"The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world." ~André Malraux

After a year of intermittant "painter's block"  I am working again in my studio, and feeling in a tentative positive state. Painting is a solitary activity, and as artists, we are often working in a vacuum. Unless we have a show hanging, reaction to the work is minimal. With several pieces underway, I decided that perhaps if I write about what I am doing or am attempting to do, it might act somewhat as a muse for me as well as give me some feedback on the work I am creating -- hence the establishment of this blog. 

As for the blog title, traditional, representational painting is a language for expressing what’s visible. But I feel my work is the most successful, and most interesting, when focused on things not entirely visible. I paint what I see but also what I sense and feel by utilizing my interior and unseen world --- in other words, the invisible world. Plein air work or  studio work from photographs are only touchstones or landmarks which guide me to other inner spaces. By so doing, I find that I am pushing the boundaries between representational and abstract work.

You can enlarge the images in this blog by clicking on them.

Aug 21, 2012

Rose Madder Red Face

Or is it perhaps Cadmium Red? It is more than embarrassing that I have not posted a blog since late May. The world has been too much with me .... filled with family/friends visitors, gardening, giant five-family garage sale, vacations, and all the effort involved in closing on and moving into the condo, our new second home. 

All of that is behind me now, except for one last foray to the ocean, coming up Labor Day week when we always go to New Jersey's barrier island, Long Beach Island -- where I spent part of all of my childhood summers (in Loveladies)  on up until 1996. 
Daddy and me, Loveladies, 1951.
At least the beach, and ocean is the same, but the then very sparsely built on dunes are chock-a-block with one beach McMansion after another spoiling what was once a magical place. It has become too chi-chi, to Hamptonsy for me. But the next town at the end of the island, Barnegat Light -- historically a fishing village -- is about as unchanged as anywhere on the island. And that is where we go for a week each year, in my perhaps misguided efforts to go home again to cook some weakfish, eat some clams, sit in the sun, and smell that extraordinary smell of salt in the breeze that is unlike anywhere else I know.

But art has been on my mind. I was part of an invitational farm-themed  show with at The Justin Morrill Homestead here in Strafford in July, and submitted these paintings:

 and this one, very poor photo from a slide,  that dates back a number of years:

"Summer Shadows" oil on canvas  24" x 48"

I sold the latter for a good price, which was nice, but I always miss them when they go.

I also have my large forsythia painting in a show at the Twin River Gallery in Lyme, NH, but I have yet to take a photo of that piece. 

And finally, I took three new pieces up to my Nantucket Gallery, East End Gallery, which sold three of mine in the spring. I brought one home which I do not think she has really shown, but which I like, and will probably hang in the condo. This is a poor iphone photo of it: I will get a better one and insert it here later.

" Hummock Pond, Nantucket"  12" x 24"
I ran into my friend Michael Moore at the gallery who was mounting a show there. Good to see him, and I fell in love with one of his pieces, see below.

"Lifting Fog"  oil on linen  9" x 12"
I have been asked to be a curator for the May 2013 show at the Tang Museum of Art in Saratoga Springs for the fiftieth reunion juried show to be held there. I have accepted.

Otherwise, and indeed I have a life besides my art, life has been hectic but good. Our time in Nantucket was especially wonderful, with the entire family gathered on the little bit of paradise my son located up there about 8 years ago. It could not be more delightful, with all my children and grandchildren, extended family nearby, the old shingled beach house nestled on a dune, the ocean out the back, and the harbor (bay) across the street for a front yard. With so few houses on this little spit of land, there is never more than one other family in view, way down the beach, which makes it an ocean paradise, as far as I am concerned. 

But where has the summer gone, and how many more are left to me?

Jun 13, 2012

Painterly Paris with Pals

Although the primary focus of our recent trip to France was to gather and hang out with a very close group of high school friends, in between drinking wine, eating the usual extraordinary French food, laughing and crying, we did manage to fit in a few cultural activities.

I think my favorite was the exhibit at the Pinacoteque Museum "The Jonas Collection: Modligliani, Soutine and the Adventure of Montparnasse". Pinacotheque de Paris is fairly new in the world of art museums.  It was founded in 2007 as a private museum - one of the few in Paris. To walk into an exhibit of Modigliani works never before exhibited was an extraordinary experience. Like a schoolgirl, I even bought the lovely poster which I am framing for the condo! (See above.) 

