Friday, December 31, 2010

Are You Talking To ME?????


Robert De Niro, Age 3 months
Dear Imaginary Friends,

Ok, I admit; this is actually Parker Lyon, not Robert De Niro. But it could have been. I am just saying. A while back, when Medicare was a new concept.

Because I have such a fascinating life, I am typing this at 10 pm on New Year's Eve. Party hearty!

George Clooney just bought this same penguin suit in size medium, adult. Elizabetta and I find it quite flattering! George and Parker said to tell you all, Happy New Years.

Sincerely,
Patsie, grandmother to a future movie star

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Sold: It's A Vanilla World

                                        It's A Vanilla World, 12 x 12", Oil

Thursday, December 23, 2010

For Sale: Woodstock, VA, 11 x 14", Oil

                                     Woodstock, VA, seen at sunset in the Virginia Mountains, $300

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome to My Studio!

Dear Imaginary Friends,
You are now looking at my studio, and at a large oil painting that I completed last year entitled Grand Canal.
This painting is a biggie, measuring about 30" x 40". No doubt, you have noticed that it is a familiar view of the breathtaking city Venice. My husband and I took a Mediterranean cruise that ended there about 2 years ago. 
It was not our first visit. There is no substitute for the first time that one sees the watery city, with its impending doom hanging in the air. The grandeur of Venice is incomparable to any other city I have ever visited. It is a living breathing architectural museum. She is a lovely lady past her prime, but full of guile and charm.
I could not possibly do Venice justice, the way that Caneletto did.
Venice reminds me of my home town New Orleans, in that there is a commonality of danger from water. Both are gorgeous architecturally, draw tons of tourists, and celebrate great food.
A toast to my two favorite cities!
Love,
Patsie

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just Sold

                                                            Mary's Cherries, Oil, 8 x 10"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Now for Sale at A Show of Hands:

                                                 Il Ficchi (The Fig), 5 x 7", oil
                                                                  Available for purchase

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Parker In His Puppy Hat

         Parker is dreaming about what Santa will bring him.

Bonkers Was So Bonkers

Bonkers, showing his cute bunny side
Dear Imaginary Friends,
Do you ever think back to pets that you once had, who have moved on to Kitty Cat Heaven?  (Or maybe the alternative, warmer place!) I do. No cat was ever more deranged than my pet Himalayan Bonkers, who was aptly named. 
My friends were afraid of him, did not want to cat-sit him. 
He was 8 lbs. of crazy, wrapped in a beautiful visage and fur coat. His eyes were blue, except when he became possessed. He would wake up out of a deep sleep and I assume, nightmare, to suddenly pounce on the unsuspecting. His eyes would glow in the dark, huge and scary. He would rumble a growl, and advance to your face, as if he were about to eat you on the spot.
Virginia loved Bonkers, too
He was a kitty that only a mother could love. And yet, I miss him, the way he would lie on his back with his paws in bunny pose. I loved his soft silky fur. The hard-to-love amongst us deserve to be loved, just because everyone really does deserve love. Crazy cats included.
Miss you, Bonkers!
Love,
Patsie

Friday, December 10, 2010

The White House

Dear Imaginary Friends,
What a week! I am one lucky girl, because I was invited to go see the White House decor for the holidays. My great friend Mary and I hit the charter bus and went with her neighborhood group to see President Obama's happening home. To say that this year's decor was fabulous is an understatement. The colors, designed by Laura Dowling, chief florist for the White House, were bold and rich: Peacock blue, fuschia, tangerine, lime, gold. It was like a floral painting: a visual treat. Laura uses the French Naturalist method of bunching flowers together, and then inserts them into a larger bunch. She makes her containers as interesting as the flowers, using a pattern of layered magnolia leaves to cover her vessel. Also, she sometimes uses moss to cover the entire vessel, which gave it a swamp-thing kind of interest.
Amazingly, the White House looked modern, fresh and up to date. No cobwebs here!

