New York

Metropolitan Museum of Art

I'm taking my students to New York next month and I'm at a loss as to what to show them. I think the MOMA is too expensive for them, and MICA is not subsidizing, so I'm taking them to the Met instead (and telling them they can pay a dollar for entrance; sorry, Metmuseum).  In planning the trip, I realized that I only really visit the same three galleries every time I'm there (the Velazquez room, the Sargent room, the Rembrandt room). I am such a fuddy-duddy! If anyone has any thoughts about not-to-be-missed paintings, preferably after the 1900s, that are at the Met, please email me ( or comment here (trying to be better about my comments:)).  I'm super jazzed about the new Islamic art galleries.  The New York Times was really prostituting itself over them this morning in the paper.

Blog Renaissance-- Righting a wrong purpose.

Well, I lost a lot of sleep last night after thinking that I had accidentally deleted my blog. Technology is not intuitive for me, but people say that it's something to use to your advantage and it seems like most people who do well these days are somewhat internet savvy.  So I created this blog, about a year ago now, and I have not been a very frequent blog poster since the inception, mainly because (a) I'd rather be painting than posting, and (b) though I do like to write, I felt a bit hemmed in by the "work" nature of this blog.  In wanting to keep this blog professional, I think I made it a bit boring for myself.

When I woke this morning after finally getting to sleep at around 5/5:30, I felt calmer. After all, I'm no Hemingway, I don't know if I have a lot of people reading this, and-- most importantly-- I'm moving.  The end of one phase in my life, the beginning of another.  The end of one blog, the beginning of another.  I like parallels, especially when they are forced.

My friends know and my gallery knows that I'm moving away from New York, but I have been keeping it to myself when it comes to my "professional life" -- partly because I know I'll be in and out of New York a lot still because of work obligations and commissions and things I have got going on (and friends of course), but mainly because I don't know what this really means for my life as an artist.  People ask me what it'll be like to be away from other artists, as I am moving to Baltimore, which is not exactly a cultural mecca, and I say I don't really know (since my day-to-day existence in New York is pretty introverted, and I don't go to as many museums and gallery openings as I should anyway).  Some others have said still that it'll be a good move: I can be a big fish in a small pond, but that type of thinking has never struck me as sensical (perhaps because I never think about size). I worry about getting models in Baltimore, just because it's a smaller place, but I suppose I'm looking forward to the cheaper real estate prices, because then I can have a sweet studio.  Anyway, Baltimore is a big unknown, and that's scary.

My husband is in academia, and was on the job market this year. When he and I were making the decision about what job offer he should accept (ultimately, we were stalemated between New York/Columbia University and Baltimore/Johns Hopkins University), I kept thinking that if I had a better sense of my life and purpose, I'd realize that there is a One True Purpose which has been driving me all my life and should continue to drive me in the future.  If I were a better person, a better self-evaluator, I would know my OTP (One True Purpose), and then I could program the decision-making machine with the correct parameters and whatever result it would spit out, I'd follow it, no questions asked, because once I come to a decision logically, I'm pretty good at bringing my emotions in line.  The OTP has eluded me.  Those of you whose OTP is God, I'm jealous.  Those of you whose OTP is career or money or family, I hope it leads you to where you want to go.

What I did in the absence of OTP was to make a list and assign numerical values. I'm kind of a big feeler, so I don't know if being a feeler is consistent with being quantitative, but I'd say I'm fairly quantitative.  I like "running the numbers," and balancing my checkbook gives me a sense of control and purpose and even a weird kind of elation.  (I know, I'm rolling my eyes AT MYSELF.)  I assigned what I saw as all the relevant issues to two categories: LIFE and CAREER.  LIFE included things like where to raise children, my own intellectual happiness, emotional supports, where Toby would be happy, and CAREER basically meant painting well and perhaps networking opportunities (which I avoid almost as much as blogging).  Ultimately, I thought New York won out on LIFE and may be lost a little on CAREER just because the idea of finding another studio space in Manhattan stressed me out.  The stalemate resulted not because Toby disagreed with this artificial decision-making paradigm, but because Baltimore won on CAREER and LIFE for him.  So Baltimore it was.

In hindsight, the whole LIFE/CAREER dichotomy doesn't make a lot of sense to me-- I feel that I am just who I am.  How could I have a good life without a good career, and vice-versa?  I am an artist, and even when I'm, say, scrubbing the toilet, I'm still that same person.  It's not like just because I pick up the toilet wand instead of a paintbrush that I'm now in "life" mode.  It's of course waaaaay too strong to say that I'm trying to make the toilet beautiful with my stain-fighting detergent, but I just know that everyday, whatever I'm doing, I'm doing it as myself.  That self happens to be an artist.

So when I realized it might be tabula rasa for this blog (I know, I'm so good at coming full-circle), I thought, here's a way for me to blog for myself, as I start a new phase in my LIFECAREER (notice the absence of the forward-slash here, indicating the rejection of the dichotomy that was proposed in the first place).  No more blogging because I'm trying to "market my career."  Just blogging because I want to, and dang it if the 21st century has rejected the PROFESSIONAL/PERSONAL dichotomy as well. has been a complete waste of time and money for me.  It's definitely the cheapest hosting out there, but have you seen the company's website?  It's like if Times Square in New York were a website.  Going to their website is like trying to find the Red Lobster on 42nd Street if you can't read maps or signs.  Streamline any time, Godaddy?  Well, has been a complete waste of time and money for me-- until today. They found my blog, and restored it.  But not before I wondered whether it was what I really wanted.