After seeing a program on PBS’s Nature series on how penguins stay warm, Marlene’s greeting card has given new meaning to the word “huddle”. The only other place I hear this word regularly is when I watch football. Emperor penguins are like no other penguins, even though there are others of different shapes and sizes who don’t even live in Antarctica but in other
places like Madagascar and the Galapagos Islands. Did you know that larger penguin species like the Emperor are found in colder climates while smaller ones are found in warmer climates? One has to wonder, when temperatures reach 40 below zero, isn’t there a point where even Emperor penguins get cold? The answer is yes and the way they handle it is even more phenomenal. Huddling for them is a matter of life and death. Collective movements rather than individual ones are a necessity. The penguins on the outside row are reshuffled to the center without a single one getting crushed! The secret is they move very slowly without changing their position and do not use force in or out of the huddle.
Marlene Schwartz’s watercolor painting is so accurately detailed that it could easily be a photograph. Penguins are flightless and she shows their distinct tuxedo-like appearance which helps keep them safe in the water where they catch their food. Their young are raised, however, on land. Each penguin has a distinguishing call allowing them to find their mates and their chicks in large groups. The female Emperor lays one egg during spring and summer but it is the male who covers it with his brood pouch with which he keeps the egg warm for 65 days through icy cold temperatures. After about 2 months, the chicks are hatched and the mother returns from her fishing session at sea with food for the newly hatched chicks. In her painting, Marlene shows you the large penguin with the newly hatched chick in the brood pouch. The males now leave for their session at sea while the female takes over caring for them.Both male and female Emperor penguins take very good care of their young and procure anything they need. This comes across to us immediately in Marlene’s watercolor. We can learn a lot from these social aquatic birds. Knowing that their lifespan is about 20 years it is pretty safe to say that these creatures will be around for a long time.
Thank you, Marlene, for your amazing depiction!
See you on Tuesday! Have a great weekend!
Although most of us “four-season people” try hard to avoid the inevitable of summer coming to an end, there are some signs that finally bring us to the realization that summer is really fading and fall is near. THASC artist Carol Marquardt hints at some of those things that we dread to admit are starting to happen, but at the same time, tells us there is still more time to enjoy it. The trees are starting to shed their leaves and some branches look more like twigs now, as Carol shows in her painting. I must say my yellow dried-up lawn, which has suffered from an especially hot summer, has begun to look more like a hay field as well.
Her sole basket of flowers reminds me of how I wait until late summer to see my delicate roses of Sharon. They are the last flowers to bloom but are still accompanied by a very green pine tree in the back yard and some greener holly bushes in the front yard. The summer beach days are not ready to give in to Fall just yet. In fact my favorite time to visit and walk the beach is in late afternoon, when most of the crowds have dwindled and only the serious beachgoers are still lingering in the sunset on their lounges or throwing the last crumbs of their lunches to the patient seagulls.
Carol’s gray watering can has not lost it’s purpose yet and looks lovely sitting on the patio (with the matching gray grout) where it is ready to revive the nearby flowers, even though at this point, hope is lost for the dried grass. Carol’s painting of “Summer Afternoon” reminds me that there is still time to warm my skin in the sun, still time to water and enjoy the last summer roses of Sharon, and still time to walk the coastal beaches at sunset.
Although I dislike admitting it, I actually DO get a bit anxious for the arrival of Fall’s Fashion Show, but until that time, Carol’s painting keeps me in my favorite season, summer, with her wonderful THASC greeting card. I hope you all have a delightful end to summer and enjoy these last days. Wishing you a pleasant Labor Day weekend. See you next Tuesday.
This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by George Everett for THASC Sales Co. who has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
With the approaching passing of summer George Everett brings us to that place where we transition into the peaceful ending of the scorching sun and into the tranquil resting place of sailboats which, with their lowered sails, helps us to relax after the hot temperatures of the days we’ve endured for the past three months. As a native New Englander, and a Pisces, being close to the water is part of my soul and I yearn to search out these little harbor villages which put my mind at ease and, at the same time, retain the beautiful memories of the warm season I love.
