Saturday, November 6, 2010


The lady at the museum told me the price of the ticket and I handed her the cash.  Then she looked me up and down and remarked that, of course, I wasn’t old enough for a senior discount. “Actually I am,“ I said.  “In fact I’m almost a year older than that.” I got a skeptical eyebrow raise and a whole dollar back.

It was a special traveling hands-on exhibit I went in to see.  There were rooms full of interactive machines created from Leonardo da Vinci’s own notes. 

Over the stairway was a life-size reproduction of The Last Supper.  Replicas  of some of his other famous works such as, The Mona Lisa, Virgin of the Rocks,  and the big horizontal Annunciation filled the upstairs gallery.

 The original of The Last Supper is 15 by 29 feet and was painted with tempera paints on the back wall of a dining hall in Milan, Italy.  In spite of, and because of, restoration efforts, Da Vinci's masterpiece deteriorated.  Now the room where it resides is a sealed, climate controlled environment and the painting has undergone a twenty-one year high tech repair job.  Visitors need a reservation to see it and can only stay for fifteen minutes. 

Mona Lisa on the other hand was begun in Italy, then she was moved to France where she lived in castles and palaces and then went to the Louvre in Paris.  She was stolen in 1911 and Pablo Picasso was one of the suspects of the crime. He was exonerated.  

Two years later Mona Lisa was discovered back in Italy where she got a grand tour of the country and was finally returned to the Louvre.  During World War II she traveled around France to be kept safe from damage.  From December 1962 to March 1963, the French government lent her to the United States to be displayed in New York City and Washington D.C.  In 1974, the painting was exhibited in Tokyo and Moscow.  She is over 500 years old and an international commission convened in 1952 noted that, "the picture is in a remarkable state of preservation."

I learned a lot that day at the museum.  Mona Lisa taught me I should get out of the house, travel to new places and meet lots of different people if I wanted to continue to hide birthdays.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


My refrigerator is naked.  It normally sports the usual…reminders of events, clever thoughts, announcements of upcoming weddings, a list of things to buy.  The most prominent display is usually made up of the latest achievements by young family creatives.  I recently cleared the space in anticipation of new works to be done by artists in residence.

Then while I was making pies in the kitchen the unpredictable painters decided to change their medium from crayons and copy paper to poster paints and newsprint. 

I must apologize in advance for the condition of the pieces.  See, the art work had to be rolled up rather quickly and stashed because dinner was ready.  Then Thomas (the huge black cat) found the large spool of crunchy paper and attacked it; resulting in an addition of some distressed texture.

This first piece is called, “It Is Not My Turn to Clean the Fish Tank.”  It is a classic example of neo expressionism reminiscent of Mark Rothko.  The muted colors reflect the feelings of water, pond scum and adversity.

 This one is “Skating in Strawberry Jam.”  The dramatic reds give rise to the basic human emotions of delight and pleasure.  The sweeping brushwork communicates both gliding movement and adhesiveness.

 “Items Found Under the Sofa Cushions” conveys the artist’s distilled approach to a variety of organic sensations.   Tactile senses are represented as well as aroma and biological objects.

“A Witch Being Eaten By a Dragon While She Has the Key to the Treasure Chest in Her Pocket”   The artist’s use of contrasting,  yet sparse color and shape expresses the dramatic disparity of emotions as well as spontaneous yet confused response.

As stated earlier the art was produced in large scale on a roll of newsprint...too big to fit on the refrigerator door.  Thus my refrigerator door is, at the moment, unadorned.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Once again there was a gathering at our house for the Holiday of Haunting.  First Daughter and First Granddaughter used their magical powers to transform ordinary (although I think they're extraordinary) children into goblins and spookies who then roamed the neighborhood and brought home much booty.  They spent the rest of the evening trading and bartering and devouring the spoils.

The newest and the first Grand Child
 Dinner at our house
Ready to Haunt