Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bangladesh

The weather is so unpleasant here in Merion that I decided to go to the Virtual Paintout and see what was happening there.  (Check it out to see the variety of art work and locations found) The assignment was Bangladesh.  I dropped in to this nice photo which is what I imagine Bangladesh to be like.  Decided to try a watercolor for a change.  This is something I haven't done for about 10 years or so and never much before that.  The results are not too hot and I should not have tried something so complicated to get started after so long, but in the spirit of full disclosure here it is.  I like the photo a lot and am amazed that I can take a photo in Merion of something real happening half way around the world.  Worth trying to paint in oil?


Here is a link to the google map spot:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Walking After Snow

Before the snow turns to gray and all the magic is ashes, it is good to take a walk, especially if the sun is out.  The last two days have been perfect for a brisk walk covered in down.  I found the color theme, not surprisingly, to be white and blue.  Not only the shadows on the snow but the sky was a brilliant blue and the clouds competed with the snow for attention.  As often happens to me when things are surprisingly beautiful I find myself in a state of awe.  Everything looks perfect.  I snap away with my camera in an ecstasy of appreciation.  When I get home and look at what I have taken I am often surprised to see that what seemed so fabulous actually looks rather ordinary when committed to the flat surface of a computer screen and even less promising when printed out.  Here, however, are some reminders, at least, of a lovely experience.




The large Sycamores seem to be reaching with a mighty force to the sky.  Their white branches bring the eye up from the snow to greet the clouds.


The delicate blue shadows of this cut leaf maple in the park are in the spotlight as I go by.


In contrast the grand Katsura's shadows dig big powerful blue shapes in the snow with the animal tracks creating a light motif.


The Hydrangeas in my neighbor's front yard carry their burden of snow with a gay flare as if dancing in their formal garden.


The Paper Birch next door adds another note of orange with its beautiful peeling bark.


Afterall what is blue without a touch of orange to bring it to life.

As I come to the end of my walk I pass the lovely old Barnes building lit by the sun.   What ghosts are in that empty building and what are they up to?







Tuesday, February 17, 2015

FEBRUARY





Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,

a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries
to get onto my head. It’s his
way of telling whether or not I’m dead.
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am
He’ll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,
declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here
should snip a few testicles. If we wise
hominids were sensible, we’d do that too,
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it’s love that does us in. Over and over
Again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits
thirty below, and the pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You’re the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.


"February" by Margaret Atwood

Friday, February 13, 2015

Nancy Herman's Art Newletter

Yesterday's post was less than satisfactory so I'm trying again.  Let me know if things improve if you have a chance.


                                     Welcome to the first issue of 

 Nancy Herman’s Art News


The weather is chilly in Philly, Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show, Madmen won’t start again until April and the world is a mess.  So what better to do than think about art.  For as Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 

I have resolved to get out there and see more art in this new year and my first foray into the great ocean of art available was very satisfying.  I went with a group of wonderful artists from the group ASSEMBLAGE  
to the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers to see the show FROM THE DIGITAL TOOLBOX

Nancy Maguire, Associate Director of Exhibitions, kindly arranged a terrific guide for us, Miranda Powell.  She was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that she made the show come alive.  I was especially impressed with the artist Tim Portlock who uses 3-D technology and gaming software to create digital prints.  They were stunning.  I highly recommend the show but, if you go, hurry, as it will close February 20.

             

Meanwhile back in Merion I am working on writing and illustrating a children’s book with a friend.  The subject matter is quite interesting and I am learning a lot.  Unfortunately this leaves little time for painting as I am also purging my house of all the stuff that has accumulated over the past 43 years.  Stay tuned for art bargains in the next few months.

My previous two children’s books , "Olive and Sticky Bear" and "Joe and The Adobians" along with "Postcards from Merion” are now available on Amazon. LInk

           
A video of Olive and StickyBear with music sung by my daughter Gail and I and guitar by song writer and singer Bob Loy ( can be found on my tube channel
That deep voice you hear on the promo for Joe and the Adobians is that of my grandson Luke Herrine.
If you are interested in purchasing any of my small paintings most of them are listed on the web site Daily Paintworks

If you have enjoyed this newsletter please send it along to friends and family.  Any suggestions for good art to see please pass along.  Thank you and keep warm.

