Thursday, March 14, 2013

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on a chilly March evening.

March is a truly transitional month...the daylight grows with each sunrise, the stiff winds blow, the temperature  abruptly rises and falls.  And still, some brave little flowers find the strength to bloom.

A few days ago, I went for a walk in Central Park to find out which tiny beauties might already be showing their colors.

The Shakespeare Garden will soon be full of crocus and daffodils and all the other showy springtime stars, but for now, one must take a careful, close to the ground look to find mid-March beauties.

Clearly there's still lots of mulch and leaf cover for warmth.  In some adjacent areas, I also detected large of amounts of deposited manure awaiting skillful spreading by talented Park gardeners.

The Park's trees are just beginning to start their 2013 leaf production, giving rise to a sweetly soft green haze around trees viewed at a distance.

It's been a while since I took a long walk around the edge of the Park's pretty lake, and as I stooped low to take some photos, I was very glad that my winterized muscles could find the  strength to allow me to stand up again.  I am a bit out of condition.

Last weekend, I had another great treat, having the opportunity to meet Lori, who'd traveled to New York from her beautiful California to visit her children.

I have had the pleasure of meeting quite a few fellow bloggers, and every single time have been delighted.  When we regularly visit each over via the etherway, there is a grand opportunity to find friends.  It is so good to actually be able to meet each other.

During the past week, I've continued to experiment with my new laptop, and to discover what is possible, and how to stretch my computer skills to a new system.  I've had lots of help from friends here in New York, also from blogging friends, and from experienced and well-skilled trainers at my neighborhood Apple shop.

This sort of learning as you go is my favorite kind of learning.

Today I met a friend downtown in our city's Chelsea gallery neighborhood.  It is near the Hudson River and the brisk winds made me wonder from time to time if I would be able to stay on the ground.  Yes, dear readers, I did stay on the ground.

We visited several galleries and had a great lunch at a favorite little restaurant, with lots of catch up chatting.  There was a true standout amongst the artists whose exhibits we visited, Thomas Nozkowski's exhibits at two Pace Galleries

I'd seen some of Mr. Nozkowski's prior exhibits and very much admire his abstract painting.  This man truly loves to paint.  What made today unique was entering the gallery and seeing Mr. Nozkowski in the gallery giving a marvelous presentation to an assembled group of young teenage students.

What a grand opportunity these young folks had to be able to hear a fine artist talk about his paintings, and to have him answer any questions that they might wish to ask him.  The students were initially rather quiet and shy, but soon many hands were raised trying to attract the artist's attention.  As a former professor (and artist for Mad Magazine!) Nozkowski was a perfect choice to speak with the students.  They definitely recognized this opportunity.

As the session wound down, and a group photo was taken to record the session, my friend and I left the gallery and crossed the street to another Pace Gallery location that was exhibiting drawings on paper by the same artist.  As we carefully looked at each beautifully lit work, we were curious (as artists can be) about what sort of paper Mr. Nozkowski had used, since some of the drawings were done in graphite, some with colored pencils, some with chalk, some with watercolor, some with gouache.  The paper had a sort of yellow hue.

Well...only in New York.  I asked the gallery rep if she knew what sort of paper was used, and she had no idea.  Then...five minutes later, in walked the artist himself, and I was able to compliment him on the exhibit, and also on the remarkable session with the students.  And, also to ask about the yellow paper.  It was indeed not a special artist's paper, but rather an "ordinary" sort of yellow paper from a stationery store.  This information lead to to a brief conversation about how well that paper did respond to many media, followed by more compliments, and many thanks to the artist.

This was the sort of week, and day, that make me feel very fortunate to live in this city.  Even though I can still hear that fierce wind blowing just beyond my windows.

Thank you to all who've visited hereabouts.  I do enjoy reading your comments.


  1. I love this sort of post, Frances - your walk, so different from mine, and then your view of a milieu so different from mine - the art, the galleries *sigh* so exotic to me!

  2. I too, love your post, and because it is different from my way of life. There are similarities though, and why it should surprise me that you have the same flowers growing wild in woodlands and parkland that we do, I don't know. Put it down to ignorance.
    'The March wind doth blow and we shall have snow' is a saying over here, maybe you know it? Well, it has been blowy and snowy, yesterday sunny, today we are under that grey blanket once again, but at least the temperature has crept a few degrees above freezing.
    Have a nice weekend.

  3. I always enjoy your tales of NY life Frances. I feel I live in the country and galleries are 200 miles away, so I enjoy visiting the galleries with you. I saw my first lambs yesterday whilst on a run and it brought such joy to my heart... there were also swans swimming on a self-made pond in the adjacent farmers field; we have had so much rain that there are now many pop-up ponds which all manner of birds are appreciating! The other week there was a heron in one and I wondered how long it would be before he realised there were no fish in there? Unfortunately my camera was charging so no photos. Enjoy your weekend...

