Thursday, September 22, 2011

2011 On The Green Fine Art and Craft Show

The Glastonbury Art Guild sponsors an art and craft show every September on the town's green. I try to go every year with Chandler. I enjoy looking at the art, and talking to some of the artists. It is a good socialization experience for Chandler, who is often admired for his glossy black coat and overall good behavior. He enjoys trying to mooch tidbits from people. (This year I only let him succeed in getting a tiny piece of egg salad sandwich from a lady who does fine leatherwork.) I spend a lot of time explaining that Chan is not a Border Collie, and that keeping an English Shepherd in the suburbs is not always easy, but Chandler is worth all the work as far as I am concerned.

It was a fun outing, although there were definite signs of our ailing economy. I didn't see as many people buying large pieces of art, and there were noticeably less artists than there had been in previous years.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of Chandler with this clock. It was done by Andre Maiwald of Unique Birdhouses who does handcrafted woodwork. Not so long ago, such an odd object might have caused Chan to be a bit insecure. At almost 6 years old, sit-staying next to a fantastic bipedal timepiece is now everyday work for him. Isn't it great!?

Do you see the artist grinning in the background?

The artist in the booth across from the clock assisted me a bit by helping direct Chan's attention toward me. (I can't blame him too much, it was an art show full of people, even if there was lower traffic in this row at the time.) Afterward, she wanted to meet him, very impressed that I could drop his leash and ask him to pose in such a public venue. Nancy makes very beautiful handpainted glassware, and calls her business Brushstrokes.

*sigh* Mom told me not to nose at the objects.
She said they're breakable, but I think they're very interesting.

Of course, there was also more traditional art. The artists who do paintings on canvas tend to cluster in the booths near the road. This one was done by Dean DiMarzo, who specializes in Coastal and Rural themes.

This is a REALLY BIG pheasant.

Unfortunately most of the art was out of my price range, and frankly, at the moment I would have no place to put it. However, I was tempted by a few things. Debbie Lindsey of Whimsical Accents paints very cute images of things like frogs, chipmunks, crabs, and lobsters onto rounded stones and other small items. I was a bit tempted by a small sign of a scowling crab that declared "I'm crabby!".

Mom forgot to mention the rocks painted like turtles.

Then there are the items that would tempt me if I had space AND some money. Robin Erpenbeck does GORGEOUS art glass panels made with beach glass. I love how she includes pieces of seashell within the panel.

Shh...I'm not supposed to tell anybody that Mom likes things that sparkle.

Come to think of it, there was a lot of ocean themed art at the show. (Or maybe I just like ocean themed art and tended to pose Chandler in front of it. I'll have to think about that.) I also liked these oil paintings done by Fran Henderson. They had lots of purples and blues, which are my favorite colors. She also was the only artist that had an elaborate mat within her booth. Those are either stencils or sponge images of shells, starfish, and sanddollars that Chan is lying on.

Posing again. *sigh* Boring...

Our final stop at the art show was to view the New York cityscape paintings done by Herbert Weintraub. I tend toward less urban landscapes, but I was very impressed by the attention to detail in these. Painting Manhattan cannot be an easy task. Of course, I did like that they were views done from the water. I wonder where he set up his easel for these? On some of the islands in the harbor? Or perhaps he worked off photographs?

Hey, not all of them are seascapes; check out the two behind me!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chodsky Pes- Una update

Our laboratory manager didn't have electricity at home all last week due to damage caused by Hurricane Irene. This meant her well wasn't working, among other things. Because of this, she brought Una into work all week. On Monday, I got a few photos of Una with my point and shoot camera. I'm sorry they're not the best, but my little Canon just doesn't have the versatility of my dSLR. Una is a little bit under a year old, I think. She's grown up very pretty, and has a sweet nature.

After Irene

It has been an interesting week here in central Connecticut. We were fortunate enough not to lose power during the hurricane or immediately after it. However, our cable internet went down a day or so after the storm, and didn't return until late Thursday. Then we finally did lose our electricity Friday night...just as power was returned to the rest of the neighborhood. In retrospect it was a bit amusing. All the houses that had been powerless since Sunday suddenly got their electricity back...while all the houses that had somehow managed to avoid power loss suddenly were in the dark five days after the storm. Thankfully the line crews fixed the problem this morning, so I am FINALLY able to post this blog.

Chandler and I took a walk around the neighborhood after the storm had died down during the late afternoon. We were fortunate that storm damage seemed to be limited, compared to what was reported in other parts of Connecticut. Mostly there was a lot of twigs and leaves. Very few trees seemed to be toppled because of the saturation of the ground. Some of the huge older oaks (and a single buttonball) were harder hit, missing huge portions that had simply snapped off.

I'm taking over the narration here.
This is a view me posing in our driveway, and the aforementioned leaves and sticks.
Notice that the power lines are nicely where they are supposed to be. Yay!

The view down the street. Leaves and sticks everyplace, thankfully no trees.

Uh this was a problem.
Most of the top of this old oak snapped off and landed on the power lines.
It wiped out the electricity on all of Coach Road.

Here is another view. We didn't get very close.

Everything was wet, but there were still a lot of interesting things to sniff.

The clouds were moving rapidly overhead and had fascinating textures to them.
Most of the big wind gusts had died down, but there was still a decent breeze.

This is one of the few trees that simply toppled over.
It's fairly young; maybe it didn't have enough time to grow a decent root structure

Here is another one of those big oaks that broke.
Luckily, this one landed in the middle of somebody's backyard,
doing little damage.

After we got back from our walk, Rowan decided she wanted to go outside and munch grass.
Fortunately a downed sumac was the limit to the hurricane damage in our yard.
Actually, the sumac belongs to the neighbor; it just fell in our yard.

It was a good thing none of these toppled over.

...of course, Mom found this four leaf clover in the yard,
so we just have to be thankful for our luck during this storm.