13Apr/130

I Signed The Lease on The Foundry Studio…Thank You Karma Chariot!!

Posted by Sermarr

Today I signed the lease on the studio space in the Foundry complex.  I have a large studio on the second floor, one end of which is over the gate into the complex.  Time now for applause, shouting, jumping up and down.  This has been such an amazing almost accidental chain of people/events.  Marty gave me the name of her friend Vivian in Brooklyn, who when I talked to her when I was here at Christmas gave me the name of a developer, who gave me the name of a broker he thought was good in Long Island City , an area which I had seen and really liked.  I called her before I went to India and she said to call back when I got back.  Then in mid-January she emails me with the news that this exceptional studio had come on the market and could I send someone to look at it...Kristin, my daughter, and Kay my friend went to see it and approved it.  Then it fell apart over subletting.  Then I kept dreaming about it and revived it and then it moved along slowly till the contract was available to be signed when I got back.  So I got to see it and fall in love with it before I signed up.  Amazing story of what almost didn't happen!! Thank you, Marty, and thank you, Krishna and the karma chariot.  Two wheels, destiny and desire...and boy did they work this time.!!

The space is exceptional...it has skylights, and 7 windows on the south and 6 on the north...the windows are 3'X7.5'.  And the landlord is exceptional too.  An entrepreneur and very warm and personable man.  He and his wife bought the foundry when they moved their plant business there in the 80's.  Then over the years he has rebuilt it and turned about 1/3 of it into a wedding and even space. (look at thefoundrylic.com to see his handiwork)  They have since sold the plant business and now run the foundry and wedding business.  There are a number of tenants and I've met about half of them.  Beneath me is a wine warehouse which has been there for about 15 years and is a retail space for French wines primarily.  I met Jeffrey today.  And on the other side of me is Jim who is an artist but who has a huge workshop and does specialty metal and wood work.  He was working on a sundial when I was there.  He said he could do all my stretchers for my paintings!! He too is a dumpster diver.  I like all of them.  And it's great to know that I have some in situ resources to call on to find out how or where to get something done.  The Long Island City Open Studios is in May, which I will miss, but I will be aiming for the next one.  Here are some picture of the space from the outside (yes it's the whole second floor) and the inside studio space.   Then to celebrate I went to the Brooklyn Museum and heard a panel talk about tattooing and feminism...it was interesting.  IMG_5419DSCN5914IMG_5302IMG_5301 DSCN5741DSCN5742

 

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and a beautiful sunset across the river in Manhattan closed out a great day

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12Apr/130

Karma Strikes-Five Star Indian Restaurant-2 blocks away!

Posted by Sermarr

So Krishna said the karma chariot has two wheels,destiny and desire. After lamenting the loss of Indian food, The karma chariot took me two blocks from the hotel to the Five Star Restaurant where cricket was on the Hindi tv channel and a Bollywood movie on another tv and the waitress was speaking Hindi. And the food was simmering on the food table. And on asking for roti I got a naan type,but they cooked it hot and served it right to my right side of the plate. I'm home here because clearly the karma chariot has steered me to Long Island City! And the food was good so I won't be deprived of Indian food. No bindi (okra) but it's not the season being cold and rainy today. A good day to stay in,read,write and marvel at the wonder of it all. A grocery four blocks south of the studio and an Indian restaurant (complete with a big event hall next door for weddings,I bet) four blocks east. I made a piece called "The Perfect Address" and soon hopefully the karma chariot will bring me back from Santa Fe to this perfectly sited studio

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12Apr/130

Moving to The Foundry Studio Across the East River from NYC

Posted by Sermarr

Readers who have held their breaths right, crossed their fingers, and said the right incantations have helped me be ready to sign the contract for the beautiful studio in Long Island City in the Foundry complex.  For those of you who missed where this is...go the thefoundrylic.com and see part of the complex that is used for weddings and special events.  This is an old foundry that has been rebuilt.  I will have a second floor part of the complex.  It is a beautiful brick, ivy covered building.  And I have had some fun staying at Z Hotel, two blocks away, for a few days getting the lay of the land.  The skyline of Manhattan is beautiful from here.  It is at about midtown.  The Foundry complex is almost on the coastline of the East River.  Many people have worried about how I would get food and things being in a part of the city that is zoned industrial and I am pleased to tell you that four blocks south where they have built two enormous skyscraper apartment buildings, there is a great food market kind of like Whole Foods, full of beautiful produce and prepared things (great for me because I eat soup for lunch everyday in the studio).  The studio has a refrigerator (so I won't have to go down there every day for soup), and a stove and I will bring my red microwave from Santa Fe.  Also next to the grocery is a drug store.  So I seem to be set for studio life.  Long Island City is full of artists  And around me are all these great fabricators....marble, wood, metal....all of which I am sure will be asked to share their "treasures" with an artist who values their cast off parts.  My lease will be signed tomorrow morning (fingers still crossed)  DSCN5905 IMG_5404 IMG_5406 IMG_5407 IMG_5408

