Saturday, December 29, 2007

Strawberry Carré

My brushes screamed for color. They ached for brilliant blue. Don't dilute the yellow and give us, give us green. Very demanding brushes. Luckily I spied this square. Grabbed it up real quick. It seemed to keep them happy. They danced around the walls of it. Played in the pointy shadows. The red it was this brilliant. It shouted out to me, this New Year is going to be succulent, you'll see. Art will feed your soul.

At auction now. Own it for yourself. Click To Bid.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chocolate Cupcake Surprise

A commissioned treat. I don't always give a glimpse behind the curtain, but sometimes the fun needs to be shared. I am still working on several commissions in the studio, gearing up for a rather large project coming up. I thought you might enjoy one little chocolate surprise, one little fanciful piece that another thoughtful friend commissioned for another.

I wanted the light of friendship to show through. I also added just a smidge of green in the skirt so it would be site specific. Part of my reward is hearing how delighted the recipient was...receiving her first commissioned painting. To my artist friends who know my large work and how lovely those huge important commissions are...well this one too was truly a delightful pleasure. Art will feed your soul.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Gift For Noie

Now that I have heard from her, I can share a little fun...part of my job is being a bit of an elf...and being able to keep a few secrets. Don't you love the little things that make your friends happy? Well here is just a little friendly conspiracy by two friends for another. We love you Noie all year long. And the treat you are to us.

Nope not for sale. You would have to wrestle her for it. That is if you could get past her Barkalottamusses, Milo ( my god dog , an aussie), and Emmy, (a very young and precocious, corgi.) Hats off to the brilliant and lovely hearted Isolde who came to me with the commission. My thanks. Art will feed your soul.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Warmest of wishes for all of you. Some of you have one of my holiday cards...a little pen and ink practice... Some of you will get one. But for all of the visitors here, thank you....for making this a wonderfully delicious year. All best wishes for a truly sweet season.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cherry Panna Cotta

Color reverberates, if you set it in motion. It can sing. It can dance. It can enhance what you're saying. Form can speak, if you know the vocabulary. It can push. It can pull. It can say this is full of the most delightful flavors. Line can lead, if you choose it wisely. It can take us on a merry romp. Guide us to the point. Which for me is to say, without my would still get the picture. Visual literacy. A little riff. All on a panna cotta.

At auction for your creamy delight. Click over on the right.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Epiphany Croquembouche

Une pièce monteé. An assembled piece, a "crunch-in-the-mouth", usually served at weddings. My first really real mountain of choux was a glistening caramel tower upon a banquet table. A masterful piece built by Chef Michele Marcais at the Royal Sonesta, just made Chef of the Year. So it was a party and a haul-out-his-artillery-show-off-feast...never EVER miss that kind of invitation. I had spent the day before with him and Paul Prudhomme in a cook off. ( them not me) Again. Do not fail to show up for this kind of thing either.Boys playing with the best kind of way. I was seated next to Chef Michele at their lunch. Little did I know he was cooking up the grand pièce for the next day's dinner. No wonder his eyes were sparkly.You see chefs at play, are like artists at play. Something to behold. And these chefs that day were like children again, laughing, joking and egging each other on...building treats one by one, much to my delight.

At auction. Click over on the right and it is yours.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Razzle Et Chocolate

Painting with scent. My jawed dropped at the ooh and ahh of a project I heard about yesterday done with two year olds. Take cinnamon stick scrapings, vanilla and peppermint flavors, mix one each into a little bit of paint, green, white and red. Let the child paint a picture and when it dries, it smells like the holidays...are we impressed? Do we want to do it? Oh YES! Imagine the rapture if paintings had scents.If the fragrance of razzleberries , chocolate and cream were faintly embedded within the paint...hmm...there's a dream. What flavors would you paint?

At auction. For your pleasure. Click over on the right.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dutch Apple Tart

Cerulean blue and yellow. A hike on a different path. Like visiting various masters, keeps perspective alive. It deepens our depths. Keeps our vision fresh. Like crisp running springs and clear coastal breezes that wash our psyches clean...staying restless, experimenting, invigorates our muse. So here's a simple tart, apple wedges dusted with snow, a starchy white paper sleeve and a tiny bit of our friend Van Gogh. It wanted a cerulean blue to bring you into the glow and the charm of it. It's timelessness, it's warmth. It wanted me to paint sunny yellow, take me along that route you see. It begged for a few branches of brown, to move me along the path. It's a little walk, a slight change in blue, nothing really fancy, a snapshot if you will, of my trek along another coast down a bit of Vincent's path to ponder a bit of his view.

At auction presently. Click over on the right.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Periwinkle Fruit Tart

Della Robbia. Cherish bounty even if it is small. It still has the power to enrich. To fill a moment with grace. Garland yourself with little moments of color, ripe and true. Taste the form, feel the round, smile at a beautiful blue. Festoon your life with a little art. Love a poem or two. Don't just exist. Reach for a little bliss... and maybe a tart or two.

