Monday, October 31, 2011

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital

Dear Imaginary Friends,

 I am pleased to announce that I will be showing twelve oil paintings at the Lombardi Cancer Center in Georgetown in March 2012.

So if you don't catch my current shows at A Show of Hands, or Beall and Brumbaugh, or The Art League, or Green Springs Park, January-February 2012, or River Farms September 2012-January 2013, then you have still another venue to check them out.

Thanks for caring.
Your Imaginary Friend,

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In the Heart of Old Town

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Today was the grand opening of a lovely new art gallery in Old Town: Beall and Brumbaugh, 215 King Street. There was a huge turnout of friends from all over! A pianist played on the grand piano, catered food was served, and a great time was had by all. More importantly, beautiful art was seen, and appreciated.

Wish you were there!

Your Imaginary Friend,

Black Sand Beach on the Big Island

Back in 2004, Carlo and I took a trip to Hawaii, the land of natural extremes. Here is shown a black sand beach, pounded by waves from volcanic rock.
It was soft enough to walk on...and stunning to see.

Your Traveler,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Carlo on Canvas

Dear Imaginary Friends,

About 20 years ago, I painted Carlo in person, over a span of nine hours. He leaned against the doorway for three hours at a stretch, while I painted him as quickly as I could.

Back then, he had a beard. In fact, I never saw him beardless until he turned forty. His bearded self now hangs in the library.

Your Imaginary Portrait Painter,

Jack Daniels Shrimp

Dear Imaginary Foodies,

If you love to eat out, as I do, you should head on down to R.T's Restaurant on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray for the best of both worlds: A dish that combines shrimp and Jack Daniels! For extra fun, there is lump crab meat on top, and a buttery sauce for bread dipping. R.T.'s specializes in all foods New Orleans. They also serve fabulous She-crab soup, gumbo, red beans and rice, and crawfish etoufee'.

I am like Bubba Gump in Forrest Gump: I never met a shrimp I did not like. Shrimp gumbo, shrimp creole, shrimp maison, shrimp remoulade. Ooh la la.

It's an appetizer, but filling. Jack Daniels Shrimp. It is waiting for you!

Your Imaginary Diner,

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Napa Valley" by Patricia Miller Uchello

This is one of the best paintings that I have ever done. I have had many offers from clients to buy it, but am unwilling to part with my beloved friend. It reminds me of August in wine country in Northern California, when we rented a convertible and drove down the Pacific Coast Highway. 

When we ventured into wine country, I saw this building, a drug store on the corner of a semi-deserted street in the then-sleepy town of Napa.

My painting embraces the long shadows and feeling of loneliness of Edward Hopper.
And I like it.

Your Imaginary Friend,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rhine River Cruise

Floating Down the Rhine
Germany, its splendid Rhine River, and its gorgeous castles       in the countryside: how romantic!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Art On The Rocks! In Old Town

Dear Imaginary Friend,

If you live in Alexandria, Virginia, you need to get on down tonight to the Art League, located inside the Torpedo Factory, to attend Art On The Rocks! Buy your ticket in advance for only $35 online at, or at the door for $45.

What does this buy you? I am so glad that you asked! Six small inventive cocktails, plus appetizers, and yummies. Plus fun people.

 Bartenders have created new concoctions inspired by paintings and sculpture in this month's gallery show.
You will not want to miss this event tonight, from 6-9pm.

See you there!

Some of My Paintings of Water

"Great Falls", 12 x 12"

"Grace Gathering Shells," 12 x 9"

"Solomon's Island", 10 x 8"
Dear Imaginary Friends,

What is more lovely than water? Whether it is a large body of water, a fountain, or a dreamy bath?

I associate water with cleansing, not just bathing . Think about Baptisms, when original sin is washed away.

Think about rushing streams, and boats on the bay. Relaxation, and good times!

Think about our bodies, which are about 95% water. No wonder we relate to it and gravitate to water's edge...