Best,
Nancy

web site:http://www.nancyherman.com

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Newsletter

Forgive me if you already got this but not everyone on my blog is on my mailing list.



                                     Welcome to the first issue of 
                   Nancy Herman’s Art News

The weather is chilly in Philly, Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show, Madmen won’t start again until April and the world is a mess.  So what better to do than think about art.  For as Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 

I have resolved to get out there and see more art in this new year and my first foray into the great ocean of art available was very satisfying.  I went with a group of wonderful artists from the group ASSEMBLAGE  http://assemblageartistscollective.com
to the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers to see the show FROM THE DIGITAL TOOLBOX
http://rcca.camden.rutgers.edu/2014/06/01/from-the-digital-toolbox/
Nancy Maguire, Associate Director of Exhibitions, kindly arranged a terrific guide for us, Miranda Powell.  She was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that she made the show come alive.  I was especially impressed with the artist Tim Portlock (http://www.timportlock.net)who uses 3-D technology and gaming software to create digital prints.  They were stunning.  I highly recommend the show but, if you go, hurry, as it will close February 20.

             Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 2.22.07 PM copy.jpg

Meanwhile back in Merion I am working on writing and illustrating a children’s book with a friend.  The subject matter is quite interesting and I am learning a lot.  Unfortunately this leaves little time for painting as I am also purging my house of all the stuff that has accumulated over the past 43 years.  Stay tuned for art bargains in the next few months.

My previous two children’s books , "Olive and Sticky Bear" and "Joe and The Adobians" along with "Postcards from Merion” are now available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=nancy+clearwater+herman I

           Olive fleeing bees .jpg
A video of Olive and StickyBear with music sung by my daughter Gail and I and guitar by song writer and singer Bob Loy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr1ukFYzVZc) can be found on my tube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/illuminata/videos  

That deep voice you hear on the promo for Joe and the Adobians is that of my grandson Luke Herrine.

I am still posting on my blog Postcards from Merion.  Sometimes about daily paintings and sometimes just about what’s happening in the neighborhood.
blog:http://postcardsfromthemainline.blogspot.com

If you are interested in purchasing any of my small paintings most of them are listed on the web site Daily Paintworks. (http://www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/nancy-herman-1193/artwork)

If you have enjoyed this newsletter please send it along to friends and family.  Any suggestions for good art to see please pass along.  Thank you and keep warm.

Best,
Nancy


web site:http://www.nancyherman.com

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sunday stroll

Its Sunday afternoon, the temperature is 31 degrees, the sun is out and its time for a walk.  

Today I am going to stroll through Saint Joe's campus.  This is always a very relaxing walk, unless the weather does not cooperate.  But today it is clear and not really too cold as I am dressed from head to toe in down.

The first thing I come upon is an old friend who was an old oak tree not so long ago but is now a pile of huge logs waiting for I don't know what on the Barnes property on Lapsley Lane.



On to St. Joe's.


This building which was once a stable now has 'Honors Program' over its door.  It makes me want to take an honors program in something or other just to go inside and be cosseted in quiet contemplation of greater truths.  As I wonder off I am lost in wondering what subject to choose.


The quiet order of these spaces creates a very receptive mood and everything feels beautiful.


The very blue sky makes the orange smoke stack sing a warm tune.


The stately old buildings nestle into the giant old trees as if they had grown there.


 Back on Latches Lane the elaborate gate of the Barnes says, "Nothing doing here".  But that old lovely building is still there waiting for some meaningful use.






....and then I'm home again, thoroughly refreshed and soothed by my very familiar old neighborhood.  I lived a lot of places before I moved to Latches Lane but I am very grateful to have been here for 43 years.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What's going on?

