Category Archives: VICKIE MARTIN ART

LET’S CELEBRATE MOTHERS IN ART!

It is MOTHER’S DAY I in America. I decided to kick of a series of blogs about Women in Art – and here is a series of works i found.

Dorothea Lange “Migrant Work” 1936

Migrant Mother, 1936, Dorothea Lange

Alice Neal “Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia) 1982\

Norah Neilson Gray “Mother and Child) 1920

Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun, “Self-portrait with daughter Julie” 1786

Cindy Sherman “Mother and Child” silver print of a photo collage 1976

Mary Cassatt, “The Child’s Bath” 1893

Gertrude Kasebier “Blessed Art Thou Among Women” 1899

 

Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun, “Mother and Daughter” 1789

 

Paula Mondersohn Becker “Reclining Mother and Child” 1906

Yoko Ono “My Mommy is Beautiful” 2017

Louis Bouegeous, “MAMAN” 1999

Do you have a favorite?  

Again, I am beginning a new and improved series of Women in Art.  Up next is Diane Arbus, Bourgeous and Ingrid Calame’. If you have suggestions I’d love to know!

 

MOM’S MOST REQUESTED DESSERT – ORANGE TAPIOCA SALAD


I am not really a dessert person, but I loved mom’s Orange Tapioca Salad, even though I would classify it as a pudding. Mom made this for every family event – what I considered a staple. But when I decided to use her recipe, I found the ingredients hard to find. In fact, I had to order the tapioca pudding on-line! I will continue the tradition and make it for special events. In fact, I have a solo art show coming up,  and because the show is inspired by and dedicated to my mom, I think I’ll whip up a batch and take it. The show was also inspired by dementia, you can read more about it here.

When I was looking around for the tapioca pudding mix, I realized I have always heard of tapioca, but what is it really? Tapioca is a starch that is extracted from the Cassava root.

 While similar to yucca, the cassava and the yucca are not the same plant.  It is a starchy tuberous root that is native to South America, and is now grown around the world. It is one of the most drought-tolerant in the world.

You can download the recipe here.

 

THE RHYTHMS OF MEMORY – A DAUGHTER’S JOURNEY

 

OPENING RECEPTION APRIL 21, 2018; 5-9p

Art-Haus

332 Ormond St. NE

Atlanta, Ga. 

Dementia and Alzheimers are probably the most feared incurable diseases there are. As the people are living longer and the population is aging, most of us will be affected by some form of dementia. This series is inspired by my mother’s journey into dementia.

I begin each painting with multiple layers achieving a tactile surface. The layers are symbolic of the abundance of plaques and tangles that are found in the brain of Alzheimers/Dementia patients.

Each piece represents a different aspect of what I observed during mom’s struggle.

The first is the isolation and the feeling of invisibility patients frequently experience. A figure is painted on a multi-layered textured background. The entire surface is painted out and with mark making the figures begin to emerge from the background, while still being faint and translucent.

Some paintings illustrate the confusion that comes with this disease.I make seemingly random marks creating chaos. Using pen and ink, the lines and dots are connected bringing order to the composition.

Connect the Dots – 18×24

Let Me Call you Sweetheart, 8×10 collage, framed 11×14

There are also a series of collages illustrating the power of music, which has been proven to be an effective treatment to help patients access their memory. As the grand-daughter of both a piano tuner and music teacher, this is close to my heart. Each collage included is based on a particular song that has been proven to be effective. 

The inspiration for the piece on the right is a powerful story.  A woman had been verbally unresponsive for a year. But, when we heard this song on the piano, she began humming along, ultimately singing the words. They found this was the song used in her wedding.

 

 

The work shows those with dementia can still be present and they still have stories to share.

For the opening on April 21, 2018, two pieces will be auctioned and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Georgia Alzheimers Association.

These pieces are valued at $600 apiece. 

 

If you have any stories to share, please put them in the comments. 

