Texas Rambles

I came to Dallas in 1969. From then, until Covid-19, hubby and I traveled a lot. We traveled to countries near and far, throughout the U.S. and much of Texas. We have not seen all of Texas, it is big, you know, but we have seen a lot; large, medium and small cities and towns and parts that are still rural and undeveloped, although for how much longer I can’t say.

Recently, looking at photos taken during those travelin’ days, I was reminded of the impact that those places had on me. How extraordinary the most ordinary things can seem if looked at in a different way.

With that in mind, I invite you to join me as I mosey down the highways and (mostly) byways of Texas, a big state with similarities throughout and great differences east to west and north to south. The stops along the way are in no particular order but they are real places and can be found on any Texas map.

Along many country roads there are buildings, still standing, which make a statement, sometimes hard to miss, sometimes easy to dismiss. They arouse my sense of curiosity and make me want to stop and ponder – who, when, why?

 

St. Jo

Honey Grove

Round Top

Whitewright

Honey Grove

Whitewright

Bells

You have to slow down (literally) when small towns are along your route or your destination. Main Street, where businesses once thrived still have “Antique” stores containing all those reminders of bygone days.

Comfort

Comfort

Honey Grove

Sherman

Nacoma

McKinney

The local café was always a place to stop, stretch and grab a bite. Some had quite a reputation.

Round Top

Round Top

Jefferson

Jefferson

Ferris

As I walked the streets of these small cities and towns I found myself hoping that the attempts at gentrifying and repurposing the neglected or vacant buildings would be successful. The parts of town that are not front and center often have “character” which is a way of saying they were once important and in some cases still are although they could use a good dose of TLC. Then there’s the question, “If you build it, will they come?”

Cisco

Honey Grove

Whitewright

Denison

Nacoma

McKinney

Texans are generally gregarious and like to gather at auctions, on front porches and county fairs. Small towns are famous for all of those.

Denison

Denison

Ravenna

Whitewright

Fannin County Fair

We went to Marfa, in West Texas, many years ago. Marfa gained notoriety when the Chinati Foundation was established; Donald Judd’s sculptures are displayed inside and outside on the many acres around the building. It became a mecca for tourists and gave a decided “bump” to the town where Judd lived.

Chinati, Marfa

Chinati, Marfa

There are more places on my Texas Rambles list, too many for one blog. When travel once again becomes a reality (I hope), remind yourself that the ordinary can become the extraordinary if you stop and look, really look.

McKinney

McKinney

As one of my favorite country singers says, “I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

 

 

 

Who’s On First?

This is about ball caps, specifically those belonging to Stanley Feld. In an effort to de-clutter, a la Marie Kondo (“The Art of Tidying Up”), I persuaded Stan to document all his caps, keep the most beloved, and donate the rest. Thus was born the Ball Cap Project. What better way to start 2021, ten months into the pandemic?

Would you believe me if I told you there were more than 100 caps in various places all over the house? I know there is a song or poem there. This abundance of headgear fell into several categories; sports teams, travel, farm/ranch, hotels/resorts, bands, entertainment venues, and colleges/universities.

As we sorted through the piles I feared Stan would get lost in a sea of nostalgia, reminiscing about where, why and how he acquired each cap. But he was a good trooper and happily posed for a keepsake photo in each one he kept. That kept us moving along nicely. Still too many in my opinion, but you can’t win ‘em all. Another time, another Marie Kondo try.

To quote Rod Stewart, “he is my lover, he’s my best friend…”

And so, here’s to my guy, Stan the man.

Florida Marlins

Colorado Rockies

Dallas Cowboys

San Francisco Giants

Univ. of Kansas

Univ. of Illinois

California Angels

Boston Red Sox

Cleveland Indians

Univ. of Illinois

California Angels

Boston Red Sox

Univ. of Nebraska

St. Louis Cardinals

Univ. of Utah

Dallas Mavericks

Univ. of Missouri

Omaha Royals

Minn.

NY Yankees

Texas Rangers

Astros/Rangers

NY Mets

Texas Tech

Midland Angels

Chicago White Sox

Montreal Canadians

Seattle Mariners

Philadelphia Phillies

Baltimore Orioles

Montreal Expos

Brooklyn Dodgers

Detroit Tigers

It’s A Wrap

The collage series TIME is finished (maybe). The previous blog, “Since I Don’t Write Poetry”, described the how and why of #1366-1369. I posted questions in that blog that I asked you to ponder. The last two collages in the series are #1370 and #1371.

