Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Ramblings

On the heels of a snowy and wintry birthday week and on a recent and rare trip into the city, I took a little time to stop in to one of my favorite "junkin" places. 'Shinola' is a den of eccentricity located in a terra cotta brick and mortar strip of storefronts that sat empty until a few short years ago, when a gentleman named Ben dispersed his collection to fill up and spill out into the side yard and parking lot. It is a rambling myriad of thousands of square feet of antiquity.

Lamps, chandeliers, paintings, armoires, statuary, chairs, chairs and more chairs - stacked upside down and every which way; Folk Art, Oriental Art, African Art, chests of drawers, glassware, a long stretch modern vibrant BLUE sofa illuminated by sunlight from the open bay door in the back warehouse, one live honking goose in the garden of well-worn yard art and paraphernalia.

Cupboards, tables, relics, tchotchkes, piled high to the sky and hanging from the rafters. One could spend many hours, yet days perusing the treasures here. Mannequins, tops, bottoms, full body, cardboard celebrity cut-outs, just lifelike enough to make you jump when you turn a corner and come face to face. Rooms that only your toe can enter in to.

I did not take photos, but surely you get the picture. Where some might see chaos, I see a culmination of many great collections gathered up by someone who sees a vision of passage where artifacts transcend their owners and become dispersed into others' collections.

Somehow, I relate to it so well. I liken my surroundings most often to a cross between "Pee Wee's Playhouse" and " Wilson's Five and Dime".

'suzy's shinola'

off to market we go!


This adventure was followed by a wonderful lunch date of Poblanos and other spicy delights at Compadres with Sandy and Mary Beth. A Happy Happy Birthday Day.


Another day shortly after that adventure, I joined the 'Tybee Girls' for some retail therapy and lunch, once again in the city. I'm on a roll. We visited Mayme Baker's Studio of Interior Delights. Then ventured down to Main Street to the Christopher Park Gallery of whimsy and folk art creations. Lunch was at their cafe on the side, 'Rainer's' yum - homemade soups and beenie weenies - good, fresh food and surrounded by more whimsy and happy art.

All of the visuals and interactions of this week made for great inspiration in the creative journal. Many things (ideas) are blossoming and SPRING is not far away, Thank Goodness!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Reflections of a winter's day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Today I look ahead into a new year, into an always uncertain future.
I treasure the gifts I have been given in this life. I remember the special ones who have given me more than things, but memories and recollections of times full of great fervor. Visions of places I wouldn't have seen otherwise.

Here stands Larry looking out over the great Atlantic near one of the places I believe was closest to his heart, Gloucester, Massachusetts, Rocky Neck. Larry probably visits this spot regularly now from his place above that he recently left us to go to.

He was my long time friend, my mentor, my teacher, my co-worker, a father, a grandfather and a divine artist. He dedicated his life to capturing amazing images of the wintry landscapes of Northern New England, the rolling hillsides of Italy, and the rocky shores of the New England shores. He taught me many things about painting and how to look at the world around us. My walls are scattered with his creations. I've missed seeing him for a number of years, but we still delighted in calling each other on occasion. Now I miss him even more.

paintings by Laurence W. Howard
July 14, 1931 - December 8, 2010

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bottle tree

definitely looks best with a snowy backdrop