NYC – It’s All About The Food

New York in the spring can bring any kind of weather even snow, which was predicted for the day we left the city. The floral dresses and short sleeves of a few weeks ago were replaced for a day or two with basic black, puffy coats and umbrellas. Temperatures ranged from 70 to 38 with a little rain and wind for good measure. Our preferred mode of travel in NYC is walking, followed by the subway and bus when necessary.

Spring has sprung!

Spring has sprung!

A big part of the New York experience is food. Different neighborhoods, different ethnic inspired foods. What variety! It’s a true melting pot. The Lower East Side has been home to many immigrant groups, each contributing to the ever changing food landscape. Gentrification is occurring in the area (boutique hotels replacing tenement apartment buildings, skyrocketing rents) but some things never change. Or haven’t, yet.

NYC Lower East Side

NYC Lower East Side

Changes Occur

Changes Occur

NYC Lower East Side

NYC Lower East Side

We joined a group with Free Tours By Foot for a glimpse, actually a taste, of mostly Jewish Eastern European culinary delights on their Lower East Side itinerary.

First stop – Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery, a neighborhood staple since 1910, founded by a Romanian immigrant, who first peddled his wares in Coney Island. How does one describe a “knish?” Mashed potato wrapped in dough doesn’t quite do it justice. It must be eaten hot! Huge. Enough for several people. An egg cream chaser hit the spot. This favorite drink from my NY childhood has neither eggs nor cream. It’s a fountain drink that does not come in a bottle. Whole milk is added to chocolate syrup, followed by a careful addition of cold seltzer (soda water). Stir! Sip! Yum!

Yonah Schimmel's

Yonah Schimmel’s

 

Yonah Schimmel's

Yonah Schimmel’s

 

Have A Knish

Have A Knish

We stopped at Russ and Daughters, but did not partake. R & D was founded 100 years ago and is still going strong. The emphasis is on pickled and smoked fish but there are many other items on the menu. Believe it or not, recipes are on their website.

Russ & Daughters

Russ & Daughters

 

Russ & Daughters

Russ & Daughters

Judging by the crowds in Katz’s delicatessen, everyone who comes to New York eats there. It was a mad house so we didn’t stay to have one of their famous mile high pastrami sandwiches. This NY institution was founded in 1888. It’s where “Harry Met Sally.”

Katz's Deli

Katz’s Deli

At The Pickle Guys barrels and barrels of pickled goodies (not just pickles) beckon. There were many pickle stores on Essex Street at the turn of the 20th century. Stanley Feld warmly reminisces about “Jake, the pickle man.” Today, there is only the The Pickle Guys.

Pickles Galore!

Pickles Galore!

C & C Prosperity Dumplings has branched out from its original location in Chinatown. The dumplings are made to order and include vegetarian options. Delicious!

A Whole Lot of Dumplings

A Whole Lot of Dumplings

As if we weren’t full enough we had to have a doughnut at Doughnut Plant, our last stop. It was hard to choose. There were filled (jam, cream, custard), yeast, Tres Leches, and Blackout, among them. We went with the Valrone chocolate covered. A gourmet doughnut!

Everyone Loves Doughnuts

Everyone Loves Doughnuts

The nice thing about Free Tours By Foot is that you only pay for what you eat, a little or a lot. A gratuity for the guide is appreciated.

The Devil Is In The Details

 

Robert Rauschenberg once said, “Sunsets and strawberries never appear the same.” Margaret Drabble wrote, in The Red Queen, “Nothing comes from nowhere.”

#1274 Razzle, Dazzle, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2"

#1274 Razzle, Dazzle, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″

 

#1275 Hip, Hip, Hooray, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2" 20

#1275 Hip, Hip, Hooray, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″ 20

When I think about my work (because people ask) I realize it is always about exploring possibilities. Sometimes it’s moving forward, sometimes it’s stepping back. Inspiration can come from anything and anywhere, as complicated as the arc of travel, as simple as the mash up of colors in a bowl of fruit salad. A story, a piece of fabric, architectural details. How do I process all of these sensory experiences? How do I express them?

It’s a balancing act. Assessing, revising, adding, subtracting. The paintings and collages, for instance, are the result of the interplay of line, texture (real or implied), negative and positive space, and color (or lack of). How do the parts relate to the whole?