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12Apr/130

All Mixed Up….India, NYC, and Long Island City

Posted by Sermarr

Well, readers, in the last weeks I've been on both sides of the globe and here in nyc on both sides of the East River....all very different worlds.

Here are some things that I miss about India:

-the people....their warmth and willingness to let me into their lives and teach me what I learn and answer the endless, endless questions about big and small things

- the cows on the streets...yes, it's true...they represent how close to the farm some of the people are in the city and as beautiful as NYC is, the closeness to the natural world that they represent is missing here

-the COLORS of the clothes...here things are beautiful as they display all the spring clothes, but they still aren't bright orange, green, blue, and red....

-the great food....yes...hooray for all the vegetarian dishes served at the ArtInn; even though NYC is full of every kind of food know to the globe, I haven't had any Indian food since I've been here

Here are some things I love about NYC:

-All the variety of experiences packed into one place:  flowers and row boats in Central Park, great art in museums, friendly people who answer all kinds of questions just on the street, the subways to take you everywhere, great fashion, wonderful books, the energy of the people walking on the streets, the opera, the plays, the food

here are some images from my last few days....enjoy my mixed up bonanza!DSCN5882 IMG_5367 DSCN5876 DSCN5895 IMG_5364 IMG_5375 IMG_5371 IMG_5403 DSCN5842 DSCN5849 DSCN5843 DSCN5865 DSCN5875Sarah at Jaykirti's workshop 2 DSCN4047 DSCN4228 DSCN5136 Classic Road Rally 113

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4Apr/130

Jewelry a la Jaipur….on the Avenue

Posted by Sermarr

In Jaipur I learned that people wear really big beautiful jewelry to special occasions...most of this jewelry represents part of their family and their own histories.  Usually I don't look that much at the jewelry displays...but this time I noted how these are things that the women I know in Jaipur would have stopped to look....so I did too.  Beautiful....poetry in stone cutting.  And then there's the Diamond District on 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

And purses are a big deal too .  I saw this wonderful displays of colorful purses and one that was a desert recreated to display these gorgeous purses.

 

Enjoy!  It doesn't cost anything to look!!

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4Apr/130

Monochrome vs Brilliant….Art and Fashion

Posted by Sermarr

I saved my favorite photos from yesterday's stroll to put in this post.  I saw some of my favorite pictures at the Met...most of them old paintings with very vivid colors which egg tempera gives...unfaded after centuries.  And I looked at the Clifford Styll monochrome black and whites, with a few extra colors added.  And those wonderful black and orange Greek vases...more silhouette...all bold and vivd monochromes or really all these are duotones, if you count the back ground color as a color.  There must be something going on in the back of my head since I began making these monochromes in India....and in addition all the vivid colors I love.  So Bergdorf had these great black and white dresses in their windows (the things around them are FEATHERS!)

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It must be a spring thing because a lot of designers were doing them.  Come along and see.

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4Apr/130

Beautiful Art, Beautiful Fashion….Beautiful Day!!

Posted by Sermarr

After waking up at 3am I had a great day on a blustery sunny day in NYC.  I went out to Bushwick to see how it would be to rent an apt but the amount of razor wire and graffiti convinced me that, at least for this subway stop area, it wasn't my place.  So the karma chariot rolled on....I went up to the studio that I'm trying to lease in Long Island City and with my daughter Kristin we measured everything to be sure where I would store things and begin to work when I move in.  So here is a picture of the possible blessings of moving.  Then I went to Manhattan and walked....walked...walked, my favorite thing to do in the city.  Uptown to the Met Museum looking at fashion windows on the way.  I am fascinated with monochromatic things and there were a set of black and white things in Bergdorf's windows that were fascinating.  At the Met there were wheat fields and haystacks just like the ones I saw in India recently....just painted by Van Gagh and Monet....and some great Abstract Expressionist monochromatic paintings by Clifford Styll.  Then back out strolling by Central Park and the daffodils almost out. All totaled I put about 4 miles on my exercise clock...and felt GREAT, my eyes all filled up with the splendor of looking at beautiful things.DSCN5741 DSCN5742 DSCN5753 DSCN5757 DSCN5761 DSCN5771 DSCN5773 DSCN5755 DSCN5754

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3Apr/131

Back in the….Back in the USA!!

