Thursday, September 10, 2020

Lazy Girl: Episode 5

 Paint Box Summer

In July I rented a house on the East End of Long Island. It was a small cottage on a quiet road where I could ride my bike every day. To keep myself busy for the other daylight hours, I created my notecard project. Before I left New York, I ordered Strathmore Writing notecards and Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors and tucked them in my suitcase. 

In my cottage I set up a studio in a room with large windows overlooking the backyard. There were trees, a bird bath and many Robins, Goldfinches and sometimes a Painted Bunting. 

I found an old card table in the closet and set it up in my studio. 

My first design was inspired by the abundant Hydrangea in the village. I found an orange vase and put it on a coffee table in the living room. 

There is a field of Milkweed in Orient next to the Monarch Butterfly waystation. This is where the Milkweed Girl resides.

I walked upon the beach collecting Scallop Shells and voilà, The Scallop Princess.
"Your Royal Highness, the Prime Minister is here to see you."
The Princess replied, "Show him in." 
Prime Minister Seaweed bowed. "May I say your gown is lovely? Is it Dior?"

Before the Pandemic, my neighbor, Renata, and I went to Blair, an exquisite nail salon on the Lower East Side. When  restraints were lifted, and the salon opened again in July, Renata went back. I sent her this card. Her dog Paolo rests on the floor.

Is there anything more perfect than a light and loose-fitting caftan in a yummy color and pattern? Direct from Morocco I bring you, "The Caftans of Summer."

Wild rose by the sea
Beckons to me as I pass -
Love song of summer.

Tropical Storm Fay came sneaking up the coast. We battened down the shutters and put the garden chairs in the shed. The Goldfinches and Red-winged Blackbirds hid in the bushes and when the winds came,  the girl floated out over the bay.

Lazy Girl Hand Painted Cotton Poplin Dresses.

Free shipping by Osprey Express. Order yours today.💙💜

There's something fishy about the fish hat, on that we can agree.

So take a dive in the sea and return it to its habitat.

(Faux poem by Emily Dickinson.)

The Summer Wind came blowin' in across the sea. 

It lingered there to touch your hair and walk with me.

Lyrics by Johnny Mercer 

Custom Stamps feature artist Richard Cramer.
I used these on my envelopes.

My postcard design for the Oysterponds Historical Society
 Secret Postcard Project Online Auction.

À Bientôt!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Lazy Girl: Episode 4

In the Garden of the Magnolias

There's an 18th century barn-turned-house on Village Lane in Orient, New York. It's a modest house mostly hidden by high hedges.  But beyond the hedges lies a lush, secret garden tended by Charles Dean.

On a warm afternoon in July, my sister, Jeanne, her husband, Chris, and I attended a vernissage consisting of one painting in the pristine studio next to the garden. There we saw the work of Charles' partner, Sinan Karabas.  His large, abstract painting evokes different feelings in everyone, as Sinan said, but in it I saw a large heart perhaps encompassing the foliage in the garden next to the studio. 

Sinan Karabas with his painting.

Charles in his garden pointing to a rare specimen.

Charles first came to Orient when he met his then-partner Skip Wachsberger, who was a watercolor artist and trompe d'oeil painter. The garden was started and nurtured by Skip, and gradually Charles came to know about the plants too. When Skip died in 2011, Charles took over tending the garden.

A rare Silver Parasol Magnolia, one of two in the garden.

There are only 12 in the world because they are hard to propagate.

The garden holds other exotic specimens from far-flung parts of the globe.

Jeanne with Daylilies

Lilies provide vibrant color.

Skip was fortunate to choose a parcel of land in Orient

that was fertile and devoid of rocks and well protected from the

salt spray and winds of Long Island Sound.

Verdant greens of mature trees and shrubs

underplanted with perennials.

Carol in the garden.

I got a new phone and started playing with mark up in edit.

After the garden we went to Latham's Farm Stand.

The have unusual flowers for sale.

À Bientôt!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Lazy Girl: Episode 3

 Sunset, Cocktails and Seals

It was perhaps four-ish when we set off for the nets near the end of Orient State Beach. The waters of Peconic Bay were smooth and smiling and the cooler was well stocked with the fixings for delicious cocktails.

