Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trials & Tribulations-Packing for 9 weeks

Many rules have changed since 9/11 concerning what you can and cannot pack and how much weight you can carry on planes. We are going to Western Australia and Asia with a 2 week stay in Spain on our way back. In 1998/99 we went on a 3 month trip which included eastern Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Bali, India, Thailand, Italy and England and we took 28" gray suitcases as shown above in the bottom picture stuffed with kosher food for the areas where it would not be available.

This time, however, we are limited to 24" suitcases weighing only 40 pounds and 21" carry-ons which we had to buy ( blue luggage). We bought Delsey very light luggage! What to do with all the food we need to parts of Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and Myanmar where there is no kosher food and no vegan alternatives? I packed up a large box and mailed it to our hotel in Cambodia. The concierge said he would hold it for us until we arrive. We sure hope it gets there intact!! We are also sending one to the hotel in Spain where kosher food is scarce.

The center picture shows just some of the food we have sent!! Packaged food, mostly vacuumed packed, that I can heat up on a hot plate we carry with. Simple fare but it makes it possible for us to travel anywhere and see this beautiful and exciting world.

The top photograph is the complete luggage I will take. A 24" and a 21" suitcase plus a personal tote bag which I also put my pocketbook in. I have learned to pack few clothes, making room for all the other paraphernalia that I need. A few pants, a few tops, a bathing suit, a sweater, underwear, a nightgown. I wear the same things over and over. It is amazing how little one needs. When I come home and have a closet full of clothes, I am amazed at all the choices I have.

Of course, as we use up the food, I'll have room for buying some new things so my closets will be filled with some new choices too. That will be good, I am sure, since I will be sick of seeing the same few tops and pants.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor- December 7, 1941-2011- 70 years!

Pearl Harbor Oahu is proud to feature a number of exciting historic tours to the site of the United States entrance into World War II. As The Official Pearl Harbor Tours Site, our tours are designed for your convenience and schedule. All of our tours take you to Pearl Harbor's Visitor Center and the USS Arizona Memorial for a time of reflection and remembrance. The tragic attacks of December 7, 1941 shook the island of Oahu, and the United States, forever. The lives lost and that tragic day are things that we want to live on forever.

Within the grounds of Pearl Harbor are a number of exhibits, displays, memorials, and museums, honoring not only the 1,177 victims of the Japanese attacks, but all of those who bravely served in World War II. The USS Missouri Battleship and the Pacific Aviation Museum are located on Ford Island, and offer unique insights into the war. The USS Bowfin Submarine takes visitors through narrow corridors that often were submerged for months at a time.

Pearl Harbor Oahu Tours
are combined with many of the top sites around the island of Oahu, including the world famous North Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and a driving tour through downtown Honolulu's historic district. We took a tour that included the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine, USS Missouri Battleship and the Pacific Aviation Museum.

Using photographs that I took on the tour, I made the images shown above by cropping them to make them visually appealing. The series, entitled "Heroic Motifs," can be seen

Archival pigment prints from the top: Pearl Harbor Template 1, Oil and Water in Pearl Harbor 4, Heroic Impression 1, Eternal Resting Place 1, and Always Remember 1.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Travel With Me- Sketchbook Project 2012

Above are some of the scanned images from my sketchbook entitled "Travel with Me." Sponsored by the Art House in Brooklyn, New York, the Sketchbook Project has been an ongoing project for a few years. I participated in 2009. You do a themed sketchbook that travels around and then is housed in a sketchbook library in Brooklyn. this year's tour is international!! The tour comes to Philadelphia:

Aug 23rd-25th
The Painted Bride
co-presented with InLiquid
230 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

I had so much fun doing the sketchbook and suggest you participate next year. I don't know what the theme will be but it should be fun!! Meanwhile, enjoy my images here and those of others on the website.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Houston- Museum Scene- Big & Bold & out of this world!!

The Menil Collection_ A Museum and A Neighborhood

The story of the Menil Collection begins in France with the 1931 marriage of John de Menil (1904–1973), a young banker from a distinguished military family, and Dominique Schlumberger (1908–1997), daughter of Conrad Schlumberger, one of the founders of the oil services company Schlumberger, Ltd. The de Menils left France during World War II for Houston, where John eventually directed Schlumberger’s worldwide operations. The de Menils quickly became key figures in Houston’s developing cultural life, as advocates of modern art and architecture. As patrons of architecture, they built one of the first International Style houses in Texas (Philip Johnson was the architect) and the Rothko Chapel. Surviving her husband by twenty-five years, Dominique built the museum that bears the family name as well as the Cy Twombly Gallery and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum.

John and Dominique de Menil were humanists who believed that art is a central part of the human experience. It is clear from their collection that they were deeply moved by the many ways individuals over different cultures and eras have revealed in art their understanding of what it means to be human.

This belief in the power of art explains the value the Menil Collection places on the primacy of the artwork, the individual artist’s intention, and the viewer’s unmediated experience in the gallery. That experience includes the contemplative, intimate quality of space and light, and the restrained aesthetic of display. Viewers will also note the absence of explanatory wall texts, docent tours, and acoustic guides: the Menils believe that a viewer’s encounter with a work of art should be immediate and direct, not conditioned by others’ thoughts and opinions about the work.

We saw Walter De Maria's Bel Air Trilogy, 3 awesome cars wondering how he did what he did and is it ART?? My 11 year old grandson and I had great discussions along with my son and husband. The extensive collection is awesome. Then we visited the Dan Flavin Installation of colored lights and the Cy Twombly Gallery which created quite a stir and discussion!! Is scribble art? "I could do that" Yes, but did you?? and off to my personal favorite the Rothko Chapel where 14 large black painting create a subdued and somber place of meditation and retreat. My 11 year old started giggling so that he had to leave before he could see that the seemingly black paintings were really not solid black at all.

