Posts Tagged ‘outsider art’

Children’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyChildren’s Art Show At Russell Byer’s Charter School  PhillyHi Everyone!It’s been awhile since I  have last blogged.  I’m always immersed in seeing plays, art exhibits, cooking, making art, reading, watching films and studying astrology. I have had to decide what would go into this particular blog. Although I titled this blog Play, romp and be happy, I think a better title would be ” WAKE UP CALL!”.  Several months ago,  I had a serious personal wake up call.   Don’t you just  love those?  First  you get hit with a tiny pebble and the it becomes a rock , then a brick and finally a boulder.

I decided  one morning it was time for a  major life style change.  I have made extreme changes  to my diet.   Although  I buy most of my food from the Farmer’s markets ( go local!) and  walk  almost every day, I knew deep in my heart, I needed to make  changes.  I have given up meat, coffee, refined sugar and most dairy.  I also  am working out on a daily basis in addition to walking and biking.

I  have been immersed in learning to cook vegetarian gourmet and find  food substitutes.   Some things food switches have been relatively easy;  which brings me to Turtle Mountain.

If I were investing in a food  company, it would be Turtle Mountain.  Based in Eugene, Oregon ( I used to live there),  this company makes the most delicious   line of  coconut milk based ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and yogurt.

I just bought their  coconut drinking milk today and coconut creamer.  Their Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream with big chunks of walnuts and ribbons of fudge is as good in my opinion as my former lover, Haagen Daz.  Their products are sweetened with agave .   They have another line of ice cream which is soy based  and  many people already know this but their Peanut Butter Zig  Zag is like crack and I don’t even like chocolate and peanut butter ice cream.Several weeks ago I saw a documentary film of Outsider artist Purvis Young ( who sadly died at the end of April).  The documentary, PURVIS OF OVERTOWN.

Purvis was a self taught artist who  lived life his way and did not cater to the art world.  His  focus was making  paintings and helping out  his friends and neighbors in the impoverished area of Miami called Overtown.   I feel it take courage to follow one’s own heart and path.    Mr. Young’s work is amazing.  Raw and full of soul and color.

While  at the film’s screening, I heard about an art exhibit that was happening at the Russell Byer’s Charter School in Center City.

I  went the next day to find an incredible display of artwork by the children at  the school.  The exhibit was inspired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s retrospective  of  self taught  outsider artist  James Castle (whom  I wrote about in an earlier blog).  Led by art teacher Amy Jerrod, the children made their own version of specific works by Mr. Castle- watercolor paintings based on a little girl, cardboard birds and animals,  chest of drawers and  furniture ( also constructed from cardboard & string  as well as handmade books from ephemera and houses from cereal boxes.  I consider the exhibit of the children’s art exhibit  to be the  considered the next step beyond  James Castle.

I have included a few  photographs I took of the show.Last week  I saw the Otto Dix Show at  the Neue Galerie( museum)  in NYC.   I love German expressionism.  Especially from the 1920s and 30s.

Dix’s watercolor paintings of prostitutes, sailors  and widows  are incredible.  I liked his watercolors better than his oil paintings.

Also last week  I got to see the documentary film EXIT THRU THE GIFT SHOP directed by controversial UK  street artist Banksy ( I love his sense of humor).   Although this film  has a great title, it is misleading as to the nature of the documentary.  The documentary chronicles the rise of a French man ( Thierry Guetta)  living in L.A.  and his rise to fame and fortune in the art world.  In many ways EXIT THRU THE GIFT SHOP is in direct opposition to  the Purvis Young documentary.  Purvis did not care  about money or fame.   Mr. Guetta’s focus is solely for publicity and  money.  Because Thierry suffers from  what I would  consider clinical obsession, I found EXIT  THRU  THE  GIFT SHOP  fascinating and  hilarious.  I was laughing so much I was crying and sweating.   There was an older   couple sitting in front of me.  Every so often the man would turn around and look at me.  I was worried he was going to tell me to shut up.  At the end of the screening, he turned around and thanked me for laughing.  His wife  nodded as he explained it made the film even better.   I couldn’t believe it.  An  atypical response from someone on the Mainline!   All the laughing, crying and sweating  felt  cathartic.

