Sunday, May 25, 2014


Last Thursday was a very gray day. I went with the artist Patty Bouley to visit her studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Greenpoint is very near Queens  - a wonderful neighborhood becoming very cool and trendy - and full of filmmakers and artists and people who need the sort of space that's hideously expensive in Manhattan.

There are, however, holdovers from the old, Polish, Greenpoint, and lovely, well-maintained houses. This cheerful chap, maybe left over from Easter, has a frog on his head.

 The steps of brownstones.

We head down towards the East River and pass The American Deli

heading to the huge industrial building where Patty has her studio.

Here a sketch for a painting Patty is working on.

Here are some of her colorist paintings...

So bold and wonderful. You can see more of them here.

They quite altered the gray day.

Patty's shared studio is wonderful - but not nearly as grand as the huge room you can rent for events. I mentally start thinking what could possibly take place there...

On the way back to the subway station, I pass a shuttered restaurant - almost deco in feel.

On the way back to Manhattan, I amuse myself observing people on the subway. It's weird how the Hipstamatic black and white filter automatically renders things mysterious and romantic. So much depends on the lens one is looking at life through...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Flowers in the City and Creating Things

WhenI look out of the window I see yellow taxis.

I'm in the middle of my seasonal pansy-bashing experiments when I make a lot of noise and a small amount of stationery. I learned the fundamentals of pansy hammering from the uber-creative Elizabeth Bunsen.

Anyway, three flowers from the tree pits outside. The yellow pansy, when hammered, just turned into a soggy blob.

Here are some bits and pieces from the roof.

Same thing with the trusty hammer -and a print  of a previous pansy. You must use good quality printing paper -Arches for example- so the colors get absorbed.

Larger than life sized!

Much, much larger than life sized with bits of the viola waiting to be removed.

This mess/work of art was created by hammering the flower of a beautiful iris which had fallen off the stem. I would not recommend hammering irises -much too much water and sogginess - but rather fun as a fabric design....

Making stuff runs in the family (all families, I think!) Henry is very serious about drawing and

Gretchen has become a bead maker.

Back to hammering pansies...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Black and White Chelsea

A walk around the neighborhood with new phone photo filters.

Lots of Citibike users now the weather has improved.

Lots of children going for field trips...

Fewer people heading to church.

Lots and lots of workmen doing important things.

Lots and lots of construction - here 25th Street.

The High Line has become a major tourist attraction - to the point of almost too much. Like walking in Times Square - but much prettier. The shadows on the wall above are of trees. This shot taken from below.

More construction

and the venerable Starrett-Lehigh Building.

August Sander show at Silverstein on 24th Street. A most astounding photographer - who always worked in black and white.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Downtown Art Fair/Lexington Avenue Armory

Enough of the weather and things horticultural.
What on earth else do I spend my time doing? Well, thinking about art for one thing.

I went to the Downtown Art Fair at the Lexington Avenue Armory - a wonderful 'old New York' building with high arched ceiling - like a gymnasium on steroids...

suitable flags

and a nice broad staircase seeming going off into infinity.

Then there were the art booths with galleries from all over the world and important sort of people scurrying about.

Very mixed sort of art - mostly not very interesting to me. Lots of photography.

More important people  having loft conversations.

The people more interesting than the art.

However, I discover the photographer Julie Blackmon each of whose images is a novel in itself. Partly beautiful, partly disturbing and altogether fascinating.

Ah, hints of Abbey Road and American Beauty. 

Then the Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti

whose works in black and white are haunting and lovely and often have dogs in.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Wet Walk

The dog goes for four walks every day

whatever the weather. This rather makes me regret the days when we lived in the country and the dog could take himself for a walk. Anyway, I spent 99cents to get a new Hipstamatic thingy for my phone so had something to do...

Wet tulips

More wet tulips.

Droopy wet tulip.

Hostas love being wet.

Ah, chartreuse!

One of our tree pits outside the building. The pharmacist from Duane Reade  - while taking a smoking break (!) - asked me why there was no pink? So said (rather snootily) - In a small space one needs a limited palatte. Went to Union Square bought a pink daisy shortly thereafter...)

A dogwood on 20th Street.

8th Avenue and 23rd Street. 3pm May 8th.....!