Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Fam Hits the Big Easy

Dear Imaginary Friend,
Our family trekked down South to the always intriguing Land of Dreamy Dreams: New Orleans, Y'all.
We went for the beautiful wedding of the gorgeous Kathy, my sweet artist goddaughter. While there, we partook of Commander's Palace, Cafe du Monde, The French Quarter, and Jackson Square, the Garden District, The Gumbo Shop, Commander's Palace again, sno balls at various venues, Mandina's , a fabulous Swamp Party with live Zydeco music, a reception at the very majestic Elms, and a sumptuous brunch at the Columns. MM, tasty! I gained a few lbs. Are you surprised?
We ran into crazy people on the St. Charles Trolley. A weirdo got on board, looked straight at Parker, and then said, "Watch out for the pigman; he is going to eat you!

Lordy. Today, more of the same occurred in Old Town. I was trolling down the sidewalk in Alexandria, and a weird dude said to me, "Nice Toes!" Moral of the story: 1. Weirdos are in every city 2. I have nice toes. 3. I need to keep my toes away from the Pigman.

Most sincerely,

Monday, May 30, 2011

SO happy in New Orleans

The Author

Happy Swimmies!

Parker's First Swim Day ever, Chez Uchello
Dear Imaginary Friend,
Today, we had a poolside Memorial Day celebration, with burgers on the grill, family and friends, and a very special day for Parker: his first time getting into our pool.
He had mixed reviews. He thought the water a tad chilly, but with the air 93 degrees, it was nothing if not refreshing.
Here his mommy Virginia makes it easy for him.
Your Imaginary swim partner,

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Art is what lies between our dreams and reality.

Dear Imaginary Friends,
I have been away in New Orleans, and am now recovering, with an ice pack on my head, dark sunglasses, and a large bottle of Advil.
Please write your own blog tonight!
Your Imaginary Traveler,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

River Farms

Behind River Farms
Look how lovely this vista is behind the historical River Farms! It is beautifully situated on the banks of the Potomac River outside Washington, DC.
It merits your visit!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cute Stuffings, Part 4

Here is our happy little visitor, whom we babysat for 5 days. He is playing on a blue and white blankie that was hand made for his mama 30 years ago. Tradition!

Robert Liberace at the Art League

Rob Liberace, teaching at the Art League

Dear Imaginary Friend,

Many, many students flock to the classes of Robert Liberace at The Art League in Old Town, Alexandria.
Not only has Liberace achieved international stature with his paintings and drawings in the old style of the masters, but he is also revered as a teacher.
It is my good luck to be in his Friday class, called painting the portrait and figure. He is show above painting a demonstration piece from the live model. I am hoping that his enormous talent rubs off on me!

Your Imaginary Friend,

The Special Chair

Van Gogh's Chair, 20 x 16", Oil, May 2011

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Welcome to the premier viewing of what I did last Wednesday. Presenting my newest oil painting!
This chair has character: it is antique, has peeling yellow milk paint, and reminds me strongly of several of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings.
Irises were one of Van Gogh's most successful still lives. He also liked acid yellows, like the one I have on the wall.
Feeling Van Goghish today!

Your Imaginary Friend, with both ears still intact,

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hanging at the White House

Obama's Crib
Dear Imaginary Friends,

Here we are with Danny's lovely parents, Debbi and Bill, hanging out on a balmy night at the White House. I am quite sure I got a phone call from our esteemed president to go and celebrate with him and Michelle. I am pretty sure I was awake at the time. The gift bags in our hands are our hostess/host gifts!
As of this writing, we are standing there in this pose. Please bring us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; we are starting to get hungry!

Your Imaginary Dreamer,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daddy and Son

Daddy Danny and son Parker
Dear Imaginary Friend,

Yes, they have the same shape eyes! How they differ: Danny does not suck his thumb. Danny is much taller and makes sense when he talks, as opposed to a vocabulary of two words: dada and mama.

This little baby boy has cute his first tooth and started crawling, all this week. So fun to watch him grow! Before you know it, he will be writing his dissertation in Solutions for Global Warming. Has something to do with making everyone wear an ice-packed bib, I think...

