Scattered Update

All right, how about some news of art making its way out in the world?

On May 14 I took a short walk at the Pennypack Trail in the afternoon. In the parking lot, I checked the kiosk. Lady in the corner – she has left.

Confused 5-8 #1Confused 5-14 Park 1

I walked on down the trail. Remember, it’s a former rail line. Here is an example of some scenes along it.

That green has become ultra-green in the last few days!

I set a small clay tile lady in one of the former control boxes. This one has been painted silver – most of the others have been left rusty, and this one is trying to return to that state – and when they were in use would have had doors that were locked. Now they are each a set of nice display shelves.

Further down the trail, I left two tiles on a bench. I’ve often run or walked by this particular seat and I always like reading the dedication.

I probably won’t be back here until next week. Then I’ll see what has happened in my absence.


Management Says

I went to a meeting in an office building recently and stopped in the bathroom. There I learned some things. From this notice.

Confused Bathroom sign 5-14 31


Let me just get you some background. I am one, along with many other ladies, who just doesn’t care about my fellow human beings, loud and proud inconsiderate every single day, and I don’t care who knows it.  That’s the first  “we”. Us bad ones. And Management has noticed and come down from the Management Office to help us along.

Now, read it again, just to stay current.

Confused Bathroom sign 5-14 31

I noted  the “we” taking on another level of meaning, merging into another “we”. The “We” of Management joining itself with us little people. There is just something about a being who refers to itself in the third person that ratchets up my attention, absolutely you bet.

Now I was scolded all right and yet I also felt the hurt that Management feels at my unfairness to whoever it is that is actually following the rules (since I thought “we” all were offending, and now I learn there are those who are not? I am getting so confused).

So, I glanced around the room to make sure I had not offended. That I could move into a higher category. That I could be a good person again.

Confused Bathroom sign 5-14 #2

I felt the glow of Management’s approval of my cooperation and yet, my mind was still at work. I dared to wonder – maybe Management could have just said: Flush. Pick up paper. Keep things nice. Please.

I guess not.

OK, I think I’m done here.  (I scuttle out of the room).

Tiles and Letting Them Go

How about a couple of art-drop offs to look at?

On May 10 I left this tile face at Montgomery County Community College library. The green arrow points to the location in the bigger scheme of things.

On May 10 my husband and I went to a play at Allens Lane Art Center and…I left these two tiles behind when we left.

AD 5-13 #3

I’ve got a box full of tiles and clay odds and ends to leave around the world. I am just getting started!

Lady Goes to Pennypack Trail

On May 8 I was at the Welsh Road trailhead of the Pennypack Trail. Over the past few years I have walked or run over every inch of the trail ( and lots of times, too). Every so often I do the whole round trip – a little over 10 miles. So I know this place very well.

I decided to leave a lady I had painted on a broken picket from a fence. Her story is – I painted her some time ago and she’s been on my porch. We recently got a new front door, I “redecorated” the porch, and now I decided to bring her here.

Confused 5-8 #3

I set her at the info kiosk in the parking lot.

Confused 5-8 #2

The Pennypack trail runs along a former rail line. This kiosk tells the history of this section of the line. I enjoy looking at it every so often and figuring out where the landmarks of the past are located.

It’s especially interesting to me how many stations were on such a short stretch – one about every mile or two. Today’s rail lines (we have quite a few in the five-county area with Philadelphia as the hub) feature stations further apart. I am sure that this change relates to the fact that in the past, people walked to their transport and also, that the line was used for local travel a few stops down the line – now most people ride for a good distance before getting off.

Anyway, I left her in place, and next time I am here, I’ll see if she has moved on or not. For more info about the trail, look here.

Confused 5-8 #1

Stick Ladies Go to College

I set down a stick lady at Montgomery County Community College last week and she was gone when I was just there, May 3. I left this lady next to a tree in the quadrangle. I’ll check and see if she is still around when I go later this week…

Just a Cute Cat Picture

You know when warmer weather has arrived because our cat, Martok, returns to this cozy little spot for a nap. Never in winter does he venture in this room, but he likes the feeling of being in a nice cool bowl, I think, when things heat up.

It also gives you a tiny shock when you walk into the bathroom thinking you are all alone and – you aren’t. At least he is not hiding in the tub behind the shower curtain or something…

Martok 5-18.jpg

What I Have Learned About Box Elder Bugs

About three weeks ago I took a picture of some insects attending a convention on a post in the Norristown Farm Park. I became interested when I realized what looked like insect-drilled holes on this post were moving.

Box elder #2

And they were not holes, but bugs.

Box elder #3

I got closer and took a few pictures, waving away the intrepid souls who were attracted to me and my nosy ways.

Box elder #1

I walked around the post. The bugs were congregated only on the sunny side.

When I got home I looked up – bug with orange details – and found out that I’d come upon box elder bugs. Never heard of them before.

Turns out they are not remarkable in any way, except to themselves. They feed on seeds and leaves of box elder trees, a variety of maple (never heard of that before, either). In the fall they hibernate (in houses sometimes, which causes consternation among homeowners, but no damage) and in the spring they come out looking for warm spots to get together and work out their dining schedule.

That’s why they were only on one side of the post. It was the warm side.

Well, that’s pretty much it. Box elder bugs and box elders exist, and they seek warmth. The box elder bug story! Say hello if you see one. You’ve now been introduced.

