Before we get to the cactus paintings, I want to tell you a little cactus story.
Last summer I was surprised to find cacti growing in the sand along the parking spaces at a small beach in Truro on the Cape. It looked as though someone planted them on a retaining wall, and they spread to the ground, or rather, the beach. I can’t believe I never noticed them before. Could they all have grown over a single year?
They were quite rugged; pale green with short but very coarse and sharp spines. I had to have one. It was a lot more difficult to pull it up than I thought, and I was treated to lots of little prickly stuff in my fingers. (Because I’m not careful like that.) I brought a little one home, stuck it in a small pot with some sandy dirt, and left it on the porch.
A few months ago my husband was out there and brought it home, thinking winter would surely not serve this cactus well. (I will be curious to see how all the cacti in the parking lot look this summer.) We put it in a sunny spot on the back windowsill, and while the original plant didn’t look very healthy, it sprouted.
The new growth is green and very tall; three times the size of the original plant. I replanted it in store-bought cactus/succulent soil in a larger pot. If the cleaning people would stop watering it, I suspect it will grow to be very strong. (It’s currently kind of droopy, with a chopstick holding it up.) I’m kind of amazed. Nature.
It’s Marathon Monday here in Boston. The weather is gorgeous. There are tons of people out and about. It looks like it will be a very happy day. Here are ten artworks featuring runners in honor of The Boston Marathon. Enjoy your day off! (Yep, most of us get the day off on Marathon Monday.) Cheers.
Runner at Rest, 2015•Katherine Bradford Fred Giampietro Gallery•Artsy
Pyongyang City Marathon, 2012•Ari Hatsuzawa Museum of Contemporary Photography•Artsy
I had a social day on Friday, meeting a new friend for coffee in the morning and architect Mette Aamodt of Cambridge-based modern architecture firm Aamodt/Plumb (I wrote about their transformation of a mid-century barn for Boston Globe Magazine last summer) for lunch at Tatte Bakery in Beacon Hill.
(In between I happened to run into a friend and we stopped into two of my favorite Boston boutiques Good and December Thieves. A few Instagram photos here.)
Currently Mette and her partner (and husband) Andrew are working on a project for the founder/curator behind online gallery The Road Gallery. I hadn’t been familiar with The Road Gallery, but upon returning home promptly looked it up. I loved it and must share.
The Road Gallery represents a small, highly curated selection of emerging and established but lesser known contemporary artists. There are a handful of artworks by each artist, plus guest artists, and pieces start around $100 and go up to $7,000.
Here is abstract artwork by eight artists from The Road Gallery, and a little bit about them.
Liz Barber • Summer 8, 2015 Mixed media on panel
Atlanta-based artist Liz Barber, who holds a degree from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, grew up in coastal Massachusetts. She paints watery abstract works on which layers of materials are built up to create depth and movement, and reflect her emotional attachment to the ocean.
Kelly Neidig • Braddock, 2014 Flashe on canvas
Artist Kelly Neidig, who was born in Pittsburgh and studied Landscape Architecture and Integrative Arts at Pennsylvania State University, lives and works in Vancouver, Washington. In the studio, Neidig relies on her memory and imagination to reinvent scenes of places she has traveled to show the experience of time and its effect on the memory. She is more interested in the overall feeling of these places than their details.
Kyle Utter • The Captain, 2013 Oil on canvas
Brooklyn-based figurative painter Kyle Utter, who hails from Michigan and once lived in Montana, earned his B.F.A at the Pratt Institute in 2011. Utter paints personal spaces, imbuing them with human needs, desires, and yearnings.
Haylee Anne • Mademoiselle Deux, 2011 Digital Archival C-Print (Limited edition of 5 per size)
Photographer Haylee Anne, who travels between Atlanta and New York, was inspired at an early age by lush National Geographic landscapes. She photographs women and water, employing special processes, to enhance and support feminist and bodily dialogue.
Susan Klein • Peering Through, 2013 Oil on Panel
Charleston, South Carolina-based artist Susan Klein earned an M.F.A. in 2004 from the University of Oregon and a B.F.A. from the University of New Hampshire in 2001. Her paintings combine elements from separate places and times into one image. Usually, she begins with a landscape painting, upon which she layers representations of architecture, nature, and urban materials, which coalesce into a dense visual obstacle course.
Emily Zuch• Garden of Boxes and Balls, 2011 Oil on paper
Brooklyn-based artist Emily Zuch received an M.F.A. from the New York Studio School in 2011 and a B.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. Zuch paints from installations she creates in her studio. The set-ups involve objects she makes, childhood toys or those she has recently acquired, and various other curiosities. There is an element of narrative in her work, and she is interested in imagery that connects to fantasy and folklore.
S.W. Dinge • Hit My Head on the Ice, 2014 Gouache and watercolor on canvas
Artist S.W. Dinge lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.He is drawn to aged materials such as rusted metal, discolored newspaper, weathered wood, and other aged objects which are, along with acrylic paint, the foundation of his work.
Charlotte Lethbridge • Sorry I’m Late (Go Ahead Without Me), 2014 Oil on linen
Manhattan-based artist Charlotte Lethbridge studied painting at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2014, Lethbridge concentrated on a swimming pool series titled “Sorry I’m Late.” While pools evoke nostalgia of swimming lessons and suburban summers, left alone they have a compelling stillness. Absence is key component of the series.
I’ve worked with a lot of interior designers as a writer, and my I’m lucky because my experiences have been 99 percent excellent.
One of the loveliest interior designers in Boston is Newton-based Vani Sayeed. She has such a nice. kind, way about her while at the same time is always absolutely professional. And I’m not just saying that because she brought me back this gorgeous scarf from India.
I wrote about this summer home she designed on the Vineyard for Boston Globe Magazine last summer, and more recently she contributed to this decor trends forecast for the Matouk Linens blog. Vani is also an artist. I just discovered these intaglio prints on her site so thought I’d share.
Untitled • Intaglio Print & Chin Cole’
Rickshaw Ride • Intaglio Print & Mixed Media
Rickshaw Ride in the Rain 2• Intaglio Print & Chin Cole’
Quilted 3 • Intaglio Print & Mixed Media
Spring 2011 • Intaglio Print & Chin Cole’ with Acrylic
Spring 2012 • Intaglio Print & Chin Cole’
Infinity Gold• Intaglio Print & Chin Cole’ with Gold leaf