Check out this article written by my daughter Anna in the Philadelphia Inquirer about New Year's Eve parties at our house in days gone by. Great recipes for fun and food!
This picture appeared in the print edition but didn't make it to the on line version.
The computer has brought about a big change in publishing. Some say that the printed word will soon be extinct and we will do all our information gathering and pleasurable reading on line or on Kindle. I don't think so. In fact I think there will be more books than ever, as it is now possible to publish your own book without going through all the aggravation and disappointment of trying to find a publisher or the huge expense of vanity publishing as it was in the past. Finding a publisher can be more difficult than writing a book. For instance most children's book publishers don't even accept unsolicited manuscripts, so you must hire an agent to even get your book into the hands of a potential publisher.
Now, however, it is possible to write and illustrate (if necessary) your book at home on your computer and pay a minimum amount for each book as it is sold without having to invest in 500 or 1000 volumes. This is going to allow people who previously would not be able to find a publisher to make their work available to anyone. There will be more books and there will be more unusual books. The problem of course for the authors of books that are self published is distribution. They do not have a huge marketing staff or publicity machine to get their titles to the public. Some enterprising person with marketing skills will probably come along to solve this problem but in the mean time it is up to the authors to make their own markets.
All this is leading up to the suggestion that you give one of my books as a present to someone for the Holidays and/or send a link to a book to someone who might be interested.
My newest book is OLIVE AND STICKY BEAR. This is a book for young children with a link to the song available at the end so the child can hear and see the book and later look at the pictures on their own while you sing to them.
JOE AND THE ADOBIANS is a book for children 5 to 9. It is a fable for the 21st century. It takes you into the heart of a lonely boy trapped in his fears. Through his imagination and a few tricks, he discovers a way out of his isolation. It is a book about magic, art and above all “seeing”. Richly Illustrated, it is a treat for the eye and a puzzle. How did Joe ‘find’ the Adobians? POSTCARDS FROM MERION for a teacher, hostess, client, friend or anyone who lives in the Main Line is an inexpensive book of oil paintings and notes from my blog. And for a big coffee table book for anyone who loves music and color, IF C IS RED, a large format description of my method of translating music to color in 2 dimensions. It contains lots of beautiful illustrations of music by classical composers.
Finally got back to painting after finishing Olive and Sticky Bear. A friend sent me this dramatic photo in hopes I would paint it. I may do that, but for some reason I was drawn to the rather dark and mysterious door found when I zoomed in.
I am beginning a new period of painting so a door seems appropriate. Not sure where I'm going and the oddness of this door reflects my emotional state.
For some reason very dark colors seem to reflect every nuance in the surface of the paint in a way that does not appear under normal light, so the door looks even more uncomfortable in reproduction.
Olive and Sticky Bear (the book) is now available on Amazon. And there is a new video to go along with it with better music. My friend Bob Loy, who is a fine musician, played the guitar for the video and my daughter Gail Herrine sang with me this time, filling out the music. Now it is possible for a child to see the video and then have a book to hold in their hand and look at the pictures. Olive, the star of the video, my dear granddaughter, is already singing along, so in that respect it is a success.
Sorry it has been over a month since I posted. I have been bogged down with the song Olive and Sticky Bear. I added a verse or two and have been working on the video to go along with the book. I wanted to sing into my computer but could not find a way to do it until I got an iPhone. I have now joined the 21st century and am an owner of an iphone. Here is a version of the video. My voice leaves something to be desired so it will not be the last. Olive and Sticky Bear
Here is the second page of the coloring/song book. Okay I know this is not A.A. Milne but the lyrics are: "Sticky Bear put his paws in the honey, Olive said, 'Oh that isn't very funny', Sticky Bear, Oh Sticky Bear." This is the Olive said ,"Oh that isn't very funny page".
We went to Coney Island to take pictures for this. It was a beautiful warm day this month. The water was warm enough to swim and we had a great time. I hope to get more of the Coney Island experience into the book.
About 45 years ago I made up a song for my little son David called Sticky Bear. He liked it a lot so it became a favorite to sing to children and grandchildren. When I sang it to Olive, my 2 year old granddaughter, star of THE RED BIKE, she kept asking for "Bear". So I have decided to make a coloring book, song book and video of STICKY BEAR with Olive as the main player. Here is the first page of the coloring book (probably) and the colored version for the song book and video. I'll post as I go along. Needed a background for these two, so could not resist using one of the first wall hangings I ever made, Mystic Blue. All suggestions for additions and changes welcome.
I love all the shades of brown and yellow in this painting. One rarely looks under the table to see what's going on down there but it can be quite interesting. I personally hate shoes and consequently love to be barefoot. These are not my feet but they seem happy to be without shoes and firmly planted on the floor.
A good book on the beach on a sunny day with nothing to do but relax and live in another world for an hour or two. It is especially nice when you know that whenever you get too hot you can dive into the ocean and cool off. This summer in Ocean City the water was warm, the surf calm and every day a sunny one. Ah....summer!
I began this painting yesterday. I like the way it looks right now as the woman seems to be working her way into the scene with her glasses and hat, while the boy is engrossed in his book. I am looking forward to the texture of the sand and the texture of her bathing suit which has little dots, but for now the flatness really appeals to me. I am going to make a coloring book for sure for my 2 year old granddaughter. It may not be what the art world would deem a proper introduction to creating 'art', but I had so much fun with coloring books when I was growing up that I have to give her the same experience.
This is a rather strange painting, I admit. I have been fascinated by this image for a couple of years. It is one of me reflected in the window of an antique shop. I am wearing my folding sun hat, which is rather odd, but handy, sun glasses, and I am peering so intently at....what, myself? The crooked window frame and the odd shapes of the antiques (looks like an old coffee grinder to me) complete the scenario. I feel there is a story here that I haven't figured out yet.
