Monday, March 28, 2011

The Best Form of Flattery?

Apparently, I have had it wrong all of these years. I'm always trying to come up with original ideas for various art projects and crafting ideas. According to my drawing teacher this is not how it is done. Even Picasso famously copied other master's work over and over. He then, gasp, put them out into the world for all to see. This is very acceptable in the art world. People who study art like to see connections, they want to know what the artist's influences are. Even if it is a blatant copy of another work.
So, here is my copy of Alice Neel's "Religious Girl" definitely NOT an exact replica. Maybe it is a post stroke version of the girl, her face is sagging a bit. And she seems to have had some bad Botox or maybe a single cheek implant. I can only hope that Ms. Neel would be flattered by my attention. By my love of the challenge in the eyes of this girl she conjured up on her canvas. Or did this girl first spring to life somewhere else? She had a sitter for the painting, but how much of herself did Neel inject into this work? She lost two of her four children to illness early in their lives, surely that would cause one to question religion. Is it Neel's own eyes or the eyes of the girl sitting for the portrait that seem to be at the same time, filling up with tears and challenging the world? This is what I love about Neel's work, the way her subjects draw you in, introduce themselves to you and ask you to stay, spend a little time and get to know them. For me, attempting to reproduce Alice Neel's work is most certainly the highest form of flattery.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


If you haven't seen the movie Blindsight, Netflix it NOW. Eric Weinenmayer, a blind mountaineer, who I was lucky enough to hear speak about eight years ago in Germany, leads a group of six blind Tibetan children up to the base camp at Mt. Everest. This is only one of the inspirational stories told in this movie. From Tashi, a young boy sold by his parents to beg on the streets to Kyila, a Tibetan girl who not only has a blind father, but twin blind brothers, Blindsight celebrates the accomplishments of all of the children who climb into the sky. Their fearless leader, Sabriye Tenberken is particularly inspirational. Blind from the age of twelve, she heard the stories of blind children in Tibet, who are treated as pariah. Blind people in Tibet are believed to be paying for the sins of their former lives and therefore shunned in society. Sabriye, left her homeland of Germany to travel alone to Tibet. There she opened a school for Blind children and travelled the countryside alone on horseback looking for blind children to attend her school. The rest as they say is history. Don't miss this life changing film!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eastern Market Adventure

On Saturday we finally made the pilgrimage to Eastern Market. It's not a journey that should have taken over a year, but somehow it did.

My first glimpse of the place included these flags painted on boards. For those of you who know about my flag obsession you will be happy to know I did not salivate on a single one. Only because the artist wouldn't let me get that close.

The food hall was incredible...Jim and Jane are making a beeline for the bakery at the end.

I of course was drawn to the veggies...

The olives...

And with the promise of Spring in the air, the flowers.

What excited me the most though was the prospect of a hot breakfast with 143 of my closest friends.

Decisions, decisions...I went for the spinach omelet and the green chile cheese grits. Hello!

We finally scored a place at the long, long table and...


From food, we moved onto crafts. How clever are these key holders? I think procuring one may warrant another trip to the hill!

And check out this chiquita, selling purses made out of books!

Even the cars had been crafted.

There is no lack of color in the Capital Hill neighborhood...

Maybe I felt so at home because of all of the pink houses. The one below while slightly is the exact shade of pink that our beloved farmhouse in Snailwell wore. Long live the Manor Farm House!

To answer your question. Yes, I am homesick. Finally making to Easter Market has reminded me that we live in a diverse fun area to explore. I can't wait to take you with me as I finally spread my wings a little and settle into my new (ish) home!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Bright Yellow Chair

The other day my friend Kate told me she had found a bright yellow chair. She happened upon it at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (if you haven't been to the one near you check it out!) She fell in love with the chair and brought it home for a mere $10. The chair found a new home in her playroom, where her children rocked in, played boat and read books. The chair was happy, the kids were happy and most of all, Kate was happy. Soon, though one of Kate's children started to itch. The itch turned to hives and the hives turned out to be an allergy to, you guessed it the chair. The bright yellow chair had to go. It was loaded back into Kate's van and prepped with much sadness from the children, the chair and as you guessed, Kate herself.
Now, Kate knows I have a fondness for quirky brightly colored objects. She also knew how happy I had been for her at the discovery and adoption of the chair. Kate decided to make a last ditch effort to give the chair a home. Knocking at my door in the rain, she pled the chair's case when I answered. She had vacuumed and cleaned and done everything she could do, it wasn't the chair's fault. The hive afflicted child was sensitive, no one else had been affected. Would I give the chair a chance? 

Would I give the chair a chance? In a home filled with wayward pets, children and people what was one wayward chair? The chair moved in.

And made itself at home. It caused a major furniture reshuffle in our diminutive family room. It ousted the last resident of it's spot and sent it to the netherlands of the dining room where it took up residence in a neglected corner brightening things considerably.

The chair was happy, I was happy and even Kate was happy, being saved the return trip to the Re-Store and finding a good home for her bright yellow chair.

Did I mention Halloween was happy too?
Thanks Kate!