 

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT READING IN 2017

I know setting your intentions is the big thing to do now, but I still made a New Year’s resolution for 2017 – TO READ LESS!!! I wasn’t specific enough – yes, I read 21 fewer books in 2017 than I did in 2016, but I read almost the same number of pages both years. What I need to do is spend LESS TIME reading! Bet you don’t hear that too often!

 Yes, I read EVERY DAY and that won’t change. I start every day the same way – EVERY SINGLE DAY!
I discovered a few things this year.

What was the oldest book I read? Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, written in 1904.  Did you know that J.M. Barrie never physically described Peter, and in the early plays his outfit is made of autumn leaves and cobwebs – then Disney stepped in and created the Peter Pan we are familiar with today.

Which film adaptation differed the most from the book? Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. I’m not going to give anything away, except the endings are totally different and not all the characters in the book are in the movie, and not all the characters in the movie are in the book. Being a novella of only 100 pages or so, take an afternoon to read it and see for yourself. Truman Capote was NOT happy with the movie, he didn’t agree with the casting of Audrey Hepburn – he wanted Marilyn Monroe – can you imagine?

What was the most surprising connection I found within a book?  After watching the superb documentary on PBS, H is for Hawk, The Next Chapter, I decided to read the prequel, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.  Helen had trouble adjusting after her father’s sudden death, so she trained a Goshawk (pronounced Gos-Hawk) named Mabel. As she embarks on this monumental task, she  constantly refers to book The Goshawk written by T.H. White.

This may not seem like a big deal, but T.H. White wrote one of my favorite books of all time, The Once and Future King, which is the story of King Arthur. It begins with the story of The Sword in the Stone, with Merlyn telling Arthur (or Wart as he is called) that he will turn him into “everything in the world” for his education. In the same conversation, Merlyn states that “the way to learn” is “by listening to the experts.” So, Merlyn turns him into a fish, a goose, an ant, a badger, and of course, a hawk. The hawks are compared to knights, standing “gravely in their plumed helmets, spurred and armed.”  T.H. White was a falconer himself.

The Once and the Future King is a book I have read at least three times,, and it is on my list reread in 2018!

WHAT AUTHORS DID I DISCOVER THIS YEAR?  I discovered many, but there are two that stand out: Bill Bryson and Melissa Fay Green.

My journey will Bill Bryson began with The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, A Memoir, which was my pick for reading a book by an author from Iowa. (I’m on a quest to read a book by an author from each state). I also read A Walk in the Woods, Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.  A humorous book, it is still packed full of information about the trail itself and the US Forestry Department. It also reminded me of another resolution I did not fulfill – and that was to walk the Appalachian Trail – well, to walk ON the trail as I live a little over an hour from the beginning of the trail. I also read the highly entertaining The Road to Little Dribbling,  Adventures of an American in Britain. which if I’d read the entire title, I would have known it wasn’t about basketball! It is highly entertaining and very well researched! I kept thinking about all those British mysteries I watch on TV!

The other writer is Mellisa Fay Greene, who happens to be a local writer here in Atlanta. I can’t believe it took me this long to pick up a book by her. Greene is the author of six books of nonfiction, a two-time National Book Award finalist, and a 2011 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Her books have been translated into 15 languages, quite a resume! I read Praying for Sheetrock, her first book, which takes place a McIntosh County, a small coastal town in Southern Georgia in the 1970’s, that seemingly was bypassed by the Civil Rights Movement. I remembered part of this story, but the book brought these people to life.

The Underdogs, Children, Dogs and the Power of Unconditional Love.  This is the story of Karen Shirk,, diagnosed at 24 of a neuromuscular disease and being rejected by every service dog agency as being “too disabled.” Encouraged by her nurse, she raised and trained her own service dog. Founding the service training center, 4 Paws for Ability, she has trained over a thousand dogs that go primarily to children. These are “wonder” tales, interspersed with scientific research on dogs and also on the human/dog bond. It is insightful, at times humorous and joyful, and sometimes heart wrenching. I have to say, I am a true dog lover and usually steer away from dog books, but this one was worth it.

