Images

Clothes Horse Thespian

BCBGMaxAzria top, Trina Turk pants BCBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria top, Trina Turk pants BCBGGeneration booties

I’m the kind of creature of habit who basically could listen to the same CD in the car for months –  not just the CD, but a particular song, lol.  I am all about repetition.  All about routine.  (I can sing Billy Joel’s Vienna over and over again and not get bored with it!)

BCBGMaxAzria top, Calvin Klein jeans, BGBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria top, Calvin Klein jeans, BGBGGeneration booties

I just feel comfort in that stuff.  I have this idea that I will sing on stage someday.  One of my “bucket list” dreams is to do the national anthem at a sports event.  I know I can do it.  Someday, I am sure I will.

with Carmine Cangialosi, director of American Dresser (filmed in Syracuse)
with Carmine Cangialosi, director of American Dresser (filmed in Syracuse)

Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the things I wanted for myself when I was a kid.  Even the far-fetched stuff.   A lot of great things have been happening to me lately, a lot of dreams coming true.  It’s kind of very cool.

with John Hanson, director of Wildrose, and actor Tom Bower
with John Hanson, director of Wildrose, and actor Tom Bower

I met some people at the Syracuse International Film Festival a couple weeks ago.  There was discussion of an art movie that may be filmed here.  I may achieve the goal of being an actress! Well, an extra, but still!

BCBGMaxAzria top, Honora necklace, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria top, Honora necklace, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals

I also talked to two people about acquiring art exhibitions for my huge inventory of artwork.  I am sure at least one of those will come to fruition.  Am quite certain I will find the right fit for my work and ultimately sell, sell, sell!

Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneration sandals
Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneration sandals

And because these things are happening, I think it is making me a better teacher.  I feel absolutely fearless.  Like everything that happens will be the absolute best possible outcome for me.

It helps me teach kids that they can achieve anything their hearts’ desire.  It’s not just positive thinking.  It’s the kind of blind faith that allows one to take that leap.  It’s truly an awesome feeling.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots

Dressing up for work is super fun.  As you can see, I am a creature of habit with fashion.  I just love Trina Turk and BCBG Max Azria.  They both like my Instagram posts, and that is such a huge thrill.  I am sooo grateful for all the compliments on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!!!!

Life has truly never been more fun!

Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneeration booties
Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneeration booties

***Special thanks to my photographer and art teaching colleague, Gina Fargnoli, who makes me feel so relaxed and happy when she takes my picture every morning for my #ootd!  You are the BEST, my friend!

Advertisements

Cow Town

longhorn_36x19-L

The Chittenango Middle School 8th grade teachers take our students to visit SUNY Morrisville.  We’ve done it for several years now. There are four activities plus lunch in the dining hall (!!!) – to see the automotive dept., the dairy management farm, the equine science program and the aquaponics greenhouse.

connect_60x36-L

I’ve gone on this field trip three times and this was the first time I visited the cows.  There I met Assistant Professor Ashley Adams, who loves cow art!

confrontation_20x26-L

So this blog post is for her.  I want to share artwork by my bestie, Penny Santy.  Penny is a graphic artist during the day, fine artist by night.  You can find her website here.

tranquility_36x36-L

Penny has this wonderful series of cow paintings.  I am totally in love with them.  She uses oils and paints in a quaint studio space in the basement of her home in Eastwood, a subdivision in the city of Syracuse, NY.

DarkAndLight_36x36-L

I love the energy in her brush stroke and the juxtaposition of complementary colors used to create shadows.  Not just saying that because she is my friend.  I think Penny’s work would look great in the offices/buildings at the dairy science college!  They are large scale pieces – really breathtaking in person.  I especially love the buttery yellow one!

20151023_135448

20151023_135511

Students in my ninth period A day class created cow portraits in oil pastel on black paper.

20151023_135616

20151023_135459

We drew them on white paper, transferred them to the black Strathmore paper with graphite paper (magic) and painted out the lines with black acrylic paint.

20151023_135710

20151023_135603

I showed students how to build up the color with the oil pastel using a layering technique and encouraged them to create their own consistent style – up and down, diagonal, coloring in circles, etc.

20151023_135738

20151023_135705

I just love the way they turned out.  Each one is 16″ x 20″ – my favorite size for student work!  I am thinking of selecting a couple to enter into the Scholastic Art Awards competition, but I can’t decide which ones will be the most competitive.  I like them all.