Your Imaginary Water Fan,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sagrada Familia, by Antonio Gaudi

Still Under Construction
Sagrada Familia Cathedral by Antonio Gaudi, still being built, over 100 years of slow progress.

Gaudi in Barcelona

A fixture in Casa Batlo'
Dear Imaginary Friends,

If you love architecture, you should consider a trip to Barcelona, Spain, to see the many glories of Antonio Gaudi. He created the very famous Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Casa Mila, Casa Batlo, and many parks and assorted spaces. His influence in Barcelona is pervasive. He is a revered designer. Not only did he create the structures, but also all the ornamentation.

He was ahead of his time in conserving energy, designing light and air shafts for natural ventilation and lighting. 

He was a product of the Art Nouveau movement, in which nature and plant forms were subsumed into structural designs.

Don't take my word for it! Check him out.

Your imaginary friend,

Boise and its Mythical "Hobby Lobby"

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Last night, Carlo and I visited the Woolly Mammoth Theater in downtown Washington, DC, to take in A Bright New Boise, a very creative play about big box stores, adoption, and big box fundamentalist churches.

For those who do not know, Boise, Idaho, is a blip on the map. It is situated in Northwest US, away from any large metropolis. 

Somehow, in short of 2 hours, familial alienation, religion (organized and otherwise), and minimum wage existence are all covered in one fell swoop by the playwright.

To digest the play, we went next door to Oyamel, an exciting Mexican restaurant with Day of The Dead special menus, creative flair, and a whole lotta choices of tapas. Yum.

Then to top it off, Chocolate orange sorbet at Pitango, once more, next door.

Food for the brain and food for the stomach!

Your Imaginary Friend,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Art As Therapy

"...studies have found that a landscape picture in a hospital room had reduced need for narcotic pain killers and less time in recovery at the hospital. [40]" 

The above is a quote from an article on Art Therapy in Wikipedia. Art has great curative properties.
It brings value to decor. 

It pleases; it soothes.

It amuses.

So, go buy some art already!

Your Imaginary Friend,

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Am Speechless!

Dear Girls and Boys,

I am utterly gobsmacked, flabbergasted and otherwise, without utterance. Finally, right?

I have now had over 5,000 hits on my blog in less than one and a half years.

Don't you people realize that this makes me believe--

a) I am a decent writer.
b) I should keep on blogging.
c) The world is always ready for an interesting narrative or thought-provoking picture.
Mary Ann Giardina and Patsie Hanging in Nawlins

Well, I"ll be!

Your Encouraged Scribe,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Please Be My Fan on Facebook!!/pages/Patricia-Miller-Uchello/115937175151522
Click the above link and win big prizes!! No? Well, click and win a chance for a smile from me.
Your Imaginary Artist,

Nobody Sweeter on this Planet

Mama and Phyllis in Mama's bedroom in New Orleans
Dear Imaginary Friends,

After my mother had a stroke, Phyllis was her main caretaker. Phyllis listened to her complaints, fed and dressed her, helped her every which way. Except that Phyllis could not cook. Her idea of dinner was a drive up window.

Nonetheless, Phyllis had a heart of gold, and you can see just by looking at her, her warm benevolence. If there are human guardian angels running for office, I nominate Phyllis.

Hugs to Phyllis,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good News for Showing Art

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Today was supposed to be the day that Beall Brumbaugh Gallery would open, but construction/renovation delays have postponed it until October 30, from 3-7pm, open to only those on a list submitted by the artists. So give me your email, if you want to come!

Meanwhile, I was called yesterday by Green Springs Park, for a one woman show of 24 paintings in their tea house, January through February 2012. I am all over the place these days. And don't forget to look for me in the Art League's Bin Gallery, per usual.

In eleven months, I have a show of 48 paintings at River Farms, headquarters of the American Horticultural Society.

Busy, busy!

Your Imaginary Friend,

A Sippy Cup, a Box of Cheerios, and Thou

A Sippy Cup, a Box of Cheerios, and Thou... so sayeth William Shakespeare.