Your Imaginary Friend,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mosaic Stepping Stone

Hand- made Original Glass Tile Stepping Stone, 12 x 12"
Dear Imaginary Friends,
This is what I did standing in a steady drizzle last Saturday, for four hours. I still have to grout it, but that should be pretty straight-forward. This is an abstract design, but it reminds me of a fat man lying down! His head is white and on the left. His legs are white and on the right. His two arms are sticking out, too.
Hmm. Maybe I really do need more sleep!
Your Imaginary Friend,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The National Cathedral International Flower Mart

The Display at the Cathedral Representing Hong Kong

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Carlo and I have been eager to visit the National Cathedral of Washington, DC each Spring, during the very big  International Flower Mart. We finally made it there two weeks ago! It did not disappoint. In addition to various countries displaying designs of flowers throughout the church, the stairs to the bell tower and the balconies are open to provide stunning views of the city (District of Columbia)  all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There are talented singers and  folk groups with ethnic dancing demos performing. This year, Austria sponsored the flower mart, so the dancers were dressed like traditional Austrians, doing that dance that Austrians do! Apple Strudel was sold as well as bratwursts, etc, etc.

All Hallows Guild is the organization of gardeners devoted to maintaining and preserving the Cathedral's hallowed grounds. To that end, there is an annual, extensive flower and plant sale anchoring the mart, with monies going to their cause. Also selling more common flowers is Melwood, the organization that fund-raises for people with disabilities. In addition, many crafters, gift shops, artisans, etc. have booths, selling everything from honey to scarves.

Next year, try to get there early, because the parking lot is smallish, compared to the crowd it attracts. Arrive in the first half hour, or plan to hike from a distant parking spot.

Your Imaginary Entertainment and Parking Adviser,

What's New?

What is Happier Than a Sunflower??
Dear Imaginary Readers,

What have I been doing this week? I am so glad that you asked! Last Wednesday, I painted the super- color- saturated- still- life shown above; it is so new, it has not yet been named. Measuring in at 12 x 12, oil on canvas, it is not quite finished. I have to get a Cantaloupe "Model" to pose for me, so that I can put in its skin texture that looks like webbing. A cantaloupe with personality is a commodity all too hard to find these days. Most cantaloupes are just very poor conversationalists.

In addition, I made a non-cantaloupe mosaic on Saturday, also 12 x 12", a stepping stone. I made it while standing in the rain for four hours. Do I now have frizzies, or what! The mosaic is so new, I do not have a photo. Mosaics are wonderful, but so time consuming. It can be quite tedious and slow, and if you know the way I work, I like to paint at lightening speed. And do!

One must wear gloves while working with the adhesive mortar and the grout, or the chemicals will physically leach out all the oil from your skin and give you lizard hands. Not cute! Caramba!

Your Imaginary Friend,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Virginia Museum of the Arts, Outdoor Garden

Wow, there is the best cafe at the Virginia Museum of the Arts, plus, there is this lovely outdoor water garden patio on which you can dine. Or just sit and veg out.
Oh yeah, the art is really nice, too! The new renovation has increased the physical gallery space by 50%. Architecturally, it is stunning, and reminds one of the Getty Museum in Malibu.

Your Art Lover Imaginary Friend,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Last Week with Teresa Oaxaca

The Artist with her Self-Portrait
Dear Imaginary Readers,
What a highly original creative artist! Teresa, a member of the Art League in Alexandria,  is show here with her fanciful self-portrait, cum blond wig, a la French Revolution era. The interesting part is that she enjoys wearing costumes daily, and has a beautiful collection of dresses that are quite adorable on her.
I think this self portrait is quite beautiful. Now, let me eat cake.
Your Imaginary Artist Friend,

Three Generations

My Mother's Day Outing with my daughter and grandson  
Dear Imaginary Reader,
I sure hope you treated your mom to a good time on Mother's Day! I had a supremely divine time at A La Lucia, dining and wining with my cuties. Shows are some of the cuties, but not all, who were present. This was Virginia's first Mother's Day.
Your Imaginary Mother

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thai X-Ing

Dear Imaginary Friends,
If you like adventure and living dangerously, you might want to trek into an iffy neighborhood in Washington, DC: Florida Avenue, NW, at Fifth Street. Go there to hunt down  the teeny restaurant named Thai x-Ing, which is cute and charming inside. One takes off one's shoes before climbing upstairs, to eat at a teeny table, with a group seated in front of a screen that hides the unmade double bed of the owner/chef.
Adventure is yours, especially because on weekends, the chef chooses your meals.The chef feeds you whatever he feels like. The food is plentiful, served family style. You takes what you gets!
The best and most famous dish is the pumpkin curry. MMM, delish.
You tell him if you are vegetarian or not, and he will bring you about 6 small courses, for $40 fixed price, each, plus automatic $10 tip per head. No liquor license, so BYOB!
Despite all this, reservations are not that easy to come by, because the culinary quality is high.Warning: the chef is not afraid of spice. Bring the Rolaids, and/or wash for them to hold down the fire. Beverages are limited, for instance, no Thai Iced Tea.
What a hoot, how many diners this teeny townhouse manages to cram in. It is like the proverbial clown car, with tables hidden and tucked around every corner. GO there for the idiosyncrasies, but return for the food.
Your Imaginary Friend the Foodie,