 

WHAT BOOK WAS THE FUNNIEST BOOK I READ (not counting Bill Bryson)? Marrying George Clooney by Amy Ferris.   Most women “of a certain age” may identify with these hilarious stories. Ferris begins chronicling her ramblings when she is awake in the middle of the night (think menopause). She googles old boyfriends, researches fatal diseases on the web, and imagines stories that are so absurd you will laugh out loud. At the same time she is trying to get care for her mom, who is suffering from dementia and has developed a crush on Jesus Christ.

WHAT BOOK DID I READ AGAIN, AND WILL PROBABLY READ AGAIN AND AGAIN? The Creative Habit, Learn It and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp.  I love this book, and it is one of the best resources for artists out there.  There are 32 exercises based on lessons Twyla has learned throughout her amazing career. She shows you ways to observe the world around you – and then get it down on paper. If you think you should think outside the box, this book may not be for you – she says you need to understand what the box is in the first place and begins each new project with an actual box! She opens a new box and then fills it with anything that has a connection to the project or may be inspiration for the project.WHAT BOOK MADE ME PROUD OF THE TOWN NEXT TO MINE?  Outcasts United, An American Town, A Refugee Team and One Women’s Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John. This story takes place in Clarkston Georgia, which is a few miles from downtown Atlanta and one exit away from me on the interstate. It was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990’s- bringing people in from Liberia to Sudan to Afghanistan. Enter Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to help the refugee children and keep them off the streets. Thus the team THE FUGEES was born. The story is inspiring, as this is a small town that is becoming a global community – and it shows the challenges they all face. It is truly inspirational and when it is made into a movie (which rumor says it has been optioned), it will be the feel good movie of the year.

WHAT BOOK CAN I NOT BELIEVE IT TOOK ME TO LONG TO READ? The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood.  I don’t know why it took me so long to read it, because it now seems oddly prophetic now, and scary.

BOOK WITH THE MOST SURPRISING ENDING? Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. Have you ever gotten to the end of the book and thought – how did I miss that? So much so, you consider going back and reading it again to pick up the clues? This is one of those books. It is the story of 13-year old Genna, who while searching for her missing mother, enlists the aid of a formerly famous psychic and a down and out detective to help her. Her mother disappeared 10 years ago from an elephant sanctuary. The book is well researched on elephant behavior. Luckily, this is a book club pick, so I am rereading it to pick up the clues!

HONORABLE MENTIONS for 2017

There are more, but these stood out. I thought about putting together a list of forgettable books, but they truly were forgettable. If I hadn’t logged them in on Good Reads, I wouldn’t have remembered them. 

So, going forward into 2018, I hope to attempt another “resolution” from 2017 I didn’t get around to – I want to read The Iliad or The Odyssey (no – I’ve never read them). Maybe if I read a chapter a day, I’ll get through at least one of them!

What was your favorite book from 2017? What was the biggest surprise you found!

 

MOM’S RECIPES – BAKED FISH AND CHEESE

I honestly don’t remember my mother ever cooking fish – the only fish I remember eating was frozen fish sticks (no wonder I grew up not liking fish!). But, the recipe I found was hand-written and looks very used. My dad loved fish, so I believe she must have made it for him.

This is a very simple dish – but I didn’t take the time to photograph the finished food because  we were famished and I thought I’d photograph what was left of the fish.  I’m happy to say we ate every single bite! You can download a copy HERE

 

MOM’S SWEET POTATO DISH


This is my first Thanksgiving without my mother. I feel the quote below from Dr. Seuss says it all!

“Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.”

Since today is Thanksgiving, this seems to be a  good time to make a commitment to cooking her recipes and ultimately compiling them into a cookbook for her family.  

I have chosen a sweet potato dish, which we always referred to at Thanksgiving as a Sweet Potato Souffle’.  It was a staple of our Thanksgiving meal for as long as I can remember. However, I’m not sure why it was called a souffle’, because it doesn’t remotely resemble the definition of a souffle’ below.

