my cabinets in the kitchen, tidy up the weeds in the garden. I have to pick my parsley and basil and make some pesto as the frost is just waiting to knock them down.

I should be in the studio cleaning and working, but I think I will search for a place to paint plein air again - unless one of my boat friends calls me up and asks.."do you want to go out?...". No brainer there.

There is the Garlic Festival, the Italian Festival, and I am sure more, but somehow I suspect that I will end up on some mountaintop with my paints, and take in the beauty of the world that I live in as in another month it will be too cold to do this.

I am grateful to the universe for such beautiful weather. It has been splendid.

Woodstock, NY after a misty rain. I was on my way to a lecture at the Center for Photography in Woodstock. A quick shot through the trees from a place on a private lane. I think that was the place that Kate spotted Brad Pitt hanging out for a moment, gazing at the falls.

More later on my rambles in the mountains with paints, Patti

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Edward Gorey

A quick post as I have to get ready for work. It hard to keep up with two blogs as my schedule is so full. I work teaching art a good part of the day, and after I get home I have to fit in my social and art life, and whatever else has to be done. I use up every single moment and make the most of every second.

Over the weekend I visited the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. Full of his books, objects gathered from various sources such as garage sales and gifts, artwork, displays, AND a wonderful gift shop.
The house was lovingly run by two jovial men, complete with a docent who gave one a brief tour if you so desired. Oh, and the cat who needs to be named. A 20+ lb cat!
Today's photos are of a few displays set up in the house. I will post more later or tomorrow, but I thought how appropriate for the Halloween season. I already have my two Gorey cardboard cut-outs on my mantle, complete with skulls, candles, and orange lights.
The Gorey house was right up our alley in regards to twisted humor, books, and art.
Till the next post! Patti

Monday, September 24, 2007

Learning How I Work

I have come to realize how I work as an artist, and how to loosen myself up. FINALLY. How long have I been making art? But after the last six months of working plein air as much as I can, I think I am understanding MY process.

I find when I first start a session I work rather tightly, and when I work in watercolors I tend make the first one illustrative. The first piece I don't feel is good enough to have merit as a painting, so I often go back into it and draw with a waterproof marker. Sometimes I draw with it first, and then paint, but more often I paint and draw into it. That drawing gets me warmed up and getting used to the medium.

After I complete that, I feel ready to use watercolor on its own, and try and simplify and abstract into form, line, and color.

Here is an example of three sketches I did at Corporation Beach in Dennis, MA.
I think by the third one I was loosening up. I don't know that I will ever be a great watercolorist, but even if the painting is not strong, I trim them down, and they make a great hand painted card, or base for collage.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quick Catch Up

I have been gone to the Cape for a several days. Time to recharge. Time to be inspired.

Unbelieveable that I was on the beach for three days in late September. Pure magic. Painting, photos, a visit to the Gorey House, a visit to a magical fabulous Stationery Gallery in Wellfleet. Seafood. Can't forget the seafood.

I have photos, info, and stories to share for dreamers, artists, designers, and lovers of art.

But I must sleep as I did not sleep well last night and I have to face 6 classes of kids in the AM. Till tomorrow with more...patti

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So the Universe Says.....

So you're doubting your artwork Patti eh? Did you forget that you are loved by the universe and it will not let your talents go unnoticed?

That sounds like one of the emails I might get from "A Note From the Universe" a daily meditation on the abundance and love of the universe/God as we know him/her.

I read them every day and it has become my thought of the day while sipping on my morning coffee.

I have sold more cards, and got an order on Etsy not for ephemera, but for my zine and my cards. It felt great.

So, I am not giving it up yet. I will focus on the positive and on selling my cards to those who are drawn to their irony, spirituality, zaniness, and pure love of creation.

And it is all good.