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Picasso and Paloma, from Paris to RIchmond

Dear Imaginary Viewers,
Yesterday, I had a great trip to the Virginia Museum of Arts on Richmond, VA, where I saw the huge Picasso exhibit with my non-imaginary friend Michelle.  The show traveled all the way from the Musee' Picasso in Paris.
I found out that Paloma was one of four children of Pablo Picasso. Her mom was Francois Gilot, who was married to Picasso for ten years. After Francoise, he had a new young girlfriend named Jacqueline, despite his advanced age. Picasso, whom many think of as very modern, was actually born in the nineteenth century, two centuries ago. Makes you stop and think, doesn't it?
Your Imaginary Friend,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Welcome to My Studio! Part Two

The Current State of My Studio
Dear Imaginary Readers,
I already know what I am going to do tomorrow afternoon: I am going to work on the painting that you see here on my easel. It is a floral painting, 12 x 24". On the wall to the left is the nude that I recently painted, and on the right is a pencil self-portrait that I did  when I was only 18.
To say that my studio is cluttered is like saying the Kennedy Family is Irish. Duh!
Your Imaginary Friend,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Next Show, at NIH

Anyone who likes humorous art, this is the exhibit that you should see!

I seek to amaze you with the flights of fancy in this show.
Come one, come all. You don't to be a patient or a doctor!

Mission Accomplished

Lilacs and Strawberries, 10 x 8", Oil, 2011
Dear Imaginary Readers,

Yay, Mission Accomplished! I am not talking about the mission to capture Osama Bin Laden; I am talking about fixing this painting and making it look the way I wanted it to.

Please see my previous blog entry entitled "What A Glamorous Life!" The title was sarcasm, as in, what a heck of a lot of work it is to make a painting look decent. Turpentine, paint-stained hands, and paint rags do not make for glamour.

My group art exhibit at St. Paul's is now over, and my show at NIH is going up this Friday, May 13. (Uh oh: Friday the thirteenth!)

I am working on making 45 horticultural paintings for my September 2012 one woman show at American Horticultural Society. This piece will fit right in!

On to the next painting,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cute Stuffings at Seven Months

Parker Out- Cutes Himself, photo by Norm Hadad

Dear Imaginary Reader,
Here Parker seems to be showing off just how cute he is. I believe he is posing for Better Babies and Gardens, or International Baby Magazine. Not sure. Or Maybe Newsbaby, Harper's Baby, Conde Nast Travel and Baby, Saturday Evening Baby, Baby's Home Journal, the list goes on...
Your Imaginary Friend,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hit the Road, Jack!

The Author Strolls Baby Parker

My Other Stroller is a Bentley

Old School Stroller, cost me $30 at Target
Dear Imaginary Friends,
It seems that everything is getting so much more complex and expensive these days. Back when I was knee high to a duck, a stroller was a laundry basket on a skateboard! Well, OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but strollers were $10 at KMart back then. Now they are $800 and can do so much more.
Like, stroll?
Your Imaginary Old-School Friend,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Oh, Lord! She's Nude

Nude, Oil

Dear Imaginary Censors,

What is the difference between nudes and naked people? This is definitely a relevant question for classical art. It is hard to define, but you know when you see it, right?
Well, this painting is how I spent my Friday afternoon this past week. And she is definitely nude, but not naked.

Your Imaginary Friend,

The Soup Tureen

The Soup Tureen
Dear Imaginary Art Lovers,
This painting was finally finished in March 2011, after gnashing my teeth for 5 months, trying to achieve a better quality of composition. I had even considered cropping it with scissors. Such was my angst.
In the end, I fixed the composition by adding branches and more leaves. Phew! Now I love it, am at peace and ready to have this baby adopted. It is currently on display for sale at A Show of Hands on Mt. Vernon Avenue, in Alexandria.

Your Imaginary Artist Friend,