Thursday, October 16, 2014

Provincetown, looking, painting

I took my son Matt to Provincetown last week. He likes off-season beaches
 and art, and P'town has an abundance of both.

I showed him my favorite galleries, gardens and houses, 
and he showed me things I'd never noticed,

like this gorgeous bit of sidewalk inlaid with iron and glass.
What's the story behind that?

There's a garden filled with sculptures I love to view through the wrought iron gate

but I never noticed the stunning stone wall
studded with geodes, minerals, marbles, glass orbs.

Provincetown has given me plenty of painting inspiration.
I'm feeling good about the switch from acrylics to oils
and these most recent pieces. Some clarity is emerging.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Autumn in (upstate) New York

A misty morning drive to Bovina for an egg sandwich takes me through this gentle upstate landscape. Rolling hills dotted with farmhouses, barns and the occasional Airstream, milk truck rolling down a country road…My crush on pink peonies and orange roses has given way to a deep love of russet, apple, pumpkin, the smell of woodsmoke, the sound of acorns dropping.

It's becoming an annual ritual for me to post this poem by Rilke. (2013, 2012)
The poem that gave me orchards in space.


     The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
     as if orchards were dying high in space.
     Each leaf falls as if it were motioning "no".

     And tonight the heavy earth is falling,
     away from all the other stars in the loneliness.

     We're all falling. This hand here is falling.
     And look at the other one ... It's in them all.

     And yet there is Someone, whose hands
     infinitely calm, hold up all this falling.

                               -Rainier Marie Rilke (translated by Robert Bly)

The best thing about blogging is the friends I've made, and I'm not going to call you virtual friends either. I love that New Zealand Amanda's posts about spring coincide with mine about fall, and that when I am shoveling snow she will be sharing her peonies. It truly is a world wide web, both infinitely large and comfortably small.

xo, Jen

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

advance, retreat

For someone who doesn't like to leave home, I've been doing so a lot. Friday, I made a quick trip with a full car, to Brooklyn. The laundromat near my son's apartment is also a pinball parlor. The city is a wonderland of the unique and eclectic, and I savor it until I reach the point where I am saturated.

Then home to cats and books 
 and glorious flowers from Bow Street. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

back to Provincetown

Four days of harbor, bay and ocean; sunrises and sunsets, fishing boats, cottages and art galleries. I took a painting workshop with Christie Scheele at the Provincetown Art Museum. Christie's paintings are stripped down, luminous landscapes. I've long admired her work and felt I could learn a lot from her, and I did. After painting steadily for a year, noodling (phaffing, Amanda?) around with different styles, I may be getting to a place of my own in my paintings. Will post more on this in the Orchards in Space blog…

Summer is truly winding down. I look forward to some autumn weekends in the country and another trip to Brooklyn. For once I am not dreading winter, am looking past my usual stacks of books (a/k/a safety net) and into burrowing into my studio and painting. I hope this time of transition is going well for you too.


More Provincetown posts:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

the roses of Kew

My favorite places at Kew Gardens were the rose gardens 
and the lily pond (saved for another day)

 I arrived at the gardens early and was the only person among the roses.
They made me crazy with happiness.

 They weren't tended to. Their entire life cycles were on view everywhere I looked.
I have no idea why, as other gardens were traditionally, immaculately snipped and shaped.
Of course I loved it this way.

 This was my favorite color.

 And now, of course, I want to grow roses.

 I have a couple of sweet and easy floribunda, 
but none of the extravagant colors, shapes, or fragrances.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

a city weekend

Transitions. Two intense days in Brooklyn, last week, helping 
my youngest finalize his apartment search.
We ate Polish food (and Brazilian and donuts and pizza) walked along the East River,
 investigated the neighborhood (Greenpoint) hung out with my oldest, who also lives in Brooklyn,
walked to Williamsburg, drank beer (well, they did) ate ice cream, and
found a small but charming fourth floor walkup on a street where on summer evenings
the neighbors set up their card tables on the sidewalk and play dominos.

Friends, why was I thinking two blogs was a good idea?
(especially when I'm on Instagram regularly)
Because I'm a Gemini? 
Maybe I should just put it all here. 
Even though I'm more of an Orchards in Space person these days
than a Country Weekend person, this is home for me, in the blog world.
And if I write about some crazy thing that doesn't interest you, you can just skip on past it.
I'll do something with the other space--I'm sure inspiration will come to me,
but I'm not going to divide myself up between here and there…
I am changing to a fresher template. Bear with me, please.
(and if you have any problems with it, leave a note in the comments
or email me: jen (at) country weekend [dot} net

Monday, September 1, 2014

a Catskills weekend

I got to the country late Thursday night, and Friday morning went to Russell's for an egg sandwich.
The eggs are so fresh and flavorful that I don't add cheese or anything else. At Russell's weekenders mix easily with locals--old school farmers and Brooklyn stylist/makers can all agree on a good breakfast sandwich.

 Then I wandered through tiny downtown Bovina to take some pictures. This old general store is for sale, and somehow I discovered that the door was unlocked, so I went in and wandered around. Unfortunately I accidentally deleted most of my pictures, but it is such a cool place, filled with soul and character. It's for sale with an old farmhouse and 8 acres.

Pressed tin ceilings.

 Three or four rooms on each floor.

Old ledgers.

 There are a lot of pictures on the real estate listing here. Her exterior pictures are good, but her interior pictures don't begin to capture the charm of this place. It looks like the farmhouse has been woefully updated. Upstate NY is filled with charming old farmhouses at really reasonable prices. (If you're used to Boston, NY, SF prices). Bovina's only three hours from NYC. I'll never open a store again, but I was pretty excited for a while there, as I wandered around.

 We bought our house in the woods twelve years ago, and every time I go there I feel a sense of joy, freshness, clarity, peace. I get deep into nature, but also enjoy the simple pleasures  that abound in the eclectic rural life of the Catskills.