Life is almost forced to slow down here and leave the hectic city behind where you can either enjoy lunch on an open porch, search in the numerous little shops that are usually close by, have a refreshing beverage or just plain meditate and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. In little Rhode Island we have many such coastal villages to enjoy. My favorite is the quaint village of Wickford in the town of North Kingstown.
Wickford is the home of painter Gilbert Stuart who was born in 1755 on the outskirts of Wickford village named Saunderstown. Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Gilbert Stuart self portrait & portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart
Wickford is also is the home of the Wickford Art Festival which attracts thousands every year in July to one of the biggest events of its kind on the Eastern Seaboard.
THASC artist George Everett’s “The Harbor” also draws me to another village located on scenic East Bay between Providence and Newport called Warren.
The well-known Wharf Tavern famous for it’s delicious seafood is where we are headed today. Nothing like dining on the harbor of the Bay.
Hope you are enjoying one of the pleasantries of our American harbors as the summer brings us to a relaxing way to enjoy the dormant boats and the inviting waters. George Everett brings us there with his lovely greeting card which you can find on http://www.thasc.com
It is wonderful to be back with the THASC family after a vacation which brought me back to enjoy the harbors in little Rhody after visiting so many across our great land.
See you next Tuesday!
This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Robert Mauro for THASC Sales. Co. which has employed a unique number of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
For me, there is no other city that has a skyline like New York. I love the way Robert Mauro lights up his city with the glow of the moonlight and keeps it “The city that never sleeps.” The last time I was to go to New York City was tragically on September 11, 2001. We were to celebrate my sister’s 60th birthday, but it was never to be. The lights went out on Broadway.
After fourteen years I am going back to New York. This time I plan to visit Ground Zero and pay my respects. It will be a very emotional trip for me. My sister is no longer with me, but my cousins from Sicily are, so part of the excitement is still with me. In fact, we are leaving today, July 23, 2015, and in addition to seeing the wonderful things that New York symbolizes for our country, like the Statue of Liberty, we are also going back to Broadway. So as you read this blog, we will be visiting this magical city and getting ready to see “Aladdin” on W. 42nd Street.
There are so many things that I am in love with in New York, but Robert Mauro’s bright colorful watercolor makes me continually think of the excitement of New York’s night life, particularly in Manhattan. Nothing can stop this wonderful City from drawing us into “being a part of it, New York, New York!“
I personally prefer musicals and comedy to drama, but there is nothing really that can hinder me from seeing live theatre no matter what the theme. In fact, I always secretly wanted to act. I suppose I did everyday in a way in my own classroom. They say teachers are always “on stage!” Since the universal language is music, I always incorporated pop Italian music in my lessons, wondering how quickly kids learn the words…even if they aren’t sure what they are saying, they certainly can sing the songs!
I’d love to read your comments on what your favorite things to do in New York are. I could never leave out the many museums, sky-scrapers, Cathedrals, temples, restaurants, neighborhoods, opera houses, hotels, stores, parks, TV shows, entertainment, fashion, monuments and on and on. For me that famous skyline has no equal and THASC artist Robert Mauro doesn’t let us forget it with his pink, orange, blue, green and yellow buildings along the Hudson River.
I hope you all get to New York and Broadway at least once in your lifetime and if not soon, put them on your bucket list.
See you in late August!
When I see paintings of cats, it is so easy for me to think happy thoughts, as cats have always been my pets of choice. That is, they are the domesticated pets I’ve personally chosen to cohabitate with. We always had dogs as children, but once I lived on my own, I chose cats. Actually my first cat, Tesoro, which is the Italian word for “Treasure” or “Darling”, lived almost 20 years and was so difficult for me to say goodbye to, that I didn’t get another cat for a long time, a VERY long time, almost 20 years later. Her name is “Sofia” as in “Loren”. The classic beauty, the dramatic poses….they are all there.
Gary Lapelle’s painting reminds me of her charismatic personality, although Sofia’s colors pale to those of Gary’s. I wonder if he’s had as much success with his cat actually sleeping in her cat bed as I. In fact I’ve had practically none. As you can see from my photo below, her bed has become a haven for her countless number of toys rather than herself.