Where is the harmony? The dissonance? Experience with materials and technique is layered over intuition.

#1276 Going My Way?, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2"

#1276 Going My Way?, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″

#1277 It Takes Longer Than You Think, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2"

#1277 It Takes Longer Than You Think, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″

 

One person’s “serious” is another person’s “playful.” What are the connections within a work and to others that form a series? Must it tell a story or can you connect with it on a different level? Do you seek out metaphors as you study it? “… the eye of the beholder” may sound trite but it’s important to note that you, the viewer, bring much to the work to help you understand it.

#1278 Taking The High Road, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2"

#1278 Taking The High Road, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″

 

#1279 Flights of Fancy, collage 19 1:2x251:2"

#1279 Flights of Fancy, collage 19 1:2×251:2″

 

I have no control over how viewers will interpret or connect with my work. I give up control once I determine it is finished. Then, on to the next.

#1281 Rational Exuberance 2, acrylic painting on paper with collage 22x30"

#1281 Rational Exuberance 2, acrylic painting on paper with collage 22×30″

You can find more collages, plus paintings, prints and photographs on my website www.studio7310.com. Have at it!

P.S. If you subscribe to my blog it will go straight to your inbox.

Autumn Along The Oregon Coast

To get to Ashland, Oregon and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) Stanley and I decided to go by way of the Oregon coast. We started in Portland, headed south along the coast, then turned east to Ashland, stopping at several beach towns along the way.

Portland has a lot to offer within a reasonable walking distance from downtown. It’s reputation as a “foodie” town is well founded. For drinking and driving try the Brewcycle (we did not). Fortunately, there seemed to be an “official” driver. What a fun way to get around!

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There are restaurants and food trucks galore. Dessert, anyone?

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Not all the art in Portland resides in its museums. I saw two very different walls. One might have been commissioned, the other probably not.

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Some street markings for my “Underfoot” theme.

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The BIG Saturday market reminded me of the Arlo Guthrie song “You Can Get Anything You Want At ….” It’s under and around the bridge and near the river. It was a perfect day for shoppers and vendors alike. Colorful wares, busy sellers and musicians playing jazzy tunes. What could be better?

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Leaving Portland we made our way to the coast. First stop – Astoria, on the banks of the Columbia River. It is the oldest American community west of the Mississippi. There is a lot of Lewis and Clark history about. Our hotel was at the water’s edge, almost under the Astoria-Megler bridge which connects to Washington state. Miss the turn to the hotel and you are in Washington. We did.

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Astoria is a port town. We took in the sights along the waterfront, walking to the center of town. We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather. The birds were happy, too.

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To the coast! Cannon Beach is charming, at its best without the summer crowds. Shops, restaurants and art galleries to explore.

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We walked the almost deserted beach at sunset. The changing colors of the sea and sky transfixed us. It was a show just for the two of us.

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Newport next. A beach town whose waterfront is an interesting combination of industry (fishing) and shops and restaurants for tourists. It’s a bit “gritty”, not all gussied up. A walk along the water revealed this combination, plus a little funk.

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On to Ashland, our last stop, where we explored the town and markets each day before heading to the evening’s play at OSF. Remember the reason for the trip? BTW OSF is not only Shakespeare.

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Jacksonville is close by and offers offices, shops and restaurants (more eating!) in well-preserved 19th century buildings.

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I even found some “ghost” signs like this one, a reminder of things past.

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It was hard to leave Oregon. Another time, another trip.

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When Walls Need Painting

 

The house settles a bit. This is Dallas, after all. The soil is slightly unstable. Cracks appear in the walls. They’re easy to ignore for a while. Then the painter has to be called. That painter. The one who can tape, bed, texture and paint.

I had ignored the cracks in my studio walls and ceiling for too long, mainly because I dreaded the task of shifting large canvases and “stuff” to other parts of the studio. It took a bit of thinking to figure out which other parts of the studio could be the recipients. This is my Dallas studio, the second story of the house we built in 1972. I’ve worked here all through the years my kids were growing up, through grad school (University of North Texas – MFA) and a variety of art and non- art related work experiences.

The studio has served me well. It was primarily a painting studio. I was exposed to printmaking in graduate school. I loved it and continued with it later by taking courses at one of the local community colleges. The MacDowell Colony accepted me for printmaking and I spent almost a month there in my own studio with my very own press. I longed to have one but knew the floor upstairs couldn’t handle the weight.