Netter, one of the most prominent collectors of the 20th century, really "made" Modigliani. Developing an early passion for M's work, Netter amassed a collection of some 40 paintings by the late 1920's, along with many done by Utrillo, whose white period he admired, and Soutine. Without Netter, Modigliani, Soutine and Utrillo, also represented in this show, would probably never have

become well known. This exhibit finally pays Netter the attention he deserves, and allows the public to discover an absolutely stunning body of work, highlighted and dominated by the Modiglianis. My favorite was "Girl in Blue" left. I could not tear myself away from it.

Self Portrai
We also spent a few hours at Musée Maillol at an exhibit of Artemesia Gentileschi, a very successful woman painter in the 1600's. In a time and place where women were regarded as even less than second-class citizens, Artemisia Gentileschi broke all the laws of the society at 16 by legally (in court) disgracing a man for raping her and later for becoming a such a well-known artist -- even eclipsing her well-known father Orazio Gentileschi. Seeking her own independence and artistic prowess, she worked tirelessly for princes and cardinals, and for herself. Like Caravaggio, it took three centuries for it to be  re appreciated, recognized and universally applauded. Her work often portrays women as assertive beings, capable of giving themselves over to both crime and pleasure (often both at the same time), thus breaking away from the sexist conventions of the 17th century. Her work was then shunned by patriarchal society for centuries; but finally she is being recognized as one of the most revolutionary Italian artists of the Baroque period. This exhibition, at the Musée Maillol, reinstates Artemisia as a painting genius.

Upstairs at the museum was a small selection of work by Séraphine Louis, known as "Séraphine de Senlis" ("Séraphine of Senlis") 1864–1942

 .Did any of you see the marvelous French film about her?) which was great fun to see. A very poor, uneducated  self-taught painter, this  housemaid was influenced by the stained glass windows in churches. With almost no money, she made her own paint colors from plants and animals that she developed herself, all while doing menial jobs to keep painting.Séraphine's naif work is very detailed and exquisite, and she only painted flowers and nature.

Aside from that, we toured the beautiful Cluny which never disappoints, attended a lovely music concert at a church near our friend's Left Bank Paris apartment, and some of them went to The Louvre one night. I did not go,too tired!

Back home I got into my own studio, and have three paintings underway. I need more work, the galleries are asking for it. I sold three pieces through East End Gallery, the gallery which handles my work in  Nantucket, which is nice.
A lot of Old Lefties on the Left Bank --- dinner at our friend's atelier apartment.The woman on the left and I have been best buddies since we were six, the rest of us since high school.

May 2, 2012

Yellows, Blues and Earth Tones

I imagined I would come back from Santa Fe, where we spent a week this month, all fired up to paint the scenery, or at least try some Georgia O'Keeffe stylized work. But whereas I was blown away by the Santa Fe area, and absolutely mesmerized by all I learned about O'Keeffe, in my studio I am right back to my own local landscape work, in my own style.
O'Keefe's simple bedroom, with views.

 But surely a bit of the place, a bit of the woman, has rubbed off on me. I was deeply moved when touring her home at Abiquiu: I am not sure I have ever been anywhere where I felt the spirit of someone as much as I did in that very simple pueblo home, the courtyard, and within the walls of her gardens. Look at the colors above!
Upper and lower left, the oftpainted  courtyard. Upper right, within the house, and lower right, view of the pueblo.
The door in the courtyard which was, she said the reason she bought the house,      and the subject of many, many of her paintings.
 You just feel her there, as you take in the familiar -- from her work --  panoramic views from the top of her driveway and her bedroom and studio of the Chama River Valley, and in the distance, the Angre de Cristo Mountain Range, the Abiquiu Mesa.

Dishes are on counter under shelves to left, next to the scale
I was THRILLED to see that she had the same set of dishes, "Ruska by the Finnish company Arabia, that I have had since I got married!  You can just see some of them in her kitchen on the counter shelf next to the scale, above. 

The area around her home, and the drive from there up to her earlier home, which remained her summer place, Ghost Ranch, was absolutely beautiful.

Street scene with Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
Museum of Art

Even the parking lots are adobe!
 ALL of the Santa Fe area was beautiful, inspiring. And the small city -- more of a large town at 20,000 year round inhabitants -- was as lovely and exciting as everyone says it is. Like Nantucket, all buildings have to be to code, either old adobe or "Santa Fake" adobes, and the result is a harmonious whole, with beautiful vistas and vignettes wherever you look. Once you get used to the city's rigorous insistence that every building should look like either a seventeenth-century Spanish colonial palace or worker's hovel, strolling around its compact, peaceful downtown is a real pleasure. Nothing is more than about three stories tall, with a few exceptions ... churches, some hotels. The food is extraordinary, so good that since we got home we have been on starvation diets. 

