I was excited to attend last Thursday’s reception for ‘Famous (and not-so-famous):Polaroids by Andy Warhol’ at Vanderbilt’s Fine Arts Gallery. Ever since I learned of the show’s opening I’ve been doing a deep dive into all things Andy. I had forgotten how much Warhol’s work influenced my own art or my fascination with him as the penultimate commercial artist. From his days as an illustratorin the 1950’s toThe Factory in the 60’s through to the late 80’s when he was arguably the King of Pop (Art) Warhol was always there before everyone else knew there was a ‘there’ to be.
My earliest memories of Warhol stem from his odd physical appearance; that thatch of white blonde hair and the paler-than-white skin demanded my attention. He looked weird and shy and just a little unhinged, and yet he exuded an intelligence and sly wit that drew me (and countless others) in and left me eager for more. His use of repetition in his silkscreens and Polaroids shaped my own fascination and use of nine’s in my own work. I also share his obsession with all things Hollywood and celebrity. I’d even go so far as to argue there would be no Kardashian Kulture without Andy and his Superstars paving the way first.
Warhol was a gifted artist and brilliant visionary who even in death remains way ahead of his time. Did you know:
He coined the term (in conversation with ) ’15 minutes of fame’
The ‘Famous (not Famous)…’ show left me wanting more. More Polaroids, more silkscreens, more stories…more Andy. I’ve got a trip to Pittsburgh planned for the spring to deliver some upholstered furniture toStephanie Tripier Designfor revamping, and will make time to visit TheWarhol Museum to see more of Andy’s works. Maybe I’ll even have Stephanie cover a chair in Campbell’s Soup Cansor multiple Marilyn’s as my own sly homage to Andy: a wink to his art I hope he would approve of.
I no longer make New Year’s resolutions for three reasons. The first is quite simple. Whenever I’ve made a resolution it has more often than not failed, leaving me feeling like a loser. Who wants that? Secondly, I’m a planner by nature (and by the stars). I am way more successful when I outline deliverables and timelines and work towards my goals, regardless of how long it might take. Finally – and please try not to laugh – with a birthday right after the New Year I look to my monthly and yearly horoscopes as a barometer of what might be in store for me., gauging how my goals might align with my stars to deliver a favorable cosmic outcome.
Do you believe in astrology? I find it hard to entirely dismiss how close the science of the heavens comes to nailing individual personality traits based on the movements and positions of celestial objects. Silly as it might seem, I have been really excited about the big Capricorn astrology news, which coincided with the start of 2018. Saturn (Cappy’s ruling planet) entered Capricorn on December 19th and will stay there until 2020 – bringing about three years of what really rocks a goat’s world: long-range plans successfully coming to fruition. For some strange reason this makes me excited and has me feeling like I can make some professional and creative goals I’ve long dreamed of and worked towards a reality.
One day, I want to have a detailed natal chart made so I can see how closely the stars and my reality align. Until that time I will have to be content with a freebie chart (you can run your own version at Café Astrology or Astrolabe). According to the skies I am realistic, grounded, dependable and loyal. I am attracted to status symbols. I am a planner. I value privacy. I am educated. I am an independent thinker. I always need to win. I am capricious. I am blunt. I love literature. Family is important to me. I like beauty. I am independent. I prize my freedom. I am obstinate. I am a non-conformist. All true things, and certainly all things that define the essence of me.
How about you? Have you ever run your natal chart to see how accurate it might be? Do you read your horoscope with any sort of regularity? Do you believe the heavens play a role in our time on earth? If so, do you find that creepy or comforting? Drop me a line. I’d love to know….
A belated Happy New Year to one and all. My 2018 began just like my 2017 ended, with me driving thousands of miles to see loved ones spread far and wide. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been as creative as I had hoped and then calculated between Thanksgiving and January 6th I drove just a tad over 7,000 miles. I guess that’s a good reason for not getting much done, huh? Thank god for rental cars with heated seats and satellite radio along with kids I adore who had hours of far-ranging playlists and podcasts which combined to make those miles a pleasure to drive.