Speaking of obsessions, I’m currently  obsessed with a few things.  I missed the Iris Apfel  fashion show at the Met in New York.  I love Iris Apfel.  She is a style maven.   I have a pair of giant round  ( prescription) glasses similar  to hers which I have only worn out  in public a few times.  I got snickers and sneers from the  young Amish women  working behind the bakery counter when I wore them once to the Farmer’s market.   I bought them as dead stock  vintage on eBAY  but lately  I have noticed they have developed this weird white  ectoplasm   which I have tried to remove which various solvents  but it  keeps reappearing.

Several months ago, I finally finally bought a pair of incredible red, blue, tan  and white wide  striped  vintage 70s  Big Smith overalls.   The fabric is a very soft cotton and  they are very big on me.  My friend’s have commented  that they look like clown circus overalls.  I doubt Mrs. Apfel would think so.  She would love them.

I’m patiently waiting for the  fashion industry to  bring back my favorite piece of clothing- the cotton one piece romper ( or playsuit).  I bought  one many years ago from a thrift store in Philly  that was fuchsia  bold white  flowers on it, big pockets  a big zipper in the front.  Total 60s Miami Beach kitsch, I  wore it on a trip  I won to Hawaii.   The romper costs me  five dollars  and brought me much joy.

Short sleeved and sleeveless cotton rompers ( short length)  ( some   inspired by auto mechanic jumpsuits)  with a front zip and big front and/or side zip pockets  will be  everywhere in the next year or so.  Add to that graphic designs on these rompers  inspired by eighties imagery and pop art as well as neon /glow in the dark strips.   Jumpsuits- redux  will be big also. No I don’t work in the fashion industry.  I own a sewing  machine that continues to gather dust.

I used to have a copy of a fabulous book CHEAP CHIC by Catherine Milinaire and Carol Troy.    It was my fashion  bible in the late 70s /early 80s.   The soft cover book is sadly OOP and a used copy  on Amazon now  is around $137.

My major lifestyle change is in full swing ( It has been almost two and a half months now), I’m experimenting with cooking Vegetarian gourmet meals now. I finally tried Quinoa ( pronounced Keen- wah) and liked it. It is the only grain which is also a complete protein, and have dived deep end into eating tofu. I have to be honest and tell you all that previously I was NOT a fan of tofu. In fact I have a magnet on my fridge depicting a 50s style house wife in an apron with the phrase ” TOFU! Looks like wallpaper paste, but tastes much worse! I bought that magnet at Whole Foods and now I’m eating tofu or tofu based products at least four or five times a week for dinner. I still don’t love it, but I’m trying to make peace with it.

I had a Vietnamese tofu hoagie from Fu Wah Market ( in West Philly).   The classic Vietnamese hoagie sandwich is called a Banh Mi and many recipes exist on the internet.  My version is made with tofu ( not meat and pates) and  I start off with  a really good french baguette ( from Metropolitan  Bakery).  I make my own  teriyaki sauce and I soak the extra firm tofu for many hours in the teriyaki  before dipping it in an egg wash and coating it with seasoned bread crumbs. I then lightly fry the tofu .   I also marinate thin strips of carrots and cucumbers in a  sweet vinagrette and add tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and baby romaine salad mix ( which has my own special house dressing on it) to the hoagie.   The secret to  a great sandwich is the bread ( of course) and the fact that every component  is well seasoned.   Each  item in this sandwich is seasoned in a different way  so that when you bite into the sandwich,  the marriage of flavors comes together.

I’m also loving and I mean loving the tea blend by Divintea called PEACE ON EARTH.   As I mentioned in a previous blog that the Good Earth  Cinnamon tea was magical, so too is this tea blend. After drinking this tea, I have had some lucky things happen.

Anyway play, romp and be happy! And again I apologize for putting up three of the same photo image and the fact that the paragraphs aren’t showing up in this blog despite putting in the manual html code.