Box elder #4

Over and Over

If you follow my poetry blog you know I visit a site to write poetry once a week, spending the day.

For some time I’ve been going to Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA, to the Brendlinger Library. When I arrive, I usually send my husband a text to let him know I’m there, as I often do when I’m out driving around. Many times I just send a photo.

I realized not too long ago that I’ve gotten into the habit of parking the car and snapping a shot with my phone through the windshield at Montco. I also park in the same lot in about the same place and always facing the same way. I can do this since I get there at the beginning of the day and I have my choice.

I don’t know why it’s pretty much always the same location but we are creatures of habit, aren’t we? And as a practical matter I like to pull through the space, so that I don’t have to back out when I leave.

Anyway, here is the collection I have built up of a very ordinary scene as it passes through time. Sometimes I’m closer to the campus (the photos with trees to the right) and sometimes a little farther out. The Health and Sciences building is off in the distance. The main part of the campus is out of sight to the right – that’s where I go.


Came into View

On January 9 my husband and I went to Allentown, PA, to pick up unsold artwork from the Baum School of Art’s holiday show. The school is located in the middle of downtown across the street from the Allentown Art Museum. Both of these places are very familiar to us from years of visiting Allentown.

The city is undergoing a lot of change right now. After declines in industry and manufacturing and a period of drift, the city is renewing itself in a lot of different ways. Its location is advantageous, it has a significant population, there are several colleges in the city, and it borders Bethlehem, PA, another Lehigh Valley city reinventing itself.

Downtown Allentown was further changed by the construction of the PPL Center, home to a minor league hockey team and an Arena football team – not to mention lots of special events. New restaurants and hotels have followed as well as residential apartment construction.

I’m glad to see it. I like Allentown a lot and the city has been good to me as far as my art career. That’s another area undergoing growth – Third Thursday art evenings and plenty of events at the museum, the school, and other art venues in town.

Anyway, driving in, we noticed a building coming down to clear a site for new construction along Hamilton Street.

Once we were finished with our errand we walked a few blocks to take a closer look. I can’t resist watching a building in its demolition process. Here are some pictures.

Here’s part of the building still standing – Hamilton Street facade.

From the side looking toward Hamilton.

Side view. Now it gets interesting. Look at that staircase ghost – think how high the ceilings were in this building.

The handrail is still in place. Somehow that touched my heart. I was thinking of how many hands had slid along the metal in all the years of the building’s life.

My husband directed my attention to the back of the building. The former bathrooms, to be specific. There they are, stacked on above the other.

Now that’s interesting to think about, isn’t it? All this time these rooms were one above the other, completely separated and never to be seen in comparison with each other.

Now I really felt for the building. Bathrooms, well, they are private spaces and now, here they are, front and center.

I don’t know what’s going on this site – it’s being cleared all the way back to the next block. I’ll keep my eye on it.

On the way out of town, we passed West Park, where I have done so many years of Art in the Park. Looks very different from the scene in June, when we are there.

January, 2018.


June, 2017.

A nice trip and I’m looking forward to the next time we are there.

A Few Thoughts While on a Cold Day’s Walk

On December 27, last week, I accompanied a friend into West Philadelphia where he was going to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for a medical treatment. I had some time to spend while he was busy and I used it to take a walk around Penn’s campus. Here are a few odds and ends from that little trek.

Penn is a private university, not public (the name throws people off as many state schools are the University of  —-). It’s located in the city and it’s a truly urban campus. Almost 40 years ago, I took a couple of classes here that I needed for my job, in the night school. I’ve been here since then, of course, but not in the past few years. As I walked I reflected on the memories I have of the neighborhood.

Public transit is everywhere – you can take a trolley, bus, elevated train, or get over to 30th Street train station and go anywhere in the United States.

Streets and buildings.

You can see Center City Philadelphia about 20 blocks or 2 miles away.

Did I tell you it was a miserably cold day? Well, it was, in the low 20’s. So outdoor scenes were deserted, no surprise, and it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that school was closed for the holidays, either. People are still around. But they are not out enjoying the fresh air.

I walked up the street and faced this building:

I wondered if this was the Charles Addams I am familiar with – you know, the creator of the Addams Family of print, cartoons, and TV fame? I turned into the walkway. Yes, it is. This sight made it clear.

At home I looked up Charles Addams and learned that he went to school here in the 1930’s.

A few steps further on I saw this gate – and I spent quite a bit of time examining it. Each hand holds some tool or implement used in art making. Absolutely fascinating and beautiful.

Finally, the Addams building and I are the same age.

I liked the look of the screen wall treatment for this building – I think it was a parking garage or else the utility level of the building.

These creepy dolls were in the window of an antique store, and let me tell you that I was glad they were on the other side of the glass and could not directly catch my eye. They look like they have malevolent intentions.

First I noticed this building because we have the same first name.

Looking up, I see it used to be called something else.

I would not like to have my name changed without my permission. It seems disorienting, to say the least. Looking up this building’s history later, I found that it has had a several different uses as well. If you live long enough, well, things change.

On my way back to the hospital to meet my friend, I took these pictures of the kind of notices you see plastered all over light poles and the like. I have noticed that they tend to be quite local in their subjects. Notice the one refers to Penn Medicine – guess what – it was right across the street from the hospital. My theory continues to hold up.

Well, I went back inside the building, ready to get back into a warm place. A nice walk around campus, I thought.

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