On the downside, so much driving meant a lack of time for any substantive reading. I spent most of December lost in Manhattan Beachby Jennifer Egan, a story I really enjoyed and was sorry to finish. When I reached over for my next read I realized my bedside stash had dwindled to a crisis level. That’s why I was so excited by the nine books that Santa (aka my Momma) gave me for Christmas. I always say the only present I really want is to spend time with my family but I will never say no to the gift of a book.
After I finish the two library books I am currently reading I can begin to get lost in my newest set of 9 (past ‘nines’ can be found here). Have you read any of these books? Which would you recommend I read first? I’d love to know…
I’ll also spend some time surfing the web over the next two weeks seeking travel, art, and fashion inspiration for 2018. As befits THIS holiday season, I’ve spent the past month fascinated by any Christmas-related article I stumble upon, including…
While the exact number escapes me I have read a LOT of books this year. I love our library system (believing it is one of the best ways our tax dollars are used) and typically check out 6-12 books each month, as well as buy or ‘inherit’ others, all of which total around 100 (give or take a few). Going forward, I’ve decided to track my reading to determine an exact number, details of which I will share with you this time next year.
As for 2017, I can truly say that the five books pictured above were my absolute favorite reads of the year. Each writer delivered a fresh perspective on love, loss, pain, yearning, and family. I came to care about the main characters, hating some and loving others, always curious to see what was in store for each. These books kept me reading late into the night in expectation of what would happen next and I was sorry when I finished the last page. Even more astonishing, these books have stuck with me as I continue to reflect on issues as varied as as rape, slavery, abortion, crime, and religion – none of them light topics but all treated with respect and curiosity through the author’s engaging, dramatic, and unique story-telling.
How about you? What were your favorite books of 2017? Are you looking forward to reading anything special in 2018? I’d love to know…
Last week was super busy for me. Much of my work week was spent decorating, shopping, catering, and hosting a reception for 60, followed by a one-day 1000 mile drive to retrieve my son for the holidays. Now that I’ve had a chance to relax and rest I’m ready to share my last guide with you – gift ideas for the real Santa (aka: Mom). Most mom’s would rather spend time with their loved ones than receive a gift but it never hurts to have a present or two ready so you can stay on her nice list….
A few weeks ago I listed some gift ideas for kids,teens, and young adults. Having worked many a Black Friday in my younger years I try not to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday if I can help it. Fast forward through a week spent working on a Program in Music, Mind& Society event and I am ready to get back into holiday shopping mode. Next up, some gift ideas for the fathers in your life….
I find it hard to believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I have two special turkey day memories that I think of every year. I was once a screaming blackbird on top of the ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ float in a Gimbel’s Thanksgiving Day parade in Philly, and I famously defrosted the first turkey I ever cooked (a 15-pound rock-solid frozen Butterball) in a jacuzzi on Thanksgiving morning (which remains the tenderest turkey I’ve ever cooked).
Over the next few days I plan on slowing down to enjoy the things I am most thankful for: my family and my health. I’ll spend time cooking, watching the Macy’s Parade and some football, and finish an embroidery piece I am excited about. I will also be thinking those of you who visit this blog occasionally or have become followers. Thank you for your support and encouragement. I wish you all a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, food and fun.
It’s only 4 days until Turkey Day and the nation’s holiday shopping madness officially begins. I’ve already got gift ideas for the little onesandtweensin my life. But what to get for the slightly harder-to-please grown-ups? Here a few of the things I am considering – maybe you’ll find the perfect thing for your brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, or bestie too…
I have a real love/hate relationship with technology and try to avoid giving gifts with plugs. That is especially hard to do when buying for anyone young (say between 10 and 20). I find money always works, but if you are looking for something a little more personal to give your favorite tween or teen the following 18 ideas score high on the ‘cool’ scale and ‘low’ on electricity usage…