Each element in the collage is a shape that can be named and exists as a ‘thing.” When it becomes part of another thing it becomes something else. Continuing to add elements continues the change even further. The parts lose their identity, as they become the new entity. The end result (the collage) is the sum of its parts.

Here is #1370 “This Time”

#1370 This Time

I thought it might be fun to show a bit of the sequence in assembling the collage. It may take the fun out of guessing how it all comes together but I’m not really giving away any secrets. So, here are some shots showing areas before and after collage elements have been added to #1371 which is at the end.

#1371

#1371

#1371

#1371

#1371

#1371

 

Here is the finished collage #1371 with all of its relationships for you to consider.

#1371 That Time

The idea of mindfulness in meditation is what I apply to my art practice. It is being present and open to the possibilities that arise during the time spent working on a project. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. I just didn’t know what it was called. I have the following poem tacked to my studio wall. It is a powerful reminder of the need for mindfulness, in art and life, especially now.

WORDS FOR EACH DAY

Daisen-In Temple (Zen), Kyoto, Japan

Each day in life is training.

Training for myself.

Though failure is possible.

Living each moment.

Equal to anything.

Ready for everything.

I am alive.

I am this moment.

My future is here and now.

For if I cannot endure today when and where will I.

 

Be well, my friends, and practice mindfulness.

JOY

I’ve been thinking about the meaning of the word joy and how to find it and embrace it in this off-kilter time, the year 2020.

I have come upon scenes of joy in so many places all around the world. I explored my archives and found images of people and places that caught my attention for their expression of joy. Often, something in a place that made me smile. People, young and old, near and far, anytime, anywhere doing something that makes them happy. Smiles. Joy!

Here is what I found.

Eat Dessert First

CU Boulder

Feld Days Spring Creek E.S.

Vietnam

Japan

Japan

Japan

Japan

Chile

Buenos Aires, Arg.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

A Must Have, NYC

Music In The Subway, NYC

Boston

Redstone, CO

Music at the Met, NYC

An Unexpected Pleasure, NYC

Ljubljana

So Many To Choose, Ljubljana

Beaver Creek, Co

Cinque Terre, Italy

What a Ride, Cinque Terre, Italy

Travel and photography are experiences that bring me joy. Another, which occupies more of my time, especially during these months of isolation, is working in my studio. It is the joy of discovery working with familiar or unfamiliar materials. The what-ifs, maybes and perhaps. Keep this, change that, see what happens. The road to discovery can be straight-ahead or long and winding. Minutes, hours, days, or weeks. No matter. I sink down into the work at hand and emerge at some point thinking “finished” or “unfinished.” That’s it. Next.

My Studio

Outside my studio is the natural beauty of my farm in North Texas. It exerts its special brand of calmness on me and brings me huge amounts of joy. A special part is the Tally-Ho Trail, named by my granddaughter when she was young. It meanders through the woods, gently rising and falling, twisting and turning, following the creek. It’s not Colorado, but it’s our little piece of heaven in Texas. I’ll be on it as soon as it cools off. Summer does seem to last forever here.

Tally Ho Trail

Joy can be a small thing or a big thing. If we open our hearts to the possibility of giving and receiving JOY who knows what might happen?

Life Is Art

 

 

Since I Don’t Write Poetry

I am continuing to construct collages on suminagashi marbled paper. The concept of time, during the Covid19 pandemic, is strange and weird. I’ve used the word “time” in the titles of these new collages to encourage thinking about various aspects of the collage.

In poetry there are what I think of as “breaths” between words or phrases. The relationships of shapes, lines, colors and spaces in between function in much the same way in the collage. Is it a stretch to say those relationships may act as metaphors which provoke thoughts (memories?) and feelings?

Here is #1366 “Time Will Tell.”

What are your reactions?

#1366 Time Will Tell collage on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30 2020

#1366 Detail

Compare it to #1367 “Time-less.”

How are the relationships of shapes, colors and lines different? What is the “flow” or rhythm? How does the movement relate to the marbling?

#1367 Time-less collage on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30 2020

Here is #1368 “Another Time.”

#1368 Another Time collage on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30 2020

#1368 Detail

 

This is #1369 “Time For…”

#1369 Time For… collage on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30 2020

The collages were constructed on 22” x 30’” paper. Not small, but not huge. Try to picture that size and think about how near or far you would have to be to take it all in and see the relationships I’m talking about.

This is my wordless poetry.

A Pandemic Diary In Pictures – Part 2

Days turned into weeks, then months. Still “sheltering in place”, still walking the Preston Ridge Trail early in the morning. Strength training at home. Still noticing.

Home Gym

No Children At Play

Shadow AM

Street Abstract

The Crossing

X

Have A Good Day

Closed Until Further Notice

Some things made me smile. Oh, happy day!