If you have not been reading my posts, ( I don't blame you I seldom read things without pictures or paintings either ) you are probably wondering where the paintings are.  Well I am working on a book in collaboration with someone else who does not want me to talk about the book.  Mysterious isn't it?  So I can't share the illustrations as they are created.  Meanwhile, in order to keep in touch, I am just going to share my daily visual activities in hopes that they will give you as much pleasure as they give me.

Out again with my iPhone I caught this lovely bark.   Inside this exuberant plant basking in the sun.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Cold

We had a couple of really cold days, but the sun was out creating those beautiful blue shadows that I love so much - especially from my warm room inside.  I did venture out to add to my mulch pile.  While I was there I got a  shot of the blueness with my new iPhone.    When I came in I was greeted with this beautiful begonia in the sun made even more delightful because I was warm again.










Thursday, January 8, 2015

January


This morning I got this post from Altoon Sultan's blog.  Beautiful pictures of Maine in the snow and this poem from John Updike one of my favorite authors.   It is REALLY cold there.
January   
by John Updike 

The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dreaming of Summer

I should, I think, embrace the cold as a welcome hiatus in the relentless exuberance of the natural world, always thrusting and growing.
But I really don't.  Instead I pine for summer.  Some tea in the garden with friends or family dinner at the picnic tables.  The snow is happy to gather there instead.



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New project

I won't be posting paintings for a while as I am working on writing and illustrating a children's book with a friend.  I will tell you all about it when it is finished.  In the meantime today I walked to the library to pick up some books to do research for the book.  How lucky I am to be within easy walking distance of a library!
It was snowing and on the way through my neighbor's yard I spotted a slightly mangy young fox.  We eyed each other and moved on.  I hope he or she makes it through the winter.  I also hope my dogs don't catch the mange from the fox in the area.  It is an ugly harsh disease.
Without sun, snow has little to offer in the way of saturated color, but there are some nice subtleties in the dark greens and tans.  The light snow coming down was a slice of something softly dreamlike.









Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Fresh Start


CHARD IN THE SNOW
Nancy Herman
6" x 8"
oil on canvas board

It is really just another Thursday morning but because we count and measure our lives and have done so for centuries it is also the first day of a new year.  I thought this painting of a leaf of Swiss Chard braving the snow was a fitting symbol for the day.  To be outside in the winter on the coldest days is a small act of courage, unless you are a child, and then you hardly notice until the blue night begins to creep under your hat and through your mittens and you know it is time to go home.
I plan to don my warmest gear and head out for a bracing walk on this cold day to celebrate still being alive in 2015.  The sun is out and it looks like a good day for hop scotch!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year!

Check out this article written by my daughter Anna in the Philadelphia Inquirer about New Year's Eve parties at our house in days gone by.  Great recipes for fun and food!
This picture appeared in the print edition but didn't make it to the on line version.


Nancy and Walter Herman

Friday, December 19, 2014

Books for the Holidays

The computer has brought about a big change in publishing.  Some say that the printed word will soon be extinct and we will do all our information gathering and pleasurable reading on line or on Kindle.  I don't think so.  In fact I think there will be more books than ever, as it is now possible to publish your own book without going through all the aggravation and disappointment of trying to find a publisher or the huge expense of vanity publishing as it was in the past.  Finding a publisher can be more difficult than writing a book.  For instance most children's book publishers don't even accept unsolicited manuscripts, so you must hire an agent to even get your book into the hands of a potential publisher.
Now, however, it is possible to write and illustrate (if necessary) your book at home on your computer and pay a minimum amount for each book as it is sold without having to invest in 500 or 1000 volumes.  This is going to allow people who previously would not be able to find a publisher to make their work available to anyone.  There will be more  books and there will be more unusual books.  The problem of course for the authors of books that are self published is distribution.  They do not have a huge marketing staff or publicity machine to get their titles to the public.  Some enterprising person with marketing skills will probably come along to solve this problem but in the mean time it is up to the authors to make their own markets.
All this is leading up to the suggestion that you give one of my books as a present to someone for the Holidays and/or send a link to a book to someone who might be interested.

My newest book is OLIVE AND STICKY BEAR.  This is a book for young children with a link to the song available at the end so the child can hear and see the book and later look at the pictures on their own while you sing to them.