Two sweet cards made with 1800's illustrations.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back in the Studio

So the card saga continues. I sent my client all the cards that I had, and she has used them all already, and needs another batch. She is a wonderful client...who is an animation rep for the motion picture industry. She always pays me more than her bill..which is smart, because then I owe HER and make sure I get her more cards in a timely manner.

I went to visit the store that carries my cards. It is a lovely shop, carrying handmade items from artists in the Hudson Valley. Called BECKON, it is located on the waterfront in downtown Kingston. She has not sold many of my cards in the last few months, and said though people often look through them, few buy them. They are not the typcial collaged cards seen in other places, and perhaps some are just a bit too out there for the general public, though I always try and make some that are "safe". She did not seem to want me to take them back, so I will leave them and see what happens. I am still torn about doing them....but I won't give up quite yet.

She wants some of my collage pieces, so eventually I will bring down some mixed media pieces and paintings for her to look at. I am trying to have enough of a variety for her to decide if she wants landscapes or narrative mixed media pieces.

I worked on my plein air painting from the other day. Most of was already laid in, but it just needs fine touches and corrections to give the landscape more impact. If I get it done this week I will feel like I have gotten much accomplished considering everything else that I have to do. A painting a week would be ideal, but not practical for me.

Les, I don't know how you do it. Teaching, kids, and you still paint.

Off to finish a few other things....patti

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I had today off for the holiday, and it was a splendid one. I shipped some paper to South Korea, and cards off to my client, and when my painter friend Rob asked what I was doing, I said, "we are going painting".

Off to the farmlands not far from my house. After obtaining permission from the landowner, we drove the van into the field and set up shop. I will post some photos of us painting soon, and the picture of the work when it is completed.

HELPFUL HINT FROM FRIEND ROB. The wind was kicking up now and again and Rob told me that I needed to anchor my travel easel. I could see how easily it might blow down, especially if there is a large canvas on it. It acts like a

Out of his car he pulled a bungee cord, and attached my paint bag which is fairly heavy, and hung it beneath the tripod of the easel. Problem solved and I never had a problem. I have worked plein air before, but usually I work small, and don't need an easel set up. I also need to find a small folding table as one really needs it for the paints, medium, rags and such.

I am tired, a bit sunburned, but it was so uplifting to be out there in nature on such a day that any depression I had from Megan and her family leaving cleared away as fast as the clouds that were blocking the sun.

Try it, you will like it! Patti

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Funny How the Universe Works

It has been a rough few weeks for me. Starting school, loosing time with my art, having my daughter and my granddaughter leave for a new life.

I feel like my life has derailed for a bit and I must take the road less traveled.

I have questioned my art, and what I do.

What is my art purpose? What is my path?

Today I debated about no longer making my one-of-a-kind cards, then my buyer, who loves my work, emailed in another order.

Perhaps I will only design for her. She loves what I do, and because she is a fabulous client, I will keep making cards which go to many in the animation and film industry. I pour into them my love, and send them like little butterflies out into the world.

I am entering a new phase.....and will keep you posted as to my travels.

As I told my students...we are constantly reinventing ourselves..and I am off to a new life...


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Another Great Freebie

Still not able to get into the studio. Too much going on. My art today was doing research on teaching how to draw a self portrait for class.

BUT I did find another spot that is lovely in the Hudson Valley, for free, and that is Hasbrouck Park which is not far from Kingston's downtown "Strand" area.

It has manicured rolling hills, which by the way, make for fabulous sleigh riding in the winter, and a veiw of the Hudson. You can rent the park for a day, and it comes equipped with a large pavillion, a grill, picnic tables, and sports fields!

Larry has lost one of his nights teaching at Marist again. I guess enrollment in traditional photography is declining, and so is our income. So, I may be seeking and writing about a lot of freebies around here, and thankfully I come from a life where I have had to make many sacrifices. So far the bills keep getting paid (thought I can't seeem to get rid of that credit card debt!)and if I need to, I will get another job.

I do have thursday off, and I hope that I can get some work done in the studio!