“A soufflé is a baked egg-based dish which originated in early eighteenth century France. It is made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert.”

In fact, the recipe is so old, the word souffle’ has been scratched out and replaced with the word “dish”. This was a staple for many years during the holidays and it never failed to please! But, the recipe itself changed over the years – for instance, 1 1/2 cups of sugar has dwindled to 3/4 cup of sugar – I can’t imagine how sweet this would have been with that much sugar in it.

The dish itself is only 7 ingredients, It is a pretty simple recipe, but a very tasty dish. You can download the recipe HERE. 

 

MY READING QUEST CONTINUES TO IDAHO

 

I am currently on a quest to read a book written by an author from each state. I have finally reached Idaho, reading two books by Idahoan authors (yes, I looked up the word Idahoan!)

First – MOUNTAIN MAN by Vardis Fisher, the book the movie Jeremiah Johnson is  based on. Sam Minard is a hunter/trapper wandering through Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.  This book isn’t for the faint of heart, beginning with Sam coming upon a horrific scene of an Indian massacre, where a lone woman is left alive after her three children are murdered and her husband is kidnapped and scalped. Sam builds her a cabin and get word out to other “mountain men” to look out for her. He takes an Indian Wife, and simplifies her name to Lotus. When it is time for him to leave in the winter to trap fur, he leaves her pregnant in the winter (in the comfort of their cabin). He returns to find his family has been slaughtered most likely by the Crowe tribe. This begins a murderous path of vengeance, vowing to kill every member of the tribe that killed his family. Again, this isn’t for the faint of heart.

Then I found another book that is probably stylistically on the other end of the spectrum! Echoes from the Hills of Idaho by Ruth Butler. This is the humorous, tragic and folksy memoir of Ruth, a girl who lived the first few years of her life on a thousand acre dry farm, which was near the Grand Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone Park was only a few miles away. Surrounded by the grandeur and beauty of the area, she also lived in a loving family. Her heartfelt stories are of growing up during the twenties and thirties. Complete with pictures, it is an endearing memoir and this childhood must have ignited a sense of adventure in Ruth because  she worked as an airplane mechanic in WWII, raised a family in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and traveled America solo in her motorhome after retirement. She wrote this book in her 90’s and even though she is in now in a wheelchair and suffers from glaucoma, she writes every days, writing her third memoir!

 

IDAHO FACTS

Idaho is called the “Gem State”, because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found in Idaho. 

Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets are mined in significant quantities (the other place is India).

Idaho’s state capital building is the only one in the United States that is heated by geothermal water. 

Shoshone Falls, near Twin Falls, drops 52 feet further than Niagara Falls

Known for potatoes, Idaho produces one-third of the potatoes grown in the U.S. (it also produces the most lentils).

Hells Canyon, (in the Western portion of the state) is 7,993 feet deep, making it the deepest river gorge in North America (The Grand Canyon is only about 6,000 fee deep).

The state seal of Idaho was designed by Emma Edwards Green, making this the only state seal that was designed by a woman. (The state seal is used in the flag too).

Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition as an intrepreter was born here (and so was Sarah Palin, but we’ll forgive that).

The Salmon River is the longest free-flowing river that flows within a single state.

63% of Idaho is public land

The capital city of Boise was named when French-Canadian trappers arrived in the early 1800s and were so relieved to see the forest and river that they exclaimed “Les bois! Les bois!” (“The trees”)

In 2004, the mayor of Wallace, Idaho, a town with a population under 800 people declared the town as the Center Of The Universe, complete with a manhole cover painted to mark the site.

The Boise State University  Broncos play on the only blue football field in the world, known as The Smurf Turf!

This football field is also immortalized in Matthew (my art isn’t for everyone) Barney’s Cremaster series (and Barney grew up in Idaho too.)

There are more than 3,100 miles of rivers in Idaho, more than anywhere else in the US!

