Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Costa Rica Resorts: Xandari Resort and Spa

Xandari Resort and Spa in Arajuela, Costa Rica, is right outside of San Jose'. My daughter and I loved it! The sunsets are spectacular, as are the night time views of San Jose', below in the valley, shimmering like diamonds, with bluish mountains framing the background sky... The property is set in a large park-like setting.

My daughter enjoyed a papaya spa treatment in a private palapa, which is a straw hut. Xandari offers a very extensive menu of spa treatments. Each private casita has a six foot diameter outdoor shower with views of a private walled garden. No extra charge for the local lizards ogling the scrubbing action!

Everywhere were exotic birds, such as the quetzal, parrots, and songbirds' serenades floated through the air. Nearby are coffee plantations, cloud forests, waterfalls, and of course, there is the Arenal Volcano.
My favorite adventure was ziplining!

Your fellow traveler,

The Yellow Tulips

The Yellow Tulips, Oil, April 2012
Dear Imaginary Art Lovers,

Here is one of my creations from this very productive Spring: The Yellow Tulips. It is a horticultural cornucopia of a yellow iris, purple allium, magenta iris, bleeding hearts, pink tulip, and yellow tulips. I could have included all those species in the title, but it would have been pretty unwieldy.

This painting could also have been titled Spring. The glory of flowers is why I love gardening and why Spring is my favorite season. In this painting, I am expressing my love of flowers and art in one fell swoop.

I am excited about my upcoming Fall show that will be all horticulture. River Farms, here I come with fifty canvases of flowers, fruit, landscapes and waterscapes.

Your Imaginary Flower Lover,

Monday, May 21, 2012

How I Spent Last Wednesday

Making a mess, toward progress
Irises and Lemons, 14 x 18", Oil, for sale
Dear Imaginary Friends,

Pictures do not pop off the canvas without a lot of work. Above, you can see the work space at the Art League where I arduously painted this still life last Wednesday. 

Below is my finished product. I already have framed it!

This newest oil painting of mine will be part of my massive exhibit at River Farms this Fall, from September through January.

I have painted so many floral, fruit and vegetable, and landscape works that I am swimming in them. But that is what it takes to fill up the whole American Horticultural Society Headquarters. I have been working toward this show for two years.

Counting the months!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Take Me to Tuscany

"Take Me to Tuscany"
Dear Imaginary Friends,

The above painting of Tuscan poplars outside Florence, Italy, is painted in acrylics.
I sold my Tuscan-inspired painting  last Monday to a lovely lady who gives art as presents. What a great idea! Very unique, and very appropriate.
It makes me wish I were in Tuscany.

Your Imaginary Friend,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The National Arboretum

Dear Imaginary Friends,

I am a huge lover of gardens. Not so much weeding. More the viewing piece!
For Mother's Day, my family visited and picnicked at the National Arboretum.
Below are some reasons why.



Too bad the azaleas were spent. But the peonies are full- blast blooming glory.
 And it happened to be World Bonsai Day. So all the bonsai collection was looking very pleased with itself!
  Your Imaginary Friend, Patsie

Reality Vs Art

This oil painting, Cache Pot with Pansies, is available for sale at A Show of Hands Today. Now. And Tomorrow.
Above you see the set up from which I painted. Sometimes we artists tweak reality and make it more vibrant.
GO check it out! It is a very happy camper, as paintings go.

Your Imaginary Friend,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What I Sold Yesterday

The Green Apples, Oil, 8" x 10"
Dear Imaginary Friends,

The above painting, which I created in January 2012, sold yesterday to a lovely person, whom I am positive will give it to an excellent home. It is a graduation gift for her relative. What a great thing to do: Give the gift of art for celebrations. How unique a gift, right?

Nobody else in the Milky Way owns this painting.

Art is unique; it is original, unless one is referring to prints.

Perhaps this will encourage one more person in the world to appreciate the Fine Arts. Our country's heritage and cultural identity are preserved by the arts. Think about the Hudson Valley painters, and Aaron Copeland's music. Or George Gershwin. All uniquely American artists. What a loss if they had never been encouraged to create. And then there is Andy Warhol. And Marilyn Monroe. All artists.

That's my story, and I am sticking to it.

Your imaginary friend,

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Blue Compote, 12" x 12"

Hot off my easel, this month
Painting colored glass is so much fun!

