Monday, August 21, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

Later today we will be able to witness some of the effects of the solar eclipse.  Before that happens, I will keep my promise to myself and catch up on blogging.

Since I last posted, many terrible things have happened around the world.  There is much to concern us, to anger us and perhaps, to encourage us to involve ourselves positively in our shared world.

It has also been a time traditionally devoted to holidays, a time when school children are not required to spend days in classrooms.  
A time to visit beaches.  The following beach scene is a tableau set up in a neighborhood dry cleaning establishment.  It makes me smile.



In an attempt to not be consumed by bad news, I continue to encourage smiles.  This is what I am currently knitting...a tubular cowl that will eventually be added to my etsy.com shop Foakley Arts.


I've been reading all sorts of books, from detective stories to serious literature, borrowed from The New York Society Library.  The following photo shows a book I treated myself to purchasing.  It was published to accompany a Winifred Nicholson exhibit that has been touring the UK.  Since I was not able to see the exhibit, I am thoroughly enjoying this marvelous book and recommend it highly.


There are so many wonderful places to visit and things to do in NYC during the summer.  The outdoor places are more pleasant to visit when the weather is not too, too hot and humid.  As many of you all know, Central Park's Shakespeare Garden is a favorite place of mine.


The Garden is currently in its full blown late summer look, quite overgrown and just a bit wild.  I took lots of photos yesterday and will share many of them with you all.


As one wanders along the sloping pathways of the Garden, it's possible to find all sorts of plants.  The Park's gardeners are very talented in their selections.


One of my goals on yesterday's stroll was to keep a lookout for unusual butterflies.  Alas, I saw only a few of very "usual" plain white butterflies.  The good news is that I saw and heard many bees buzzing around the flowers.


I like the rustic look of this Garden, and at this time of the year there are all sorts of interesting seed pods.  It's quite a feast.


Lots of plants had grown very leggy.


A great variety of greens were on display.


In more shadowed areas, I found quieter plantings.


I am hoping to be able to make use of some of these photos as reference for drawings and paintings.


My visit was just about midday, so there was the potential for lots of back lighting from certain angles.


In this shady area, the leaves had a blue tinge.


At the top boundary of the Garden, there was evidence that some garden fauna had been nibbling on the flora.


I liked this back lighting very much.


Here is my final farewell photo as I wandered away from the lovely Shakespeare Garden.  During my visit I encountered only about 30 other folks also enjoying the sights.


On my way home, I stopped by the farmers market, to purchase some wonderful tomatoes and green veg.


Somehow, I resisted purchasing any of the incredible flowers on display at this stand.


The red dahlia in the following photo was the size of a dinner plate.  It was absolutely dazzling!


In the next photo is my homemade contraption that I will be using in a few hours to safely observe the solar eclipse.  I learned how to "construct" it from the website of the Washington Post newspaper.


I am also going to show you all this painting which is my current "rescue" project.  The canvas was abandoned about 17 years ago when it was a rather dark moody abstract.  I've now decided to treat that moody bit as a view from a window.  Work on this painting has been interrupted by continuing very loud street noise from my own open window.


Electrical repairs seem to have been completed.  Now the below ground gas pipes are being replaced.  If you look very carefully at the Completion Date on the sign, you will see the letters ASAP.


I took that photo several weeks ago.  Work continues.

As always, thank you all for your visits and comments.  I am going to try to do better at keeping up with your posts.  Promise.  Admittedly, my Instagram page is competing for my time.

Enjoy the eclipse!

34 comments:

  1. Blogging is supposed to br s pleasurable experience Frances - keep it so and please don't feel guilty if you miss a day or two. I for one will still enjoy your posts when they arrive.

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    1. Pat, I still enjoy blogging a lot...recently, it seems as if my days fill up so quickly that I have a bit of a juggling routine underway trying to fit in all that I wish to fit in! I appreciate your comment very much. xo

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  2. I can see why the Shakespeare Garden is a favorite for you with its vibrant splashes of color and layers of texture in the colors. Hope you will show us more of the painting during the process of its rescue.

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    1. Wilma, the Garden is a treasure...perhaps it's good that not everyone knows of its existence.
      When I do manage to get farther along with the painting, I will take another photo. xo

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  3. The little purple/blue flowers along the trail are stunning.

