Hi. I'm a painter, a writer and a mother of three teenage sons, one with a severe disability. This is a journal: riotously disorganized, full of art, food, children and everyday domestic events. Unless you are a friend or family member you may not be interested, but you are welcome to look. Artists who are parents may find some common ground here, as well as parents of children with special needs. For art only, see my site: nancybeamiller.blogspot.com
Sunday, February 27
ARTISTIC PEEPS CAKE
Another dinner party and an entirely different kind of culinary artistic achievement. My friend Liz baked the cake and her husband Chavis decorated it with peeps. He claimed that this was in honor of my many peep paintings but I think he was using this merely as an excuse to eat peeps as often as possible!
Friday, February 25
TEAPOT OF GHOSTLY BEAUTY
I never saw anything like this presentation of tea at a recent dinner party I attended. It was delicious tea, too. Somehow, though, there was an eerie sense of drinking up a small universe, sort of a "Horton Hears a Who" feeling.
Thursday, February 24
SNOW FLURRY SOLDIER
Hugh told how to caption this shot. He saw me taking pictures and when he came in he said in his 8 year old sing-song way, "You know Mommy? If you blog that picture you took of me? You should call it Snow Flurry Soldier." I was amazed at how exactly he understands the art of captioning
In this shot I like the way the flurries look like small pale dashes in motion. The shot also has a faint Andrew Wyeth flavor, with the brownish overall color scheme punctuated only by a small jolt of red (wearing a colonial tricorn)!
Wednesday, February 23
DUEL OR DUET?
Just kidding, Paul and his friend sound so great when they get together to play every few weeks. I always feel incredibly privileged, like the european nobility of old who would hire musicians to play while they ate, rested or even tried to fall asleep! Of course, instead of relaxing I am folding laundry, doing dishes and making lunches while they play. So maybe I am more like the servant of the afore-mentioned music-loving nobility.
Tuesday, February 22
At least I think that is what it is. My eye was caught by a dish heaped with these little pies in the deli case at the Acme and I bought one on impulse,to paint, attracted by its beautiful shape and color. The little sign next to the plate said "Knishes, $1.99 each". However, the director at the gallery where I show my paintings, could not identify what it was, although she liked the painting enough anyway to retain it after my recent show. Other mysteries: I have never again seen these so-called knishes offered at the Acme. Also, the original for this painting is still whole and pristine after a month of sitting in my studio. I am kind of afraid of it now.
Sunday, February 20
Those baby heads: so fragile seeming and precious.
Saturday, February 19
THIRSTING FOR PINK
and the rich greens of spring, I thank heavens for supermarket hydrangeas. It is just that time of year. My friend Ann wrote me a letter today ending simply "Waiting for spring". We had a few teaser days of warmth and gentle balminess, making the recent snap back to freezing temperatures hard to bear. I suppose even our impatience is all part of nature's cycle.
Friday, February 18
Sinks and scenery. You know you are really out in the country when there are more fixtures and appliances outside the house than in. For PhotoFriday's challenge, "Rural"
Thursday, February 17
There is always something magic about stepping into my Dad's studio. Maybe the fact that it is essentially a converted garage, with a stone floor, so that it is always several degrees cooler than the rest of the house. And one steps over a fairly high lintel and then down a stone step as one enters this cool dark room. Gives it a kind of "sacred space" feeling. Plus, although we were raised in an extremely relaxed and loving manner, it was impressed upon us from a very early age, NEVER TOUCH DAD'S TOOLS! So we never did. Still don't, although now I take pictures.
Wednesday, February 16
ALL BRIBES ACCEPTED
at the dentist's office. Took Hugh to a new dentist today. The old one is now too far away, the new old one turns out not to take our dental coverage (somehow we didn't realize this till after we went once), and so we were forced to plunge into a new relationship. This guy seemed to have the psychology of Hugh down: fast, cheerful, and lots and lots of bribes. Hugh ended up walking away with a new toothbrush, a shiny pencil, two prizes from the prize "bucket" PLUS the hygienist slipped him two sheets of stickers for being a fellow Libra (go figure). Like son like mother: I picked up a magnet on the way out!
Monday, February 14
or caloric, depending on your point of view. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
Went in to New York on Sunday for a few art events. The main draw was the chance to see Christo's Gate Project in Central Park. It was just so fun and quietly amazing that it is hard to describe. The weather was perfect, sunny and crisp with enough breezes to periodically lift the fabric and send it flashing against the Parrish blue skies. But perfectly comfortable for strolling the paths, in company with what felt like the entire city (and its country cousins). But instead of the usual heads-down no eye contact rushing along one usually finds in Central Park the mood was relaxed, joyous, festive and convivial. Strangers snapped each other's pictures, and admired each others dog's and babies. We traded smiles and even jokes with other Gates walkers, and people eagerly pointed out best vantage points to other folk. It was a Happening, and we were all there happily happening together.
Friday, February 11
Whenever I see a display like this I start to mentally hyperventilate. I am thinking, "So many treats, so little time to paint them!" If only I were Wayne Thiebaud.
Thursday, February 10
WHEN IS A MESS
not really a mess? When it is a freshly used-up page of my disposable palette pad. It is sort of pretty, and not only that, is evidence (like artist scat?) that I am working. I recently came out of my Post-Exhibit Slump Time, a condition my friend Emilie cleverly labeled as the PEST syndrome. Most artists I know get it. It just means that after a big push to get a show together, and the stress and excitement of the openings, reviews etc., one then feels exhausted and depleted, artistically, and it takes a while to get back into a productive routine.
Of course, in Fantasy World, this would be the perfect time to jet off to Italy or the South of France or the Bahamas, and lounge and rest and soak up energy and inspiration. In real life: ha! Just extra laundry (winter mud) and a dirtier house (winter mud). I did read a whole STACK of novels set in exotic paradise locations, soaking up a little r&r vicariously I guess. Whatever, it worked!
Tuesday, February 8
She broke her leg, but still seems pretty chipper. I miss my Dad's great gluing ability. He always seems to relish these mending projects (unfortunately he lives too far away to help out). I, on the other hand, leave the broken items lying around until the broken-off bit disappears. Then I guiltily throw the main thing away. Alas, poor Elsie, I'm afraid your fate is sealed!
Monday, February 7
AN ANXIOUS MOMENT
at Chess Club. I really enjoyed being a "Chess Parent" last week. My duties were bringing in some snacks, sorting chess pieces, and generally keeping an eye out for law and order. Not too hard. While they were normal high-spirited kids, this was not a gang of rowdy troublemakers by any means.
Friday, February 4
I like how the lights on the bus came out looking like tails of flame. And how the young woman in the wheelchair appears to be flying. Super-powered!
Thursday, February 3
Recently took the boys on a little jaunt to a local Science Museum. Henry was very attracted to some "Pretend you Are An Archaeologist" set-up they had. (Not because he wanted to pretend he was an archeologist, mind you, but because he enjoyed clambering around on the fiberglass rocks.). Inadvertantly he pulled this face, sitting up against the painted vista , that reminded me of so many childhood vacations. "You may have driven 1,000 miles, risked life and limb and spent more money than you can afford just so we could take a look at this Great Natural Wonder of the World, but I am going to sit here and sulk because we ran out of Frosted Flakes at breakfast this morning!"
Tuesday, February 1
FLUTE WITH FRUIT
Couldn't help noticing this beautiful chance arrangement on the kitchen table this morning. Looks like Bach sounds to me. Now, which piece? I can never remember the names. You know, the one that goes "Dum...da da dad dum.." (Dumb!)
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