The other place that fascinated and awed was Bandelier National Monument.  From their brochure: "Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years.  Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of the Anasazi  culture that still survives in the surrounding communities."

I actually climbed up to a dwelling

 My husband went on to the really far up dwelling with three huge ladders, I did not accompany him!
Once again, the petroglyphs fascinated, as they did in Sedona last year. Here are a few which attest to the fact that man has always been inspired to create art. I stood there and felt almost a mystical connection to those long ago builders, artists, human beings who lived in this place.

On our trip, we concentrated on the land and the area rather than the multitude of galleries and museums which we just touched upon, so we want to go back, perhaps in winter. I did find one work of art  admired greatly, on the famous Canyon Road of galleries, which makes Santa Fe the second largest art center in the USA, after New York.

Back home, life has gone on as usual except after a week of eating at one fine restaurant after another, and prior to our upcoming trip to France, we have been eating and drinking NOTHING! I have gotten in some studio time, and managed to complete the barn painting, one of series I have done over the past few years.
Blue and Gold in Winter  oil on canvas

The barn paintings are one place where I remain rather traditional in my approach. 

In addition, I have begun a large piece, of forsythia, in brilliant and varied yellows with a skyblue background. I have done many small forsythia paintings in the past, but never one on this scale. I told John I felt as if I were Jackson Pollack, flinging great gobs of paint at the canvas, spraying spirits on it, just happily mucking about. It is not yet viewable, next blog.

Mar 28, 2012

Easy Does It

I am easing back into the studio. This week I spent some time on a piece that I started last month. It is nowhere near finished, all I have really worked on is the barn. The background trees, sky and snow all need work. The photo below is very bad, took it with my ipad, but once it is finished I will post a better one. (Not sure why it is so fuzzy ...  on my computer it is crystal clear. Very low rez though.)

 This is a continuation of an ongoing theme of mine--- intermingled with my more and more abstract landscapes and seascapes are the far more realistic barns which I am continually drawn to in the Vermont landscape. And I worry that they are fast disappearing.
An American barn is such a manifestation of this cultural heritage. Each year as more barns up here are lost to fires,  falling down due to time and neglect and deterioration, vandalism and the elements, and torn down for real estate development. More recently, they knocked over and  sold for the rustic lumber to be used in upscale houses for floors and walls, or simply torn down for real estate development.  
So I am on my own little campaign to paint some of the remaining  barns. So many old barns are now gone from sight only to remain with us in photographs. And in paintings such as mine.
Most of my time this month has been spent on condo stuff. It has been somewhat of a nightmare. Currently we still do not have a closing date, but the contract is signed. I suspect if we are lucky we will get in in the end of June.
Meanwhile, I cannot commit to the floor folks or the painter, although Jen's cousin Courtney, an Interior Designer, and I have been pouring over paint colors. I find that a lot of fun, perhaps because I am so interested in color. I have decided on a basically blue color scheme, a 
first for me, who usually had white or off white walls, and a cranberry and ochre color scheme. In the condo, the entry and hall  will be in a kind of saturated dusky blue, see left, called Sapphire Ice, done in striped, alternating flat and gloss stripes about 4 inches across of the same color. Shiny high gloss white trim. 

The Guestroom/ Den will be Ben Moore's Sangria, top row right, after much vacillating, again with glossy white trim and glossy black accents, like the built in desk which I will paint, and black and white photos on the walls in black frames. It is a color similar to others I have used before, in the mudroom and man cave up here.

Our bedroom is going to be painted a marvelous Ben Moore blue that is aptly named Ocean Air, and I hope it makes me feel as if I am at the ocean, where I am always the happiest and most relaxed. The trim will be an off white called White Dove, I think. These colors will continue into the master bath which someday is going to be redone.

The living and dining rooms will both be done with wonderful Farrow and Ball emulsion, one called Yellow Ground, with either white trim, or a pale, pale version of the wall color. I cannot wait to see this FnB paint on the walls, because it is a highly pigmented English paint that is supposed to fairly glow. The fireplace wall, the laundry closet and one small kitchen wall will be this same color, but in a gloss. I am hoping it has a warm, almost Tuscan feel.