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    1. Aren't they lovely! I actually really like all the tangles of leaves and branches and vines and other greenery, but they don't show up as well in photos. When it gets a bit cooler, I hope to do some sketching over there. xo

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  4. Replies
    1. The eclipse was super! I encountered a neighbor with her own cereal box viewing device along the sidewalk, and we found a great open sky place for our "solar projections." It was also lots of fun showing passersby (particularly children) how to use our viewers. Really great vibe! xo

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  5. Son and I watched it with a pinhole in a white paper
    projected down to the ground on another piece of white paper.
    Blog when you can, I so enjoy your posts.
    I am just posting on Friday for The Square Dogs for now. Too much in my life going on right now.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Parsnip, as I've replied to Rachel above, the eclipse viewing on our block was lots of fun. Once gentleman had made a two-sheets-of-cardboard, one with a pinhole viewing device similar to yours. It was great sharing a rather special occurrence with folks I had never before met! xo

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  6. So glad to hear from you Frances. Love your cowl you are working on. Busy bee, you are. I think the painting will be fun to begin working on again.

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    1. Thank you so much, Donna. I know I owe you a visit. How I wish that we could just meet up and chat and chat and chat. xo

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  7. Central Park is a wonder. How fortunate you are to have it within walking distance.

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    1. Oh yes, it's truly an oasis! Even when it gets crowded on weekends, it's still possible to find some green surroundings that refresh the soul. xo

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  8. Although I love seeing your quick snapshots of New York life on Instagram it is still good to linger a little while longer over a blog post x

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    1. I agree Gina, that both mediums have their charms. I have been so neglectful of bogland...must mend my ways. xo

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  9. I spotted in the comments that you had a fine time viewing the eclipse. And the tranquil Shakespeare Garden is a welcome contrast to the busy city streets. Nature has it's own way of balancing out our lives. xx

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    1. A neighbor and I found a perfect eclipse viewing spot right on our street. Our cereal box viewing devices worked perfectly, and it was such a joy to share them with passersby who would otherwise perhaps have been tempted to look straight at the sun. Quite a great atmosphere! xo

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  10. You make me miss the city - but I'm savoring the delights of the country- and doing a lot of vegetation chopping! see you soon. x

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    1. You all must be having a grand time out there...I am looking forward to hearing more about it. Do watch out for the poison ivy...I remember once picking it up by hugging my beagle who'd been exploring woodsy areas... xo

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  11. Another enjoyable wander through the Park, with so much to see. Flowers are becoming a bit Autumnal here too. The Dahlia is amazing!

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Another Autumn sign is those sunlight hours suddenly seeming so much shorter...not just because of the eclipse. xo

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  12. Isn't it wonderful that city folk can still enjoy all that wonderful greenspace! I really appreciate my access to High Park here in Toronto - I'm actually heading there tomorrow morning for my walk and I intend to check out the allotment gardens - it is amazing what people can grow in relatively small spaces!
    Your knitting always impresses me so much - a friend has promised to help me get started on some knitting projects this Fall - my goal is to do a hat, scarf & mitt set - we'll see how far I get.
    What books have you been reading?

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    1. I am currently reading Diary of a Provincial Lady, and Al Franken's Giant of the Senate. Bit of variety in those choices!
      Best of luck with the knitting! xo

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  13. I hope your cereal box viewer worked! I love Winifred Nicholson's paintings. And it looks like you are having fun reviving your abstract!

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    1. Carol, it looks like the reply I left for you earlier this evening has disappeared. Yes...the Cheerios box viewer worked perfectly! And yes, playing with the rescued abstract painting is still coming along...although it's difficult when the ongoing utility work is still happening right below my window! xo

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  14. Lovely to catch up with you here and to see you are having busy and full days Frances. Your cereal box viewer idea looks amazing......so practical and simple. I use cereal boxes still to cut templates from....just the right weight of cardboard! Lovely flowers in the park, and lovely painting and knitting too. Enjoy your weekend. Xox

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    1. Helen, I am so glad that you also are a fan of recycling cereal boxes. Perhaps you know the work of the South American textile artist Karen Barbe? She showed me all sorts of purposes for this thin cardboard that I'd not thought of.
      I so appreciate your visit and comment! xo

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  15. Such beautiful flowers in the park! And I LOVE the colors you've chosen for the cowl. And your rescue painting is just right!

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    1. Vicki, many thanks for your visit and comment. I know that you would love strolling around the Shakespeare Garden. It's located adjacent to the Delacorte Theater, where Shakespeare is performed every summer. The theater was established by the late Joe Papp back in the 1960s when lots of folks didn't go to Central Park because it was "dangerous." (I did not think so.) xo

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  16. I'm sure you must have heard about this but just in case - I will be watching out for a chance to see it!

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/sep/03/ex-libris-new-york-public-library-review-documentary-frederick-wiseman

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  17. So lovely to visit you :) Life is very green and lonely here!
    Warm hug from Titti

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  18. Hello, Frances! Sorry for my long absence and silence, hope to get back to normal soon. One of the reasons is that I made a profile in FB (I had to in order to connect easier with all the kids from the Children's opera). And today, nearly a year later, I am still thinking that it is not my place... As I can see, you are having a warm and beautiful summer, painting, knitting and taking lovely photos, which is a sign that you are feeling great. Warm hugs!!

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