Frau Patsie Teaches Owen to Draw

What a cute little two year old boy! I taught him all my super secret techniques for drawing monkeys, horses, etc.
One red crayon plus one clean notebook= a serious menagerie.

Your Imaginary Art Teacher,

Old Europe

Dear Imaginary Diners,

Which one of the above is a waitress at "Old Europe"? Indeed, not easy, since all the waitresses wear dirndls, and some of the customers. OK, it is the lady on the left, and I am a customer on the right, disguised as a German frau.

We had a great dinner there last night, in Upper Georgetown. I recommend the pear schnapps, the jaegerschnitzel and the German Chocolate Cake. MMM.

As an added bonus, Ted Koppel, ABC news anchor, was there with his wife. He looked pretty old without his makeup on. I photographed our friend David in the foreground, as a ruse to shoot Koppel behind him. If "kopf" is German for head, then does Koppel mean head also? In the case, he is Ted Head! And he carries a really big noggin atop that little neck.

Ted Koppel is the guy behind David's shoulder, looking down at his menu, hiding behind a large blue napkin.

Large lidded tankards were everywhere, as were old world art and flags, particularly the lovely white and blue flag of Bavaria.
The cafe was packed with people enjoying Oktoberfest. There was a line waiting to get in, so make reservations first, doncha know.

Your Imaginary Frau,

This Bird Has Moves Like Jagger!!

I never thought it was possible, for a bird to dance. Hmm!

There's hope for me, after all. Maybe he gives lessons?

Your Imaginary Friend,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tulane University, Scott Cowen, and Eric Holder

Dear Imaginary Friends,

I had the pleasure of going to the Newseum this week to attend a Tulane Alumni event. In attendance was Walter Isaacson. Mr. Isaacson, who graduated from Harvard and Oxford, was a writer for Time magazine, CEO of CNN, and is now the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a think tank. He introduced Scott Cowen, Tulane's brave president who brought Tulane through a really tenuous time, post Hurricane Katrina. He mentioned that we all have no idea how staggering the costs of rebuilding were, and that Tulane almost ceased to exist. 

Because of President Cowen's ingenuity, Tulane has not only recovered, but thrived. Tulane now has to beat applicants away with a stick. Two years ago, Tulane had more applicants than any other university in the country. To quell the throngs, the administration decided to add an extra essay to discourage those who were not serious about attending. It helped, a little. So this year, Tulane was only number 2 in the nation for applications.

What drives this phenomena, you may ask? I feel that is is the inherent idealism of young people, who care about helping others. Tulane now has a community service program in which all four years, undergraduates must perform community service. Even the medical students work in community clinics. After Tulane Medical School was flooded out, two med students and a cardboard sign posted out on Tulane Avenue, near the demolished Charity Hospital, to serve as an ad hoc clinic for indigents. They dispensed medical exams and advice right there on the street. That takes dedication. Tulane today has 92 small community centers serving indigents all over the city.

It is this kind of spirit of philanthropy that really moves me. And it apparently moves many others. In attendance at the Tulane event, was Eric Holder, the United States Attorney General. He was there with his lovely daughter Maya, who is a rising Freshman journalism major at Tulane. I had the privilege of discussing New Orleans and Tulane with them both.

I hope that your college experience was as good as mine, in beautiful New Orleans, learning and living my youth at Tulane University.

Your imaginary friend,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Parker Takes a Breather

Walking around a pumpkin farm all day is exhausting work for Parker who takes a break here

Monday, October 10, 2011

Izzie, the Sofa Inspector

Izzie, 12 x 12", Oil 
A very special French bulldog.

Beall & Brumbaugh Gallery at 215 King St., second floor

Dear Good Buds,

My new gallery -- Beall & Brumbaugh -- is opening a week late, due to construction delays. The new date is October 30, Sunday, from 3-7. It will be open to the public as of October 28. It is on the second floor of 215 King Street, above the tobacconist, in a great little town: Alexandria, Virginia.
Alexandria, the home of George Washington and Robert E. Lee, among other historic figures, is a vibrant community. It is listed as the third best small city for art in America.
And this new gallery opening is an offshoot of that thriving mentality! What recession?