20151023_135642

20151023_135731

20151023_135658

20151023_135556

OMG, I love cow art too! ❤

Macabre, Meet My Friend Humor

20151104_175357-1

I’m not going to lie – Land of the Lost was my favorite TV show of the 1970s.  I watched it on Saturday mornings at around 10 or 11 am.  There were not that many episodes, so I am sure I watched re-runs of re-runs dozens of times until the shows were ingrained into my skull, which is not a bad thing, lol…right?  Loved the whole concept – it was the first time I had heard/learned the word paradox.  The show might have bad special effects by today’s standards, but I think it still resonates for me (of course, I have the series on DVD, duh). Each episode was written by the premiere Sci-Fi script writers of the day.  I mean, it was a great show.

20151104_183052-1

I also loved/still love Planet of the Apes!  OMG, again, the idea of a paradox.  In Land of the Lost, the only way they could escape the matrix was to have another them pop into it, thus continuing the cycle (paradox).  And if you watch all five POTA films, you discover that time travel causes the paradox and sets the whole ape takeover in motion (whoops, spoiler alert!).  Love that stuff.

20151104_184125-1

Lori Nix likes it too.  She’s a few years younger than me and she’s from the mid-west (Kansas), and so her formative years created for her a fascination with destruction of civilization as we know it.  Pair those two TV/film phenomena with Towering Inferno, Logan’s Run and life in tornado alley and you will come to understand this artist’s obsession with the comedy of demise.

20151104_184043-1

Once in 1993, I borrowed my mom’s car and spent the night at a friend’s house.  It was about a month before the Blizzard of ’93 so it was a brutal winter.  In my defense, my car’s door was frozen open, so the only way I could drive it is if I drove with my left hand and held the door shut with my right.  Anyhow, I got blamed for my father’s car accident because he had to drive Mom to work the next day because I had her car. (It was a minor fender bender).

20151104_184227-1

Nix has a similar story only hers is really more the stuff of legend.  Her mom dropped her off at a movie theater the night of a horrendous tornado that just missed her mother whose car had just pulled into their driveway. She rolled down the windows and ducked for her life, like a character in a horror film, just as the tornado passed over her.  That storm managed to take out every other house on their street.  Lori Nix’s father blamed her for nearly killing her mother.  It’s like we lived in a parallel universe!

20151104_185308-1

And yet, that’s where the similarities end.  I am happy go-lucky me who never watches the news, crime shows or that lot, and steers clear of negative circumstances.  Nix dwells on the eery, macabre damage and destruction of standing at the peripheries of doom, but takes it all  in stride with her immensely dark humor.

20151104_184315-1

NIx and her partner work in tandem, both creating these especially detailed little vignettes – of cars plunging in the drink, of apocalyptic subway cars and laundrymats, of  beautiful places turned yucky-yucky.

20151104_183407-1

This work is painstakingly slow, intimate and fun, similar to creating little puppet theaters.  Apparently, their home in Brooklyn is a bit of a construction site with two cats finding their way into the “environments”.  These were my favorite pictures in her slide show and I have to say, they made me enjoy her talk all the more.

20151104_190030-1

The work is whimsical and silly and yet there is a seriousness to the dedication with which they create the art.  I love that commitment! She is doing a two-week residency at Golden Artist Colors, Inc. in New Berlin, NY, and that’s where I met her.

20151104_180825-1

Nix photographs her vignettes using an 8″ x 10″ camera and these photos take days – to get the lighting just right and to remove any excess cat hair caught in the crossfire.

20151104_184549-1 (1)

The photographs are quite large – 30″ x 40″ and bigger, and have been exhibited all over the nation and the world – Italy, Germany, Australia, and Canada!

Check out her website here.

 

Halloween is Here

I was always jealous of my elementary friends who took piano lessons.  That and ballet.  I wish I could play the piano.  Maybe someday I will take lessons now that I can pay for them myself…. Back in the ’70s, we used to have one of those little organs with numbers for keys.  It was in the dining room.  To play Silent Night you hit 5-6-5-3, 5-6-5-3, 9-9-7, 8-8-5, 9-9-8-7-6, 5-6-5-3…

Kathy and I would write songs on that stupid thing. One went like this:

Halloween is here

Halloween is here…

Wish you could come another night

Wish you could come some other night

Wish you could come another night

Yeah, oh, yeah….

Lol, I don’t know why I can remember that when I can’t even remember where I put the postage stamps I bought two weeks ago!

I had a fantastic Halloween this year.  It really is my favorite holiday because it is the most creative one.  People really rise to the occasion!  I wore four different costumes this year.  I went to three different parties – the school dance included.

BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration booties

My costumes consisted of props with regular clothes.  I bought the angel wings and halo years ago and popped them on and off – the party was the previous weekend and so I was able to go out afterwards to meet friends without the burden of going home to change – easy peasy.

BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and skirt, Ralph Lauren boots
BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and skirt, Ralph Lauren boots

I made the red riding hood cape and the Gryffindor robe.  Paired them both with a white top and black skirt.

BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, Banana Republic skirt, Lord & Taylor tie, Mia shoes
BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, Banana Republic skirt, Lord & Taylor tie, Mia shoes

The fortune teller garb is a peacock-patterned caftan.  It’s Rachel Roy.  I paired it with an old silk scarf I bought back in my Co-Manager for The Limited days, which makes it an almost thirty-year-old fossil.

Rachel Roy dress, Ralph Lauren boots, plus Banana Republic T-shirt and Champion shorts underneath
Rachel Roy dress, Ralph Lauren boots, plus Banana Republic T-shirt and Champion shorts underneath

I wore almost every necklace in my arsenal and carried my Magic 8-ball.  It is really quite amazing how people can believe you are what you pretend to be.  Everyone wanted to know about their love lives, which was pretty funny.  I wasn’t able to give everyone a positive response.  The heart wants what it wants, but the 8-ball says what it says.  That’s magic for you. ❤

What does it say about me that I picked magical beings as my alter ego(s)?  Angel, fairy-tale character, witch and occult practicioner….  I guess I just love magic.  Love when reality is magical.  Love that you can make magic happen sometimes.

Halloween, for me, is fun – not scary.  I don’t really like the scary, although I did see a “horror” movie last week.  It was the 1961 cult classic, The Mask in 3-D.  It was playing at the Capitol Theater in Rome, NY.  And I actually loved it.

So maybe I’ll go scarier next year.  I am still planning to do a Carrie thing.  I have the perfect old bridesmaid dress from 1978 and a tiara. Just need to get my hands on some fake blood and I am good to go.

You know, why wait until next year?  It’s so fun to dress up.  People should walk around in costumes more often.  They really should.

Orange You Glad…

20151027_170951

Not sure if these pictures do justice to the beauty that is Green Lakes in autumn.  OMG, yesterday was spectacular.  Talk about being in a happy place!!!! It is just so wonderful.

20151027_164529

Sometimes I think there’s no place I would rather be and when I am there I feel like anything is possible.  It is such a profound thing to find a place that feels like home where I can be the real me.

20151027_164520

When I am there, any silly drama that has gripped me ceases to exist and I am just filled with happiness and joy.

FB_IMG_1446052023741

20151027_164959

lawattraction

Corny, I know.  But there are certainly times when I can get lost inside my head – and then I start thinking too much about a disappointment, thinking what I could have done differently so that I could have had the outcome I desired.

FB_IMG_1446052122485

20151027_164540

They always say that everything happens for a reason.  The universe is on your side and all that.  That life will present you with everything you ask for as long as you are grateful.  As long as you shed your worry, fear, stress and doubt.

20151027_164933

FB_IMG_1446052063816

They say that you can be a magnet for miracles.  I have seen loads of miracles happen throughout my life and so I do have a lot of faith. But then, something happens once in a blue moon and you just can’t understand why it didn’t…why it doesn’t work out.

20151027_165151

Walking around Green Lakes now, with the crisp orange leaves crackling at every step, creates a sort of blanket of love around me. And I am free to trust in my dreams again and know for certain that they will come true – maybe not in the way I thought or expected, but I know in my heart that it will be a magnificent outcome nonetheless.

20151027_170016

everything-is-energy-einstein

20151027_170922

20151027_170948

20151027_170944

20151027_173719

grateful

20151027_173734

20151027_170937

Wrath of Tash

Trina Turk dress, Steve Madden boots
Trina Turk dress, Steve Madden boots

Here are my #ootd (outfits of the day) from the last couple weeks.  Am dying to buy something new, but, I know, I know…I should be grateful for what I have and for being able to figure out a way to wear what I have in different ways – mixing designers, changing up the shoes, etc.

My classroom is weirdly one of the warmest rooms in the school, so I am always wearing a cardigan or blazer thinking it will be a lot colder than it is only to end up flinging it on my desk chair as soon as I get to class.

BCBGMaxAzria sweater, Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria sweater, Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration booties
Lord & Taylor cashmere beanie, Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt (underneath) and leggings, Eitienne Aigner boots
Lord & Taylor cashmere beanie, Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt (underneath) and leggings, Eitienne Aigner boots

I almost always toss on an apron too.  Students are painting in two classes, clay in one and colored pencil in the others, so it’s not that messy yet.

JCrew cashmere hoodie, BCBGMaxAazria top and leggings, Ralph Lauren boots
JCrew cashmere hoodie, BCBGMaxAazria top and leggings, Ralph Lauren boots

But still – the minute I get paint or marker on the sleeve of something, I get so frustrated.  The lure of on-line shopping rears its pretty little head and I’m like, please let me have new stuff!!!!!  I want, I want!