The ultimate sighting occured; the Superstar of the White House (Not Obama!Not Michelle!Not Malia or Sasha!) is Mr. Bo the Portuguese Water Dog. As Mary and I stood in the large hallway admiring the lifesize replica of Bo, made of pipe cleaners, his doppelganger, the Real Bo, pranced through with two Secret Service agents, telling all of us to step aside and make way. Everybody touring got a big kick out of seeing Bo. No matter your political leanings, he is as cute as any stuffed animal toy you have ever seen.

Cheers to the holidays!
Patsie
My Mysterious Visitor, 2008, sold 2010
A Lovely Bird in my backyard, 2008

Friday, November 26, 2010

Who Dat?

Dat Parker!
He makes one very cute cow, don't you think?
Your imaginary Friend,
Patsie

Monday, November 22, 2010

Today We Give Thanks -- make gratitude your attitude

Dear Imaginary Friends,
Cherry Pie, 8 x 10", Oil
What an excellent time of year! Thanksgiving is upon us. (Which also means that Christmas cannot be far behind.) I relish the putting on of a big family dinner for the holidays, complete with about ten dishes, mostly traditional. 
Patsie, Thanksgiving, 2009
We find comfort in gathering around us our most beloved family members and our dearest friends. For some reason, we delight in eating the same dishes year after year. So what is the difference between monotony and comforting regularity? Thanksgiving is the one time of the year when ingenuity and change are least desirable. Sameness is the order of the day, but what a delicious sameness. Don't be creative; just serve the darn turkey!
Because I am not a turkey expert, I buy mine precooked every year from Popeye's, for a little New Orleans spice factor. There is no place like home, but if you cannot be there, maybe because you hate being xrayed up one side and down the other, or maybe you hate being groped in public, well, then buy the food that most reminds you of home. Skip the airports and bring on the party!
Love,

Patsie

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ew, Nasty!

Dear Imaginary Friends,
Have you ever wondered what your wait staff person was putting into your food, behind closed doors? If you have ever read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, you are wondering right now what your last less-than-friendly waiter/waitress put into your food, when you mysteriously broke out into hives or severe nausea after eating restaurant food.
One dare not tick off the wait staff.  When your iced tea resembles the opacity of a Bloody Mary, does that mean it contains dish rag water? Or when the waitress grins as she delivers your dish and says it has a little something extra special in it, does that mean she spat into it, or worse? Help me! I don't wanna die! SO I plan to always act serene and happy as a customer, NO MATTER WHAT!
Safety First,
Patsie

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vampires, Zombies and Terrorists, Oh, My!

Dear Intrepid Followers of My Blatherings,
Boo! That is me shown above in the "Jason" hockey mask. Not very artistic, but it fulfilled my mission of scaring small children all over our neighborhood for Halloween.
I have been musing about Vampires, Werewolves, and now Zombies, which are recently coming back into vogue. Have you asked yourself why the sudden fascination with dark creatures of  the afterlife,  predatory and undead? They are all sneaky, hide in the guise of humans, and can do great damage.
Well, how much more of an allegorical reference do you need to think that we are subconsciously substituting them for Terrorists, who blend in amongst us? Somehow, we find it easier to obsess with the supernatural, than the fearsome and unpredictable reality. The Boogie Man walks, and he/they are real.
Peace,
Patsie

Art Attack: SO Much to See

Dear Imaginary Friends,

So much to do, so little time!

There is nothing quite so motivating to me to visit museum shows as knowing that today is the last day of the show. Therefore, the intrepid Carlo and I decided to outsmart the Marine Corps marathon that was clogging the streets of the beautiful Washington, DC, and visit the four main shows at the National Gallery of Art.

The impediment was the 26.2 mile Marine Corps Marathon, which snaked through Capiol Hill, closing streets and making access to the museum almost impossible. We literally had to streak across two streets of the runners, who happened to be dousing themselves with cups of water. They were none too pleased to have us slow them down. But hey, art first! Fitness, 23rd.


Today being Halloween, it was timed to be the last day of Edvard Munch's show. His work  The Scream is his most prominent, but he has many that are equally ghoulish: The Lonely Girl, Sin, The Vampire, etc. I preferred his more attractive Madonna.