The question is What is ART? How do you define it??

Museum of Fine Art

Next stop was the Museum of Fine Art which houses 63,000 works of art from all over the world, from ancient to contemporary times. The current exhibit that I liked best was Selected Prints by Robert Rauschenberg. The prints were stunning!!

Health Museum

A unique museum was the Health Museum Houston's most interactive science learning center and a member institution of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center. Located in the heart of the city's rich and varied Museum District, The Health Museum encourages growing interest and regard for healthier lifestyles, fitness and good physical, mental and spiritual health. The Museum treasures Houston’s diverse population and welcomes individuals of all backgrounds. Very kid friendly and lots for adults to do and learn too. We all had so much fun and spent lots of time here!!All 14 of us!!

Johnson Space Center Houston

"INTELLIGENT FUN" defines the way we spent our day at Johnson Space Center Houston. A day when we've touched a Moon rock, witnessed a shuttle launch, enjoyed a guided tour of NASA and saw real space-flown vehicles! It was awesome! We all had a great day here- all 14 of us!!

Photos from internet from top: Bel Air by Walter de Maria, Installation by Dan Flavin,Cy Twombly's works,in the Rothko Chapel, Georgia O'Keefe from the Menil Collection, Ceramic from Menil Collection 600-800

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

POST 2011- Open Studio @ Sherman Mills

These photographs that I took show you selected work done in 2011 in my studio in my home and in Vermont at the Vermont Studio Center during an Artist Residency in July. The works on paper usually start with a monotype. Some stay a monotype, using water or soy based ink. They often go through the press several times until I am satisfied with the image. Very often, I add collage, using handmade or other papers to achieve the effects I want. I feel like I am painting with the paper, tearing bits and pieces of paper, creating the images and layers I want as I go along. I then often print again, sometimes more monotype, sometimes silkscreen, or stamping or other techniques. I also draw with colored pencils, woodies, crayons, charcoal, pencils, whatever, or add natural materials such as shells, etc. That's why it's called MIXED MEDiA!! Anything goes to get the effect that I want.

I am intrigued by memory and what remains in our mind's eye. My work reflects scenes from previous travel and life experiences. More than a report on how it was exactly, it is a response to the color and pattern of the landscape and my reaction to it. My work is informed by an accumulation of such scenes and the pleasure I get from the printing process itself. I represent the hidden and reveal the atmosphere creating personal memoir that evokes the mystery of memory and the magic of place.

See more of my work on the gallery pages in my website.

I participated in POST @ Sherman Mills to be part of the city-wide event which was really fun. I loved having people come through to see my work which they could not do in my suburban home. There were 10 of us who rented studios for POST @Sherman Mill and many others around the city. The next POST weekend is Oct 15 & 16. Find out more at

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Visual Memoirs- Notes of Nostalgia

This series of six mixed media images was created in July 2011 at the Vermont Studio Center at an Artist Residency, inspired by memoir and the power of music and how hearing a melody can bring back a flood of memories, recreating a time, a place and an event as if it were happening again. I use monotype, silkscreen, images, colors, and pattern to depict snippets of memories creating layers of visual memoirs.

From the top they are: Melody and Memory, Melodic Memory and Surviving Memory. They will be shown at the POST Open House on Sunday October 2 at Sherman Mills, 3502 Scotts Lane, bldg 2. Come see them in person. The layering and colors really show much better.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Art Excursion to Pittsburgh- The Mattress Factory

The four artists on an ART excursion to Pittsburgh made The Mattress Factory one of our main stops. Originally a Stearns and Foster factory, this unique and delightful art venue has changing and permanent cutting edge exhibits of local and national artists. It is such a freeing and enjoyable place; it brought out the child in us. Yoyoi Kusama's art installations allow you to enter and then we had great fun in the two rooms she created. The blue one is called "Infinity Dotted Mirrored Room" and the other with mannequins is called "Repetitive Vision." Valetta posed in the doorway! Sandi Neiman Lovitz danced, Mary Kane and Valetta posed again and I took pictures which went on into infinity. What fun we had!!

Where would you find a venue that cuts a hole in the floor for an artist like the did for Sarah Oppenheimer's work called 610-3356? Or a permanent house for Greer Lankton's eerie "It's about Me, not YOU," filled with skeletons and other very unusual things.

The gold lame curtain stage is from Dawn Weleski's "City Council Wrestling," an installation that took up most of the basement. It brought out the ham in both Valetta and Mary Kane.

The Mattress Factory is a must-see stop in Pittsburgh!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ART Excursion to Pittsburgh- Fallingwater visit on the way!!

Three artists from ARTsisters and one from the Regional Center for Women in the Arts took a motor trip to Pittsburgh for 2 nights to visit points of ART interest in August 2011. We stopped at Fallingwater on the way there. Fallingwater is a home designed for the Kauffman family 75 years ago by Frank Lloyd Wright 90 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. It is quite amazing!!

Pittsburgh is a wonderful city. I had not been there in 40 years. The three rivers meet at the point. The city is small enough to get around. It is noticeably clean and friendly. There are more bridges in Pittsburgh than in Venice!! We visited many art galleries and had a wonderful time but did not have time to see the museums so we need to get back. In my next post I will tell you more about a unique art venue called the Mattress Factory.