P.S.   TAKASHIMAYA- R.I. P. Update- I was in NYC again last week to see THE ADDAMS FAMILY  and I  thought I would stop by Takashimaya briefly before the show.   It  has gone out of business ( at least the NYC location).  I was sad.   Takashimaya to me is like Tiffanys to Holly Golightly.  It was one of my many ( thankfully!) happy places in NYC.  It was a five floor department store unlike any other.  To me, an artist with so many planets in Taurus, it was the ultimate  merger of art, culture, luxury and style  in one place.  I bought this cool umbrella from  the store a few years ago with Asian people head drawings.  I never use the umbrella  for fear it will break.  I recently broke my I LOVE YOU Lulu Guiness umbrella.  By the way, they were selling a very cool umbrella at the ADDAMS FAMILY show with the characters  drawn underneath the umbrella  instead of on top.  But  it was $45.   Because  I’m always  busting up my umbrellas, I bought several recently at IKEA for $2 each.

 

My “Tony Duquette” Copper Leaf Mystic Eye Tree

Hi Everyone!

Well it has been a few months since I have blogged. It is difficult to narrow in and talk about all the cool things I have seen in the last few months. But I will try my best to give recommendations of interesting things to watch and eat.

Back in September, I went to the last Flea Market of the year at a nearby High School. During the weekends in the summer, their huge parking lot is filled with vendors selling anything and everything. A friend came to visit me and I had long talked about the bountiful treasure hunting of Philly. A week before, I had been thinking of beefing up my money corner of the dining room with a fake plant or a small tree ( Sadly although I have 5 planets in Taurus, my green thumb is only a fantasy at this point) . At the same time, I had been also drooling over the book on artist Tony Duquette which I asked my local library to buy. They did and I have been checking it out & renewing. As I looked at all the incredible sets, furniture , jewelry etc that Mr. Duquette designed, I closed my eyes for a moment and wished I could have something that would resemble one of his creations in my house- in my money corner ( Feng Shui). Around the same time I had the thought I would like something made out of copper since the metal for my sign Taurus is Copper. I let both thoughts go. Well getting back to the Flea Market ( which was 2 weeks after my wish thought), I was walking around looking when I spotted an enormous, vintage ( I dated it from the mid to late 60s), almost 7 foot tall copper tree with the copper leaves. In addition to that, the leaves looked like eyes ( too cool!). A few years back, I had bought some items from the same seller. She remembered me. I knew as soon as I saw " The Tree", I knew I had to have it. But Mercury, the planet of communication and money was retrograde on this day. I pondered the purchase. The price of $40 was ridiculously LOW. It wasn't about the money. It was the idea of being more stuff into my house. I have this ongoing battle with clutter & stuff. My friend who was with me, knows this. We have had previous discussions on "stuff" and getting rid of it- for spiritual reasons. Stuff clogs up your living space but it definitely can clog up your life. I want to have a flowing life. Since my friend and I both study Buddhism, I realized at that moment, I need to actually let go of my fixation. Within 5 minutes of spotting this tree, a random material object, I realized I had become obsessed. Obsessed with having it- wanting to possess it. When I find things- especially one of a kind things, I want it.

Well to make a long story short, the tree has become mine. The tree has become an evolving art project. I keep adding items to it's branches and leaves. To me the tree symbolizes the manifestation of a wish. I have dubbed this my Wish Tree.

A few days ago ( Valentine's Day), I was driving Philly. My goal was to find cool Valentine's day windows. I knew just where to go- South Philly. I have uploaded a few of my favorite windows. The last two windows are actually from a stationary store in Bala Cynwyd.

.Valentine’s Day Picture Window- Somewhere in South Phillyvdaywindow21.jpgvdaywindow31.jpgBala Cynwyd Valentine’s Day Window #1Bala Cynwyd Valentine’s Window#2
Now on to films: I have seen several of the Oscar nominated films and the theme for most of them is about INTENSITY. I highly recommend THE WRESTLER with Mickey Rourke & Marisa Tomei. If Mr. Rourke doesn't win for BEST ACTOR, I will be very upset. Ms. Tomei was very good too. I feel Kate Winslet must win this year for THE READER . I saw REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and she was good in that film but THE READER is in a catagory all by itself.

My DVD film recommendations are as follows:

A must see documentary A MAN CALLED PEARL ( available on DVD) about self taught outsider artist/ topiary sculptor landscape architect genius Pearl Fryar. Even if you aren't into plants, this documentary will open your eyes to the power of LOVE and the ripple effect of obsession and devotion. An ordinary man who turn some dead and discarded plants from his local nursery into a three and half acre wonderland will leave you filled with a restored faith in man kind and miracles. I give this documentary my highest rating!