I am having my mother's small couch and matching chair -- which with the wood trim have a somewhat French Provincial look --reupholstered in large and small navy buffalo checks. There will be a fair amount of navy in those rooms, as well. Anyway, it has kept me busy, working with a very different kind of paint!

We have had some very bizarre weather --- within three days we had 81 degrees and sunny, and 27 degrees and hail and sleet and snow. Only in New England. And only in Vermont would you find, as the forsythia is close to bloom, that NO daffodils have emerged, but the red points of tulips are up everywhere in the herb gardens. Usually here, they bloom together.

We are off to Santa Fe in a week, for a week, which we are looking forward to mightily. I look forward to seeing Georgia O Keefe museum and home, the galleries, native American ruins and art, and the wonderful Pueblo architecture out there. I wonder if we can try not to read the papers or listen to the news while we are away, much of which is so disheartening to me, and causing so much angst and anger in this house.

Mar 1, 2012

I Feel As If I Were A Football ....

Lately, life has centered around "Not Vermont" and that is always a bit unsettling for me. It has been some month, with things moving so fast I feel as if I were a football being hurled through my life, much too fast!

But it has been very exciting.

We took some time off to go south to the New York Metropolitan Area for a variety of reasons--- to search for a condo closer to our kids than our current four hour drive; to help celebrate our granddaughter Lily turn seven; and to spend four days in Manhattan, getting our city fix.

The condo hunt, spurred on by me ever since we turned 70, became a reality. I know that someday we will need to move out of our wonderful Vermont retreat here on the hill, because a 11 room 5 bathroom house and 37 acres with a lot of non-low maint gardens is rapidly going to be too much for us to handle. I do plan to hire someone this summer to help me convert some garden areas to low maintenance spaces, and I do have 4 hours a week of cleaning help, but in five years, definitely 10 years, we will be in over our heads here. And, having lived two hours from Daddy when he was so sick, and almost five hours from John's Dad when he became so very needy, we know how difficult the distance can be for children of aging parents. Add to that it would be nice to have our own digs, our own bed, and a place we can bring the dogs whenever we go down to visit the family or go to New York AND the fact that interest rates and condo prices are very low, it seemed like the ideal time to consider this.

So in the course of two days, we saw about ten condos, and before we knew it, had an offer in. The ones we loved the most were not in developments, but in beautiful old buildings of their own, but were either too expensive, or had too many stairs (one had both those issues). We settled on an older one with a European feel inside and some interesting detail (curved arched doorways, Portuguese tiled kitchen, cathedral ceiling-ed living room) with a warm inviting feel and even a deck and back yard, in Heritage Hills, in Somers, NY. After the usual dickering back and forth we feel we got a very good deal, and as of this week we are under contract. No closing date yet, but I anticipate we will be there by mid April.This is the outside of our place:

We liked this because although it is one of about six condos built together around a courtyard, the only common wall we have is the end of the 2 car garage to the left of what you see. The other side is not connected to anything. And behind there is a view of nothing but trees and distant towns from the deck. We feel it will be quite private.

I am not posting any interior pictures until we have made some changes to it! It is owned by a 93 year old man who has lived there with his wife since it was built in 1975.

This has thrown me, the visual member of this household, into a tailspin. I am up to my ears in floor samples, paint colors, wallpaper samples, fabric samples, room schemes, and lists of what I have that can be used there, and what (few I hope) things we need to purchase (bed, TV, dining room hutch, lamps, inexpensive area rugs, etc) My husband is aghast, believing we can just move in there with a new bed, a TV, and take it from there. Not I. I need the old carpeting OUT and a new wood floor layed, and walls painted in yummy Farrow and Ball colors, some older furniture slipcovered or reupholstered. So I am busy on the computer all day searching out things.... EBay purchases, Pinterest for decor ideas and to start my own page of saved stuff, googling floors, paints, endless, endless. But I want this place to be done right, well, and beautifully. After all it is where I will live when I am really old, should I live long, and where I will likely die. I will not be able to do all this decorating then, so now is the time.

I will also be taking some of my paintings, and making new ones ... in a sense, commissioning MYSELF for some work.

Here is our Lily .

In the midst of all of that condo looking, we had the birthday party for Lily with all of the family. Always a treat, always lovely to be together. She is the cutest little girl, and so full of life, vitality and mischief, we just adore her. She is shown to left, just out of the pool with wet hair and a silly smile at her Hawaiian themed birthday party for her friends. 