My dream came through in 2000 when we built an art studio at our farm north of Dallas. I designed the studio to accommodate a large Takach etching press. Takach presses are handmade in Albuquerque NM and are beautiful machines. The studio is large and well lit and I can also paint, make collages and use my computer and printer for my photography.

As I moved things around in preparation for the painters I realized how much “stuff” an artist collects. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Not quite hoarders, but close. Cardboard and bubble wrap. Frames, frames and more frames. A roll of canvas so large and heavy I can hardly move it, but hey, it cost less per foot that way, right?

An unexpected delight came from moving the paintings. I saw paintings like this one I had not seen in years.

When Changes Occur acrylic painting, 53x68", 1987

When Changes Occur  acrylic painting, 53×68″, 1987

Those who know me know I have been a lifelong knitter. You knitters know about the ever growing “yarn stash.” I have that, too. I’m announcing my goal to not put back every single item once the painters are finished. Donate or throw away. I hope.

Meanwhile, here a few pictures of the studio as it looks during this transition.

IMG_6220 copy IMG_6221 copy IMG_6219 copy IMG_6222 copy IMG_6223 copy IMG_6224 copy IMG_6229 copy IMG_6227 copy IMG_6228 copyAny volunteers for putting things back?

 

 

Mills & More

I recently spent a long weekend in Greenville, SC with good friends Bruce and Alice Schlein. I was there to attend the opening of “Surfaces and Spaces: Photography of Cecelia Feld & Bruce Schlein”, our exhibit at the Pickens County Museum, about thirty miles from Greenville.

Bruce gave us a tour of the area between Greenville and Spartenburg which was once home to a large number of thriving textile mills, now mostly in various stages of decrepitude. The remains of these large buildings make interesting photographic subjects. Some of them are experiencing new life as condominium buildings.

Bradford Mills, for example, is undergoing renovation. The finished part is now the Greenville Center for Creative Arts (GCCA) with classrooms and exhibition spaces. It is a welcome addition to the Greenville Arts scene. The rest of the mill will be condos.

Beautiful old glass and window fittings in the GCCA make the space special.

Brandon Mills-Inside GCCA

Brandon Mills-Inside GCCA

 

GCCA

GCCA

Another mill, Glendale Mills in Spartenburg, occupied a large area on the water at Glendale Shoals. The remains of one of the buildings and foundations of others give one a sense of how large this complex was.

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

Glendale Shoals

Glendale Shoals

Glendale Shoals

Glendale Shoals

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

 

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

Glendale Mills

So much for the Mills. Now, for the “More.”

Here are a few more of Bruce’s graffiti laden walls. As I notice and photograph markings and notations on streets and sidewalks near and far, Bruce’s discerning eye lights on walls and spaces filled with all kinds of drawings and symbols. In his photos the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but look closely at the details.

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

 Bruce Schlein

Bruce Schlein

Here are a few more of my “Underfoot” photos from the exhibit. They are a bit more minimal than Bruce’s.

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

Cecelia Feld

I hope those of you who live in the area will see the show which is up until August 20. Spend some time with cool art on a hot summer day.

 

Pickens County Museum

307 Johnson St.

Pickens, SC 29671

(864) 898-5963

www.pickenscountymuseum.org

In Plain Sight

I am thrilled to be sharing the walls of the Pickens County Museum with my good friend of many years (notice I didn’t say “old friend”) Bruce Schlein. How a guy from New Jersey and a gal from New York came to spend most of their adult life in the south is a story for another day.

We are joining forces to present an exhibit called Surfaces and Spaces: Photography of Cecelia Feld and Bruce Schlein, which shows the interest we share in documenting particular aspects of our environment. Both of us like surfaces. I like city streets (horizontal planes). Bruce goes more for walls and fences (verticals). He also has an uncanny knack and a well-honed eye for finding hidden and often forgotten spaces.

Bruce’s photos of graffiti on walls explode with color and drama. His interiors are transformed by the quality of light hitting them.

Here are a few from Bruce that will be in the show.

Bruce graffiti 1Bruce graffiti 2Bruce graffiti 3Bruce graffiti 4

Bruce graffiti 5

People and places, near and far, are my subjects. My “Underfoot” series of photos came about when I started to notice how much of our environment had signage or other markings on streets and sidewalks. Every city in every country I’ve traveled to shows this kind of human presence.