Even though cats literally sleep their lives away, I don’t remember one time that I’ve actually seen her sleep in her bed. She really preferred much more to sleep in her perch when she was a kitten and even as she grew older. Now at almost 4 years old Sofia sleeps either on top of my legs or draped right beside me on my bed.
Do you know how much cats sleep all day? They sleep an average of 15-20 hours a day.
The reason is that cats become active around twilight. I can verify that, as Sofia jumps on my head every morning about 4-5am to wake me for breakfast. After that they wind down for a long day of sleep. Cats are still predators but give chase and hunt mainly at night, but even housecats still retain that wild streak. Kittens and older cats tend to sleep more than the average adult cat.
Just like us, it should come as no surprise that cats are affected by weather and like to sleep more on rainy or cold days. I know many cats, like Sofia, who adjust her sleep patterns to feeding schedules. I almost get the sense that THASC artist Gary Lapelle’s CAT in “CAT BED” is anxiously waiting for her bowl to be filled too! Just look at those big, green yearning eyes!
I hope you all find time for a “catnap” during your busy day. I’ll see you on Thursday and then I’m off on vacation until August 17. In the meanwhile please continue to read our blogs for some scrumptious treats and sweets on our blog: http://www.preciousartbypreciouspeople.org Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
See you at the end of summer!
For the many THASC artists whose subject is flowers, I must say each one of them speaks to us in a different way. Most flowers have a specific seasonal time to bloom and it wasn’t until late last week that I noticed the beautiful tiger lilies that abound in my garden. Each day now there are more and more and when I looked at Paul Bailey’s marker painting it immediately reminded me that these lovely flowers were about to bloom in my back yard. It is not until they spread their wings fully that you can capture the glory of their lovely peach color and the length of their reach.
Most of my flowers are already bloomed and gone by the end of Spring but my Summertime bloomers remind me that there is still more to come. Paul’s dot by dot method is not only incredibly precise but captures each leaf with remarkably, explosive color
changes. It is only when a flower reaches its pinnacle of growth that do we realize nature’s beauty at it’s peak. As I looked around my Summer garden, I captured other wild flowers at their “full bloom” and would like to share them with you.
Summertime flowers in full bloom
While visiting my cousins in Sicily this past month, I went into a local florist in town and was amazed at the bouquet of fresh flowers he put together for me as a gift for them upon our departure. They were a beautiful combination of fresh flowers as you can see, all newly bloomed and the best part is that he charged me only 25 euros (about $30)!
Bouquet in Sicilian florist
Thank you to THASC artist Paul Bailey for reminding us all “Nothing says it like Flowers!”
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your full-bloomed Summer flowers and fruit trees. See you on Tuesday.
PS. Thank you to a wonderful friend who graced my aunt’s birthday table last year with a gorgeous bouquet!
From Tuesday’s blog on “Waving Proud” until today’s blog, “Lady Liberty”, THASC artist Janice Peroni continues with her incredible watercolor impression of the powerful Statue of Liberty meeting her celebratory, colorful and explosive fireworks lighting up the New York skyline. There is nothing more exciting and decisive than the thunderous roar of these vivid bolts to verify her significance to the world. She does so with grace and distinction and nothing confirms her stance more than the skies of New York.
The French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi originally named the Statue of Liberty, “La Libertè Éclairant le Monde” or “Liberty Enlightening the World.” He modeled the sculpture after his mother, Charlotte. Broken chains lie at her feet symbolizing her as a woman free from weariness and submission. The Roman numerals for July 4, 1776, the date of American Independence, are inscribed across the tablet held in her left hand.
The Statue of Liberty was completed in France and then gifted from France to the United States as a symbol of freedom and democracy. It was a joint effort between the two countries. The Statue arrived in New York in June of 1885 in over 300 pieces from France. It was reassembled in four months and placed upon a granite pedestal which was built in America. In October of 1886, President Grover Cleveland unveiled and accepted the Statue on behalf of the people of the United States. The full statue measures 305 feet one inch from the tip of the flame to the ground. The total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons or 450,000 pounds.