JOE AND THE ADOBIANS is a book for children 5 to 9.  It is a fable for the 21st century.  It takes you into the heart of a lonely boy trapped in his fears. Through his imagination and a few tricks, he discovers a way out of his isolation. It is a book about magic, art and above all “seeing”. Richly Illustrated, it is a treat for the eye and a puzzle. How did Joe ‘find’ the Adobians?

POSTCARDS FROM MERION for a teacher, hostess, client, friend or anyone who lives in the Main Line is an inexpensive book of oil paintings and notes from my blog. 

And for a big coffee table book for anyone who loves music and color, IF C IS RED, a large format description of my method of translating music to color in 2 dimensions.  It contains lots of beautiful illustrations of music by classical composers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Crooked Door

Finally got back to painting after finishing Olive and Sticky Bear.  A friend sent me this dramatic photo in hopes I would paint it.  I may do that, but for some reason I was drawn to the rather dark and mysterious door found when I zoomed in.
I am beginning a new period of painting so a door seems appropriate.  Not sure where I'm going and the oddness of this door reflects my emotional state.
For some reason very dark colors seem to reflect every nuance in the surface of the paint in a way that does not appear under normal light, so the door looks even more uncomfortable in reproduction.



The Crooked Door
Nancy Herman
12" x 9"
oil on canvas board

$150.00

Friday, December 12, 2014

Olive and Sticky Bear ready

Olive and Sticky Bear (the book) is now available on Amazon.  And there is a new video to go along with it with better music.  My friend Bob Loy, who is a fine musician, played the guitar for the video and my daughter Gail Herrine sang with me this time, filling out the music.  Now it is possible for a child to see the video and then have a book to hold in their hand and look at the pictures.  Olive, the star of the video, my dear granddaughter, is already singing along, so in that respect it is a success.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Joe and the Adobians


Looking for presents for the holiday season?
Here is a trailer for a book I wrote and illustrated for children 5 to 8, "Joe and the Adobians".    It is available at Amazon -  JOE AND THE ADOBIANS


Monday, December 1, 2014

Sticky Bear Video

Sorry it has been over a month since I posted.  I have been bogged down with the song Olive and Sticky Bear.  I added a verse or two and have been working on the video to go along with the book.  I wanted to sing into my computer but could not find a way to do it until I got an iPhone.  I have now joined the 21st century and am an owner of an iphone.  Here is a version of the video.  My voice leaves something to be desired so it will not be the last.
Olive and Sticky Bear

Friday, October 24, 2014

Honey tastes good





"Olive stuck one finger in the jar,
the golden goo was sweet and new
and Olive now was sticky too!
Sticky Bear, Oh Sticky Bear"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sticky Bear has his way


Sticky Bear gets his wish.  Olive tries the honey.  This verse and the chorus that follows are not part of the original song but inspired by Sticky Bear in his latest incarnation and Olive herself.


"Olive sticks one finger in the jar....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sticky Bear Chorus again

We're on the last round of Sticky Bear lyrics.  Sticky Bear begins a more active role in the story.



"Sticky Bear offers Olive some honey,
Olive says, 'Now that isn't very funny',
Sticky Bear,
Oh, Sticky Bear.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sticky Bear - Slips beneath the covs


Every night when Mom turns out the light,
Olive slips beneath the covs with the one she really loves
it's Sticky Bear, Oh Sticky Bear.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sticky Bear - second verse

Sticky Bear put his paws in the honey,
Olive said, "Oh, that isn't very funny,
Sticky Bear, Oh Sticky Bear.


"Every night when Mom turns out the light....."



Friday, October 3, 2014

Sticky Bear #6

The chorus continues:

Sticky Bear put his paws in the honey,
Olive said, "Oh that isn't very funny,
Sticky Bear, Oh Sticky Bear".

Sticky Bear is remorseful in the coloring book version but not in the color version. I will probably change the coloring book version.  At least someone is happy.





Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sticky Bear #5

Okay back to the chorus again.  Sticky bear is traveling off on his own here.

Sticky Bear put his paws in the honey.