Sunday, February 15, 2009

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York,

Quite a few weeks ago, and if I were being more precise, it might actually be more than a few weeks ago, the wonderful Cait O'Connor passed along to me a few interview questions. I have certainly taken my time in replying.

I am starting with a post of a painting I did many years ago, when I was a much younger person, and carried many dreams in my head. At that point in my life, I still thought that time went on forever, and that dreams would come true, if only one wished for them over and over.

Years later, I realized that more than wishes might be involved. I even began to enlarge my field of dreaming.

Back to Cait's interview questions.

1. Was I ever an art student. Oh yes. My college diploma says my major was in Economics, but I also took enough courses to qualify for a degree in Art Studio. I just, perhaps rightly...perhaps not, that Economics would grant me more employment possibilities.

2. If you had your life to live over again, what, if anything, would you do differently. Ah Cait, this is a tough one. At the end of every week, I have reasons to reconsider lots of what I did in the past bunch of hours.

I was raised in a totally different environment, am just a bit too old to be considered a baby boomer. I think that I was taught as a child to be seen and not heard, and as a female to also be more submissive than my inner nature told me. I turned down several marriage proposals, and wonder about one of those nays. It was ages ago, in the midst of the Vietnam War, and accepting would have set me on a totally different path. I was frightenened to take that path.

3. What do most look forward to when you retire. Ah, this is the joke question! Right now, at age 63, I already qualify for this country's Social Security benefits. These months monetary benefits are stated to increase the later once chooses to sign up for them. I will wait as long as possible, but really feel that the entire Social Security system is yet another Ponzi scheme, based upon the feeding of the base of its pyramid by increasing numbers of willing workers who are involuntarily made part of this system.

Gosh, I have so many interests, and so wish that I could spend every day on them, starting right now! Painting, drawing, printmaking, writing, sewing, knitting, crocheting, reading, gardening ... in my dreams-only garden. Seeing friends, traveling. Maybe I will eventually be able to have at least one blow out year!

4. Where is your favorite place in New York? Easy. Central Park, the very big back yard (garden) for all of us who live in Manhattan. It never lets you down. Just take a walk there ... 30 minutes are enough, longer is better, and your mind is refreshed. I saw a "host" of snowdrops in the Yoko-funded Strawberry Fields area today. And a host of tourists taking photos of the Imagine mosaic.

5. List your passions. Cait, this one is tricky, because it is the most revealing. I really do love kindness. Openness. Great art from all the cultures and centuries that have gone before us. The same is true of literature. Friends who cling together for many decades and let our ridges and splinters show. Fresh flowers, and fresh spring and summer fruits and vegetables. Learning anything new. Having my opinions tested and learning something new.

Thank you Cait, for the opportunity to answer your questions. If anyone reading this would also like to take the time to me interviewed, please do leave me a message. I will try to provide some questions as fine as those that Cait sent me.

Sweet dreams to all.


  1. I just love your paintings. The detail in the one you've just posted reminds me why I'll never be especially good at art (or a number of other things) - I lack the patience.
    As to the question what would you do differently, I suspect most of us would be able to think of lots of things but once we thought through the ramifications we'd probably just be glad things worked out the way they did. Who knows where different paths may have led? I suspect it is part of human nature to think the other man's grass is greener but at the end of the day one's own grass is a lot better than it might have been.

  2. This post merits more time than I have right now. I thank you for sharing your dreams with us, and will be back to read more.

    Wishing you a good start into the new week!

  3. Frances, retirement sounds like an exiting prospect for you, giving free rein to all that creativity.
    I love that painting. It's exquisite. If I saw it in the window of a gallery I'd go back and gaze at it every time I passed, and one day I'd save enough to buy it.
    I did this with an oil painting of a harbour scene recently, and I get joy from looking at it every day.

  4. Your painting shows a very real talent, it has a dreamlike quality, you would make a great illustrator.

    When we were young time did go on forever, little did we know it would speed up as we got older.

    There is something very "Jane Austen" about this post, especially the choices you had to make and the manner of your upbringing. I am sure you made the choices that were right at the time.

    Central Park in springtime, how enviable!

  5. can l just say, l have really enjoyed your blog, thank you so much! MBxx

  6. Your painting is beautiful Frances, full of expectancy and mystery. It made me wonder about the pie she is making, and for whom, and is that her own house or somebody elses...