Like these.

1. Edwards,CO 0819392. Dallas,TX DSCN7382 copy a.9. Vail,CO IMG_3645

10. San Fran,CA IMG_2084

Many of the marks have an abstract quality to them. Colorful lines, shapes and squiggles are drawn or painted on neutral backgrounds. They make me stop. What do they say about who was here?

6. NYC IMG_09707. NYC IMG_3988 copy15. Dallas,TX IMG_1282 copy17. NYC IMG_399318. Dallas,TX 075359

 

 

The Opening Reception is Saturday, June 27, 1-4pm

Pickens Museum of Art & History

307 Johnson St.

Pickens, SC 29671

(864) 898-5963

The exhibit runs through August 20

Y’all come!

Sneak A Peek

I will be exhibiting collages and mixed media paintings as part of an exhibit featuring me, Alsison Jardine and Carol Ordemann at modartists gallery in Dallas.

modartists gallery (Dallas Design District), 2514 Converse, tel:214-728-9000

The exhibit opens on Saturday April 25 with a reception from 5-8pm.

My collages, assembled from collagraphs, monotypes, etchings and found paper, and mixed media acrylic paintings all deal with the nature of abstraction.

My work, whether in printmaking, painting or collage is about exploring relationships. Bits and pieces from my visual experiences bump against each other. There are references in my work to the textures, colors, lines and shapes of things in the real world. The layering or unfolding of shapes, punctuations or expanses of color or character of a line order the picture plane. The resulting abstract images often allude to natural forms.

#1269 Untitled, mixed media acrylic painting on panel, 30x30", 2013

#1269 Untitled, mixed media acrylic painting on panel, 30×30″, 2013

#1270 Untitled mixed media acrylic painting on panel, 30x30", 2013

#1270 Untitled mixed media acrylic painting on panel, 30×30″, 2013

#1271 Untitled mixed media acrylic painting on panel, 30x30", 2013

#1271 Untitled mixed media acrylic painting on panel, 30×30″, 2013

The relationship of visual components in my paintings and collages is similar to what happens in jazz. There are themes and variations, repetitive devices, tensions and releases, riffs, harmony and dissonance. Like a jazz piece, there is a lot of improvisation. At each step in painting or making a print I may ask myself, “what if…?”, or “why not…?”, or “how about…?”

#1280 Rational Exuberance 1, acrylic painting on paper with collage 22x30" 2013

#1280 Rational Exuberance 1, acrylic painting on paper with collage 22×30″ 2013

What if I limit my color palette, what if I work in a more minimal way or, on the other hand, what about excessive exuberance? Large or small? Paint or paper? Or both. Anything can spark an idea – something seen, heard, imagined. The results are often unexpected, and even though I may have some idea of the general direction, like jazz, there can be many twists and turns along the way.

#1282 Rational Exuberance 3, acrylic painting on paper with  collage 22x30" 2014

#1282 Rational Exuberance 3, acrylic painting on paper with collage 22×30″ 2014

 

#1283 Rational Exuberance 4, acrylic painting on paper with  collage, 30x22", 2014

#1283 Rational Exuberance 4, acrylic painting on paper with collage, 30×22″, 2014

Sometimes I assemble the collage on painted paper. The acrylic painting weaves its way in, out, and around the collage. Negative space and positive space play games with one another. There are all kinds of things to discover in this group of collages called “Rational Exuberance.” This is a case of “more is more.”

#1284 Rational Exuberance 5, acrylic painting on paper with  collage, 30x22", 2014

#1284 Rational Exuberance 5, acrylic painting on paper with collage, 30×22″, 2014

Each step, expected, or unexpected, is the impetus to continue the exploration or the journey in this painting or print or the next one. Serendipity is the hallmark of my work. I love the unpredictability of working with paint, paper, ink and plate.

 

A Winter Walk

We’ve had a spate of very cold (for N. Texas) weather this December-January. Way below freezing some mornings at Woodcreek Ranch (a.k.a. the farm), our place north of Dallas. It warmed up as suddenly as it got cold, typical for N. Texas this time of year. That meant out of the studio and onto the Tally-Ho Trail. Years ago we cut a wide trail, named by my granddaughter Sabrina, through the woods on our property. The trail follows the winding Choctaw Creek. It’s a mile and a half round trip with a few gentle hills. It’s not Colorado, but good for Texas.