At auction right now. Ends tonight. on the right.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tiramisu I Love You

Tiramisu I do love you. And I love the new short film Heart Tango which is actually an ad for Intimissimi lingerie. Hey, it IS Naughty Friday...(It just happens. I don't plan this stuff). Anyway there was a bit of discussion yesterday over what some copywriters called the "stupidest web site design ever" referring to Leo Burnett's new site. Well, I thought differently. But that is just little ol' me who is, hmm, visual in nature maybe...stupid? Stupid like a fox maybe...and guess who did this new, may I say totally tasteful, but hot Intimissimi ad everyone is talking about? Yep. Leo people. Buzz. Again, I will put my 2 cent vote in for increased visual literacy....So the Italian theme here, it seemed to kind of fall into place. My thanks to Maryann and her Dolce Vita community. And also my thanks to very talented Dean Rieck who proposed the gross "stupidity" for our perusal. Me, I want pictures, pastries and really great underwear...oh and a tango with that José Fidalgo from Portugal...Tiramisu Tango I say. Yep. Enough for everybody please. And for Lawton Chiles and the guys. I am buying Intimissimi next time out. So yep. It is profitable.

Almost forgot...please help me get that intimissimi. Click on the right and looked expensive...:) Guys. Go to an art museum sometime. I'll meet you there and we'll go over how to read a picture...all due respect.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Napoleon Imparfait

Messy. But creamy good. He slid a bit on the way home. And the very well intentioned counter person, wrapped him up for transport, ooh la la, non, non. Oui. He did. Do not fear, Napoleon is nothing if not resilient. I scooched him off the tiramisu, rescued him from the grips of the blackberry tart, unwrapped him and took a look. And here he is looking back, still brilliant and very very handsome.

Savor your own Napoleon? His auction ends tomorrow night. Click over on the right.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Strawberry Island

Cabana Boys. In crisp white as whipped cream shorts.They LOVE to bring you things, beverages, sun tan lotion, lunch...anything. Drop your sunglasses. They pick them up. Magazine blows off the deck chair. Yep, fetched happily. Doze off, they gently remind you to take care, the sun. Let me get an umbrella for you. Get wet in the pool. Towel right there. Yep. I am thinking every plan for world peace should have a cabana boy clause. So when I paint these islands, I am thinking pure luxe and someone there to answer every whim. Everyone deserves a cabana boy every now and then.

At auction currently. Grab a beverage and bid. Click over on the right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Way Good Cupcake

A surprise from chef. Just sitting there in the case waiting for me. No idea what flavor, but I knew if he made it it would be good. Having recently experienced the Sprinkles offerings, I felt prepared for good.I painted not knowing what was coming up. Well, WAY GOOD was in the stars for me on this one. It is a surprise of black walnuts and coconut , just a bit, and I think nutmeg in the best cupcake cake I have EVER tasted. Like a caribbean cloud with a hint of cream cheese whipped in cream. The little top is totally sugar. He wins. Hands down. No contest. So real and transporting I looked to see if there was a cabana boy near by to bring me a beverage. Kudos chef! Encore, encore.

At auction currently. Grab your own cabana boy and bid! Click over on the right.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Carnival Colors

Cheesecake. Simple form. A blackberry nestled in cream. But down at the bottom, just around the rim, I noticed a familiar three. Lavender, gold and green. Faintly I hear the bands warming up.Twelfth night will soon be upon us. For now he stays cozy, wrapped in clouds of cream. However, little blackberry is second lining in his dreams.

The auction is heating up on this one. Ends tomorrow night. Want in? Click over on the right.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Chocolate Feathers

Charles Sheeler. Very structural and manly. But there along the base of it, right underneath a chocolate feather, I found a bit of delicacy, a trace of feminine. So there's a whisper of lavender, a little bit of breath, to go with all that force.

The auction has just begun. Click over on the right. It will end on Tuesday night.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Juicy Red And Custard

Ahh. I am such a ditz! This auction is ending in just few hours. I forgot to post!!!Hey, it's Saturday....I was doing a pastry run...and way good news there. So here you are just for those who want their Rrrrrrrred right now. Go over. Click on the right. It can be yours tonight. Sounds good to me. Now back to the studio I go.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Cake is good. Passion is better. Naughtiness can be sublime. Treat it as an art. Be crazy like an idiot for something that you do today. Mix it up and play. I was feeling red, very very red. Sometimes you have to go with that. Kick it up a notch or two. It feels so very, very good. Rrrrred. Wonderful sound when you let it growl. Add some spice. Make some mischief. Turn up a little heat. Yep. Naughty Friday. Works for me.

The auction for this one ends tomorrow night. The bidding is already heated. Grab a beverage my friends and join in. Click over on the right.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Chocolate nuns. Never saw those coming on my life list. And surprisingly, no guilt eating one. Not sure what that says about me, but I am about six years old again when I see these in the case. Wiggle like a pup in anticipation. When I paint them, well it is just too darn fun. I can't explain it. It just makes me happy. The custard inside, phew. I have never had a bad profiterole experience. Nope. Not one. In fact, quick review, all of them have been incredibly delightful. Brush agrees. He wants more.

This one is up for auction tonight. Already the bidding is active. Are you in? Click over there on the right.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


The juice. Ya got it or you don't. When you see it, grab it with both hands... or a brush. Why I am continually surprised that the exuberance shows up in the paint, I have no idea. But it does. Thank the muses. Trying to figure out why I get so excited by pushing paint around would be like trying to find out why chocolate is so darn good. I just do and it just is.