    PS I didn't spot a little dog waiting for a crumb though...!!! x

  7. Thank you for this insight in to you and your world Frances, well done to Cait for asking such provocative questions and to you for your considered answers.

    I really do like the painting and, like KittyB, would visit it oft. There is a domesticity to it that is charming. Is it of you dreaming? I often dream whilst baking or making.

  8. This was a most enjoyable post to read, Frances. I hope you'll go back to read it for yourself, from time to time. The painting is a beauty!

  9. The painting is beautiful, I shold also like to gaze on it often
    The questions were indeed very fine ones and so too, were your answers. Thank you for sharing this insight, Frances. xx

  10. Please do forgive me some egegious typos and missing words. Still not feeling top of the world tonight, but seeing the lovely comments that you all have written just makes my heart and mind and ... energies soar.

    Now, I have to figure out how to banish the little germ that seems to have entered my system.


  11. Dear Frances,

    That painting is a BEAUTY.! I absolutely love it. If it were to be sold in a shop I would buy it, it is so interesting to look at.

    One day I do hope that you will be able to exhibit your wonderful paintings in a Gallery, you have such talent Frances.

    A really lovely post Frances, I have so enjoyed reading, and thank you for sharing with us.

  12. Just as the others have already commented, I think your painting is wonderful. It is 'full of wonder' as I too find myself 'wondering' about the woman rolling the pastry dough... what is she making... what for... who will eat it? I think you could have a 'bidding war' for the painting should you ever be able to part with it. And an equally wonderful post to go with it. Thank you. As to the bug... if it is of the cold/flu variety then try to get some good quality Tea-tree (Ti-tree) oil, place one drop on the palm of your hand, rub both palms together and then cup your hands over your nose/mouth; inhale deeply for a few breaths. Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial Tea tree oil will help to deal with the 'bug' faster. It will help to build your immune system up and you can use it as a preventative if you know you're going somewhere where the bugs live! Maximum of 6 drops per day. Take good care and apologies for the lenghty comment! Warm wishes.

  13. Sorry, should have mentioned I'm a qualified/registered Aromatherapist...

  14. How wonderful to be able legitimately to nose through your head Francis!!Very interesting.

    ps dream on morroc!

  15. Frances, that was a lovely post, an little insight into YOU. You have some wonderful interests and I am sure they are good for your soul. The painting is beautiful. It is strange how different our lives would be had we taken a different path but life dictates the path we choose and where ever we end up is always meant to be.

    CJ xx

  16. Dear Frances, what a pleasure to read your writing, I truly enjoy it. I meant to leave a comment the other day. You inspire me, Frances to follow my dreams too. Bless. Take care, hope your feeling better very soon and that you are able to take more walks in that enchanting Park. Hugs from seashell. xxx

  17. Totally agree with acornmoon about your paintings, France. Again that sense of tranquility and stillness that I get from your writing too. I loved reading all of this but particularly your passions. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  18. I absolutely adore that picture, you talented lady!
    Lovely post to read, thanks for sharing.
    Julia x

  19. As lovely as ever you are talented xx

  20. Well Frances I am very late coming to this and I do apologise. I have been busy with life just lately.

    First the painting. It is just fantastic. I too would love to own it. Is the subject yourself?

    I can tell that you put great thought into your answers and it makes for a most enjoyable read and gives an insight into the wonderful person that you are.

    Thank you for taking the time and keep painting!

  21. I loved the painting too. For some reason it reminded me of Stanley Spencer - something dreamlike and nostalgic about it, and yet very real. I do really love your blogs - how you come across as the antithesis of a stock "New Yorker" (that is, seen from this side of the pond!) Get lost, germs, leave Frances alone!


  22. Frances, that is brave. Interviews are revealing arent they?
    Your painting is beautiful, and somehow reveals as much of you as the writing.
    I hope you are feeling better now.

  23. Hello Frances,

    Visiting your blog for the very first time... it was a pleasure. Your painting is lovely, and I enjoyed reading your answers to the questions. You come across as a very genuine and gentle person... what wonderful qualities!

  24. Tried to comment on this before but wouldn't let me - so I'm back. Because I too have to add my praise for that painting. I agree with Edward, it does have a look of Spencer - though much more intimate.
    Funny, isn't it, those alternative lives we could have lived? I wonder where you would be had you followed that other path?
    Hope you're fully recovered now...janex

  25. Such a beautiful painting. You are a very talented young lady with so many qualities.