Over The Rainbow

Happy Birthday Henry

Happy Birthday Neighbor

Shout Out

Social distancing? Yeah, we got it!

Make Way For Ducklings

It was time to go to our farm. In the car, door to door, no stopping on the way. No one at either house but hubby and me. Spring had sprung!

Thankful For Small Favors

There’s nothing like a Texas sky to remind me to look at the big picture and a brilliant sunset to fill my heart with hope for the future.

Gratitude

At The End Of The Day

Maybe I’ll get a haircut soon.

 

A Pandemic Diary In Pictures – Part 1

We are ordinary people living in an extraordinary time. I am thankful for the roof over my head and food on my table. Wearing the same clothes for too many days (weeks?) is a minor inconvenience. I won’t list the things I miss. Everyone else has done that.

Hubby and I decided to “shelter in place” at our house in Dallas and temporarily forgo our weekly trips to our farm north of Dallas, at least for the near future. I decided to document my days at home by photographing the simple, usually unnoticed, things in my surroundings. It was a good exercise is “noticing.”

Spring arrives in Texas early, sometime in March, about the same time we received the stay at home order and my local gym closed. About five minutes from my house is the Preston Ridge Trail, a mixed-use trail that goes on for miles and is never crowded. A four-mile early morning walk became my daily aerobic workout (mask included). The absence of people was striking.

No Players, No Fans

Caution

Crossing Ahead

Hello, Anybody There?

No One On The Trail

Underfoot, Dallas

Abandoned

At home there is more cooking than usual which is O.K. since I like to cook. Maybe not quite this much. So much food prep meant more “noticing.”

Washed & Ready To Eat

Last One

Home Cooking

If You Wait Long Enough

Time To Clean

Plus, a bit of early spring to brighten up the table.

Irises Say Spring

I am a solitary person by nature, enjoying my alone time in my art studio. As an artist I am used to having large blocks of uninterrupted time, so the forced isolation was not as much of a problem for me as for others. I missed everything that filled my non-working hours, family, friends, dining out, cultural outings, travel, etc., etc. There is extra time for hobbies, one of which is knitting. I’ve been a knitter since I was eight years old (thanks, Mom). There is always something on my needles.

Ready To Knit

The house is quiet, inside and outside.

Morning Joe

Gone to Sleep

Hidden From View

Inside/Outside

Nightfall

Patio At Night

To be continued (Part 2).

 

Prom-Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

2020-21’s high school seniors have been struck a blow by Covid-19. Prom has an / through it. Cancelled! All the planning, excitement, decisions about dates, outfits, pictures, dances, etc., gone in an instant. The event, marking the end of an era, will not happen. I know they will find creative ways to be “together” apart, but it won’t be the same. I felt for them as I thought back to my own prom (ancient history) something I had not done in a long time.

Prom, for me, was a double header! That’s an apt analogy because the guy who took me to my prom and the guy who took me to his was the same guy and did he ever love baseball. He played in high school (Taft H.S., Bronx NY)) and was a fervent Yankees fan.

We had our first date on March 31, 1959. How we met is a story for another day. I was a senior at the High School of Music and Art. M&A and the High School of Performing Arts merged shortly after I graduated and established a new school at Lincoln Center with the unwieldy name of Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Whew! My date, Stanley Feld, was a senior at Columbia College. I know, he “robbed the cradle.” He also expertly wooed my mom and dad and came with a great recommendation from his aunt who knew my mother. What aunt wouldn’t give her nephew a great recommendation?

M&A and Columbia had senior proms sometime in May before graduation in June. Senior proms were generally held in May or June before the end of the school year. The end of an era! They were formal affairs with girls in poofy dresses and guys in tuxes. The dresses may have been strapless but unlike today’s affairs, not much skin showed elsewhere. Pretty sedate, actually, but very pretty with pastel colors dominating. Since I was going to two proms I bought two dresses, which was very extravagant for a middle class Bronx girl. Stan rented his tux for each night. Lucky guy! I never wore those dresses again. Did you know that “prom” is short for promenade? That makes sense – there was a lot of promenading about, checking out each other’s attire and dates.

Stanley & Cecelia

Stanley & Cecelia

My prom was an evening of dinner and dancing at the Copacabana, a legendary New York nightclub near Times Square. It’s still there, hopefully shuttered only temporarily, its bands playing more of today’s music for a hip crowd. Stan’s prom event was a bit more adventurous. There was probably dinner and dancing at Columbia (Manhattan). Neither of us can remember. The evening continued afterwards with a train ride (subway) down to South Ferry at the tip of Manhattan). No car, no Uber. It was some kind of crazy tradition. We rode the ferry to Staten Island and returned on the ferry at some god-awful hour of night/early morning. We took the train to the Bronx to bring me home, maybe taking a cab from the train to my house. I’m sure we didn’t walk. My date got me home sometime in the early morning. Fortunately, Stan’s house was not too far away. We were beat!