On that Monday we drove into the city to our time share at The Manhattan Club. We just had time to change and go to dinner at Ed's Chowder House across from Lincoln Center, before going to see/hear Aida. Marvelous! It must be the third time I have seen it, and it doesn't get old. We especially liked Stephanie Blythe as Amneris. Being able to take a cab back to our place instead of driving for an hour to one of the kids' houses was wonderful!

It was a good few days. We went to the dog show at MSG, and oohed and ahhed even though we are not really into the dog show world. John left early because he had to go to the office where he consults.

One of the days we met at the Met (!!) Museum this time. In the new American Wing we saw so much that we liked... I was quite taken by John Singer Sargent's Three Sisters, the 
three beautiful daughters of the Hon. Percy Wyndham, a wealthy Londoner. I love the asymmetrical composition in the huge canvas, with the bright, bold whiteness of the sisters elegant, painterly gowns, the couch, the peonies, all appearing  toward the lower right as a counterpoint to the wonderfully suggestive dark background with wall portraits. Rather than conducting sittings at his studio, as he usually did around the turn of the century, Sargent painted the sisters in the drawing room of their family's residence on Belgrave Square. It makes me think of the Bellamys in Eaton Square from Upstairs Downstairs!  Displayed at the Royal Academy's annual exhibition in 1900, the portrait was hailed by the critics and dubbed "The Three Graces" by the Prince of Wales.

Willard Metcalf's "The North Country."
I also really liked Willard Metcalf's The North Country, painted in Perkinsville, VT, near Sprinjgfield. It actually reminds me of my own painting style when I am not being too abstract.
Metcalf took a long time to really bloom, but by 1905,  encouraged by his friend Childe Hassam, he began summering in Old Lyme, CT with "The Colony" working as both painter and teacher. He subsequently  held successful exhibitions in New York with his much lighter style and again at the St. Botolph Club. His expertly handled, subtle views of the New England landscape, such as this one of my home state, met with steady critical and financial success. To my mind he is not as good as George Inness though, one of my favorites!

I think James JeBusa Shannon was a superb portraitist, and I was totally charmed by "Jungle Tales" seen below. One of the things that really got me was the resemblance the little girl to the right has to my own daughter when she was young. A lot of his work is very Renoirish. 

John's favorite was Chess Master by Eakins, a painter we both admire. 

  It is a small oil on wood panel showing Eakins' father Benjamin observing a chess match. he actually wrote on the back of the panel that the painting was made for his father. The two players are Bertrand Gardel (at left), an elderly French teacher, and the somewhat younger George Holmes, a painter. The men are in a dark, wood-panelled Victorian parlour with a quality of light suggesting late afternoon. John thinks it is very Rembrandish.

And so many more we loved.

The Islamic Wing was given short shrift because we were tired, or I was, but it was a jewel of a place, and just marvelous! Very hushed and almost reverential, we tiptoed around admiring everything.  We especially liked the room of carpets, and The Damascus room, a nearly intact 18th-century reception chamber from a wealthy Syrian residence, which has been reassembled. The walls are inscribed with a sequence of verses inspired by the 13th-century Egyptian poet al-Busiri.

Contrasting all this culture was the gastronomic pleasures of the city, including a belated anniversary lunch at Le Bernadin on the 15th with dear old friends the Coopers, and fabulous Carnegie Deli Jewish sandwiches, just down the street from the Club, which we miss SO much in Vermont. We had these for two nights in our rooms, and one night our Strafford friends the Dycusses came over and had sandwiches and wine with us. The are buying a condo in the city, and were down for a month in the city in a rental to spend time with their kids. Condos to be with the kids seems to be the way to go.....

The football has come home to rest, and I think, I think we made a touchdown! 

Jan 29, 2012

Back to Work

I have not been working in my studio since well before the holidays, much to my dismay. I finally got back in there, and have a large piece started on the easel. I am painting over one of the Yellowstone paintings I did for the book for which I have no real love or use. I had hoped to make it an alla prima, but it has not worked out that way.

My gallery in Lyme called and asked me to bring over some new work for the show they are hanging. They sold both pieces from the last show they had up. I took six over, and they hung three, including this one which I did a few years ago and which I do not think I have put in the blog before:

"Early Snow on the River"  oil on
They also took the Nantucket Cranberry Bog painting, see January 19,2011, and the
landscape I call "When Summer Turns Gold," see March 2, 2011, both of which have been posted here before.