Working within the Halloween theme also was the Archimboldo show, wherein a contemporary of Leonardo Da Vinci created portraits for the Hapsburg Emperor Maximillian of vegetables, fish, flowers, fruit, etc. They are very cleverly done, and would be just the thing to attract an adolescent who normally would eschew art museums.


Also on tap, the gorgeous Chester Dale collection. Chester Dale and his wife Maud had such an eye for quality; what an impressive collection of Impressionism and early modernism.


Opening today was the PreRaphaelite photo and painting exhibit, which has a ghoulish Lady of Shalott. Carlo is coocoo for cocopuffs when it comes to the Pre Raphaelites. He cannot get enough, so it was a must see. Photography had recently been invented when the movement started, and the very wealthy court members liked to amuse themselves with  the new and magical technology. And you thought the royals sat around all day polishing their crowns and kicking serfs. No sirree.


Get yourself to the art museums and  check out what the artists of the world have been up to.


Artfully yours,
Patsie

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Leaf Peepers in the bonny state of Virginia

Dear Imaginary Friends,

How beautiful is the state of Virginia! In the autumn, my husband Carlo and I love to take a drive out toward the Blue Ridge Mountains for a bit of leaf peeping. Gold, red, and orange fleck the hillsides, and the breeze flutters through them, making them sparkle in the clear autumn air. My favorite trees are the sugar maples.
Yesterday, to see the trees out in wine country, we hit the towns of Berryville, White Post, Millwood, Leesburg, etc. One of our goals was to go to the Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville to hunt down some good old fashioned sherry and brandy laced fruitcake, covered in chocolate. I think if you buy this stuff from a monk, God makes the calories evaporate! At least, that was what I told the monk.
After buying that and some traditional fruitcake, some children's books, some cards and some homemade honey, it was time to eat dinner. No, I was not hungry after all that fruitcake, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do. We went to the charming Battlefield Inn, a B and B in Berryville, where we ate luscious shrimp and grits and yummy macaroni and cheese on the side, plus some rich onion soup, etc. The house pinot noir came in a massive wine glass for only $7. It felt like half a bottle was in there!
We attempted to find Long Branch, a lovely historic home in White Post. Our Garmin navigation system kept sending us round and round in circles. It made no sense. After 3 attempts of driving continuously, hunting for the mythical address, we gave up. Our Garmin is definitely possessed. Sometimes, it listens to its good angel, and sometimes to its bad angel.
Technology is like that. It is great as long as it is working!
By the way, Holy Cross monastery has retreats, and is a lovely spot to contemplate fruitcake!
Your friend in Virginia,
Patsie

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why I Hate Spirit Airlines

Dear Spirit Airlines,

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways!
Last weekend, my husband and I trekked to Miami Beach and we made the consummate mistake of flying Spirit Airlines. Biggest problem: apparently, knees are optional! If you are taller than 5 feet, you will wonder where you are supposed to stow your knees on their airplanes, which seem to hark back to darker days when our ancestors travelled in stowage to America. If you had a magazine in the pouch in front of you, you no longer had room for your knees. Because the space allowed is 3 inches maximum.

As if the space issue is not heinous enough to turn one away from this wretched airline, add to that the charges for tea, coffee, soft drinks, reserved seats, and carry on bags.
This leads to the inevitable person-on-a-budget-making-unwise-spatial-decisions syndrome.

A very fat young lady stuffed all her belongings into a back pack and proceeded to stuff it under the seat in front of her. She was avoiding the $35 charge to carry on a bag in the overhead compartment. My sad luck: she was my seat mate. Consequence: I had to leave the aisle briefly in order for her to shove it with all of her might into the tiny space. Then, she parked her foot and leg in my foot space. Now, I am not normally a irritable person, but this made me want to accidentally kick her. Of course, I did not actually do so, but the temptation grew stronger with every minute. In the privacy of my own mind, I formulated plans to drop an anvil accidentally on her foot. Slight problem: I had no anvil, and if I did, there would have been an anvil-dropping charge imposed by Spirit.
Then the lady in front of her got really angry as the backpack girl pushed her voluminous body into the seat ahead of her in order to retrieve the MP3 she dropped on the floor in front of her. This sort of thing went on for 2.5 hours...