Posted by Sermarr

They say there's no place like home and that's true...but there's also no place like the places that become temporary homes.  The transit back from India made me miss it more in some ways and in some ways be so glad to be back on familiar ground.  First,yes indeed my suitcases got onto the plane..one in side 23 kilos for free and one at 31.9 kilos just under the maximum of 32 allowed!  I was so glad to pay that overage charge and let those much worried about bags go.

And then I found the glories of the Transit Hotel that the Delhi airport has...a sleep while you wait (minimum stay 5 hours) and spa....So I went into this fully modernized massage place and had a 60 minute massage at 1 am!  yes!! I really needed it after all that sitting.  And then a 14 hour flight...full of 1 sleeping pill for 8 hrs, two movies and a book for the rest.  And then the welcoming Fluttering Curtains art on the walls of the JFK airport and into the city at 8am to my best friend's house on Washington Square in Greenwich Village.  Then walking walking walking around the city after having BAGELS and CREAM CHEESE and NYC COFFEE for breakfast with my daughter.  I was trying to keep myself up after I left her and so I walked uptown and saw some old favorites>>>Grand Central Stateion, Rockefeller Center with Easter Egg decorations, Saks Fifth Avenue, the NYC Public LIbrary with the lions, the Flatiron Building, The Empire State Building, and fell in love again with NYC my adopted hometown.  A place where the heart soars as the feet move.  Come along with me from very beautiful agrarian fields to  very beautiful big city within 24 hours.  And right in the middle of my stroll just to prove that it's all connected and on the same globe,there was the Royal Sari House with block printed clothes...but not as beautiful as the ones I just left.

For those of you who have stayed with me and read all these many many words about my adventure in India, I thank you for staying tuned, for your comments and encouragement on this, one of the greatest journeys of my life.

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Filed under: Jaipur Sights 1 Comment
3Apr/130

On the Road Again…Off to Delhi Airport

Posted by Sermarr

The car came at 2 and we travelled through the wheat harvesting that is ongoing in India now.  The process of harvest requires many hands and probably travels at the pace that it has been learned to travel at over many years.  The wheat is tall and yellow now; the women are in the fields cutting the bunches of wheat which they stack up for the thresher to come.  The thresher comes and (hooray for automated process) shoots the wheat out one side and the stalks out the other.  Then the wheat and the straw go somewhere for storage mostly in individual homes here.  The villages don't look much different than the ones I saw in China many years ago and probably not that different from any agrarian society where the small homes and villages full of cows and goats and people are next to huge fields of ripening grain.  And from the paintings of Millet,Van Gogh and Monet with the field workers and haystacks.

We didn't make good time because the super highway that is being constructed is still underway and so in almost every small town, where the superhighway is being built right up main street, the detour around the construction is slow and full of pedestrians and potholes.  I wonder how these towns will adapt when their main street is full of rapidly rushing by cars.  In the US they built the highways on the outside of most small towns not right down the middle.  The other thing that is omnipresent aside from grain, the superhighway being built, is trucks, trucks, trucks.  all along the side of the road...in huge lines full of all these different cargos.   It is so interesting to whiz by these towns with so many questions unanswered.  Like, why is it that the women in their full sarees are out in the field and a lot of men seem to be clustered together in groups playing cards or talking intently in the roadside refreshment stands?  This reminded me of Cairo where the same thing seemed to be true...lots and lots of men sitting in coffee shops talking and smoking shisha.  Someone said to me when I had mentioned this before "In India, men do nothing, the women work"  I can't say that holds true for me....I saw almost everyone and every wheel and every animal working very hard.  .  Also as we got to Delhi these enormous apartment towers were everywhere.  Like LeFrak city was here in the Bronx.  It was staggering and I wondered do they have all the workers here to fill these up already or is this for future growth.  And it was right next to these same fields that the village workers were harvesting in.  In the US the population moved from being 90% agrarian in 1900 to 10% agrarian in 2000 as workers moved to cities where they could find better paying jobs.  I wondered how long will it take India to move this way, if it does.

All of these questions flying around in my head as we fly by (sometimes) on the road to Delhi.

Road to delhi 4 Road to delhi 7 Road to delhi 13 Road to delhi 15 Road to delhi 18 Road to delhi 12

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