Wednesday, December 26, 2012

RICHARD PARKER a love story

I had to dig deep to find this water color painted in India in 1977.

   "Who would want to read a story about a boy in a boat with a tiger?" was the response from a girl who I asked if she had read "The Story of Pi". She was about to leave on a two month cruise in the Pacific. I had just seen the film. I loved the book about Pi and his predator tiger friend Richard Parker so dearly and for about a year actually believed that it was a true story.
     I felt sad when the end came. Wanted it to be a never ending love story. I discussed Pi with my friend Rhoderic over oysters at lunch on Friday. He considers the book a masterpiece and drew up certain conclusions that were  interesting, but different from mine.
    Aside from the great dialog, he pointed out that the boy knowing the danger to his own life fed his predator - kept him alive. Then when they had reached safety, Richard Parker goes off into the forest
and doesn't look back. I told him that I understood. There have been people in my life that  I loved and that I was unable to say good-bye when departure was definitive.
    When I had to put my dog Ruby down ...she could no longer walk...but she could stand. And in the vet's waiting room she stood and faced the wall as if she had been ashamed that the  end of our seventeen year relationship was ending.
     I fancy that Richard Parker emotionally was not able to look back. But that's me. I'm not a cat.

Friday, July 13, 2012


My very fine brush has returned to color  on paper. 

Brush to water cup. Then to choose a color which touches the paper and takes direction before calling another color to sit beside or rest at a distance - to come then another lacing around in between or above. An image begins. Then... it's not what I thought after all. When I reach my destination. la fin. I hold it out and look at it for a long time. Then a touch here and oui-non another touch.
A water color.


wiggly pig
the sprinkler


the lonely wolf
as you see it

portion of "all together now"
weekend in Vermont

"Odds and Ends"

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I painted this in 2007- not during the service, but for the month that followed.
All those dots! It wasn't easy. The music was magnificent. I think you can almost hear it.
Happy Easter. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Sunday, March 18, 2012


I woke up the other night, and like the famous Miss Clavel said in Bemelman's Madelane  thought
"Something is not right." and turned on the light.
My cats sleep most of the day and then spend their night outside in the courtyard waiting...
Occasionally, a young naive mousey spouts out of the drainpipe.
After the first primal scream of finding one of these creatures no bigger than my pinky, in my newly found atelier,  I often captured it and put it outside to the disgust of my feline companions.
So,what was the stir? My two cats were mulling around in front of some paintings stacked against the wall.
"You've done it again." I scolded them. "There's a mouse in there."
No comment - tails swaying high.
I  jiggled the paintings and the victim fled for safety behind a wooden crate under my upstairs desk.
The cats pursued him from both sides trapping him in between.
Then I heard,"Queek, queek, queek, queek, queek."
"You devils!"
and I pulled the crate forward.
He fled again to The Pile
(papers, drawings, boxes to return my computer the next time it breaks down, and whatever.)
I saw that he had an exit strategy if he wished, and  I hoped he would return to the ground floor.
I went back to bed and needless-to-say did not sleep. But I rested and listened.
I got up at daybreak( or as my neighbors were taking their kids to school) and observed that
he had made it to ground floor, now safe behind another group of paintings.
I noticed that he was black and thought it unusual, but anyway put some water and a little grub in his spot, because I didn't want him to die in hiding. That smells bad.
I had some errands to do and left the window open hoping he would make it to safety.
I was home in the afternoon and on the phone to a friend who was talking to me intensely about a very serious subject and out he came hobbling across the floor.
He was about as big as a hamster with a tail - maybe nine inches long.
He was limping, apparently in pain. Then he sat on his haunches in front of me and looked up.
"O  my God!"
My friend was still talking. Miss Kitty was on my desk to my left and Lucy on a trunk on my right.
I was still listening- looking at the cats. They were looking at me and Queek-queek.
I leaned over to pick him up. He bit me between my thumb and index.
"Ouch. Have to go. He bit me."
I put on a disinfectant and when I returned, Queek-queek was still there out in the open.
The cats seemed hypnotised by his audacity.
I  grabbed a strainer that was on my kitchen counter and capped him for his own safety.
Then took my most recent water color on papier ARCHE and slid it  underneath.
I was about to walk out to put him in the street, but stopped  thinking he was injured and would not survive.
Looking down at a cat carry-all that my English neighbor had passed on to me, I halted.
Opened up a cage (cat carry-all) and put Queek-queek inside.
Then cut off a chunk of apple and dropped it in.
I watched.
Rats have fingers. He picked it up as we would a slice of watermelon and began chewing.
Then I took a Japanese tea cup, and filled it with water and placed it inside z cage.
He took his little fingers and tilted it, then jumped in - paddling like a seal. He slurped up the water
then retreated and washed his face as a cat would.
I called my doctor. She suggested that I come by. She had a place for me later in the afternoon.
When I arrived at her office
I asked her if she thought I was crazy for trying to pick him up.
She shrugged her shoulders as if that wasn't an appropriate question.
She gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and instructed me to call The Institute Pasteur the next morning.
I then went around the corner to my neighborhood pharmacist  and again recounted the details.
She said that she loved rats and had had many as pets. But she insisted that I follow doctors orders and call the Institute Pasteur in the morning.
I returned home and checked out Queek-queek. Gave him another chunk of  apple and a few flakes of oatmeal. then watched him devourer his dinner.
This time I wore a glove when I opened the door to freshen his water.
          (to be continued- part 2 tomorrow)
I have been away four two weeks. Sorry for not finishing the story.  
I called Th Institute Pasteur the next morning and inquired about "rat bites".
The receptionist transfered me to that expertise.
The professor asked me if it was a city rat or a country rat.
I told her it was a Montmartre rat. Black. Small with a long tail.
Rats in France no longer have rabies.
Some country cats and country dogs do.
"Just make sure your tetanus is up to date."
All the same, I decided to set  Queek-Queek free
only to learn that he was long gone having chewed through the wire mesh on his enclosure.
I imagine he made it to the open window and returned to his family safely with many tales to tell.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Jamie lived near me on the Upper East side in New York. He was an artist and had a studio on Long Island. Always joking, he asked me if I knew why there were only 28 days in February.
This year 29. I didn't. Then he announced that if there were 30, everyone would commit suicide.
Then he roared with laughter.
This winter, Paris was slammed with a paralizing cold spell.
But recently, there seems to be light at the end of Les Champs Elysée, buds spouting. and a couple of nests on leafless trees. I was surprised to hear birds singing in the gardens.
Weird. It's still February. And in Paris you never know if spring is just around the corner or will it be snowing in April?

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I thought many things this morning after tuning into the news of the death of Whitney.
One, was the sadness of addiction that many people don't understand.
Then, I watched U-tube videos.
What makes a great love song? Perhaps it's when you think,"Yeah. That's what I wanted to say, but didn't have the courage." I've learned something from her loss.God bless her.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Who IS the boss?

Friday, January 13, 2012


On July 6th, 1944, there was a horrific fire at the Barnum and Bailey's visit to Hartford Connecticut-a tremendous circus fire that injured or killed several hundred spectators.
My mother, who was just about to give birth to my sister Kathy asked my father to stay home even though the tickets for my two brothers and older sister had already been bought. He did. The Ringling Brother's Barnam and Baily's Circus was banned never to return to Hartford. So, I grew up only dreaming about what a circus could be.
At thirty years old, I attended "The Bombay Circus". I was mostly charmed by the elephants lunching as they swayed to and fro to the loud Hindu music. They were really frolicking. A good memory.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This is for her birthday, wishing her good luck, Love Mary



Ruby chez la princess from