The auction on this one ends tomorrow night. Are you in? Carpe diem.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cupcake Chorus

California has crept into this lovely trio. Thanks Wayne T. It's fun. For me, I will walk on most any coast and enjoy the view. Brush hikes too. Up one hill and down. We look for soul stretching views and like to sniff fresh air. Boots and sketch pad, camera, eyes alert, smile upon the face. It is quite fun you know, exploring, searching for visual cake. My path took me to a Sprinkles Boutique, fresh goodies in a chi-chi box. Bought a half dozen. Brought them home to paint. And while they subscribe to a modernist minimalist decor and presentation, what's inside...oh me oh my...hurry, do not wait. They have in taste, perfected the cupcake. Beverly Hills, hats off to you. I have marked my map. The buzz. The buzz is true. Mon dieu. Who knew? These are at auction until tonight. The link is to the right.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Kiwi Razzle Tart

Currently at auction, a kiwi razzleberry tart. Holidays are here.Tick tock goes the clock. If you are so inclined, there is a clickable link over on the side. These will ship in plenty of time so no worries. I will wax poetic, I will paint entranced, but jingaling is upon us, will be here before we know it. So love you all. I am at work, painting gleefully. Lots of orders and commissions, great projects going, jump right in to get an original Cartier. And if you have the time, say hello. I love knowing how you're doing. Now must get back to the, it is red that I am painting on today and some shh, surprises for your friends.

Razzle Dazzle Berries

Ahh, here we go, a little TLC, if you you go. Bon Voyage. Off to Allison...thank you so much. Your joy it is infectious. I gladly send red razzle berries off to you, some sprinkled with sugar snow. And with this little scrumptious tart good wishes flow for all of you and yours. Keep up the good work and enjoy the holidays!! Merci. Et Joyeux Noel!

Cinnamon Sugar Cupcake

Hmmm, how do you do to Kalamazoo. We're awfully glad to see you. Here's a treat just for you. I thought it looked rather jaunty, beret like in its shape. It smelled so good. Man so fresh...I hope it gives you pleasure. Ahh there that is three....phew, one more....

Red Velvet Sprinkles

Minimalism. A worthy endeavor. Let me try it with my words.Red velvet is delicious at the Sprinkles Boutique. Now here you go off to Michigan to delight another one who gets it. Not so hard, tick tock on the clock. What two more!!?

Blackberry Button

I had to paint cream. And so I did. This luscious cheesecake fit the bill. It is going to a new home. So thank you very much my new friend. I appreciate your bidding and your buying too. Allons-y. The next one please. We must bring this up to date, vite, vite...the holidays are here..:)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Gingerbread Man Cake

Janice Cartier will not be posting today... She and her friends in New Orleans have been told by Paul Kirk, chairman of the debate committee, that we don't measure up.Yes. It is true. It is in all the papers,so it must be true.

At least it is reason enough for the debates to stay away. Oxford, MS (evacuation city of choice) does measure up...we are not enough... You read it huh? Well she won't be posting...because she is still reeling from the enormous slap in the face to her and her friends who stand and deliver everyday. She is incredulous at the supreme wasted opportunity and even more at the egregious insult he uttered.

Its okay. She'll recover...but she would like to disinvite Paul Kirk to Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Commander's, Antoines, Slim Goodies, and forever from her house for dinner ( no matter where she is camped out) and no he cannot listen to one Wynton Marsalis CD or eat at KPaul's, or hear Doctor John or walk on her street...

For those of you, my dear ones, please forgive me, but I am having a really tough time keeping a civil tongue in my mouth, as my grandmother would say. So I will not be posting today. Yellow bellied, chicken livered...son of a biscuit eater....There is a way to politely decline an invitation and a way to make a total insensitive ass of yourself. Nice choice Paul. Oops. See it just comes out.

So she better just go paint...maybe something in red....

Seriously, folks. The insult is real. Every day countless, non photogenic people and stories of heart take place there. It is heartbreaking to me to see that discounted with what he said and more so in passing this opportunity up to maybe have a REAL debate. God forbid a statesman appear. We are better than this folks. Have some guts. To my love always...what you do does not go unnoticed. And if you out there are so inclined, buy something from New Orleans on line. There's lots of good stuff. No one wants a hand out, just a chance...and some respect. Paul, shame on you and all the pack. Gutless wonders all of you. Buy a painting , buy a book, by something good to eat. I apologize again, but man this took the cake.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blackberry Dance Tart

