Month: May 2015


Ah, yes, NYC. The city where working men are dangerous.

yes, working men can be so very dangerous
yes, working men can be so very dangerous

After seeing this sign and wanting to avoid the dangerous working men, I crossed the street. Then I came upon this sign.

thanks for the warning...
thanks for the warning…

Perhaps the working men were the lesser of the two evils.

It’s a wonderful town

Yup, I’m here in the Big Apple, as evidenced by the noises that are coming through the open window. Sounds of skateboards, sirens, trucks driving over steel plates, people talking and laughing, construction down the street and the ever present car horns all fight to get into my room intact. I have to admit to a feeling of claustrophobia when I first got here, I am definitely not used to concrete, white walls and no windows. I have managed to find some green spaces and there is a lovely park on the Hudson River that shows the new World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. The food is awesome, I haven’t had a bad meal yet and the people for the most part are wonderful. The city cleared out for the long weekend (Memorial Day) and the pace became much more relaxed.

My residency is a bit out in left field for me, this bio art thing is full of words and phrases like symbiotic biology,/transgenic art/bioinformatics/computational biology/structural genomics and genetic manipulation. I try not to feel stupid and old and wish that I had gone further with science than my high school freshman year biology class. But then again, most of what is going on today in the biology world wasn’t even a pipe dream back then. I might have been more comfortable in the sculpture residency but I wouldn’t be learning such cutting edge stuff either.

I still don’t quite know the direction my art will take in the next few weeks, but I am glad I am here to be learning all this new stuff. I don’t think that cloning is in my future (although I might learn how to clone a plant) but it is fascinating to know that it can be done.

So, since this is a blog about finding art in my daily life, I will leave you with some photos that I have taken over the last week or so. There are always cool patterns to be seen around the city…enjoy!

This is my little cubby hole of a studio.
This is my little cubby hole of a studio. Good things waiting to happen!!!
It's always possible to find art on the street if you know where to look
It’s always possible to find art on the street if you know where to look
One of the installations at the New Museum
One of the installations at the New Museum
These rows of bricks intrigued me
These rows of bricks intrigued me
even zooming in on three of them was cool
even zooming in on three of them was cool
Steps to nowhere...I actually got under a truck parked in the road in order to take this picture.
Steps to nowhere…I actually got under a truck parked in the road in order to take this picture.

bags are packed

This is a very quick blog post as I am packed and ready to leave for NYC tomorrow morning for my month-long residency. I am super excited (and nervous and panicky) and I hope I have everything I need but I have heard that there are stores in New York in case I’ve forgotten something really important like a…oh crap I don’t have a pot to cook pasta in and…well you get the picture. It’s going on 9 pm and I figure if I don’t have it by now then I will have to get it in New York.

Before I go I wanted to share pix of a walk I took the other day, I am going to miss my peonies, the ants have been busy and the first ones have just started blooming (the yellow tree peony popped yesterday and the pink one in the big garden started today). I did get to see some iris, even the ones that got transplanted a couple of weeks ago put their game face on and threw out a few small dwarfy flowers. Mr. R. has promised me that he will water all the things I transplanted and that he will harvest peas which will be done by the time I get back. We’ll see if he actually gets his hands dirty…

So, here are some of the pix I’ve taken in the last couple of days…next ones will be of concrete, stone and…who knows???

tree peony bud
tree peony bud
30 minutes...and it is now open
30 minutes later…and it is now open
grass lily
grass lily
yup, it's tilting a bit
yup, it’s tilting a bit
ants are busy
the ants are busy

And finally, I have had the pleasure of waking up to the squirrels playing a game in the tree outside my window. I don’t know if there is a little randiness going on or if this is pure play but it has been fun to watch them circling around branches and leaping from one to another. I caught this guy through the window. Unfortunately I knew that if I actually opened the window he would flee and so he did. But I did manage to snap a few pix through the closed window before he departed.

sitting in the sun
sitting in the sun

I will be posting from New York of course, but if you want to see posts more often, “like” my Facebook page. I plan to be putting status updates fairly regularly there…

Have a great week!!!

rollercoaster? what rollercoaster???

I took this picture the other day when I was doing some onsite research about eyes. I found out that kangaroo eyes and horses eyes are not really all that similar. They are closer than goats, dogs or cats which are the only other animals that I have to work with around here. This first picture is of my neighbor’s male horse, a really butt head and attention hound so to speak. In other words, a typical adolescent male. The second is my neighbor’s friend’s horse named Clover, a sweet, docile thing.


“So what is this about a rollercoaster” you are asking? Well, I’ll tell you. Three weeks ago I was accepted to attend a summer residency in Sculpture at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Then two weeks later they contacted me and said that the program was cancelled. After trying to come to terms with the fact that I was not going to NYC for the art residency (and not succeeding very well), lo and behold, an opportunity to attend a different section of the program fell into my lap today. The dates are the same, the opportunities for working in the art studios are the same. What is different is the title of this residency and the focus. The title is “FROM THE LABORATORY TO THE STUDIO: INTERDISCIPLINARY PRACTICES IN BIO ART”

I know, I know…what the hell does THAT mean? Well it is actually very cool. There are many different layers to the residency, the first of which is that I will have the ability to study many parts of nature from skeletons to things that can only be seen under a microscope and then create something (don’t ask me what) from all of that. The deeper part is searching for ways to use art to facilitate knowledge and understanding about some of the amazing ways that scientists are working. It’s all a bit murky to me as well but I gotta tell you it sounds incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to see what I come up with in the next few weeks. Oh yeah, I leave next Monday…gotta go, I have lists to make!!!


Question of the day:

If you are a cat, where is the best place to observe the silly human who is digging in the dirt and planting stuff?

You get one guess…

whatcha doin'?
whatcha doin’?
I think I'll stay out of the way.
I think I’ll stay out of the way.



I can’t even begin to tell you how mad and disappointed I feel.

That amazing opportunity to go to NYC for a month and study at the School of Visual Arts as a resident just hit a brick wall…hard.

The e-mail said:

Thank you so much for confirming your participation in the Sculpture Residency. 

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel session 1 of the program, and will be consolidating participants into session 2 (June 23-July 24).
I apologize for the inconvenience that this may cause and am writing to see if you are available to join us for session 2. If not, we will of course refund your payment immediately. 
Please let me know as soon as possible what you would like to do so that we can accommodate you to our best ability.
I actually screamed when I read this. Then I cried.
I feel like Charlie Brown after Lucy has taken the ball away.
As one of my friends said, I was already there in my mind, it is so utterly difficult to pull myself back to Maryland.
Make no mistake, I will get over it. Other opportunities are out there. I can still apply next year, blah blah blah. (FYI, I can’t make the second session because of a prior commitment).
Today, though, I am disappointed. That is all that I can manage.
I’ll leave you with the latest picture of my kangaroo, I moved the eyes recently and the face continues to take shape…
now if I can just gut up the courage to put on the ears...
now if I can just get up the courage to put on the ears…