Friday, November 26, 2010

Bird Song in Winter And a Typing Lesson

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! I did less eating and more painting this year....:) This week, I did a painting of a beagle which I will be posting soon. Till then, here is a chirping bird. It's painted on a page from an old typing lesson book. Thus the title "Clickety Clack." The paper took the acrylic paint really well. This image, along with a few others is available as a print on my website

And, ok, sorry, this post is not an actual
typing lesson, per se.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recycling Makes Me Happy

I am vegan. And I try to eat raw food as much as possible. One of the most thrilling (yes, thrilling) things about a raw food diet is: there's no packaging waste! I love that! There might be a banana peel or an apple stem, but that stuff continues being extremely useful in the world of decomposition.

However, I do sometimes have in a plastic pouch or deli-style container - see photo above - and whenever possible, I wash and use and re-use that plastic thing over and over again. I store my cut onions and tomatoes in them. Or I pack my lunch into various components in them. They stack beautifully in one's back pack and some styles of these containers, if sealed properly, are pretty much water tight. I save money by bringing lunch and by not buying any new plastic stuff...and best of all, it gives me the feeling of being a citizen of the world and a friend to nature. All that from re-using plastic containers!

Have you tried re-using the many forms of plastic packaging that come your way?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's Your Favorite Dog Breed?

People have been saying nice things about my dog portraits. I did the boxer above (and the Italian Greyhound from another post) as examples of pet portraits. But I think people are finding the idea of a pet portrait a little too extravagant these days, so they have more often asking me for a generic, yet favorite breed. What is your favorite breed of dog? Leave a comment below!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A beautiful Photo Taken At Sunset Tonight...

.....from my apartment window. I was sitting at my computer and looked out the window...the light was extraordinary. It was overcast and grey, but the sun, setting on the opposite side of my building, was being reflected in the window across the street and was very bright. So gorgeous! I jumped up and took this picture:

Introducing 99, Saturn and Mr. Sweetie

It really is time that the world got to know them, so here they are. Doing one of the things they do best...sleep and/or lounge around. The first photo with the mannekin is Saturn and 99, in a synchronized lounging position, with a symmetrical twist. The second photo has 99 and Mr. Sweetie in a nearly perfect yin yang configuration of sleep. I will be posting more of these lovelies in the coming days.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photo of the Day on - It's Me!

Back in September, Karen Seiger came by my display at the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park in Brooklyn and took some pictures. Next thing I know, I'm her Photo of the Day for today. With a photo of this dog portrait I did. Thank you Karen!

Hi It's me!


Yikes. I do realize it's been a long time since my last post. I vow as of today to update with a piece of art and a post daily. Ok.....go!

The drawing above is a detail of a larger pencil drawing done in 2003. It is of my cat Saturn. She's a very friendly, 13 y.o. girl. I have a new website with my portfolio on it. Please visit where you'll see this drawing and a lot more!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hello out there! Above is one of my small watercolors. That is, it is 2.5 inches wide by 3.75 inches high. It is of the top of the Empire State Building, looking north from 14th Street in Union Square. I moved downtown from in front of the Met and have been selling my artwork at Union Square. It is fun, interesting and lots of hard work! Just wanted to check in. Pretty tired right now and have to get up early tomorrow Wednesday. It gets really crowded because Wednesday is a day when the food vendors are there, so more artists show up to sell, expecting a bigger crowd.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Draw In The Sunshine

We had gorgeous weather this past weekend in New York City and on Sunday I did something that I have wanted to try for a very long time......I set up an easel in front of the Metropolitan Museum and sold some little tiny watercolors. If you want to know how tiny, look at the photo above. You will see a hand holding the watercolor. That is how tiny. It's about 2.5 by 3.5 inches. This one is of a building I could see from where I stood on Fifth Avenue in front of the Museum. It was fun and I met a lot of really great people. I met artists, non-artists, art-lovers, art collectors and various permutations of these. I displayed watercolors that I had already and also managed to do about 4 or 5 new watercolors while I stood there which sold as well.

Had three pieces up at the Dumbo Arts Center Pop Up Fundraiser Show last weekend. They were fairly large for me - all approximately 21 by 24 inches. (Will be posting images soon!)

Also, finished the No Impact Week with Colin Beavan. Well, didn't actually finish it. It was a group of great people and apparently there are plans to meet for a dinner in a few weeks. I can say that my awareness has been raised by leaps and bounds, and in a future post I will talk about some of the changes that have come from that new awareness.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Food Choices, Fossil Fuel And Gratitude

Yesterday I was so proud of myself for not taking a plastic bag from the cashier to carry my avocadoes and onion home with me from the supermarket. However, later I realized that those avocadoes and some oranges that I bought were from Mexico and California respectively. Meaning they had been transported over large distances, which involves trucks, fossil fuel, possibly some electricity. And that reminded me that I had also committed to at least trying to eat only locally grown foods. I was struck with the enormity of the task at does one NOT take part in anything that creates a carbon trail? What CAN one eat if one wants to pledge to eat only locally grown foods, and it's the dead of winter in your town? These are questions that beg to be answered. And I will get back to you with that information. In the meantime, I realize that it is ok if I eat avocadoes. If I think about the truck and the driver and the fossil fuels involved, I could even be grateful for all of it. Those marvels of science and technology make it all possible for me to eat such a delicious food in February in New York. That kind of awareness makes a huge difference. Gratitude for the things that make your food choices possible is powerful energy. Working out the issues around eating local food will happen in its time. Check back tomorrow for more of my adventures participating in No Impact Week.