Oh, it lists to the left. An irony or just a function of left-handedness? And it dances. Which is so much more important. Got a blog this morning short and sweet from Seth Godin. About enthusiasm. My early mentor in art business, Famous Amos, yep, once said that his most important ingredient is enthusiasm. That and a bang up delicious cookie. And he made it. He made it so well that he was gobbled up and made superfluous to the making of the cookies...I kid you not. It happened to Al Copeland too. Popeye's. His baby. No matter the tacky garish taste this guy has, he makes good chicken. Well until he was gobbled up by the conglomerates and spit out like a spindly wishbone. So me being me this morning, I am looking at all this enthusiasm spewing from my brush and these nifty little paintings and thinking...well, it's a good thing these come out one by one. I am toooo small to be gobbled up by the art conglomerati...of no significance really, just enthusiastic as heck....(Phone rings) What? Jeff Koons calling? Wants to offer me a deal???? But I don't paint in silver??? That much , Hmm.....See dilemmas...Gobble, gobble so easily.....Just kidding, but now that silver coated tart is almost real, I have imagined it.....what if it is inflatable and money, a dance in its own, I make the best of berries, let them dance. Show my enthusiasm. Keep the world at bay,yet ironically invite the entire world in...ahh, but it is almost time. Time to get back to the big work...add the zeroes on...I must buy paint and get my stuff, the stuff that did survive...reality intrudes..begin anew the gallery search...monetize my site....ugh...You can see why these berries dancing hold my fascination...they are at the core of what I do. They are a performance on a little scale. The very essence distilled... enthusiastically. Magic exploration. And I love them. So they will stay. We' ll find a way to integrate..and monetize as see, it's not all transport and pigment is it? But it is enthusiasm.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

GiveThanks Cheesecake

The juice of life. Paint it in. Let it drip, be a little messy. Nail it when it's there. Good art has it. Good artists live it. Look for it in little things and big. It comes naturally, but it does take nurturing. I have been wrestling with a dilemma. Actually two or three, but here it is. It is that old thing money. Money and art? Ahh, it is the curse of death in the studio. Yet the studio cannot exist without it. Have you seen Jeff Koons' prices lately? I wonder what his studio looks like? Many friends and colleagues too are terribly perplexed. You are offering your work at what?!!!That is too low. I say it is an experiment. But your work, it goes for thousands. They cite my resume, my experience, the collectors, the awards. Yes, that is true. So what the devil are you doing at auction with a starting price of 99 cents??? Are you nuts? Maybe. It is open to debate. I am taking a pulse. Looking for a heartbeat. Wondering, just who out there gets it and what they want to pay. Is good art recognizable when offered on the street to everyman instead of to the elite? And what of the gatekeepers? Who draws the line? If one is a painter, born and bred, then painting is the point. And cream will surely rise. So paint the juicy, juiciness of life, put it in the flow. There is a purity of exchange. Rebuilding, starting over again, seeing what is real. Born of necessity thanks to the storm. My work, my name, I am sure of them. So I put them on the line. There's a bit of juiciness in the test. It is a little messy. My bank account is low. But here's the thing. It's real. The paint is pure. It can be just as pure when thousands of dollars are involved. Don't get me wrong. I do like money and the use of it. But that will come again. Meanwhile you should see the notes I get, the joy of someone who has a piece, a little juiciness of their own. So pardon me for playing on the street with my little cup held out...playing my blues with paint. Mending a broken heart, rekindling what makes me tick (that adds the zeros on), it is the painting, not the accolades, not the credentials, that is the therapy. It is the doing and the steady selling to those blessed ones who get it. It is to you that I give thanks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Carrot Cake More

This is a lake. A mirror pond. Make it large and you will see exactly how each stroke of paint is more of a gentle caress. Each one tickles yet stays sublime, contained. The desire is to paint eternal round sheathed in silky satin. It sits upon a golden disk that shimmers only a bit. But in that small crescent, that concentrate of gold, a soul can express, richness, tenderness, a treasure trove of more. Keeping it restrained, contained and full, hinting at what's within. I beckon you to taste of it. Let it drawn you in. Two maybe three dips of vermillion perched upon the top tease. Surprises hidden here. So won't you be a dear. Take a closer look. This one is painted just for you, to soothe ,to reflect. To refresh. It is a lake of pure cool water meant to refresh. To gaze into and see what's looking back.

Monday, November 26, 2007


A little Frazier takes me to a street in Nice on a sunny afternoon. Or the opening credits of To Catch A Thief. I mentioned last time these remind me of Grace Kelly. I guess they hold true to form. In my heart and my painting memory, those colors Matisse and Dufy played with and the clothes designed for her, mix to bring me all kinds of enchantment, a feeling of sublime. Some creations are like that. Pure essence distilled and reconstituted to carry across a chasm. They take us from one edge to another on a scent, a color, a form. No real translation needed across the borderlands. It is like dreaming of flying, n'est-pas? No obstacles in the way. Good art, good writing, good pastry making all have magic within them for those who know how to play. Give me a moment of magic. Give me a simple potent phrase. Add a dash of color, the grace of a coutour gown. It matters not to me. Give me an essence in an art form to carry me through the day. Touchstones. We all need them. Tokens of transport. To a higher better us. I say bring them on. Make me giggle, ooh and ahh, or pause to ponder. Give me another tool. Fuel. Pure fuel from the muses you see. So little Frazier you and chef have done your job. I can conquer all those beasts, those mundane creatures of life. Ahh, now on we go to conquer something called an... SEO?...and to find a purple cow? Oh muses, don't fail me now.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Napoleon Acute