Going back to the seashore in my mind and my heart brings back all the memories of past years there. The teen years were especially memorable with all that longing. What was it all about? At the time it seemed to be centered on the oposite sex but it was more than that I think. A longing to be accepted, to be a part of something bigger than the family or maybe longing is simply built in to being a teenager. We loose the unselfconscious joy-hood that childhood can be and don't have any skills to master the great chore of adulthood. We want to have sex for sure but have no idea what the ramifications of sex will be and certainly don't want to be parents. It is truly a period between a rock and a hard place.
Life guards are always a focus of a young girl's heart. The beach is a hunting ground. Bodies are exposed and on parade.
Back to the reality of life at home. It has been a glorious summer in my garden. Plenty of rain and, with the exception of a very persistent band of Japanese Beatles, no series bugs. I have been adding fresh vegetables to my salad every day. This is for me one of the joys of daily life in the summer. Planting, harvesting and eating my own food. It gives me a good reason to enjoy nature, watch things grow and feel that I am doing something good for myself every day. The flowers encourage bees and butterflies, both in need of unpolluted nectar, and they are a joy every day to anyone who loves color as I do. Tomatoes from the supermarket are a sad version of the real thing. I had my first large tomato from the garden yesterday and it was fabulous. The small golden ones have been flavoring my salads for weeks with their bursts of sugar. Hooray for summer!
Who hasn't thrilled at the prospect of a week or two at the beach when you were young? At any age making sand castles is fun and a morning swim in the ocean is an ecstatic experience. i am revisiting paintings from the shore to get ready for my next visit. Half the fun of a vacation is anticipation.
One of the things I like about Ocean City is the sidewalks. You can walk anywhere on a sidewalk, unlike many seaside places where there may be more spaces between homes but very often you end up walking along a highway to get anywhere. Everything is very civilized in Ocean City - some would say too civilized as there is no alcohol allowed. The housing stock says "seashore" to me and I love it. Here are two paintings of those houses including one of Grace Kelly's home at the shore when she was young.
It is getting to be seashore time for me. Every year (almost) since I was born I have gone to the Jersey shore for at least a week. Usually it's Ocean City but sometimes Long Beach Island. My grandparents had a house on Bay Road in Ocean City. For many years I sat on their porch, which was on the second floor, so we had a good view of the bay, and gazed longingly at the boats going by. We never crossed the street to visit our neighbors on the other side. I didn't think this was odd for many years. There were awnings on this porch and one of the more debated topics of the porch sitters was when to put them up or down. It is no accident that I have painted awnings more than once. I find them interesting. They keep out the hot sun but they also filter the light so you can be bathed in a golden glow. For me those days on the porch in the innocence of my youth are bathed in that kind of light. Time is the awning blocking out all the unhappiness and leaving only that rosy glow.
12" x 12"
oil on streched canvas
6" x 9"
oil on canvas board
. Here is a link to another post about porch sitting: http://postcardsfromthemainline.blogspot.com/2011/09/whites.html
This is quite a good article as it gives you some idea of the atmosphere at the camp. I have had a little difficulty getting some of the kids to knuckle down and get to work. They are good natured, for the most part, but sadly lacking in the ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that we are outside and it is summer. Anyway they are making a video about the camp and I am making a video about the camp and they are also breaking up in groups of two to make a video of one minute in length. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. Stay tuned.
I hope you are wondering where I have been. My absence began because I had some minor surgery and decided to just sit around quietly and read on the porch to heal and revive my spirit. That was very satisfying as I had several good books. Then there were men working on the roof who had to be moving through my studio and I just couldn't face the constant interruptions. Underneath it all however was the desire to do something different with my work. I didn't know esactly what I wanted to do, but I couldn't get excited about any of the projects I had ready to go.
I have been gardening quite happily this year after last year's very unpleasant need to remove lots of perrenials for the whole season into pots and cover my garden in order to get rid of the dread Pinellia and Gout weed. The garden replanted in the fall looks great this year, in spite of the year spent in pots.
While admiring the lovely shades of purple and blue reflected in the swimming pool I realized this is my next painting....and it has to be big. It is going to require a lot of photos and painting from life to get the colors just right and I will be telling you all about it as I go along.
Here is a photo collage of about twelve images pieced together in Photoshop that is something like what I'm shooting for. It happens around 7:30 in the morning and will be 40" x 32". The flowers will fade before I get it finished so my job now is to make enough notes of the colors so that I will be able to get into the final work whatever it is about the color combinations that move me now.
Traveling by Google maps into Russia, I was cruising down a major highway looking for something to paint when I came upon this colorful roadside stand and two bearded gents peering out from the forest waiting for customers. Looks like something from a Russian novel.
'Trash Day' is finished and dry. After all the choices I found in Photoshop I ended up painting a piece of the photograph pretty much the way it was minus the trash barrel. The dramatic tree shadow will have to wait for a square canvas. I am pleased with the outcome. The boy seems somewhat burdened by his load of trash but cozy in the sun with the tree pushing him forward into the net of shadows.
While I am removing the barrel from the 'Boy with the Trash' painting and it is drying, here is the painting I did before that one.
I had a hard time deciding what to call this one, as you might imagine. It is an odd subject but it fits in with my objective of catching everyday activities.
This girl is caught, first of all in the space. Second she is caught in the duty of walking her dog when she would probably rather simply be roller skating down the street. Third she is caught in the civic responsibility of cleaning up after the dog. Third I caught her, all dressed in her matching outfit with pom poms on her toes, in the always embarrassing act of picking up dog poop.