Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Women I Admire! xo

Sade 54
Judy Dench 78
Frida Kahlo Died age 47

Tina Turner 73
Anna Quindlen 61
Joni Mitchell 69

Michelle Obama 49
Helen Mirren 67

Annie Lennox 58
Beyonce 31

Georgia O'Keefe died at 99
Melissa McCarthy 42
Tina Fey 43

Peg Shapiro 60
Angela May 54
Adele 25
Lori & Corbin 43

Florence Welch 26
Tilda Swinton 52

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Astonishing Range of Chagall

Marc Chagall was born Moishe Segal into a Jewish family in Liozona, Belerus, while still part of the Russian Empire in 1887. At the time of his birth, half the population of his town was Jewish. Although picturesque, the city was built mostly of wood so little
of it survived the years of occupation & destruction during World War II. He was the eldest of nine children & his father, Khatskl Shagal, was employed by a herring merchant, while his mother, Feige-Ite, sold groceries from their home. Although poor, there was always enough food to eat & the family was close.

A turning point of his artistic life came when he noticed a fellow student drawing. Chagall would later say that there was no art of any kind in his family's home & the concept was totally alien to him. When Chagall asked the schoolmate how he learned to draw, his friend replied, "Go & find a book in the library, idiot, choose any picture you like & just copy it." He soon began copying images from books & found the experience so rewarding he then decided he wanted to become an artist.

"He had two basic reputations," writes Lewis, "as a pioneer of modernism and as a major Jewish artist. He experienced modernism's golden age in Paris, where he synthesized the art forms of Cubism, Symbolism & Fauvism & the influence of Fauvism gave rise to Surrealism". Yet throughout these phases of his style "he remained most emphatically a Jewish artist, whose work was one long dreamy reverie of life in his native village of Vitebsk."

Years later, at the age of 57 while living in America, Chagall confirmed this when he published an open letter entitled, To My City Vitebsk: "Why? Why did I leave you many years ago? You thought, the boy seeks something, seeks such a special subtlety, that color descending like stars from the sky & landing, bright & transparent, like snow on our roofs. Where did he get it? How would it come to a boy like him? I don't know why he couldn't find it with us, in the city—in his homeland. Maybe the boy is "crazy" but "crazy" for the sake of art. ...You thought: "I can see, I am etched in the boy's heart, but he is still 'flying,' he is still striving to take off, he has 'wind' in his head." I did not live with you, but I didn't have one single painting that didn't breathe with your spirit and reflection.

Although he traveled the world creating set designs, cathedral windows & opera house ceilings,  a copius collection of treasured art displayed in museums & private collections around the world & experienced the horrors of Nazism & the premature death of his beloved wife, there remains a freshness & innocence to his work that creates, in me, infectious smiles & warmth.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


This is my lovely son Gabriel who is 3 years old in the top picture & 13 in the bottom. It's difficult to tell from his happy smile that by the time the first one had been taken, he had been born with a lack of oxygen at birth; hospitalized for dehydration, reflux, eye surgery, adnoids out, ear tubes in & seizures. He had also been diagnosed with mental retardation & initially with ADHD, (which really turned out to be bipolar disorder), tourette's & OCD.

The thing about Gabe is none of this matters. He has been smiling since he left the womb & is an absolute savior & gift to everyone who is lucky enough to cross his path. We live in a very small community & I have not been Diane & his dad has not been Greg for a very long time..... we're Gabe's mom & dad.  He's in a teenager's body with a cognitive age of about 5 years behind that, which definitely keeps life interesting.

Gabe spent the better part of the last two weeks in Children's Hospital with what started as sinusitis in his nose, that spread to his eye & required around the clock antibiotics. He came home briefly but was back in the hospital the next day because his eye started to swell up again & one shoulder 'locked' into a weird position up towards his ears. Freaked the Doctors out, so Greg got in his car with an emergency pass for the ferry & went back. He finally got another CAT scan at 10pm & a bed by 1:30am with more IV antibiotics. They HAD been afraid that he was exhibiting signs that the infection had leaked into his BRAIN, but it hadn't, Thank God.

It was the weirdest thing when I found out he had to go back again. I told Greg he had to take him because I could NOT get my head around it. I just went completely FLAT. I could not feel a THING & I did NOT want to go back to the hospital. I called 3 close friends who all said I should probably follow them over, but finally called my therapist. She drove right over & we talked it through & she told me it was o.k NOT to go right away. THEN I started bawling. I hadn't had a decent night's sleep in days &  went to that child place of being paralyzed by exhaustion & it took her to tell me my feelings were o.k.

Long story, but a few days later when he was home again the Doctors were calling by 8am to get him to come back in for a check up, but I never called them back. Gabe has been SUCH a trooper for almost 2 weeks now that we just got in the car & drove to an animal rescue place he likes to go to & hung out like normal people. He tired easily & slept all the way home, but he was fine. It was so great to not feel fear & dread for a change.

Theo van Rysselberghe - Pointillism

" The practice of Pointillism is in sharp contrast to the traditional methods of blending pigments. Pointillism is analogous to the four-color CMYK printing process used by some color printers & large presses that place dots of Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow, & Key (black). Televisions & computer monitors use a similar technique to represent image colors using Red, Blue & Green (RGB) colors.
If red, blue & green light  are mixed, the result is something close to white light. Painting is inherently subtractive,  but pointillist colors often seem brighter than typical mixed subtractive colors. This may be partly because subtractive mixing of the pigments is avoided & partly because some of the white canvas may be showing between the applied dots. The painting technique used for pointillist color mixing is at the expense of the traditional brushwork used to delineate texture." Wickapedia