Nov 3, ’14


Nov 3, ‘14

sls nov 95 x

Nov ’95, South Lake St., Litchfield CT

The weather today is much as it appears in this painting from  Nov 1995.

It was cold last night, but still, no frost.  I still have raspberries to pick although I’ll probably net no more than a handful.  I still have Kale to pick, enough for a good-size salad.  I’ve put the storm windows in my screen doors, I’ve bubble-wrapped most of my windows.  Closing-in time is in full effect.

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All summer and fall I’ve spent much time going through my Stuff.  Every time I go to the basement to do laundry, I bring up a container of Stuff.  For the most part, that means going through old bills, tax return forms, years of bank statements, cards, letters, old sketchbooks, old journals and piles of watercolors I’ve done through the years.

I’ve never considered myself as a person who can’t throw anything away; apparently I’ve been in Denial.

I’ve taken many items to Goodwill, filled many trash bags with old envelopes and non-private papers, filled many more trash bags with personal papers that I shredded and filled a basket full of old watercolors where I’ve seen things that can be done to ‘save’ them.

I’ve finished my commission work – the Sunflower Floorcloth and the 6 chairs with blue flowers.

My garden is at a place where it requires very little time and attention.

This morning I set up my small table in a sunny spot and spent a few hours working the old watercolors I felt worth saving.

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3 Tomatoes, ‘98

Back story:  the center tomato and the one on the right are Patio tomatoes that I bought as a fully grown plant in a large pot.  I put the plant on a plant stand that had casters, borrowed from a friend.  Where I lived was filled with trees and quite shady.  I spent the summer moving the tomatoes every few hours so they could get enough sun. The big one on the left is a fake tomato that I bought at a Dollar Store in St. Alban’s Vermont in ’94.  The cloth is one I bought at the local Thrift because I loved the color and the design.  The shell is one I brought home from Maine a long time previously.  I didn’t think to take a ‘before’ photo.  In this photo, the shell and the tomatoes stand out against the cloth whereas the ‘before’ would have shown them all looking flat and somewhat lifeless and the cloth having all the interest.

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Plums in Blue Bowl on Dreamer Table on Dreamer Table, Before

Back Story:  I did a series of still life paintings all using my painted table surface as the back drop.  Plums in the Blue Bowl was never finished.  Perhaps I lost interest, I don’t recall.  Today, the bowl is history as I dropped it on the marble floor in my kitchen on Culvert St and it smashed all to hell.

I call the table ‘Dreamer Table’ because I painted a copy of Picasso’s  “The Dreamer” on the table many years ago.    The table was a Sunday School table from where I went to church as a kid, purchased at a Tag Sale when the church was closed and sold.  I painted Picasso’s “The Dreamer” on it to change the karma of the table.  I bought the paint at K-Mart.  It was latex paint and I used Red, Blue, Yellow and White to mix the colors I needed to follow Picasso’s original colors as closely as I could.  I chose “The Dreamer” because it’s one of my favorite Picasso’s and because I consider myself a Dreamer.  When I did the Dreamer Table series,  I was heavily into restoring a dream that had almost died during the time I was in Vermont.  When I finished the series, I had a show at the Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield where quite a few were sold.

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Plums in Blue Bowl on Dreamer Table, after

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Berkshire Livery, Litchfield CT July ‘95

Back Story: In July ’95, when I first did this painting, I’d been living in Litchfield for almost 2 months.  I loved the apartment where I was living and was thrilled to be living in that place and on that street and Vermont receding into memory.  I’d read in the paper that Berkshire Livery was going to be torn down to make way for Municipal Parking so I went uptown one evening and did this small painting to commemorate the iconic shape of Berkshire Livery down the alley behind the taller and older buildings that face The Green. Berkshire Livery was a Taxi and Limo service.  I always loved the shape of Berkshire Livery and the contrast to the older buildings.  I’d known people who worked there, I’d solicited advertising from the owners on many separate occasions, representing 2 different newspapers.  It had always been there, from my earliest memories of Litchfield and The Green.  I never expected anyone would tear it down.  The painting is grossly overworked; at one point I’d used white paint on it.  I was too unhappy with the appearance to take a ‘before’ photo; believe me, this version is way better.

The painting at the top of the page is the view from my window in my Litchfield apartment.  I lived there for 13 years and have hundreds of paintings of aspects of that view in all kinds of weather and seasons.

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One Response to Nov 3, ’14

  1. beetleypete says:

    Love the changing leaves on the top picture, and the modernist building in the last one. As you know Gretchen, I have always been captivated by your use of blue, and these do not disappoint.
    I have also been in ‘denial’ like you, about boxes of stuff. Something we have shared these past few weeks.
    Regards as always, Pete.

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