Monday, February 22, 2010

No Plastic Bag For Me, Today, Thank You

Yesterday at the first meeting of No Impact Week with Colin Beavan and Leah Mayor, one of the things that I agreed to be concious about this week was not buying anything with packaging. That is a the usual for me, being that I am a mostly raw vegan. In fact one of the most amazing things about living the raw vegan life is that you realize that you are definitely NOT contributing to landfills...... with your food at any rate. Jumping off from that point, I wanted to push the no impact envelope a bit. I went to the supermarket for some avocadoes and an onion. And I forgot to bring a cloth shopping bag with me. Yet I also refused a plastic "t-shirt" bag that the cashier packs your groceries into. With that change of habit, I had a new experience of avocadoes and onions. I saw that they each already come in their own bag, right off the vine/tree/earth clod. "How clever" I thought of that lovely old Mother Nature! I carried three avocadoes and one onion in my hands and there was one more avocado in my coat pocket. And I went home and had a nice salad.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No Impact Week

Today was the first of the 6 meetings that make up Colin (No Impact Man) Beavan's first live, in person No Impact Week Workshop. It is a beta version of a program he conducts online and is based on his one year experiment of reducing his family's carbon footprint down to ZERO! I was amazed when I came across Colin's experiment. I found the goal to be so admirable and his and his family having achieved it to be extraordinary. I was eager to join this group because I wanted to meet Colin, meet other like-minded individuals and see what new, interesting things I could learn and/or be inspired by. Anyone is welcome to join in for the balance of the week, so if you think you would like to see what we are doing and you are in the New York area, please contact me at Below is a brief description of what the first meeting was like.

This first meeting of a handful of serious and thoughtful individuals was well planned and Colin, along with his co-facilitator Leah Mayor, of the Cloud Institute, kept the material moving along at a good pace. It was a small group, but each attendee took part in the discussions and overall it was a very exciting and energizing two hours. Both Leah and Colin asked thought-provoking questions which gave each of us the opportunity to decide what low- or no-imprint actions to take. There was no guilt-tripping or pressure in any form. And it was exciting to be part of a new program that can help other people and help the earth.

We each made commitments in each of the following three categories: consumption, trash and travel, which are assigned respectively to today, Monday and Tuesday. There are four other categories which we will discuss and prepare for at our next meeting on Tuesday.

There was so much much material, that I will go into more detail about what changes I agreed to commit to on in a future post.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Divesting Stuff and Discovering Magic

Well ok haven't written for a while, but I've been so you will see below.

I moved twice since December. (The why's and wherefores of that are a story for another day) In preparing for both moves, I did a lot of purging, what I like to call "divesting" stuff.

Two blogs that have interesting takes on the subject of reducing one's possessions and from whom I've gotten a bit of inspiration (even though they are both more advanced compared to myself)

There are many, many more people out there in cyberland who are teaching and practicing this new way of living the good life, but these two are the ones I first came across on the contemporary blog scene and have learned a lot from.

For me, it is still the beginning of a journey to "stufflessness." In the meantime, what I continue to discover is that by divesting myself of stuff, I truly do experience:
A) a sense of liberation
B) a clearer mind
C) a feeling of being energized

It does require some courage, though, because the mind is tricky and will make you think that you need the thing you are about to purge. If you can just be strong and either throw it out or give it away, you may have some wonderful experiences such as I have had on this adventure. Well, they are wonderful after a brief period of them being perturbing. But the wonderful part that comes after the perturbing part is really, truly wonderful. Here is one example:

Let's say that you have something you've been saving because you tell yourself you might need it someday. You've had it for years and haven't ever found a need for it, yet you struggle with some anxiety in getting rid of it. You finally find the courage to throw it out. Ironically, a day or two later there actually arises a circumstance where that thing finally would have come in handy. This is the part where you find yourself feeling somewhat perturbed, anxious or something equally uncomfortable. You thought that throwing the thing out would have settled the initial anxiety, but here it is again.

Try this: Sit still with the feelings that arise with this experience. Feel them. Feel how they are making their presence known through the sensations in various parts of your body. Give this a few minutes. You will be surprised how quickly they pass if you give them some breathing room. Then, tell yourself that you will come up with a more creative way to solve whatever problem that thing was going to remedy. And then try to keep track of the next few days, because what will probably happen is that the need you thought you had will actually dissipate without you even noticing. You might not even be able to remember what the thing was that you threw out!

It's like magic. And in a way it's the magic of your mind. You thought you would need it so you did. When you thought you might be ok without it, you were.

This is just one of the wonderful things I have learned on my "Divestment Journey." There's lots more. It has helped me enormously as an artist, and I will be writing that in my next post. Which will be soon!