Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Love of the Four-Legged Kind

When slumber fails me and tossing and turning only induces more mental gymnastics than I can bear, it's easy to succumb to The New York Times online. A few choice essays yields a rich field of insight and information and the readers' comments afford the chance to consider diverse points of view.

Last might proved to be like many others and so I wandered in cyberspace and settled on an article about the powerful bond between pets and their owners. As someone who did not grow up with pets (or as my father so aptly put it- "Five kids are animals enough."), I did not understand the pull of that kind of connection. Most of the time, it feels like my husband loves our dog Comet way more than he loves us and the feeling is decidedly mutual. I'm probably going to be less popular with the millions of pet owners all over the world, and I've seen the happiness, comfort and companionship that being with a pet can provide, especially for a child. But the look of love so easily bestowed upon our dog by my spouse is a rare occurence beyond that special relationship. If only he saw what I see- perhaps he would understand and distribute his affections more freely to the two legged members of his family.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Many Swims

We are fortunate to belong to a little beach club that was founded almost 100 years ago in the adjacent neighborhood to ours. It's less than a mile from the house so it's easy to get there and jump in on a hot day.  The members comprise all the generations so it makes for an idyllic spot to people watch when you find yourself with nothing else to do.

(For many years when the kids were small we often headed there at dinner time with our evening meal packed in baskets, kids in suits and assorted equipment. James would walk down from the train platform, supper would commence and if you lingered long enough, you could drink in the sunset.)

I am an avid swimmer, love being in the water and always have. I've been fortunate to have photographed watery places of all sorts (like many of my fellow image makers). Hard to resist when a beautiful scene unfolds before my eyes. My ode to summer!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Try not to care

How to handle crankiness when it's hot out is the million dollar question of the hour. I'm not talking about my children's crankiness. I am talking about my own. Today I am mad at the world and mired in frustration. No, better to be all things to all people, flexible, gracious, grateful, giving, forgiving and self sacrificing. You know, your typical woman born last mid-century.

I don't exactly harbor grudges (okay- maybe I do), I just don't know where to put the anger and fatigue that rumbles within, I know, rise above. Seek positives! Look ahead! Don't dwell! And most important- try not to care.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Food for Thought (artistically speaking)

Our local library through the generous support of Education First has museum passes you can reserve and check out for some great cultural institutions nearby. I arranged to take the pass for the Guggenheim and invited a friend and yesterday was a perfect day for a cultural outing. Arriving at the museum I was struck by the circus like atmosphere that greeted you as your approached the distinctive landmark with food trucks, art vendors and patrons of all ages and nationalities milling around. Entering the building we made our way to the top and headed down enjoying the art which often was visually arresting, quirky, complicated or challenging in concept and made for a stimulating hour of gazing.

Highlights were the moving exhibit of work by Doris Salcedo whose political views inform her work with a profound gravity, and selections from Storylines- an interesting group show of works from the museum's collection chosen by a group of distinguished authors for its story-telling appeal.

As an artist who has been fascinated by the narrative I was especially interested in seeing Storylines but it was Salcedo's work that I will long remember. Her room of shoes in ghostly vitrines was powerful and full of feeling. Very grateful to have seen her work. A potent force for social realism with the genius of a visionary poet and well worth the trip to 89th Street.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Déjà Vu (of the junk drawer variety)

There isn't lot of originality to be had given the centuries and millennia the visual arts have flourished. Most everything is an offshoot of or a tribute to or inspired by or in response to so that when you examine an artwork a lot of other thoughts can come to mind beside the work itself.

I enjoy looking at the 20x200 website the talented Jen Beckmann directs with her team. I love the concept of affordable art and the curation is very good. (Full disclosure, I purchased a print by Jane Mount from the site a few years back and it's been hanging in a prominent spot in our kitchen ever since.)

Today. while enjoying their latest offerings, this print by Paho Mann sent a wave of déjà vu through me. I felt I had taken a similar image when I photographed at the studio of David Barnett and noticed his junk drawers filled with elements he incorporates in to his work.

Sometimes you feel connected to a global enterprise that generates content and disseminates ideas at a rapid pace. At those times I feel less alone.