The Statue’s original torch was the first part constructed in 1886 but in 1984 was replaced by a new copper torch covered by 24 Karat gold leaf. Here are some interesting facts about the crown. Let’s take a closer look: Did you know that the seven rays of the Statue’s crown represent the seven continents and seven seas of the world?
There are 25 windows in the crown which represent the gems of heaven shining over the world. Access has not been available to the torch since 1916. You need to climb 154 steps to reach the head. To give you an idea of some of the measurements of the Statue: her index finger is 8 feet long and the width of her mouth is three feet.
In 1903, the poem, “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus was inscribed on a tablet and placed in the Statue’s pedestal:
I lift my lamp beside
The golden door!”
When I look at Janice Peroni’s watercolor I am reminded of the middle name my parents gave me, which was my paternal grandmother’s name. Maybe some of you have noticed that it is “Libera,” the Italian word for “free.” I feel I have a special connection with this greeting card and with Lady Liberty and will feel that more every year on July 4th. Thank you to Janice and to my immigrant grandparents who made this journey to freedom for me.
I hope you all have a special connection with Freedom as I do and enjoy your Holiday!
Many of THASC’s artists’ wonderful paintings are available in both greeting cards and in pocket calendars as you see above. Janice’s depiction of Old Glory is bold and beautiful
and reminds us of the most precious gift of all in America:
I remember as children we learned and recited The Pledge of Allegiance every day in our classrooms…”I pledge allegiance to the FLAG of the United States of America…” It wasn’t until recently that I learned the Pledge of Allegiance dates back to President Benjamin Harrison in 1892 who was seeking ways to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America on Columbus Day. Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist and Baptist minister, arranged for the President and Congress to announce a national proclamation which centered on an American flag ceremony. And so the Pledge was born.
Most Americans celebrate our nation’s birthday, or Independence Day, with amazing firework celebrations, but beyond the big cities of Boston, New York, Los Angeles and D.C., there are many small towns that show their patriotic colors in a big way. For example, Bristol, Rhode Island’s Annual Fourth of July Celebration established in 1785, is the oldest continuous celebration of its kind in the United States. These celebrations starting on Flag Day, June 14 and concluding on July 4, give Bristol its nickname, “America’s most patriotic town.”
Up until about 15 years ago the family used to go to Block Island for its annual parade, as my sister Sara worked there and loved the small town intimacy. (Block Island is off the southern coast of Rhode Island and New York.) She always wore her famous blue and white sequined jacket ~ a real eye-catcher~ with a fabulous sequined flag on the back.
This is my favorite photo from July 4th :
I have since inherited that great jacket in all its glory and have worn it every year on the 4th. I just recently took it out of the closet to get ready for the big day!
The highlight of every celebration for July 4th has to be the fireworks which we’ll talk about on Janice’s other patriotic THASC greeting card called “Lady Liberty” on Thursday.
See you then as we inch closer to the Big Celebration.
Hope you’ll have a great view for fireworks wherever you will be.
“With Liberty and Justice for ALL”
As a child of the 60’s and 70’s, that is a baby-boomer, I was very much attracted to high-heeled boots and shoes that were so “in” at the time and Donna Cushman’s painting immediately caught my eye.
I was also attracted to the peony flower which is a traditional floral symbol of China and is used symbolically in Chinese art. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in the ancient Chinese city of
Luoyang are said to be the finest in the country.
Since peonies are native to Asia and Southern Europe, I enjoyed their beautiful scent when I was living in Beijing and throughout my travels of southern China. In Japan its root was used as a treatment for convulsions while in the Middle Ages their seeds were medically significant.
The Chinese also use the fallen petals as an addition to salads or to sweeten water like lemonade. Peonies are commonly used in Japan as tattoos along with lions, tigers, dragons and koi-fish as a masculine design.
To me I can only imagine them as feminine as can be with their soft petals and of course, those high-heeled shoes!
Join me next Tuesday as we get closer to our national holiday, July 4, and continue to celebrate our THASC artists.
Zai jian! (Good-bye in Chinese)