Monthly Archives: December 2014

Taking stock (part 2)

Happy New Years!  6X8, Carol L. Douglas Yesterday I wrote that I was surprised that I’d met my goals for 2014, with the exception of selling my house (deferred so my son could finish high school in Rochester).Here are my goals for 2015: 1.       To do a better job with this “accountability partner” thing. I […]

Taking stock

Any summer spent in Maine is a good summer. In 2014, I had an accountability partner. Last January, we agreed to check in with each other once a month to review our goals. This was a flawed plan because she is a recluse and I hate talking on the phone. Then I lost my notes […]

Drawing the genie from the bottle

Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers, 1888, Paul Gauguin. If still life couldn’t express emotion, Van Gogh’s sunflowers wouldn’t move us. I have a young Facebook friend on the other side of the country who likes to draw. I try to give him pointers long-distance, but that isn’t always easy. His problems are less technical than emotional. […]

Better than a marked-down sweater, any day

Sea & Sky Workshop August 9-14, 2015  Acadia National Park Download a brochure. If Santa Claus screwed up this Christmas, it’s up to you to remedy it, and I don’t mean by running down to the mall to score some great Boxing Day deals. By next summer, they’ll be a distant memory, but we’ll be […]

Merry Christmas!

Winter Landscape, 1811, Caspar David Friedrich Our celebration of Christmas is heavily Germanic in origin, marrying the gift-giving and merrymaking of Saturnalia with Yule logs, Christmas trees, greenery, mistletoe and other northern European traditions. Fir Trees in the Snow, 1828, Caspar David Friedrich Caspar David Friedrich seems like a fitting painter for today. Born in […]

Requiescat in pace

Playland Beach View, Seth Nadel (done at Rye Painters on Location) Yesterday my pal Crista Pisano texted me that a mutual acquaintance died suddenly. He is Seth Nadel, a landscape painter from Highlands, New York. He died doing something he loved—playing tennis—but that doesn’t negate the fact that a fine painter and caring teacher has […]

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

Chelsea Workhouse: A Bible Reading (Our Poor), by James Charles, 1877. All Rochester has been talking about the city bulldozing a tent city occupied by the homeless right before Christmas. We’re at the Sturm und Drang phase of the political theater; close on its heels will be the farce. In the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge, […]

Cast of thousands

Removing the mold from a terra cotta Santon. This is the latest my crèche set has ever come out of hiding for Christmas, but at last the multitudes grace my mantelpiece. The festivities can commence. Last December, I wrote about the history of nativities, here. I’m fascinated by crèche sets, and every year I entertain the […]

Be prepared!

With a sketchbook, even the Emergency Room is tolerably interesting. This, from last month’s visit. Yesterday morning I struggled up out of sleep to the sound of my phone ringing. My second oldest child was taking her turn with the collywobbles-sans-merci and needed a doctor. Without thinking much about it, I threw my clothes on […]

Gender and creativity

Couple, 24X30, oil on canvas, by Carol L. Douglas Yesterday, I was reading a short essay by Maria Popova on the premise that psychological androgyny is a trait of highly creative individuals. What fascinated me were the quotes she chose from her source, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:   … When tests of masculinity/femininity are given to […]