Napoleon Dynamite lived in Preston, Idaho – in fact they whole a Napoleon Dynamite festival every summer. 

If you know of other authors that are FROM Idaho, let me know!

Next, I will be traveling (by book of course) to Illinois (Ray Bradbury, Indiana (Kurt Vonnegut) and then Iowa (Bill Bryson)!

SECOND QUARTER 2017 READING

 

I have had a lot going on for the past several months (more about this in another blog), so I haven’t been blogging.  I actually wrote this blog the first week of July and never proofed it. I was going to include July here, but I decided to go with the mantra “Progress – NOT PERFECTION” and go ahead an publish this as my 2nd quarter reading. 

THE CROWNING GLORY OF CALLA LILLY PONDER by Rebecca Wells  – This was a nice beach type read. As with Rebecca Wells’ previous books, there is a profound sense of place, and this time it is on the La Luna river in Louisianna, where life is simple, and there is a colorful cast of locals. However, after some heartbreaks, Calla goes to New Orleans to attend a beauty school with dreams of opening her own salon back in La Luna. Here she makes new friends and eventually moves back to La Luna after more setbacks. The book was enjoyable, but I felt the ending, which seemed to go on and on, was contrived and not as good as the rest of the book.

HELP, THANKS, WOW: THREE ESSENTIAL PRAYERS by Anne Lamott – I heard an interview on NPR with Anne Lamott and she touched on this book. When I received a copy of it, initially I was disappointed in how small it is – it can be read in about an hour. But, it packs a punch.  I will keep this book to refer back to!

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE: A WAR STORY by Diane Ackerman – This is a true story set in Warsaw during WWII. Antonina lives with her husband and son in a villa on the zoo grounds – which is well ahead of the times, providing natural habitat for the animals. Then the Nazi’s arrive, along with their total disregard for life. Drunken soldiers shoots animals in their cages for instance. But, the family manages to survive and ends up rescuing Jews and working in the resistance. I would say part of the book is endearing, and other parts horrifying. It is well worth the read (No, I haven’t seen the movie).

HOW TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE: SOULFUL STORIES, SURPRISING SCIENCE AND PRACTICAL WISDOM by Jonathan Fields – This was recommended by a friend, who actually makes an appearance in the book! This is a simple, but profound, instruction manual to reclaim your life in 30 days. He divides the book into three buckets: Vitality, Connection and Contribution. I bought several copies of this book and have given it to women that are going through profound changes.

I REMEMBER NOTHING AND OTHER REFLECTIONS by Nora Ephron – This is a wonderful collection of essays by Ephron – she apparently wrote them while suffering from leukemia, which her closest friends were unaware of. It is kind of like sitting down and having lunch with a good friend! I will read more by her! 

MARRYING GEORGE CLOONEY: CONFESSIONS FROM A MIDLIFE CRISIS by Amy Ferris – On a quest to find books where the heroine is an older woman, I stumbled upon this laugh out loud funny book. Amy Ferris began writing down her stories in the middle of the night while going through menopause. Along the way, she googles old boyfriends, imagines her life with George Clooney, researches obscure diseases on the internet. She tries to get care for her mother, with severe dementia and who has a crush on Jesus Christ. This is a book to share with other women!

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi – This is not a book to read, put down and forget. This is a story of courage and hope. Dr. Kalanithi wrote this while battling a terminal lung cancer diagnosis. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” He goes from a top-rated surgical resident to a patient and a writer. It is a memoir on how to live a well-lived life while facing death.

MINDSET: THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS by Carol Dweck – There are basically two types of mindsets – a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. This with a fixed mindset are those who believe that abilities are fixed – and they are less likely to flourish in the world. Those with a growth mindset are those that believe abilities can be developed. It is interesting – and yes – you can change your mindset.

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. Paris – good psychological suspense story that is a page turner – I couldn’t put it down. I don’t want to give anything away, but be prepared for anything in the book! 