Day after Thanksgiving.... acute urge for all things holiday now...First rule: Avoid Black Friday. Do not go out. Watch really good movies on TV with your family and friends while eating traditional Hamburger Soup. Second Rule: Stay away from the Computer. Well at least until late night, and then just a brief check. Rule Three: Gear up by clearing the decks as much as possible. Create The Plan. Then breathe....Saturday am. My lists are made. My strategies finished. Got a decent night's not yet ready to go out,but soon. Brief encounter with an annoying checkout online me tells me more deep breathing is required. So more like Wellington than Napoleon, I am choosing my ground. But lookout when I am ready to go. Don't get in my way. Woman on a mission. Stand back if you will. You see it is all because,the good stuff awaits. The warm little moments. The times we take a break. And I have an acute craving paint a little piece of cake. Or lots of little pieces of cake. Oh no, I am not scrooge, I love the holidays. Just cannot stand cars backed up on highways, malls, crowds...I miss the walking of my neighborhood, the gingerbread of John Folsom, the lights off Oak Street, my streetcar festooned with garland clanging down St. Charles. But we'll find some good things here. There's way lots to choose from. Remember I have a plan. To make Dallas small. Shh. Don't let the Texans hear me. They are a great lot. Warm and friendly you bet. But they probably would shudder to hear me utter that. Soon, soon I 'll grab my hat, list in hand and head out, probably to see chef. Look for that gingerbread, a buche du noel....and look at the cowgirl boots.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chocolate Drizzles

Chocolate drizzles all over fresh whipped cream floating on fresh strawberries. Cue music...Julie Andrews sings a few of my favorite things....On this day of giving thanks, I would like to thank chef for his unending exuberance, and all of those pastry chefs out there who rise at dawn to make our lives just a little bit more delightful. You say it is a little thing? So be it. But I say the ripple effect is quite something to behold. You want smiles? You should have been with us yesterday when we picked up our chocolate bourbon pecan pie. A little UN of goodwill at the Main Street Bakery. I say more, please. If we all were truly engaged in quality of life...well, I see a prettier landscape myself. But that is just me. So for today, I am grateful for chef and you too. Those of you who get it. Thanks for making this experiment work. Thanks for all of your kind words, your fun and your collecting. And I am thanking my brush and the muse of words. Big thanks to Julien Merrow- Smith( who inspires me everyday) and Duane Keiser those painting explorers who showed me a path I could take. Enough. The parades are on. There is cooking to do today. And family dear and near. So gather round some of your favorite things...hear Julie sing, then later ...we'll eat more cake!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cannoli Au Pair

Two little friends nestled together. Wonder what they are saying.It is a lighthearted romp. A simple study. Some play. Cinnamony sharp. Crispy and crunch. Wonderful marscapone. It couldn't be heavy. It had to be fun. These two friends move as one. Like little girls giggling, or friends sharing their news. Or hey did you catch the game? For all of our work and all of the bustle, be sure to grab a moment or two or three. Save time for that friendship, that wonderful kinship. Talk of nothing, it is everything. So I painted some cannoli. Brush played. We dipped in the color. The cinnamon rose to my nose. I counted my blessings. Thought of friends new and old. And then picked up the phone...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Opera Cherries

Rich. Luxuriant. Glorious cherries in chocolate and cream. A rectangle of more, but just as contained. No less than needed, no more than called for. Mouth clamoring, taste buds ringing, awakened yet sublimely satisfied. Isn't that what we want after all? When we go searching what we are looking to find?...tastes of the good stuff. Less of the bad. We have our hands full most of the time. Give me a tidbit, rich with content. A remarkable bit of yum. I have only a moment these days before I must move on. And if, for a moment I can linger, make it worth my while. I can always use a smile, a lift,some fun or a tool I can use, before I get on with my paint. It is a huge wonderful world. There is lots to explore. So give me some richness along the way, present me a nice little package. I will be back for more. A nibble of chocolate, the freshness of cream, and yes, please, a cherry on top. I've lots and lots to do today, but I can always take a moment to dream. So tickle my senses, give me a pause...just quality if you please.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chocolate Stripes

A little festive. Just a hint. Holidays are upon us. When I walked into Whole Foods yesterday,it was glaringly clear... the holidays are here. While buying a few supplies at Office Depot I bought scissors with snowflakes printed on the blue handles and two big rolls of Scotch tape.The theory is these will stay with the gift wrapping box. No, I haven't been shopping, but I feel more prepared. And I am gathering clues for gifts. We watched Polar Express Saturday night. Somehow there I was. Remembering the anticipation, the wondering and the joy. The mystery and the fun. So I have to applaud chef on this, his chocolate stripes on a playful fruit tart. I think he remembers the whispers, the giggles, the waiting endlessly. Thank you for this little start. It is those small moments after all. The ones, you know them, that give us a smile. That make our shoulders go down an inch as we hustle and bustle away. It is always important, very useful even, to take a moment to play. To lie back and anticipate a wee bit of magic. That's my plan anyway.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sweet Cheesecake

Balance. Torque. Actions and steps. Lead to a sweet spot for me. I need them to enhance my chi. "Mind like water." The ability to respond while maintaining a sense of grace. To take all the tricks of the trade out of their box and put them to use, my mind and my body need to shut out all the noise. Go through a ritual, a pace. To get to the place, the place called the zone, where grace and agility flow like the ripples of response when a stone is tossed into my little pond. So this is a centering piece and round as eternity. It is balanced, serene, luscious , but contained. A document of chi. Take a moment to gather yourselves. Take a moment to arrive. Eat of a simple sweet cheesecake. Breathe. Sigh. Sit up straight. Empty your mind. Be present.Now go get your bag of tricks and play.Ahh grasshoppers...good job....have a great day. Really.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Florentine Baroque