Two more documentaries about obsession on DVD worth watching CRAZY LOVE( 2007) about the real life relationship between Linda & Burt Pugach. I actually remember finding the book in our home growing up ( my mother obsessively collected books) that Berry Stainbeck wrote about their relationship called " A VERY DIFFERENT LOVE STORY" ( 1976) when I was 13 or 14. I read the dust jacket and quickly dropped the book; recoiling in horror. If you are looking for a feel-good romantic documentary- this isn't it. But I am fascinated with male-female relationships ( blame it on all my planets in Taurus being in the 7th house of relationships) so this documentary & story is so fascinating to me. Sick but fascinating. This documentary should be seen with some friends or a group as it will promote a heavy group discussion. This is definitely a DVD that will make you think.
If CRAZY LOVE is not what looking for in a love obsession documentary than you might like MY DATE WITH DREW ( 2004). This is Brian Herzlinger's hilarious documentary about trying to get a date with Actress Drew Barrymore in 30 days. This documentary is really about a unconscious spiritual journey and is great for anyone who has been pushing or pulling for a goal. The documentary for me, personally is a gentle reminder that after taking action, it important to LET GO. I think Mr. Herzlinger is really cute and now that Ms. Barrymore is single again, she just might want to watch this documentary ( again)- just kidding! This documentary will leave you feeling good- happy.

Before I end this blog which has taken months to write, I will talk a wee bit about food.

I have been watching many episodes of Anthony Bourdain's NO RESERVATIONS and Andrew Zimmern's BIZARRE FOODS on the travel channel. Both are very entertaining and informative shows. I can come out now with one of my secret food (dare I say obsessions?)- I love marrow bones and have since I was a kid. Anthony Bourdain proclaiming Veal marrow bones would be included in his last meal request has given me the courage to second that desire. Having discovered I had a severe B12 vitamin deficiency a few months ago, I have happily increased my meat consumption ( sorry Peta) along with B12 shots from my doctor, I have regained my energy ( about 60% as I write this blog).

*Update: March 1, 2009- Well I'm sad Mickey didn't win the Oscar for THE WRESTLER ( I haven't seen MILK so I can't comment on Sean Penn's performance) as I knew his acceptance speech would be off the wall. A few nights ago, I caught most of the Independent Spirit Awards on IFC ( repeat) and saw Mickey's hilarious acceptance 6 minute speech for winning BEST ACTOR ( for the WRESTLER). I was laughing so hard I was crying and peeing in my pants. Right before that, was the side splitting performance by Rainn Wilson as Mickey's character in the Wrestler singing a parody of the film to the tune of James Brown's I FEEL GOOD. Both these film clips are on www.youtube.com If you are needing to laugh, go to YOUTUBE now and type in "Song Wrestler Spirit Awards". I recommend watching the clip of Rainn Wilson first as Mickey refers to him in his speech. I'd like to thank Rainn and Mickey for making have to do extra laundry. I'm still laughing about both performances. To appreciate how funny it is you should see THE WRESTLER first before seeing the clips. I don't know who was responsible for the parody song & dance numbers at the Independent Spirit Awards but the person or people are GENIUS- pure GENIUS! By the way I feel an extra kinship with Mickey as we both have chihuahuas. I was sad to hear his Chihuahua Loki passed away a week before the Oscars. Everytime there has been a nominee whose relative passes right before the Oscars, they always seem to win. Wish Loki had that kind of influence.

I keep adding to this blog. Forgot to mention a film recommendation currently playing in Independent move theaters now which I saw ON DEMAND on cable. TWO LOVERS with Joaquin Phoenix is a must see film. Loved it. I'm definitely not a big Gwenyth Paltrow fan but she is good in this film. Vinessa Shaw is good too.

March 10th is coming up and I will be Marching for Tibet. Free Tibet!

Tashi Delek,

Katie

My Dog is Way Cuter Than Your Baby Painting

Happy May Day! May is my favorite month- o.k. I love this month because it’s my birthday month.

Several weeks ago I went to get my driver’s license renewed. Of course they asked me on the touch screen if I wanted to be an organ donor. I said yes.