My Nantucket Gallery is finally getting a website up, and I sent in about 16 images to the webmaster. I am looking forward to seeing it when it is finished.

It is hunkering down time, firelight and movie nights at home time. We stay abed late these icy mornings, reading the New York Times on our ipads, snuggled under the soft flannel sheets and quilt. I still manage to haul myself out into the cold to go to my water aerobics as often as I can, but otherwise, I have been very hermity.

It is also time in my life to clean out closets, drawers, trunks, and hopefully soon, attic. The garages will have to wait until warm weather. We have been in this house 14 1/2 years, and although all was perfect when we moved in, we have added the contents of the NJ condo which we sold and contents of parents' apartments after they died. I am in overwhelm with stuff, and am determined to get rid of a lot of it. I am pretending I am moving, and doing the three G's -- making piles of 1) Garbage; 2) Giveaways and 3) Garage sale stuff.

Jan 7, 2012

The New Year

Happy New Year to my three readers of this blog. Maybe four. It doesn't look like January without the deep snow cover we usually have by now, but when I woke up this AM to 5 degree temps, it did FEEL like it.

We celebrated the holidays totally "away" this year, which felt very strange. This is the third Christmas we have traveled down to be with out children after years of them coming to us, but normally they then come up here for Vermont snow party and New Years. This year, it was decided that it was my son's in laws' turn to host New Years in Connecticut, so off we went again. It was all a delight in spite of being elsewhere, and I include a few photos below. 

Because we entertained rather largely this year prior to leaving, we did put the trees up, and filled the house with greenery and candles. Christmas actually came to TWO houses here ... I had to decorate both ours and the Littles' small domain ....

Decorating the tree in the Little house.

Our tree, featuring urn ornament which was originally John's grandmother's.
Mrs. Lily Little making Christmas cookies with daughter Minnie.

 We made real cookies too. My daughter now makes the traditional sugar cookies above, but I still make the molasses cookie cut outs (gingerbread, also above) and we all share.

Christmas Eve at my son's with three of our grandkids was delightful, but for some unknown reason we got very few photos  of their extremely pretty,warm and festive home, or of the glorious Christmas Eve extended family party. My daughter in law outdid herself. Did get this of the granddaughters' singing in their Christmas dresses....

The next morning was the usual and expected happy Christmas chaos of excited children (6, 8 and 11) stocking opening, plentiful gifts and yummy breakfast food. My grandchildren are very, very fortunate children.

They were all asked to give up a gift this year, and instead donate one to a deserving child. And I bought much needed school desks  for children in Africa in each of my four grandkids' names. 

Christmas day we made our way over to our daughter's home, where more gifts were exchanged. Things were calmer there, with just one 5 year old child, but every bit as happy. My  daughter and son in law try to keep things simple over the holidays --- Santa usually brings only one gift to my grandson Nate, plus the stocking, which keeps it very special. One of my favorite photos from the holiday is of Nate opening his magical gift from Santa... wrapped in glowing lights (see above)! (It was a child-friendly camera!)
Their home too was beautifully and simply decorated, including  the enormous beautiful tree in the atrium. Greenery and candles were everywhere. One of my favorite things was the Three Kings, who moved a bit every night as they approached the manger, and on the next to last night, rode the electric train under the tree! See below.
Santa stocking I needlepointed for Nate after he was born

My son on keyboard, grandson on guitar,son in law on banjo, husband on guitar.
On Boxing Day, both families gathered at my daughters's -- a very special time, except my daughter in law was not well. The highlight was the music making, a traditional part of our festivities. This year my oldest grandchild Aidan was allowed to join in the merrymaking on his new guitar, so we had three generations involved. 

New Year's in Sharon, CT at our machatunim's home (spelling??) was a warm, casual, family Eve gathering, and the next day, husband and son cooked our usual southern feast, harking back to John's NC roots. Most of the recipes are his mother's or grandmothers--- black eyed peas, cole slaw, collard greens, corn bread, ribs and fried chicken! Here are the chefs and their creations:
Son and husband in their Nantucket Red aprons surveying their repast.

All I did was make the desserts, dense chocolate cake, and Virginia pecan pie. Nobody starved.

The good news on the gallery front is that I sold two paintings through my gallery in Lyme, NH --  one of which I never even got a good photo of. They went for good prices, but sadly I only get 55% of it. C'est la vie.

Happy New Year to my readers!!!!!