Chris was at the helm of the Wild Goose, a 25-foot Surfhunter motor boat. Jack was First Mate with simple duties like hoisting the anchor which he did with aplomb, occasionally breaking into a Buster Keaton routine as he pranced about the bow in bare feet. Jeanne was the Mistress of the Cooler which contained not only libations, but also small nibbles of cheese and other savories. I was the lucky passenger with no duties but to enjoy the surf and sky.

Boarding the Wild Goose at the Orient Yacht Club, we motored out of the slip and rounded Chris' 39-foot Concordia Yawl, the KeeNeeNoh. Jack snapped a picture of a tern resting on the bow.

Our destination was the Long Beach Bar "Bug" Lighthouse and the "nets" where we hoped to see the Harbor Seals.

Jeanne Markel sips a cocktail in a chic and sea-worthy Martini glass.

The "Bug" Lighthouse, so-called because it looks like a water bug when the rocks are covered at high tide. It helps mariners navigate around the hazardous sandbar between Orient Harbor and Gardiner's Bay. It was destroyed by arsonists in 1963 and rebuilt in 1990 with contributions from locals under the auspices of the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation. The U. S. Coast Guard maintains the 10-inch solar-powered light which is 63 feet above the water.

The day's heat melted away. As the sun touched the horizon and its pink and orange hues debuted, we were lucky to catch a glimpse of a Harbor Seal. He nudged his nose from beneath the sea and snorted in his peculiar way, staying only for a few seconds before sinking back under the water in search of a fish or crab which might have wandered unawares in to the fishermen's nets.

Thank you to Jack Wedge for the photographs.

A Bientot!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Lazy Girl: Episode 2

Seaside Style
On a warm July day, when ice cubes clink in glasses raised on sun-kissed decks, when children are coming home bedraggled and dripping from their swims, and weary from their sailing lessons on the bay, and throughout the village lawn mowers are silenced for the evening, this is the Golden Hour in Orient.

The hour when two sisters meet for a glass of white wine. Sighing at the cool beauty of it all. The sparkling water, the lavender haze of Russian Sage, the Yarrow, now brownish and awaiting pruning ere it may bloom again in yellow bliss and the bunnies seeking supper among the clover and tender grasses on the lawn. The errant, yet adored Thistle, loved for its purple hue, stalwart in the sea grass.
 Carol Markel
Jeanne Markel
The cocktails are but a prelude to our romp about
the village, accompanied by our Director of Photography,
Jack Wedge.
 Stopping by an artist's studio on a sunny afternoon,
we are at the William Steeple Davis house and studio.
Born in 1884, Davis was a painter, printmaker
 and photographer who lived in Orient all his life.
He established a trust for artists to live and work
in his house and studio.
Darlene Charneco, who creates mixed media
mapping series, is the current resident.
On Carol
Hat by Lola. Blouse and skirt:
Carol's personal vintage Cacharel.
On Jeanne
Straw Amish hat:
Dress by Marimekko for Uniqlo
 A charming picket fence provides a rustic backdrop.
Cacharel was a favorite brand of mine in the 80s when
I lived in Philadelphia. There was a Cacharel store in the
Bourse Building which was built in 1891 and
served as a stock exchange before it was repurposed for
chic shops. It also held an Yves St. Laurent boutique,
 Cacharel pressed all the 
French fashion code buttons:
Freshness, Romanticism and Femininity.

Jeanne's dress features
pears and grapes in cool colors framed
perfectly by the fence post pillars.
How fresh she looks in the
Finnish brand's graphic
print so cannily produced by a
collaboration with Japan's Uniqlo brand.
 Hedges provide privacy to this Orient house.
A pop of pink adds color.
 A diminutive cottage has, in summers past,
been rented by an architect.
 My hat by Lola sports an artfully tied
grosgrain ribbon bow.
Jeanne's boater was left at her house by
a forgetful guest.
 We end our journey on a dock with
the Orient Yacht Club in the distance.
A big thank you to our
Director of Photography,
Jack Wedge.
See Jack's imaginative animations

A Bientot!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

A New Season of Lazy Girl Starts Today!