Little star awash on a shore waiting for high tide to return. Trying to hide from whatever lurks, clinging to the rocks he has chosen. But these are not rocks! I smell berries...sniff sniff... Is that whipped cream? If I can just reach over I will attach to what has to be chocolate on chewy butter.It's squishy for sure, and oh, is that melting? ...oops, I have picked a silly surrealistic tidepool for sure. Wait. What is that shadow? Is that a person nearby?...shhh... uh oh.... I think I see a spoon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Choco Pie and Friends

Plug me in to my friends and we will bring you the world. Isn't that how it works? Social marketing. Networking.Linkage. Where I come from this is not news. It only requires a walk. Just a block or two. Down to the nerve center of our hood, down to the center of the universe, down to the hub of our place. Our cafe. We believe strongly in the hi, how are you ? How's it going today? Sure I'll donate to your cause. It's just who we are. Here is the truth of it. Although I never saw Anderson Cooper and not one news camera. We were there checking on each other, exchanging cell numbers, where we would be, have you a safe place to go? It isn't so newsworthy, not too glamorous. Private courage is just that. We stayed. For many reasons. But we have done this before. There is a protocol. Can I help you nail that? Have you got high ground? Where is your momma staying? Here is my key, eat the stuff in the freezer, I'll be just up the road. You never saw photos of my friends as we pulled away the branches, watched the river flow backwards, or took our elders in the car to get them out of the city afterwards( maybe toting a gun,water, some cash). You didn't see our email lists grow, our cell phones become our links. We still tag all those bases. Just saying hi, how you doing? If I hold my phone up, can you hear the birds? I am in Venice today. Or, Oh lordie, I am doing the Zoo, can you donate a painting? I'm doing better. Oh yes I can hear it! And of course just tell me when. Social networking, this is not news. We do it with pleasure because we love our friends. We suck it up. We stand and deliver. We do what the occasion calls for. Altogether we prefer eating our cake and drinking our tea. Having a chat on the sidewalk. Forging those bonds everyday. This community may be scattered, a little damaged. It may be a virtual walk.But it endures and I love it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Raspberry Violet

Posh tart. Actually a mousse. With razzle dazzle berries drenched in glaze. Gets my chi up just looking. Pulls me right into the zone. Dusts the cobwebs right outta my head. It would be cool if this were a headland and I a white shorebird. The waves could be lapping or crashing around me. I would bask in the glow of the light. Explore a bit here and there. And feel the whisper of a raspberry violet breeze. Can you imagine the aroma, the whiff of it? As I work the sand between my toes. Oh what painting I would paint with my marks in the sand, what lovely ideas would give birth. Oh sure they may be washed away.Waves can do that we know. But the core of them stay inside until another time, another place where they can take hold. A little shore bird who likes the coast can suddenly find that inland the headlands, the little islands exist in other forms. We carry them with us, our personal joys, our glee to be squishing me we will find ways to do it. Once our bodies are whole. The urge to capture the walk again, the up shore and down, to hear the rhythms once more...those don't go away. Sometimes a posh tart can beckon them out, give us a place to run. With violet breezes of form, a golden disk of sand and little white marks that suggest a white, here is a place, let go, let it out for a romp. Then reel yourself back in. Home is still far away. But deep inside, the smile is there for a moment of play. Good art is transporting. It takes us away, or it can give us grounding. Yes, it is for pleasure, but much more than that. Maybe more like touchstones. Look around you. What would you grab if you thought it might all go away?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Strawberry Violet

Circles are symbols. Connectedness. Infinity. Even enlightenment. In the zen of zen-ness sipping tea and eating sweet cake is to be recommended when you are on the path. Where I come from we know this is a way. For all the hoopla and hoorah you may perceive of us. Give me fifteen minutes in my favorite cafe with a friend, a colleague, a client... problem is solved, ideas abound, project gets off the ground. A moment of contemplation. A petit conversation. A," hi how's your momma doing? ". Deals made and done. Business and fun. Circles circling. Doing what we do, while eating sweet cake and tea. Enso in conclusion...back to say this, when you see my paintings of round, sit down, have a cup, taste a bite of the cake. We must all feed the well. Circle your circle right over here. The painting is to share. To pass on a petit piece of zen. By the way...How's your momma and them?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Blueberry Fruit Tart

Drenched. And bathed.This motley crew of fruit washed up to shore. Found this small oasis. Ahh. Let us rest, feel the wash and tickle of the lower waves as they recede and return. Let's soak in the gentle sun.Lavender and light. Feel the breeze. Stay unplugged, logged out. Ahh, a cabana boy. "Could we get a beverage? "

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mega Blackberries

All you could want from a blackberry and more. Except a bowl full of them and a little freshly whipped cream. This piece, I still sink into it. Caught myself mesmerized. In all humbleness I say this. When in the zone, time flies, paint is applied, there's a hum between the observer and observed. Looking at it later I meet myself with surprise and grin. Wow. I nailed it. Especially when it makes me hum again. When you hit that sweet spot, when you're in your groove, it just feels alive somehow, palpable, smooth. It is process at its best. That's the spot an artist wants to be in. We are documenting that. But here's a part that may not be apparent. There's lots of preparation, lots of targeting. We set the compass in advance. Before we take the trip. Know where we want to go. But ahh the getting there...requires some innovation, some play if you will. Set it free and bring it back. Nail it, don't you see? So here's a trip I just took. And here's the picture from it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Inside The Box

Metaphors. Symbolism. Clarity of speech. All tools to make a point. Pictures, images, the tools of my trade. Inside the box. A place I rarely stay. No, no, it's much more fun to play. A wise man once said, ..."There are no disconnected facts only complex structure" I go explore. With paint and person, brain engaged, eyes upon safari. What speaks to me? What holds allure? What can engage? What grabs me heart and head? A curiosity. An idea. I like lots of those. Creative people are a different breed you may think. What sets us apart? Is it our radar? Our ability to translate across a multitude of disciplines ? Or is it just that we like to enjoy ourselves? To romp with all our gifts? You know it must be fun to stay inside, cozy, familiar, and structured. Ignorance might be bliss. A nap, a pleasant time. But look over here, did you see that? Do you know where this could fit? Oh yeah, that would be brilliant! And we go along. Until we find another thing. Puzzle for a while. Paint. Enjoy sheer beauty on its own. Make it all look easy. But here's a clue you lovely ones, you who know can see...we give you just the tip of the iceberg ( Hemingway) we tend our tool kit well. But one thing, one thing most of all is that we let you see our joy. The joy of our play. Of taking chocolate to gold. Of painting geometry in a way that let's you in on the secret. We really really like our work. We really like to play. See chef did and so did I. And we serve it up to you. Play somewhere. Spend some time outside the box. Let the structure go. And when it is time. Return. Keep the child inside alive. That box might start to glow.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Banana Choco Mousse

Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat and the Fiddle, The Cow Jumped over the Moon, The Little Dog laughed to see such sport and the Dish ran away with the Spoon. Has she gone nuts already? No. Here's the deal. I don't plan the commentaries. NOOOO. Yes. As I look at the image I painted and recall the essence of what it actually was or is, words or thoughts come to me. Yep... Hey Diddle Diddle. It stumped me for a minute too.Then I looked again. Okay, the chef put a tempered chocolate lattice on top of a glossy deep chocolate banana and chocolate mousse filled dome. Then placed a banana chip slice on top. There's no why to his delightful madness. Just why not?He's an artist. But look at the shadow it casts. For some reason it kicked in a visual memory for me this morning. And face it. Hey Diddle Diddle is a memorable story. Many night times spent imagining that jumping cow, the giant orb, that silly laughing dog and that dish and spoon on the lamb in my childhood. Lattice. Fence. Banana. Moon. get it. What we have here, thanks to chef, is an access point. And I being the wonderful soul that I am, wanted to paint it. At the time not thinking at all of cows and dogs, but it had lots of potential. There were possibilites. Art, no matter what kind, is kind of a portal. If you're looking at it, making it, or collecting it, the best art, in my humble opinion, is transporting. I can literally fall into Julien Merrow-Smith's paintings from Provence, or one of Cy Twombly's anything. And when I paint my own work ,no matter what scale it is, the aim is to get to that zone. You know what I mean, the chi flows, time passes and you are so perfectly attuned to the essence of the piece. Invariably, and unarguably,imagination that isn't squelched in the "what if" stage is key. So chef, whoever authored HDD, and me. Not so far apart. We all want you to join us, if just for a little while, believe in a little magic. Be pulled into a little silliness. And go enjoy your day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Choco Pecan Triangle

Perverse? Or Pointed? I am so usually about soft edges and round. I was comparing notes one time with Mark Grote (a fabulous New Orleans sculptor) about marks. Recurring marks,to be exact, that artists make in their work. I had noticed that I was doing round. A lot. He laughed and showed me in the corner of a piece, a mark he cannot seem to escape. "We all do it", he said. We laughed and scratched our heads. If you think of Braque or Picasso, you may see those sharper edges, cubes of fractal space.Think Guernica. Or if you think of Joan Miro, more amorphous things. John Marin had a problem keeping things upright. He liked to slant. Could Basquait be content to be contained. Or Thomas Hart Benton paint Kings and Queens? Who is Kiki Smith without her body parts? Her graphics? We all have them, our own sweet perversions, our preference if you will. It isn't that we can't or won't. We can. We will. But when it comes down to it. When we find our visual voice, it usually resonates more powerfully than anything else we do. So I liked painting a triangle. Found it enormously fun. Tagged all the bases, danced a bit, and then when I was done...doggone if there weren't two circles, two elements of round.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Simple. Clean. A dream to paint. A wonder to eat. Some things should not be messed with. And tiramisu is one of them. Flavor, texture, color. Has it all. Like good design. Form and function married. The best design tickles all five senses and is useful too. Maybe helps us do something we really need to do. Or entertains while teaching. Or nourishes us in a number of ways.Eames did it well.So did Le Corbusier. I have seen a remarkable thing this week. Someone designed it. And someone else (in Dubai don't you love it ?) showed it to me via the internet ( a design in progress). I will give you the link over there on the side ( Go See This Now) A brilliant designer is behind this. It mesmerized my designer brain and tossed out possibilities. The subject is about who has cake and who doesn't, delivered in a fascinating way. And a brilliant chef put it to use to show us something neat. So kick back, stay with it and you'll see. Some things should be messed with. Dry stale charts and graphs are one. Find a chef who knows a little alchemy. And he will bring your world to you in a way that is like eating or painting tiramisu. Form and function happily engaged make us smile and dance. And then perhaps roll our shirt sleeves up and get to work, make choices. To think and then to act. Simple design is powerful when it is put to use. Good chefs employ it. Look at the tiramisu. Chef knew just what to do. Simple rich and flavorful. Cut in a clean smooth shape that echoes the taste my eyes tell me it will bring. Just enough mocha, hear the sound I make? Now, what is it that I can do to see that others get their cake?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Cornucopia Lace

