Monday, February 6, 2017

Patti Smith in Chicago

Hey all--it's been two years and 3 months since I wrote this ode to Patti Smith and then left it in draft form.  I wanted to write so much more.  I wanted to talk about how Patti said during the show,

"How do you like my hair cut?  I got it Paris."  

It was just the right dramatic pause.  Not arrogant or entitled, but full of masterly timing that evoked an uproar from the audience.  Quintessential Patti.

Since this never-before-published post, I've seen Patti perform again, bought her book, "M Train" and watched her (via video, of course) accept Bob Dylan's Nobel Peace prize for literature (see Spin's write up here.)  Why publish this now?  I saw a call out on Twitter for artwork or writing on Patti, and thought, what the heck--maybe someone will know what I'm talking about when I describe my appreciation of the Godmother of Punk.

The day I bought these tickets, my hands were shaking on my keyboard.  Only 10 tickets left for a second added show.  Heart pounding, the first set of seats I had clicked on were gone as I tried to check out.  Same thing with the 2nd set.  Now I was down to 6 tickets.  Was the website malfunctioning?

I was panicking.  It's not that I hadn't known Patti Smith was coming.  I had asked a couple of people, but at $125 a ticket, I didn't pursue it in my usual manner.  Then, as I watched this dream of mine start to fall like dry dust through my fingers, I mentioned it to my husband.  Could we make this my Christmas present?  My eyes started to well up...this might be my only chance to see her.

My voice started to crack as I plead my case.  Kman stopped me and said, "I know how much Patti Smith means to you; I read your blog." Well, it's true you know.  Here's where I talk about my love of Patti before this:  Day 148. Thanks Ray Manzarek.  (I've got a great video of Patti singing, "Ain't It Strange" (in Amsterdam) and a drawing of her from one of my Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbooks, "The Last Word Ever Spoken.")  Anyway, I got my Christmas present early and it was SO worth it--a dream come true in the form of a ticket.

Patti Smith had swirled around in the consciousness of my life, but it wasn't until I read "Just Kids" in a 2-day gallop back in the beginning of 2011 that I truly fell in love with her music, lyricism, incitefulness, humanity, poetry.  I've read it several times since and even tried to get college students in my reading class to read it for extra credit.

There is no way I can express how life-altering that book was to it gave me the courage to plunge further into my creative have someone understand how desperately important it was to be an artist.  To accurately describe this strange calling inside that compels you to give up all else in its pursuit.  Really, the only other books in my lifetime of reading that have ever touched this internal artistic calling are Irving Stone's, "Lust for Life" and Chaim Potok's, "My Name is Asher Lev."  In fact, Patti was in town to accept The Chicago Tribune's Literary Award at Chicago's Humanities Festival the day before. (Click here for more info.)

By the way, if you have the time, and you REALLY should make the time, read this great description of Patti's life and influence by Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot of the eve of that Literary Award.

 Chicago Tribune Patti Smith at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


I'm pretty bummed that HBO's series, Girls, will be ending soon.  The final season begins next month, and in anticipation of that bittersweet event, I've decided to do a drawing of each episode.  It's my way of honoring Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow's witty, biting, touching creation.  I'm just going to put down my favorite parts, because, you know, my sheet of paper is only so big!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Postcards from the Edge

Hi peeps!  I piece of my art will be included in Visual AIDS' Postcards from the Edge event this weekend, beginning tonight, Jan. 13th.  If you're in or around NYC, stop by and buy some art for a great cause!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

George Michael - RIP

I, like many of you, was so shocked to hear that George Michael died today. I always thought his voice was so strong on the song "One More Try" soaring from low to high with ease. On Twitter someone posted him singing a Queen song (with David Bowie and Seal, no less, looking on from the sidelines). I always thought that no one could match Freddie Mercury's or Elton John's vocals, but George Michael could. And who could emulate George Michael's? Not many. Some singers make it look so easy. Maybe the singing is the easiest part of it for them, and living life is the harder part. Please read this article by the great Bob Lefsetz on George's artistic contribution, and what it costs to be an artist.

Please also read Rob Sheffield's great tribute to George in Rolling Stone, here.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Shadow and Light - Elaine Badgley Arnoux (Excerpt)

Here's a brief 8 minute (the entire documentary is less than 30 minutes) clip of the short film, "Shadow and Light - Elaine Badgley Amoux." I thought it was a fascinating look at a great female artist. I especially love her quote, "that she was old when she was young and did not become young until she was old." Let's all be forever young (to quote Bob Dylan, another wise soul).

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Party Dress

I just can't seem to pick up shimmer and shine with my camera or phone.  I spent a very long time on this--it has beads and glitter and tissue paper and acrylic, and two kinds on enamel, and...well, you get the point.  I went out to eat with a very good friend of mine, the last bit of the post-Thanksgiving weekend, and everything is now twinkling with Christmas decorations.  The holiday is working its way into my art.

There's my friend Cindy, or Cinderella as I call her, in the background.

Pierogies and Street Tacos--fusion food, baby!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Headband in Oil

Well, I just couldn't leave my "headband" drawing from a few days ago alone.  It just felt like he wasn't done yet.  Here he is in oil.

Horace Went Shopping on Black Friday

Horace fount the perfect tabletop Christmas tree on Black Friday.

This is filled with shimmery, lavender sparkle, you just can't see it in the picture.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  This month as FLOWN by, and now we've landed on the great feasting day of the year.  Not to overdo the aviary references, here's a giant doodle of a quite charming fowl.  I actually drew him last year, but never posted him.  I added an acrylic background to the colored pencil and ink, because always important to accessorize a turkey. (-;


I toyed with the idea of drawing this man's left eye to perfectly match the right, but I liked the way it looked as if he were ominously moving forward--one eye closer to the viewer than the distant left.  I felt like he was coming our of a city tunnel or a hospital or a psych ward.  I sketched this quickly on a large shard of paper--all ink and dried out ink brush.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


On this day in current events, two views of a play.

Oil, Ink, Enamel on paper

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sharon Jones RIP

I just read the sad news that Sharon Jones has died.  She had an incredibly powerful voice reminiscent of the great 1960's soul singers.  In fact, she was known as the female James Brown.  Her 2007 CD, "100 Days, 100 Nights" and the song of the same name had me in awe.  It completely pierces through your entire body as it blasts--and blasts is the only thing it could do even if your volume was turned down to 1--from the radio.  Yeah, you can listen to it on itunes, etc., but her music was meant to be playin' hard on your car radio with the windows down and your hair flying.  Her band, the Dap-Kings, lent their old-style grooves to Amy Winehouse, as they backed her at times as well.

I knew Sharon had pancreatic cancer, but she fought with such a force, you felt like she might be one to crack it.  If you haven't seen Barbara Kopple's documentary on her, "Miss Sharon Jones" which just came out this year, you need to.  Filled with the incredible talent and fighter that she was, her story of perseverance and song will leave you mourning her all the more.  Honor her by watching and listening.

Click here for The New York Times' article on Sharon's passing.

Click here for NYT's article from this past July when Sharon was still touring.

100 Days, 100 Nights

Friday, November 18, 2016

Works on Paper Art Show

Here are some photos of the art show I had earlier this month entitled, "Works on Paper."  I'd say 98% of what you see was completed in 2016.  Not everything is shown here, of course, but you can get an idea.  I only showed unframed pieces this time around.  Also, the half of the pics are ones I had taken.  Half, including the close-up shots, were taken by other people.  I apologize for repeats.  I wanted to acknowledge the contributions of others who were there.  Every media is here:  oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, ink, and mixed media.  Hope you like it. (-: