Thursday, May 29, 2008

William Swanson
Utility Easement, 2007
acrylic on wood panel
30" x 42"

There is something I really like about this painting.
I don't think I would make a painting like this,
but the colors and composition are intriguing to me.
I like the juxtaposition of the natural with the industrial.
I think I could work with that. I am currently reading 
Haruki Murakami's The Wild Sheep Chase and I think 
this image could be the setting for one of his stories.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Neil R. Anderson

My 20th college reunion is this weekend. This is a recent painting by my college painting professor Neil Anderson. He is retired now from teaching but a prolific painter still. He shows at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia (Bridgette is also an Alum of Bucknell). I may steal his technique in order to complete that blue and green atrocity I posted Saturday. I have always had an interest in bridges and towers that have angular lines. I think I can make it work.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Great Camera!

Oh My ! I do like my new Nikon D40. I took these pics in the garden today.
1. Columbine 2. Gerber Daisy 3. Japanese Maple Seed Pods (I want to paint these).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Blue Sky

Oh my, the sky was a beautiful blue today. I had fun playing while my son shot pics of my fingerless gloves for Etsy! We just returned from seeing the latest Indiana Jones movie - super fun and exciting. And I finally got a new digital camera - a Nikon D40... stay tuned for quality close ups of my jewelry to be seen at soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Since I can't make art I am spending the morning working at the computer uploading items to my Etsy Shop (and this blog obviously). 
Now I remember why I don't paint as much as I would like to. I have tendonitis in the tendons that lead up to my thumb and first finger on my right hand. I worked for a couple of hours on this painting after school yesterday and I am paying for it today. My thumb is throbbing and I can't paint anything today. I know I am supposed to take breaks and I tell myself I will, but I can't stop myself from trying something else and then I realize two hours have passed and I haven't really taken a proper break. I have in the past, attempted to make paintings in a layering techniques that forced me to take breaks between layers as they dried, but for some reason my selective memory erased that information and I took on more painterly painting yesterday. I will be even more envious of the works I see that inspire me to pant. But I will probably never learn to be careful.The first time I injured my hand it was by painting a painting a day. It took a year or rehab and rest to get full activity back. I am concerned that I could lose any use of my right hand forever and that would be hell, as I also love to knit and work in silver and collage and sew....

Allen and I had the honor of being part of John Borek's Birthday Celebration last night. Jackie and friends put out a marvelous spread of food and drinks and other friends provided the entertainment. There was a definite Moose Murders theme to the night! Moose Murders is the all time worst show to ever be produced on Broadway and John has revived it due to some kind of determined destiny. His fantastic efforts have been written up in the New York Times and the show will have an actual Broadway opening in August!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Here are some works to inspire me (and anyone else who needs inspiration) to use blue.

Painting Again

I am trying really hard to paint with color. I have been stuck in the brown and white of winter but this gorgeous spring has opened my eyes and I am promising myself to use bold, lucious color. I started four 12 x 12 paintings and Kelly Packer's work is helping me to keep my promise.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I keep thinking about Lucinda's Audubon Paintings. I am really wishing I had time to paint more and paint well. I am considering bring paints and paper on vacation... perhaps the beach will inspire me. As if I am not inspired enough by all that is around me. I found Miasaki Suzuki's work while web surfing and I now want to paint really large paintings. I know that won't happen - but maybe I can go bigger than 12 x 12. Maybe. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I don't think I can live with out this

tic tac crow

I am totally stealing this post from Belvedere Beads. I am so envious of Lucinda's amazing ability and ideas. I know the 6x6 show and sale at RoCo on June 7th is supposed to be anonymous and all - but who can resist these paintings?

Wallpaper Anyone?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ant Art

This photo shows ant biologist Walter Tschinkel gazing at a suspended dental plaster cast he made of a nest of the Florida harvester ant. Extracting it from the ground required digging a hole nearly nine feet deep and five feet wide in the floor of the Apalachicola National Forest where it was made. Tschinkel says roughly 5,000 ants live in a nest this size which the ants can build from scratch in about five days. The CBS Sunday Morning show had a quick piece on Tschinkel that peaked my interest. Supposedly science museums are buying up his ant colony casts for display. As cool as they look, I don't understand why no one seems to care that he is destroyning these ant colonies. What have we learned from the missing honey bees? I imagine that killing 5000 ants has to have some effect on the environment.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

more stilts

I am now obsessed with stilts, more specifically, images of people using stilts. This image is from the 29th of May, 1939: Four men wearing stilts and evening dress tower over an intrigued crowd at the Keg Meg fair in Maidstone, Kent.

There is still no cure for the common birthday.