Lace. And Fruit. Butter standing up. With chocolate smeared inside and cream. I played with gold this week. Working through ROYGBIV. Remember him? Reds last week. This week orange and yellows. Gold. Ballerina's have their bars, jocks have their two a days. What do IT's have? A stroll through logarithms? I am taking a romp through the color spectrum. And like this cornucopia, it is filled. Not with calories, but with hues for play. Move this way and it is warm, the other way is cool. Lighten, darken. Tweak them here and there. Toss in a compliment. Or make two colors seems like three...Itten has some games to play, some choreography. He tosses in the physics too. This is how we see. Color is a tool. A vocabulary of steps in which we lead the eye. Or ask for an emotion, a visceral response. It is a signal. It is how we lead the eye to tell your brain think this. It works with line and shapes. It can say here is warmth and richness. Comfort, filled with berries ripe for you. Bounty, fullness, grace.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Lemon Curd Cake Deux

Cake. Yummy lemon cake. Why cake? What is a respectable, credentialled artist doing painting little bits of cake and dessert for several months now? Why on earth should you collect them? How does this help my career and what is in it for you? Let me just get the fork outta my mouth... Why not cake? There. Brilliant, huh? Yep. Putting that Phi Beta Kappa brain to work. Ahh, but grasshoppers, the point is valid. Not to mention tasty. There is an old story about drawing 10,000 things. The moral of the story is that the act of drawing is more important than the items themselves. After the practice one will know a bit about line. I needed to know more about paint. Oils in particular. The gatekeepers all over the country,love my large scaled watercolors, but people, for some reason like to buy oils more often than watercolor.Same in Santa Fe.Well, while I search for that Leo Castelli of my painting life, I decided to come up to speed in oils. It isn't enough just to be acquainted. My relationship with oils has to be such that the impact of the work reaches the level of my work in watercolor. In an existential fit, I chose cake. It is portable, doesn't take much space and is gone afterwards. Until I have my own space. All good features. And has that added bonus of making a statement. Or many of them. And besides, there's a bit of a revolution going on inside me. So a good little bit of cake can nourish, well until they decide to cut your head off. And besides, what's not to like about cake? So what is in it for you? One day, someone will remark at the painting of cake on your wall," Is that a real Cartier?" And you, being brilliant will say, " Yep."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mango Coconut Dragon

Long ago I went to Chinatown. It was night, just before or after dinner, I don't remember which. But Brian insisted we go for a walk so the three of us set out. Talk about immersion. I could not see enough. Everywhere activity, new sounds , new smells, new stuff. My brushes rest in a simple matt when I go on location. The matt is what I brought from that walk that night. Perhaps I hope to capture the magic of the east. The mystery, the timelessness, or the memory of a simple walk into another world. It spoke to me on many levels and then I found out, I was born in the Chinese year of the dragon, a very lucky sign. So maybe you can see it...when I looked down at this mango cheesecake on its golden disk, I saw a flutter in the coconut. Instantly transported, in a flash I saw in my head a paper dragon winding through the street. Carried aloft by dancing, celebrating feet. So it became a good luck dragon as I painted on. Huge glossy golden mangos bearing golden wishes for us all. An eye( a blackberry) towards the future of goodness that we seek, but dancing, yes I think dancing down that San Francisco Street.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chocolate Toffee Cake

Another float? An autumn thought? A persuasive text on indulgence, or a painting lesson? What to say this time? These days my head is wrapped around a puzzle. Usually in the studio that means I am "in transition". A useful term to put a label on a temporary term of agitated discomfort. Tell that to someone giving birth, or a teenager wrestling through a"phase", or a CEO with a business balancing on an edge. I have found the words very useful because usually I don't think of them until I am halfway through. I toss and turn and grumble, maybe growl, feel out of sorts, displaced. The painting may be going very well, everything moving along. But somewhere deep inside there is a restlessness, pushing and shoving. And then it will come to me, oh man, I am in transition! Some how it puts me more at ease. I know there is a present coming. A wise man told me once upon a time that staying with the discomfort, letting it process through, leads to another level. Not an Ellysian Field but a space where I can be that fits the growth that just took place, that is actually more me.So as I look at this glowing cake, the chocolate is glossy, the toffee has its crunch, I am actually amazed. Through the headache, the sleeplessness, the itchy indecision, the shall I this or that...the paint is still true. It carries on. It is actually the reason for all the other stuff. Focus is a funny thing. The lessons that one learns. Sometimes there are no words that conveniently display all the parts that we go through to keep the paint alive. But don't you see it when we don't put ourselves into it? The difference is so glaring. Art is a living breathing thing. It requires some doing. But a huge part of it is really , really , being.