Photos is of the view of the Hudson from Olana at sunset. It is one of my favorite views.

Till tomrorow, Patti

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Where the Art's At

I can't believe it has been DAYS since I posted to this blog. With school starting, it is very hard to get into the studio. I have lesson plans to write, students to figure out, and it has been NUTS.

Somehow I have to figure in time for my art, and that is always a challenge. I found myself going through many of the photographs I took this summer, printing out the ones I love, and I realized I documented my trips with some fine photographs which will be inspiration in the winter for some of the paintings I planned.

My brain now has to function in two capacities; as artist and as art teacher. They both blend into one another, and being a working artist certainly melds into my job as a high school art teacher. I am given lots of leeway with what I do, and I love the challenge of coming up with new ideas which are inspired by my own constant work and research. I do my best to live in a constant artistic state of mind, and bring what I learn and am inspired by into my classroom. I think the kids enjoy it, even when they are not-quite-so-sure about their art teacher!

Off to bed. I have spent way too long working on things for school. Tomorrow is my daughter's going away party, and I am so burnt out from the wedding that it all "is what it is".

Till the next time, xxxpatti

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Photography by Lawrence Lewis

I have to go to bed soon as finish all of this. I am not used to having to get up and go to work at 6 am. Tomorrow the kids come and I have to have lesson plans ready for the first week of school. That is always the rough part.

As a protest of going back to work I sat in the sun during lunch, then worked in my studio for a bit before I hit the tapas place uptown with a friend. Now I am feverishly finishing up lesson plans.

Tonight's artwork is by my husband. Taken with an 8 x 10" camera, it is of our granddaughter Alanna. Larry is an amazing photographer and I have seen very few digital prints that equal what he can do in the darkroom. He makes art for arts sake; I wish he would make art for money's sake. His work is fabulous and I want to do a show with him called "Telling Stories"; his narrative photography, and my narrative collage work.

That is a reasonable goal and I need to get a proposal together for a gallery to carry it.

To the future. xxpatti

Monday, September 3, 2007

2,000+ and only 1 for me

I spent the last few days cleaning up two of my internet mailboxes. My administrator (friend) who hosts my site told me my quota had been reached. I was a bit confused. My website was supposed to forward emails to me at my email addy. I just thought that all these months I was not getting any email. Well, in one manner, I wasn't.

Some glitch, th emails did not forward, and now I was looking at 2,000 emails to sort through.

At first it was exciting. Then it was annoying. Out of all of those emails, only one was actually personal and for me. The rest were trying to sell me drugs, make me rich, improve my sex life, or enhance a part of my body, one of which I don't even have.

One stinkin email-- and that one was asking me to volunteer for the local arts society.

Perhaps I need to rethink my website. In fact I know I do. That will happen when someone adds a day to the week. Then I will get it done. I need three of me. Then maybe everything will someday get done.

Till then I am still doing 65 in a 30. Patti

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Plein Air Difficulties

The first sketch I did yesterday at Olana with my watercolor crayons and pencils. That sketching trip cost me big time in regards to my allergies. I have been quite sick all day as a result of my encounter with SOMETHING. I fizzled out about two and could not make any of the gallery openings nor the block party in my neighborhood today. I can barely breathe!!

I did take an hour and planted myself in my lounge chair with my drawing and painting travel kit. I made another discovery, that in the hot sun water color crayons (ie: Caran D'Arche more specifically) get melty and messy. Hmmm...

I enjoy the plein air experience, it is a very different process and experience than when I work in the studio. Today I allowed myself to just draw and experience my medium in a much freer way. I often get wrapped up trying to attain "perfection" within myself and my work, and often miss the process in order to get the product.

So, I drew without care as to how the drawings came out and posted two of them. I did not try to make them in any style; I let the subject, medium, and moment take me whereever it wanted to. There was a freedom in this child's play approach to my session.....and it felt good.