  4. I'm with Pondside here, Frances! It's something I miss about living so deep in the country. I very much enjoyed seeing the photo of you too - you look amazing! No sign of those 'winterized muscles' in evidence there! After bright, cold days we've got very heavy rain and grey skies in west Wales again - I'm longing for some real warmth. x

  5. It was lovely to see that photo of you and Lori, I'm a fan of both your blogs.

    And how wonderful that you met the artist, and that his paper was of perfectly ordinary origin :)

  6. Frances,

    Thanks very much for the link to the exhibition. I should like to have seen it. His work remind me a lot of our own Patrick Heron's.

    Best wishes,


  7. It is so good to feel change in the air this time of year. The weather has been very wintery here this week but the light mornings and evenings promise of better warmer days! Lovely to read what you've been up to.

  8. dear frances,
    it was so lovely to meet you, and again, thank you for your gracious welcome!
    i forgot to tell you, near your work, 670 broadway,was an exhibit i wanted to see at the leica gallery. at the moment thomas hoepkers, heartland - an american road trip in 1963. in the adjacent oskar barnack room were fabulous photos also by john dominis of frank sinatra, the king of cool.
    we saw a few blooms in central park, it was exciting to see it covered in snow one day and green (sort of) the next.
    xo lori

  9. Lovely to catch up here Frances, I haven't had time to visit blogs lately. You sound as if you have had a fabulous week with spring flowers and art exhibitions, what bliss. Lovely pic of you too. I am the same as Chris S, suffering from extreme cold and today wet. and a distinct lack of culture!
    Thanks for your kind words over at my place, I really value such words coming from you.

  10. I loved this post, Frances. I enjoy hearing about your life there! How wonderful that the artist at the exhibition walked in so you could ask about the paper!! And how lovely that you met up with Lori....I loved seeing the pictures of the two of you together. The transitional month is right over here too.... I liked seeing your spring blooms in the park....we have a few small daffodils out here but soon there will be many more and it should feel warm and sunny again...I can't wait!
    Wishing you a happy weekend!
    Helen x

  11. Lovely to see yellow aconites, hellebores and snowdrops. It must be beautiful to wander through the park now that Spring is on its way.

  12. Dear Francis,

    You sound so happy! So exciting meeting Lori. I know excatly how you must have felt, because I will be meeting Koralee of Bluebird notes next week. She is coming over to Holland to visit her daughter.

    Central Park looks lovely with the first spring flowers! I believe temperatures are the same in our country as in NY. I am still wearing your baret!!!

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

  13. So happy that you were able to meet my dear friend Lori Ann in person.

    Yes, this etherworld is AMAZING!

    Happy weekend and may many new blooms greet you.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  14. Dear Frances, Thank you for taking us along on your walk around Central Park. Pretty flowers is just what I needed to see today. Wonderful also to be able to visit the art galleries and learn about a new and interesting yellow paper that turned out to be quite ordinary. ox, Gina

  15. Hello dear Frances,

    Lovely to see those pretty spring flowers on your walk through Central Park, ours here are still a little late in flowering.

    Wonderful to have visited the Art Gallery's and to meet up with the artist too.

    Frances may I say that is a lovely picture of you.!

    Have a lovely weekend.


  16. What a lovely newsy post and a bonus picture of you! I was once able to talk with an artist (Reg Cartwright) putting up an exhibition in a Cambridge gallery. It felt such a privilege to have his insight into his method of working.

  17. Good to see that you must be getting the hang of your MacBookPro, Frances and good to see spring (I almost said snow) returning to New York! Also lovely to see a new picture of you with your friend Lori. Look forward to lots more posts from the Big Apple (in both senses).

  18. What a great story about your experience with the artist in the gallery.

    Ah, how inspiring to be in a city so full of all those places of artsy worship!


  19. The bright colours of any spring flowers have the power to make us feel better . It is obvious this long winter has everyone longing for some colour and sunshine.
    What an interesting day, seeing the art work and then meeting the artist. I folllowed your link, this artist is new to me, the magic of the Internet to gain a little taste of the exhibition.
    And last but not least, a lovely smiling lady. Good to hear your have your new laptop and able to post again.

  20. A week to treasure but then so many of your weeks are treasures to hold on to and unpack at a later date.

    These scenes from your life are always a joy to read and I love the way you follow your own inclinations and make room for special events almost on a daily basis.

  21. You do make me wish I could spend some time in NYC and make similar serendipitous discoveries...

  22. I just looked at the weather in New York for tomorrow – high 39 with rain and snow! I hope the little flowers in the park will survive.
    What an interesting post – to be able to walk into two galleries and then talk to the artist. I think that when you enjoy looking at paintings or listen to good music time stands still and you are placed into another world. We went to a museum yesterday and it was a great experience to see so much talent exhibited in front of our eyes. I do believe that when you attend a great art exhibit it’s like going on a trip – instead of traveling far away you travel in the realm of art. I am not good with words, but I think you understand what I mean. Thanks for your great comments on my blog.

  23. Hello, Frances! It's so nice to see you! You've had such an exciting day, full of new impressions and things to remember long time after... It was really interesting to follow your steps, I had the feeling I was there, with you!
    Wishing you more sun rays and a quiet wind!
    P.S. It's snowing here!!