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Monday, July 16, 2012

New York City Adventure

 My four day Manhattan adventure began last Thursday.  Amtrak brought me to Pennsylvania Station.   I had some time before my room was ready, so with suitcase in tow I walked to Bryant Park and enjoyed the lush, cool, greenery and lucked into "Broadway in the Park Thursday".  It was a great way to begin my stay.   

On Thursday afternoon, I walked to the Chelsea area of NYC and visited many contemporary art galleries.  It was very inspiring to see what artists are currently displaying in NYC galleries.  
One of my goals for this trip was to get over my unreasonable fear of traveling on the New York City subway by myself.  Armed with a great smartphone ap and the willingness to ask questions, I navigated the uptown and downtown routes with no problem. 

On Friday morning a short train ride and walk through Central Park brought me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I wanted to see the completely finished American Wing, see the Durer exhibit, and see the Ellsworth Kelly drawing exhibit.  The Met did not disappoint.  My goals were met and lots of serendipitous events occurred also.  For example, while traveling through medieval art, I got to hear live period music from the balcony over the great hall. 

Van Gogh's shoes

Me in front of "Cloud City" ,a sculpture installation on the roof.

Durer-- the master of    drawing-- 6 studies of a pillow.

 I got to the Museum of Modern Art around 4 and was able to get a ticket to get in for free thanks to Free Fridays from Target.  The galleries were packed and my old favorite, Starry Night was swarmed with so many people that it was impossible to see it.  I still enjoyed MoMA and this was the perfect art ending to a perfect day.

 I had a small refrigerator in my room, so I was able to shop the local markets for fruit and yogurt.  I found a market on 8th and 26th street that was easy to get to and had what I needed. 

Here is a street vendor selling fruit also.

On Saturday, I decided to go to the Whitney rather than try to go to the Flea Market in Brooklyn.  Somehow getting off the subway, I went the wrong way, but even that was pleasant. 

The Whitney does not allow photography in its galleries.  The photo above shows part of the area beside the cafe.  The piece that will stay with me for years to come was the installation by Yayoi Kusama, "Fireflies on the Water".  This piece explores the idea of infinity.  You get one minute in a room that is covered with mirrors and has tiny colored lights suspended at different heights.  You stand on a small wooden platform above a pool of water.  Being in this space was like being part of a Hubble Space Telescope photograph.  I cried and prayed.     A....R.....T

Monday, July 9, 2012

Consumed by a Desire to Make Terrariums

For about a month now, I have been consumed with the overpowering desire to make terrariums.  Not just regular terrariums but unique tiny worlds with figures, rocks, and props.  What started all of this was a book I borrowed from the library called,"Tiny World Terrariums" by Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow.  Here's a link to the Amazon listing for it:  Tiny World TerrariumsMine aren't as wonderful as the ones in the book.  I need some tiny people and better miniatures. But I had a blast making them and more will follow. 

First Friday in Chambersburg

"First Friday" in Chambersburg was this past Friday.  I loaded up my car with some paintings, prints, and the encaustics which I had made this past week.  Two encaustics found new homes and I had a great time talking to friends old and new.  Despite the heat, there was a good crowd who came out to hear the live music, participate in tastings, and peruse 29 artists' wares. I can't wait until August for another "First Friday"!!
Isn't this a cool skirt?  The young artist set up near me had this great skirt she had made out of bandanas. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Encaustic Painting

I enjoy painting in encaustic as a change from my regular oil painting.  This past week I worked in my garage creating some encaustics to take to First Friday in Chambersburg today.  It was a hot week to be working with heat producing tools, but I had a fun time.  You can see my set up here.  One table has the encaustic medium melted in an electric skillet and the other table has my griddle which I use for a palette.  Both tables are covered with aluminum foil.  If I need large quantities of a color, I make it in recycled cat food tins and melt them on the griddle.  If I just need a small amount, I use a palette knife and just mix oil paint and medium directly on the griddle.  Each layer is followed by a layer of medium and every layer is fused with the torch or heat gun.  I make my own medium by melting one part of damar resin with 8 parts of beeswax.  I get the wax from a local beekeeper and the damar resin from an ebay source.

My Gift

I volunteered to serve last week at Creation Festival located on the Agape Retreat Center near Shirleysburg last week.  Despite the heat, I am so glad that I served. 

This was my first time attending Creation and it was amazing to see the city start to form on the hills.
 These two pictures were taken from the overlook on Tuesday morning when just the volunteers were starting to come in.  As we got into Wed. all of the field areas you see become covered by campers.  People came from all over the East Coast.  I was amazed.

The main stage took shape before my eyes.  I especially wanted to see Chris August.  Here he is performing Starry Night.  It was wonderful!!
I made some new friends, got to serve, and made some connections on my spiritual journey.
Check out this u-tube video of the experience: