Monday, June 30, 2014

a country weekend, arrival

My arrivals at our country house follow a pattern. Day or night I first check on the waterfall. I hear it as soon as I get out of the car, framing why I love the Catskills, wilderness and wildness set among rolling hills and dairy farms. The waterfall is fed by snowmelt and rain, so by the end of summer slows to a trickle, but big rains last week had it roaring.

Then I unpack the car, go in the house, open the windows, 
and if it's daytime go back outside. 
I arrived Friday late afternoon so had plenty of time to explore.

I walked to the frog pond to make sure the frogs were there.
So many species have become extinct in recent years that I worry, 
but there were tadpoles and frogs in every stage.
They leap away at any movement of my shadow.

Next I investigated the wildflowers.
Forget me nots, tiny and delicate,
that perfect blue with the yellow center, takes my breath away.

Everywhere I looked there were layers of nature.

I picked some flowers and ferns

and went into the house to put them in water.

I chose a couple of my nature books 

and took them, along with ice water, raspberries
and Denise Parsons' (of Chez Danisse) new book 
After the Sour Lemon Moonand went back outside to read.

"The train pulls slowly to a stop. I tug my suitcase down from the rack above and exit into the blue hour. It is quiet. I can hear myself breathe."

                                                                               from,  After the Sour Lemon Moon

 Yes, I can hear myself breathe.

Monday, June 23, 2014

around here, early summer

Every morning, I open a couple of windows for the cats. Having indoor cats has been much easier and better than I expected, but I do what I can to give them a bit of the outdoors. They love to nibble on wheat and oat grass, nap in the window sills and watch and listen to the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits. I'm sure they are smelling and hearing all kinds of things too.

This marvelous picture is from a video of a dog with his head out the car window. It's by Julie Andreyev, and is at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, in an exhibit of artist and animal collaborations. I went there to see the Turner and the Sea exhibit, which was wonderful. It includes maritime paintings by other 19th century artists, putting Turner in context. I particularly enjoyed the selections from Turner's sketchbooks and small paintings. When I was in college I went to London and saw his work for the first time. His skies and seas touched me deeply and influenced my own painting and the way I looked at art.

These are a couple of the small studies I've been doing,
 thinking about painting them big. Really big.

My favorite part of summer is sitting on the porch in the evening, 
reading and watching the light change.

I hope that you are enjoying early summer (or winter if you are on the other side of the globe).
Last night I went to see The Lunchbox, and recommend it if you like small, charming movies,
or, like me are obsessed with India.

Monday, June 16, 2014

flowers in the house

I got a bundle of beauty from Bow Street Flowers last week. 
First I put them all in a blue vase.
Each flower is intriguing. No wonder I get obsessed with them.

I took a few and played around with various vases.

 And with paintings. 
This black and white one by my son Matt seemed like a good backdrop for flowers.
The orange vase and blowzy peony didn't work with this group
so it went on the dining room table where it is holding its own nicely.

The pink roses add warmth but aren't distracting.
The rounded old fashioned flowers and curvy vases work nicely with the sharp modern painting.
Also that cool sculptural branch!

I love this Persian vase, though I'm not sure about its colors and design here.
The trailing vine takes my breath away.

After all those cool black and whites it's nice to get back to some hot pinks.
There are flowers everywhere I look these days.
I think June is my favorite month.
Visit Small But Charming for more glimpses of flowers in the house.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

green land, pink sea

Spring was late this year, but I've been savoring it. 
My Massachusetts yard has become a rabbit refuge. 
Yesterday two of them were playing leapfrog.

Who says dandelions are weeds?

The wildflowers in the Catskills are enchanting. 
I haven't gotten up there as much as I'd like, but will make up for it this summer.
I'm really into blue flowers right now, and purply blues,
I need to plant some delphiniums.

Another picture from the wedding. The bride and bridesmaids
leaving her family apartment.
Below are their bouquets.

Flowers and ceremony decor were done by Fleurish NYC,
and they did a great job.

My peonies haven't bloomed yet.
They remind me of globes--
green land, pink sea.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Nova Supernova

In New York I jumped at a chance to see Meredith Pardue's show Nova, Supernova at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts. I tell you I did not want to leave that gallery, but to stay, surrounded by her paintings. That's the feeling I get sometime with flowers and certain landscapes (I really felt it in New Mexico) and the ocean. I want to inhabit, really inhabit that space, let the leaves, petals, water, pink hills, colors, become part of who I am. 

I have admired her painting via the internet, and expected it to be more watery, but they are actually quite textured. You can see a short vimeo of her working here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

the wedding

Jason and Alexandra got married on Saturday.
It was an amazing, happy day. 
Beautiful, touching and fun.

Before the ceremony I went to the bride's family apartment where she and the bridesmaids got ready. As the mother of three boys it was quite a treat for me to hang out with the girls. There was lots of makeup and pretty shoes. Her parents and grandmother took it all in with me, a bridesmaid's baby made an appearance, there was good pizza and much love.

We went into Central Park, 
across the street from where she grew up, for pictures.  
There was a brief shower just as we were leaving for the ceremony. 
It's good to know that bridesmaid's bouquets can double as umbrellas.

Closeup of the bride's bouquet taken at the reception;
still looking good after a very full day. 
The flowers were done by Fleurish NYC.

My son is a happy man.

They put so much effort into planning the wedding. Everything was personal and meaningful. I don't have pictures of the ceremony, which was at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, a stunning venue with walls of windows overlooking Manhattan, but when I get some I'll show you. Their vows brought both tears and laughter.

The reception was a 13-course dinner at a Chinese banquet hall in Queens, which was great fun. The band played lots of blues and Motown ( my kind of music) and everyone had a wonderful time.

The cakes were made by Molly's Cupcakes. The round one was for the traditional cake cutting ceremony, and then there were three different flavor combination sheet cakes for the guests, a brilliant idea of the bride, who tried every cupcake store in the city before deciding Molly's was the best. They were delicious!

Closeup of some of the decorative flowers. 
They are unique and lovely, both elegant and whimsical,
which also describes the wedding and the couple.

a few more pictures over