Smells like Bad Spirit...not teen spirit. I. will.not.ever.fly.them.again. 
Never again. 
US Airways is looking better... as would Rat and Bedbug Air.
Original denizens of Miami

Sincerely,
Veteran of the airways

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hollah!

Hi, Imaginary Friends of the Blogosphere,

If you have not visited my website in a while, you might find some new paintings on exhibit. Check them out; I hope you like them!
Go to www.patriciauchello.com. Be there or be square~!
Best,


Patsie
The Artist at rest
Patsie

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chez Francois, L'Auberge, Great Falls, VA

Il Ficchi, 5 x 7", Oil, c. 2010 by Patricia Uchello
Dear Cute Imaginary Friends,

Hi, I had a wonderful meal this week at Chez Francois this past week. Located in the very verdant Great Falls, VA, it sits inside a charming Alsatian mini chateau featuring Provincial French and continental cuisines. The food was ooh la la, and the woodsy setting as charming as ever. There is a delightful outdoor patio, when the weather cooperates.  

Great Falls is one of the prettiest suburbs and also the most chock-a-block with estates in metro DC. The drive alone is gorgeous as it wends it way up and down hills, with views of woods and streams flanking the road.

The only not-so-charming element is the fixed price cost. Lunch is $36 and dinner is $65. That said, this is a four course meal and I guarantee that you will not leave hungry!

For the sake of my ever-expanding waistline, I ordered a la carte and did very well with a delicious gazpacho that tasted more tomato-like than an actual tomato, and a plate of smoked salmon with creme fraiche.


Perhaps the highlight of the meal is the yummy cottage cheese (I KNOW!!) spread for which C.F. is justly storied. It contains chives, a touch of garlic, and salt and pepper. One spreads it on fresh warm garlicky French bread.

Also of note are the mini croissants with C.F.'s delish sweet butter. OK, I am now making myself hungry, and need to go make a homemade pizza, so that I will not drool all over my keyboard and short out my computer.

Au revoir for now,
Patsie

WHAT IS MORE IRRESISTIBLE THAN A NEWBORN BABY?

Tall, dark and handsome. Le sigh.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Becoming a Grandparent in One Quick Minute

Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friend,

Wow, two people in the Middle East are reading my blog! WHO knew! Good stuff. Well, they also now know that I became a grandmother this week, and I have to say, this is the best deal I ever got!
I love babies. They are quite the creative work of art, even in the strictest sense. And they look good, they smell good (well, between diaper events), and they feel good.

Babies are tiny miniature little people. However, that does not stop me from claiming that my grandson is ten feet tall and glows in the dark. Regardless of whether the average person finds him tall, dark and handsome... I know that I always will.

My new grandson just happens to have been born with sideburns. I can now picture Elvis as a newborn! Mother Nature has a sense of humor! The baby is a manly little man. And I have already picked out his future girlfriend, who happens to have been born last night: Sadie Prow. I hope he realizes that our family believes in arranged marriages, not by force, but by gentle persuasion.

My mother fixed me up with my husband of 31 years, and she also fixed up my sister with her husband of 40 years. See, it works!

Go plant some seeds of love, and one day, you will be a grandparent. Don't wait too long; it is the best thing ever.

Yours very truly,
Patsie

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Trummer's On Main in Clifton

"Daffodils", Oil, c. Patricia Uchello, 2010

Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friend,

Wow, what a delicious trip to Clifton, VA, we took tonight! For the last year, I have wanted to try the new destination restaurant in Clifton, called Trummer's On Main.

If you go, allow 45 minutes drive southwest from Alexandria. Expect to get lost en route! It is in rolling farm country, amidst "starter castles" on 5 acre lots. The restaurant itself in in an old converted historic building, and there are three dining rooms. The only heart-stoppingly pretty one is the Garden Room. It is a visual delight: Gorgeous porportions and a gracious setting with some unusual plank tables. Not to mention the bar in the foyer area, which is onyx, lit from the interior. Glowy madness!