NEW PASSAGES – MAPPING YOUR LIFE YOUR LIFE ACROSS TIME – by Gail Sheehy – A sequel to the previous book PASSAGES, this book goes beyond the midlife crisis to the later stages in life. If a woman reaches her 60’s without any major health scares, she will probably reach her 90’s. This book shows there is still a lot of living to do – that you don’t have to buy a rocker and learn to knit. You can live your “Second or Next Adulthood” on your own terms!

BROKEN OPEN: HOW DIFFICULT TIMES CAN HELP US GROW by Elizabeth Lesser – The stories in this book show how people who have experienced illness, divorce, loss of a job, of loss of a love one have risen up and become stronger and wiser than before. She shows us how to learn to break open and blossom into who we were meant to be. I will keep this book and refer back to it.

THE UNDERDOGS- CHILDREN, DOGS, and the POWER OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE by Melissa Fay Greene – okay – I admit it, I am a dog person – and on top of that, the author is local (from Atlanta). The book is filled with stories of children, that were considered “too disabled” to get a service dog. It is the story of Karen Shirk, who at age 24 was told the same thing. She founded 4 PAWS 4 ABILITY to combat that belief. Over 1000 trained dogs later, the human/dog bond is explored. There is a cast of characters, including felons, scientists, children with disabilities and their parents, and of course the dogs. You will laugh out loud, and you will cry. And you will hug your dog while reading this.

OH MY GOD, WE’RE PARENTING OUR PARENTS: HOW TO TRANSFORM THIS REMARKABLE JOURNEY INTO A JOURNEY OF LOVE by Jane Wolf Waterman – This book if for anyone that is taking care of their elderly parents. It is filled with much needed advice and insights as more and more adult children are taking care of their elderly parents. It is a book to refer back to and share with others going through the journey.

TATTOOS ON THE HEART: THE POWER OF BOUNDLESS COMPASSION by Gregory Boyle – Gregory Boyle started Homeboy Industries, which is a gang-intervention program located in Los Angeles, the gang capital of the world. A book of essays, one is constantly reminded that no life is less valuable than another. You will realize there is power in unconditional love. If Gregory Boyle ever comes to town, I will go hear him speak!

THE YEAR OF YES: HOW TO DANCE IT OUT, STAND IN THE SUN AND BY YOUR OWN PERSON by Shonda Rhimes – Shonda is challenged by her sister over Thanksgiving dinner to start saying yes, so for one year, she decides to say yes to anything that scares her. With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for her to say she was just too busy to do something. During this year, she forces herself to get out of the house and explore her truest self. 

ELIGIBLE by Curtis Sittenfeld – This is a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The Bennet’s are facing financial ruin because Mr. Bennet’s has had a heart attack. Liz, a magazine editor in New York, moves home to Cincinnati to help. We meet Chip Bingley, the former star of a Bachelor type show, along with his obnoxious sister Caroline and the seemingly snobby Fitzwilliam Darcy.  This was a book club selection and I believe I was one of the few that had read the original Pride and Prejudice, and the members of the book club loved it. It is hilarious and easy to read. 

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion – When Didion’s husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, dies suddenly of a heart attack, while their only child, Quintana, as in a coma at the hospital (with pneumonia and septic shock). Didion calls this time as “magical thinking”.  There is the pain of loss, you feel the quiet apartment. But you read about her memories of their almost 40 years today. It is a little painful to read, and as part of the human race, we will all go through losses and heartbreak.

SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult – I didn’t realize when I read this that is was based on a true story. In the fictional version, Ruth, an African-American nurse, has been told not to care for a newborn baby because the white supremacist father has requested it. She finds herself in court because of the events that happen. You get the back story of Ruth, Turk – the white supremacist father, and the public defender who takes the case. Some of the book is a little uncomfortable. I felt parts of it were over researched. But, this is a great book for book club to discuss!