There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents ... and only one for birthday presents, you know.
The Mad Hatter (aka Lewis Carol, aka Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson).
This photgraph was found through a google image search for unbirthdays... I couldn't find its origin or any info on it. I am having a difficult time trying to define my birthday and I have settled for this image - for some reason that is not very clear to me. I do like the photo, perhaps it expresses the ambiguity of the day. FYI - The flag is half staff todaybecause today is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. 42 years and I have never realized my birthday was a National Holiday... I searched for celebrities who are celebrating their birthday today too but came up wilth a pretty lame list: 1937 - Madeline Albright,1936-Wavy Gravy (Clown and Activist),1930- Jasper Johns,1923 - Richard Avedon, 1894- Jean Renoir (son of Pierre Auguste).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

paper and pearls

Mixed media jewelry has a particular juxtaposition that I enjoy. Kiwon Wang's paper pieces are particulary lucious!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I have been going through my old journals looking for the title of a book that Tom mentioned last night. He said that I had told the him about this book about two years ago. Neither one of us could think of the title... but as I am going through my journals looking for that book title, I am instead making  notes about paintings I would like to make this summer. I am always wishing that I could be painting, but painting is extremely time consuming for me. I layer, which means layers have to dry before new layers can be added. I also sand the paint and paint has to be really really dry in order to sand it.  I painted this wheel last winter, along with the bird perched on the thin branch at the top of my page...

clean sweep

The Topolski's were four of seven hundred participants in Rochester's Clean Sweep today. We were all a little bit cranky getting to Cobbs Hill Park at 8:30 am, but Boulder coffee and pastries helped perk us up. We helped cleaned up the green areas along Broadway (from Goodman to Averill) until 11:45. It was tiring but it felt so great to help out. The city trucks brought us water and picked up the trash bags. Surprisingly, the area did not look all that horrible, but upon closer look there was a lot of trash to be picked up. I guess taking care to clean up the city every spring keeps it from becoming a big problem. Rochester really is the cleanest and greenest city!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

text on glass

I definitely spend too much money of objects for our house. I then become tired of them and buy more (like ice stirrer molds). But, (and anyone who knows me already knows this) I also make many things that I see in a store and say to myself, “I can make that!” and I do. I actually do make them.

My friend Colleen has these earrings made from recycled glass with printed text, and for years I have been saying I can make those. I searched for text printed on glass and finally I found these acai juice bottles that have interesting text printed right on the glass. I broke up the bottles (after I drank the juice), paired up pieces, ground down the edges and used the copper foil technique to set them. Wegmans sells the acai drink in three flavors and so the printing on the bottles comes in three colors - a nice orange and very bright green and purple. As I was searching the web for a picture of the bottle I found that there are actually five flavors. I will have to contact Wegmans about carrying all five flavors. The blueberry has print that is a particularly lovely color.

*Sorry the picture of the earrings is out of focus - it was the best I could do. I so very much want to own a really high quality digital camera so I can take close-ups.


I really want this in our bedroom! I am terribly bored with the very white walls we have now. I am awaiting a new, handcrafted maple dresser (with eleven drawers!) from our dear friend and I plan to redecorate our bedroom after it arrives. The problem is that we already have wonderful 1960's wallpaper that is worth keeping, it is in great condition and I love the pattern, but it is bright white and blue. A blue that I can never find anything that is that same blue.
This wall art can be found at specifically this site...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I enjoy being in an interesting store as much as being in a museum. Any visual stimulation is pleasurable, but shopping allows me to have more interesting objects at home. Shopping at Target especially makes me smile, as there are always new delightfully designed products. I bought two sets of these silicon ice stirrers the other day there. I love the concept of a frozen treat to stir my beverage and I think the colors and shapes are very appealing too.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This blog's purpose is to get myself off my tentative perch and share more, so here is my most recent attempt at image making. I began with a Max Ernst collage. I work mostly in collage, but this is a drawing (simply pen on paper). I tend to put myself down a lot for never having an original idea and always needing some appropriated image or object to get myself started. I battle with my inner critic way too often. When I wish I had more time to be more serious about it all I remind myself that serious times come and go and I realize I am lucky to have both serious and non-serious times.

Monday, May 5, 2008

day two

I named this blog from a piece of writing by one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami. It is somewhere in Kafka on the Shore, which is an incredibly visual, surreal and poetic novel, but my most adored work of his is his short story The Elephant Vanishes.

Picture a bird perched on a thin branch. The branch sways in the wind and each time this happens, the bird’s field of vision shifts. It bobs its head up and down to make up for the sway of the branch. Don’t you think that would be tiring? Always having to shift your head every time the branch you’re on sways?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

day one

I am having some difficulty determining how this blog appears. I am trying this post to see what it looks like.