The service is top notch, with so many waiters and servers, they almost trip over each other.
The menu is not large. Trummer's specializes in unique frothy cocktails, a great wine list (try the Austrian Pinot Noir), and a yummy albeit small selection of nouvelle cuisine.
The asparagus appetizer looked like a lovely gift wrapped up. The tomato risotto was outstanding in its intensely tomatoey flavor.
The restaurant was so cold, that I kept asking them to turn down the A/C, as we were under a direct draft. My advice: wear your parka, even in the summer.
I really enjoyed my salmon, but my husband complained that there were not enough vegetarian entree choices. As for me, I usually make a beeline for the shrimp, crab or veal scallop dishes, and there were none of the above.
Trummer's is closed for lunch. Bummer! There are very cute shops in Clifton, including All ThatGlitters, which would encourage me to make a day trip to combine eating and shopping. So many times, I have had lunch at Heart In Hand in Clifton, always disappointed with the food. Trummer's fills that void. Excellent cuisine comes at a fairly steep price, though, much like Restaurant Eve's prices in Old Town, Alexandria.
Clifton now boasts a wine shop, too, and a lovely antique store. It is like Upperville with fewer horses. I can now say definitively, though, that there is better dining in Clifton.
Dinner for two: $100-150.
The hungry traveler,
Patsie

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Leesburg, My Kinda Town!

Patsie, Opening Night, ArtSquare
Dear Diary, aka, Intrepid Reader,

Are you bored, listless, itchy? Having trouble finding anything new to do?

Well, drive out to Leesburg, VA! It could not be simpler.
A) Find King Street.(aka, Route 7)
B) Drive West til you get there.
Voila! A cute little city, with really good restaurants and a great art space.

The art in town revolves around ArtSquare, a new permutation of the Loudoun Academy of the Arts and the former Gallery 222. Located at 12 Cardinal Drive, SE, right off the ubiquitous Route 7, the space is very SoHo/Chelsea, NYC. The high ceilings and white walls are fresh and stark. Good vibe! Run by the lovely Gale Waldron, the gallery gets great attendance at their openings, and has a varied schedule throughout the year with some heavy hitting talents.

What to eat? I thought you would never ask! I have been working night and day all year to find the best eats.

1. Tuskie's, aka, Tuscarora Mills. Loves it! Gotta go there for the Shrimp and Grits, which rock.
2. Fire Works Pizza, for their garlic pizza. Wow! SO much flavor impact. Bring the Tums!
3. Mom's Pies. Love their coconut macaroons! Lots of pie flavors.
4. Palio, Italian.
5. Lightfoot, in a beautiful old bank.
6. Venture further west on Route 7 and you will land in Purcellville, and should eat at Magnolia at the Mill. Yummy stuff there, too.


On my list to try: The Cajun Experience. Very Loo-see-ana. A place after my own heart!

Are you a shopper? Well, Creme de la Creme has beautiful French Provincial items, high end. There is also good antiquing to be had.


Are you a wino? No problem! Leesburg is very close to about 100 Virginia wineries. You can get your swerve on!
Gotta run; am looking for King Street!

Cheers,
Patsie

Sunday, August 1, 2010

No Substitutions for the "Real" Thing

"Strawberries," Oil, 8 x 10"
Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friends,

This week, I decided to make the ultimate compromise: a low-fat quiche. I substituted skim milk in my mushroom quiche, instead of whipping cream. Guess how it came out: No flavor.
The payoff is a few less calories going into my clogged arteries and waistline. Was it a fair trade off? No way. That is like Justin Bieber without the hair. Or like painting with mud.

Just as I want my cooking to taste good, I want my art to look tasty.
(Don't my strawberries look yummy?) You cannot make a great piece of art without the requisite tools and ingredients. Unless you are some kind of genius, and nobody has called me that since my mother died. Tear.

I have been watching with great interest the new show on Bravo called Work of Art. Produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, an artiste of a different ilk, the show features painters and sculptors, mostly young and cute, competing with each other in various challenges. Finally, a reality show without "real" housewives, Spencer and Heidi, or fake tans like Snooky and the Situation. There is no substitution for real content in media, that inspires us as opposed to watching a show featuring attention-starved evil housewives, so that we can decide which one is the least heinous. I know where I will be Wednesday nights: watching Work of Art, and picturing myself executing work to win each challenge.