The Brain: Will It Explode If It Tries to Multi-Task?

Dear Imaginary Friends,

I can picture schoolchildren all over the world saying that they cannot learn anymore tonight to their mamas, because their brains might explode.

A more effective way, though, to make our brains start to malfunction is trying to muliti-task.

In truth, all of us moms think we can multi-task. The real science, though, proposes that the brain can alternate functions, but can never truly do two things at once. Moreover, when the brain is switching back and forth between two functions, one function dominates by necessity.

For instance, if you are driving down the street while talking on your cell, you will by necessity need to give more attention to your driving. Woe to those drivers who do not.

Here is a fascinating fun fact: When  driving, it is more distracting to hear half of a conversation, as one's brain is engaged with imagining what the person on the other end of the line is saying. Having the conversation oneself or listening to a two-way conversation is much less distracting.

Curiosity indeed kills the cat. If the cat is a bad driver. With a cell phone. And a texting plan.

Your petitie ami,

PS No, I did not make this up. I learned it at a brain function lecture, while I was trying hard not to text or check my phone messages.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Communicating in the Twenty-first Century

The average teenager these days sends 3300 texts per month. That means 110 per day, for those of you who prefer to not do your own math.
The letter and the phone call may indeed be dead.

What would Emily Dickinson say? Probably something like, "Pish posh."

Your Imaginary Friend,

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Brain

Dear Imaginary Friends,

I recently attended a talk on brain development. I was intrigued!

The motor coordination part of the brain is developed by 15. The intellectual part of the brain is developed by 25. But the judgment part of the brain has not been fully developed until age 32! Wow.

That explains a lot.
Then again, some people never seem to get there. 

Another interesting nugget: Surgeons who operate with robotic devices, such as when performing laparoscopies,  do their best, most precise, work when having just played 20 minutes of Super Monkey Balls! I am not making this up. For one thing, it seems like the video game manufacturer could have come up with a better title. Maybe Super Surgeon Video Game?

Your Imaginary Friend,

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Sweet Baboo

Parker and I attend Will and Emily's Wedding
It was a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding!
Hope you don't mind that I ate your cupcake. You snooze, you lose!
Yummy, In Lieu of a Wedding Cake

Back When Parker and I Were Both Younger

Spring 2 Action May 2

Dear Imaginary Friends,

One of my favorite organizations of all times is the Art League, located in beautiful Alexandria, Virginia, along the Potomac River.

The Art League, a wonderful community of artists and art students, has grown over the last 26 years that I have been a member. Currently, due to a dislocation of our Duke Street Annex school space-- because of the Alexandria Waterfront Development-- we must move those classes to a new added space in our Madison Street Annex. To that end, the Art League is soliciting donations for the build-out which could cost about $250,000 or so. It costs a lot of money to make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, to add venting from potential fumes created by art supplies, as well as proper lighting and classroom space.
One way the Art League is moving successfully toward its goal is by participating in Spring 2 Action, an Alexandria fundraiser on Razoo.com, which in turn is sponsored by the Alexandria Community Trust. The results are in! We won second place in most money raised and most donors. There was only a 24 hour window in which to post online donations. This is a challenge as some of our constituency is not really online very much... Nonetheless, with our trusty staff and eager to please members, we raised a whopping $45,000 in one day. Go, Art League!
We will of course continue to maintain our presence in the Torpedo Factory of Alexandria's Waterfront. Please come visit our school office and store on the second floor, as well as our lovely gallery on the first floor.
Isn't it time you signed up for a class?    The Art League School
And it is never too late to donate!!  ART lEAGUE DONATIONS
Just saying.

Your Imaginary Friend,

Belle Haven Homes Tour

Every other year, Belle Haven Women's Club sponsors a tour of neighborhood homes, and this year proved to be stunning. See above flower arrangement in a chambered nautilus. This was created by the very talented Mary Ann Conant. The home was the guest house/pool house modeled after homes in Mustique, the fabulous Caribbean island populated by the very wealthy and the very famous. (Think Mick Jagger) The home was part beach house and one hundred percent divine, and reflects the owners' many happy memories from their many vacations there.
Of course, this was only one tiny part of the tour.
Kudos to the BH Women's Club and to Ms Conant.

Your homes tour junkie,

Thursday, May 3, 2012