Lord& Taylor cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic cashmere dress, BCBGGeneration booties
Lord& Taylor cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic cashmere dress, BCBGGeneration booties

The joke is that you haven’t really lived until you have experienced the wrath of Tash.  Usually I’m just angry with myself but…if someone is behaving inappropriately, I’ve been known to turn green. Steam comes out of my ears and I say, “Tash mad.” (lol)  I am always laughing at my own jokes, sorry.  I guess you have to be there.

Bailey 44 top, INC pants, BCBGGeneration sandals
Bailey 44 top, INC pants, BCBGGeneration sandals

This kid in the hall told me he’s going to be all cammo for Halloween so I said, “No one will see you.  You’re gonna end up with no candy.”  I laughed and laughed at that one.  I’m telling you – camouflage jokes just never get old.

Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria skirt, Honora necklace, BCBGGeneration booties
Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria skirt, Honora necklace, BCBGGeneration booties

Another thing that never gets old – finding money on the ground.  I love when this happens.  It’s like the universe is saying – see, you can manifest cash anytime you want.  In the US, the streets are lined in gold…sort of.

Target, Fayetteville, NY
Target, Fayetteville, NY

Nickels, dimes and mostly copper pennies!  And we all know those are really worth two cents because that’s how much, apparently, it costs to make a penny these days.

Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru, Eastwood (Syracuse, NY)
Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru, Eastwood (Syracuse, NY)
Dunn Tire parking lot, Dewitt, NY
Dunn Tire parking lot, Dewitt, NY
Greenwood Winery, East Syracuse, NY
Greenwood Winery, East Syracuse, NY
Greenwood Winery, East Syracuse, NY
Greenwood Winery, East Syracuse, NY
BCBGMaxAzria sweater (reversible!), Banana Republic skirt, Ralph Lauren boots
BCBGMaxAzria sweater (reversible!), Banana Republic skirt, Ralph Lauren boots
JCrew blazer, BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration booties
JCrew blazer, BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration booties

It’s a fun game to see how much you can find in a year.  Whoever wins gets to brag and then all the money is given away.

Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, 7 For All Mankind jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals
Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt, 7 For All Mankind jeans, BCBGGeneration sandals

You can’t really hunt for it.  Money usually just finds you.  You just have to believe.

Free People cardigan, Banana Republic (leather!) top and pants, Coach booties
Free People cardigan, Banana Republic (leather!) top and pants, Coach booties
Banana Republic sweater, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
Banana Republic sweater, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings, Ralph Lauren boots
BCBGMaxAzria top and leggings, Ralph Lauren boots
BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and pants, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and pants, BCBGGeneration sandals

 

Those That Teach, Do!

20151018_142848

There is this weird Catch-22 about the teaching profession.  I think I heard this growing up a lot. Those who can’t, teach.  It is such a strange statement.  And to grow up thinking your teachers are less intelligent than people who choose other professions – like being an engineer instead of a math teacher or being a rocket scientist instead of a science teacher, and in this case, being a professional artist instead of an art teacher…it’s so bizarre.  It was probably the reason I went into teaching reluctantly, because I perceived it as a death sentence to my creativity.  Of course, I was way off base.  Totally wrong.

20151018_142851

20151018_142854

In this town, there is this weird thing where people perceive the university professors as “better” artists than public school art teachers.  Again – utter stupidity.  In fact, the public school teachers have a much better gig.  There are very few full time art professors – most are part-timers without the benefits of a decent salary and amazing insurance plans.  So the teaching gig is actually the best possible outcome, especially for people like Barabara Vural, who took time off from making art on and off, while teaching and while raising her family, but somehow managed to still find time to create this massive inventory of work.

20151018_142920

20151018_142942

20151018_142958

20151018_143026

Barbara Vural’s current show at the Manlius Library in Manlius, New York proves my point.  She is sharing sixty years of artwork including current work that she has prolifically executed now that she has retired from teaching.

20151018_143033

20151018_143048

Here we see a body of work that contains different media (pastel, acrylic…) as well as landscapes, still-lifes and portraits that are as well executed as a Mary Cassatt.

20151018_143055

20151018_143148

20151018_143153

Brilliant use of color – and lyrical rhythm that takes the viewer inside a beautiful mind.  There is so much beauty here – line quality that is so precise and just a complete mastery of art skill.

20151018_143314

20151018_143318

There were sold stickers on many of these pieces already.  Her prices are extremely reasonable, from $75 to about $1,000 depending on size and detail.

20151018_143322

20151018_143331

Artwork is on display until November 14, 2015.  Contact Barbara for more information including how to purchase and library hours, at bvural@twcny.rr.com.

20151018_143333

20151018_143338

20151018_143346

20151018_143349

20151018_143354

20151018_143401

20151018_143417

20151018_143421

20151018_143432

20151018_143436

20151018_143448

20151018_143455