I recently read about a man who just committed suicide. He had received the heart many years ago from a much younger man who had committed suicide too. That coincidence was odd. What was very weird about the story was the second man ending up marrying the widow of the man whose heart he had received. Man number one also drank beer. Man number two never drank beer until after receiving man#1’s heart- then he got a craving for beer. There is a phenomenon called “cell memory” where the organ of someone has things stored in it like pain, happiness, cravings etc.The recipient of an organ transplant will frequently take on the characteristics of the previous person the organ originally came from.

Heaven help the person or persons who receive my organs. They will develop a craving for Disco music, Red Vines, Korean fried chicken. They will get weird food cravings, decide to cook the food they are craving and after all that, not want to eat it in the end. They won’t put up with people who are posers. They will have a love of animals, astrology and want to spend lots of time in nature, etc. etc.

A few years ago I went on a trip to New Orleans and stopped in THE BOTTOM OF THE CUP TEA ROOM – a famous psychic parlor in the French quarter. The woman who read my tarot cards told me I was living out an Asian past life in this lifetime ( I BELIEVE IT!). What is odd is when my mother was pregnant with me ( back in the 60s), she couldn’t eat Chinese food. Then, one day she and my father were taking a walk and she suddenly developed a craving for Chinese food. Unfortunately, on the way to the restaurant my mother started having labor pains. 24 hours later, I was born via C- Section. My birthday is coming up very soon. I can’t believe I’m going to be 44. Thank God my family has great genes. I’m not one of those women who lie about my age or who fake things. I bought myself an early birthday present- a Tempurpedic Symphony Memory foam Pillow ( it retails for $99 but with a 20% coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond it ends up being around $84 with tax). I had been sleeping on a cheaper neck memory foam pillow which I had bought years ago for half the price. It was terrible. I thought I was being clever-saving some money buying a different brand ( not Tempurpedic). Big mistake! sometimes you have to spend money for quality items. Just in the last few days, I have been sleeping so much better.

Speaking of food, I finally was able to satisfy an obsession ( of sorts). It started last year when I read about OREOs Cereal (POST) on AMAZON dot com. Amazon for those of you who don’t know have a large grocery section of various food products. I ‘m not a huge cereal lover but sometimes I get a crunchy craving or a sweet/crunchy craving. As I was surfing the various cereals, I discovered Kellogg’s Fruit Harvest with Strawberries and blueberries. Amazon sells this cereal – a 4 pack for $15.05 plus shipping. I went on a fruitless search ( no pun intended) to all the local grocery stores. No luck. On Saturday, I just happened to be at a Walmart and found it. I have to agree with the reviewers on Amazon- it is really good- sweet and crunchy. As for the Post’s brand of Oreo’s cereal, I found that at my local Rite Aid. Soon after, they either sold out or stopped carrying Oreo’s cereal. It is a great cereal- especially if you get weird cravings. The cereal kind of tastes like a hard, crunchy not-too-sweet brownie. With whole organic milk it is divine. A great PMS food!

I also made my first batch of Koolickles. Koolickles are dill pickles soaked in Kool Aid- it is a Southern thing. I know it sounds yucky but the taste sensation of sweet, sour and crunchy is great. I got the recipe off the internet. I felt bad about using Kool -Aid because it is full of red dye number two. I probably could have substituted kool aid with a natural jello mix, sugar and a strawberry oil flavor or something along those lines. I probably won’t be making Koolickles again for a long time ( as I do suffer from allergies and I usually avoid foods with dye in them) but it was fun making them. The longer ( more days) they soak the better. The recipe says soak them for at least 24 hours but I would advise soaking them for at least 72 hours before eating.

Today- April 30th I just listed a new painting on eBAY. I am loading up a photo of it to this blog. The title is ” MY DOG IS WAY CUTER THAN YOUR BABY”. This painting is inspired by a real life event . A friend build and stretched the canvas. I used acrlic paints and Deco paint pens . If the painting doesn’t sell, I will be happy to keep it. It is very cool ( in my opinion). Little Miss Sunshine is on her way to fame and fortune as a painting I made of her ( not this one) will be exhibited this summer in a gallery. I am so proud of her.

Well I was going to give some film and DVD recommendations here but I will save it for the next blog.

Tashi Delek,

Katie