 

 

A CELEBRATION OF AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS

I posted this blog a few years ago in honor of the 4th of July. Today I went back and added some additional American women artists. They are in no particular order. Enjoy – I know I left some out, if I left out your favorite, put it in the comment!

A Kiss for Baby Anne - by Mary Cassatt 1844-1926

A Kiss for Baby Anne – by Mary Cassatt 1844-1926

 

Dark Star by Betye Saar 1926 -

Dark Star by Betye Saar 1926 –

Sky Cathedral by Louise Nevelson 1899-1988

Sky Cathedral by Louise Nevelson 1899-1988

Maman by Louise Bourgeois 1911-2010

Black Iris, Georgia Okeefe 1887-1986

#180 Working Drawing, Ingrid Calame 1965

Life and Coca-Cola by Margaret Bourke-White 1904-1971

Life and Coca-Cola by Margaret Bourke-White 1904-1971

Mountains and Sea by Helen Fankenthaler 1928-2011

Mountains and Sea by Helen Fankenthaler 1928-2011

Wind and Water, Pat Steirs 1938

Alice Neel Young Woman by Alice Neel 1900-1984

Alice Neel Young Woman by Alice Neel 1900-1984

Garden of Praise by Grandma Moses 1860-1961

Garden of Praise by Grandma Moses 1860-1961

I Need Art and Coffee by Lee Krasner 1908-1984

I Need Art and Coffee by Lee Krasner 1908-1984

Still Life With Peaches by Sarah Peele 1800-1885

Still Life With Peaches by Sarah Peele 1800-1885

Yves by Joan Mitchell 1925-1992

Yves by Joan Mitchell 1925-1992

John F. Kennedy by Elaine De Kooning 19198 - 1989

John F. Kennedy by Elaine De Kooning 19198 – 1989

Max's Crush by Kady Noland - 1956 -

Max’s Crush by Kady Noland – 1956 –

Woman with a Fur Collar on the Street by Diane Arbus 1923-1971

Woman with a Fur Collar on the Street by Diane Arbus 1923-1971

The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago 1939-

The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago 1939-

Form of a Black Feather by Lee Miller 1907- 1977

Form of a Black Feather by Lee Miller 1907- 1977

Untitled film still by Cindy Sherman 1954 -

Untitled film still by Cindy Sherman 1954 –

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold 1930 -

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold 1930 –

Who would you add?

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST QUARTER 2017 BOOKS

Yes, I have been a little quiet lately. I became the administrator of an on-line book club (currently at 450+ members!), and am active in three other book clubs! Because I didn’t do this blog on a monthly basis, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

CLASSICS

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I think I’ll read some more!

PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie – this is a very quick and easy read. I don’t know what took me so long to actually read it!

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S by Truman Capote – I decided to read this novella after watching the movie. There are major differences between the two. First of all, the book is set in the 1940’s. And Holly Golightly does not sing Moon River in the novella, instead she the following lyrics.

“Don’t wanna sleep. Don’t wanna die. Just wanna go a-travelin’ through the pastures of the sky.”

And, Truman Capote always wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the part. There are many more differences, characters written out, a character added to the movie and the ending very different. Read it and find out!

THE GARDEN OF THE GODS by Gerald Durrell – This is the third book in the Corfu Trilogy. I was inspired to read these books after watching the delightful first season on Masterpiece Theater, The Durrells in Corfu.

THE HANDMAIDS TALE by Margaret Atwood  – I don’t know how I missed reading this all of these years, but reading it now is almost terrifying!

MANUALS (all book club selections)

GET RICH LUCKY BITCH – RELEASE YOUR MONEY BLOCKS AND LIVE A FIRST CLASS LIFE by Denise Duffield-Thomas – Do you think the big word of 2017 is “manifest”? . I learned a few things and Denise is down to earth and delightfully raunchy.

THE ART OF EXTREME SELF-CARE – TRANSFORM YOU LIFE ONE MONTH AT A TIME by Cheryl Richardson – this is a pretty small book, and I think I’ll go back and read a chapter a month at a time!