Love,
Your imaginary Friend,
Patsie
, a not-so-heinous real housewife

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Staying Current or Going Cavegirl

Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friend,
Nowadays, it is not enough to know how to email. Artists are expected to be able to download photos, upload photos, edit in Picasa, write and manage a blog, manage their Facebook and My Space sites, and maintain a website. The social networks sometimes feel like a full time job! I feel like any nanosecond, there will be some newer piece of technology that I will be expected to master. Will I ever be sufficiently proficient at technology to keep up? Is it a losing battle? Maybe I should just go scribble images of bison on a cave wall and call it a day.
Nah. But if ever managing my website eats up more time than actually making art does, having a great website will seem like a pyrrhic victory.
If we spend all our time at our computers on our Spacebook, My Face, Your Face, [sic] without actually being out in the world, we will not be creating art or enjoying the company of other people. Not to mention exercising. It can be very isolating to spend a lot of time of the computer. Is that what "social" networking is all about?
Scratching my head, and getting flabby,
Patsie

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How I Learned to Blog at the Art League


A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that The Art League, a fabulous non-profit art association in Alexandria, VA, was hosting a free lecture on how to write, post and publish a blog. I attended, in hopes of learning a new skill. Megan Coyle, a young artist, was the very savvy instructor. In two hours, I was back at home, creating my blog! How easy was that, thanks to The Art League. Wow. They have so many good lectures, all free to the public. Tonight, I will attend yet another: a critique of members' art work, courtesy of The Art League and Ted Reed, one of their excellent instructors. All you have to do is call the Art League to register, and bring 3 pieces of art. It is tonight, from 7-9 pm. The Art League has meant so much to me over the last twenty-plus years. I have studied painting with Diane Tesler, Kurt Schwarz, Danni Dawson, Lisa Semerad, and many others. They have taught me to refine both my skills and my eye. Love you, Art League! It is not just me who thinks that the arts are so very important to the fabric of our society. Newsweek put it very well in their recent article on creativity, and how classes in all the arts positively impact students' academic performances. Creativity and innovations are also economic drivers which reach throughout communities. On July 21, the Washington Post had a great article on the creative and cultural push of the Obamas. We artists need that assistance from the government, because school systems seem to think of the arts as the most expendable curricula. The arts need technology and technology needs the arts. We are symbiotic. I would not be writing this blog were it not for the Art League. You would be well-served to spend a little free time at The Art League, taking a class, attending a seminar, checking out the gallery, making an art purchase, buying art supplies. Whatever you do, and however you do it, please support the arts. Cheers, Your virtual friend Patsie

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Denver and Boulder,CO

Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friend,
Wow, what a meal we ate tonight at Mizuna, the best restaurant in Denver. Our fave dishes: Carlo had a beet salad with goat cheese tortellini, and I had the famous lobster macaroni and cheese with mascarpone. The more expensive the restaurant, the smaller the portions. But so tasty! Great house bread with 3 different butters. Our wine was from Willamette Valley: a Pinot Noir called Siduri. YUMtastic! But pricey.
To make life even better, I trekked to Broomfield and Boulder, where I had lunch at The Kitchen, very gourmet crab salad. AH, thanks, Barbara, for taking me there! If you travel to Boulder, check out the Pearl Street mall shops, and be sure to go into The Peppercorn. SO many kitchen items, foods and things culinary. The biggest cookbook assortment I have ever seen.
AS for aesthetic delights, the Denver Botanical Garden just slayed me with so many blooming flowers and water features, abloom with so many kinds of water lilies. It was bejeweled with 20 Henry Moore sculptures, which were beautifully integrated into the landscaping. A true visual treat. The sculptures are a temporary exhibit, so run, do not walk.
Our first day in Denver, we drove up into the Rockies, to Georgetown, a charming Victorian town where we snacked at the Happy Cooker. {sic} We east-coasters are accustomed to our tap water tasting of refreshing chlorine. Nope, here it smacks of minerals, that make your iced tea taste like it has artificial flavoring. Alas, there is no getting around the fact that the mountain water, although fresh, tastes like swill.
Small matter. The air is clear and the skies beautifully blue.
What is Colorado famous for? Healthy thin people, who ride bikes, recycle, are deeply invested in preserving the environment, and import homeless from other states, so as to educate them and release them back into society. Shux, Denver, you guys are nice.
Your liquor bill will be reduced if you move here, because you will get twice as drunk on half the liquor, due to the altitude. But you will spend all that surplus money on sunscreen. The sun here is surprisingly direct and strong.
What's hard here is breathing when you have not yet adjusted to the altitude, baking potatoes and cakes and cookies (takes forever), and driving up the mountain roads without getting the shakes. A small price to pay.
More awesomeness: the Denver Museum of Art, housed in boldly striking architecture, with magnificent sculptures luring the viewer in. What a great collection of contemporary paintings and sculpture! Wow. And don't forget to visit Cherry Creek Mall.
I am so glad I visited. Denver, you are a refreshing change from Washington, DC.
Your new buddy,
Patsie