The 1959 school year concluded with the two fun and exciting proms and two graduations. Fall 1959 would see me starting Hunter College and Stan starting Downstate Medical Center. We would continue to date, get engaged, graduate from Hunter and Downstate and marry at the end of the four years (1963).

1959 was the end of a decade. The 60’s would be turbulent; JFK’s assassination, the Vietnam was (and its protests), LBJ’s Great Society legislation, including passage of the Civil Rights acts, and Woodstock.

A few years ago, as I was about to enter a restaurant in Dallas, I came upon a group of Prom revelers entering the same restaurant. I took a few pictures of them. Don’t they look grand, all dressed up and ready to party?

Prom-Dallas

Prom-Dallas

Prom-Dallas

Prom-Dallas

Prom-Dallas

Prom-Dallas

While we know the “new” normal will be different we don’t yet know how it will look. I hope the class of 2021-22 will be able to celebrate Prom in style. They deserve it!

 

 

LOVE (in the time of Covid-19)

As I sit at home, hoping everyone I know is healthy and safe, I’ve taken some time to revisit, via my photos, places near and far that I’ve traveled to over the years.

What amazes me, during this time of “social distancing” and “sheltering in place” is that regardless of where I travel I am drawn to markets and groups of people engaged in activities of daily life. So much has changed. Looking at these pictures is distressing but, in a way, hopeful. Maybe, when the time comes to “gather” again we will remember that we are a social species and welcome being physically present with friends and strangers.

Meanwhile, why wait until next Valentine’s Day to express your love? The time is now! In that spirit “I give you love, love, love, love, crazy love.” (Van Morrison, paraphrased)

Here are some of my pictures expressing the many dimensions of LOVE. I hope they lift your spirits, make you smile and put on your dancing shoes.

Rodeo Pals, Texas

Ranch, Argentina

Ennis, Texas

Rome, Italy

Cherry Blossom Time, Japan

Ride Sharing, India

Making Music, India

Tango, Buenos Aires

Heartfelt, Texas

Friends, Chile, Argentina

Kids, Calafate, Argentina

Kids, Siglo, Iceland

Getting Ready, Boston

Prom, Dallas

Taking A Ride, Zagreb

May I?

Have HeART

Love Locks, Copenhagen

From Dubrovnik With Love

Blow A Kiss, Vietman

Grapevine, Texas

“If somebody says something beautiful to you, you can remember it forever.” (Janet McTeer, actress)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghostly Impressions

I continue to explore the art of collage on suminagashi, marbled paper. In this series, called “Ghostly Impressions”, the collage incorporates a photograph and sun print in addition to areas of monotype and found paper.

The photo is one of many I’ve taken of “remainders” or “ghosts” on old buildings. They often indicate what company owned or leased the building. It’s a nice reminder of the past, which I want to capture. Faded, yes, but still hanging around although maybe, not for long.

The images on the sun print paper appear, like magic, after the paper is washed off. Kids love the process. I do, too! Like the signs on buildings, these images have a “ghostly” appearance.

There are a number of steps in constructing the layers of the collage.

First, the marbled paper is made using special inks, which float on the water in a tray. I swirl the ink into patterns. The paper is laid down on top of the water (carefully!) and lifted off (very carefully!) to reveal the pattern. This technique is old news to those of you who have been following my blog.

Here is what the marbled paper looks like, ready for collage.

Suminagashi marbled paper

Next, using my etching press, I add inked items to create a monotype on the marbled paper which I have dampened. It looks like this.

#1361 Fancy That

I have the ghost sign photo and the sun print ready. I adhere them to the monotype on marbled paper.

#1361 Fancy That

The last layer consists of shapes cut from found paper (i.e. magazines, other ephemera), my discarded prints and cut out marbled paper. Finished!

#1361 Fancy That   collage w. photo, sun print on suminagashi marbled paper, 22×30″ 2019

#1361 Fancy That – Detail

Here is another, partially completed. # 1365 “Layer Up”

#1365 Layer Up

Here it is finished!

#1365 Layer Up  collage w. photo, sun print on suminagashi marbled paper, 22×30 2019

I’ll be posting more from the series on my website soon. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, check out the previous group of prints + sun prints under New Work at https://www.studio7310.com.