THE CREATIVE HABIT, LEARN IT AND USE IT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE by Twyla Tharp – this is a must read for anyone wanting more creativity in their life.

BIG MAGIC – CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR by Elizabeth Gilbert – This book had very mixed reviews in the book club. I had read it before, but it resonated more to me this time around.

NON-FICTION

BLACK MOUNTAIN – AN EXPLORATION IN COMMUNITY by Martin Duberman – Black Mountain College was an experimental school operating from 1933 – 1957 outside of Asheville, N.C.  where the study of art was considered not only important but useful. Some of the people that attended there included Willem De Koonig, Buckminster Fuller, Robert Motherwell, Merce Cunningham to name a few. Einstein even lectured there. Fascinating story, but this is a very scholastic book!

OUTCASTS UNITED – THE STORY OF A REFUGEE SOCCER TEAM THAT CHANGED A TOWN by Warren St. John – This is the feel-good book of the year, and has been optioned for a movie. I’m proud to say this town (Clarkston, Georgia) is two exits from me! I am checking into volunteer opportunities there!

FICTION

THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – This is the third book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books trilogy. The first book in the series THE SHADOWS OF THE WIND is one of my favorite books of all time! It did not disappoint!

THE AMERICAN HEIRESS by Daisy Goodwin – I actually found this book on my bookshelf while I was cleaning out. At that time, I was enthralled with Victoria on Masterpiece Theater, which is based on a book by Daisy Goodwin. This is the story of an American heiress going to England to marry into a titled family (this takes place 20 years before Downtown Abby). While it was fun, I like Queen Victoria better!

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Schaffer –  This was a reread for a book club – and I enjoyed it more the second time around! This epistolary novel begins in 1946 at the end of World War II and the German occupation of the Channel Islands. I loved these characters and I want to go to Guernsey!

HOUSE RULES by Jodi Picoult  -A teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome is accused of murder. It is a page turner, but it is overly researched, so it gets a little bogged down. As in all her books, there are two sides to every story and nobody is 100% right or 100% wrong.

IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover – This is an emotionally charged book about the pain of love sometimes dealing with a difficult subject that was extremely personal for the author.

CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McClain – Historical fiction about the fascinating Beryl Markham – a record setting aviator, who falls in love with Denys Finch Hatton and is friends with Karen Blixen (remember them from Out of Africa?)

MEMORIES OF MY MELANCHOLY WHORES by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – On the eve of the unnamed character’s 90th birthday, he visits a brother and falls in love with a young girl that sleeps through his visits. As beautifully written as it is, and as much as I enjoyed it, it is not for everyone.

PIANO GIRL – A MEMOIR by Robin Meloy Goldsby – This is the story of a girl who makes a living playing the piano in lounges – it is a fun and quick read. I kept wondering if that could have been me – as I played the piano for chorus throughout high school!

THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict – I won this book in a drawing and this is a story about Einstein I didn’t know.  Mileva – Einstein’s first wife, was a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the theory of relativity is questioned. There is definitely room for only one genius in this marriage! When their marriage coming apart, Einstein thought they should stay together for the sake of the children, if she would adhere to the following list:

“CONDITIONS
You will make sure:
that my clothes and laundry are kept in good order;
that I will receive my three meals regularly in my room;
that my bedroom and study are kept neat, and especially that my desk is left for my use only.
You will renounce all personal relations with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reasons. Specifically, You will forego:
my sitting at home with you;
my going out or travelling with you.
You will obey the following points in your relations with me:
you will not expect any intimacy from me, nor will you reproach me in any way;
you will stop talking to me if I request it;
you will leave my bedroom or study immediately without protest if I request it.
You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behavior.”

She accepted them, but ultimately left him in Berlin and relocated in Zurich. I realized how little I know about Einstein’s personal life!

That’s it for now! I hope you find something of interest here! Let me know what you think! and what you are reading!