Monthly Archives: September 2015

Storm flags

My kit on a rainy beach in Rye, 2008.

Just yesterday I wrote that I was looking forward to heading to NYC this weekend, where the breathing wouldn’t be as bad as it is here in the Genesee Valley. Hah! It turns out that New York is under a Tropical Storm Watch. Joaquin is approaching hurricane strength and may or may not aim for […]


"Autumn farm, Nunda," 8X10, pastel, Carol L. Douglas

“You sound like you have that cold that has been going around,” a co-worker told my husband. “Everyone’s got it.” I’ve got “it” too, and any time everybody’s got a cold, I suspect allergies. Rochester calls itself the Flower City for good reason: it is full of flowering shrubs, trees, perennials and border gardens, all […]

Folding before a threat

Photo released by Mimsy.

Art is censored for many reasons, from politics to economics. Having been censored myself, my sympathies are with those artists who experience it. It takes months or years to create a body of work, and having it withdrawn from the public marketplace is the worst insult it can sustain. The British artist calling herself Mimsy […]

Renaissance men

Phrenology chart from People's Cyclopedia of Universal Knowledge (1883).

The last few decades have led to a significant decline in visual arts and music being taught in public schools. That’s a pity, because historically the visual arts and music were considered an integral part of educating the well-rounded man. Many people have pointed that out, but anecdote cuts no ice in the Common Core […]

Entering the silly season

Student fielding criticism during an open-air festival.

Daniel Dennett is an American philosopher and cognitive scientist. In his Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking, he offered these four steps to critical commentary, which ought to come in useful as we enter the next round of America’s quadrennial silly season: You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that […]

Everyone is having fun but me

Untitled, by Brad Marshall, 11X14, oil on canvas.

In two weeks, I am meeting friends to paint together in Rye, NY at Painters on Location. This is the only time of the year when I get together with Brad Marshall and Bruce Bundock, and we’re all looking forward to having time to catch up as well as paint. Bruce has torn his kitchen […]

Day off

Erie Canal bridges and the DOT repair barges, 5X7, by Carol L. Douglas

I’m not in Rochester to paint but to sell a house. Still, when the opportunity presents itself, I can’t resist. Patricia McDermond is the current chair of New York Plein Air Painters (NYPAP). She got a message from a Rochester-based painter asking if there was a chapter in Rochester. That’s embarrassing, because it’s where I […]

Living sculpture

That American dogwood was so much healthier several years ago, when I made this fast sketch of it.

Back in the day, I was a pretty serious gardener. I led a garden group at a large suburban church and cared for my own plants. My schedule during the past few years has nixed that. In many ways gardening is exactly like painting. All the same skills, just different materials. My favorite garden task is […]