Come on over and see it some time.

Your Artist friend,

Grace, the Weimaraner

Grace,  Oil, 12 x 12", by Patricia Uchello

The Psychic Rooster

The writer exits, having spoken to dead rooster relatives, across the space and time continuum
Yes, imaginary friends, there is a psychic rooster at Cox Farms. See what you have been missing all these years!

I see corn feed in my future!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Baby Loves Goats

Parker pets the goats at Cox Farms today

Pandemonium of Pumpkins: Cox Farms

What a difference a year makes! This was Parker exactly one year ago, when we first introduced hi to Cox Farms, and see below for the new older Parker.
 From infant to toddler in just 12 months.

Your Imaginary Friend,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Going Through the Tunnel of Ugly

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Sometimes, a painting looks pretty rough the first day. Here you can see the first two stages of this particular landscape of River Farms Mansion.
I painted a demo painting in one hour at Del Ray Artisans Gallery during last weekend's Arts On The Avenue.
The weather was terrible, but you know the saying of artists worldwide: neither snow, nor sleet, nor darkness of night...shall deter us on our way.
Oh, wait. That's the post office.
Well, there you go.  Sometimes, the painting must pass through an initial or middle stage in which it seems ill-fated, shall we say. Artists sometimes call that time frame "the tunnel of ugly."
Please have faith that it will one day -- in the next 30 days or so -- pass into the realm of well-done.

Yours very truly,

Monday, October 3, 2011

It is Too Darn Cold Already!

While visiting the Andy Warhol Show yesterday, I decided to take on the Doctor Seuss character "Cat in the Hat".
So to speak!
And yes, I enjoyed the show.

Your Imaginary Cat,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Wizard of Oz: A Quick Psychoanalysis

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Have you ever wanted to play the role of an armchair psychoanalyst? Well, I do!

I have selected my  first cadre of potential patients: The characters in the MGM classic, "The Wizard of Oz."

Flying Monkeys: Obvious psychopaths!
Glynda: Narcissist!
The Wizard himself: Bi-polar!
Tin Man: Asberger's!
Cowardly Lion: Conflicted sexual identity!
Dorothy: Co-dependent!
Wicked Witch of the West: Hysterical sociopath!

MY work here is done. (Disclaimer: accuracy is not considered to be a requirement, and you get what you pay for.)

Your Imaginary Psychiatrist,

Hillbilly Handfishing versus Painting

Dear Imaginary Friends,

I have never in my life heard of a sadder excuse for a television show than Hillbilly Handfishing.

Translation of the "plot":
People who do not know any better stand in ponds, creeks, small rivers, and put their hands under the water to catch fish. Ostensibly, they are too poor to buy fishing poles??

For those of us who are too elite to know what a hillbilly is, a hillbilly is an uneducated person who lives far away from the cultural centers of the Untied States, and has no idea what a cultural center is. Nor does he care. See glossary under "redneck."

What is worth watching on TV these days, you may be asking? Well, how about "Work of Art", a clever reality show which features 12 or so visual artists, struggling to meet challenges and competing for a cash prize and  gallery representation. It is starting its new season this month on Bravo. The challenges require clear thinking, good work ethics, and competitiveness.

Many artists lack ambition and discipline, refusing to conform even a little bit, in order to sell their paintings. In the real world, that does not work out well. 

Wisteria/Bird Mural by Patricia Uchello

See you around,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October, Finally

Dear Imaginary Friends,

October is my second favorite month, after April. It is a time of natural beauty in the landscape, a time for a plethora of visits to wineries and pumpkin farms, and long drives through the countryside.
The leaves turn orange and gold, shiver in the breeze, then fly away to woods dark and deep.

And what could be cuter than the Pumpkin Train at Homestead Gardens, for your favorite little one to ride?

Your Imaginary Leaf Peeper Friend,