Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Art Part

I thought it might be time to put some photos of my art up.  These are not the best pictures, but then again the art isn't exactly Picasso either!  I painted this after a photograph appeared in a local magazine about Love.  It showed a woman from Catskill Animal Sanctuary holding a pig.  The photograph was so filled with love and the piggy looked so happy I just had to paint something about it!

The one to the right is a painting I made a couple of years ago to enter into a contest.  It didn't win, but I had fun painting it.  It depicts my wedding to my first husband.  I made the sky look stormy and added a sharp picket fence pointing at me, because the marriage WAS stormy and there wasn't much in it for me that wasn't sharp and pointy, except for my three adorable kids.  As you can see, we were a hippie couple then.

I enjoy painting because it's kind of a meditation and it's also therapeutic at the same time.  I also made a couple for my husband to hang in his fancy office a few years ago.  He no longer has the job, but we still have the paintings.  It made me feel really good that he had them on his wall when he was there.

I haven't been doing as much painting or drawing for a while because I have an inner critic that is really very vicious.  I'm just beginning to realize just how much I bash my own efforts.  I would probably be a perfectly fine artist if I could just stop bashing myself.  I have a lot of work to do in that department.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Artistry and Magic

Recently I visited an adorable shop in my favorite town, Rhinebeck. It's called the Paper Trail and features lots of unique items such as kitchen kitsch, seasonal gifts, jewelry, and obviously paper things, like invites and these creations made entirely of paper. I have a picture of the wedding dress in the previous post, and when I visited I went through the store with my camera and snapped these other beautiful creations. This one is a gown made of crepe paper with roses for the skirt. Fit for the princess to wear to her ball, don'tcha think?

No wait! THIS is the gown the princess wore...all golden and fizzy.

This one is a more springey look and it has a ton of detail, which I tried to capture for you. Notice how the bodice and sleeves are made of cutout flowers and the skirt is made of leaf shapes. Incredible!

I loved this shiny paper raincoat...complete with raindrops! (See the butterfly mobile next to it? I now have it hanging in my office at home...irresistible!

Finally, this is one of several paper "paintings" hanging in the gallery at the shop. I'm sorry to say that I don't know who the artist is for any of these works, so if a reader does know, please leave me a comment with the name so proper credit can be given. 
All I can say is I am just blown away by these incredible works of art. If you're ever in Rhinebeck, NY be sure and stop in and visit the Paper Trail to see these delectables and more!

Ordinarily when the budget is tight, the first things to go are social programs, art and sports.  When looking at art like this, it's easy for me to see why this is a terrible, terrible idea.  Surviving and thriving in this world depends on creative solutions, now more than ever.  To stimulate ideas, we need creative peole to express themselves and for that expression to be valued in the most reverent and light-hearted way.  Being in the presence of these beautiful, painstaking creations just fills me with light and hope.  The way out of our troubles is not more technology to enhance social jabbering, but thinking people creating in all directions.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Adventures of an Unsuccessful Celebrity Stalker

Well...I guess you heard.  Chelsea got married yesterday.  So since I live just a very short drive from Rhinebeck, I decided to grab my husband and head on over for some sightings. 

Here's what I've got for you, people:

We waited outside the entrance to the Beekman Arms Inn, which houses rooms and a restaurant.  At one time George Washington and his troops ate here.  They must have been pretty short in those days because the ceilings are very low inside.
The grounds were especially beautiful, because they had been working on them for weeks.
Across the street was the media area, where they were filming their reports live to the evening news.  There were zillions of police, state troopers and secret service around, but they were all friendly and having a good time.  I got the feeling they were the sort one might be able to talk out of a traffic ticket if one were to get one, that is.

You can see a big tangle of cords, lighting and staff all over.

The woman on the right was from the ABC affiliate and was rehearsing her "story."  The big news was that Bill Clinton was spotted earlier in the day walking down the street in a black polo shirt and jeans.  What you don't see on the news is that she is reading from a yellow pad and standing on a cardboard box, wearing white flip flops.  Kind of makes you Katie Couric wearing short shorts under that desk?

We got hungry finally and walked through town where we saw all sorts of well-wishing messages.  Here are a few of the cuter ones:

This was a simple balloon hung outside a shop that was closed for the day.

This was one of my favorites.  This shop usually has life sized stuffed animals in the window.  Here they have the Dalmations smooching with a gift bag between them wishing Chelsea and Marc happiness. 

The Paper Trail had this wedding gown in their window, made entirely of ah...paper.  Honestly, it's not a bad idea considering you only wear this dress once. Think of the money that could be saved for funner things, such as the honeymoon!  (Yes, I did say funner...I'm an English major and qualified to take liberties with the language.  Just don't say "alot" around me, though; it's like fingernails on a chalkboard.)
I'd love to show the pictures we got of the celebs going to the rehearsal dinner, but alas... none.  We stayed until 9:30 PM and Bill and Hillary didn't get there until about 11:30.  They waved to the crowd for 2 seconds and then went in.  I did get the scoop on something, though, and that's how much I love a small town. 

Rhinebeck is very picturesque and green, with loads of Victorian houses everywhere.  (Seriously, Jeanne, these houses are drool-worthy!)  Everything is neat, and clean enough to eat off of.  There are several Zagat rated restaurants and many adorable shops.  Omega institute also resides off in the woods.  And of course, the fairgrounds which hosts flea markets and crafts, antique car shows, the Sheep and Wool Festival among other events.  (Including, get this-- a fair!) 

What I really enjoyed about the town was the hominess of it.  Troops of little kids jamming into Village Pizza after their game, police joking with each other and seeing friends that they just "friended on Facebook" that day.  Everyone courteous and in a good mood.  I really miss that kind of community, living where we do out in the ouskirts. 

Anyway, not to be deterred, my husband and I set out the following night to find a location to view the wedding fireworks.  We ended up getting the PERFECT spot just across the Hudson and we waited there from 8:30 to 11:00 when we finally admitted defeat and went home.  Dang if I didn't read in the paper that they had fireworks after all.  (Probably 10 minutes after we left.)  But we did watch an absolutely gorgeous moon rise in the sky, all yellow and leaving a shimmering image on the river.  It was really magical and peaceful.

This I can say for sure, whoever prayed for the weather for this weekend did a really good job of it.  (I'm hoping I can put them to work praying for me to inherit one of those lacy Victorians in Rhinebeck.)