I WRITE, and I PAINT!

I WRITE, and I PAINT!

I write, and I paint. Is it possible to do both? Really?

Wonder Woman 1942

Wonder Woman 1942 ( I used to own these, mom made me throw out all my comic books. Imagine?)

The Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

The Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective by Stephanie Bower

Comic book visuals that captured the hearts of America, mystified me. My pencil crossed the blank page pulling lines to create yesteryear’s super heroine, Wonder Woman. I don’t remember coloring the pictures. It would have had to be crayon, so I just used my pencil.

I sketch on location. Like my long time architect friend, Stephanie Bower. She takes groups all over Seattle, Italy, Hong Kong, Asia, and more. She teaches sketching and makes perspective easy. A great tool for drawing is her new book, Urban Sketching Handbook, Understanding Perspective: She says in her book,  How does perspective work? And where is that darn vanishing point? Understanding Perspective helps you bridge the theoretical world of Perspective concept with the real world of on site sketching. Stephanie shows you how in her book and online with her Crafty classes video.

Where is writing in this creative world of mine?

I didn’t get to choose between writing and painting until I decided to paint Bierstadt’s Domes of Yosemite. Captivated by how the painting came to life, although told as fiction, this true romance, Indigo Sky, is based on Bierstadt’s journey.

After extensive studies and writing workshops, I realized that I could never get this book written while I was still painting. My writing hijacked me, and held me prisoner until the ‘end.’ The time flew by.

Metaphors and similes, the tools serious writers need made a difference, I learned and I loved writing . . . Truly!!!

indigoSky-Soulmate-805_805x1275-2

Indigo Sky

Invitation to Gail's Art Bash and book signing-Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 PM

Invitation to Gail’s Art Bash and book signing-Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30-7:30 PM

Suspended . . . Coney Island painting project. The beach, Washington Baths, swimming, blackball, cool sand under the boardwalk, with friends watching Tuesday night fireworks, Nathan’s hotdogs, French fries and steamed corn.

Today’s blog sees the culmination of my book and my Coney Island project. Indigo Sky is published as an Amazon eBook, and will be out in paperback and audiobook by August.

Coney Island project to be installed at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum on July 9, 2016. An art bash and book signing exhibition is forthcoming on Thursday, September 8, 2016. An invitation is at the left.

Knowing that I can’t write and paint simultaneously, my dilemma is to choose. Like notable American novelist Peter Selgin says, “It’s like choosing between two lovers.” One is like a water sprite leaping from rock to rock in a babbling brook—delightful, delicious and delectable. The other is serious, elusive with thoughts examining and imagining experiences and occasionally describing them.

Drawing a breath, is like drawing a line. My passion for painting and drawing is like breathing. My tools . . . pencil, paintbrush, and sketchbook are indispensable, like my morning coffee.

Choose writing, and I become a thinking machine. It’s difficult to raise up a world of words that express traits in my characters. My readers ask that I keep writing. I am torn, and still sketching and painting. My writing is waiting.

FLYER INVITATION STEAMPUNK: NATURE & MACHINE

FLYER INVITATION STEAMPUNK: NATURE & MACHINE

FLYER: Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum April 25th Exhibition

FLYER: Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum April 25th Exhibition

YOUR INVITATION . . . April 25, 2013, 6-8 p.m.

Today’s news AND Invitation comes in the form of a flyer about an innovative exhibition. The exhibition is about the Nineteenth Century Industrial Revolution in the Twenty-First Century, happening at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Click the flyer for legibility. It will be big enough to read the details.

RSVP: 203-838-9799 ext. 4.

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery in the 19th century Victorian era. Fictional machines of technology were found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.  Steampunk may also, though not necessarily, incorporate additional elements from the genres of fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, or other branches of speculative fiction, making it often a hybrid genre. The term steampunk’s first known appearance was in 1987, though it now retroactively refers to many works of fiction created

Steampunk couture

Steampunk couture

even as far back as the 1950s or 1960s.

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850.

The reception is free, but we need your RSVP 203-838-9799 ext. 4.

Coming? We would love to share the evening’s hullabaloo.

 

 

THE TITANIC: TALE OF A  TENACIOUS WOMAN

THE TITANIC: TALE OF A TENACIOUS WOMAN

Helen Churchill Candee (at center) with 5 other women on horseback led the historic 1913 “Votes for Women” suffrage parade in Washington, D.C.

 

Titanic survivor, Helen Churchill Candee and her extraordinary life will be celebrated at the Titanic Centennial Commemoration at the Spring opening of the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue,  Norwalk, Connecticut, on the evening of April 21, 2012.  In her life, she made important contributions to society and to our country.  Please see the invitation to the commemoration below.

Much to my surprise, in addition to known first decorator Elsie de Wolf,  Helen Churchill Candee fancied herself a decorator during the same era in the early 20thcentury.

Helen Churchill Candee 1905

The decorators of those years were self-taught and had important, influential connections.  Helen had impressive clients that led to her being commissioned by  President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 to advise on the purchase of a set of Louis XVI chairs for the First Lady’s dressing room.

She was admired and well-respected as a decorator and historian. Helen’s specialty was antiques and period decoration.  She was critical of manufacturers and department stores that sold cheap imitation furniture. She did not approve of upscale decorators like de Wolfe endorsing good quality reproductions of period pieces for modern interiors. Looking back into history, de Wolf was very well connected and worked for the Vanderbilt’s and others of the same ilk. Society was moving away from the cluttered overstuffed rooms of the mid to late 19th century.  De Wolf’s interiors were fresh and uncluttered.  This room by Helen is cluttered with antiques in the Victoriana style.

Decorated interior by Helen with antiques

Despite her impressive clientele, Helen Candee’s work as a decorator was intermittent. It was through her writing in books and articles on the history of furniture, textiles and art, that she made an impact on early 20th century interiors.

Candee was a strong feminist, as evidenced by her best-selling first book, How Women May Earn a Living (1900).  Candee’s first book on home decor was the profusely illustrated Decorative Styles and Periods , published by Frederick A. Stokes, Co. in November 1906. It was well received and quickly became a standard reference on period furnishings and their modern use.

Readers of Decorative Styles and Periods , a deep green cloth-bound volume with an inset portrait of an Empire room on the cover, were treated to the warmly delicate prose that already distinguished Helen Candee as a novelist and journalist. The book was long and thorough, addressing all major trends and designs, but was also full of human interest and historical sidelights that made it as entertaining as it was instructional.

More than any other book she wrote, Helen’s philosophy of design (and living) can be gleaned from Decorative Styles and Periods .

Authenticity was the prime principle of her credo. Candee was a purist in the extreme, insisting on genuine antiques and unswervingly faithful period atmosphere in the arrangement of rooms. The “perfection of the old,” she said, was all-important, adding that the “best is of the past.”

She along with Edith Wharton wrote books on decoration.  Helen wrote about period furnishings and tapestries for various magazines.

Based on my recent research, Helen, in her time, was a strong image as a decorator, antiques consultant and writer.  I am delighted to make her acquaintance, thanks to Wikipedia.  In the twenty years and more that I taught interior design and architectural history and criticism, I had not heard about this woman, Helen Churchill Candee until now, while working on the Titanic’s epic journey.

Helen, who broke her ankle when jumping into the lifeboat, was together with the unsinkable Molly Brown. They rowed and rowed and rowed.  Where were they going?

More to come…

Here’s the invitation for April 21, black tie.  Buy a table, buy a ticket,  bring guests.

 

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