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Warehouse: a foodie destination on King Street


If you visit Old Town, Alexandria, VA, please give your taste buds a treat, and head to The Warehouse on King Street. Yum. Their she crab soup is a must-have. I have never tasted better, and believe me, I have done my research into this important matter.
I have, because of my due diligence, become a regular. My picture, in caricature form, now graces the stairway, among other foodie luminaries, such as Katie Couric. Apparently, she knows her crab soup, too.
Bon Apetit,
Your Imaginary Friend,
Patsie
PS The Warehouse is conveniently located on King Street, 2 blocks West of The Art League in The Torpedo Factory, a visual taste treat. The Art League Gallery is on the first floor, and a staple of great art at affordable prices. The building is the number one tourist destination in Alexandria, and situated right on the Potomac River.

Nocturne on the River

A Show of Hands, on Mount Vernon Avenue



Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friends,
Well, I just wanted you to know that A Show of Hands is a fabulous art gallery, located in the trendy Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, VA. Seeing as how you can never have too much fabulosity, if you have never been there, you simply must go.
What could be more perfect than an art gallery situated across the street from the very best ice cream parlor in the greater Washington, DC Metro area? I kid you not. Even President Obama has visited The Dairy Godmother on Mt. Vernon Avenue. I highly recommend the chocolate custard. All their flavors are made in house. Don't forget the Sprecher's Root Beer. I give it a thumbs up.
But getting back to art, my friend Laura Bell and I have art showing at A Show of Hands through tomorrow. It brings me great sorrow that the show is coming down. I had on exhibit about 22 oil paintings. A few of them will remain, which means I will be shopping there and peeking at my paintings on a regular basis.
What kinds of subjects have I been showing there? I thought you might ask. Well, mostly oil paintings that are landscapes. There are paintings of Sedona, AZ; Lyon , France; Avignon, France; the Virginia side of the Potomac River and Venice, Italy. Also, there are oils of irises and waterlillies, red roses and gerbera daisies. You can never have too much beauty in your life. Who doesn't love flowers and gorgeous scenery?
Hitler, that's who!
Cheers,
Patsie

My Very First Blog


Dear Diary, aka, Imaginary Friends,
I think I should be smelling the scent of a new box of crayolas right about now: such is the raw newness and my lack of education in all things technical. Me, a blog? Hard to believe that I could master the technology. Thanks, Google, for making this so easy, relatively speaking.
I am writing a blog because two of my friends told me that I really need to!
I am going to post about the three things that most interest me, outside of family.
First, making art! Cannot live without it.
Second, good food. Hey, I am from New Orleans, where the conversations all revolve around one's last meal, and one's next meal.
Third, travel. I cannot travel to enough interesting places in the forty or so years left on this planet, because the budget would implode. But I travel as much as I can, so as to eat the FOOD and see the ART. And photograph the sights so that I can remember the trip and have something to paint. SO, you see, it really is all the same thing.
Stay tuned: Carlo and I are heading to Denver, Colorado for the very first time with new fascinating restuarants and museums to explore. I promise to report back, as well as to post some of my work.
Your imaginary friend,
Patsie