Musing Out Loud — Random Thoughts on Art, Life, Travel, Music, and Food from a Devoted Cat Slave
Starry Night Over the Rhône, September 1888, Musée d'Orsay
On July 21 I was fortunate to attend the Immersive Van Gogh* show in Charlotte, NC put on by @LighthouseInteractive. Wow. WOW! It's taken me this long to recover emotionally and find the words to describe not just what I saw, but what I felt. Know this, if all I had were three words for you they would be — GO SEE IT!
Watercolor painting in the "Art is in the Air" Event in Brevard, NC, June 2021
I returned from my trip to Florida in May feeling pretty rested and relaxed, when suddenly I was caught up in a whirlwind of preparation. I had two major events coming up: the "Art is in the Air" plein air event at the end of June and the Transylvania Art Guild's Summer Showcase in early July. I began to panic because they were literally back-to-back.
"Art is in the Air" Plein Air Event, Transylvania Times, June 27, 2021
What a surprise! During the weekend painting event, all sorts of folks were taking photos of the 24 artists as we painted throughout Brevard, NC's downtown area. The event was put on by the Heart of Brevard (the local business downtown association) and the Transylvania Arts Council. Never did I ever expect to see a photo of me in the paper, but there I am!
Photo courtesy of Frick Art Reference Library
I was speaking with my dear friend Michèle this past weekend about libraries and librarians, and it reminded me when I worked at the Frick Art Reference Library (FARL) in New York City as a freshman in college. Then I happened across this article in The New Yorker, When a Museum Feels Like Home. "OK," I muttered to myself, "Can't ignore this any longer — there's a story in here somewhere."
For those of you unfamiliar with the Frick Museum in Manhattan, it was built by Henry Clay Frick the chair and co-founder of US Steel (not exactly the nicest guy in the world by our standards today).
"Oh no!" wailed Mom, throwing up her hands, "Oh my God! This is a disaster."
Typical words we would hear from my mother just about every day. Mom was a tad OCD ... she needed everything clean, precise, and in the right place.
When I first picked up creating art again after a 30-year hiatus, my inclination was to follow what I was most curious about. When I was young, and studying with Papa or the brilliant instructors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art (among others), I had been "stuck" with using 2HB drawing pencils, charcoal, and if I was really lucky — I got to use colored pencils and acrylic paint. All of which I came to despise. [Read on ...]
Most artists experience the ups and downs of creativity. It is an inevitable cycle and although you know it happens from time to time, sometimes it hits you without warning. Sometimes it comes on you gradually. For me, I had been struggling for awhile back in early 2017, but I didn't realize how much I was having difficulty. I chalked it up to being pressured with running my digital marketing agency and not having enough mental space to pursue my art.
Clouds Over Monterey by Mary Planding (c) 2020
Clouds Over Monterey was created based on a watercolor I had done years ago one very early morning. I had had a difficult time sleeping (unusual for me). So I gave it up and headed along the Monterey Bay until I found the perfect vantage point for watching the sun rise.
Back in the late '80s / early '90s I worked at Apple Computer in marketing. At one point, my manager assigned me to put together a highly confidential product briefing for Mitsubishi. At that time, John Sculley was CEO and he was extremely interested in creating a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi. Needless to say, this was a very visible assignment with lots of pressure. [Read on...]
Happy Holidays 2020 by Mary Planding (c) 2020
When I was very young, we were constantly changing homes. It was the era of "Mad Men" and as a creative director on Madison Avenue, Papa was caught in a constantly revolving industry door. One day he was working on an account at Agency A. Next day the account went to Agency C. If he was lucky, he got a job with Agency C working back on the same account Agency A lost. If he wasn't, he had to keep pounding the streets 'til he found something.
It was Christmas week '66, and I didn't have any school. And like most kids, I was hoping to stay up later than my usual bedtime of 8 pm. My parents' bedroom was next door to mine and I had to pass it to get to anywhere else in the house. Papa had just checked to see that I was in bed, and lights went out. I wasn't there long before I could hear their television in the next room. It was the iconic opening song for Star Trek. [Read on...]
As we approach Thanksgiving Day in 2020, most of us are looking for ways to celebrate amidst the challenges we face with a lethal pandemic raging around us. Thanksgiving has always been my most favorite holiday because it's not about giving gifts. It's about surrounding ourselves with those we love, telling stories, laughing, playing, and breaking bread together. [Read on...]
(c) New York City Ballet
"Grandma — look, look! The tree is growing!" I squealed. It was December 1961, I was all of five years old and I simply couldn't contain myself. We were watching George Balanchine's The Nutcracker being performed by the New York City Ballet.
Visual artists need to understand how the human eye sees so that they know why, how, and what to put on a 2D surface for you to enjoy. Now having said that, everyone also has their own preferences as a viewer (and an artist). It is these preferences, or "aesthetic" if you want to use a fancy term, that is reflected in the art that you enjoy, buy, or display in your personal space. [Read on...]
Winter Song 2 and Winter Song 1 by Mary Planding (c) 2020
"Why aren't the birds dead?" I asked my (now former) engineer-husband as we were driving along the road. "You see dozens of them sitting on those electrical wires, but they never get shocked, they never die."
Pumpkins Galore, (c) 2020 Mary Planding, All rights reserved.
Every October I can't help but smile. It's my favorite month and my favorite time of year — fall. I love the smell of falling leaves. I love their beautiful colors. I love how the wind makes the leaves fly around and the sound they make as they land on the sidewalk.
"Papa, closer please, closer," I cried. We were in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and going through the Monet exhibit "Seasons and Moments." It was the spring of 1960 and I simply couldn't get enough of Monet's paintings.
The ocean is my first love. It's one of my earliest memories — riding on Papa's shoulders as he'd walk along the beach hand-in-hand with my mom. Every free moment my parents had from their busy lives was spent on the seashore or on the water in sailboats.