The trees are bare except for some lingering brown leaves on the oaks. The only sounds are from the birds and the crunch of leaves under my feet. The lines and shapes of the trees make distinctive patterns against each other and the sky, more now than at other times of the year. Textures leap out at me.

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Here and there I spot some very large old trees. How much longer they will stand is anyone’s guess.

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The angle of the sun in winter creates strong shadows, which play across the trail in unexpected places.

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The creek bed is almost completely dry right now, a sad sight. No matter how much rain we get it never seems to be enough. It does, however, have its own kind of beauty in the tangle of tree roots and vines hugging its sides and the branches collecting along the edge.

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Color isn’t completely absent. A spot of green here, a pinch of red there.

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Suddenly, there is this! What is this strange and beautiful growth all over a tree stump?

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Each season brings different things into focus along the trail. Each time I walk it I notice something I missed the time before. Nature has a way of doing that.

How lucky I am.

The 12 Days of Christmas

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places. From the spring spectacle of a bazillion blooming tulips of Dallas Blooms, to the summer perennial beds bordered by annuals, through fall and the amazing Pumpkin Patch, there is something for everyone at any season. Winter tends to be less colorful, which means the lines and shapes of the huge trees can be better appreciated.

The spare landscape was enhanced this winter by the addition of twelve 25-foot Victorian gazebos depicting the 12 Days of Christmas. The original idea was suggested by Phyllis and Tom McCasland and executed by Dallas Opera production designer Tommy Bourgeous and Greg Blackburn (Dallas Stage Scenery). Two years later, here it is!

Nighttime was the perfect time to view the exhibit. The lights in the trees cast a soft glow along the paths of the garden as we wandered from #1 to #12. Music added to the charming scenes.

We got lucky, getting tickets for a night with balmy 60degree temperatures. You never know what December will bring in N.Texas.

Spectacular does not begin to describe the gazebos. The colors, the gem-like settings and the life-size costumed-figures, many with mechanical, moving parts, take your breath away.

Here they are!

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,

A Partridge In A Pear Tree

A Partridge In A Pear Tree

A Partridge In A Pear Tree

On the second day – Two Turtle Doves

Two Turtle Doves

Two Turtle Doves

On the third day – Three French Hens

Three French Hens

Three French Hens

On the fourth day – Four Calling Birds

Four Calling Birds

Four Calling Birds

On the fifth day –  Five Golden Rings

Five Golden Rings

Five Golden Rings

On the sixth day – Six Geese A-Laying

Six Geese A-Laying

Six Geese A-Laying

On the seventh day – Seven Swans A-Swimming

Seven Swans A-Swimming

Seven Swans A-Swimming

On the eighth day –  Eight Maids A-Milking

Eight Maids A-Milking

Eight Maids A-Milking

On the ninth day – Nine Ladies Dancing

Nine Ladies Dancing

Nine Ladies Dancing

On the tenth day – Ten Lords A-Leaping

Ten Lords A-Leaping

Ten Lords A-Leaping

On the eleventh day – Eleven Pipers Piping

Eleven Pipers Piping

Eleven Pipers Piping

On the twelfth day – Twelve Drummers Drumming

Twelve Drummers Drumming

Twelve Drummers Drumming

 

The exhibit will be up through January 4, 2015. I can’t promise snow, but I can promise you will enjoy this magical display.

New York City – After Dark

 

10 days. 240 hours. NYC – the city that never sleeps. Not an understatement. 42nd St., Times Square, Broadway. Always crowded with people coming and going – to the theater, to restaurants, to stores, or just coming and going. Any night, in good weather, seems like New Year’s Eve.

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The Great White Way is a sea of neon. What would you like to buy? Where would you like to go? What would you like to eat, drink, drive? It’s up there in lights. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is taking pictures. Give us a warm fall evening, a camera or a phone, and we’re on it!

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Off the street, high up, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, at Lincoln Center, offers up some of the best jazz in town.

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11PM. Let’s not forget to find a spot away from the madding crowd to replenish and prepare for another day.

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This concludes my three blogs on NYC Fall 2014. Scroll down for #1 and #2. It will be nice to remember as winter takes hold and the scenes change.

Happy traveling!