Hydrangea Town
My oh my how long has it been since the last episode of Lazy Girl? Much too long to count. But today it's back, same theme song, same Lazy Girl. I am on the North Fork of Long Island, my go-to summer place. My brother, David, found a cute, little house for me to rent, quite by chance. There is absolutely nothing to rent out here because New Yorkers have left the city in droves for parts where the rabbits roam and the deer and the mosquitoes play.

I am thrilled to be here and to be with family after months of isolation. Adding to my joy at being in the country is my new bike, which I ordered from REI online and had shipped to my sister Jeanne's house here in Orient. Her husband was kind enough to put it together for me. And what a ride. This is the Electra Townie 7 speed in "Curry." It has pink tire rims. The rattan basket is from Trek.  It's a step-through style bike originally designed for ladies of the 1890's to ride with their long skirts. (I made that up.) I love it's graceful curves.
Curry in a Hurry
 There is an embarrassment of riches in this town.
The Hydrangea macrophylla are in full bloom and glory.
 The name Hydrangea is from the Greek and means
water vessel because of the shape of the seed capsule.
 The common name of this shrub is Hortensia, a Latinized version 
of the French name, Hortense. Are you expecting a
girl baby? Name her Hortense.
 Hydrangea can be blue, violet or pink
depending on the soil pH. If the soil is acidic,
the flowers will be blue. If alkaline, they will be pink.
The Orient Country Store is open, but you
cannot go in. Window service only with
appropriate masks and physical spacing.

A Bientot!

Friday, June 5, 2020

The Art of Richard Cramer: Chapter 3

A Mosaic Brightens Broad Street
When Temple University in Philadelphia wanted to engage artists for a campus improvement program, they turned to Richard Cramer, Professor of Painting at their Tyler School of Art and Architecture.

For Temple's Centennial Challenge project, Richard designed a mosaic which was installed at the Student/Faculty Center on the Health Sciences Campus at the corner of Broad and Ontario Streets. "Palisade," a 12 by 19 foot glass mosaic, was completed in 1981. The mosaic was fabricated by Crovatto Mosaics of Yonkers, New York.

The mosaic tiles, or tesseraes, are small blocks of colored, opaque glass manufactured in Italy in a town near Venice.  Costante Crovatto, a master craftsman, came to New York from Italy to oversee the business. They typically made and installed 12 mosaics a year, mostly for churches, but also for well-known artists like Romare Bearden, Roger Brown and Jack Beal.
Richard choosing colors for the mosaic at
 the Crovatto workshop in Yonkers.
When we arrived, the tiles were randomly placed
 in the display case. I arranged them according to hue 
so Richard could make his choices relative to the other colors.
"Palisade" mosaic in the entryway to the
Student/Faculty Center, Health Sciences Campus,
Temple University, Philadelphia
 Drawings for "Palisade" in Richard's studio.
Typically, the artist did not do a full-size drawing for Crovatto.
Instead the artist painted a small-scale model which
 the artisans at Crovatto interpreted, choosing the tile colors 
and enlarging the image to its final size.
Richard created an actual-size drawing for the mosaic and
choose the colors for each section. This is a detail of the drawing.
In progress mosaic on the floor at the Crovatto workshop.
 The tiles were glued to a paper in reverse in the Crovatto workshop.
At the site they were installed on the wall and the backing paper removed.
 Finally the tiles were wiped clean to reveal the
gleaming glass surface.
Richard in front of "Palisade."
 A few years ago we visited places in Philadelphia
where Richard had made a contribution to the city and to his students.
Richard with his son, Richard, and his daughter, Dianna.
Richard and Carol in front of gorgeous color.
Our trip included the garden on the Temple Campus
where Richard's name joins other Temple Faculty
winners of the Great Teachers Award.
With the money from his award, Richard established
the Richard Cramer Color Award for a graduating Senior painter.
The Color Award has been enhanced by the generous donations
made by friends in his honor.

Thank you.

I would also like to thank my friend and neighbor,
 Renata Delsignore,
for her generous gift of a film-to-digital converter which
enabled me to convert slides for this post.
Thanks, Renata!

A Bientot!